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-   -   Never been to Memphis (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/never-been-to-memphis-737953/)

dmlove Sep 21st, 2007 08:53 AM

Never been to Memphis
 
How many days would you go to Memphis for if you'd never been?

isabellasu Sep 21st, 2007 01:31 PM

3 days to see it all, but no less than 2. You have to see Graceland, Sun Studios, Civil Rights Museum, eat lots of BBQ, go to the Peabody Hotel, enjoy a night on Beale Street...lots to do!
Graceland will take almost a whole day.

mah1980 Sep 21st, 2007 04:12 PM

I went to Memphis last summer for the first time. We had 3 days, 2 nights, and think it was sufficient time to cover the highlights.

I personally cannot imagine spending almost a whole day at Graceland. We went near the time it opened (make sure you buy tickets online in advance so you can pick up at the window, rather than having to wait in line which will take a long time), and spent no more than 3 or so hours and felt like we had seen enough.


SusanCS Sep 22nd, 2007 07:53 AM

I agree with mah. I can't imagine spending more than a couple of hours at Graceland. We went because we thought it'd be a funky, fun thing to do and it was. I'm glad I went but I'd never go back.

Vttraveler Sep 22nd, 2007 09:45 AM

I would go to Mud Island (museum about the Mississippi)in addition to the other sights mentioned

dmlove Sep 22nd, 2007 12:18 PM

susan and mah, in your opinions, is Memphis worth making a special trip for (and while I loved Elvis, I too can't imagine spending more than a few or 3 hours at Graceland --- I've never even spent more than 3 hours at the Louvre LOL!)

mah1980 Sep 22nd, 2007 01:59 PM

Where are you coming from that it would be a special trip? I thought it was a fun long weekend place with good restaurants.

dmlove Sep 22nd, 2007 02:16 PM

mah, from San Francisco. If we can get a good/inexpensive flight.

SharonG Sep 22nd, 2007 03:59 PM

dmlove, if you loved Elvis you wil love Graceland. I could spend the day there. The car musuem is wonderful and so is the Elvis Up Close and Personal. I lived in Memphis for a year and we had our end of the year party at Graceland with a special tour of the mansion and it was lots of fun. Enjoy yourself. Don't miss the Rendezvous, Cozy Corner (wonderful ribs and barbecued spaghetti) and the Civil Rights Museum.

mah1980 Sep 22nd, 2007 05:49 PM

What are your interests?

We went to Memphis from here in New Orleans so it wasn't a very long trip. While I don't necessarily feel the need to go back, I thought it was a really cool place to experience.


SusanCS Sep 22nd, 2007 06:03 PM

You're coming from San Francisco? Wow! I can think of SO many other places in the south I'd choose to visit before Memphis.

We live in Little Rock and spend the night in Memphis fairly regulary, but there's NO way I'd get on a plane to travel there. The southern part of the United States has LOTS of wonderful travel destinations.

Have you considered New Orleans, Charleston, Savannah?

Vttraveler Sep 23rd, 2007 08:23 AM

I've been to Memphis twice for family reunions and enjoyed the city and found plenty to do. However I have to agree with SusanCS there are other places I'd go first in the southern US

mah1980 Sep 23rd, 2007 08:40 AM

I agree--wouldn't go too far out of my way to go to Memphis. I think both New Orleans and Charleston are more interesting Southern destinations.

Have you been to New Orleans or Charleston?

dmlove Sep 23rd, 2007 10:41 AM

All, we've been to Charleston, Savannah, Atlanta & Hilton Head before, and we had plans to go to New Orleans on what turned out to be 3 days after Katrina hit. I posted another thread here asking about New Orleans now, and I do think we'll go there this year, too. So this was in addition to, not in place of, all those places. When we go to any city, we like to see the prime attractions, but not the stupid ones (biggest ball of twince is of no interest to us, but Graceland would be). We aren't hugely into art museums, but the civil rights museum sounds great. As an example, my favorite Smithsonian museum is the temporarily-closed Museum of American History.

mah1980 Sep 23rd, 2007 11:13 AM

You should definitely come to New Orleans. There are a lot of good deals to be had on lodging (completely renovated Ritz Carlton is $129/night right now).

We liked Memphis, though we felt Memphis was grittier than New Orleans. There are a lot of similarities between the two cities--Southern with huge music influences and fun places to party (Beale Street and Bourbon Street). One thing about Memphis is that there are not a ton of close to Beale Street lodging options that were appealing to us.

I definitely think it is worth a visit. The Civil Rights Museum alone was really moving. Go to Gus' Fried Chicken for the best fried chicken you'll ever have.

SusanCS Sep 23rd, 2007 05:36 PM

okay, dmlove - you should definitely go to Memphis! In my opinion, Graceland shouldn't take more than a couple of hours, but then you've got the Civil Rights Museum, which is huge! Have fun!

TrvlMaven Sep 23rd, 2007 05:51 PM

I'm from the SF Bay area and I loved Memphis! Graceland--two to three hours tops--I had to leave before my outright giggling upset the mourners at his gravesite (last stop of the tour). Mud Island is excellent. Food is great--music is terrific. We drove down to Tunica and took a riverboat cruise (that's where the casinos are--90 min south of Memphis).
A fun city, glad I went.

movinganna Sep 23rd, 2007 06:15 PM

dmlove,
I live just south of Memphis. If you are looking for lodging recomendations, I would suggest the Madison Hotel or the Westin. There are plenty of great restaurants downtown, such as Felica Suzanne, Stella, McEwens, or Automatic Slims. A long weekend is plenty of time to catch the highlights. I hope you enjoy it.

paula1470 Sep 23rd, 2007 06:49 PM

dmlove-I am from So. Cal and I really liked Memphis. I went with my daughter who loved it. Didn't spend too much time at Graceland but spent quite a few hours at the Civil Rights Musuem. Very moving. The Sun Records tour was our favorite-don't miss it. Also enjoyed Beal Street. Of course you have to eat BBQ and if you want something different for a meal go to The Beauty Shop restaurant. It's not downtown but only about a 5-10 minute drive. It's set at the sight of an old beauty shop and we really enjoyed our meal there. We were there during Feb so it was a little cold to go to Mud Island.

I would say that you'd need 3 full days and if you wanted to stay a little longer combine it with a day trip outside of Memphis. We wanted to go to Oxford, Mississippi (home of Ole Miss U) but didn't have time. I believe it's a little over an hour from Memphis. What we did do was drive through Mississippi and ended up in New Orleans. Mah1980 I read your trip report before we took our trip. We spent a little time in Clarksdale, Missippi and went to the Delta Blues Museum which was very interesting. Morgan Freeman has a restaurant in Clarksdale but we didn't get to eat there as we were heading on down to Vicksburg. Clarksdale is about 75 miles south of Memphis.

We enjoyed our trip to Memphis and down into Mississippi. It's very different than CA-really almost a whole other world and it was enjoyable and eye opening.

paula1470 Sep 23rd, 2007 06:57 PM

Sorry mah1980. I meant to say I read gardyloo's trip report before we went in Feb 2006. However, I did read your trip report also. My daughter went back this year to Memphis with a friend (they have theater auditions there in Feb) but was able to show her friend all around the city and they had a good time. Sorry for the confusion.


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