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What area to stay in for Memphis

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May 15th, 2013, 08:40 AM
  #1
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What area to stay in for Memphis

We will be in Memphis for one night in June. I was reading some other threads and there are lots of references to unsafe areas in Memphis. Where should we stay? Where should we avoid? Prefer a place with free parking as we will be on a road trip with our car.
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May 15th, 2013, 11:54 AM
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We stayed DT, liked the location for walking to lots of things and never felt unsafe. Don't focus on free parking, just compare hotels based on a combination of room rate and parking.
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May 15th, 2013, 12:34 PM
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abram has good advice. As a typical tourist I'd stay downtown.

Memphis does have several unsafe areas, but they are areas where you'll be unlikely to go as tourists (save for the area around Graceland - Graceland itself is fine to visit). If downtown hotels are prohibitively expensive (I have no idea, as I stay with a friend when I go), the eastern suburbs like Germantown or Cordova would be fine. You'd just be driving further to get to where you want to be.

Basically, get a good map or a GPS, know where you're going, use common sense and you'll be fine. Thousands of tourists enjoy the city every year!
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May 15th, 2013, 03:41 PM
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We enjoyed the Peabody Hotel . . http://www.peabodymemphis.com/

Nice hotel in the middle of the downtown area and the duck are a hoot!
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May 15th, 2013, 04:39 PM
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If you are doing some tourist stops, stay at a name brand hotel downtown and you are fine. If you are just passing through, shop Germantowm. Germantown has all the chain flavors and often competitive prices.
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May 15th, 2013, 07:12 PM
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We stayed at the Talbot Heirs Guest House and loved it--a beautiful apartment for the price of a hotel room, right across the street from the Peabody. All the apartments are on the second floor, and there's no elevator. The parking is about a block away.
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May 15th, 2013, 07:25 PM
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I'm thinking about a trip to Memphis too, so can someone chime in a little more. I keep reading things like the above
"Memphis does have several unsafe areas, but they are areas where you'll be unlikely to go as tourists (save for the area around Graceland - Graceland itself is fine to visit)"

How literal is that warning? If you go to Graceland and make a wrong turn off the highway it's a problem? Not only the National Civil Rights Museum neighborhood, but the area between there and wherever your hotel is? And Beale Street is fine as long as you go during the day? Wouldn't someone going to hear live music generally do it at night?

I am serious about these questions. Asking as a resident of city that has had plenty of scary times for visitors, but many myths about safety that persist long after they cease to be true, what's the real deal with Memphis? How can we visit visit a place that has a long important history, but you can't go anywhere outside a few blocks radius?
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May 16th, 2013, 01:59 AM
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@nyer, I think I can help you out. I'm from Memphis, a U of Memphis alum and still visit family there regularly. Memphis has a bad rep and some of it is deserved... but that grit is part of the history, the feel and culture of the city. To say that there are "unsafe" areas is an over statement, makes people think they are one wrong turn away from being accosted and that's just not the case. Yes it's a crap neighborhood around Elvis' place but you should go if you're an Elvis fan. Downtown is fun and Beal is the place to be day or night for live music (and yes, most everybody goes at night - but look for the gospel singers on the streets on Sunday after church). If you can stay at the Peabody... it is a beautiful old hotel with immaculate woodwork and plush old school decoration... almost like a cathedral that you can order a drink in.

A few quick recommendations:
Stay away from Germantown - it's just the suburbs. Would you like some boring to go with your vanilla?

Gus's Fried Chicken - the name contains almost the entire meneu, and it's awesome. One of the few places you and your significant other can enjoy a 40oz with that chicken.

The Rendezvous - Good BBQ, not the best in town, BUT the best atmosphere... built in an ancient building with great iron work it feels like you're being let into a speakeasy with the entrance in a darkened ally... seriously people aren't messing with you, that's where the entrance is.

Live Music - if you're a fan look around mid-town for what's going on (concierge can help, or grab copy of Memphis Flyer) Beal is mostly blues but there's so much great music all over memephis you can't go wrong.
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May 16th, 2013, 06:22 AM
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Where is the best barbecue?
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May 16th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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Memphis has a bad rep and some of it is deserved... but that grit is part of the history, the feel and culture of the city.

Pretty much sums it up (and yes, I did oversimplify a bit when I said "unsafe"). There are areas that you'd want to avoid, but Memphis's reputation is worse than the actuality. And more importantly, the issues are there for reasons - there's a lot of history there.

In short, I would not hesitate to go anywhere on a tourist agenda - Graceland, Sun Studio, Stax, the Civil Rights Museum, Beale Street, etc. Use common sense and you'll be fine. If you're leaving Graceland at 3pm and make a wrong turn, nothing bad is going to happen. It's just not the kind of town I'd say to wander around aimlessly and "soak in the atmosphere," is all.

yestravel, the best barbecue is a hot topic of debate and there are a lot of threads here about it. This is a fairly recent one, but there are more.

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...mphis-eats.cfm
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May 16th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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As we were coming out of Graceland, we discovered a flat tire. So we drove to the nearest Firestone and got new tires. We had to hang around outside for an hour or two because we had a dog with us -- it was mid-late afternoon. Yeah, the neighborhood was a bit run down and we ran into a (non-threatening) crack head outside McDonald's, but it wasn't like we were dodging bullets.

I loved the Peabody and staying downtown.
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May 16th, 2013, 02:59 PM
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We loved our stay (me and my sweet mother) at the Talbot Heirs Guest house. We had a nice size room, with a full kitchen and a little sitting area and the price was cheaper than the Peabody. I have to say that the Peabody is extremely nice and we went over daily for afternoon cocktails, but we were very happy across the street. The people that manage the place are very friendly and gave us some very good recommendations for eating!
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May 17th, 2013, 06:34 PM
  #13
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Thanks for the info. Not sure if we'll stay in Memphis or not.
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May 23rd, 2013, 01:11 PM
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The tourist areas of Memphis are completely safe - was just there in March and loved my time there. It is just like any other city. Liek was ststed above - you are not dodging bullets and scared for your life every minute. Go and stay - you will wonder what everyone was so afraid of!

Oh and another vote for Talbot Heirs - just perfect!!!
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May 23rd, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Wasn't worried about dodging bullets or being scared. I live in DC and am well aware that certain areas are better to stay than others. That's what I was trying to gauge based on all the reading/research I had done.
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