You are free to enjoy Memphis’ many wonderful attractions. First you must tour Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley. The new audio tour of Graceland Mansion is full of music and interesting stories about how Elvis lived in the home he loved so much. You will see the largest privately owned collection of gold records in the world and Elvis' elaborate stage costumes and jewelry. The mansion tour ends with a quiet visit to Meditation Garden where Elvis and members of his family are buried. You can also see Elvis' famous 1955 pink Cadillac in the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum and climb aboard his custom jet the "Lisa Marie." Graceland plaza also offers fabulous shopping and restaurants.
Next we suggest you eat lunch at the legendary Fourway Grill. Rarely does a tourist find this place. The cherished South Memphis family restaurant serves the tastiest soul food in town. This is the real authentic “soul food.” Eat dessert first. Try the velvety sweet-potato pie or strawberry cake. Then dig into some juicy fried green tomatoes, pork chops, catfish, or chicken and round it out with black-eyed peas and crumbly cornbread. If he's not too busy, ask the proprietor to reminisce about the old days of this historic black neighborhood. The restaurant doesn't serve soft drinks or alcohol, so plan on ordering lemonade or iced tea with your meal.
Just a few blocks from Fourway Grill is the Stax Museum of American Soul Music located in Soulsville USA at the site of the original Stax Records. This multimedia museum celebrates the birth and life of soul music and its influence. The museum houses the definitive archives and more than 2,000 artifacts of the musical influences and international legacy of the legendary soul music label and its artists, and includes a reconstructed gospel church, records, Tina Turner’s clothing, Isaac Hayes’s Cadillac and more.
Once you are back downtown you can tour Sun Studio, the birthplace of Rock'n'Roll. Today the studio, where Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and many others launched their careers, is open to the public for tours daily while still operating as a studio by night. Sun Studio Cafe is located next door to the studio. Above the cafe is a new museum/gallery featuring hundreds of rare recordings, memorabilia, photographs, and vintage recording equipment.
Another great Memphis attraction is the Rock n Soul Museum. Finally, there’s a place that tells the story of where the beat began. “Rock n Soul: Social Crossroads”, a project initiated by the Smithsonian Institution, examines the history of Memphis music and its impact on cultural change. It tells the story of why Memphis. Why did rock n roll begin in Memphis, why did soul music begin in Memphis & why did blues music, which began in the neighboring countryside come to Memphis & Beale Street before going to the world. You will see stage costumes, instruments, recording equipment, rare film footage, photographs, and vintage jukeboxes from the 20’s – 70’s and you can listen to the recordings on your personal audio guide.
Dont forget to visit Neely's for some seriously good ribs!