Ah, Memphis, Tenn. This special American city has been a locus of entertainment (it's where blues, soul and rock 'n' roll were born) and history (as in the civil rights movement). If you're lucky enough to attend a meeting within this iconic slice of American tradition, don't miss the chance to explore the town. For more details, visit the Memphis Travel website.
Day 1: A Classic Memphis Intro
The Mississippi River is one of the city's most timeless features. Get wheels via the Explore Bike Share system and pedal (or walk) Big River Crossing (pictured), the longest pedestrian bridge spanning the river. Then enjoy a BBQ smoked-ribs lunch at The Rendezvous, a few blocks off the water.
For local color, wander The Edge district, on the edge of downtown. Here you will find Sun Studio (birthplace of rock 'n' roll), the Edge Motor Museum and more.
Visit the lively Overton Square Entertainment District to take in all the fun, then head over to Lafayette's Music Room for dinner and live bands, and/or check out the nearby historic Levitt Shell (site of Elvis' first live gig) for a free concert.
Day 2: All Things Elvis (and More)
Graceland (pictured) has become more than "just" the place where Elvis Presley resided; it's now a whole complex devoted to the King's life. There's the main mansion, and across the street you'll find Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum, the Presley Motors Automobile Museum, a variety of Elvis Discovery Exhibits and the new Graceland Exhibition Center. You can even stay overnight in the Guest House at Graceland.
Save plenty of time to explore the Beale Street Entertainment District in downtown (pictured at top), where live music is a staple seven days a week. B.B. King's is a popular club, while upstairs, travelers will find upscale Southern fare at Itta Bena. Other attractions include the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. Shoppers will enjoy Lansky Bros., the boutique where Elvis was outfitted in signature fashion
Day 3: The Heart and Soul of the City
Dust off your dance moves for the Stax Museum of American Soul Music (the former home of Stax Records, where Isaac Hayes and Otis Redding made their immortal hits) in the Soulsville neighborhood, then have (what else?) a soul-food lunch at the Four Way, where musicians and civil-rights icons have gathered since 1946.
Now is a good time to explore the South Main Arts District, where you'll find the Blues Hall of Fame (fun for serious fans and casual visitors alike) and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.
For dinner, pick among the many restaurants along South Main Street, featuring Italian and Greek specialties, upscale pub fare and more. Some nights, the Arcade Restaurant stays open late, serving boozy milkshakes to complement the dinner fare. Finish up with a view of Mighty Lights (pictured left), a new nightly show over the mighty Mississippi River.
This article appears in the September 2019 issue of Successful Meetings.