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48 Hours in Memphis, Tennessee

Happy Sunday! I hope you are having a good weekend. Mine is going by way too fast, but I seem to be getting a lot accomplished. We are working on final touches in our new home, like flooring, door knobs, and hardware, so hopefully it won’t be long before we are moving in. I hope once we get to move in I’ll start feeling much better, more in control of “things”, and have something concrete for my mind to focus on. Tiny house living is definitely not for me, plus all I want to do is nest and prepare a nursery, but that all must wait a few more weeks. 

Anyway, I’m excited to start sharing my trip to Memphis, Tennessee from earlier this year, and today I’m starting with an itinerary for visiting this fun & unique city for a weekend trip. We spent 2 full days in Memphis, and though there was still so much more to see, we managed to hit most of our must haves. To make your quick trip to Memphis easy to plan, check out this sample itinerary for 48 hours in Memphis.

48 Hours in Memphis

Day One in Memphis

Began your first morning bright and early to get a head start on the crowds at Graceland. We spent over half a day perusing the massive compound. We covered every nook & cranny from Graceland itself, the mansion’s acreage, the new state of the art complex across the street that houses Elvis’ cars, costumes, and more. We even enjoyed lunch at Gladys’ Diner, hot PB & banana sandwich of course. After exploring Elvis Presley’s Graceland, head downtown to catch the show at the Peabody Hotel. Every morning & afternoon, the famous Peabody ducks make their way from the roof top to the hotel lobby then back up again. Even adults are sure to love seeing the ducks swim in the fountain, then make their grand return to the elevator along their red carpet! Grab a drink at the posh lobby bar & take in all of the beautiful design & architecture while you wait on the show. 

To top off the day, head to the alley adjacent to the Peabody, and enjoy charcoal ribs at Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous joint. The building itself is something to be admired, with memorabilia and signed photographs from everyone from the Rolling Stones to George W. Bush, not to mention the amazing architecture. The food itself is some of the best barbecue I’ve ever had. It is true Memphis style with dry rub so skip the sauce! I will warn you though, you might want to go back again it is so good. Trust me, it is worth the wait in line! Be sure to check their hours before you go. They aren’t open everyday. 

Close out the night with a stroll down Beale Street, not far from downtown. Enjoy shopping in the odd & end boutiques, delicious drinks, or just take in the various styles of music while you make your way down & back again. Memphis truly is a beautiful place for music. It is the birthplace of Rock & Roll after all!  

Day Two in Memphis

After a good nights sleep in your comfy hotel, I recommend The Guesthouse at Graceland for its great location, be ready to hit the ground running for your last full day in town! Continue the Rock & Roll theme from the day before, and start your day at Sun Studio. This legit record studio is still up and running, but also offers tours to the public. Many famous names, including the Million Dollar Quartet made their start here. You’ll hear rich history of those famous four, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, and more during your tour through the studio. They also supposedly have the microphone that Elvis recorded his first song on. Who’s to say I really believe it is the one though! At any rate, its fun to think so! I loved hearing stories of days gone by at Sun Records, and hearing how some artists still pop in to record from time to time. Sun Studios is a very fun place that is definitely worth checking out during your visit to Memphis!

After grabbing lunch, head on to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. I must say, I was apprehensive about visiting here, but I am so grateful I did! You’ll see the very motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot & killed, the Greyhound bus that was infamously lit on fire all in the name of racism, and Rosa Parks’ very seat on the very bus where she changed the world. The photographs, the first hand accounts, the detailings & conspiracy theories of MLK Jr.’s assassination are all worth learning about. Though I cannot fathom what people of color have endured and continue to endure in our country, I walked out of that museum with a clearer understanding of the problems of our nation. I highly recommend taking the time to visit this incredible museum. You will not regret it!

For dinner, we actually made our way to Dale’s in Southhaven, Mississippi. It was less than a 3o minute trek from Memphis, and we were so glad we made the journey! Dale’s Restaurant is the epitome of southern cooking. Fried chicken, turkey & dressing that tastes like grandmas, and oh the incredible, just like Nana made it banana pudding! Dale’s will be on my radar when I get the chance to return to Memphis!

To end the trip, check out what is showing at the Orpheum Theatre. We were luckily enough to catch the Broadway musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical for the low price of $30 each during our visit! The show was a last minute, day of pick, and boy were we in for a treat! Concerts and Broadway shows are a regular occurrence at the theatre, so I recommend checking out their schedule for your visit. The theater itself is worth checking out. It boasts beautiful architecture, stunning chandeliers, and marquee signs to boot!

With this quick itinerary, you’re sure to squeeze in all of the hot spots in Memphis. What else would I have loved to have done? Exploring historic cemeteries, a visit to St. Jude’s Research Hospital, and a ride on the mighty Mississippi in a famous Memphis riverboat. Perhaps you can squeeze those into your visit, but, for me, they’ll be waiting for that next trek to the birthplace of Rock & Roll!

48 Hours in Memphis
48 Hours in Memphis
48 Hours in Memphis
48 Hours in Memphis

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