The title pretty much wraps it up.
It’s been a while since I was there, so things are probably a lot different from that time. That said, look into:
- Mud Island
- Beale Street
- Overton Park
- Peabody Hotel
- Sun Records (Elvis left)
- Liberty Bowl (if you care anything for football)
What Zeldar said, plus (if you like baseball) you may be able to catch a Memphis Redbirds game. The park is very nice and close to some of the downtown attractions.
I guess I should also add some info about the trip. Two buddies and myself are headed there in October. I’m already married, but the two of them are getting hitched within a week of each other. So, it’s kind of a tour around/bachelor get away weekend.
Skip Elvis… 'cuz He Dead!
Graceland is actually a lot of fun. It’s tacky but it’s also so small comparatively. Actually, very low-key when compared to the McMansions of the American suburbs.
Beal Street is good with a nice bar called UFO’s. The waitresses there are smoking hot. Seriously hot.
I like Memphis. They have a neat little trolley that takes you around the city centre. It’s as slow as Christmas and the driver may randomly stop to get a burger but it’s still a nice trip.
Drinking in the morning at the lobby bar of the Peabody Hotel just a few blocks over from Beale is good for a laugh. A small family group of trained ducks live on the roof. Every morning at – I think – ten o’clock, a guy dressed as a cross between a bellhop and a ringmaster escorts the ducks from the roof to the lobby by elevator. The ducks wait in the elevator while a red carpet is rolled out and their theme music starts, then they waddle down the carpet and plop into the fountain in the middle of the lobby and spend the day swimming there. Mind your manners with the bar staff, though. Hank Williams Jr. was arrested a few months ago for getting fresh with a barmaid in the lobby and she has a huge civil suit pending against him.
The nighttime carriage rides through donwtown are nice, especially when its all misty and the deranged street preachers are standing on iron benches in the parks, witnessing to no one. Migt not be a three buddies kind of an experience, though.
There’s a good Russian restaurant a block or two toward the river from the Peabody.
There’s the Lorraine Motel where MLK Jr. was shot. It’s a museum now, near Beale, and on the trolley route.
Eat on Beale at least once. Great, smoky gumbos and ribs and all manner of indigestible but yummy soulfood items. The street musicians in Handey Park are worth a visit.
Panhandlers are everywhere.
A delayed gratification drinking game: if you go to Graceland, count how many times your shuttle bus driver uses the “word” Maiyunn-shun (mansion) to refer to the house, in the brief drive across the street and through the gates. Justify all kinds of poor behavior later with the recollection of this traumatic experience. Do not make a joke about whether the oxygen tank and defibrillator just inside the front door of the maiyunn-shun are original to Elvis’ period of residence. Your guide will not appreciate that brand of humor.
Here’s a similar thread from earlier this year: I’m Going to Memphis…What Are the Must-See Attractions?
And since I know what you’re REALLY interested in, here is a shortcut to my contribution.