Don't be cruel, give us some recommendations
November 15, 2005 7:23 AM   Subscribe

We're taking a road trip to Memphis the weekend of Dec 9th. Other than Graceland and Beale St, what should we see? What do the locals do/recommend? Where's the bad part of Memphis so we don't Priceline a hotel located there?
posted by pieoverdone to Travel & Transportation around Memphis, TN (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Go to the Peabody hotel and watch the ducks come down from their "Duck Palace" on the roof. More fun if you have kids, but an absurdly fun spectacle for all ages, really.
posted by junkbox at 7:59 AM on November 15, 2005

The Civil Rights Museum is a must-see.
posted by scody at 8:11 AM on November 15, 2005

I'm not from Memphis, but when I went there a few years ago my favorite toursity spots were the National Civil Rights Museum and Sun Studios (which was magical to me).
posted by jodic at 8:12 AM on November 15, 2005

See this thread.
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:40 AM on November 15, 2005

The River Walk at Mud Island River Park is neat in a nerdy geography way. Plus, you can recreate the monorail scene from "The Firm" while you are there.
posted by LeiaS at 8:54 AM on November 15, 2005

The Pink Palace is a must-see. The founder of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain built a mansion, went bust and the City (I think) took it over. It's stuffed with an assortment of art, mid 20th century Americana, artifacts from Memphis history, and nature exhibits, it is a one-of-a-kind museum.

I second the Civil Rights museum, and from the other thread, the Ornamental Metal museum.

Fedex used to give tours to its Memphis hub and huge sorting facility. Much more fascinating that it would seem - really.
While I know they used to do this, post 9-11, I doubt it, but if you are interested, you may want to give a call.

You can have Memphis barbecue at the Rendez-Vous downtown.
posted by xetere at 9:26 AM on November 15, 2005

If there is still a Memphis music museum somewhere near the Peabody, visit it just to see Isaac Hayes' domed Black Moses phone. You'll thank me later.
posted by raysmj at 9:52 AM on November 15, 2005

Great jukebox at Earnestine and Hazel's too.
posted by raysmj at 9:56 AM on November 15, 2005

Rendez-Vous is little too touristy for my taste. For a more authentic BBQ experience, go to the Germantown Commissary. You will not be disappointed.
posted by JeffK at 10:52 AM on November 15, 2005

The Memphis Zoo is pretty nice. Maybe Elmwood Cemetery.

I think the prior posts cover a majority of it. I've lived here for almost 30 years and I can't think of anything else.

FedEx still does tours of their hub facility but, unfortunately, not for the general public (It is surprisingly fascinating. I worked in the hub from 1979 to 1986 and I'm still awed by what goes on when I return now).

Bad parts of town? Directly north and south of downtown. I would stay away from hotels in the Graceland area. Anything along Poplar Avenue (runs east from the river) should be okay.
posted by Carbolic at 11:34 AM on November 15, 2005

In addition to Sun Records, if you're into music i highly recommend the Stax records museum.
posted by topher74 at 12:29 PM on November 15, 2005

go to church at the full gospel tabernacle and watch the reverend al green. If you have never seen any thing like this, you have never seen anything like this.
posted by bukvich at 2:23 PM on November 15, 2005 [1 favorite]

if you're into art and such there's The Dixon on Park, near the UofM and The Brooks Museum which is right next door to the Zoo, and AMUM which is actually on the UofM campus (but admittedly pretty small). tons of other stuff too. the Memphis Grizzlies (NBA) will be playing at the FedEx Forum on the 9th (that's downtown, park somewhere nice and just wander to beale after the game, it's a lot easier that way). this previous thread had a whole bunch of stuff on getting out for a blues show. if you want to see something a bit more avant-garde, check out the Hi Tone Cafe or the Young Avenue Deli or other places in midtown; we have a Flying Saucer (also downtown, near the Peabody) if you're in the mood for a beer. obligatory city website link.
posted by mrg at 3:02 PM on November 15, 2005

Oh, and if you're really into music, you can go to Ardent Studios and see if Jody Stephens (of Big Star fame) is working that day. My college boyfriend met him that way, and Jody took him on an impromptu tour of the studio and then bought him a beer.
posted by scody at 4:13 PM on November 15, 2005

St. Jude Children's Hospital gives tours to the general public. It's a moving experience.
posted by saucy at 10:48 PM on November 15, 2005

Oh, and stay away from Whitehaven, for sure.
posted by saucy at 10:48 PM on November 15, 2005

Last one, I swear. Go eat at the Arcade diner downtown. It's the oldest restaurant in the city and several movies have been filmed there, including some scenes from Elizabethtown. The food is great, too.
posted by saucy at 10:50 PM on November 15, 2005

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