Since moving to the south, I've taken it upon myself to explore my surroundings and get out and see what some nearby states have to offer. This weekend I decided to do the glorious state of Tennessee, Memphis to be exact... known as the Home of the Blues!
I'd been wanting to visit the city for a while to indulge in it's rich history and plethora of museums. So after receiving an all expenses paid invite, I jumped at the opportunity. I stayed for a total of 3 days and 2 nights and while it wasn't as long as I would've preferred- I still made the absolute most of it. If you're looking to visit the vibrant city of Memphis for a weekend getaway, here's a list of things you can do inspired by my own experience!
For starters, you have to check out the museums! There are so many different ones to choose from that you'll have to visit several times just to see them all. Memphis has an approximate total of 15 museums highlighting everything from the Blues to hidden gems to the world's most famous and recognizable- like the astonishing Graceland, the home of famed musician Elvis Presley.
And for the history buffs out there, you might also want to check out the world famous Lorraine Motel and the National Civil Rights Museum. Better known as the location of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's definitely a sight to see and I highly recommend it. Not only is educational and necessary, but it's also a part of history that the world desperately needs in order to process what still happens today with Black and African American people in America. It's an eye-opener and a real tear jerker. I'll warn you if you haven't been- take a piece of tissue and prepare your emotions. The museum is unlike anything I've ever seen in my life. Here's a glimpse of what you can expect, but by no means do the pictures offer any justice! It's truly an in-person experience.
Another fantastic thing to do is sight see and try the local restaurant/bar scene. You can't go wrong with food in Memphis! They have arguably the best BBQ in the United States and quite possibly even in the world (that's just my opinion.) I got the chance to eat some very good gumbo along with some fresh, char-grilled oyster's from Pearl's Oyster House. Not far off the beaten path of Beale Street you'll find this quaint little restaurant situated on a cozy corner where the Memphis trolley rides right by.
You'll be able to walk the street and see all the different shops and diners, have some authentic cuisine and then hop on a trolley to continue exploring the rest of the downtown area. See the world famous Beale St, the iconic Orpheum theater and tons of other amazing historic sights. It's a perfect way to spend a few hours in the city of Memphis.
If you're looking for something a bit more adventurous and don't mind driving a bit, the Mississippi border is about a 15 minute drive from Downtown Memphis. You can easily take a day trip over to Mississippi and see lots of other historic sights. The Mississippi river being one of them, although technically you don't have to leave Memphis to see it. It's visible from both states.
You can also tour the iconic Mississippi Blues Trail, also known as the "Blues Highway" which from beginning to end is about 1,400 miles and travels through multiple states including Tennesee, Florida, Maine, Louisiana and Illinois just to name a few. How's that for a road trip?!
While in Memphis I took a road trip over to Mississippi for a couple of hours to check out some of the blue's museums. I got to see 2 different ones and tons of other landmarks and historical markers. I toured the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS. & the Gateway to the Blues in Tunica, MS. Both equally stunning and filled with invaluable information about the Blues and the musicians who left their mark on history! Here are some pictures of my time spent in Mississippi!
Learn more about the museums and attractions in Mississippi here!
You can find all the famous markers for the Blues trails here!
Another pretty cool experience I had while in Mississippi was finding a down south BBQ joint right off the side of the road. While passing along the highway there was a small house with smoke coming from the backyard. But it wasn't just any smoke, it was smoke from a BBQ grill! That mesquite smell that fills the air like only a BBQ can drew me in and I had to check it out.
I noticed a sign on the side of the house that said "Chucky's BBQ & Soul Food." After getting up early and road tripping into Mississippi, I was starving and needed some food to refuel myself; and let me just say this place did NOT disappoint! It was an old southern home that had been converted into a small eatery. The living room was the ordering counter and the dining room was the storage/eating area. It was like being in someone's house and the experience was one of a kind. A very pleasant woman took the order and served the food hot and ready! It was hands down some of the best BBQ I've had in a while.
If you're ever in Mississippi and headed towards Clarksdale on the 49, you have to check this place out and tell them I sent you!!
If driving across the border for BBQ isn't your thing and you would prefer something a little more upscale, elegant and intimate, be sure to visit "The Southern Social" and/or "Flight." Both were great dining restaurants with so much to offer. I ate at both places and honestly, I can't even say which one was better. They both offered an excellent menu choice full of tempting offers and specialty drinks.
They also both served meals and drinks as flights, which means you get to taste a selection of different things all for 1 price. The places are both a bit more on the high end side, but that's what I liked about them. The dining experience was unlike any other. With chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, low lighting, fine dining set ups and very attentive wait staff, they're worth every penny they ask for! Here's a mix of what I had at both places (the menus were very similar so you can try just about anything at either place)
Trust me, it just looks like a lot of food, but it isn't. This was also on 2 different nights. Flight served their dinner "flight style" which came with 3 different small plates to make 1 dinner plate. For my appetizer I had the Deviled eggs & crispy gulf oysters. For my entree I sampled the Wild Boar Tenderloin, the Wagyu ribeye and the Veal Scallopini. Everything was better than expected and I have zero complaints! Even the service was impeccable. Oh and that night there was no room left for dessert! I was stuffed! They also had lobster tail, shrimp, fish and so much more to choose from. The wine flights were equally enjoyable and they definitely aim to please!
At the Southern Social I enjoyed fresh oysters for my appetizer and a cup of gumbo. For dinner I had the Chilean Sea Bass with risotto and it was to die for! For dessert I had their bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. My drink that night was the strawberry basil martini and it was simply delicious! I couldn't get enough and thoroughly had a blast at both places. Again, I highly recommend you try these places while in Memphis. They're worth it!
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While in Memphis I stayed at the Hilton Hotel. Known for being the tallest hotel in Memphis with 360 degrees of unobstructed city views. The Memphis airport is about 15 minutes away and they even offer a shuttle to get you to and from. If you're ever in Memphis and need an upscale location to stay in, I highly recommend this hotel. It's away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Memphis while still being a short drive away. You can visit the city for all of your amenities and sight seeing, then retreat to your hotel for a luxurious, peaceful and relaxing stay.
Even though I was only in Memphis for a weekend, I had more than enough fun to place it on my list of places to visit again. To find out more about the city or discover other attractions and sights, visit Memphis travel to plan your trip!
In closing, Memphis definitely has a lot to offer. As does several other places in Tennessee. But don't just take my word for it, check it out for yourself and have a blast!!
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Thanks again and until the next blog,
happy & safe travels!