On the western side of the state of Tennessee lays the town of Memphis. The city was founded on May 22, 1819. Three famous and wealthy men; Judge John Overton, General James Winchester, and future president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, were the ones to lay out the early plans for the city. The land surrounding the city became popular with cotton farmers, and the city soon became a major trading center with both cotton crops, and slavery. During the civil war Memphis was under the command of Union soldiers and became a safe haven for those escaping slavery from the surrounding plantations.
Memphis is still considered a major transportation hub, with an international airport, major interstates, and waterways. Travel + leisure magazine marked the city as Americas dirtiest city in 2011 and 2012. Memphis is also well known for its music. Many of the 1950’s famous musicians got their start in Memphis. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis are among the few that got their start in this great city. Graceland and Sun Studios are both open for tours and a great way to learn about the roots of rock and roll. I’ve always been a fan of Elvis but after visiting Graceland, I think I’m a little in love with the King.
There is an amazing amount of things to visit and enjoy in Memphis. Of course the world famous Beale Street should be on everyone’s list. A quick hop into any one of the restaurants or bars and you will find a live band or musician playing, mostly blues music. Our first visit we bought tickets to visit Graceland, Sun Studios, and the Rock N’ Roll Museum. A quick bus ride took us everywhere we needed to go and was easy to figure out the system. Not only did we enjoy ourselves but the children also had a great time. One other family favorite was a ride on the river boats. We also had a quick peek at the Memphis Marine Hospital, I wish I could have explored the abandoned areas in that complex.
Memphis is a fun city with quite a bit of things to do, I enjoyed my visits there and I’m sure at some point I will make it back to hit up all the things I didn’t get to do the first two times.
Next week we explore the Nashville Skyline.