Our visitor maps out 24 hours in Memphis.
10am: Breakfast like the king
Right at the end of Main Street, you’ll find Arcade Restaurant, a retro diner and longtime favourite of Elvis’s. He used to sneak in the back door and settle into his very own booth – you can follow in his footsteps with a fried Peanut Butter ‘N’ Banana Sandwich (with added bacon on request). Take some time to wander up Main Street afterwards – the vintage shops are fantastic.
1pm: Make for the museum
Located at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated, the National Civil Rights Museum is a vital visit. The whole experience is as insightful as it is heartbreaking, particularly in this, the 50th year since the death of one of the most important figures in American history. To stand outside the motel and look at the spot where Dr King was killed is an unfailingly moving moment.
How: Admission $16/€13; civilrightsmuseum.org
4pm: See sun studio
It’s known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, and there’s no denying that some musical heavyweights have passed through its doors. This is where Elvis first recorded, where Johnny Cash sang the words ‘I Walk the Line’, and where Jerry Lee Lewis stubbed his cigar out on a piano key. Take a tour of the studios and you can see that very piano, and have a little croon on Elvis’s mic to boot.
How: Admission $14/€12; sunstudio.com
8pm: Central BBQ & music
Enough about the theory of music – it’s time to live it. Head to BB King’s Blues Club or catch a gig in Lafayette’s Music Room, which is further east. But before all of that, you’ll need some good ole barbecue – order up a platter of dry rubbed ribs, brisket and nachos at Central BBQ.
How: bbkings.com; lafayettes.com; cbqmemphis.com