Spring Break, Memphis Style

There are plenty of places to visit during Spring Break, but none quite like Memphis, Tennessee.

The Bluff City has it all, from amazing music and food to sports, arts and culture. There’s history, there’s the mighty Mississippi, there’s the unique Beale Street. No wonder Elvis Presley loved this city.

Oh, and did we mention you can visit the king’s castle?

Elvis Presley's family moved to Memphis when Elvis was 13, and he lived in the Bluff City his entire life.

Elvis Presley’s family moved to Memphis when Elvis was 13, and he lived in the Bluff City his entire life.

Memphis is the only city where you can experience the home of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll – the man who started it all.

Graceland is everything, really: it’s American history, music history and a pop culture icon, just like its owner. It’s a must-see for fans who love music of any genre, for those who want a glimpse into the life of the world’s biggest rock star.

Plan to spend a few hours touring everything Elvis Presley's Graceland has to offer.

Plan to spend a few hours touring everything Elvis Presley’s Graceland has to offer.

The mansion itself is amazing, but at Graceland, you can also visit the Meditation Garden where Elvis and his family are buried, as well as his car museum and private jets. A brand new exhibit, “I Shot Elvis,” which focuses on iconic photos of Elvis and the photographers who took those pictures, just opened, and soon a new VIP exhibit will open.

Sun Studio is just a short drive from Graceland, and there are shuttles for those who want to tour both museums.

Sun Studio is just a short drive from Graceland, and there are shuttles for those who want to tour both museums.

Memphis is truly a pilgrimage for music and rock ‘n’ roll fans. If you want even more music history, check out Sun Studio, where it all started for Elvis, as well as artists like Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash.

The Stax Museum is the only soul music museum in the world.

The Stax Museum is the only soul music museum in the world.

You can’t miss the Stax Museum, either. The museum was home to the iconic Stax Records, a label that produced hit records by Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, the Staples Singers, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Wilson Pickett and many, many more.

The National Civil Rights Museum, located in downtown Memphis, traces the Civil Rights Movement from the 17th century to the present day.

The National Civil Rights Museum, located in downtown Memphis, traces the Civil Rights Movement from the 17th century to the present day.

Memphis is home to the National Civil Rights Museum, located in downtown Memphis at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. The museum offers a powerful and moving experience as it chronicles the Civil Rights Movement from the 17th century through present day. There are exhibits on topics such as student sit-ins, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, slavery and Freedom Rides.

The Memphis Zoo is home to two giant pandas, Ya Ya and Le Le.

The Memphis Zoo is home to two giant pandas, Ya Ya and Le Le.

Take a walk on the wild side at the Memphis Zoo. Explore Penguin Rock, Cat Country, Tropical Birdhouse, Once Upon a Farm, Dragon’s Lair, Animals of the Night and much more. This month, the zoo opens a new show, Memphis Zoo Takes Flight, a free flight bird show featuring more than 30 birds from 17 species.

The Memphis Grizzlies are currently 43-17.

The Memphis Grizzlies are currently 43-17.

These Grizzlies aren’t in any zoo – during your spring break here, check out a Memphis Grizzlies game at FedEx Forum. The team is currently 43-17, and upcoming games in Memphis are against the Trail Blazers, Nuggets and the Cavaliers.

Of course, there’s much more to do in Memphis. Take in a show at the gorgeous, historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Memphis. Upcoming events include “So You Think You Can Dance” and “The Color Purple.”

Just below the Orpheum lies historic Beale Street, home to the Hard Rock Cafe, BB King’s Blues Club, Alfred’s Bar & Grill, the New Daisy Theater and much more. Also downtown is the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, which celebrates both soul music and rock ‘n’ roll.

Memphis has plenty of delicious restaurant options, of course. Marlowe’s is just down from Graceland and will satisfy anyone yearning for barbecue. Rendezvous and Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken are both downtown and are Memphis staples.

For even more ideas on what to do and see in Memphis, check out MemphisTravel.com and the I Love Memphis Blog.

And, of course, don’t forget to plan your visit to Elvis Presley’s Graceland over at Graceland.com!


  1. judi Tabor

    My daughter and I visited Graceland and Memphis three years ago. We enjoyed it so much we are planning another trip as soon as the Guesthouse at Graceland is finished. We spent a week in Memphis and tried to stuff everything Elvis into each day. Absolutely loved it!!!!!!

  2. Martha Jette

    I am traveling from Ontario, Canada by car with my daughter, grand daughter and hopefully a good friend as well. We cannot wait to see Graceland – the home of the king of rock n’ roll! We should be there for a tour March 18 or 19, 2015. I am 65 years old and have loved Elvis (and his music of course!) my entire life so this will be a very special visit for me. And… my grand daughter, who is 20 and suffers a mental delay, loves Elvis too!

  3. starleen ryan

    Headed to Graceland in April
    Staying a night at heartbreak hotel.so excited

  4. Charmaine Schafer

    My husband and I will be visiting Memphis and Graceland on 21st – 26th
    April. Have always been an avid Elvis fan and cannot wait to see his home and everything we can fit in in our five days around Memphis. We are from Tasmania, Australia.

  5. Jeanette

    im visiting next week, all the way from England. Can’t wait

  6. Catherine salmon

    Graceland was fabulous. Also visited Sun Studio and STAX. Brilliant time love to do it again.

  7. Letitia Ryan

    I visited Memphis three years ago and had the time of my life. I visited Graceland, Sun Studio and Mike’s Memphis Tours – visited all the Elvis sights in Memphis, including the Circle G ranch and a day trip to all the Elvis sights in Tupelo. I think about that wonderful trip often and dream of returning to Elvis land again one day all the way from Down Under.

  8. I,ve been to Graceland at lease five times.
    The last time I took my wife with me she has been to Memphis
    before but has never been to Graceland. She had a grate time
    and so did I

  9. Lisa Wolverton Johnson

    We visited Graceland on 4-4-15 and for me it was WORTH it all! I have been a fan of Elvis since the day I was born! My momma was a Huge fan and still is. She saw Elvis in concert when she was pregnant with my brother.
    Sadly Elvis Presley Blvd. was very sad. It has a lot of run down buildings, pot-hole streets, and not the best side of town. We are glad we did not stay there now; as I was wanting to stay at the “Heartbreak Hotel” but at $110-$600 a night we opted for cheaper place.

    Now the TOUR was Fantastic!! Yes it is a bit pricey but so worth it to me. Had it not been for my dad providing the money I probably would have opted for the cheaper tickets since there were 4 of us and the kids tickets are the same price unless they are under 6.
    We were able to view the house with an i-pad and headphones, but took mine off when I stepped in the door. It was very busy and we were shuttled rather quickly through the house. After the house you are on your own to view the rest of the areas. The Trophy Room, Vernon’s Office, and other areas were nice and loaded with everything Elvis. The Memorial garden was such a beautiful place. It is so sad that a man who touched so many lives was taken away way too soon.
    Still wonder what it would have been like had his brother survived and there were two Elvis’s. After we took the tour of the home and land, we were guided over to another area on the grounds where they have built a “Storage/Catalog” area of Elvis’s belongings and other things. They did a “Video Presentation” of Elvis’s Life with songs, lights, and more. Almost made you feel like you were in concert with him for a little while. After that we were shuttled back over to the other side and able to walk through the car museum and other gift shops. We didn’t tour the planes, but wish we would have now. All in all it was worth it and more.
    This was my Bucket list wish and so thankful i was able to enjoy it.
    The Tour of the home and grounds took almost 3 hours, so I say it was well worth it and more. After the memory gardens you were allowed to go back in the house if you wanted to and spend as much time as you wanted. So will say it again for those who love Elvis or even for the mild Elvis fan, it is worth it all!!!
    I am a huge Elvis fan and always will be!!
    I will say it is not as large as i thought it would be, but for a 22 year old young man to own back in his day it was larger than life! I think it goes to show how humble he was with regards to his living. It was a home for him and his family, not just a place to entertain. It is still as beautiful as it was back then I am sure.

    i appreciate all the employees that work at Graceland. They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet! They also made the experience much more enjoyable. I am sure Elvis would be so proud to have such a great group of folks representing his home and him.

    Thank you for a great and memorable time. I do not know if I will ever get the chance to visit again and wish i would have done so many years ago, but this memory will forever be in my heart!

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