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What Are Some Tourist Attractions in Memphis, Tennessee?

The Memphis Zoo includes a giant panda exhibit.
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  • Written By: A Kaminsky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2014
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“Long-distance information, get me Memphis, Tennessee,” sang Johnny Rivers. Songs have been written for years about Memphis, birthplace of the blues and of rock and roll. So what does a tourist do in Memphis?

Memphis, Tennessee is a city of over 600,000 and has a metropolitan area of roughly 1.2 million. It sits on the fourth Chickasaw bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, which separates Tennessee from Arkansas. Memphis, established in 1820, is famous for its music and its barbecue.

People often build big cities along rivers, and Memphis is no exception. Old Man Mississippi River has always played a vital role in the city’s economy. It made Memphis an industrial center and then a major port for slave arrivals in the 1840s and 1850s. After the Civil War, the river helped ensure the city’s survival.

One of the greatest tourist attractions in Memphis has to be Sun Studios. When a very young Elvis Presley walked in and said, “I don’t sound like nobody,” the producers had to agree. They had recorded the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, but Elvis was unique. His first recordings there showcase the raw energy that was shortly to take the world by storm. Sun Studios, at 706 Union Avenue, offers tours of the facilities and visitors can see the studio where such classics as “I Walk the Line” and “That’s All Right Mama” were recorded.

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Elvis fans will find a tour of Graceland a “must” on the list. Visitors can tour the home itself, the grounds, see Elvis’ private vehicles and tour the museums featuring concert costumes, gold records and more. It's another of the famous tourist attractions in Memphis.

A nature center and botanical gardens are also two tourist attractions in Memphis, and the Memphis Zoo is justly world famous as a great place to visit. They even have resident giant pandas! Memphis in May is a month-long festival that culminates in a barbecue cook-off that attracts teams from all over the country. This is one of the tourist attractions in Memphis that draws a crowd all month long.

One don’t-miss example of tourist attractions in Memphis is the Peabody Hotel and their resident ducks. First begun as a prank, the ducks make their trek to and from the roof to the fountain in the hotel twice a day. Visitors and hotel guests alike watch the Peabody Duck March. It’s one of the most famous tourist attractions in Memphis.

More information about tourist attractions in Memphis, accommodations and travel can be found at www.memphistravel.com.

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