Home of the blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll, Memphis, Tennessee is a vibrant city that’s full of life. There are a lot of reasons why this city on the banks of the Mississippi River is so special: its role in Civil Rights history, its reputation as a musical incubator of sorts, and its famous Memphis-style pit barbecue. Come explore Tennessee’s second-largest city with Direct Auto Insurance, your official tour guide!
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If you’re in the Barbecued Pork Capital of the World, you’ve got to eat like it. Leonard’s Pit Barbecue has been slinging their slow-cooked Memphis-style pork barbecue sandwiches since 1922. Here, you’ll also find some of the best dry rub ribs in the city. Even the King himself was a regular, hosting friends for after-hours barbecue dinner parties.
When it comes to great sandwiches in culinary history, the messier, the better. Such is the case at Payne’s Bar-B-Que, home of one the city’s messiest pork barbecue sandwiches. You’d never guess from the outside of the former auto repair shop, but someone of the best barbecue in Memphis can be found inside. Don’t forget to get the mustard slaw!
Bring your appetite to Cozy Corner Restaurant, a family-run barbecue joint in Uptown. If the full parking lot is any indication of what the Robinson family is cooking up inside, you’re sure to be satisfied. You can’t go wrong with any of the menu items at Cozy Corner, but regulars recommend the barbecue bologna sandwich.
Pay Tribute to the King
An Elvis fan or not, you can’t go to Memphis without paying tribute to the King. Visit his former home, Graceland, and write your name on the mansion’s fence. Take a tour of Sun Studio, the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. Eat in his booth at the Arcade Restaurant and have a peanut butter banana sandwich. Shop at Lansky Bros. Take your picture with the Elvis statue on Beale Street. It’s long-live the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll in this city!
The official “Home of the Blues,” Beale Street is a historic street that’s significant not just to Memphis history, but Blues history. Beale Street is closed to traffic and lined with tons of clubs and restaurants, so take your time, stroll along, and really get a feel for Memphis.
This is the kind of place you have to experience to understand. Paula & Raiford’s Disco is a one-of-a-kind downtown Memphis dance club that pays homage to the disco era, complete with a light-up dance floor. Whether you’re a dancing queen or you’ve got two left feet, the lively atmosphere of this place will have you dancing the night away.
The National Civil Rights Museum is one of the most significant cultural museums in the country. It’s located at the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. The museum’s interactive exhibits and collections explore this important era in American history, and how it continues to inform human rights and social justice efforts to this day in the United States and around the world.
The Memphis sound is alive and well at the Stax Museum, the former site of Stax Records. Throughout its 15-year run, Stax Records churned out more than 150 songs on the pop charts and an astounding 243 hits on the R&B charts. Show off your dance moves on the Express Yourself dance floor, check out period recording equipment in the control room, and admire the hall of the records. Today, the Stax Museum keeps the legacy of R&B and soul music alive as a part of the Soulsville Foundation, which also comprises a college preparatory charter school and a music academy.