Sunday 21 July 2019

24 hours in Memphis: A perfect day in the Home of the Blues

Nicola Brady maps out 24 hours in Memphis

Favourite haunt of Elvis: Arcade restaurant
Favourite haunt of Elvis: Arcade restaurant
NCRM at Lorraine Motel
Dining in Memphis - good ole barbecue
See Sun studio

Nicola Brady

Right at the end of Main Street, you'll find Arcade Restaurant, a retro diner and longtime favourite of Elvis's.

10am: Breakfast like the king

The King 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

NCRM at Lorraine Motel

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;

4pm: See Sun Studio

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;

8pm: Central BBQ & music

Dining in Memphis - good ole barbecue

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.


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