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The best way to see Memphis in two days is to hit the places that make Memphis Memphis. Visit Graceland, home of Elvis Presley, and pay tribute to The King. To immerse yourself in Memphis’ rich musical history, check out the Memphis Rock N’ Soul Museum, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music or Sun Studio where Elvis, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis first recorded.
If you love animals, see the giant pandas at the Memphis Zoo, among the top-rated zoos in the country, and only one of four in the U.S. to house pandas. Or check out the absolutely peculiar March of the Peabody Ducks at the Peabody Memphis hotel as they strut down a red carpet at the lobby fountain daily at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The most unique museums of Memphis are worth a visit, such as the National Civil Rights Museum, located at the Lorraine Motel, the assassination site of Martin Luther King, Jr. The National Ornamental Metal Museum is the only institution of its kind in the country, and as a working blacksmith shop, it teaches metalworking classes, too. The Pink Palace Museum celebrates the Mid-South with eccentric exhibits such as a walk-through replica of the first self-service grocery store in the country, the Piggly Wiggly.
Besides eating at the famous Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous, you’ll have time to chow down at Memphis’ other fantastic barbecue restaurants, such as the Bar-B-Q Shop, Central BBQ and Corky’s. Indulge in an exquisite meal from one of Memphis’ best restaurants, such as the Majestic Grille, Restaurant Iris or Sweet Grass.
For souvenirs, pick up uniquely Memphis items from Lansky at the Peabody, known as the “Clothier to the King,” now selling Elvis-inspired clothes. Don’t miss A. Schwab’s on Beale Street, the only original remaining business on the historic street, which sells literally everything, even hoodoo ingredients for charms.
Take the whole family to AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds - a Triple-A baseball team - and a favorite pastime in Memphis. There isn’t a bad seat in the house, and the complex offers a family gaming and playground area.
Dance the night away on Beale Street among its many bars and nightclubs, and when everything else is shutting down, Memphis’ juke joint Wild Bill’s is getting started with an authentic blues experience. Paula & Raiford’s Disco plays great dance music, but the real entertainment is DJ Raiford himself, who won’t be upstaged with his multiple and outlandish costumes.