This post is part of a series called ‘Few of my Favorite Things,’ which highlights the parts of my travel experiences that I find to be representative of my time in that specific locale: a restaurant, an experience, and a place. For more posts like this one, click here!
I was in Memphis for two days and three nights and I loved every. single. minute. I took a Greyhound bus over from Nashville all for the sake of hanging out with an old friend who currently lives in the River City.
Since my friend is employed, I spent most of the waking hours wandering through the city by myself. I went to various museums and wandered in and out of cafes and clubs at my own leisurely pace. I can confidently say that this is why I enjoyed Memphis so much!
Read on for a few of my favorite things, Memphis edition!
Restaurant: BB King’s Blues Club
I’ll be honest: my friend and I barely made a dent in all of the amazing food offerings Memphis has to offer— there are soooo many good eats around the city!
However, of the spots I had the opportunity to check out, BB King’s Blues Club takes the cake for my favorite restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee.
It is rare to find a place where both the food and the service are exceptional– BB King’s is one of these hidden gems. The service was so damn nice!
If you have a question, they’ll come and sit down with you to go over the menu with you and recommend their favorite dishes. They ask before sweeping up after nearby guests just in case it’ll disturb your experience. And heaven forbid something go wrong with your order, they’ll immediately sweep that plate off your table and put in a new rush order! The staff at the BB King’s Blues Club gives a whole new meaning to southern hospitality.
The food was also excellent– the highly-recommended plate of ribs was so tender that the meat fell right off the bone! In addition, the bar offers select craft beers from local breweries so you can truly get a taste of Memphis.
The club starts to get crowded around 5 p.m. People start filling seats to watch the live band that takes the stage every night around dinner time. Arrive early, pick out a great spot, and you won’t be disappointed!
Experience: National Civil Rights Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel commemorates the life’s work and legacy left behind by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the thousands of civil rights activists who fought for equal rights.
The museum’s exhibits are comprehensive and in chronological order, beginning in the colonial era when slavery was an established institution. As you make your way through the rooms, you’re taken along through the different stages of the civil rights battle.
Each room was compelling and seemed to draw the audience back in time. The museum curators held nothing back. There were shocking pictures of riots, lynchings, and even MLK’s assassination. Nothing was censored, which was appreciated by those who understand the need for a continuing conversation about equal rights.
Overall, I spent nearly five hours in the National Civil Rights Museum! It is a must-see, but be prepared to lose track of time when you walk through those doors.
Place: Beale Street
Beale Street may be one of the more popular tourist attractions in Memphis, but it certainly lived up to its reputation– it’s colorful, rowdy, and a whole lot of fun!
Your first stop must be Wet Willie’s, where a delicious 190-proof ‘Call A Cab’ slushie is pure fun in a cup. Truthfully, the one drink could’ve lasted me all night, which makes experiencing Beale Street ridiculously affordable!
The best thing about Beale Street is that you can walk around outside with your drinks, taking in the sights and enjoying the atmosphere. My friend and I walked in and out of several souvenir and record stores, laughing at all of the inappropriate memorabilia and tacky hats we found.
As the night progressed, we walked in and out of several bars. Most had live music playing, but each had something different to offer. My personal favorite was Silky O’Sullivan’s, Beale St.’s resident Irish pub. Everyone was so outgoing, it was easy to make friends! Ending my last night in Memphis on Beale St. was the best decision I could’ve made.
What were your favorite spots in Memphis?
For an interactive Google map of these spots, click here.