The first stop on our Quintessential Southern Road Trip was Memphis, TN. I’m a little ashamed that I lived in Nashville for three years before getting myself to Memphis…
(Watch the video here)!
I’m glad I didn’t listen to the people who said “Memphis is sketchy, don’t bother,” and “Graceland is a waste of money” because I disagreed with all of it and really enjoyed my time there.
Memphis does have a high crime rate, and statistics don’t lie, but my little group of three college girls managed to stick to the safest areas and have a great time. Graceland isn’t in the best of areas, but we parked, took the tour, then drove away. More on the tour later.
It helped that we were staying with a friend who lives in a good part of Memphis, so we didn’t have to worry about sketchy hotels.
On the first night, by recommendation, we had dinner at Lafayette’s Music Room (Buffalo wings in both sauces = amazing, chicken and waffles on point, burgers & sandwiches also good). We enjoyed some classic Memphis dishes while a country duo played for us. We were also photobombed pretty hard as you will see in the last picture below. Fun times.
The following day we ate a quick breakfast courtesy of our host (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU) and headed off to the zoo. The actual parking lot was full when we got there so they had us park on the grass, which was full of protesters who hated the idea of cars parking on the grass, apparently. At first glance I thought they were protesting weed with their “stay off the grass” signs but it clicked eventually.
The Memphis Zoo is beautiful. We also got discounted tickets because I’m a Nashville Zoo member, so make sure you ask about that if you’re a member at another zoo.
I was impressed by the food there because the prices were not crazy high like zoo prices normally are, and the food was not miserable. Like, better than a school cafeteria, but not as good as a really good school cafeteria.
They have every animal that you could possibly want to see in a zoo. Our favorites were the pandas, penguins, lions, and elephants (Oh my….).
After the zoo, we headed over to a sketchier part of memphis, where Elvis’ beautiful house is located.
I was very impressed with the audio tour at Graceland. I usually hate audio tours – they’re awkward and boring, but this one was recorded by John Stamos which made it 100x funnier than it should have been and it was very informative. I disagree with anyone who says Graceland is “not worth the hype.” #unpopularopinion
The room with all his gold records was really cool, but my favorite part was seeing Elvis’ grave. It was a solemn moment shared by all. A great talent taken too soon. However, the biggest (maybe only) upset of the tour was the lack of discussion of his death. Not that I can’t find that information on the internet, but it seemed kind of weird that the tour ended at the gravesite but all they said about his death was that it happened. Yeah, death usually happens to people. ‘Scuse the sarcasm.
We ended our trip to Memphis by wandering around Beale street, worshiping the great W.C. Handy, and feasting on pulled pork at Pig on Beale. Good stuff.
Jackson, MS (three hours away) was our next stop!
I loved my time in Memphis and will most likely be back there one day to see Sun Records, the Stax Musuem, and so many other awesome things that we didn’t get to.
Other blogs from the Quintessential Southern Road Trip: