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Why fly to Memphis?
Welcome to the land of blues and barbecue. The city of Memphis has a sould that just won't quit and will welcome you into its embrace as soon as your flight lands in the city. The Tennessee city sits on a bluff above the Mississippi River and its location has made it a hub for transportation in the region.
The city has numerous museums including the the National Civil Rights Museum, which is an important place to visit to understand American history and the evolution of human rights and liberties in the country. The Children's Museum of Memphis is a great visit for kids and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Arts is one of the oldest in the city and hosts unique works from the Renaissance among others.
Additionally Memphis is home to numerous festivals that celebrate the city's diversity including Africa in April and colorful Carnival celebrations in June. The Indie Memphis Film Festival has also gained recognition over its 14-year history.
One of the largest tourist draws to the city is Graceland. Tens of thousands of visitors from around the world converge on the city to visit the home of one of the most famous singers that ever lived, Elvis Presley. The Graceland site is always busy, regardless of the time of year with excited fans there for the first time snapping picture after picture or the regulars that converge annually for the Presley pilgrimage.
The city's musical soul is not only found in Graceland but it also has a historic connection with Blues music and Beale Street is where many legendary performers like Isaac Hayes and B.B. King got their start. Today, this street is still the place to be when looking for a night of great live music. Additionally, Beale Street is an entertainment anchor in the city and home to numerous restaurants and bars. Live music also spills out into the streets with artists performing in outdoor spaces between buildings, making the street a real eclectic place of activity.
Memphis is a happening place to visit all year long, with great food and music it can't disappoint. For a warm, fuzzy way to end your trip head to the Memphis Zoo and visit the cuddly Giant Pandas, these beautiful creatures are found in very few city zoos and Memphis just happens to be one of those host cities.
Summers in Memphis are sizzling with temperatures in the low to mid 30s. The warm weather last into the fall and temperatures only start to drop significantly in November. Winter temperatures are cold and dip into the minuses beginning in December and lasting into March. Rain is a constant throughout the year with slightly higher levels in the spring and fall.
When to fly to Memphis
Summers are busy in Memphis despite the heat. Flight prices to the city are especially high in July and August. The spring is a very pleasant time in the city and May brings on the festivals which means especially high domestic tourism. Also note that January 8 is Elvis Presley's birthday, which also creates a flurry of activity as fans flock to the city for the auspicious occasion.
A Memphis autumn is very pleasant and also less crowded. Tourists tend to stay away due to the potentially heavy rain showers. This means it's a great time to snag some good deals on flight tickets. You might have to dance in the rain a little bit, which has its own charms, but it is a great time to visit the city.
Getting into Memphis
Your flight will arrive at Memphis International Airport which is very central and located just a few minutes outside of the city center. From the terminal you can either grab the bus, which will take you into downtown or take a taxi from the stand located outside.
Getting around Memphis
Most people choose to drive in Memphis due to its layout. However there is bus service to some parts of the city. If you're sticking to the downtown core the city has a trolley service. Or you can call ahead for a taxi.
- The Peabody is one of the city's oldest and finest hotels and has found a special place in the hearts of visitors, not for its customer service and style but for its ducks. Head to the Peabody Hotel lobby at 11 a.m. to see the hotel ducks arriving from their duck palace rooftop home via elevator. They make their walk down the red carpet and enjoy the fountain for a good part of the day and then retire to their home at 5 p.m. This is definitely something to check out when in Memphis.
- Take a lovely paddleboat dinner cruise down the Mississippi River. The lovely Memphis-style dinner is followed by big band music and dancing. As you mingle and jive, don't forget to take a moment to enjoy the perfect Memphis sunset as you float down the Mississippi River.
- Go for real Memphis barbecue, you won't find barbecue this good anywhere else. In fact, in May the city hosts the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest where not only do you see the earth's best bbq masters in action, but there is a ton of tasting to be had.
- If you're travelling with children the Pink Palace Museum is a lot of fun. It's a little more of a fun fair than it is a museum. The site has a dinosaur exhibit, a planetarium and a miniature circus. Of course educating people about the city plays an important part and is the trending theme through the exhibit, but you'll have so much fun that you won't realized you are being schooled.
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