Image Courtesy of: Emily B. Photography
One of the places I visited for the first time in 2013 was the historical city of Memphis, Tennessee. I’m not going to deny that one of the strongest reasons for visiting this city was that one of my best friends moved there last year, but it was most certainly on my list of go-to destinations. When you are a traveler, nothing cures a case of Wanderlust more than a visit to a new place where friends, new and old, reside.
Working our way around Memphis
What is Memphis worth visiting for? A visit to the home of Elvis? maybe. Catching up with good friends? certainly! BBQ? absolutely!! Food warms my heart and one of the things I love exploring is cuisine I can’t find in my own city. Fish tacos and California Burritos? San Diego’s got plenty of that. BBQ, not quite. What I’ve yet to discover in America’s Finest City is a really, really great BBQ joint. I know Phil’s is an institution and I’m not saying it isn’t worth a visit, but real BBQ’d pork with utterly mouth-watering spicy BBQ sauce? I just haven’t found it in San Diego. This type of BBQ can only be found in a city like Memphis. With that as a set-up, you can see why Memphis was on my list.
While I was there, I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow style blogger, Laura, of Walking in Memphis in High Heels. She is up to some great things folks, like working together with Shopstyle for one! How fabulous is she? We’re partnering up for a fashion link-up in February, so stay tuned. Well, she is a doll and a wonderful Memphis host and she introduced me to the lovely Peabody Hotel, where we stayed for a night, which has a great tradition of the Procession of the Ducks in their lobby fountain. It’s a pretty intriguing site to see. And the rooms are pretty darn lovely too.
A little chit-chat with Laura, of Walking in Memphis in High Heels
WHAT TO DO
One of the places that is a must-see is Beale Street. From speaking with local’s, many of them liken it to a small (tiny) version of New Orlean’s Bourbon Street. I don’t know if it’s quite the same comparison I’d give, but I’d say it’s worth the visit. Music streams out of almost every window in every music joint down a four or five block walk. And, you can hold a tasty beverage while movin’ and groovin’ to a little blues music.
(Central BBQ Photo: Via)
Central BBQ was one of my personal favorites. It is a “chain” but by chain I mean there are like 3 in Memphis. Let’s just say that in the 3 days we were there, we went back as many times. It’s that good.
Of the many stories we have, aside from visiting the infamous Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. lived his last few moments to seeing where Elvis lived, is visiting Earnestine and Hazel’s. Go there. Trust me. I may have been a little shaky in the knee’s just looking at the dilapidated facade, but oh there is a great story behind this place. Once a brothel, turned food joint, it may or may not still be haunted. Believe it or not, many a famous person has set foot in this bar, which happens to serve one of the most famed soul burgers around. It’s damn good. The Soul burger. That’s all you’ll need to order. (Read an article about E & H from Esquire)
And, after all that music, one wonderful little lunch spot to hit up is Gus’s Fried Chicken. We did a lot of hunting and asking to find this place and boy is it worth it. Fried chicken served on disposable plates and drinks out of to-go cups. When you find a lunch spot that’s filled with construction workers and locals, you know you’ve hit the spot. This is my kind of fried chicken. Another don’t miss place to eat in Memphis.
To-go cup and a full belly. Yup.
A great dinner spot in downtown Memphis is Flight. If you’re like me, sometimes menus can be incredibly overwhelming because I want to try a little of everything. Flight allows you to do just that. You can literally pick out a little of everything to custom create your own meal, from the appetizers, to the wine, and dessert. It was like a mini little meal heaven for me!
NEIGHBORHOODS TO CHECK OUT
- Cooper Young- Walking the streets of Cooper Young, you’re sure to fill up at least 1/2 a day perusing shops, like Burke’s Book Store, Gary’s Antiques, and the occasional spot to stop and eat.
- South 1st/Main Street: It’s going through gentrification but there are some pretty cool spots to see walking around. Hop on/off the trolley here.
- Mud Island
THINGS TO DO
- Ride the Main Street Trolley through town, stop off at one of the many shops or restaurants.
- Head to Beale Street for Music
- Take a dabble in something touristy- either the visit Graceland or see the Lorraine Motel and the National Civil Rights Museum
- Take in a show at the Orpheum Theater
PLACES TO EAT/DRINK
- Earnestine and Hazel’s- Order the Soul Burger. That’s all I need to say.
- Gus’s Fried Chicken
- Central BBQ
PLACES TO STAY
- The River Inn on Mud Island: Beautiful rooms, great hospitality, and just a hop over to downtown
- The Peabody Hotel: Right in the heart of Memphis. The ducks are a must-see.
Photography Courtesy of: Emily B. Photography Thank you for helping to capture our Memphis Moments!! If you need a Memphis photographer, look her up!
Laura Boswell of Walking in Memphis in High Heels. Thank you so much for showing us the ropes in Memphis! Happy to have made a new friend.
My lovely, darling, and special bestie, Arlene for being who you are, being my close friend, and hosting us on our trip.