Located right in the southwest corner of Tennessee, Memphis was named for the ancient Egyptian capital on the Nile and is best known for the blues, as well as the rise and fall of two men Elvis Presley and Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Getting around to all the sights is made easier via car rental, and the best prices result from checking national travel deals for your chosen model.
Memphis International Airport is located south of the city and carries daily flights to most destinations throughout the US, with connections to international flights. Amtrak trains run through Memphis on the дCity of New Orleansе line from Chicago, while Greyhound coach lines have frequent services throughout the state and connections all over the US. If youеre booking your rental car in advance to save time, national travel deals can save you money as well.
The main routes into Memphis include the interstates I-40 and I-55. Interstate 40 comes from Little Rock (Arkansas), through Dallas in the west and Nashville in the east; while the I-55 runs from St Louis in the north and Jackson in the south. Interstate 55 has links to New Orleans in the south and Chicago in the north.
Beale street is the main draw in the downtown area and was where WC Handy made the first blues recording just before WWI; the WC Handy Statue overlooks a park named after the musician. Nearby is the Gibson Guitar Plant that also houses the Smithsonian Institution's Rock 'n' Soul Museum.
Be sure to visit Sun Studios on your tour, site of several major recordings by the likes of Elvis, BB King, Johnny Cash, Ike Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbison. Not far from Beale street, the Lorraine Motel houses the National Civil Rights Museum.
The home and shrine of Elvis Presley is Graceland Mansion, which is south of the town center and is a complete museum to the King, with his motorbikes and cars, shag carpets and gold albums. Not far from here is the Full Gospel Tabernacle where soul and R&B legend, the Reverend Al Green, preaches and sings on Sundays.
You can also take a scenic drive along the Mississippi, or visit the reconstructed 15th century Native American village on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi, and the famous university of Oxford, to the southeast is a comfortable drive away by rental car.
Memphis offers plenty of shopping opportunities, with malls, markets, galleries and boutiques on offer. Beale street comes alive at nights with a host of clubs featuring live bands of blues and rock genres. For recreation, there are six excellent public golf courses, horseback riding, and the huge Gulf of Mexico swimming pool on Mud Island. Car rental allows you to change your sightseeing schedule at will without having to worry about public transport options.
Beware of pickpockets in the downtown area of Memphis and do not park your car on city streets at night. Driving long distances can increase the chance of accidents happening, particularly without regular breaks. Missed travel connections are also a potential problem. We recommend you take out travel insurance for you and your family.