Known for its contribution to blues and rock n' roll music, its profound cotton industry and of course, its delicious barbecue, Memphis appeals to the masses every year. Memphis is situated on the Mississippi River as the county seat of Shelby County. Memphis was named after a city in Egypt, thus, explaining the 32-story stainless steel Pyramid Arena that glistens in the Memphis skyline!
Memphis' population was estimated at 645,978 as of 2003. The city is about 200 miles west of Nashville and 300 miles south of St. Louis.
A Brief History of Memphis
Memphis was founded in 1819 and named for Egypt's Nile capital. The city flourished on cotton and was a stronghold in southern slavery as well. When the Confederacy was defeated during the Civil War, Memphis was financially devastated. However, Memphis' rail transportation potential and riverfront location helped the area to bounce back. Memphis became the second largest inland port.
The city also experienced a downslide during the 1970s and 1980s, but quickly regained popularity as new attractions were added and the downtown area began to grow. Today, folks come from all around to see where Elvis lived, stroll down Beale Street and enjoy all Memphis has to offer.
Downtown Memphis, TN
Memphis draws a crowd every year because it has much to offer at every turn. Downtown Memphis is a great place to start while touring the area. The restaurants in the downtown area offer a variety of cuisine to soothe every taste bud. Whether its American, Japanese, German, Russian, Indian, Italian, Greek - there are more than 160 restaurants to choose from! Trying that famous Memphis barbecue is a must while in the area too!
Shopping in the downtown area is exciting, with more than 450 retailers offering everything from jewelry, art, clothing, home accessories, gourmet foods, antiques and much more. And what better way to settle down after a day of shopping than to listen to some live music along Beale Street. Memphis entertainers sing a variety of music - blues, bluegrass, rock, jazz, country, gospel - downtown has it all.
Popular Attractions in Memphis
A visit to Memphis wouldn't be complete without a tour of Graceland (http://www.elvis.com/), the home of Elvis Presley. Touring Elvis' 14-acre estate and mansion is an awesome experience as the memories of Elvis's life and stardom come to life. Graceland tourists can see where they lay Elvis and read his unforgettable tombstone. They can also see the Graceland Chapel in the Woods where many couples have shared their most special day.
Historians will enjoy the wide variety of museums Memphis has to offer. The National Civil Rights Museum features collections and exhibits from the Civil Rights Movement of America. On a lighter note, the Memphis Rock n' Soul museum (http://www.memphisrocknsoul.org/) reveals the timeline of how the "Memphis Sound" came about through its interesting exhibits. Other museums include the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Slave Haven / Burkle Estate Museum, Memphis Music Hall of Fame and the Children's Museum of Memphis.
Families can enjoy the Memphis Zoo, a day at Mud Island or maybe even a game or concert at the Pyramid Arena. There's something for everyone in Memphis.
Those who tour Memphis will find many wonders within. To learn more about Memphis, TN USA visit the city's official Web site. (http://www.cityofmemphis.org)
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