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Refining June Trip

San Antonio, Texas
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Refining June Trip

Our kids are 7,8,9 and do not know who Elvis is. Here are things on our list but will probably have to narrow it because will only be in Memphis one and one half days.

Schwab General Store

Brooks Museum of Art - Overton Park

National Civil Rights Museum

Dixion Gallery and Garden

Slavehaven

Sun Studio

Memphis Pink Palace

The Pyramid

Memphis Music Hall of Fame

Memphis Queen River Boats

Any comments about these items for kids is very welcome.

Staying at the Peabody

Mississippi
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1. Re: Refining June Trip

The Peabody is a great hotel in a great location. Take the kids to the Rendezvous for ribs. It's across the street in the alley to the right of the Holiday Inn. They will enjoy that. They may like Beale Street. Blue's City is a fun place to eat and Dyer's has great burgers. Go to Gus' for great fried chicken.

Charlie Vergo's Rendezvous @ 52 S. Second Street, Memphis, TN. 901 - 523 - 2746.

http://www.hogsfly.com/

Blue's City Cafe @ 138 Beale Street, Memphis, TN 901 - 526 - 3637.

http://www.bluescitycafe.com

Dyer's Hamburger's @ 205 Beale Street., Memphis, TN 901 - 527 - 3937.

http://www.dyersonbeale.com/index.php

Gus' World Famous Fried Chicken @ 310 South Front St., Memphis, TN 901 - 527 - 4877.

Mississippi
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2. Re: Refining June Trip

A day and a half is not much time to visit Memphis. I would scratch Brooks Museum of Art and Dixon Gallery and Garden. If you plan to ride the Memphis Queen that's going to take up a good bit of your time. I would scratch that also. I would go to Sun Studio. What about Graceland. Are you going there? You can take a short self guided tour. The National Civil Rights Museum is close to downtown and it's a short tour. Good luck.

Memphis, Tennessee
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3. Re: Refining June Trip

Well, I'll have to disagree with Axle and say to allow at least 3 - 4 hours to see the Civil Rights Museum, imho.

Also, if you choose to add Graceland, the bare minumum time to see just the mansion would be a couple of hours. There is a free shuttle from downtown to Sun to Graceland, but you must take the studio tour to use it.

Schwabs is something fun to see while you are strolling Beale. Its not really a destination. Unless you are art lovers, I would also suggest scratching Brooks. Other leaders and I took a group of Cub Scouts there once and they were mostly bored. Sometime they have a special exhibit that interests kids, but mostly not. Ditto on Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Your time would be better spent with kids across the street from there at the Memphis Botanical Garden, where they have a special children's garden area. I haven't been to Slavehaven, so I can't comment on that one. The Pink Palace is great for kids. Be sure to see the shrunken head. They all love that. You can only drive by the Pyramid as its not open to the public. Its right downtown, so you won't have any problem spotting it. I would also ditch the river boat ride as it gets dismal reviews on here. Again, I think your kids would be bored.

Some suggestions not on your list that are kid friendly are our fantastic zoo (top rated in the US by this website), Mud Island, where they can meander along a running replica of the MS river and Lichterman Nature Center.

In addition to barbeque, kid friendly restaurants downtown would include Kooky Kanuck, Flying Fish and Gus's Fried Chicken.

Mississippi
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4. Re: Refining June Trip

Sorry about that Deb. I meant to suggest the Civil Rights Museum tour and said it was short. If it's 3/4 hours then that's one of the things you should do. I have not been there in quite some time. MLK's death occurred when I was a teenager and I remember the events in detail.

Memphis, Tennessee
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5. Re: Refining June Trip

That's okay, Axle. I haven't been there in quite some time either. However, tolks on here often mention that they wished they'd allowed more time. Another hint is to make sure you visit the area across the street from the actual musuem, where the shots were fired.

Axle, I'm a bit younger than you and don't remember the assasination. We still lived in St. Louis at the time. My husband was a teenager here in Memphis at the time and a newspaper boy. He remembers going to get his daily supply of papers with his friends the next morning and the National Guard rolling up on them, rifles out, ready to shoot!

Mississippi
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6. Re: Refining June Trip

Those were terrible times. My son is a FBI agent and one of his friends has been deeply involved in prior civil rights murders in and around MS. There are hundreds of unsolved cases and the Justice Department wants them solved. The problem today is most of the witnesses are dead.

I was a FR at Ole Miss in 1962 and witnessed the James Meredith riot which started in front of the Lyceum Building. I was standing in front of the building on the sidewalk talking to some football players about the OM/KY game the night before when the first shots were fired. I left.

When I returned to school a few days later I discovered Mr. Meredith was bunked in at my dorm so I lived with JM and about 20,000 soldiers around the campus and our dorm for a year.

I met him in 2009 at an OM football game in Oxford for the first time in 47 years. I was waiting on someone on the steps of the Lyceum when he came walking by. We shook hands and talked while some reporters were following. They wrote an article about the events and our conversation.

I clearly remember the day Reverend King was assasinated. I don't believe the stories that followed and I don't believe the stories that followed President Kennedy's death in Dallas, TX either. That's another interesting place to visit next time you are in Dallas.

scotland
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7. Re: Refining June Trip

Debs tip about making sure you visit the part across the street from the actual museum, to the part where the shots were fired. is a Top Top tip.

I really hate it when you talk to a visitor to town and they say they went to The Civil Rights Museum and enjoyed it, often travelling very far to see it, and if you ask them about the part across the street they say what part over the street, my heart sinks,

Sometimes they do remind you when taking the tour about it from time to time, but often they don't.

Lakeland, TN
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8. Re: Refining June Trip

whatyousee,

Back to the main question; Regardless of how much benefit it would be to spend a lengthier visit at The Civil Rights Museum or Graceland or anywhere else on your list, there won't be enough time on your schedule to do more than two to three stops at attractions requiring longer times. That's a shame, because you may miss a memorable experience unique to this region while being underwhelmed at a less deserving stop.

Mud Island River Park (IMO) would be more fun and educational for kids than a trip on the Memphis Queen, the more mature visitor oriented art galleries, or Shwab's Store, due to the 1/2 mile long flowing model of the MS River in which you can wade, the River Museum, and the overhead Swiss Tram going out to the island (the setting for Tom Cruise's escape from the mob killers set against the sunset over the river in the movie: "The Firm").

Speaking of killers, Memphis has a killer zoo, but I believe you have a highly rated zoo at home. If you check their schedule, the Levitt Shell in the zoo area has good free concerts by touring groups, one of which might be performing the day you are there.

Pink Palace Museum with that shrunken head Deb mentioned and its IMAX theatre would be worthwhile, as would the Children's Museum down the street (more so for your youngest, but still ok for the others).

Sun Studio and a basic Graceland tour do reveal the history of an Art Deco era and the birth of a worldwide revolution in music which should be understood by various age groups.

Though Slavehaven frames an appealing concept of runaway slaves and a "station" on the Underground Railroad, reviews have been written indicating that different host/guides tell varying and historically inacurate stories, laced with opinions sometimes, and underlying proof of this structure's use for this purpose may be lacking.

If you were driving a few miles to the eastern part of the city, The Memphis Botanical Gardens would be a better choice as Deb Mentioned, than The Dixon. It not only has that kids' garden area, but a neat red Japanese bridge over giant Painted Coy filled waters.

Lastly, of course, the Duck March will occur around 10:00 am and 5ish pm (check w/the concierge) in your hotel lobby.

Cleveland, OH
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9. Re: Refining June Trip

All these tips have been greatly appreciated as i am also planning a trip to Nashville & Memphis in May with my husband and 2 kids (5 and 9). We are staying in Memphis for 2 nights/3 days so we have a little more time but now that i am doing research it still seems like it won't be enough. I think we are going to pass on the Zoo and the Botanical Garden as we have those here (we are coming from Cleveland) but i'm still debating on Graceland. My older daughter does like Elvis but I'm not sure if it's worth the money. I would love an insiders opinion on if it came down to Sun Studio, Rock & Soul Museum or Graceland which the kids would prefer. We are definately doing Mud Island and hanging on Beale Street for some food & music. Also if there are any suggestions on less touristy places to stop (possibly on the way back up to Ohio) that would be great!

Memphis, Tennessee
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10. Re: Refining June Trip

I would say Graceland because it is so iconic to Memphis and music. Don't forget there is a free shuttle from downtown to Sun to Graceland, but you must take the studio tour to use it.

Not less touristy, but the Corvette Museum is pretty cool in Bowling Green, KY, especially if you have men and boys with you. Other Ideas would be Mammoth and the bourbon trail in KY.

What are your dates in May? Are you avoiding the Memphis May crowds or coming for a particular event?

Lastly, here's a link to some printable coupons, including Graceland and Sun, plus other attractions.

memphistravel.com/visitors/…default.aspx

We made a similar drive to yours a couple of years ago, coming from Memphis to Sandusky. We spent one night in Cincinnati, but we didn't really stop to see anything else along the way.