Summers in Memphis are indescribable. The heat energizes my soul and the aroma of Memphis BBQ, only the best in the world, hypnotizes my spirit. This summer, I'm getting out and being a tourist in my own city. Memphis has so many gems it would be such a shame if I didn't experience it all. Here are 3 places I'll visit during this Memphis summer... *just FYI many places I've already experienced but in a style guide I'm working on I'll share others.
+ ELMWOOD CEMETERY
The history of Memphis is told through the stories of Elmwood residents. Meet the city fathers, early mayors and every day citizens that helped shape the history of the Bluff City. A tour of Elmwood is a journey through the past. Elmwood is an 80 acre resting place with beautiful oak and magnolia trees and a stunning collection of monuments.
Tours can be arranged for groups of 10 or more adults. The cost is $15/person and tours last approximately 90 minutes. Don’t have a group of 10 people? A private tour can be arranged for smaller groups for $150. For after-hours tour group information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just like many Memphians my feet have never touched the grounds of Graceland. I have passed the gates many many times throughout my life. This summer, I'll scratch off a place to visit in Memphis by finally going to Graceland. People travel all over the world to witness Graceland with their own eyes.
Graceland has so much to offer as far as tours, museum exhibitions and more. Visit the site for details on The Experince.
+ WILD BILL'S JUKE JOINT
If your feet don't instantly start moving when you hear a chord from a bass guitar in Memphis, chile! Wild Bill's is one of those must visit hole in the wall juke joints I must visit this summer. I love blues and channel my inner cafe woman anytime I hear blues. Located in the heart of North Memphis, Will Bill's is one of the only neighborhood juke joints still standing. As a I looked at a review on Yelp, I knew it was the place I had to see this summer.
With a menu of soul food and 40-ounce beers (or set-ups), Wild Bill's holds sway as the quintessential juke joint in Memphis. But what one needs to grasp here is that Wild Bill's is truly a juke joint – and that means folks sit together at tables, you better be sociable, and you are in Memphis, so that means a mostly African American crowd that's there to listen to great music and relax. This isn't a prettied-up version of a juke joint on Beale, this is the real deal. Those 40-ounce beers come with a couple of plastic cups on top, so you can share. The house band is the Memphis Soul Survivors, and they play most Friday and Saturday nights, so you know the music is always solid. The dance floor - and we hesitate to call it that, it's really tiny - gets crowded fast; don't be surprised if you're dancing with strangers more than you are your friends. It's simply that kind of place.
Wild Bill's is located at 1580 Vollentine Ave open Thursday at 5 pm and Friday's and Saturday's blues and soul starts at 10 p until 3 a.
It is my plan to document my experience as a special series for Style in the City. I hope to both use photos, illustrations and video to really capture the soul of the city with just these 3 attractions. Memphis has so much history and soul it's amazing. I suggest getting out and being a tourist in your own city.
What places have you visitied you'd like to share?