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Memphis, Tennessee

Music activities

Our most recommended Memphis, Tennessee Music Activities

Memphis: City Tour with Optional Sun Studios & Riverboat

1. Memphis: City Tour with Optional Sun Studios & Riverboat

Visit the landmarks of Memphis and be fascinated as the city comes to life through stories and explanations. Your guide will help you discover the top spots including Peabody Hotel, the Memphis Pyramid, and Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was murdered. Begin your day with a hotel pickup from downtown Memphis. Be seated in a mini coach-bus to meet your guide. Begin the tour passing by the statues of B.B. King and Elvis Presley and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Stop at A. Schwab for your local buys, an institution that sells all things Memphis—from regional arts and crafts to dry goods, magic potions, candies, books, magazines, and more. Pass by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Continue to the Memphis Pyramid, which is now a Bass Pro Shops “megastore” that resembles an Egyptian pyramid and is filled with shopping, a hotel, restaurants, a bowling alley, and an archery range. From there, stop at the Peabody Memphis, a landmark 13-story downtown hotel, famous for having Ducks march every day on a red carpet throughout the reception. Finally, visit Beale Street, voted as the most iconic street in America by USA Today. See the nearly 2 miles of blues clubs and restaurants that make it one of the top tourist attractions in Memphis. Then, take a drive through Victorian Village, a historic neighborhood with homes that were built in the 1800s and alongside cotton row. Discover why this fiber is so important in Memphis' history. If you wish, upgrade your tour to include a cruise along the Mississippi River aboard a paddlewheel boat. Listen to interesting anecdotes from your captain about Memphis and its history. You may also add a tour to Sun Studios, the birthplace of Rock N' Roll, where Elvis recorded his first song.

Memphis: Big Mojo Sun Studio + Music History 3-Hour Bus Tour

2. Memphis: Big Mojo Sun Studio + Music History 3-Hour Bus Tour

Go behind the scenes at Sun Studio and let the Home of the Blues come alive on a city tour aboard the nation's only music bus. All of the guides on this tour are professional Beale Street musicians who will play and sing selections from the city's rich musical heritage, while entertaining you with comedy, history, and stories about your favorite Memphis personalities. Along the way, you will see Sun Studio, Beale Street, Stax Studio, the Lorraine Motel, Cotton Row, Peabody Hotel, Overton Park, Historic Central Gardens, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and the early homes of Elvis, B.B. King, and Johnny Cash. Enjoy an exciting introduction to Memphis on an action-packed drive through the city. It's great fun for all ages; let loose and sing along as much or as little as you like.

From Memphis: Elvis Presley's Upbringing Tour

3. From Memphis: Elvis Presley's Upbringing Tour

Although Elvis Presley became the biggest name in music history and achieved worldwide fame and fortune, his roots were humble. To discover more about his upbringing, you will meet your experienced tour guide in Memphis, in front of The Guest House at Graceland. From there, hop on a luxury coach bus to begin a 1:45 hour drive towards the King's birthplace. Along the ride, enjoy Elvis Presley movies and concerts played on the TV to get you in the mood for the day ahead. When arriving at the city of Tupelo, you will visit the house Elvis Presley was born in and is now considered a historic landmark by the State of Mississippi. You will learn more about the history of the house and his childhood before heading to Elvis Presley Museum, his childhood church, the "Walk of Life" trail tracing Elvis' career and personal life, and see the "Elvis at 13" statue, the Story Wall & Fountain of Life, representing the 13 years that Elvis lived in Tupelo before moving to Memphis with his family. From there, visit the Tupelo Hardware Company to discover where the King's mother, Gladys, purchased his first guitar and put music in the hands of the boy who grew to become a musical legend. The experience in Tupelo will wrap up with a drive past some significant landmarks of the city including the Tupelo Fairgrounds, the Elvis Homecoming Statue, and schools that Elvis attended. After a fun day discovering all there is to Elvis Presley's upbringing, relax on the trip back to Memphis, where you will be dropped off at The Guest House at Graceland.

Memphis: Stax Museum of American Soul Music

4. Memphis: Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Start your museum tour in the true birthplace of soul music – a modest country church. Just as Stax’s music found its roots in the sounds of Southern gospel music, the museum opens in a real, circa-1906 Mississippi Delta church that has been carefully reassembled inside the building. It's hard not to dance when you listen to Stax tracks. While most museums don’t encourage dancing in the aisles, you can shake what your mama gave you on the Express Yourself dance floor. Don’t worry if you don’t have the moves – you can pick up inspiration from the dancers on vintage episodes of Soul Train playing next to the dance floor. Check out the period recording equipment in the control room, then stand in Studio A, an exact replica of the legendary converted movie theater where Stax artists cut records, down to the gently slanted floor that contributed to Stax’s special sound. See Stax’s impact in the hall of records, where the walls are lined with floor-to-ceiling cases containing all of the albums and singles released by Stax and its subsidiary labels from 1957 – 1975. See the album art and hear the classics (or find new favorites) at the listening station. Behold Isaac Hayes’ glittering custom Cadillac Eldorado, which was purchased as part of his renegotiated deal with Stax in 1972. The car, which was purchased for $26,000 (or, $143,000 in 2013 dollars), is fully equipped with unique amenities like a refrigerated mini-bar, television, 24-carat gold exterior trim and white fur carpeting on the floorboards.

Memphis: Mojo Music History 90-Minute Bus Tour

5. Memphis: Mojo Music History 90-Minute Bus Tour

Experience how Memphis, The Home of the Blues, comes alive on a city tour aboard the nation's only music bus. Travel with a professional Beale Street musician as your guide who will play and sing selections from the city's rich musical heritage as you cruise through the city. Be entertained with comedy, history, and behind-the-scenes stories of your favorite Memphis personalities along the way. Pass by famous landmarks in music history such as Sun Studio, Beale Street, Stax Studio, The Lorraine Motel, Cotton Row, Peabody Hotel, Overton Park, Historic Central Gardens, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and the Early homes of Elvis, B. B. King, and Johnny Cash. Receive an exciting introduction to Memphis on this action-packed drive through the city which is great fun for all ages.

Memphis Rock 'n' Soul & Music Hall of Fame Combo

6. Memphis Rock 'n' Soul & Music Hall of Fame Combo

Keep your costs down with this combo ticket to the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. Enjoy a comprehensive Memphis music experience introducing you to both the history of rock and soul, as well as some of the greatest musicians of all time. At the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, experience an exhibition about the birth of rock and soul music. Learn about the rural field hollers and sharecroppers of the 1930s, through the explosion of Sun, Stax and Hi Records and Memphis’ musical heyday in the 1970s, to the city's global musical influence. The museum’s digital audio tour guide is packed with over 300 minutes of information, including over 100 songs. With your included audio guide, move at your own pace through 7 galleries featuring 3 audiovisual programs, more than 30 instruments, 40 costumes, and other musical treasures. The museum is unmissable for fans of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Al Green, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, The BarKays, and more. Informational booklets are available in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese. At the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, discover a place that began as a tribute to Memphis' legendary musicians who shaped modern music and changed the world forever right here in Memphis. Lose yourself in what is now a museum as outrageous as its inductees. Delight in a fun, fascinating, and educational exhibition featuring never-before-seen memorabilia, rare video performances and interviews, interactive exhibits, and much more!

From Nashville: Memphis Tour with Graceland VIP Access

7. From Nashville: Memphis Tour with Graceland VIP Access

Experience the legendary character of Memphis, Tennessee, and see why this city is mentioned in more song lyrics than any other place on earth. Located on the Mighty Mississippi River, Memphis is the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the capitol of Blues and home to some of the best BBQ around. Celebrate 60 years of Rock ‘n’ Roll with a visit to Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland. Enjoy a VIP access pass at Graceland complete with a souvenir lanyard. You’ll see the burial site of the king of Rock ‘n’ Roll, walk through the Elvis car museum and see two deluxe airplanes that were used for tours and traveling. Next, you’re off to learn what accident set Rock ‘n’ Roll in motion at Sam Phillips’ famed Sun Studios in the heart of downtown Memphis. Take a guided tour to see what the recording process used to be like. Hear the stories of how many legends got their start here, such as Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and the King himself, Elvis Presley. See the famous Peabody ducks make their way down the red carpet from their fountain to the elevator as they head to bed at the lavish Peabody Hotel.

Memphis Music Hall of Fame Admission Ticket

8. Memphis Music Hall of Fame Admission Ticket

What began as a tribute to Memphis’ legendary musicians who shook the world has finally opened as a museum that is as outrageous as its inductees! Visit the Memphis Music Hall of Fame museum and discover some of the greatest musicians of all time, each responsible for shaping modern music and changing the world forever right here in Memphis. At the museum, explore the fun, fascinating, and educational exhibition featuring never-before-seen memorabilia, rare video performances and interviews, interactive exhibits, and much more. With new inductees each year, the Hall of Fame celebrates musicians from all eras of Memphis music history. Some members of the Hall of Fame include: ZZ Top, Three Six Mafia, Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Al Green, Johnny Cash, Justin Timberlake, Roy Orbison, Aretha Franklin, and many more.

Memphis: 3 Local Breweries Bus Tour with Tastings

9. Memphis: 3 Local Breweries Bus Tour with Tastings

Get a behind-the-scenes look at 3 local brewers during this private insider’s weekend tasting tour. Sample the city’s finest brews as you travel between locations on a comfortable brew bus just for you and your group. Memphis might be best known for its music, but the city’s burgeoning craft beer scene is equally worthy of attention. A private guide will be on hand to liven up the tour with fun-filled anecdotes. DJ Ric Chetter of Radio Memphis has also recorded a lively narration to play during your travel time with beer trivia, beer history, and local Memphis Indie music. Get dropped off at the centrally-located meeting point and continue your night out on the town.

Memphis: Rock 'n' Soul Museum with Audio Tour

10. Memphis: Rock 'n' Soul Museum with Audio Tour

Experience an exhibition about the birth of rock and soul music and a comprehensive Memphis music experience. Learn about the rural field hollers and sharecroppers of the 1930s, through the explosion of Sun, Stax and Hi Records and Memphis’ musical heyday in the 70s, to its global musical influence. The museum’s digital audio tour guide is packed with over 300 minutes of information, including over 100 songs, and takes visitors at their own pace through 7 galleries featuring 3 audiovisual programs, more than 30 instruments, 40 costumes, and other musical treasures. This tour is a cant-miss for fans of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Al Green, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, The BarKays, and others. Informational booklets are available in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese.

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What people are saying about Memphis, Tennessee

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 9 reviews

It was nice to see legends come up learning about the history of music in Memphis. Although some were before I was even thought of it was still interesting. I came right before the cut off for closing it would take you about 45 minutes to walk around and read which turned out to be perfect for me. My short visit to Memphis I still got a history portion in my trip without going to Stax or Rock n' Soul museums.

Excellent tour by a very knowledgeable local guide (Sam). His passion for Memphis shone through and we really enjoyed his stories. The Sun Studios tour was excellent. A great way to see the sights of the city.

Wonderful day at gracelands would highly recommend this trip. Had a lovely bus driver frank who drove us around all day. Sun studios and Beal street were great to visit aswell.

The information and all the things we were shown about the history of the area and Sun Studios was amazing. So glad we done the tour. The riverboat cruise was good also.

The tour started on time and was very fun. We saw & learned a lot about Memphis. We feel it was a good value.