Travel Girl: Memphis Tips

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If the New Orleans heat has you dreaming of cooler temperatures, there are plenty of places to “chill” in Memphis, Tennessee.

Take a six-hour road trip due north and you’ll be walking on Beale Street, singing the blues, and perhaps sipping on an ice cold beer, fresh from the tap at one of the three new microbreweries that opened last year.

Here’s a stop that’s especially popular with couples or solo travelers: bathe in Memphis musical history at the Levitt Shell, an outdoor amphitheater with royal bragging rights. It was the site of Elvis Presley’s first rock-and-roll performance.

In addition to a summer line-up of free music, August brings a free concert film series to the Shell. This year’s picks highlight Billy Joel and Led Zeppelin, among others.

The August 29th featured flick is dear to Memphis hearts. It’s WATT-STAX, a documentary about the 1972 Los Angeles concert that evolved as “The Black Woodstock.”

It’s based on a story that came out of Memphis, at Stax Records, the recording studio where legends the likes of Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes got their start.

Where the recording studio once stood, you’ll now find the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, just a few minutes drive from Beale street. Pay the twelve dollar admission fee and spend an hour or so steeped in soul, gospel, rock, pop, jazz and R&B.

Families seeking some R & R on the Mississippi River can head for Beale Street Landing, where a newly opened riverboat complex has a splash park, a playground, a riverfront restaurant–and plenty of places to relax and watch the river traffic pass by.

Here’s one more pick to soothe the stress of summer: if you find yourself in Memphis homesick for a fabulous sno-ball, make your way to Jerry’s Sno-cones. This funky eatery is a local phenomenon, with 70-plus flavors and countless fans. It’s well worth the 15-minute drive from downtown.

Whether you choose to chill out with shaved ice, soul music, scenic views or cinema under the stars, Memphis will not disappoint!

I’m Travelgirl Steph, and I`ll see you next time!