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Memphis

Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Tennessee Memphis

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Introduction

Mississippi in Memphis

Mississippi in Memphis

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Memphis, Tennessee, with around 675,000 inhabitants, is best known for being the home town of the King of Rock, Elvis Presley. But this city has much more history and culture then just Elvis. Memphis was founded in 1820 as a center of shipping up and down the Mississippi River. After the Civil War, the city reemerged as the center of the cotton, hardwood and mule industry. Today, Memphis's industrial power comes from being the primary hub for Fed Ex. There is everything in this town from fine southern dining to the excitement of Beale Street.

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Sights and Activities

  • Beale Street claims to be the home of the blues and rock 'n' roll. No matter what its claims are it is still lots of fun every night of the week with live music and street performers.
  • Graceland is the home that Elvis had made for himself. Although the tour does not take you to the more funky rooms, it is still an excellent glimpse into how the King lived. Make sure to go early in the morning so you can get a ticket.
  • Mud Island River Park is an amazing and educational place for people of all ages. Featuring a recreation of the entire Mississippi River and flood plain. Mud island is located at 125 North Front Street, Memphis, TN 38103. For more information call 1(800) 507-6507.
  • National Civil Rights Museum is located in the Lorraine Hotel, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

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Events and Festivals

  • Memphis in May is a month-long celebration that promotes Memphis's culture heritage.
  • The Beale Street Music Festival is a 3-day music festival usually held in the first weekend of May and is the starting event of a month of events and festivals in Memphis in May.
  • The Levitt Shell in Overton Park is the site of a series of free concerts in spring and fall featuring a performances from a variety of genres.

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Weather

Memphis has a humid sub tropical climate with four seasons. The months of May to October can be very hot while the winter months are usually mild. During the summer there can also be some bad thunderstorms. Daytime temperatures are often between 30 °C and 35 °C during the summer and well above 20 °C at night. Winters are mostly around 10 °C to 15 °C degrees during the day with nights generally above zero though with occasional frost possible.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max9.2 °C11.9 °C17.3 °C22.9 °C27.2 °C31.8 °C33.5 °C32.7 °C28.8 °C23.5 °C16.8 °C11.4 °C
Avg Min-0.6 °C1.6 °C6.1 °C11.3 °C16.2 °C20.5 °C22.7 °C21.7 °C18.1 °C11.1 °C5.9 °C1.6 °C
Rainfall94.7 mm110.5 mm137.4 mm138.7 mm126.5 mm90.7 mm96.3 mm87.1 mm89.7 mm76.5 mm129.5 mm145.8 mm
Rain Days7.98.29.38.58.17.26.86.16.45.57.87.9

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Getting There

By Plane

Memphis International Airport (MEM) is located about 3 miles (5 kilometres) south from the CBD of Memphis and has connections to most domestic locations and a limited number of international connections, although there is even a direct daily connection to/from Amsterdam. There are private shuttles companies that provide service to and from the airport.

By Train

The City of New Orleans, operated by Amtrak, stops in Memphis en route between Chicago and New Orleans.

By Bus

Greyhound operates buses to and from Memphis.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

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Eat

  • Charles Vergo's Rendezvous Ribs, according to native Tennesseans, is the best rib restaurant in world. But remember that this place is not vegetarian friendly.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
AAE America at Graceland3265 Elvis Presley Blvd Graceland Memphis International AirportHotel-
AAE Vista Inn and Hostel265 Union AveHostel69
Motel 6 Memphis Downtown210 South Pauline Street MemphisHotel-
Comfort Inn Downtown100 N. Front StreetHotel-
Hampton Inn and Suites175 Peabody PlaceHotel-
Holiday Inn Express Memphis Medical Center1180 Union AvenueHotel-
Holiday Inn Select Downtown Memphis160 Union AvenueHotel-
Super 8 Downtown/Graceland Hotel340 W. Illinois Ave.HOTEL65

High End

  • The Peabody Hotel is a high end hotel famous for the ducks riding the elevator every morning from the roof, marching out on a red carpet to the fountain.

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Learn

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 35.1268552
  • Longitude: -89.9253233

Contributors

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Memphis Travel Helpers

This is version 40. Last edited at 13:40 on Jul 11, 13 by Utrecht. 46 articles link to this page.

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