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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.
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.
|Avg Max||9.2 °C||11.9 °C||17.3 °C||22.9 °C||27.2 °C||31.8 °C||33.5 °C||32.7 °C||28.8 °C||23.5 °C||16.8 °C||11.4 °C|
|Avg Min||-0.6 °C||1.6 °C||6.1 °C||11.3 °C||16.2 °C||20.5 °C||22.7 °C||21.7 °C||18.1 °C||11.1 °C||5.9 °C||1.6 °C|
|Rainfall||94.7 mm||110.5 mm||137.4 mm||138.7 mm||126.5 mm||90.7 mm||96.3 mm||87.1 mm||89.7 mm||76.5 mm||129.5 mm||145.8 mm|
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.
The City of New Orleans, operated by Amtrak, stops in Memphis en route between Chicago and New Orleans.
Interstate 40 is a good route into town but doesn't go through Memphis; to get to the other side of 40 you take the north loop which is I-40, or the south loop, which is known as I-240 and is Memphis' beltway.
I-55 will take you right into town; just take the Riverside Drive exit from either direction to be at Beale Street in a minute.
Highway 72 Comes from Alabama, through Mississippi, and ends in Memphis.
Greyhound operates buses to and from Memphis.
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.
Memphis is one of the cheapest places in the USA to live, and that includes going out to eat. Memphis is famous for two things: music and food. The local BBQ is well-known, and you can sample it "wet" (with spicy, tangy sauce) or "dry" (rubbed with spices before cooking). Other options abound across the city, from Southern home cooking to international fare. You won't go wrong with famous names, but the adventurous will find real treasures in modest hole-in-the-wall joints that make up for their shabby appearance with fabulous flavor.
Wine is sold in dedicated, licensed liquor stores in Memphis. Most grocery stores may have an "independent" liquor store conveniently next to the grocery store. Apparently this regulation discourages alcohol use by forcing you to walk a few extra feet to buy your booze. High-alcohol-content beers are sold in liquor stores. Traditional brands such as Budweiser are sold in grocery and conveniennce stores only.
|AAE America at Graceland||3265 Elvis Presley Blvd Graceland Memphis International Airport||Hotel||-|
|AAE Vista Inn and Hostel||265 Union Ave||Hostel||70|
|Motel 6 Memphis Downtown||210 South Pauline Street Memphis||Hotel||-|
|Comfort Inn Downtown||100 N. Front Street||Hotel||-|
|Hampton Inn and Suites||175 Peabody Place||Hotel||-|
|Holiday Inn Express Memphis Medical Center||1180 Union Avenue||Hotel||-|
|Holiday Inn Select Downtown Memphis||160 Union Avenue||Hotel||-|
|Super 8 Downtown/Graceland Hotel||340 W. Illinois Ave.||HOTEL||70|
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.
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.
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.
We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Memphis searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Memphis and areas nearby.
Ask MissRumphius a question about Memphis
I grew up in Memphis but lived elsewhere for many years so I have the knowledge of a native but the perspective of a newbie as well.
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