36 Hours in Memphis

36 Hours in Memphis

Photo of The New York Times

There’s more to Memphis than blues, barbecue and Elvis; you’ll also find trendy bars, ’70s disco and gourmet snow cones.

16 Places
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    This hotel, with beautiful modern interiors, is near Beale Street, the Orpheum Theater, FedEx Forum, National Civil Rights Museum and the Mississippi Riverfront.
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    “Authentic” blues joints can come and go, but this bar consistently delivers great music and rum drinks.
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    At Bar DKDC, find small plates like the Thai-inspired crispy pork dumplings, or the Jamaican-styled Smokey Bacon Honey Paddy.
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    This 342-acre green space includes, among other places, the Brooks Museum, the Levitt Shell, The Memphis Zoo and the 126-acre Old Forest State Natural Area, which has never been tilled or farmed — rare for any space, urban or otherwise.
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    Have breakfast in the former beauty salon that purportedly coifed that now famous sky-high beehive do for Priscilla Presley.
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    Start a food-and-drink tour of the Cooper-Young district with a drink called Sparkling Pears (Absolut Pears vodka, pear purée, lemon, star anise, prosecco).
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    The turkey and dressing with greens and mac and cheese will make you give thanks, and you can’t go wrong with either the fresh baked peach or apple cobbler.
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    The Wedding Cake, with a dark red, hand-crafted vanilla almond syrup, is a favorite, but order the “Supreme,” which includes a big dollop of vanilla soft serve.
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    You may think you know about the story of Elvis’s leg quiver, but the 90-minute bus tour covers enough music history to ameliorate any guilt you might have about not getting inside the very worthy Stax Museum of American Soul.
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    A classic smokehouse that’s known for ribs that can compel a moan from loyal customers.
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    The sprawling complex, developed around the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, traces slavery and the Civil Rights Movement from the 17th century to the present.
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    The breads are baked daily, the jams made in-house, and the coffee is roasted locally. Try the pesto-tomato omelet with mozzarella cheese served with home fries and coffee.
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