Leave South County on Interstate 55, and you’ll pretty much run into Memphis in a few hours. Start on Beale Street downtown, home to BB King’s Blues Club, the Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe & Honky Tonk and many others. The National Civil Rights Museum, built on the site of the Lorraine Motel, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, is a history lesson for all of us. Elvis Presley’s 14-acre estate, Graceland, is on every Memphis must-do list, along with its new hotel, the Guest House at Graceland, and a new visitor center, Elvis Presley’s Memphis. To continue your music education, check out the Blues Museum Hall of Fame, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studio and the Gibson Guitar Factory. The Big Cypress Lodge, inside the Bass Pro Shops at the giant Pyramid downtown, draws outdoors enthusiasts, kids and those seeking adventure. The South Main Arts District has a new food hall to go along with its farmers market. Oh, and the Memphis Zoo has pandas.
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