Train Station in Memphis

Photo Friday: Memphis, Tennessee

Has the weather been totally schizophrenic where you are? Because it sure is here: 75 degrees one day, 30 the next. I’m over winter. And I don’t know how to dress…ever. I left home on Wednesday, for example, in bare legs and Hunter boots as the temperature was 65 degrees at the time but it looked as if God might rain down his wrath at any moment. An hour later, I got to a meeting, and the mercury had dropped to 45 (before noon!). That night, I drove home in 35-degree weather, still in my rain boots and rain jacket, freezing but…no rain. I simply can’t win. Let’s hope it doesn’t start snowing during the wedding I’m going to tonight as I don’t even plan to take a jacket.

Weekend Getaway to MemphisBut last weekend, I found myself in Memphis for four days tackling three magazine assignments during a rare mild period, and while it was hardly my first time there—I visit a couple times a year due to extended family living in the Bluff City—I did get the chance this go-around to adopt full on tourist status and show SVV (a Memphis newbie) the ropes. (Isn’t he cute? Fresh off the Greyhound, trying to blend in with the locals.)

Weekend Getaway to MemphisWe spent most of our Saturday downtown, bumming about South Main Street and doing our thing (mainly taking photos with my iPhone and Instagramming if we’re being honest; I didn’t even bother to pack my camera equipment on this quick trip).

Train Station in MemphisSouth Main is one of my favorite districts in Memphis with its beautiful, old, red, brick buildings and cute indie shops. It’s also got an Amtrak station, and one day I would love to hop the train from here and head south to New Orleans or north to Chicago. I love train travel, and each trip is about the same amount of time (if not less) than were you to drive.

Train Station in MemphisIn the same neighborhood is the National Civil Rights Museum, possibly my favorite museums in the world, so we stopped by to pay our respects to Dr. King.

National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis National Civil Rights Museum in MemphisIt was a quick visit, as the facility has been undergoing one massive reno and the Lorraine Motel section was not open, but the new exhibits debut on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday on April 4. Once done, it’s going to be incredible, and you can believe we’ll be back soon.

National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis National Civil Rights Museum in MemphisI gave SVV the quick walk-through of Beale Street; as it was a sunny Saturday and the University of Memphis basketball game just let out from the FedEx Forum, the place was a madhouse. We popped into A. Schwab to poke around the three levels of curiosities, ran into one of my college friends, then vacated Beale quickly (we’re not much for crowds).

A Schwab's in MemphisWe walked past the Peabody and opted not to go in, though I have seen those cute little ducks on parade on numerous occasion.

Weekend Getaway to MemphisOutside the hotel, there’s Memphis’ own version of a Walk of Fame, only notable local figures are commemorated by a set of duck prints. Quack, quack.

The Peabody Hotel in MemphisI’ve stayed in the Peabody in the past, which is just lovely and a great experience—and they just completed a massive renovation in fall 2013—but we changed venues this go around and made our base camp at the Madison Hotel.

Madison Hotel in MemphisI instantly fell in love.

Madison HotelYou guys, this hotel is beautiful, and the contemporary music theme woven throughout the decor made me legitimately feel like a rock star.

Madison Hotel in Memphis Madison Hotel in MemphisAnd don’t even get me started on the Twilight Sky Terrace on the Madison’s 17th floor; it’s only a shame it was closed for weather (what? it hadn’t rained in four days!) while we were there, but we still got to go up and take in the view.

View from the Twilight Sky Terrace at theMadison Hotel in MemphisWe pretty much ate the whole city over the three days we were there—and as such, I’m now back on the Paleo bandwagon for (at least) 30 days!—but I’ll detail all those delicious things in a separate dining post if you’d like.

Weekend Getaway to MemphisDowntown MemphisI really do adore Memphis, and I don’t think its due to the passion I have for my home state. It’s just plain cool and one of Tennessee’s most underrated parts, and as Nashville inevitably falls off its pedestal of popularity—c’mon, it happens to every “it city”—I can see Memphis one day taking its place in the spotlight.

View over the Mississippi River in Memphis

  • March 15, 2014

    Nice pics. thanks for posting nice views….
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  • March 15, 2014

    Gorgeous photos, but (apologies) someone has to ask the obvious – No Graceland visit?

    • March 15, 2014

      Valid question! I’ve been to Memphis so many times throughout my life and never attempted Graceland…until this visit. We got there on an overcast, chilly Sunday morning already with tickets in hand, and the place was an absolute mad house. We still had to wait in the ticket line to even get in even though we had ours, and as we’re not huge Elvis fans, we opted to leave and come back sometime soon on a weekday (passes are valid through Dec. 31).

      • March 15, 2014

        Can’t argue with that logic. I think even as non-fans of ‘the King’ you’ll appreciate it when you do go though – simply for how surreally iconic yet ordinary it is. Still, not nearly as much fun as the mid-town smorgasbord of blues & bbq (please do do a post on your dining adventures)!

        • March 15, 2014

          Will do! I’ll probably post one a little before BBQ Fest as friends are gearing up to invade the city for Memphis in May 😉

    • April 11, 2014

      I was going to ask about Graceland but someone beat me to it! I’m glad that you plan on going– I am not really a huge Elvis fan, but still had a blast when I went. It’s so over the top in so many ways, but there’s really nothing else quite like it. Looking forward to your take on it!

  • March 24, 2014

    I have driven through Memphis a million times but never stopped! Looks cute!
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  • April 15, 2014

    Kristin, thank you for selecting the Madison Hotel as your home base when you were recently in Memphis. We are thrilled you felt like a rock star! Please come back and visit Twilight Sky Terrace – our season begins April 24th and runs strong through October 31st!
    Please let me know when you are coming back and we will make it even more special for you!
    Thank you again for including us in your journey!

    • April 15, 2014

      It was a great experience! We definitely will be back–thanks!

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