MEMPHIS DAY 3: Mississippi River, Memphis Rock 'n' Roll Museum and National Ornamental Metal Museum
Having explored the city's music scene and African-American heritage, it's time to check out the mighty — and often muddy — Mississippi River, which forms the border between Tennessee and Arkansas. We suggest you walk to the riverfront and ride the monorail to Mud Island River Park, a fun museum-entertainment complex that tells the history, culture and ecology of America's great river. Tour the Mississippi River Museum to learn about the people, steamboats and lifestyle of the region. Then wander along (and wade into the water, if you like) the five-block-long scale model of nearly 1,000 miles of the Mississippi, representing the stretch from Cairo, IL, to the Gulf of Mexico.
If you haven't gotten your fill of the music scene, visit the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, a great way to tie together all you've learned about the blues, soul and rock. Nearby is the Gibson, where you can watch guitars being made.
Other options for the day
(both best reached by taxi) include the Memphis Pink Palace Museum, which explores the natural and cultural history of the area in a mansion built by the founder of Piggly Wiggly, the country's first modern grocery store. The museum complex includes a planetarium that's open on weekends and an IMAX theater. If time allows, stop by the National Ornamental Metal Museum. It's the only museum in America dedicated to fine metalwork — and admiring the view from its perch atop the river bluff is a great way to say farewell to Memphis.
By Bianca Phillips
Continue to Memphis Attractions
* Top image courtesy Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau.