Recently Remodeled and Spectacular: Pink Palace
Favorite thing: The Memphis Pink Palace Museum has become the Pink Palace Family which includes:
Pink Palace Museum
Pink Palace Mansion
Union Planters IMAX Theatre
Lichterman Nature Center
Coon Creek Science Center
It all started with a mansion built by Piggly Wiggly founder, Clarence Saunders. It was called Pink Palace because it had a pink marble exterior. In the 1920s, it was converted into a museum.
Today, there's a modern 2-story museum in front of the mansion. It has a planetarium, an underground education wing with an auditorium and a 4-story-tall IMAX Theatre.
Fondest memory: I love the Pink Palace Mansion with its permanent exhibit on life in early 20th century Memphis. I also loved the Mallory-Neely House which is an Italianate mansion with 25 rooms with stenciled and hand painted ceilings, parquet floors, and stained-glass windows (purchased at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair).
Open: 10am-4pm Tue-Sat:
Phone +1 901 523 1484
I thought the small, white clapboard cottage built in the 1830's called the Magevney House; it was also delightful.
There's just so much to see and do that you really need two days.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Memphis Zoo and Aquarium
Favorite thing: The number one attraction in Memphis is the Memphis Zoo and Aquarium! Over 90 years old, it's located on 70 wooded acres in the heart of the city with almost 3,000 animals.
Recognized internationally for its breeding programs that have helped save the lowland gorillas and the snow leopards, it's a great place to spend time. They have a four-acre Cat Country where the animals roam natural habitats (restrained by high tension wire and moats).
The habitats are really so cool with caves, rock outcroppings, grassy savannahs, pools, waterfalls, and subtropical plants. Oh, yes, there's also a pagoda bridge, ruins of an ancient city, and an Egyptian temple.
Primate Canyon with trilevel viewing of apes and monkeys is quite new and quite fun, too!.
The entrance (as shown in the photo) is decorated with Hieroglyphics, another Egypt connection found in Memphis.
It's a wonderful zoo/aquarium, and if you have children with you, it's a must.
Fondest memory: I'm very fond of cats so I was pleased with the relatively new Cat Country, and I applaud the zoo society for making such a state-of-the-art environment for these magnificent animals.
Memphis Zoo and Aquarium
Memphis, TN 38112-9951
800-288-8763 0r 901-276-WILDRelated to:
The Legend Lives On....
Favorite thing: When I learned that Graceland, Elvis Presley's mansion in Memphis, is visited more than any other house in the United States aside from the White House, I was really surprise.
I knew that Elvis was popular, moreso after his death. But, I had no idea about the passion people have for him, and that includes people from all over the world, not just the US.
So, like thousands of others, I went to see what all the "fuss" is about. My conclusion: Even if you are/were not an Elvis fan, it should be visited while in Memphis. His home, huge collection of cars, and private planes are open to the public. Elvis made his first record a few blocks from Beale Street at Sun Studio in 1954.
Although born in Mississippi, Elvis lived most of his life in Memphis. He combined bluegrass, gospel, and rock, selling more than one billion records!
I remember one critic saying that Elvis was "a rich man with poor taste", and I have to agree. For instance, there's a room called Jungle Room which is outfitted with hideous furniture. But why should I be surprised. He was the icon who wore velvet jumpsuits!
However, once you see the Hall of Gold, an 80-foot-long room that is lined with gold and platinum records and hundreds of awards from all over the world, then I realize that he was a man with a mission, a creative genius who created his own form of music and changed music forever.
Until I went to Graceland, I did not know that he had 14 number-one records on the Top 100 chart, 11 on the country chart, and 7 on the R&B chart as well as 21 number-one records in England.
I could never have imagined that he made 110 albums and singles that went gold or platinum...that just "blows my mind".
Fondest memory: Elvis made his first records right in Memphis.
Sadly, visitors to Graceland are no longer allowed to take photos. They say that over the years, the flashing cameras have caused fabrics in the room to fade. (What a bummer!)
You buy your ticket for Graceland across the road from the mansion at a strip mall. We did the Platinum Tour which included the mansion and the satellite attractions such as his airplanes. If you are a fanatic, come on the anniversary of Elvis's death (August 16) and experience the Candlelight Vigil.
I don't know if I would go as far as some who stay for a week of activities called "Death Week"
There will never be another Elvis, ever!
3734 Elvis Presley Boulevard
800-238-2000 or 901-323-3322Related to:
- Historical Travel
Home of the Blues
Favorite thing: Memphis is "home of the blues" mainly because of W.C. Handy, whose likeness stands in the W.C. Handy Park on famous Beale Street . (See photo)
Early in the 1900s, Handy, a black composer and bandleader by trade, made Memphis his home because of the vibrant black music scene focused on Beale Street. At the time, a candidate for mayor of Memphis asked Handy to compose a campaign song for him. Handy wrote a song and named it "Memphis Blues". It became the first published blues composition.
Another of his tunes was "St. Louis Blues"; both songs remain classics today.
He also wrote "Beale Street Blues"".
As a result of these popular compositions, Handy was dubbed, "Father of the Blues".
For many blues music lovers, Beale Street in Memphis is a favorite street. Blues music developed from African spirituals, often consisting of guitar and piano music. During the 1920s, many blues performers came to Beale Street clubs to entertain all kinds of audiences.
Today, Beale Street is a popular tourist attraction. Many blues musical events take place at W.C. Handy Park. And, The Blues Foundation is located in Handy's former house on Beale Street.
I think that theW.C. Handy Park, Beale Street, as well as the Blues Clubs, are all worth seeing and hearing.
Fondest memory: I had such a fun time when we visited Beale Street and the W.C. Handy Park...even though they are tourist attractions, they make you feel like you are back in the era when the "Memphis Blues" ruled!Related to:
- Historical Travel
Grandpa's Favorite Place to Fish: Reelfoot Lake
Favorite thing: Reelfoot Lake State Resort Park lies in the northwestern corner of Tennessee and is the state's only natural lake. There's a real interesting reason why the lake exists.
During the winter of 1811-12, a series of large earthquakes struck Tennessee (New Madrid earthquakes) which caused a large area of land to drop several feet! Water from the nearby Mississippi River rushed into the lowered land, creating this Reelfoot Lake.
It's shallow water is great for fishing, but it requires a locally-invented boat called "the stump jumper" because this boat is able to pass over submerged obstacles. Because the lake is so shallow, there are many bald Cypress tree stumps.
The lake is a premier environment for wildlife, and it has the largest winter population of bald eagles in the eastern United States.
This 27,000 -acre lake is the focal point to the Reelfoot Lake State Resort Park. The park is scattered in ten separate locations around the lake with its shoreline of summer cottages, fishing camps, wildlife refuges, and the town of Tiptonville.
Interestingly, my husband Allan's aunt and uncle once owned and ran a fishing resort there. My grandfather Zeitler used to go fishing there at least once a year.
Fondest memory: I became interested in Reelfoot Lake because of the stories Grandpa Zeitler used to tell about this large lake in Tennessee where he and his buddies went to fish each year. He said that it was mysterious, swamp-like, and dangerous...because the boats would often run into stumps in the shallow water.
Above all, he thought it was one of the prettiest places on Earth. He might be right!Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Info for you
Favorite thing: I recommend that you take your family, or go to get away from them. Don't expect a fast paced environment. People are visiting there from all over the United States, I met people from across the Midwest, Northeast, and even some from Texas!
Fondest memory: Sunset, stars on the lake.
Favorite thing: The Tennessee River rises in the mountains of northeastern Tennessee, and generally forms a wide U shape. It sweeps southeastward to the tri-state corner where Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama meet, then crosses northern Alabama at the bottom of the U all the way to the northwestern tip of Mississippi. From there the river swings back northward creating the divide between middle and west Tennessee, before crossing western Kentucky to its confluence with the Ohio River at the Illinois state line, a short distance before the Ohio flows into the Mississippi.
For most of its course the Tennessee is not a free flowing river, but a chain of man-made reservoirs created by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The dams have been built for flood control and they also give the Tennessee Valley some of the most inexpensive electric power in the nation, to say nothing of the recreational benefits of the neclace of lakes.
Fondest memory: This photo is of Moccasin Bend on the Tennessee River at Chattanooga, taken from Point Park on Lookout Mountain. Here the river flows through a rugged canyon in one of the few areas that the river is still a free-flowing stream. Moccasin Bend was named by native American Indians, who saw the form of a man's shoe, or moccasin made by the unusual bend where the river meets Lookout Mountain and the Cumberland Plateau. Near the tip of the toe is the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute. Most of the land within the penninsula of Moccasin Bend has been recently turned over to the National Park Service for inclusion in the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. It is an area rich in history: natural, native American and Civil War.
Virtual Tour of the Tennessee RiverRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
- Sailing and Boating
A glance to the past
Favorite thing: Cades Cove buildings give good chance to feel the old times. Just one touch to old things gives a feeling that you are with those people right now in their days.
Fondest memory: Let's sit for awhile on the Church bench where more than a hundred years ago other people sat listening to service.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Tennessee Valley Authority
Favorite thing: President Franklin Roosevelt needed innovative solutions if the New Deal was to lift the nation out of the depths of the Great Depression. And TVA was one of his most innovative ideas. Roosevelt envisioned TVA as a totally different kind of agency. He asked Congress to create “a corporation clothed with the power of government but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise.” On May 18, 1933, Congress passed the TVA Act.
TVA was set up primarily to provide flood control, navigation, and electric power in the Tennessee Valley region.
TVA supplies the energy needs of 8.5 million people. Eleven coal-burning, plants produce most of TVA’s electricity. Four of these plants and two freestanding sites also have combustion turbines, which burn natural gas or fuel oil. TVA has three nuclear plants, 29 hydroelectric dams, and one pumped-storage plant, and since April 2000 it has added energy from three renewable sources—sun, wind, and methane gas. In addition, eight Army Corps of Engineers dams and four Alcoa dams contribute to the TVA power system.
Also TVA serves the public users of TVA lands and recreational facilities.
- Business Travel
Favorite thing: The landscape of Tennesse is very divers. The rugged country in the east; Great Smokey Mountains, low ridges in the Applachian Valley, and the flat Cumberland Plateau. Slightly rolling terrain in the interior low plateau, the largest region; plain to the west, with meandering streams.
Agricultural products from Tennessee: Soybeans, cotton, tobacco, livestock and livestock products, dairy products, cattle, hogs.
The Smokey Mountain National...
Favorite thing: The Smokey Mountain National Park is one of the most beautiful parks I have ever visited, but it can be crowded. The park is large enough that you can find peace and seclusion if you get off the main roads.
Fondest memory: The best trip was camping in the Cades Cove campground. We rented bikes and went on the loop around the old homesteads, hiked to waterfalls and in early June hiked to one of the mountains where the mountain azalias were in bloom. See Accomodations page for more information.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Civil Rights Museum
Favorite thing: The National Civil Rights Museum.-
450 Mulberry Street.-
The room Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. occupied at the Lorraine Motel in April 1968, and the balcony where he was assassinated, form an emotional focus of the Museum and the Lorraine Motel, and is the historical climax of the exhibits.
Fondest memory: '...I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character....'
Martin Luther King.
Music City, USA
Favorite thing: While in Nashville you should take the opportunity to enjoy the great country & bluegrass music in the various bars along Broadway. On the Saturday night of our arrival we wandered into The Stage and were royally entertained by a great country band - I especially enjoyed their rendition of Johnny Paycheck's "She's All I Got". We left for a meal and then followed up with another group (the Dan Kelly Band) at Robert's Western World. With so much talent kicking around in the area, these guys were really good and they knew how to entertain the audience! It was also fun to sit back and watch the locals strut their stuff on a Saturday night. These bars are not fancy, basically "holes in the wall" to fulfill the basic requirements. There were no cover charges and the only money that the bands receive is what you throw in their Tips bottle.
Fondest memory: On our final day before flying out (Sept. 11), we took a 1-hour trolley ride around the city to see some of the sights. The most impressive was Nashville's own rendition of Greece's Parthenon (original built in 432 BC) - a full size replica (photo) built in 1897 for Nashville's 100th birthday celebrations. Before stopping to allow some photos, our tour bus driver (right) asked us what the difference was between a tourist and a hitch-hiker - answer "5 minutes"!Related to:
- Business Travel
Music lovers paradise!
Favorite thing: Tennessee is a Music lovers paradise! You have the Grand ole Opry in Nashville and The Blues coming out of Memphis and Graceland Home of the King of Rock and Roll! But I didn't go to check any of it out. Hopefully some day I'll be back through the area and I'll see what's up with Buck Owens and the Buckaroos!Related to:
- Family Travel
MEMPHIS with the famous Beale...
Favorite thing: MEMPHIS with the famous Beale Street is a place to go if you are into country, jazz or blues music. Lots of cafes and pubs all along the street with live bands.
The most touristic place in Memphis is of course Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley. Despite the fact it's extremely touristic, I would highly recommend a visit. For human rights supporters as I am...you may go to the place where Martin Luther King were shot dead some years ago. It's used to be motel but now I can't say what's there.
NASHVILLE is known to be the 'bible' capital of the USA...nothing for me ! Still it used to hold a big amusement park dedicated to country music, Opryland. But it seems that the park is closed for ever now. I didn't really like the city except some nice small skyscrapers downtown.
South of Nashvile on the way to Atlanta you must go to LYNCHBURG for a visit of world famous Jack Daniel's whisky plant. It's great despite the strong smell....but don't worry...at the end of the visit you should not expect a 'free tasting' of what they produce (due to US laws !). Still they offer you lemonade.
CHATTANOOGA...I was surprised about the area since it was not really a place we were supposed to stay as we did not hear much things about. But the town is pleasant...and just south west of the city you have a very beautiful place called Ruby Falls, a underground huge waterfall. Just next is an interesting park on a cliff which suspended bridges and all kind of fun...from there are beautiful views of the area around.
Half of the superb SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK is located in Tennessee...and this park is probably the most beautiful one of the south-eastern USA. So what can I say.....go there !
First picture shows GRACELAND, the home of Elvis Presley...then the grave is pictured down this page...
Fondest memory: Guess what ? the Smoky Mtn. Natl.Park !
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