For music lovers, there is no treat better than a visit to Nashville, ‘Country Music USA’, and Memphis, ‘Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and ‘Home of the Blues.’ With only a three-hour drive separating the two cities, we’ve combined them into an epic tour for anyone interested in learning more about the history of music and having a great time doing it. Here are just a few of the attractions you don’t want to miss in these two entertainment destinations:
Our first stop is in beautiful Memphis, Tennessee, home to one of the richest, most diverse musical histories in the world. The starting point for some of the most famous blues and rock musicians, there is so much to discover here!
Visit the Home of The King in Graceland
No trip to Memphis is complete without a trip to Elvis Presley’s Graceland. The 14-acre home of the King of Rock and Roll is a must for any Elvis fan. Follow his career and immerse yourself with the things that he loved, including his wardrobe, car collection and plane. Can’t get enough of the King? You can even stay onsite at The Guesthouse at Graceland. Our upcoming tour will stay here for three nights.
Learn About the Pioneers of American Music at the Rock n Soul Museum
This amazing museum, created by the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of musical pioneers who, for the love of music, overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create the music that shook the entire world. The galleries will take you from the rural field hollers and sharecroppers of the 1930s, through the explosion of Sun, Stax, and Hi Records, inside Memphis’ musical heyday in the 70s, to its global musical influence. Don’t miss the digital audio tour guide, packed with over 300 minutes of information, including over 100 songs.
Take a Stroll Down Beale Street
Beale Street is one of the most iconic streets in America. With three blocks of nightclubs, restaurants, and shops in the heart of downtown Memphis, it’s a melting pot of delta blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and gospel. Dance the night away at one of the many famous nightclubs that dot the strip including B.B. King’s, Rum Boogie Café, or King’s Palace. With cold beer and hot music, Beale Street is one of the coolest places in Memphis.
Go Back in Time at Sun Studio
This recording studio, opened by rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Sam Phillips in 1950, is known worldwide as ‘The Birthplace of Rock ’n’ Roll.’ Country, blues, gospel, and rockabilly artists including Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Feathers, Ray Harris, Warren Smith, Charlie Rich, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded their music here. Experience their stories and see why artists continue to flock there today.
Welcome to Nashville
Next stop, Nashville! From its very beginnings, Nashville grew from a foundation built on music and there is no better place to learn about and experience the history of country music.
Visit Johnny Cash’s Storytellers Farm and Museum
This was the farm used by Johnny Cash to escape from public life. Now the Storytellers Hideaway Farm and Museum is a must-stop for anyone interested in knowing more about the man behind the country music icon, as well as the region’s rich history.
Dance the Night Away on Music Row
If you want to pack in a lot of live music all in one spot, head down to Lower Broadway, also known as the ‘Honky Tonk Highway’ where you can visit the row of legendary clubs pumping out live music and serving drinks from 10am to 3am. Many of country music’s biggest stars began their careers on this amazing street, so you might be watching Nashville’s next superstar!
Experience the Magic of the Historic Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman was constructed in 1897 as a tabernacle and became the home to the famous Grand Ole Opry in 1943 where it remained until 1974 when it moved to the Grand Ole Opry House. Today it remains one of the best music venues in the country, hosting big-name musical acts of all genres. Take a backstage tour to learn about the history of this spectacular music heritage site or experience the magic of a live performance.
Visit the Home of the Nashville Sound at RCA Studio B
Nicknamed “The Home of a Thousand Hits,” Studio B became famous in the 1960s for producing what has come to be known as “the Nashville Sound” which revived the popularity of country music. Elvis recorded over 200 songs here and it was used by many other stars including Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, and the Everly Brothers.
Country Music Hall of Fame
Housed in a striking limestone and glass building that resembles a curved piano keyboard, the Country Music Hall of Fame immerses visitors in the history and sounds of country music. The museum encompasses over 350,000 square feet of exhibition galleries, archival storage, retail stores, and performance spaces and it boasts an unrivaled collection of historically important artifacts related to country music.
Take in the Best Show in Town at the Grand Ole Opry
No trip to Nashville would be complete without taking in a show at the most famous attraction in town, The Grand Ole Opry which has been running since 1925. During any given Opry show, you can expect the best in country, bluegrass, comedy, gospel, and more by Country Music Hall of Famers, cast members who helped establish the Opry as the home of country music, revered superstars, and young artists just starting to make names for themselves.
Want to Learn More About this Exciting Tour? Watch Our Recent Webinar!
Join our very own Kerrie Niemeier and special guest, Mark Miller from Carry On Travel and Tours in Memphis, and learn why we can’t wait to visit these two fabulous cities!
Nashville & Memphis – September 25, 2022 – 9 Days
Nashville is the big city with small-town roots, southern hospitality, and home to some of the most famous and well-respected music venues in the world. And Memphis is known worldwide as the “Home of the Blues & Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll” – not to mention gospel, jazz, R&B, and soul! This tour flies to Memphis for 3 nights at the popular Guesthouse at Graceland. A highlight is a tour of Elvis Presley’s Graceland Mansion, but Memphis offers so much more – the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, a stroll down Beale Street, the March of the Peabody Ducks, dinners at BB King’s and Marlowe’s, and Sun Studio. Then we drive through rural Tennessee to Nashville with a stop at Johnny Cash’s Storytellers Museum. Our accommodation in Nashville is the renowned Opryland Hotel and of course the Grand Ole Opry tops all the entertainment choices. Other special places are Belle Meade Plantation, RCA Studio B, Country Music Hall of Fame, Ray Stevens’ CabaRay Dinner Show, lunch at the Wildhorse Saloon, and a GooGoo candy-making class. Come and enjoy Music Cities USA.
Memphis Sign photo by Alex Shansky c/o Memphis Travel
Graceland photo by Andrea Zucker c/o Memphis Travel
Beale Street photo by Alle Abroad c/o Memphis Travel
Sun Studio photo by Sean Fisher c/o Memphis Travel
Nashville photo by djgmix c/o Pixabay
Music Row photo by Ushindi Namegabe c/o Pexels
Ryman Auditorium Interior photo by Zpb52
Grand Ole Opry photo by Tech. Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby