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Elvis Presley Walking Tour (Self Guided), Memphis

Memphis is the city of Elvis Aaron Presley, known to most simply as Elvis, and it serves as a shrine of sorts to the King of Rock and Roll. Even though Presley died in 1977, his fans continue to flock to Memphis to pay their respects to the man and his music. Take this self-guided walk in the footsteps of Elvis Presley to view the house he lived in, visit the legendary Sun Studio where he recorded, see the bronze statue of Elvis on Beale Street and other memorable places in town associated with the King!
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Elvis Presley Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Elvis Presley Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Memphis (See other walking tours in Memphis)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Author: val
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Lauderdale Courts
  • Peabody Hotel
  • Memphis Music Hall of Fame
  • Statue of Elvis
  • Memphis Music Records Tapes
  • Beale Street
  • Sun Studio
1
Lauderdale Courts

1) Lauderdale Courts

In the year of 1948 Elvis and his parents moved to Memphis from Tupelo, Mississippi. The Presleys didn't have much money back then, so they had to live in a series of boarding houses and apartments. This apartment in Lauderdale Courts was their third home in Memphis which they rented for $35.00 a month. Elvis stayed in Lauderdale Courts until 1952, when his parents' income increased and the family could afford a better living.

Today, Lauderdale Courts has been transformed into Uptown Square, a community of classy condos and upscale apartments. The place is now open for tours and even rent to anyone willing to spend a night in Elvis' old digs – apartment 328 – decorated as it was back in the day when the Presleys were still in residence. While it can feel a bit eerie staying here overnight, it should definitely be on any hardcore fan's bucket list. If you're one such, go ahead and do it, if only for one night!
2
Peabody Hotel

2) Peabody Hotel (must see)

The Peabody Hotel is a four star hotel best known for its most famous residents, the Peabody Ducks. Each day at 11 am, the ducks march into the hotel lobby for a swim in the fountain. They are accompanied by the duck master and the King Cotton March by John Phillip Sousa. The ducks are a popular attraction and hundreds of people line up to see them every day. In addition, many celebrities have acted as an honorary duck master throughout the years.

The duck tradition began in 1932 when the general manager and his friend placed live decoy ducks in the hotel lobby fountain as a joke. The public liked it and the tradition continued with five mallard ducks, one male and four female. The ducks work an average of three months before they are retired.

The original Peabody Hotel was built by Robert Campbell Brinkley in 1869 and was located on the corner of Main and Monroe Streets. Its most famous resident was Jefferson Davis, the former President of the Confederacy.

The current hotel was designed by Walter W. Ahlschlager and opened in 1925. In 1965, the hotel went bankrupt and was sold to the Sheraton Hotels, renamed the Sheraton–Peabody Hotel. After the Sheraton closed in 1973, Isadore Edwin Hanover bought the hotel and sold it to his son-in-law, Jack A. Belz. After years of restoration work, the building reopened in 1981.

The Peabody Skyway, a top floor that contains a lounge, bar, and ballroom, was a popular hangout during the 1940s. The hotel Plantation Roof offers great views of the Memphis skyline and is the site of the famous Thursday night "Rooftop Parties.”

Bernard Lansky's store, located in the hotel's lobby, is legendary. Elvis used to called him "Mr. Lansky," while faithful customers call him "Mr. B.", and the world knows him as "Clothier to the Stars". Elvis collaborated with Mr Lansky throughout the course of his career. When he first bought a shirt from Lansky it the 1950s, it cost just $3.95. As Elvis became more famous, Lansky was named his PR man all over the world. Frank Sinatra, Carl Perkins, and B.B. King have also shopped at Lansky at the Peabody.

***Elvis Presley Walk***
This hotel is where Elvis went for his senior prom. He is rumored to have told his date that he didn’t dance and was incredibly nervous the whole night – a hard to believe line from a man who swayed his hips and made the girls swoon.

In the Hotel's Memorabilia Room one can still see the contract signed by Elvis Presley in the hotel lobby when he left the Sun Records for RCA.
3
Memphis Music Hall of Fame

3) Memphis Music Hall of Fame

The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is a tribute to the city's musicians for their lifetime achievements and a wide-ranging role in the fields of blues, gospel, jazz, R&B, country, rockabilly and hip-hop. Since the establishment on November 29, 2012, the Hall of Fame has honored nearly 60 individuals or groups. On August 1, 2015, it opened its own 'brick and mortar' museum and exhibition hall featuring never-before-seen memorabilia, rare video performances and interviews of the inductees, and other archival materials and interactive exhibits.

The induction ceremony is held each year in Memphis. Each inductee into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame receives the Mike Curb Award, named after the songwriter, producer and record company owner, Mike Curb.

The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is located at the corner of Second and Beale Streets, between the rocking new Hard Rock Cafe and the legendary Lansky’s clothing store, famous for dressing such inductees as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rufus Thomas, and others.

Together with this one, Elvis has been inducted in the total of four music halls of fame. Given his multitude of hits, successful records and movies, it is hard to imagine a time before Elvis and, let alone, without him.

Operation Hours:
Daily from 10 am until 7 pm. Group rates and individual discounts are available.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Statue of Elvis

4) Statue of Elvis

The statue of Elvis Presley on Beale Street is a fitting tribute to the King of Rock 'n Roll who used to live in Memphis, walked its streets, and, of course, started crafting his signature style here. The current sculpture, as it stands, is actually the second take of the larger than life bronze idol. The first one, unveiled in 1980, created by artist Eric Parks, was unfortunately too fragile to withstand the elements and the intensity of souvenir-crazed fans who stripped the guitar strings and plucked tassels from Elvis's suit.

To prevent further damage, in 1994, a decision was taken to remove the heavily worn down “Elvis” from the street and place it indoors in the downtown Memphis Tennessee Welcome Center.

For three years, Elvis Presley Plaza remained a big, empty spot, until in 1997 it was finally filled with a new 9.5-foot bronze statue of Elvis sculpted by Andrea Lugar. Unlike the original, the replacement depicted “pre-tassels” Elvis with a curled lip, a wave of hair, and a guitar poised to make fans of all ages swoon – just as Elvis would have looked like back in 1955, wearing a stage gear bought, most likely, at Lansky Bros. down the block.

Although designed to be more sturdy than the previous statue, it is also kept at a secure distance from the public behind an encircling fence.
5
Memphis Music Records Tapes

5) Memphis Music Records Tapes

Located on Beale Street, in the very heart of the city's shopping life, Memphis Music Records Tapes store boasts a unique collection of vintage recordings of Memphis music, fit to impress even the most discerning melomanes! For all those blues lovers, gospel admirers, rock n’ roll fans and jazz devotees, Memphis Music Records Tapes is there for you, waiting to assuage your music fever!

Here you can find an incredible assortment of Memphis recordings from Albert King, BB King, Memphis Minnie, Howlin' Wolf, Stax Recordings and so many more. On top of that, there are tonnes posters, music memorablia, and Memphis souvenirs to choose from, not to mention some of the nicest shop assistants in town!

So, if you need a cool little something to bring home from Memphis, the answer is definitely to browse the wares at Memphis Music Records Tapes. No matter which genre DVD, tape or whatever else you might be looking for, this store has something for everyone!
6
Beale Street

6) Beale Street (must see)

Known as the "Home of the Blues" and one of America's most famous streets, Beale Street is the very gist of entertainment in Memphis. This is the place where in 1909, W. C. Handy wrote "Mr. Crump" as a campaign song for political machine leader E. H. Crump, later renamed "The Memphis Blues." Handy also wrote a song called "Beale Street Blues" in 1916 which influenced the change of the street's name from Beale Avenue to Beale Street.

From the 1920s to the 1940s, Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Memphis Minnie, B. B. King, Rufus Thomas, Rosco Gordon and other blues and jazz legends played on Beale Street and helped develop the style known as Memphis Blues. As a young man, B. B. King was billed as "the Beale Street Blues Boy."

A significant location in the city's history and that of blues music, the part of the street from Main to 4th was declared a National Historic Landmark on May 23, 1966. Today, the blues clubs and restaurants lining the Beale are major tourist attractions in Memphis. Festivals and outdoor concerts frequently bring large crowds to the street and its surrounding areas. There are more than 25 clubs and shops selling Memphis souvenirs here.

Why You Should Visit:
To enjoy authentic Memphis soul food, listen to live music, or party!

***Elvis Presley Walk***

The young Elvis used to spend a lot of time with the musicians gathered on Beale street. The music and the vibe of the street had a great influence on him. Today, his name can be spotted on one of the brass notes on the Beale Street Brass Notes Walk of Fame.
Sight description based on wikipedia
7
Sun Studio

7) Sun Studio (must see)

No trip to Memphis would be complete without a stop at the famous Sun Studio. Originally, it was called the Memphis Recording Service. The studio was opened by Sam Phillips in 1950 and was located in the same building as the Sun Records record label. Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Ike Turner, and B.B. King are just a few of the greats who either recorded here or were signed at the label.

The studio was nicknamed the “Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll” when Ike and Tina Turner recorded here their Rocket 88 song, considered by many to be the first Rock ‘n’ Roll track. In 1960, the studio was moved to Madison Avenue and renamed Phillips Recording.

Twenty-five years later, Phillips returned to the Sun with Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis to record the Class of '55 album. In 1987, the studio was restored to its former glory and became a tourist attraction while still remaining a fully-operational recording facility.

During the day, the building is open for tours. In the evening, artists can rent the studio to make records. Among the "must-see's" here are the video interviews with people who either recorded themselves or worked with those who had recorded at the studio.

Operation Hours:
Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm.

Walking Tours in Memphis, Tennessee

Create Your Own Walk in Memphis

Create Your Own Walk in Memphis

Creating your own self-guided walk in Memphis is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Famous Architecture Tour

Famous Architecture Tour

Taking this self-guided tour, you will become familiar not only with Memphis's most beautiful historic architecture, such as the Magevney House and the Mallory-Neely House, but you will also learn how to find your way around the asphalt jungle of downtown Memphis. 100 North Main and the Sterick and Dermon Buildings, the tallest buildings in Memphis, will become your guides as you navigate the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Memphis Introduction Walk

Memphis Introduction Walk

One of the most iconic destinations in the United States, the city of Memphis has gone down in history for many different reasons. Set on a bluff over the Mississippi River, the site of today's Memphis has been settled for over a thousand years by various cultures, including the Indian tribe of Chickasaw. The latter encountered European explorers in the 16th century. In the 18th century,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Memphis Downtown Walking Tour

Memphis Downtown Walking Tour

Downtown Memphis is the oldest part of the “blues city” located on the Mississippi River. To acquaint yourself fully with this neighborhood and in the shortest possible time, take this self-guided tour starting at the Fire Museum of Memphis, then head to the Peabody Hotel to see the "Peabody Ducks", visit an iconic movie palace, and then make way to other prominent highlights of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Top Religious Buildings

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Memphis Blues Walking Tour

Memphis Blues Walking Tour

If you're a music fan, visiting Beale Street, the cradle of Memphis blues, is a must! Running across Downtown from the Mississippi River to East Street for approximately 2 miles (3 km), the street is lined with a number of locations which left indelible imprint in the history of the city and that of blues music in particular. Take this self-guided tour and empathize with record producer Sam...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles