10 Best Tours for Discovering Memphis Music, History and Culture

Memphis is a city filled with history and culture - the roots of American music, the tragedies of the civil rights movement, the commerce and culture that came from being one of the most important city's on a river.

And there are a myriad of ways to discover Memphis  – on foot, by trolley, via riverboat, or even through a Saturday morning group run. If a quick hit of downtown attractions - and minimal effort on your part - is the ticket, try the Segway Experience; those who want to become immersed in the history and contributions of African Americans in the city will want to reserve a seat with Heritage Tours. For the ultimate in Memphis music, a VIP tour of Graceland can't be beat.

Exploring the river has never been easier, thanks to Memphis Riverboats, which offers both nostalgic riverboat cruises on a seasonal basis - as well as airboat tours of the Mississippi River, which are not for the faint of heart. For those who want a fun and funky tour of Memphis and all its musical heritage, Backbeat or American Dream Safari are the ways to go; both offer very different but equally fun touring experiences - one in a vintage coach bus, the other via vintage Cadillac.

Sun Studio is a tiny spot - but really, really big events in the history of music happened here. The most famous of all, of course, was Elvis Presley recording 'That's Alright, Mama' in 1954; within a year, he was a superstar and the Sun...  Read More

Victorian Village

Victorian Village was the city's original affluent neighborhood, and just a few of its original Victorian homes remain today. Near Main Street, this quiet residential area offers glimpses into lovely homes with exquisite French Second Empire and...  Read More

Graceland Area

Graceland is the second most visited historic home in the United States, hosting more than 600,000 visitors who come to pay homage to the King. The mansion itself is really just a large family home, forever stuck in the design decade of the...  Read More

Dedicated runners don't let travel get in the way of their mileage - and runners visiting Memphis now have a way to see the sights and fit in a run. Rockin' Running Tours offers running, walking or walk / run tours of the city on weekends...  Read More

Tad Pierson is your tour guide, and forget the bus - his ride is a vintage Cadillac, with a limit of five passengers. The small size of the group means there's plenty of time for Q&A on one of Tad's tours, which range from 'Drive By Shooting'...  Read More

The Memphis Hop is a brilliant idea for the city; opened in 2013, the hop-on, hop-off bus service allows sightseeing as it's never been seen in the Bluff City. Buses travel from attraction to attraction, stopping hourly at each spot. From...  Read More

Memphis Riverboats

Rolling on the river takes on a whole new meaning when you can step aboard an old-fashioned riverboat and explore the Mississippi. A variety of sightseeing and themed cruises are available, from leisurely dinner cruises to Fourth of July...  Read More

Blues City Tours

There are more than a dozen tours of Memphis and beyond to choose from, and whether you are a singleton or part of a larger group, Blues City can accommodate. With options for starting in Memphis or Tunica, MS (home to the casinos, just...  Read More

The clip-clopping of horse hooves can be heard throughout downtown Memphis, thanks to a robust carriage tour industry. Kids certainly delight in these tours, which wind around downtown, form the Peabody Hotel area through the main business...  Read More

A magical musical tour awaits for those who jump on the brightly decorated Backbeat bus; whether it's Memphis music in general, Elvis in particular, or a haunted trek around the city, each lively tour is accompanied by music, jokes and plenty of...  Read More


Meet Sally Walker Davies

Sally Walker Davies is enchanted by Memphis' music, history, and characters. From the artsy South Main Historic District to the grittiness of her favorite live music clubs to the sophisticated...  More About Sally

comments powered by Disqus

Build your own lists that you can easily reference or share stories with your friends.

Login ×

Forgot login/password?
Don't have an account? Create Your Account!

Enter your username or email in the box below and click
"Remind Me".

Remind Me ×
Create Account ×
Create Account ×

Already have an account?

Add to List ×
Save ×

Go to Lists Close Window ×