Photo Courtesy of Memphis Convention & Visitors BureauSun StudioGrand Canyon , Arizona CADILLAC RANCH ,TEXAS .in 2010

Families will love:

  • Home of the Blues
  • Old-fashioned Southern charm
  • Home of rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley

Memphis may be the home of the Blues (first penned here by W. C. Handy and still celebrated in the many clubs lining Beale Street), but your kids won't be singing any sad songs in this family-friendly city in western Tennessee. The largest city in the state, modern Memphis has plenty of cosmopolitan charisma but is still suffused with lots of old-fashioned Southern charm. ... more
Memphis may be the home of the Blues (first penned here by W. C. Handy and still celebrated in the many clubs lining Beale Street), but your kids won't be singing any sad songs in this family-friendly city in western Tennessee. The largest city in the state, modern Memphis has plenty of cosmopolitan charisma but is still suffused with lots of old-fashioned Southern charm. It's a friendly city, and families will find plenty of fun and often quirky things to do -- including gaping at Graceland, once home of rock 'n' roll legend Elvis Presley, and watching the famous Peabody ducks waddle down a red carpet on their way to the hotel's lobby fountain.

Memphis's museums are intriguing, as well. The National Civil Rights Museum is filled with interactive exhibits that let you step back in history. Here, for example, your kids can climb aboard a city bus and experience what it was like to be Rosa Parks. At the eclectic Pink Palace, they can walk through a model of the very first supermarket (called the Piggly Wiggly -- no kidding!) or head straight for the shrunken head.

Named for an ancient Egyptian city, Memphis even has its own 320-foot pyramid right on the riverbank. Made of gleaming steel instead of stone blocks, it's two-thirds the size of the world's largest pyramid (which resides in the Middle-Eastern city of the same name). Slated to become a Bass Pro Shop in 2013, the pyramid started out as a concert venue and sports complex, although the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team (the city's first major professional sports franchise) now holds court in the newer FedExForum. If you visit in the summer, you can catch the Memphis Redbirds -- the AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals -- play in AutoZone Park.

Whatever you choose to see, you can't visit Memphis without getting at least a glimpse of the mighty Mississippi River, bordering the city's western edge. The best way to explore the river today is by taking an excursion trip on a paddlewheel steamship. But a waterfront development project called Beale Street Landing is currently under construction and will eventually allow access to the river's edge via a series of landscaped terraces.

While you're checking out the Mississippi, take at least a glance at the stylish Hernando Desoto Bridge connecting Tennessee with Arkansas; it looks just like a giant letter "M" spanning the river. Your kids may well ask whether the "M" is meant to stand for Mississippi or for Memphis, but after spending a little time here, you'll no doubt be convinced it stands for marvelous.

Written by Katy Koontz less

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I was wrong!
by rollinsborghini
We took a family trip to Memphis and brought along my mother. She had always wanted to see Graceland. I did not have high hopes for a great ... read more
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