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Old 06-05-2012, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Middle America
18,205 posts, read 15,658,532 times
Reputation: 21295
My SO and I are taking a trip to Memphis in August - we are both musicians and Memphis is one of the several music Meccas in the US that we would like to tour. We plan on driving (about 7.5 hours for us), and we are looking at two alternatives: staying at a nice hotel near Beale Street downtown, or staying at a casino hotel out in Tunica and driving into the sights each day. Price isn't that much different between the two options, but I don't know if having the casino right were we are staying will provide some extra entertainment/nightlife in comparison to downtown.

If any locals have suggestions I would very much appreciate it.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:30 PM
 
Location: McLean, VA
434 posts, read 398,137 times
Reputation: 252
No competition: stay downtown near Beale. Lots to do downtown, plus the drive in from Tunica would be pretty taxing
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:57 PM
 
232 posts, read 619,553 times
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Definitely downtown, no question. Look at the Westin or the Peabody, both are right where you'll want to be. Enjoy your stay!
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:47 PM
 
1,031 posts, read 1,430,331 times
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Some often overlooked musical sites in Memphis are the two record stores of national reknown -- Goner Records in the Cooper-Young neighborhood and Shangri-La Records, I think on Madison Avenue. Good thing about the Cooper Young area is there are other places to go. Alchemy is nice and upscale, Young Avenue Deli is casual with live music. The best catfish is there at Soul Fiish and there is an Irish bar called Celtic Crossing. Also there's a nice bookstore at Burkes, some pizza and coffee and such. Then around the corner on Central is Central BBQ, which has some of the best cue in town.

Depending on when you come, there may be great concerts at Minglewood Hall, the Botanical Garden has a monthly Live at the Garden concert series with Chicago, Seal, Duran Duran, Skynard, and Bonnie Raitt. You might want to check out the Levitt Shell at Overton Park (along with the Zoo), where Elvis played his first concert. They host free concerts there. The Stax Academy is having a concert there pretty soon for their students. Finally, both the Peabody and Madison hotels have rooftop parties with live music, I believe on Thursdays during the summer.

Most other music places I think you can find pretty easily. If you're looking for things to do or see beyond the music, I put some other suggestions here (it's lengthy and somewhat outdated, otherwise I'd just post it) First Time Visitor.

Hope you enjoy your visit!
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:59 AM
 
469 posts, read 471,298 times
Reputation: 300
All of the above replies are on the money. Stay Downtown within 3 to 4 blocks of Beale and walk to Rock n Soul Museum, Gibson Guitar Factory, Center For Southern Folklore, Sun Studio (maybe 1 mi.+). If you stay close to everything you have your room nearby for regrouping plus not having to get behind the wheel after enjoying Beale St. Good tour exposure to the city includes Backbeat Tours' Memphis Mojo w/ Rockabilly performer on board, Peabody Hotel's tour w/Hotel Historian, and a $1 ride on the Riverfront Loop Trolley. If you want to ride to Graceland and Sun Studio free of charge catch Sun Studio's shuttle leaving hourly from the front of Rock n Soul Museum, returning hourly to the same spot.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Suburbs Of Memphis, TN
330 posts, read 248,241 times
Reputation: 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
My SO and I are taking a trip to Memphis in August - we are both musicians and Memphis is one of the several music Meccas in the US that we would like to tour. We plan on driving (about 7.5 hours for us), and we are looking at two alternatives: staying at a nice hotel near Beale Street downtown, or staying at a casino hotel out in Tunica and driving into the sights each day. Price isn't that much different between the two options, but I don't know if having the casino right were we are staying will provide some extra entertainment/nightlife in comparison to downtown.

If any locals have suggestions I would very much appreciate it.

^^ You've just got all the best advise there is to get from the above posters...

Enjoy your time here in Memphis, TN
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:51 PM
 
280 posts, read 265,977 times
Reputation: 127
This has to be the best group of posters yet. Their recommendations are spot on. If money is good, I'd certainly choose the downtown Westin. It's right across the street from the FedEx forum and next to Beale. Being musicians you'll love the live blues music up and down Beale. Plenty to do downtown as mentioned. If you head to south Main there are loads of artsy shops as well as the historic Lorraine Motel and the civil rights museum.

The casinos are only about 45 minutes away. You'll have about 10 to choose from but Harrahs is the closest while many think The Horseshoe is the place to be. Should be live music there all the time. it's fun and all, however, it is out in the midst of the delta so there's not much else to do. I'd certainly visit there, try your hand at some gaming, catch a show if you like and eat some buffet food.

Have fun!
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:25 PM
 
1,031 posts, read 1,430,331 times
Reputation: 380
Also, the casinos are sprawled out incomprehensibly. You'll have three here, then a mile away another three. The Horseshoe isolated itself from everyone. It's just ludicrous, unless you're ok with the one or three. All of them have great food and live entertainment.

In South Main there are a couple of noteworthy restaurants -- the Arcade which has a decent breakfast and was a favorite haunt of Elvis's and Ernestine and Hazel's, a former brothel that served many a musician back in the day. Now it's a bar that serves some decent burgers. The best artery-clogging food, however, is Gus's. If your heart needs some resistance training, Gus's will get the job done
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:30 PM
 
8,241 posts, read 10,563,503 times
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I like the River Inn at Harbor Town. Very pretty, great service. Downtown Memphis Hotel | River Inn of Harbor Town | Tennessee Hotel
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Middle America
18,205 posts, read 15,658,532 times
Reputation: 21295
We booked at the Westin-Beale Street. Thanks for the advice folks.
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