Just 35 miles north of Tunica is Memphis, Tenn. – home to Beale Street, Sun Studio, Graceland, the National Civil Rights Museum, the famous ducks at the Peabody Hotel and the Pink Palace Museum.
The National Civil Rights Museum is located at the Lorraine Motel, where the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed on the balcony outside of his motel room. The museum chronicles the civil rights movement in the United States and explores human rights movements throughout the world. The museum is located at 450 Mulberry St. in Memphis. For more information, call 901.521.9699 or click on www.civilrightsmuseum.org.
The Pink Palace, located at 3050 Central Ave. in Memphis, is a pink marble mansion that now houses a planetarium, museum and IMAX theater. (901.320.6320 or www.memphismuseums.org) The Peabody Hotel on Union Ave. downtown is home to the famous ducks, which march from their roof-top home to the hotel lobby every day at 11 a.m. and back up again at 5 p.m. (901.529.4000 or www.peabodymemphis.com)
Early rock ‘n’ roll and blues music fans often trek to Memphis to see where it all got started at Sun Studio (706 Union Ave. or 800.441.6249) and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music (926 E. McLemore Ave. or 901.946.2535). A tour through Elvis’ Graceland home on Elvis Presley Blvd. (800.238.2000) will put visitors in the mood to experience a night of live music on the city’s bustling Beale Street.
If Memphis doesn’t quench your thirst for the blues, head south 35 miles to Clarksdale, Miss. at the crossroads of Highways 61 and 49 to see the Delta Blues Museum and “the land where the blues began.” The museum is located at No. 1 Blues Alley in Clarksdale. For more info, phone 662.627.6820. After the museum, head next door to the Ground Zero Blues Club (662.621.9009) to see the real thing. Delta blues musicians play the club Wednesdays through Saturdays.
About 60 miles east of Tunica, Oxford, Miss. lets visitors experience a classic southern town – complete with a beautiful square, interesting shops and an atmosphere that reflects its eclectic residents. In addition to long-time residents, the town is home to the University of Mississippi and its students. It also attracts many writers and artists who love the area as much as the town’s famous resident William Faulkner did. Visitors can tour Faulkner’s Rowan Oak, home of the Nobel Prize-winning author. For more information, contact the town’s visitor’s bureau at 800.758.9177.