5 Must-Visit Historic Music Landmarks in Memphis

You’ll find no shortage of musical history in Memphis. Start at Sun Studio, the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, where legends like Elvis Presley recorded. Next, visit Graceland to explore Elvis’s mansion and his final resting place. Don’t miss the vibrant Beale Street, brimming with historic clubs and live music. The Stax Museum offers a comprehensive exploration into soul music history with fascinating memorabilia. Wrap up your journey at the Gibson Guitar Factory to see skilled artisans craft iconic instruments. Each of these landmarks offers a unique glimpse into the city’s musical legacy. Continue on to discover even more.

Sun Studio

Why not start your musical journey in Memphis at Sun Studio, the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll? As soon as you step inside, you’ll feel the magic that legendary artists like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis once experienced. The studio’s intimate environment and vintage recording equipment set the stage for some of the most influential music ever created.

When you take a tour, you’ll see the original microphones and mixing consoles that captured the raw sounds of rock ‘n’ roll’s pioneers. It’s not just about seeing historical artifacts; you’ll get a sense of how these musicians revolutionized the industry and forever changed Music in Memphis, Tennessee.

The guides are passionate and knowledgeable, providing fascinating stories and insights into the recording sessions that took place here.

You’ll also have the chance to stand on the very spot where these legendary artists recorded their hits. It’s a humbling experience that connects you to the roots of rock ‘n’ roll. Whether you’re a music aficionado or just curious, Sun Studio offers a unique glimpse into the birth of a musical revolution.

Don’t miss out on this cornerstone of American music history.


No trip to Memphis is complete without a visit to Graceland, the iconic home of Elvis Presley. As you step into this legendary mansion, you’ll instantly feel the magic that surrounded the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The house is a treasure trove of Elvis memorabilia, offering a glimpse into his extraordinary life and career.

Start your tour in the living room, where you’ll see the famous white sofa and grand piano. Make your way through the kitchen and dining room before reaching the highlight of the house: the Jungle Room. This unique space, with its green shag carpet and exotic decor, served as both a family room and a recording studio for Elvis. It’s an eclectic mix of kitsch and history that you won’t find anywhere else.

Don’t miss the Trophy Building, filled with gold records and iconic jumpsuits, and the Meditation Garden, Elvis’s final resting place.

Each area of Graceland paints a vivid picture of Elvis’s life, from his humble beginnings to his rise to stardom. Whether you’re an Elvis fan or just curious about music history, Graceland is an essential stop on your Memphis journey.

Beale Street

Stroll down Beale Street and immerse yourself in the vibrant heart of Memphis’s musical heritage. As you walk, you’ll feel the pulse of Beale Street nightlife, with its neon lights, bustling bars, and soulful tunes spilling into the streets. This iconic thoroughfare is a living proof of Memphis’s Blues history, where legends like B.B. King and Muddy Waters once played.

Stop by the historic clubs, such as B.B. King’s Blues Club, where you can catch live performances that keep the spirit of the Blues alive. Each venue tells a story, from the early days of the genre to its lasting influence on modern music.

Don’t miss the chance to visit the Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame, which celebrates the contributions of musicians who’ve shaped the local and global music scenes.

For a deeper exploration into the past, check out the Blues Hall of Fame Museum, just a short walk away. It provides context and showcases artifacts that paint a vivid picture of the genre’s evolution.

Beale Street isn’t just a location; it’s an experience that brings the rich tapestry of Memphis’s musical legacy to life.

Stax Museum

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music offers an in-depth journey into the soulful sounds that defined a generation. Located at the original site of Stax Records, this museum is a tribute to the artists who made history there. You’ll find a rich collection of memorabilia, including instruments, stage costumes, and records.

When you step inside, one of the first things you’ll notice is Isaac Hayes‘ custom gold-plated Cadillac, a centerpiece that reflects his larger-than-life personality. As you move through the exhibits, you’ll encounter the legacy of Otis Redding. His powerful voice and emotive performances are immortalized in displays that showcase his contributions to soul music.

Interactive exhibits allow you to feel the energy and passion that fueled the Stax sound. You can even stand in a recreated recording studio where legends like Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes crafted their hits.

The museum’s Wall of Sound features photographs and biographies of the many artists who recorded at Stax, providing a thorough look at their impact on music and culture.

Visiting the Stax Museum doesn’t just educate; it deeply connects you to the heart and soul of American music history.

Gibson Guitar Factory

A visit to the Gibson Guitar Factory offers a fascinating glimpse into the meticulous craftsmanship behind one of the world’s most iconic instruments. You’ll get the chance to see firsthand how skilled artisans transform raw materials into beautiful, high-quality guitars.

The factory tours are an immersive experience, guiding you through each step of the guitar-making process. From selecting the finest woods to the intricate assembly and finishing touches, you’ll appreciate the artistry and dedication involved.

During the tour, you’ll witness various stages of guitar craftsmanship. You’ll see how the necks and bodies are carefully shaped and sanded, and how each instrument is meticulously inspected for quality. The factory’s attention to detail guarantees that every guitar meets Gibson’s legendary standards.

What makes this tour truly special is the opportunity to interact with the craftsmen themselves. They’ll share insights and stories about their work, making the experience even more enriching.

Whether you’re a musician or just a fan of music history, the Gibson Guitar Factory is a must-visit landmark in Memphis. It’s a rare chance to see behind the scenes of an iconic brand and gain a deeper appreciation for the art of guitar making.