Re-fill your soul with soul

Much like the ingredients used to make sweet tea, Memphis is steeped in historical significance.

As I made my way in and around Beale Street,  I was inevitably surrounded by the history and leaders that helped shape the city. Individuals like Martin Luther King Jr., Elvis, and B.B. King are just a few of the major names that have shaped the soul of Memphis.

Where to Stay

lobby lounge at CIMAS in Memphis
CIMAS Lobby Lounge

Once I orientated myself during my stay at Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis, I immediately appreciated the walkability of the area. I was able to grab a quick bite on Beale Street before heading back to my hotel room to prepare myself for my next outing.

Read More: Le Bon Appetit Fundraiser Steeped in Memphis Food, Music and Restoration Culture

Several mornings during my stay I helped myself to the selection of quick bites from both CIMAS and CIMAS Lobby Lounge on-site. The cocktails at CIMAS Lobby Lounge are also worth checking out too. For an evening night cap Beck & Call offers a stellar view of the waterfront and a full bar.

Planners will appreciate the 4,450 sq. ft. ballroom with exposed brick from the historic 1879 William C. Ellis and Sons Ironworks and Machine Shop Building, as well as the smaller dividable meeting space and the outdoor option.

Where to Fill Your Plate

bbq stack from B.B.Kings Blues Club
Food from B.B. Kings Blues Club

Seeking a solid place for BBQ? Fine dining? Memphis has that and more.

Earlier riser? Check out Sunrise Memphis for breakfast biscuits, or a their Korean Bi Bim, a kimchi inspired dish with pickled daikon and sticky rice.

In the mood for smoked ribs and sausages? Rendezvous, a circa-1948 BBQ spot, has that and tasty BBQ nachos for your group to share.

For those looking for a mixture of music and food in their evening meal, B.B. Kings Blues Club has live music, a hefty entree selection and a long list of signature drinks.

If you’re seeking a fine-dining experience, Amelia Gene’s offers an exquisite cheese cart, a bite-size of croissant with foie gras raspberry gel filling and charred octopus’ salad with mustard greens and salted lemon dressing. I also recommend the Take a Chance from the drink menu for a refreshing cocktail.

Walk and Drive Through History

Knowing the roots of where you’re visiting is as important as the experience itself. Memphis goes out of its way to highlight how the past intersects with today. Planners can take their group on a tour through time from the slave trade, Brown v. Board of Education to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., at the National Civil Rights Museum which houses the Lorraine Motel along with the guest room and balcony where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. It is a heavy experience but well-worth the time.

If music is more your thing, consider taking a bus ride through Memphis Mojo Bus Tour that takes you around Memphis with live music and fun historical facts from the likes of Elvis and B.B. King.

Also, check out STAX Museum of American Soul to get a first hand look at the artists who defined  the sound of soul music.

This article appears in the May/June 2024 issues. You can subscribe to the magazine here.