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Memphis, Little Rock

5 Days in Memphis (and Little Rock)?

Aside from Graceland (worth it?), what are some of the things to see, do, and eat when in Memphis, TN?

Also, I see that Little Rock, AR isn't too far with a car, and I thought about visiting another new state at the same time. What's in LR that could be done in a couple days?

Or, would you just spend all 5 days in Memphis?

6 Answers

top answer by
Claire from Fort Worth, Texas

The William J. Clinton Presidential Center is right there!  It is really neat both for its architecture and contents.  Not too far away is  Hot Springs National Park; there are 3 hotels that get their hot water from the Springs, and have spas onsite.  You can use their spas even if you are not staying there.  There is a historical site with the old bath houses, one of which is open to the public and in use; another has been preserved as it was at the turn of the 20th century.  The main drag is full of cute shops and eateries; this is the only National Park that is in a city.  President Clinton graduated from Hot Springs High School.  Boating, Duck Tours, race tracks are nearby.  

There is a giant dog track between Memphis and LR if that appeals to you .  

In Memphis, be sure and see the ducks at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. They parade across the lobby twice a day, escorted by the head butler, with "Stars and Stripes Forever" playing.  Eat at Paulette's Restaurant, famous for the hot popovers, enjoy the restaurants along Beale Street,  visit  Sun Studio, National Civil Rights Museum, Stax Music Academy, Memphis Zoo, Mud Island if it is warm weather, Arabia Steamboat Museum, the Pyramid Arena  for stuff I forgot.  You have to eat barbecue which is everywhere.  Coletta's Italian Restaurant is great Italian; there are some old time Southern meat and three cafes around as well.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. William J. Clinton Presidential Center (attraction)
  2. Hot Springs National Park (park)
  3. Peabody Hotel (hotel)
  4. Paulette's Restaurant (restaurant)
  5. Beale Street (attraction)
  6. Sun Studio (attraction)
  7. National Civil Rights Museum (attraction)
  8. Stax Music Academy (attraction)
  9. Memphis Zoo (attraction)
  10. Mud Island (attraction)
  11. Arabia Steamboat Museum (attraction)
  12. Pyramid Arena (attraction)
  13. Coletta's Italian Restaurant (restaurant)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Nathan from Sayulita

Ok, now that I've been there, I'd like to answer! :)


Yes to Sun StudioGracelandNational Civil Rights Museum. All three are fantastic in their own way. Whether it's passion, technology, or sheer impressiveness, they all deserve your attention.

I also had great meals at Trolley Stop Market and Evelyn & Olive Restaurant and Wine Bar.

Perhaps I'm not a huge BBQ fan (or it's hard to remember what "bad" 'cue is when you're having the good stuff), but I thought the ribs at Charlie Vergos Rendezvous and the pulled pork at Central BBQ (Downtown) were fine—nothing to write home about.

Peabody Hotel was quite luxurious and watching the ducks was a fine way to spend 20 minutes. Impressive views from the roof, and they also have a small yet packed memorabilia room.


Yes to hiking the 1.5 mile round-trip Pinnacle Mountain State Park(great views!) and the William J Clinton Library (lots of stuff in there!). The Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is a fine museum and does a great job with this particular story, but don't expect anything as elaborate as the Civil Rights museum in Memphis. The Governors Mansion Historic District was a nice drive-thru and I happened to be able to check out inside (not sure of the hours). Not a critical stop, unless you're really into LR gov't and Clinton's books that he accumulated while there. It's a beautiful building, though.

Both cities have things to do and also retain that easy-going vibe and "small town feel." The riverfront areas are nice to explore and there are a few interesting walking bridges across the Arkansas River in LR.

Hope you have the chance to explore one or both soon!

2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Bailey from Memphis

I live in Memphis and travel frequently to Little Rock to visit family.  I think both places are well worth your time.

First Memphis.  This city has the generic tourist destinations:  Graceland, Beale Street, the Peabody Hotel ducks, and barbecue restaurants galore (Central BBQ is my personal favorite).  But the city also has some hidden gems.  Slave Haven Underground Railroadis one of the most educational, interesting places I've been.  If you're at all interested in the history of slavery or the Underground Railroad, it is a must see.  The National Ornamental Metal Museum is cheap ($5, I think) and pretty cool--though maybe not a must see if you have a limited amount of time. I love the National Civil Rights Museum.  It will take forever to go through it, but you'll come out knowing more about civil rights than you ever thought possible.  The Memphis Zoo is fantastic, especially if you have a love for pandas.

As for Little Rock.  If you want to stick with the civil rights theme, Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is cool.  I don't think you can get into the building as it is still a functioning school, but there is a free little museum across the street.  There is a cute Historic Arkansas Museum.  Arkansas Arts Center is pretty solid for a free museum in a relatively small city.  If you're the outdoorsy type, Pinnacle Mountain State Park is a fairly easy hike with a beautiful view at the top.  And if you get hungry while you're exploring the city, Leo's Burgers and Gyros is my new favorite.  It's cheap, tiny, and delicious.  There's also this little Honduran hole in the wall, Rosalinda Restaurant Hondureño.  

Happy travels!

2 thanks

answered by
Lacy from Little Rock

Hi there! If you aren't tired of barbecue after Memphis, try Whole Hog Cafe in Little Rock. Everyone here loves it and anyone who's come to visit me loves it too. There are some nice hiking trails around here too. Take a walk by Two Rivers Park Trail or Big Dam Bridge. They are right next to each other. I prefer Two Rivers. It's pretty out there. If you go early in the morning you'll see tons of deer and blue buntings.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Whole Hog Cafe (restaurant)
  2. Two Rivers Park Trail (attraction)
  3. Big Dam Bridge (attraction)
2 thanks

answered first by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

I lived in Little Rock right out of college!  A couple of places to visit with some history behind them are the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site and the William J Clinton Library.  Little Rock is a beautiful city with plenty to offer and might just be worth the 2 hours drive to take it in.

Memphis:  Graceland is definitely worth it!  I adore the place and wasn't really much of an Elvis fan.  The house is maintained as it was when he was alive, so it's kind of a crack up!  You can tour his plane as well, and there are tons of 'memorabilia' items like outfits, guitars and cars.  I also really enjoyed the National Civil Rights Museum where Martin Luther King was killed, Mud Island-ride the cable car over and spend some time at the museum and take a picture in front of the Memphis Belle, and of course, head to Beale Street for music and food.  Make absolutely sure to have ribs at Charlie Vergos Rendezvous, if you time it right you can stop at the Peabody Hotel to see the parade of ducks, it's right near Rendezvous!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site (attraction)
  2. William J Clinton Library (attraction)
  3. Graceland (attraction)
  4. National Civil Rights Museum (attraction)
  5. Mud Island (attraction)
  6. Beale Street (attraction)
  7. Charlie Vergos Rendezvous (restaurant)
  8. Peabody Hotel (hotel)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Marie from Lethbridge

In Memphis, don't miss the National Civil Rights Museum, it is necessary to see. The National Ornamental Metal Museum is an eclectic place, very cool. As for food, try everything...gumbo, fried green tomatoes, gator (at the King's Palace), crayfish, shrimp, crawfish, bbq, even burgers...everything is delicious. If you're in the mood for a road trip, check out Ivy Green, the Hellen Keller birthplace in Tuscumbia , Alabama. It's about 2 1/2 hours SE of Memphis.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. National Civil Rights Museum (attraction)
  2. National Ornamental Metal Museum (attraction)
  3. Ivy Green (attraction)
  4. Tuscumbia (city)

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