Okay, you're goin' to Graceland. If you're an Elvis Presley zealot, you probably couldn't wait until Day 2 to head to the home of the King, so you've already tried to squeeze it into Day 1. Fair enough. True fans should not miss seeing his homey (in a Beverly Hillbillies sort of way) mansion and taking the complete tour of all that's offered here. Tourists with no more than a mild interest in Elvis, though, might want to skip the full shebang and do a simple drive-by of the place instead. From here, you'll head back to Midtown and East Memphis for some fine art interspersed with flora and fauna. Cap off your day of critters and culture with a little rest and relaxation in the bohemian Cooper-Young neighborhood.
The blue-and-white living room where he and Priscilla entertained guests. The mirrored, yellow TV room where Elvis liked to unwind. His paisley pool room. You'll see it all and more on a tour of the mansion where Elvis lived -- and where he died. Across the street from the house you can tour his Austin Powers-ish airplanes, watch Elvis movies, and even admire his car collection.
2. Overton Park
Back in midtown, Overton Park is a beautiful setting that's home to the Memphis Zoo, the Memphis College of Art, and the Brooks Museum of Art. Visit the museum to get an overview of art through the ages. From Medieval and Impressionist to contemporary, a range of styles and media are represented.
3. Take a Break -- Brushmark Restaurant
Before or after browsing the masterpieces in the Brooks Museum of Art, take some refreshment in the Brushmark Restaurant. Sit outside on the terrace, order a light lunch, and enjoy the lush views of the wooded park surroundings. 1934 Poplar Ave. tel. 901/544-6225.
4. Memphis Zoo
The two soulful, cuddly panda bears from China are the reigning stars of this world-class zoo. But there are plenty of other animals and exhibits to see. From snakes and lions to elephants and monkeys, this is where the wild things are.
5. Dixon Gallery and Gardens
In East Memphis, you'll find the next two stops on your itinerary: The Dixon Gallery and Gardens and the Memphis Botanic Garden are right across the street from each other. Impressionist works are a highlight of the Dixon, a posh residence-turned-museum. Shaded by towering trees, the meticulously landscaped grounds are perfect for strolling. It's especially gorgeous in the spring, when the dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom.
6. Memphis Botanic Garden
Nature enthusiasts will find much to love in this oasis of fragrant roses, iris beds, herb gardens, and acres of other flowering plants, majestic trees, and paved walking trails. The Japanese Garden of Tranquility, with its goldfish ponds, lanterns, and angular evergreens, is a favorite of romantics.
7. Cooper-Young Neighborhood
Drive back toward Midtown and explore the bohemian area known as Cooper-Young. If you like felines, peek inside the House of Mews, 933 S. Cooper St. (tel. 901/272-3777), a storefront converted into a homelike sanctuary for stray cats awaiting adoption. Shop for gifts at specialty boutiques or step into one of the great restaurants and bars clustered around this intersection.
8. Young Avenue Deli
Flop a spell at this arty coffee shop (2119 Young Ave.; tel. 901/278-0034) and enjoy the eccentric-people-watching in this offbeat area of town. Or walk half a block to cull the bins at Goner Records, for vinyl rarities or other cheesy finds.
9. Hi-Tone Cafe
Tonight, head back over to the Overton Park area to see what's happening and who's playing at this hip nightclub.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.