Today begins with a bit of kids' stuff that will appeal to the child in all of us. You'll start at the Pink Palace Museum before heading over to the Children's Museum of Memphis. Then it's downtown to catch the ceremonious march of the Peabody ducks. The remainder of today you're downtown, taking in the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, W. C. Handy Park on Beale Street, and (I saved the best for last!) barbecued ribs at the Rendezvous. Tonight, say farewell to the city in style by taking in some smoldering live music at B.B. King's Blues Club.
1. Memphis Pink Palace Museum
Grocery store owner and entrepreneur Clarence Saunders, who pioneered the self-service grocery store with the Piggly Wiggly chain at the beginning of the 20th century, lived in this pink marble home. Today, it's a museum packed with educational exhibits, along with a planetarium and an IMAX Theatre.
2. Children's Museum of Memphis
A fire engine for climbing, a castle for dreaming, a kid-sized city with a bank for cashing play checks, and a grocery store for filling shopping carts are among the favorites at this Midtown museum, located next to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Stadium.
3. Peabody Ducks
Sure, it's touristy, but you owe it to yourself to see what all the fuss is about. If you can make it by 11am, you'll get to see the ducks waddle out of the elevator and into the lobby fountain. But if not, they'll be here all afternoon. They make their return trip to the ducky penthouse at 5pm.
4. Take a Break -- Automatic Slim's Tonga Club
Head downtown for lunch at this funky restaurant. Great food and drinks, along with a vibrant clientele, always keep this hangout buzzing. 83 S. Second St. tel. 901/525-7948.
5. Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum
On the plaza outside the FedExForum you'll find the entrance to this museum that traces the importance of Memphis in the history of rock music, soul, and rhythm-and-blues. Browse the exhibits, jam to the classics, and learn something new about your favorite musical heroes.
6. W. C. Handy Park
Listen for the sounds of a bluesy rock band, or look for the statue of the early 20th century trumpeter, which dominates this open-air park and amphitheater. Take a load off at one of the benches, watch the crowds go by, and start tapping your feet to the beat.
7. Take a Break -- The Rendezvous
Make a beeline back down toward Union Avenue, find the alley across from The Peabody, and let your nose lead the way to the source of the sizzling pork barbecue aromas that pervade the area. Feast on the Rendezvous' famous spice-dusted ribs, or try a chopped-pork sandwich. 52 S. Second St. tel. 901/523-2746.
8. B.B. King's Blues Club
Kick back and surrender to the blues tonight, taking in whatever act happens to be playing at B. B. King's namesake nightclub on Beale Street.
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.