Free Things To Do in Memphis
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Originally constructed in 1925, The Peabody Memphis has held a long-standing reputation as one of the finest hotels in the South. While the building itself is quite breathtaking, the real attraction here is the march of the Peabody Ducks. Since the 1940s, these North American mallards have been a staple feature of the historic hotel. Visit around 11 a.m., when the ducks make their way from their Royal Duck Palace on the hotel's rooftop down the red carpet through the hotel lobby and into the Peabody Fountain. Join the onlookers that gather along the carpet to tap their toes to the beat of John Philip Sousa's "King Cotton March" as the ducks waddle past. At 5 p.m., the tune picks up again and the ducks hop out of the fountain and make their way back along the red carpet to their home.
Recent visitors said this spectacle is a fun activity that children are sure to love. Just note that the lobby can get crowded, so be sure to secure a good vantage point by arriving early and heading up to the second-floor atrium. The Peabody Memphis is located less than a half-mile from downtown. The daily duck march is free to watch.
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Are you looking for the heart and soul of Memphis culture? Head over to Beale Street. It was here that the blues was born, and many famous musicians – including B.B. King, Alberta Hunter and Isaac Hayes – got their start. During the day, stores and restaurants beckon with music memorabilia and savory barbecue, while at night, the area between Second and Fourth streets comes to life as numerous live music clubs open their doors to music fans of all types. The Beale Street area is also home to several popular attractions, such as the Orpheum Theatre, the W.C. Handy House Museum and the New Daisy Theatre.
Recent visitors described the atmosphere on Beale Street as "buzzing," thanks to the variety of live music that pours from the clubs stationed along the street. Though reviewers say this is a must-see when in Memphis, they also warned crowds can grow stifling, especially on the weekends. Beale Street also hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, which some travelers advised avoiding due to the headache-inducing crowds and traffic.
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