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Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum picture in Memphis
Phillip Parker / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • $12.50 for adults; $9.50 for kids 5-17; free for kids 4 and under
  • 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily

Details

  • Museums, Sightseeing, Tours Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.9
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    3.5
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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If you're a fan of soul music or rock 'n' roll and want to learn more about how Memphis played a part in the roots of these genres, you should consider adding the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum to your itinerary. Exploring Memphis' musical influence, from the rural field hollers and sharecroppers of the 1930s to the emergence of Sun, Stax and Hi Records, this Smithsonian Institution affiliate offers visitors a comprehensive Memphis music experience. With the help of an audio guide, travelers can explore seven galleries featuring more than 30 instruments, 40 costumes and 100 songs.

Recent visitors said this museum helps put Memphis' musical history in context and said the "sound comes alive" thanks to the variety of artifacts and details on display here. Some were a little unimpressed with its size and said they expected more considering it's affiliated with Smithsonian. Still, even with its relatively small size, travelers found the museum fascinating. And with its central location on Beale Street, you can easily swing by some of the city's other top attractions before or after your museum visit.

You'll find the museum in downtown Memphis on Beale Street, across from the Gibson Guitar store. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (the last tour takes place at 6:15 p.m.). Admission costs $12.50 for adults and $9.50 for visitors ages 5 to 17. Kids 4 and younger get in free. The complimentary Sun Studio Shuttle, which runs seven days a week, picks up and drops off hourly from the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Graceland, Sun Studio and Heartbreak Hotel. For more information, visit the museum's website.

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#1 National Civil Rights Museum - Lorraine Motel Recent travelers agreed the National Civil Rights Museum should be at the top of anyone's list of things to see in Memphis. Housed in the Lorraine Motel where Martin ... Read more » Brand USA / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

#2 Stax Museum of American Soul Music Sitting on the original site of the Stax Records studio, this museum commemorates the musicians who recorded in this legendary space, as well as other American soul legends. Among the ... Read more » Ronnie Booze / Stax Museum of American Soul Music

#3 Sun Studio Often referred to as the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, Sun Studio is a must-see for music aficionados. Former owner Sam Phillips helped launch many a music career, including that ... Read more » Alex Shansky / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

#4 Graceland With this city's strong musical identity, there's no question as to why Elvis Presley chose Memphis as his kingdom. Graceland, located approximately 10 miles south of downtown Memphis ... Read more » Clay Larsen / Flickr

#5 Peabody Ducks 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 ... Read more » Lance Murphey / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

#6 Beale Street 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 ... Read more » Benedek / Getty Images

#7 Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art At 24,000 square feet, the Belz Museum displays more than 1,400 objects across five permanent galleries. Three of these house Asian art, much of which dates back to ... Read more » Steve Roberts / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

#8 Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum If you're a fan of soul music or rock 'n' roll and want to learn more about how Memphis played a part in the roots of these genres, you ... Read more » Phillip Parker / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

#9 Memphis Zoo The Memphis Zoo's hieroglyphics-clad entryway leads to a primate habitat, bear and wolf enclosures in the Teton Trek, a nocturnal animal exhibit, a vast big cat area and the ... Read more » Gert-Jan Mes / Getty Images

#10 Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum You'll get a different perspective of Memphis history if you spend some time at the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, which draws visitors back to the pre-Civil War era ... Read more » Baxter Buck / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

# AutoZone Park Read more » Craig Thompson / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

# Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid Read more » Bass Pro Shops Media Center

# Crystal Shrine Grotto Read more » Victor Chapa / Flickr

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Housed in the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, the National Civil Rights Museum features multimedia presentations on the civil rights movement. Brand USA / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

This museum commemorates the musicians who recorded at the legendary Stax Records studio, as well as other American soul legends. Ronnie Booze / Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Sun Studio is a must-see for music fans visiting Memphis.  Alex Shansky / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

Graceland is one of the most-visited private homes in America. Clay Larsen / Flickr

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A visit to electrifying Beale Street is a must on your trip to Memphis.  Benedek / Getty Images

Fans of Asian and Judaic art will love the Belz Museum Steve Roberts / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

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A tiger beats the Memphis heat in his enclosure. Bears, wolves and more can also be seen at the Memphis Zoo Gert-Jan Mes / Getty Images

The Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum features tunnels, trap doors and artifacts used in the Underground Railroad.  Baxter Buck / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

AutoZone Park is home turf for the city's minor league baseball team, the Memphis Redbirds. During the season, locals and travelers recommend catching a game here. Craig Thompson / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Pyramid is no ordinary Bass Pro Shops store. Visitors will be greeted by a massive cypress swamp with alligators, a wilderness hotel called Big Cypress Lodge, an underwater-themed bowling alley and a restaurant with a glass-floored, 32-story observation deck overlooking downtown Memphis and the Mississippi River. Bass Pro Shops Media Center

If you're looking for a quirky trip off the beaten path, consider a visit to the Crystal Shrine Grotto. This 1930s-era manmade crystal cavern is located in the Memorial Park Cemetery and features a series of biblical scenes and psychadelic stonework.  Victor Chapa / Flickr

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