Memphis Zoo#9 in Best Things To Do in Memphis
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 Zambezi River Hippo Camp, among other exhibits. All in all, you can observe approximately 3,500 animals – including the ever-popular giant pandas, Ya Ya and Le Le – in environments designed to mimic their natural habitats. The zoo spans 70 acres, but recent visitors said it's well-organized and visibility of the animals is great. Little legs should have no trouble navigating the grounds, and lectures on the zoo's furry friends prove entertaining for all ages.
Travelers who recently paid a visit to the zoo said it was hit, especially with young kids. To beat the crowds (and the heat, if it's summer), reviewers recommended getting to the zoo in the morning. The zoo does offer an on-site cafe and several food stands throughout the facility, but recent visitors said the food is overpriced and not satisfying. If you can, try to pack a picnic or plan to eat at nearby Overton Square after your visit.
Located in Overton Park in Midtown Memphis, the Memphis Zoo is open daily, though hours vary by season. General admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and $10 for children ages 2 to 11. Parking is an additional $5. A complete schedule of events can be found on the zoo'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 Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, the museum features multimedia presentations on the civil rights movement. With the help of 260 artifacts, more than 40 films, oral histories, interactive media and external listening posts, visitors are guided through five centuries of history. During your self-guided tour, you'll view artifacts paramount to the movement, such as a Greyhound bus ridden by Freedom Riders. You'll also have the chance to see King's motel room, where he spent his final hours.
Reviewers described the museum as "surreal" and "incredbily moving." They went on to note the staging of the exhibits is "top-notch" and said the museum helped put seminal events of the period into context for a better overall understanding of the movement. Visitors should budget at least two to three hours to tour the entire facility.
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