Peabody Ducks#5 in Best Things To Do in Memphis
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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#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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