Sun Studio#3 in Best Things To Do in Memphis
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 of Elvis, B.B. King, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash. In recent years, the studio has been used by artists like Justin Townes Earle, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and The Walkmen, among others. On your guided tour, you'll hear stories about the legendary musicians who recorded here, listen to unreleased tracks and see memorabilia from the studio's heyday.
Recent visitors said Sun Studio is everything Graceland is not: authentic, personal and quirky. Reviewers said the tour guides were knowledgeable and entertaining, with many calling the experience "moving" and even "spine-tingling." Since this is such a popular attraction, travelers recommend arriving as soon as the studio opens to avoid having to wait for a tour spot. All tickets are booked in person on the day of the tour, though you can purchase a prepaid voucher online to be exchanged for a ticket upon your arrival at the studio. Note that prepaying online will not guarantee you a spot on a specific tour, and you'll need to budget at least two weeks to receive your voucher in the mail.
Located in downtown Memphis, Sun Studio is open to visitors seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. and guided tours are given at the bottom half of every hour, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tours last approximately 40 to 50 minutes. Admission costs $14 for adults and $12 for students, military and AAA members. Children ages 5 to 11 get in free; children younger than 5 years old are not permitted on the tour. There is also free parking and a gift shop on the premises, and free shuttles will cart you to and from Graceland and the Rock 'n' Soul museum on Beale Street. The first half of the tour is not wheelchair accessible, which may be problematic for some guests. For more information, check out Sun Studio's website.
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