Signature City Memphis: Magic on the Mississippi
Learn the unique story of Memphis, from its blues and rock ’n’ roll to its National Civil Rights Museum, from the role of the Mississippi River to artistry of antebellum architecture.
Rating (4.83)
Program No. 12347RJ
6 days
Starts at
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
6 days
5 nights
12 meals
5 B 3 L 4 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Memphis, TN
Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis - Beale Street

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the lobby area conference room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At a local restaurant on the historic Beale Street, we will enjoy a barbeque dinner, with coffee, tea, water, along with live music; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

Danny Thomas, Botanical Gardens, Pink Palace
Memphis, TN
Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis - Beale Street

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Minimal walking on paved and unpaved/uneven surfaces in the Botanical Gardens, Danny Thomas Pavilion and Pink Palace.

Breakfast: In the hotel lobby, we will enjoy a buffet breakfast, featuring hot and cold dishes, plus coffee, tea, water.

Morning: This morning we will travel by motorcoach local expert to the Danny Thomas Pavilion to learn about the life of Danny Thomas, the history of ALSAC (American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities), and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, located on the campus of St. Jude. The architecturally-unique building contains memorabilia of late entertainer Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude, including entertainment and humanitarian awards and honors like his Congressional Gold Medal. We will then ride to the Memphis Botanical Gardens for a guided field trip with an expert from the garden to see the three working greenhouses onsite, as well as many orchids and a renowned cactus collection.

Lunch: At the restaurant at the botanical gardens, we will enjoy a plated lunch featuring soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will ride by motorcoach to the Pink Palace Museum, one of the largest scientific and historical facilities of its kind in the Southeast. We will explore a replica of the first self-service grocery store in the country, Clarence Saunders' Piggly Wiggly, as well as the cultural and natural history of the Mid-South through exciting exhibits, dioramas, and audio-visuals. We will be able to trace Memphis' development from the time of Spanish explorers through the Civil War and the yellow fever epidemics of the 1870s. We’ll learn from a self-guided exploration of the award-winning medical exhibit how healthcare grew to be Memphis' largest industry. We will then return to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner is on your own tonight.

Evening: After dinner, we'll meet back at the hotel to see a special film on the early years of Elvis Presley in the conference room, with an introduction from our group leader.

Beale St History, Beethoven Club, Belz Museum, Rock & Soul
Memphis, TN
Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis - Beale Street

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach to Beethoven Club. Minimal walking through Beale St/downtown area.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will enjoy a private session with a local expert who will talk about Beale Street and the Memphis music scene. Next, we will ride to the Beethoven Club, a local musical institution, where our expert will discuss music history and perform examples of Memphis styles of music. We’ll clap and sing along to old time favorites while learning about syncopation.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will meet in the hotel lobby to walk to the Belz Museum with our leader. The museums collection is based on the private collection of Memphis developers Jack and Marilyn Belz, who owned the Peabody Hotel and Peabody Place. The Belz features over 1,000 objects, including works of jade, tapestries, furniture, carvings, and other historical and artistic objects. The museum also houses one of the finest collections of pieces from the Qing dynasty. After visiting the Belz, you may use your voucher to visit the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the first museum ever jointly developed by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of American History. Debuted in August 2004, it came out of a traveling exhibition on the roots of uniquely American music in the South, from “field hollers” to work songs, blues, country, and gospel. These more countrified forms gradually met and mingled with their urban cousins: blues, jazz, and what became rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, rhythm and blues, and soul music.. It charts the story of a field of music that has had a tremendous impact on popular culture and lifestyles from the mid-20th Century through today. It also documents the story of musical pioneers who overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create music that changed our world. The museum’s digital audio guide lets us move at our own pace on a self-guided visit through seven galleries of audio-visual programs, instruments, costumes, other musical treasures, and more than 300 minutes of information including more than 100 songs.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated dinner, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

Mighty Mississippi, Sun Studio, Graceland
Memphis, TN
Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis - Beale Street

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach to Sun Studio and Graceland. Minimal walking on some uneven terrain at Graceland.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning, in the hotel we will learn about the mighty Mississippi River from our group leader, the chief river of the largest drainage system in North America that flows 2,530 miles from northern Minnesota south to the Gulf of Mexico. We’ll learn about its role in the growth of Memphis and the nation as a whole. Afterwards, we will take the motorcoach to Sun Studio, a recording studio opened by rock pioneer Sam Phillips in 1950 and claimed to be the birthplace of rock ‘n roll. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and many more made their name here through the ‘50s.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated dinner, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will then take a field trip by motorcoach to the 14-acre estate Graceland that was the home of Elvis Presley, now a virtual shrine, with museums, films, and exhibits for a unique glimpse into the life and times of The King. We’ll explore Graceland Mansion on our own and see his personal mementos and gold and platinum awards.

Dinner: PERFORMANCE: B.B. King's Blues Club. The house band is B.B. King’s All Stars, and guest musicians include some of the best in the business for one of the most diverse, sophisticated lineups of modern blues and R&B in Memphis — a good show every night of the week. Feel free to jump up and dance or sit back and relax. This is the real deal! Then go out and hear music up and down Beale Street on your own.

Evening: After dinner, we will enjoy great live music on world-famous Beale Street before returning to the hotel.

National Civil Rights Museum, Stax Museum
Memphis, TN
Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis - Beale Street

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach to the National Civil Rights Museum and Stax Museum. Minimal walking through downtown area.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After breakfast, we will travel by motor coach to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Enjoy a self-guided tour of one of the few museums dedicated to soul music. Along with classic Stax artists like Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Booker T and the MGs, Isaac Hayes, and the Staple Singers, the museum also celebrates the legacy of soul artists from Motown and other labels. We will learn about the gospel roots of soul from a carefully reassembled c.1906 Mississippi Delta church and dance along to Soul Train videos on the Express Yourself dancefloor.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated lunch, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will travel by motorcoach to the National Civil Rights Museum, a privately-owned complex of museums and historic buildings built around the former Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. We’ll follow a timeline that charts the course of events around the assassination and the impact and legacy of the civil rights movement.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Enjoy each other's company on your last night in Memphis!

Program Concludes
Memphis, TN

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback