Memphis is the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock 'n roll, but Bluff City also has a pretty bizarre side. This Ultimate Offbeat Guide to Memphis will send you on an adventure to modern day pyramids, duck parades, and strange relics of the past.
1 Bass Pro Drive, Memphis, TN, US
Memphis loves ancient Egyptian motifs, which makes sense, since their city was named after a settlement in Egypt, so naturally, they built themselves a pyramid. The world's 10th largest, in fact.
Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid houses the largest collection of hunting equipment in the world, has a shooting range, an archery range, laser tag, a saltwater aquarium, a hotel, several restaurants and bars, and even a bowling alley. Seriously, this place is staggeringly strange and amazing.
Tips: For $10 you can take an elevator up to the tippy-top of the pyramid and look out over the city!
2000 Prentiss Place, Memphis, TN, US
118 Adams Ave (Memphis Firefighters Ave), Memphis, TN, US
One of Memphis' turn-of-the-century firehouses, Fire Engine House No. 1 is now an interactive museum dedicated to the proud history of the men who risk their lives fighting flames.
Inside the Fire Museum, you'll get an up-close look at what it took to battle raging fires throughout history, including a look at the horse-drawn era.. from the horse's perspective!
Other exhibits will put you in the shoes of a firefighter battling a skyscraper blaze from a snorkel basket, an interactive maze that challenges your ability to survive a fire, and even a room that simulates the heat from a burning building.
5668 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN, US
In 1938, Mexican artist Dionicio Rodriguez dug a 60-foot-deep cave in Memphis' Memorial Park Cemetery and filled it with 5 tons of crystal. The result? The Crystal Shrine Grotto, one of the weirdest attractions in the entire city.
The entrance to the cave is hidden inside a massive tree trunk, but once you're inside, you'll find more than just a boatload of sparkly crystals-- along the walls, there are several shrines which tell the life story of Jesus. The whole thing has a really quirky folk-art feel that's more reminiscent of the positives in life than a morbid reflection on mortality-- definitely nothing like your average graveyard!
Tips: There's no charge to enter the Crystal Shrine. If you're having trouble finding it, just listen for the ethereal music that pours from the cave opening.
3050 Central Ave, Memphis, TN, US
Mt Moriah Rd & Park Ave, Memphis, TN, US
2080 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN, US
750 Cherry Road, Memphis, TN, US
119 S Main St, Memphis, TN, US
149 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN, US
The crown jewel of Memphis' lodging options, the historic Peabody Hotel isn't just a Forbes Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond luxury destination.. it's also pretty weird in its own right.
But forget about the history and luxe accommodations; it's the ducks that get all the attention here.
Every single day, a parade of ducks leave their home on the hotel's roof, ride the elevator downstairs, and march to the enormous travertine marble fountain in the lobby, where they spend some time taking a dip. It's a tradition that dates back to 1933, and even has even necessitated the creation of a "Duckmaster" position, the only of it's kind in the world.
Tips: The Peabody Ducks parade can be watched at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., even if you haven't booked a room here.
3734 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN, US
It's not a visit to Memphis without a stop at Graceland, home of The King himself.
One of the top tourist destinations in all America, Graceland has given Elvis fans a glimpse into his life and, well, interesting design ideas. Tour the house with its bizarre themed rooms like the Jungle Room and get lost in the unbelievable amount of Rock & Roll memorabilia displayed on the grounds.
Tip: Even if you don't want to pop for the tour, you can visit the final resting place of The King for free, every morning from 7:30-8:30, when Graceland allows walk-up visitors into the Meditation Garden.
8257 Goodman Rd, Olive Branch, MS, US
374 Metal Museum Dr, Memphis, TN, US
As the only institution in the country devoted exclusively to the advancement of the art and craft of fine metalwork, the Metal Museum houses regular exhibitions featuring everything from beautiful ornamental gates to hand-made blades, and even offers hands-on metalworking demonstrations from masters of the craft.
Tips: Don't leave without visiting the gift shop. They have tons of really unique hand-made jewelry and ornamental metalwork usually reserved for art galleries.
Bring a lunch and have a seat at the gazebo which overlooks the Mississippi. You can't beat the view.
251 S. Riverside Drive, Memphis, TN, US
163 Beale St, Memphis, TN, US
If you've ever wanted to travel back in time, A. Schwab's is about the closest you can get. This beloved Memphis staple is the only original business remaining on Beale Street, and it looks pretty much as it did nearly a century ago.
One part museum and one part general store, A. Schwab's isn't just a place where you can buy, hands down, the most authentic Memphis merchandise, it's also a place where you can saddle up to a classic soda fountain serving period-appropriate grub like pickled watermelon rinds and corn cob jelly. Trust me, it's all way tastier than it sounds.
Tip: The malt bar in the back of the shop serves alcoholic milkshakes. You're welcome.
672-92 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN, US
2000 N Parkway, Memphis, TN, US
4339 Park Ave, Memphis, TN, US
Memphis might be the home of The Blues, but with incredible sights like duck parades, crystal grottos, beer-drinking goats, and crazy beauty-shops-turned-fine-dining-restaurants, the blues is one thing you won't have while you're adventuring in the Bluff City.