“Home of the blues”
The music and entertainment pulse of downtown Memphis, Beale Street at the turn of the 20th century served as a haven for African Americans migrating from small towns. Legendary greats such as W.C. Handy, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, Willie Mitchell and Isaac Hayes have showcased their talents on Beale. Beale Street offers three blocks of nightclubs, specialty shops, galleries and restaurants. For over 150 years, Beale Street has hosted blues music and entertainment. Beale played a pivotal role in branding Memphis as one of the most musically rich cities in the world, and was prominent in hosting some of the first black business owners in the south. In between, the street was host to the birth of blues music, the civil rights movement, rock 'n’ roll, racks of ribs and bands. As thousands of bands, fans, major blues players, entertainers and reporters (including the American blues scene) descend on Beale, the street once again takes a party atmosphere as only the blues can provide, colliding a searing helping of original Memphis soul with dozens of different styles, takes and interpretations of hundreds of artist’s blues music and dedication. Most of the buildings that exist on Beale are the same buildings that have been frequented by the great many music lovers and great musicians that came in the 100 years before, providing a proprietary sense of history to the legendary street.
Better than Bourbon Street! More authentic feel and less of a corporate vibe, with marvelous local and international acts at a variety of venues that have an aged patina that only history can create. This is the heart of the Blues scene with some great rockabilly thrown in, too There's always plenty to do, shop, see, hear, drink and eat. Our favorite destination spot. Hit up Bourbon Street in NOLA or Broadway in Nashville, BEFORE you come here, because afterward they'll pale in comparison!!
A local person recommended this place. I was expecting close to a pier 39 feel or an old Sacramento vibe but blues themed (pardon me, we’re from cali). I was disappointed that this place is pretty much a normal street in San Francisco. If you like that, that’s awesome..for me? I don’t want to see people begging you for money every 5 feet that make more than me in a day or week. One person sees you give money and the rest latch on like piranhas (it’s the same in San Francisco). It was trashy and barely anything was going on. Maybe we were here too early in the day but I would not label this as “family friendly “ by any stretch. We were planning to move close to here and I don’t ever really want to come back.
Really cool street!! Great music, fun unique stores, and the food.. oh, my gosh. The food is amazing! It made me want to move to Memphis! Loved Beale Street.
So much fun! The only thing I can say is I have to go again... Without the grand littles! I could sit and listen to the music all day!
Nasty Dirty . We kept driving!
Charge $5 just to walk the street, and the security is gestapo-like. Southern hospitality? … my arse.
This area is very close to the Lorraine Hotel and National Civil Rights Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. We arrived early and were able to park at the parking lot for the Lorraine Motel and walk to Beale Street. It was very clean, and fun to look at all the lit up signs there. We were able to take many pictures.
Well zero starts are not an option! Not at all what we expected. BE AWARE! Parking is very expensive, and they use signs for a small lot that is a per day rate but when you get into the lot the prices are by the hour and much higher. You must guess how long you want to park and prepay there are signs everywhen stating if you are late, you will receive a ticket. Nothing about this place is family friendly. Their big arena has doors that empty on to Beale Street. It is only open to foot traffic, but they allow store owners to park in the street, so you still must look for moving vehicles and cars are parked all over. The area is dirty, full of questionable businesses or boarded up storefronts. The stores all had plexiglass windows that were dirty and scratched to the point you could see in or tell if they were open or closed. The buildings housed mostly bars or small stores selling dollar store souvenirs way overpriced. Every store had signs for no public restrooms, or they charged to use the restrooms but there were no public restrooms anywhere in the area. Every store we went into either smelled like marijuana, the worker was clearly high, or they sold merchandise dealing with marijuana and had swear words. We never felt safe. We were followed by a group of young men that made us very uncomfortable and continued to circle back every time we stopped. They were visibly high and smelled like a skunk! Every person we spoke to pointed out we were from out of town and traveling and it was not in a friendly chatting way it was like they were trying to find out something, targeting out of towners. We felt very uncomfortable. It is not a place we will ever visit again. We felt this uneasy, and we were there on a week day in the afternoon. We can only imagine what it is like when a sporting event is happening.
A MUST SEE if you’re in Memphis! Not all that big but full of music, good, and drinks - quite the experience
Great to drive thru early in the morning to see the strip with kids. Very quite and lots of free parking and picture opts
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Beale Street Historic District
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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Good for Partiers and Cultural travelers. Has a Energetic vibe.
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