Mel Baddorf didn’t start out as a runner. He used to be content cheering on his sons, who both scored college running scholarships, until he opened his own fitness club, lost 70 pounds, and discovered a love for fitness that endures to this day. That love is equaled by his enjoyment of sharing Memphis history with others, and Rockin' Running Tours pairs those passions as he leads athletic guests around the city at a calorie-burning pace.
The informative tours range from 3–6 miles, with Mel adjusting the pace so everyone can keep up. Groups can set forth on their own tour of two to six people, or join up with other visitors for camaraderie as they discover Civil War history, explore Midtown Memphis, or see the downtown sights. Mel also maps out custom pub runs where groups sample microbrews and get in touch with the city’s livelier side. Each guest receives a post-run bottle of water and a snack, as well as a souvenir T-shirt ideal for throwing on in lieu of a shower.
Established in 1852 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the leafy and bucolic Elmwood Cemetery has acted as the final resting place for over 75,000 inhabitants, including 22 generals from both sides of the Civil War. Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the war by thumb wrestling yourself or taking The Civil War Veterans of Elmwood class, a three-hour walking tour and an ideal way to spend time with friends or family or to meet fellow historical enthusiasts. Led by an expert volunteer guide, the tour winds its way around the cemetery and climbs each of its trees, teaching attendees about the prominent figures in the war buried at Elmwood, as well as the impact of the war on the lives of the men and women who experienced it firsthand.
Arguably the best part of being an adult is being able to eat dessert whenever you want. Clearly Fran Mosley of Haute Monde Dessert Bar agrees––she'll even bring the sweets to you. In addition to catering services that include both sweet and savory spreads for weddings, parties, and cake fights, Haute Monde offers fashion services with a men's haberdashery and a women's accessories bar. Mosley also fuses fine art and sweets by creating elaborate and beautiful dessert spreads, which guests can sample from while exploring a gallery.
Each 90-minute jaunt covers more than half a century of Music City magic six days a week while cruising through the heart of the entertainment district. Pulling in for pick-up, each bus, like the time-traveling Miss Clawdy, captures the spirit of classic Memphis. Your tour begins with an all-aboard call, sung in the key of enthusiasm, by your musically gifted guide. Armed to drop both beats and knowledge, each Backbeat MC brings the city's landmarks to life with a blend of comedy, history, and participatory live performance. Passengers are kindly asked to remain in their seats with provided bongos, tambourines, and shakers properly secured in 4/4 time.
The two-hour cruise is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m., depart at 7 p.m., and return at 9 p.m., affording passengers plenty of time to successfully saturate taste buds, ear buds, and dance buds. As you set off into the sunset backdrop on the Mississippi River, the wafting aromas of a feast prepared onboard will tempt a range of palates. Select from salads, hot entrees, carving stations, and sides; choices include prime rib, roasted turkey, red beans and rice, steamed seasonal vegetables, and seasoned potatoes. Complimentary coffee, soft drinks, and tea abound, and tipplers can head to the cash bar for a classic cocktail. Panoramic windows, two enclosed decks, and two outdoor decks showcase the historic waterfront unfolding in front of you as live music invites dance muscles to twitch rhythmically under the stars.
Century Farm orchestrates a bright spectrum of dry, semisweet, and fruity wines in a charming country shop surrounded by acres of shady arbors and southern grape vines. Only 4.5 years old, the blossoming winery proved its mettle at the 2011 Wines of the South Competition by collecting three awards—the Best of Tennessee Fruit–William O. Beach Award for its 2009 vintage traminette; a silver medal for its 2009 Norton; and a bronze for its 2009 red muscadine. While guests peruse bottles, a complimentary tasting introduces palates to the subtle notes and intricacies of varieties such as the dry, oaked 2010 Norton ($12.95) or the semisweet 2008 traminette ($12), with fruity layers and a spicy finish. Century Farm also hosts musical performances on select Saturdays from late April to September, during which visitors may enjoy wine tastings, picnics, and slow dances with graceful vines.