The International Rock-A-Billy Hall of Fame entertains and informs music buffs with one of the genre's only existing video libraries, along with 16 life-size oil paintings and scores of rock relics. Tour guide Henry Harrison schools guests on rockabilly music's greatest entertainers, revealing quirky facts and long-division problems that lend insight into the lives of luminaries such as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and others. Listen as pompadoured performers tell tales of making music history through the hall of fame's video library, or view vibrant portraits of legends such as Sam Phillips and Shelby Singleton, the only owners of historic Sun Records. Peruse obscure artifacts from concerts and stage costumes, or model next year's yard display after the museum's Christmas-themed replica of Graceland. In addition to its interior exhibits, the Rock-A-Billy Hall of Fame boasts vibrant exterior murals depicting Perkins and his original band, Sir Paul McCartney, and unruly mobs of teenagers trying to request the stars' e-mail addresses.
Dedicated to the legendary train engineer, Casey Jones Village features shops, attractions, and a museum rife with artifacts and anecdotes about Jackson's railroad history. Three authentic railcars are displayed prominently as mainstays from a different era, and children are encouraged to climb up on the engine and ring the train bell. A short film detailing the life of Casey Jones plays in the museum's theater, and a children's area entreats kids with wooden train sets so they can imagine they're piloting the first locomotive to shoot missiles at Saturn. After viewing the museum's offerings, guests can engage in other village attractions, such as mini golf, woodcarving demonstrations, and traditional treats at the antique-laden Brooke Shaw's Old Country Store. Before leaving, visitors can nosh on old-fashioned milk shakes and ice-cream sodas at the 1890s-inspired Ice Cream Parlor and Fudge Shoppe, voted one of the best 50 ice-cream parlors in the country by USA Today.
Century Farm orchestrates a bright spectrum of dry wines, semisweet wines, and fruit 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.
There are no roads in the sky—just clouds and the floating mansions of America's billionaires. Similarly, Downtown Aviation's flying lessons don't follow one set pathway to pilot certification. Using FAA-approved materials, the school's certified flight instructors can teach a fast-paced course or follow a more casual lesson plan. But the endpoint remains the same: a student, private, or sport certificate.
One of the most exciting moments during training occurs approximately 20–25 hours into instruction, when students take the controls for their first solo flight. As they soar over Memphis or Olive Branch, taking in bird's eye views through the cockpit windshield, some may feel inspired to pursue flying as a career. Luckily, they won't have to look for a new school. Downtown Aviation's faculty trains pilots for their commercial certificates and airline transport pilot licenses. The staff can also maintain pilots' aircrafts at their Cessna-certified service center.
At Blue Suede Ballroom, a team of world-class dance instructors helps to guide students across dance floors with Latin and ballroom techniques including salsa, swing, and tango. During three tiers of group lessons, instructors use repetition to encode the muscle memory dancers need to move gracefully while conversing or reciting pi to 100 places. The individual attention of private lessons allows students to learn at their own pace as they explore unfamiliar techniques or work out the kinks in their favorite maneuvers. Students as young as 10 may take lessons at the studio, developing moves that can wow their peers at school dances without resorting to shooting soda from their noses.
Blue Suede Ballroom regularly hosts open dance parties, venues for showing off techniques learned in American rhythm, American smooth, international Latin, and international standard classes.
Elmwood Cemetery, established before the Civil War in 1852, stands firmly on the National Register of Historic Places. The land is not only a cemetery, but an arboretum and bird sanctuary, home to one of the major preserves of old forest growth left in the developed metropolis of modern Memphis. With today's deal, you'll get a guided 90-minute tour of Elmwood's numerous landmarks and spaces of beauty and peanut butter contemplation. Gander at Phillips Cottage, the visitor center that dates back to 1866, and pause before the graves of numerous veterans of the Revolutionary and Civil wars. Your friendly docent will regale you with tales of the city fathers, early majors, everyday citizens, and citizen bears of early Memphis as you pass beneath the shade of maples, ginkgos, crape myrtles, and bountiful fruit trees. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or an aspiring member of the Guild of Funerary Violinists, you'll find something to appreciate on a tour of Elmwood Cemetery.