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.
Graceland Mansion, the 14-acre estate of Elvis Presley and a National Historic Landmark, mesmerizes tour-goers with the king’s untouched digs, glitzy duds, six museums, and exhibits. The three-hour Graceland Platinum Tour features Elvis's famed Jungle Room with indoor waterfall, music room, and more. The rest of the tour is self-guided and includes stops at Elvis’s two custom jets and the automobile museum housing more than 33 sets of wheels, including the legendary pink Cadillac, a 1975 Dino Ferrari, and the movie-starring red MG from Blue Hawaii. Explore the Elvis Presley: Fashion King exhibit showcasing the king’s handmade shirts, glittery getup, and collection of early 1950's MP3 players, and three special exhibits— Elvis Lives: The King and Pop Culture, ’68 Special, and Elvis in the News —which document decades of Elvis’s history and rise to stardom with interactive elements.
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.
In the pre-computer age, wagons and trucks loaded with cotton samples once flooded Front Street, where cotton traders graded, bought, sold, and shipped their wares on the floor of the private Memphis Cotton Exchange. Formerly off-limits to everyone but members and their guests, the restored 3,000-square-foot room—adorned with ornate architectural flourishes from 1924 and a 30-foot ceiling—opened to the public as The Cotton Museum in 2006. Through documentary films and exhibits, the institution traces the history of the exchange and the impact of cotton on culture and society. The museum's oral-history project collects testimonials from merchants, mill workers, and sharecroppers, and its hall of fame honors innovative industry leaders who turned to cotton after unsuccessful attempts at lassoing clouds. Outside, a 30-minute self-guided walking tour highlights nine historical stops around Front Street, whereas the Exploration Hall's interactive indoor exhibit, The Changing World of Cotton, describes industry advances in mechanization and environmental sustainability.
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.