National Civil Rights Museum

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National Civil Rights Museum: Our most recommended tours and activities

Memphis: Big Mojo Sun Studio + Music History 3-Hour Bus Tour

1. Memphis: Big Mojo Sun Studio + Music History 3-Hour Bus Tour

Go behind the scenes at Sun Studio and let the Home of the Blues come alive on a city tour aboard the nation's only music bus. All of the guides on this tour are professional Beale Street musicians who will play and sing selections from the city's rich musical heritage, while entertaining you with comedy, history, and stories about your favorite Memphis personalities. Along the way, you will see Sun Studio, Beale Street, Stax Studio, the Lorraine Motel, Cotton Row, Peabody Hotel, Overton Park, Historic Central Gardens, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and the early homes of Elvis, B.B. King, and Johnny Cash. Enjoy an exciting introduction to Memphis on an action-packed drive through the city. It's great fun for all ages; let loose and sing along as much or as little as you like.

Memphis: City Discovery Bus Tour

2. Memphis: City Discovery Bus Tour

Get the complete Memphis experience on this bus tour with an introduction to everything that makes Memphis unique. Discover the renowned Beale Street, the Peabody Hotel, sample food at Central BBQ, and visit Rock 'n' Soul Museum or Edge Motor Museum (if option selected). Among other highlights, you’ll visit the Lorraine Motel to see the balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his last moments. If you choose, explore either the exhibitions at the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum or Edge Motor Museum, and Beale Street to discover how it became the "home of the Blues". Pass by some favorite Memphis sights, including the Victorian Village, Orpheum Theater, historic Cotton Row, and Hotel Chisca, where DJ Dewey Philips played Elvis for the first time.   At lunchtime, stop into Central BBQ to sample some of the best barbeque food in Memphis.

Memphis: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

3. Memphis: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Discover the best of Memphis on this hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour with 9 stops and unlimited rides during the duration of your tour pass. Explore the city's monuments, historical attractions, and popular spots in the most flexible and enjoyable way. Visit highlights of the city such as the Blues Hall of Fame, Graceland, the Stax Museum, Sun Studio, the Memphis Pyramid, and more. Find everything from kid-friendly attractions such as the Peabody Hotel to more historical spots such as the National Civil Rights Museum. Adapt your day along the route and based on your interests. Enjoy the convenience of buses passing through the stops every 90 minutes. If you prefer, remain on the bus tour for the entire loop, listening to the informative audio commentary on board. Stops along the hop-on hop-off bus route include: • Ticket Booth/Hard Rock Cafe• National Civil Rights Museum/Blues Hall of Fame• Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum/B.B. King's Blues Club• Stax Museum of American Soul Music• Graceland• Sun Studio• Auto Zone Park/Peabody Hotel• Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid• Tennessee Welcome Center

Memphis: Mojo Music History 90-Minute Bus Tour

4. Memphis: Mojo Music History 90-Minute Bus Tour

Experience how Memphis, The Home of the Blues, comes alive on a city tour aboard the nation's only music bus. Travel with a professional Beale Street musician as your guide who will play and sing selections from the city's rich musical heritage as you cruise through the city. Be entertained with comedy, history, and behind-the-scenes stories of your favorite Memphis personalities along the way. Pass by famous landmarks in music history such as Sun Studio, Beale Street, Stax Studio, The Lorraine Motel, Cotton Row, Peabody Hotel, Overton Park, Historic Central Gardens, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and the Early homes of Elvis, B. B. King, and Johnny Cash. Receive an exciting introduction to Memphis on this action-packed drive through the city which is great fun for all ages.

Memphis: Rock 'n' Soul Museum with Audio Tour

5. Memphis: Rock 'n' Soul Museum with Audio Tour

Experience an exhibition about the birth of rock and soul music and a comprehensive Memphis music experience. Learn about the rural field hollers and sharecroppers of the 1930s, through the explosion of Sun, Stax and Hi Records and Memphis’ musical heyday in the 70s, to its global musical influence. The museum’s digital audio tour guide is packed with over 300 minutes of information, including over 100 songs, and takes visitors at their own pace through 7 galleries featuring 3 audiovisual programs, more than 30 instruments, 40 costumes, and other musical treasures. This tour is a cant-miss for fans of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Al Green, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, The BarKays, and others. Informational booklets are available in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese.

Memphis: Black History Self-Drive Tour

6. Memphis: Black History Self-Drive Tour

Experience Memphis in a new way on this innovative driving tour. You will not only see sites connected to the struggles and triumphs of African Americans in Memphis but also hear the stories that will help connect the dots often not taught in school. Your journey will begin down by the Mississippi River where the city began. Hear the story of how this city was given the name Memphis. You will see sights connected to slavery, the Underground Railroad, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, and Memphis Music. Learn how the now world famous Beale Street was once known as the Negro Main Street USA. See the "shotgun" home where the Father of the Blues once lived. Not far from there is a church built in the late 1800's by freed people. It is still an active church today and is one of the oldest African American congregations in the city. The National Civil Rights Museum is visible on the route. This museum is the site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968. Drive through the neighborhoods of Downtown, Uptown, Pinch, South City, Soulsville USA, and the Edge District. Significantly, the church where Dr. King gave his famous, last and prophetic speech, "I've Been To The Mountain Top" less than 24 hours before he was assassinated will also be seen from your vehicle.

Other Sightseeing Options in National Civil Rights Museum

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What people are saying about National Civil Rights Museum

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 25 reviews

Our guide, Canada was excellent. Provided lots of interesting information. The sound system was excellent especially for those with hearing issues. The music played along with the videos really brought the narrative to life. It was a rainy day but that did not dampen the experience. We rode the entire route first then decided where to get off when the weather cleared. We hopped off in several places, had lunch and got back on. Well worth the cost and we have done such tours in DC, NYC and Charleston, NC and liked all of them. Great way to get a brief view of a city. Highly recommend.

Great trip with knowledgeable tour guide. Great balance of music and discussion. Although I've lived here 54 years, I learned things and saw places I knew existed but hadn't seen before. Easy access to bus at Alfred's, so worked well to have lunch there first and then the tour.

Our singer was Indiana and she was awesome. Got the whole bus singing, and I’m not one to sing. She was very engaging and informative and made the tour a blast! Wish i had the drivers name because she was pretty cool and could use a shoutout. Keep up the great work guys!

If you love rock and roll history and you love singing and learning about the origin of the old tunes, you’ll love this tour. Got to see the highlights of old Memphis, it’s early beginnings and stand in the presence of the greats.

Great whistle stop tour of the city and history of the music legends from Memphis. We loved Indiana who had an amazing voice and personality - we even saw her at BB King’s Blues Club later on (her recommendation!).