Sandhill Crane Migration

Sandhill Crane Migration

Sandhill cranes have been around since the Eocene period, making them one of the oldest living bird species in the world. They are also one of the most widespread, with a range that extends from Alaska to Central America. The Sandhill Crane of North America has not changed in ten million years, indicating their importance and resilience as a species.

All About Sand Cranes in Nebraska

An estimated 200,000 Sandhill Cranes visit Nebraska every year during their migration period. They are most commonly seen in the Platte River Valley and surrounding areas of Nebraska. The Platte River in Nebraska is one of the best places in the world to view Sandhill Cranes during their annual migration. The peak viewing times are usually around dawn and sunset when the cranes are most active. However, it is important to note that there is a very short time frame—usually only a few weeks—during which you can see this amazing spectacle.

Sandhill Cranes are a beautiful and majestic sight to behold. They can be found all over the world, but there is something truly special about witnessing their migration in Nebraska. This article will tell you everything you need to know about Sandhill Cranes, including where to find them and when to see them. You’ll also learn a bit about their history and how they have evolved over time.

Sandhill Cranes Behavior

The Sandhill Crane is a long-legged bird that is known for its large size and for the red crown on its head. They are herbivorous birds that feed mainly on seeds, fruits, and other plant material. They often feed with their bills down to the ground as they root around for seeds and other foods. During migration, they feed on Sorghum.

In addition, sand cranes have a variety of vocalizations that vary depending on the situation. For example, when they are alarmed, sand cranes emit a loud squawk. Additionally, mating pairs will perform an elaborate dance to strengthen their bond and signal to other males that they are taken. In the summer breeding grounds, sand cranes will build nests together and share incubation duties.

Sandhill cranes4
Sandhill Crane

Where to Go

If you want to see some Sandhill Cranes in the Spring, head to Nebraska! There are a number of great locations in Nebraska to view Sandhill Cranes during their migration. Some popular viewing spots include the Plautz Viewing Platform and Fort Kearny Bridge. Visitors can also enjoy good views from pull-offs along the highways. For the best experience, try to visit around sunrise or sunset when the cranes are most active.

To get the latest information on viewing the cranes, be sure to stop at the Kearney Visitors Bureau before heading out into the field.

1007 2nd Ave, Kearney, NE 68847

(308) 237-3178 | |

Download the Kearney Visitors Bureau brochure.

2022 03 20T15%3A09%3A11.045394 Sandhill cranes3
Photo by Dora Saparow

Why Do Sandhill Cranes Stop in Nebraska?

Sandhill cranes migrate south to warmer climates in the winter, but they often stop in Nebraska on their way. There are a few reasons why these big birds might choose to stay in Nebraska for a while.

First, the weather here is milder than other states they might fly over on their way to Mexico or Florida. The cranes can rest and refuel without having to worry about extreme temperatures or bad weather.

Second, there is plenty of food available for them in Nebraska. There is a lot of corn grown in this state, and it is one of the crane’s favorite foods. They also need to drink water, and there are many rivers and lakes in Nebraska where they can find what they need.

The third reason why Sandhill Cranes stop in Nebraska is because it is a good place to rest. These birds travel long distances, and sometimes they need a break from their journey. Plus, the weather is usually mild, so it is a comfortable place for them to stay for a while.

Sandhill Cranes stop in Nebraska because there are other birds here that they like to associate with. Herons, egrets, and bitterns are all common sights in the state, and the sound of the Great Blue Heron’s call is unmistakable. When Sandhill Cranes hear this noise, they know that it’s safe to stay here for a while.

Finally, the people of Nebraska are very welcoming to Sandhill Cranes. There are lots of places where you can see these beautiful birds up close, and many people enjoy watching them migrate. So if you’re ever driving through Nebraska in the wintertime, keep your eyes peeled for Sandhill Cranes! You might be lucky enough to see hundreds of them gathered together near a river or lake.

Sandhill cranes2
Sandhill cranes

Viewing Etiquette

When viewing Sandhill Cranes, it is important to remember that safety is a top priority. This means being aware of your surroundings and the impact your behavior may have on both other viewers and the birds themselves. Remember to always keep a safe distance from the animals and never attempt to touch or feed them.

To avoid disturbing other wildlife enthusiasts and the birds themselves, you should observe the following:

1. Use binoculars or a spotting scope to get a closer look at Sandhill Cranes.

2. Be aware of your surroundings, and never walk directly towards cranes.

3. Please do not use flash photography or make loud noises that may startle the birds and cause them to flush (take flight).

4. If you are in a car, do not stop directly in front of the birds. Instead, pull off to the side of the road and turn off your engine.

5. Please stay on marked trails so that you don’t trample the vegetation.

6. Please remain in your car during all crane viewing, or use a spotting scope to get closer views of cranes. (This is for your safety and for the safety of the birds.)

7. Please do not feed the cranes or any other wildlife. This can harm them, and it will also cause them to lose their natural fear of humans.

8. Please do not chase the cranes or otherwise disturb them.

The Future of Sandhill Cranes

The Sandhill Crane is the most numerous of the world’s crane species. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, marshes, prairies, and agricultural fields. Their populations have been increasing at an annual rate of five percent per year since mid-1960’s. This makes them one of the great wildlife conservation success stories.

While the Sandhill Crane migration is a wonder to behold, there are concerns about the future of the subpopulations. The populations in Mississippi, Florida and Cuba have not fared as well and could be in danger due to habitat loss, disease or other threats.

Yes, Sandhill Cranes are an important part of the ecosystem. However, with the cranes heavily using agricultural areas, there could be increasing conflicts with farmers. In order to help mitigate any such conflicts, the International Crane Foundation (ICF) has started a project that demonstrates the value of cranes and their importance in local communities. This will hopefully show how crucial they are to the ecosystem and help keep these beautiful creatures around for many years to come.

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1
Juke Joints: An In-depth History, From the Past to the Present

Juke Joints: An In-depth History, From the Past to the Present

Blues music is a traditional American music genre that originated in the Deep South. The blues evolved from spirituals, work songs, and folk music. It is typically characterized by its soulful sound and lyrics that often tell stories of heartache and pain.

I’d like to say that I was a born and raised a juke joint fan. But if your name is not Willie Dixon, you might have more trouble believing this than anything else I could tell you about myself. In my opinion, one of the best things about jukes is their ability to create an atmosphere where it feels simultaneously like time stands still and yet constantly passing by at warp speed around us all—a paradoxical feeling borne from the tensional sounds produced during these most unlikely of places.

Note: Sadly, many of the Blues juke joints, the REAL juke joints, have closed down. I’ve done my best to verify whether or not a juke joint is closed or open. However, if you plan to visit any of the jukes listed on this page, please, do your research first! And if you do find an error, please let me know so I can update this post. -Dora

What Is a Juke Joint?

The origins of juke joints may be traced back to the community room that was occasionally built on plantations. These rooms were used for a variety of purposes, such as holding church services or dances, and they eventually became known as juke joints. Juke joints gained in popularity during the 1920s and 1930s, and they continued to thrive into the present day.

Juke joints are typically characterized by their unrefined atmosphere and the fact that they are off the beaten path. They often have live music and serve alcohol. A juke joint is typically a small hole-in-the-wall building that often has a porch.

Juke joint, also called a jook joint, it is an African-American term for a type of bar where live music is performed. It was originally used to describe a place where musicians would gather to play and practice, but the term is now applied more broadly to any establishment that hosts live music. The word juke can be traced back to the West African word jukari, which means “to dance.”

If you’ve never been to a juke joint, then I hope this guide will be able to help you have your first experience doing so, if only vicariously, through these unique sounds.

Clarksdale Juke Joint Festival, Clarksdale, Mississippi

(STATUS: Ongoing)

The Clarksdale Juke Joint Festival is a three-day music festival that celebrates the music of the Great Depression era. The festival takes place in Clarksdale, Mississippi and features different stages with performances throughout the day. There is also a variety of food and drink vendors available, as well as arts and crafts booths.

The event takes place in different venues around town with free music during the day and an entrance wristband required for night performances. Vendors open at 8am on Saturday morning, and the festival concludes on Sunday with a series of related events around town.

Tickets are $25 but pre-event tickets are discounted to $20. In order to attend any of the nighttime music venues, you must have a wristband.

Bradfordville Blues Club

(STATUS: Open)

The Bradfordville Blues Club is a unique experience for music fans. It is a one room cinder block juke-joint that has hosted important Blues acts over the years. A hidden place in Tallahassee, the Club is open on Friday and Saturday nights for those who are looking for a good time. Ice-cold bottled beers and wine are for sale, and the music is hot! Follow the torches to find The Club under the stars. The intimate setting and passionate fans create an unforgettable experience for those who visit.

Upon entering Bradford Blues Club, you might feel as if you have stepped back in time to an era of speakeasies, juke joints and honky-tonks. It is one of the last remaining authentic juke joints from the Great Depression era. It has been in operation since 1933, and it is still going strong today. The club has a rich history, and it is well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.

The Bradfordville Blues Club is notable for being one of the last remaining venues from the “chitlin’ circuit,” an informal network of black-owned nightclubs that were popular during the Great Depression. The club has hosted performances by legends like B.B. King, Ray Charles, and Etta James, Pinetop Perkins, Honey Boy Edwards, Big-Eye Willy Smith, Bob Margolis, Charlie Musselwhite, Guitar Shorty, Little Milton and many more. There’s no doubt that the Bradford Blues Club is a must-visit for anyone who loves Blues music.

Red’s Lounge, Clarksdale, Mississippi

(STATUS: Open)

Reds is an authentic juke joint in Clarksdale, Mississippi. It’s been around for decades and is one of the best-known clubs in Clarksdale. It is a small, funky and intimate venue that features live music most every night of the week. What ties everyone together at Reds Lounge is a love for real blues. It is one of the few places left in the area that showcases live music from some of the best musicians in the region. The cover charge is small and there is no food (but you can bring your own) as they only serve beer.

398 Sunflower Ave, Clarksdale, Mississippi, +1-662-627-3166

Website: Reds Lounge

Teddy’s Juke Joint, Zachary, Louisiana

(STATUS: Open)

As soon as you walk through the door of Teddy’s Juke Joint, you feel like you’ve been transported to a different world. This little shotgun house has been transformed into an authentic Louisiana Juke Joint, complete with old photographs, bar signs, license plates, and relics from the past on the walls.

Teddy and his wife Nancy have been running this joint for over 40 years and it’s a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike. The music is one of the main attractions here – it’s a great place to listen to blues. The club books world famous Blues acts 2-4 nights per week and classic spins the rest of the time. One visit to Teddy’s will feel warmth and hospitality by the staff.

Gip’s Place – Bessemer, Alabama

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Gip’s Place is a night spot in Bessemer that brings people together to play music. It was started by Henry “Gip” Gipson in 1952 as a way for musicians to get together and play music. Today, it is still going strong and offers a place for people of all ages to come and listen to music. It is a place for people to come and remember the good times, as well as enjoy some great music. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the staff is friendly and welcoming.

Henry “Gip” Gipson passed away at the age of 99. He was a legend in the juke joint, having been there for decades. He was a kind and loving soul, compassionate but also stern when he needed to be.

Junior’s Place, Chulahoma, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Junior’s Place, a juke joint bought by Kimbrough around 1992 and operated after his death by his sons until it burned down on April 6, 2000. The Black Keys have covered Kimbrough in their 2002 debut album, with “Do the Rump”, and with “Everywhere I Go” on their second record, Thickfreakness. In 2005, they contributed a “My Mind is Ramblin'” cover to the Sunday Nights: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough tribute album.

Wild Bill’s Memphis, Tennessee

(STATUS: Open)

Wild Bill’s Memphis is a museum and juke joint is in the historic Vollintine Evergreen district of Memphis, Tennessee. The venue has been open for over 25 years and has been a breeding ground for Blues artists. It is considered a bucket list destination for tourists who are looking for an authentic blues experience in a dive bar atmosphere. The Juke Joint All Stars Band is a Las Vegas style blues show that features some of the best authentic blues musicians in the Mid-South.

Roque’s Blues Hall, Natchitoches, Louisiana

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Roque’s Blues Hall, Natchitoches, Louisiana Blues Hall has been a staple in the community for almost 60 years. It is known for its music and culture. However, the juke joint is now closed.

  • 235 Carver Avenue, Natchitoches, Louisiana +1 318-238-5565 235
  • Facebook

Bubba’s Juke Joint, Melrose, Louisiana

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Bubba’s was a popular juke joint in Louisiana that played an important role in the development of blues music. Bubba’s was located in Melrose, Louisiana. It was one of the few places that black and white people could gather to enjoy blues music.

Bubba was born in Louisiana on April 20, 1926. He grew up in a small town called Melrose, where he learned to love music at an early age. In the early 1940s, he opened his own juke joint called Bubba’s in Melrose, Louisiana. It featured music by Fats Domino, Little Richard and other famous artists.

bubbas juke joint 3410 louisiana state highway 484 natchez natchitoches parish 2
Bubbas Juke Joint

Besides music, Bubba’s served as a site for informal business dealings. For instance, workers would go to Bubba’s to collect their paychecks after hours. This was likely because the regular workplace was not always a safe or comfortable space for African Americans during the Jim Crow era.

Unfortunately, Bubba’s Juke Joint was recently destroyed without notice after being forced to sell at a Sheriff’s auction. The legacy of Bubba’s is unfortunately lost, as the new owner has no connection to the Metoyer family who ran the juke joint.

The Blue Front Cafe

(Open – Check Blues shows schedule)

The Blue Front Café is a historic old juke joint made of cinder block in Bentonia, Mississippi. It was built in the 1930s and became a popular spot for music lovers. The café is also mentioned on the Mississippi Blues Trail as an important place for blues music.

The Holmes family opened the Blue Front during the Jim Crow period. They sold house-stilled corn liquor (to blacks and whites) during Prohibition and welcomed all the Delta blues artists of the day: Sonny Boy, Percy Smith and Jack Owens among them. Blue Front is an iconic venue on the Mississippi Blues Trail. Stop by the cinder-block juke joint to look around, sign the guest book and see what’s doing.

The Blue Front Cafe was a popular spot for live music in the early days of Arkansas. The cafe was often called a “juke joint” because of the spontaneous and unannounced nature of the music performances. It was not unusual for local musicians to stop by and play, and some of the most famous names in blues and jazz have performed at the Blue Front. Musicians like Bud Spires, Son Johnson, Bobby Batton, Alonzo (Lonzy) Wilkerson, and Cleo Pullman all played at the Blue Front Cafe.

The Blues are played here only once in a while now, but you can check their Facebook page for updates on upcoming shows.

  • 107 E Railroad Ave, Bentonia, MS 39040 (662) 528-1900
  • Website:: Blue Front Cafe

ZZ’s, Ferriday, Louisiana

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

The Meeting Place, Greenville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

The Disco 86 (Annie Mae’s Cafe), Waterproof, Louisiana

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Do Drop Inn in Shelby, Mississippi

(STATUS: ????)

Po’ Monkey’s, Merigold, Mississippi

(STATUS; Permanently Closed)

Po’ Monkey’s was a rural juke joint that offered an escape from everyday troubles. While many of these blues jukes once dotted the Delta countryside, only few have survived into the 21st century. Po’ Monkey’s was opened in 1963 by Willie Seaberry. Willie Seaberry died in 2016.

The Flowing Fountain, Greenville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

G.G. Lounge, Winterville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Studio 51, Durant, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

W.D.’s Lounge, St. Joseph, Louisiana

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Gully’s Alley Inn, Moorhead, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

B & B Quick Mart, Greenville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Boss Hall’s, Leland, Mississippi (STATUS: Permanently Closed)

The Walnut Street Bait Shop, Greenville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Robert “Bilbo” Walker’s Wonderlight City

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

  • MORE INFO: Robert “Bilbo” Walker Jr. (February 19, 1937—November 29, 2017)

Little Blue’s Caffa, Greenville, Mississippi

(STATUS: Permanently Closed)

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1
Beale Street Blues: A Guide to Memphis’ Legendary Beale Street

Beale Street Blues: A Guide to Memphis’ Legendary Beale Street

Beale Street is known as the birthplace of blues music and the home of the Memphis blues scene. It’s also famous for its restaurants and nightlife, particularly its jam sessions that can last well into the night.

Historic Beale Street in Memphis, TN.

Beale Street in Memphis is known as the music capital of the world. Blues and R&B emerged on Beale Street and the scene is still going strong today. These late night sessions have become an institution, with people coming from all across the globe to experience the magic of a live performance. With their vast array of genres and performers, these jam sessions are an eclectic mix of musical talent.

Beale Street is home to the most famous blues clubs in the world, such as B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill, Silky O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub, Hard Rock Cafe, B.B. King’s Blues Club, and the Rum Boogie Cafe’s Blues Hall among others.

It is home to many bars, restaurants, and music venues that are popular among locals and tourists alike. Beale Street has a rich history and is a must-see for anyone visiting Memphis.

Eef and the Blues Express at Alfreds on Beal Street
Eef and the Blues Express at Alfreds on Beal Street

International Blues Competition

Every year, Memphis hosts the International Blues Competition. This event is a week-long celebration of blues music that features competitions among blues musicians from all over the world, as well as a variety of other activities to entertain attendees. The competition is judged by a panel of experts in the blues music industry, and the winner is awarded a cash prize and other accolades.

The IBC was founded in 1984 by the Memphis Chapter of the Blues Foundation and was originally called the Blues Amateur Talent Contest. The first Blues Amateur Talent Contest was held at the New Daisy Theater. This was created by Blues Foundation founder Joe Savarin. It attracted about sixty contestants, and was won by a band called “Reliance,” from Memphis. The following year, the competition moved to a larger venue on Beale Street at the Orpheum Theatre. The winner is determined by a panel of celebrity judges drawn from the ranks of blues performers and fans. The competition has resulted in the discovery of several new blues artists, including Susan Tedeschi, Albert Cummings, Tommy Castro, and Jason Ricci.

NOTE: Normally the International Blues Competition is in January. However, due Covid concerns, the event was canceled and rescheduled starting May 6, 2022. (See below for details.)

IBC Important Dates for 2022

 Friday, May 6: Quarterfinals Night 1 

Saturday, May 7: Quarterfinals Night 2 

Sunday, May 8: KBA Ceremony, Youth Showcases, & Semifinals 

Monday, May 9: IBC Finals at The Orpheum

All previously purchased passes will be honored for the new dates, without any action on your part. Passes will now be mailed out in mid-April. 

The Orpheum Theater

The Orpheum Theater is one of the most popular attractions on Beale Street and has a list of shows that are open to everyone. It is home to many events such as plays, musicals, concerts and much more.

The Orpheum Theatre opened on October 10th, 1887. The Orpheum Theatre is a famous and prestigious theater in Memphis, Tennessee. It is the home of Broadway shows, ballet performances, international jazz artists and more. The theater is rich with history and beautiful architecture that will leave you feeling like you’re in one of the classics. The Orpheum Theatre bills itself as “the oldest continuously operating theater in the United States.”

And in the interest of full disclosure, the theater has been said to be haunted by a little girl called Betty, who has been watching over the artists and patrons since 1920.

Beale Street Music Festival

The first weekend in May, the Beale Street Music Festival brings major headliners to Tom Lee Park, located on the banks of the Mississippi River. The festival features performances by artists from a variety of genres, including blues, rock, country, and soul.

NOTE: Due to construction at Tom Lee Park, the 2022 Beale Street Music Festival will be located at The Fairgrounds in Liberty Park in Midtown.

The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum

The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is an interactive museum that tells the story of music in Memphis. The museum features photos, memorabilia, and artifacts from the music scene in Memphis, spanning from the 1950s to the present day.

National Civil Rights Museum—Lorraine Motel

The National Civil Rights Museum is a must see for anyone who visits Memphis. It tells the story of the struggle for civil rights and is located in the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is one of great significance. He was a man who fought for justice and human rights, and his work has had a lasting impact on the world. Dr. King’s decisions, actions, and speeches were all important in the advancement of civil rights in America. He was an effective leader and preached nonviolence as the most effective way to bring about change. Don’t rush your visit–-take time to explore all four floors of this incredible museum.

Sun Studio

Sun Studio is a recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee that was opened in 1950. The studio was originally called Memphis Recording Service, and it was located on Union Avenue. The studio is most famous for being the birthplace of rock’n’roll music. Some of the most famous musicians to record at Sun Studio include Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Orbison. The studio has been restored and now contains priceless memorabilia from these legendary musicians. Visitors can also hear voices of some of the musicians who recorded at Sun Studio as they listen to outtakes from recording sessions. The studio offers tours for visitors who want to learn more about the history of the studio and the music that was created there.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is a museum in Memphis, Tennessee that celebrates the history of soul music. The museum features exhibits on some of the greatest soul artists, including Isaac Hayes, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, and Otis Redding. One of the most popular exhibits is Isaac Hayes’s 1972 Cadillac.

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is a museum dedicated to the history and preservation of soul music. It contains over 2,000 artifacts and interactive exhibits, including a recording studio, concert stage, and retail shop.

Memphis Music Hall of Fame

The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is the place to go if you want to learn about the history of Memphis music. It is a museum that celebrates the achievements of many different Memphis-born or Memphis-living musicians. It offers photos and interviews, video performances and interactive exhibits where one can really sink their teeth into the musical heritage. Some of the famous Memphis musicians include Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Justin Timberlake. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts 2,000+ artists from all over the world each year, but Memphis has a rich musical history that is worth celebrating in its own right.

Blues Hall of Fame

The Blues Hall of Fame was started in 1980 as a way to recognize performers and individuals whose lifetime of work has had a major impact upon the blues genre. The Blues Foundation inducts new members into the hall of fame every year. It has inducted over 400 members into five key categories: Performer, Individual, Album, Single, and Literature. The Blues Hall of Fame is an important program that helps to fulfill the mission of The Blues Foundation, which is to preserve blues music and its history.

B.B. King’s Blues Club

B.B. King’s Blues Club is one of the most popular clubs on Beale Street in Memphis. It has been voted the best blues club in Memphis numerous times and has some of the best live music around. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and the food is some of the best BBQ you’ll find anywhere. The vibe is electric and it’s a great place to see some of the best blues bands around.

Hard Rock Cafe Memphis

Hard Rock Cafe Memphis is located on legendary Beale Street in the heart of our nation’s music capital. This iconic restaurant pays homage to the city’s musical roots with memorabilia from some of the biggest names in blues and rock ‘n’ roll. From its location to its menu, Hard Rock Cafe Memphis is a must-visit for any music lover visiting Memphis.

Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe & Honky Tonk

Jerry Lee Lewis’ Cafe & Honky Tonk is a legendary spot on Beale Street in Memphis, TN. It’s famous for its live music and friendly atmosphere. It’s been a favorite of Memphis locals and visitors for years and is the perfect place to spend an evening. The atmosphere is laid-back and friendly, and the music is top-notch.

A. Schwab

A. Schwab is a Beale Street-based store that has been running for over 100 years. The store has always been dedicated to preserving the rich history of Beale Street and providing glimpses into its past for customers. It is a cornucopia of items, from music memorabilia to clothing to general oddities. Their nostalgic soda fountain will take you back in time with its classic decor and menu items. Share a homemade soda or creamy milkshake with a friend and enjoy the atmosphere of this Memphis institution. They are dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of the store and telling the story through historic artifacts and relevant merchandise.

Gus’s Fried Chicken

When we’re in Memphis we always go to Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken. This restaurant in Memphis is a popular fried chicken restaurant chain that was founded in the tiny town of Mason, Tennessee. Gus’s Fried Chicken is a Memphis staple. However, the recipe remains a mystery to many. Unfortunately, you will not be able to get your hands on that recipe as the family has kept it tightly under wraps.

Blues City Cafe

The Blues City Cafe is a Memphis institution. Though many things have changed on Memphis’ Beale Street, one thing that has remained consistent is the Blues City Cafe. Opened in the early 1990s, the restaurant has been a staple of the street and features many of the same faces today.The cafe is famous for its ribs, steaks, catfish, tamales and mouth watering desserts. But it’s the music that keeps people coming back. You can always find some of the best blues musicians playing here.

Rum Boogie Cafe

Rum Boogie is a world-renowned blues club that was established in Memphis, Tennessee in 1985. It quickly became a cornerstone of the city’s entertainment district and has been drawing crowds ever since with its down-home Delta cuisine and live blues seven nights a week. Some of the biggest names in music have played at Rum Boogie, including Elvis Presley, Bo Diddley, Joe Walsh, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Billy Joel, and Rufus Thomas. If you’re looking for some authentic Southern BBQ ribs or pork shoulder, this is the place to go.

Cotton Exchange Building

The Cotton Exchange Building was one of the most iconic buildings in Memphis and helped put the city on the map. The building was used for cotton trading and is now open to the public so they can learn about this once highly valuable commodity. Stepping back in time, visitors can see what life was like in Memphis during its heyday.

The Cotton Exchange Building was constructed in 1891 as the headquarters for the Memphis Cotton Exchange. The cotton merchants needed a trade organization to regulate cotton marketing and once established, the cotton exchange produced rules, regulations, and standards for trading and pricing cotton in Memphis and the mid-South region. This allowed Memphis to become the largest cotton market in the world. In 1984, the building was renovated into The Cotton Museum, which now educates the public about cotton and its importance in Memphis.


Elvis Presley purchased Graceland in 1957 when he was just 22 years old. The sumptuous property welcomed friends and family members over 20 years of Elvis’s life. Many people visit from all over the world to pay homage to ‘The King’. Graceland is a National Historic Landmark.

The original owner named the property after his daughter, Grace, who inherited the land in 1894. The mansion got its name from her and was later sold to Elvis Presley in 1957. Graceland has 23 total rooms, many of which have their own unique themes, such as the Jungle Room and the TV room. If you want to see Elvis’ personal planes and vast collection of memorabilia, go across the street to the two museums.

The Meditation Garden is a place where Elvis, Gladys, Vernon, and Minnie Mae Presley are buried.

NOTE: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Graceland, which is about 10 miles from Beale Street. You can catch a tour bus at Sun Records to Graceland, or you can drive yourself.

Final Thoughts

Memphis is known for its music, and that reputation is well-deserved. The city has a rich history of legendary live music, thanks to its many nightclubs and restaurants. From blues to jazz to rock ‘n’ roll, Memphis has it all. If you’re looking for a good time and some great music, Beale Street is the place to be.

Happy Trails,

SIG DoraKSaparow 1