Tennessee may be a decidedly conservative state, but Memphis has developed into a popular destination for queer travelers in recent years. With a sizable LGBT community, Memphis is steeped in American music lore with a noteworthy restaurant scene that’s far more than barbecue and Southern fare. And after dark, the city offers an eclectic array of gay nightlife options for fans of dancing and clubbing.
Visitors will keep busy in this city most famous for the blues, Elvis and civil rights history. Today the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, is home to the National Civil Rights Museum. The surrounding South Main Street neighborhood is a good spot for a stroll, with its shops and cafes. A short drive south, you’ll find the National Museum of Ornamental Metal, with exceptional galleries and an outdoor sculpture garden that sits on a hilltop overlooking the scenic Mississippi River.
The name most associated with Memphis, of course, is Elvis Presley, whose palatial (and decidedly kitschy) mansion, Graceland, is a must-see. Allow at least two hours to tour the home to fully take in his custom jets, the car museum and several other exhibits making up the impressive compound.