If you have ever wanted to check out Beale Street, this Beale Street tour guide will help you plan your trip. Known for barbecue and blues, Memphis staples, Beale Street is the very heart of entertainment in Memphis and to blues fans it’s the most important street in America. More than 150 years ago Beale Street gained popularity and it remains the heart of the city of Memphis today. Known for music ringing out from open doors, where many musicians launched their careers, and as a place to stroll with a drink in hand. Beale Street is a fun place to hang out. Landing on many bucket lists, Beale Street has become an iconic stop.
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Arriving – Beale Street Tour Guide
While Beale Street can be for anyone, big or small, during the day, there are some rules to follow. The rules for Friday and Saturday night on Beale Street are a little more strict. After 9 pm anyone under the age of 21 needs to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. After 11 pm everyone on Beale Street must be 21 or older and possess a legal I.D. that will be checked when you enter the street.
If you are worried about finding parking at Beale Street, there is no need to stress. If you are staying at one of the hotels in downtown Memphis then chances are you are in safe walking distance. However, if you need to drive to Beale Street there are plenty of parking options. There are a number of parking garages in the area. However, the closest is the 250 Peabody Place Parking Garage.
Beale Street Tour Guide
If you don’t want to tour Beale Street on your own there are several options for tours. The first is a walking tour of Beale Street. This is a great way to learn more about the colorful history and entertaining stories of the Home Of The Blues.
Foodies will prefer the second tour option, the Taste Of Downtown food tour. While this tour doesn’t solely focus on Beale Street a large portion of the tour will be on this famous street.
For a little more fun with adult beverages you can try the Brunch and Party Bike Ride in downtown Memphis. Pedal and party your way thru downtown Memphis as you soak up the sights and sounds. Bring your own beverages and hop on the pedal tavern. The pedal tavern also is equipped with a motor and speakers so you don’t have to pedal so hard and can listen to your own tunes.
Things To Do – Beale Street Tour Guide
There are so many things a person can do on Beale Street. Here are some of our favorites and ones we feel everyone can groove on.
Put on your walking shoes and hit the street. Even if you don’t have time to shop or stop for a bite to eat, you’ll feel the electric energy of Beale Street simply by walking. You can even snap a photo under the “Home Of The Blues” sign.
The birthplace of Rock n Roll, Sun Studio, is located at 706 Union Ave. While not on Beale Street, it isn’t far and it’s a must see for any music lover.
This is where some of the biggest names in music were born. Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and so many more. If the walls could talk at Sun Studio the stories would be iconic! This tour is at the top of our Beale Street Tour Guide because it’s a must for all music lovers.
My husband even got to play the drum kit that was brought to the studio by U2. You can see it on my Instagram.
Check Out The Stax Museum Of American Soul Music
Located at 926 E McLemore Avenue is the famous Stax Museum of American Soul Music.
Located at the former location of Stax Records this museum explores the story of soul music. This museum pays special tribute to the artists who recorded there, as well as other American soul legends. Stax Museum has an amazing collection of more than 2,000 items of memorabilia and artifacts.
Memphis Music Record Shop – Beale Street Tour Guide
Find the Memphis Music Record Shop at 149 Beale St.
If you’re into the Blues then this record shop is for you. And even if you aren’t a huge fan of the Blues you’ll want to stop in here and browse their extensive collection of vinyl. You’ll also find fun gifts and t-shirts here.
The Memphis Rock N Soul Museum
Located at 191 Beale St is The Memphis Rock N Soul Museum.
This museum tells the complete story of Memphis music. By documenting the musicians that shaped the majestic “Memphis Sound.” If you are interested in the history of Memphis music this is a must visit. Bonus: they’ve got a huge playlist!
The Orpheum Theater – Beale Street Tour Guide
Located at 203 S Main St is The Orpheum Theater.
Take a tour or try catching a show at the famous Orpheum Theater. It was originally called the Grand Opera House, but the original building burned in 1923. It was rebuilt by 1927 and remained in its glory until the late 1970’s when it fell into disrepair. Thankfully a non-profit restored this once great theater making it possible for you to catch a Broadway musical or concert here today.
Live Music At Rum Boogie
Listen to live music at Run Boogie, located at 182 Beale St.
Rum Boogie is a great place to check out live music on Beale Street. If you’re hungry make sure to grab some gator gumbo, yes, you read that right and they are famous for this dish!
Burgers At Dyer’s
Get your burger fix at Dyer’s located at 205 Beale St.
This Memphis institution, Dyer’s Burgers was started in 1912, and remains just as popular today. The secret to their mouthwatering burgers? Grease! They’ve left the same grease in their fryers for over a century. The consensus is that century old grease makes for one tasty burger! And I can attest that these burgers are awesome!! It was where we ate when we visited Beale Street.
A. Schwab Dry Good
Spend some time shopping at A. Schwab Dry Goods located at 163 Beale St.
This is the oldest operating business on Beale Street. A. Schwab Dry Goods is a must visit. It’s not a place you will pop in and out, because there is so much to see there.
On one side is an old fashioned General Store where you can find all kinds of quirky items and gifts. There is also a small museum on the second floor if you’d like to find out more about the history. On the other side of A. Schwab you will find a charming Soda Fountain. Try the banana split or a frothy milkshake for a sweet treat!
Don’t forget to pick up some gifts for yourself or those who you left at home. If you don’t find goodies there you like, you can check out my online boutique filled with all sorts of music inspired clothing.
Madonna Retro T-Shirt$21.95 – $23.95
Red Lips Leopard Tongue T-Shirt$21.95 – $23.95
Black and White Checkered Indoor Doormat$29.95
Rock n Roll Girl Colorful$18.95 – $25.95
Rock n Roll Girl T-shirt$18.95 – $25.95
Concert Buddies Ladies’ Boyfriend T-Shirt$22.95 – $24.95
Concert Buddies Premium Short Sleeve T-Shirt$21.95 – $24.95
Raised on Dolly Ladies’ Boyfriend T-Shirt$22.95 – $24.95
Raised on Loretta Ladies’ Boyfriend T-Shirt$22.95 – $24.95
B.B. King’s Blues Club
The Iconic B.B King’s Blues Club can be found at 143 Beale St.
You’ve probably heard of B.B. King’s Blues Club, it’s known for fantastic music and partying at night. What you may not know is that it’s a restaurant during the day. Try the ribs, chicken fried chicken, and mac-n-cheese for a southern style feast. Then hang around or stop back for some music at night.
Stroll By The W.C. Handy Statue
You’ll find this statue in Handy Park, at the corner of Beale and 3rd Street. The park itself has 2 performance stages where concerts are always free and open to the public. In case you’ve never heard of the park’s namesake, W.C. Handy was the Father of the Blues. He was one of the most influential songwriters in the U.S.
Beale Sweets Sugar Shack
Got a sweet tooth? Check out the Beale Sweets Sugar Shack located at 156 Beale St.
Nobody can resist a good old fashioned candy shop. That’s why you need to stop at Beale Sweets Sugar Shack. Nostalgia with a side of sugar to indulge your sweet tooth is what you’ll find in this candy shop. Try fudge, old fashioned candy, and much more.
Blues City Cafe – Beale Street Tour Guide
Head over to 138 Beale St. the Blues City Cafe.
If you are hungry then don’t miss out on grabbing a bite to eat at Blues City Cafe. They claim to serve the “Best Meal On Beale” and many agree that they do. Try the barbeque ribs, gumbo fries, or the delta style tamales.
Haunted Beale Street
Do you love scary stuff? If you do then you will love the Haunted Memphis Walking Ghost Tour. Get ready to have chills when you learn about the haunted history that lingers all over Beale Street.
History Of Beale Street
By the early 1900s Beale Street was established as the place to be in Memphis, Tennessee. It quickly filled with many clubs, restaurants, and shops. The roaring 20’s brought a multitude of blues musicians to Beale Street. And the rest, as they say, is history! Beale Street remains the Home Of The Blues.
Final Thoughts on the Beale Street Tour Guide
Tennessee is an amazing place for fun and adventure and if you liked the above Beale Street Tour Guide then check out my Tennessee Travel Guide.
If you find yourself in Memphis, Tennessee or plan to make a trip there, make sure to take a day and night to check out all that the iconic Beale Street has to offer. There is so much one can see and do, and so many places to eat. Check out my tour guide below with great ideas and deals.