8840 Hamilton Dr.
Southaven, MS 38671
Phone: (662) 342-8222
Fax: (662) 280-2311
Arts & Museums
This is it - the second most-visited house in the United States - preserved exactly as when Elvis Presley lived here, complete with the Jungle Room and shag carpeting. Elvis Presley bought this 13.8 acre (5.6 hectare) estate in 1957, and spent a large part of the rest of his life expanding and improving the opulent property. Elvis' grave is located on the estate and can be viewed by visitors. Additionally, you can tour the auto museum, see the Lisa Marie and Jetstar airplanes, and view the Sincerely Elvis exhibit, all of which are across the street from the mansion, along with the ticket office. On August 16, the anniversary of Elvis' death, a candlelight vigil draws fans worldwide.
Memphis is the home to many music legends. In the 1950s Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash rose to fame along with “the Killer,” Jerry Lee Lewis. Lewis still resides in Nesbit, Mississippi, just south of Memphis, and his home/ranch is open to the public and his many fans. See the many gold records he has earned, his pianos, along with his collection of classic automobiles, and do not miss the piano-shaped pool.
Stax Museum of American Soul Music is located on the site of Stax Records which is known to have much significance in the music industry. The company is known to have launched the careers of many successful musicians. There are around 2000 exhibits that include videos, artifacts, films, photographs, and more. Apart from the exhibits, the museum regularly plays host to events like live concerts, educational programs, and fundraisers.
The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa is a prehistoric American Indian archaeological site dating back to the 15th Century. The site was occupied, abandoned and reoccupied several times throughout its history, spanning from 1000 to 1550 A.D. The museum, named after its founding director, curates an extensive collection of artifacts recovered during a 40-year period of systematic excavations. The site features a Mississippian mound complex, a nature trail and arboretum, a hands-on archaeology lab, and exhibits that explore the history and life-ways of Native Americans of the historic and prehistoric southeastern United States.
The Dixons were a childless couple who collected art, both fine and decorative, and left it all to the city when they died. The traveling exhibits, are often spectacular, and have included Faberge eggs, glass works by Seattle artist Dale Chihuly, and an explosion of color from Raoul Dufy. The 17-acre (7-hectare) garden is usually open for strolling, except during outdoor concerts, picnics, or theater productions. The museum shop often has items from Memphis' Great Wonders exhibits!
Not so much a museum as an educational indoor playground, this place is full of interactive activities for kids. Youngsters can climb a skyscraper, explore a fire engine or "ride" a police motorcycle. Children especially love the miniature grocery store, where they can push their own carts and "shop" for staples, and the play bank, where they can write checks. Special exhibits and activities are also offered every month, including puppet shows and live music.
This museum is housed in the Georgian marble home built in the 1920s by Clarence Sanders, founder of the Piggly Wiggly grocery store chain. Sanders never got to live here, and the city transformed the site into a complex of attractions, including the Sharpe Planetarium and an IMAX theater. The Pink Palace's exhibits cover topics ranging from dinosaurs to the Civil War, and from the early Spanish explorers to the evolution of medical research in Memphis.
Tired of putting people, especially kids, to sleep with droning lectures in a dark room and trying to compete with the IMAX theater next door? This planetarium has spiced up its shows with laser lights and music from bands such as the Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam and Pink Floyd. There is even an Elvis show during Elvis Week in August. During special meteorological events, such as meteor showers, the planetarium staff sets up telescopes on the front lawn and encourages visitors to bring their families as well as a picnic dinner.
In honor of the ancient Egyptian counterpart to the modern American city of Memphis, the local university maintains a museum featuring a good representation of the usual items from the City by the Nile, including a mummy, papyrus, and various implements and household goods. Another permanent exhibit is the Spirit of Africa, which has artifacts and sculptures from West Africa. In addition - and somewhat unexpectedly - the museum houses an interesting collection of miniatures of American furniture and a good smattering of American and European prints.
This gallery is in the middle of an upscale strip mall on the well travelled Poplar corridor. It often features local up and coming artists such as Peter Bowman, art instructor at the Memphis University School for boys and photography artist Huger Foote. Other established artists, such as the nationally acclaimed local artist Carrol Cloar who passed away in 1993, are also represented here. Exhibit openings at David Lusk Gallery feature wine and the chance to rub elbows with knowledgeable art patrons.
The National Ornamental Metal Museum is the only one in the country dedicated to ornamental metalwork. Exhibits often include such diverse objects as silver tea services, swords, jewelry and weathervanes. See a blacksmith at work forging works of art. An annual exhibit in May features the fantastic devices people use to barbecue, timed to coincide with the Memphis in May Barbecue Contest. The museum is set in a lovely spot on the banks of the Mississippi, and the lawns are sometimes used for weddings and other private parties.
Lisa Kurts has gained an enviable reputation for picking some of the finest artists in the region and the country to exhibit in her gallery. Located in a lovely, restored former home just off the busy Poplar corridor, the setting for the art works is almost as appealing as the art itself. Exhibit openings are well attended by local art patrons who consider Lisa Kurts' Gallery as one of the best galleries in the Mid-South area. Painting, photography, sculpture and more are represented at this well-rounded gallery.