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Is the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis Worth It?

Memphis pays tribute to incredible artists with the Blues Hall of Fame. It celebrates the sound that developed in the heart of the Mississippi Delta.

You may be surprised to learn just how recently the museum opened to the public. But is it worth the price of admission?

Today we’ll cover the background behind this musical treasure and give you everything you need to plan your trip. 

Let’s jam! 

Nighttime photo of neon signs of bars and music venues on Beale Street in Memphis where the blues was born.
The Blues was born on Beale Street and still thrives there today

About the Memphis Blues Hall of Fame Museum

The Memphis Blues Hall of Fame is a museum that honors musicians, writers, and other people who’ve impacted the genre. 

It features exhibits with a vast memorabilia collection, including instruments, posters, artwork, and stage costumes. Showcases rotate, but they all celebrate the timeless sound the city helped shape. You’ll get a deep dive into the history of one of America’s most enduring musical legacies. 

Curators create interactive exhibits with essential songs, videos, and stories behind some blues visionaries.

The foundation behind the museum also supports youth education programs and helps struggling artists continue their legacy. 

Where Is the Blues Hall of Fame Museum?

You’ll find the museum at 421 South Main Street in downtown Memphis. The South Main Arts District has incredible live music almost every night of the week. It also has a high concentration of unique, locally-owned restaurants. You can try the best of Memphis BBQ and other homestyle comfort foods.

The city is located along the widest part of the Mississippi River and boasts plenty of tourist attractions. The home of blues and birthplace of rock’n’roll is also where you can find Graceland, the former house of Elvis.

Beyond the sights and sounds of the city, Memphis is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. It’s one of the more bikeable cities in the nation and a top urban area for outdoor parks. You also won’t have to travel far to go forest bathing or find a nice hike. 

When Did the Memphis Blues Hall of Fame Museum Open?

While the Memphis Blues Hall of Fame Museum opened in 2015, the foundation started in 1980. Each year since then, they’ve selected important figures in the genre’s history to honor. 

The foundation organizes an anonymous committee of experts to select new inductees. They hold annual ceremonies to celebrate new members, followed by the Blues Music Awards (BMA). The BMAs highlight the best instrumentalists, groups, albums, songs, and performances of the year. Being a recipient of one of these awards is a top-tier accolade for the genre. 

Opening the museum allowed the organization to share the love and educate the public about the Mississippi Delta Blues. It also helps them fund their educational and grant programs to support struggling artists and youth musicians. 

Grab some popcorn and get in the mood: The Blues Brothers.

Best Things To Do Near the Blues Hall of Fame Museum

Memphis is an amazing place to visit, and the Blues Hall of Fame is just the tip of the iceberg. While you’re there, be sure to explore other neighborhood favorites. 

Visit the National Civil Rights Museum

The National Civil Rights Museum gives an in-depth look at one of the most important movements in American history. It’s located in the former Lorraine Motel, where Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated. 

Exhibits at this museum help visitors contextualize past events, from slavery to the Civil Rights Act. They also help explore how the effects of racism continue to impact the world today. It’s a truly inspirational place to visit. 

Know Before You Go: Is the Memphis Civil Rights Museum Worth the Tour? (Hint: Yes, it is.)

Explore Beale Street

Many legendary Blues Hall of Fame members have called Beale Street home, including W.C. Handy and B.B. King. It’s rich with musical lore and was a crucial space for civil rights activities. 

The music scene still thrives in this National Historic Landmark District. You can watch a show in the Orpheum, the “South’s Finest Theatre,” or enter just about any club to catch a great act. You can almost hear the past ringing through the walls of these well-preserved buildings. 

Stroll Through the Memphis Botanic Garden

Memphis Botanic Garden is a 96-acre space that houses 30 specialty gardens. You can take a scenic stroll through nature right in the heart of the big city. The Formal and Japanese gardens showcase the beauty of human-curated plants. It’s a perfect place to find peace during the bustle of your trip.

You can also catch incredible shows in the Radians Amphitheater or take in the inspiring collection of sculptures and art throughout the grounds. 

Photo of BB King's Blues Club on Beale Street in Memphis.
While in Memphis, visit BB King’s Blues Club or enjoy a nice dinner at his restaurant upstairs, Itta Bena

Best Places to Stay Near the Blues Hall of Fame Museum

While you can certainly explore the Blues Hall of Fame on a day trip, Memphis makes it worth extending your stay. Here are some of our favorite spots to set up base. 

Tom Sawyer’s RV Park

If you want a laid-back stay on the Mississippi, we recommend checking out this RV park. It’s right down the river bend from Memphis, and you’ll see plenty of boat traffic while you relax at your campsite. 

It’s an affordable spot with a mix of amenities depending on your site. They all offer 30 or 50-Amp hookups, water, and sewer. It’s best to book your reservation in advance, especially if you have a larger vehicle.  

The James Lee House Bed and Breakfast

This Victorian-era home has transformed into a romantic getaway right in the heart of Memphis. You’ll be a short trip from the Beale Street area and everything else the city has to offer. You’ll find everything you need within walking distance. The only problem is you may be too cozy to leave. 

With only five suites, you’ll have plenty of privacy if you book in advance. You’ll enjoy all the comforts of modern luxury while immersing yourself in this historic site. 

The Rambler

This Memphis boutique apartment hotel is on South Main Street, just a short trek from the Blues Hall of Fame. It offers 18 suites in either studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom format. 

Each spot is equipped with a full kitchen so you can cook your own meals in between sampling the best of what the city has to offer. You’ll also be able to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the arts district just by opening your window. 

Graceland is another popular attraction: ELVIS: Can You Visit the Jungle Room in Graceland?

Is the Blues Hall of Fame Museum in Memphis Worth a Visit?

Music lovers will thrive in Memphis, and the Blues Hall of Fame is only one small part of the memorable experience. If you’ve ever been moved by the woeful sounds of these performers, the stories the museum houses are inspirational. 

You can continue to feed your soul with great food, live music, and beautiful outdoor spaces. So start planning your trip to the Home of Blues today!

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