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Memphis celebrates the year that was and the bright year ahead

November 29, 2019 Visit USA No Comments Email Email

In a huge year of travel, it has a certainly been an incredible 12 months for Memphis. In the last year, the destination continued to rank as a hot place to visit, receiving a number of accolades including being named as one of the ‘Best Places to Go in 2019’ by industry experts Frommer’s. The city also welcomed more than 4.5million passengers through the Memphis International Airport during the 2018-19 fiscal year, representing a 5.13 percent increase year on year.

Coming to the end of its bicentenary year, the city of Memphis certainly has a lot to look back and be proud of. To celebrate we have put together an overview of the year that was and a sneak peek of the year to come –

The opening of new and innovative hotels – Memphis welcomed several impressive hotels to its accommodation landscape this year, with the opening of the Central Station Hotel being one of the most significant. This saw the iconic Central Station, originally built in 1914, transformed into a luxury hotel with incredible views over the South Main neighbourhood and Mississippi River. Other openings included Hotel Indigo Memphis, which serves as an eclectic tribute to the history of the music of Memphis, The Hilton Garden Inn and Arrive Hotel.

Memphis in May bicentenary celebration – This year the annual Memphis in May celebration paid homage to its homeland, and celebrated its bicentenary. The month long celebration saw the southern city pay tribute to its founding contributions to rock, soul, and blues in a series of events. The Memphis in May celebration will return once again in 2020, where it will honour the gold country of Africa, Ghana.

New restaurants openings – Memphis certainly upped the ante this year when it comes to cool restaurants and bars, a great example of which was the opening of Art Bar at Crosstown Arts with its curated list of wines, craft beers and cocktails made with local ingredients. Looking to 2020, Famous Memphis chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman will open Bishop, a French restaurant within Central Station Hotel, and the owners of The Beauty Shop in Cooper Young will open a patio restaurant called Back Do’ at Mi Yard, located directly behind its original establishment.

Up and coming neighbourhoods – The Cooper Young District and Crosstown Concourse came into their own this year and should be on every traveller’s the list of cool neighbourhoods to visit in Memphis in 2020, as should the Edge District. Known as the neighbourhood where the sound of Rock ’n’ Roll was born, this neighbourhood is home to the famous Sun Studio which birthed the careers of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Here, you’ll also find the High Cotton Brewing Co , Edge Motor Museum, and the Trolley Stop Market, which is a local eat and shop marketplace.

Elvis Presley’s 85th birthday – Locals and travellers alike will come together to celebrate the milestone that is Elvis Presley 85th birthday Taking place from 8 – 11 January 2020, the four day event will host special guests including Priscilla Presley & Jerry Schilling. Those is attendance will have the chance to enjoy the Elvis Presley Birthday Proclamation Ceremony, attend the Elvis 85th Birthday Pop Concert, and take part in Elvis Bash & Evening Tour.

International Blues Challenge – For over 33 years, the Memphis-based Blues Foundation has hosted the International Blues Challenge, which is the largest gathering of blues musicians. The annual event will return on 28 January 2020, and continue the worldwide search for blues bands and solo/duo blues performers ready for the international stage. More than 250 bands, solo acts and performers will gather on the iconic Beale Street to take part and showcase their skills.

With an incredible year coming to an end for Memphis, 2020 is looking just as bright, with the continued evolution of the historic city making it a must visit for travellers of all ages and interests.

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