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    Exploring the roots of rock in Memphis

    Susan Thompson - San Francisco Chronicle -

    I went because: It is the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, and every red-blooded American should try to visit in his or her lifetime such music heritage sites as Sun Studio, Graceland, Stax Museum, Rock 'n' Soul Museum and Beale Street.
    Don't miss: A trip to the National Civil Rights Museum. It's housed at the Lorraine Motel where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and it makes for an unforgettable experience.
    Don't bother: Renting a car, unless you plan to drive outside of Memphis. Public transportation and shuttles were easily accessible and affordable.
    Coolest souvenir: A sparkly Elvis T-shirt from Graceland.
    Worth a splurge: A paddleboat cruise on the mighty Mississippi River. You can't come all the way to Memphis without going to the water.
    Wish I'd packed: An umbrella. It rains a lot in the summertime.
    Other comments: If you don't mind an "all-Elvis 24/7" experience, the Heartbreak Hotel is a fun place to stay and people-watch. People from all over the world come here to visit Graceland and Elvis' final resting place.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/Exploring-the-roots-of-rock-in-Memphis-3831458.php#ixzz25X5s7LAJ