Beale Street

Beale Street at night

Credit Memphis Travel

This landmark Historic District in downtown Memphis, created in 1841 by developer Robertson Topp and named after a forgotten military hero saw its notorious heyday in the roaring 20s in a thriving boom of nightclubs, theaters, restaurants, stores, pawnshops, hot music, gambling, drinking, murder, mayhem, and other, unmentionable vice in a red light district rivalling New Orleans’ Storyville. Energetic Beale Street, official home of the rockin’ blues , important center of riverfront trade to the West and burgeoning affluent suburbia to the East, has survived a hurricane of of feast, famine, renovation and renewal, growth and change to arrive where it is today: THE most visited attraction in all of Tennessee, acclaimed entertainment venue, local hangout and important Memphis cultural hotspot. Today, Beale’s gritty and wild atmosphere is tempered, considerably, by a strong, tourism-driven economy, and the area is a virtual 2-mile beacon of incredible cafes, BBQ joints and restaurants, noisy clubs and smoky bars, live music, street performers, an array of novelty and specialty shops, music stores, houses of worship, theaters, pool halls, museums and historic points of interest with a distinctly Southern-fried crunch steeped in a richly authentic, smooth and moving Blues culture and vibe. Anything goes on Beale Street; come as you are – see the sights and sounds of this quintessentially Memphis neighborhood: follow the walk of brass notes, stop in at A. Schwab’s dry goods store, check out the cool sounds of Memphis Jams on Beale at Handy Park, come to town for the International Blues Challenge, pop by the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum or just hang out and revel in that “catfish on the table, gospel in the air” feel of this most iconic street in America!

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