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Cars in Memphis
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Why rent a car in Memphis?
Memphis is not just a destination – it’s a calling. Fans of rock, blues, soul, Elvis – not to mention pulled pork – come on pilgrimages to see where so much began. It helps having wheels in this spread-out Mississippi River town, particularly in summer, when even shorts strolls get sticky.
Where to go in Memphis
To see much beyond downtown’s Beale Street bars and barbecue, you’ll need a car – or lots of cab money. Elvis’ home Graceland is an 8-mile ride south of downtown. A mile east of downtown is Sun Studios, where Elvis and Johnny Cash recorded hits. A couple of miles farther, the 324-acre Overton Park has a historic zoo, a 99-year-old art museum and old-growth forest hikes (all saved from I-40 construction by the Supreme Court in 1971). Just south is the emerging Cooper-Young neighborhood, big for brunch, drinks or a meal at Priscilla Presley’s old beauty shop, now the sidewalk-spilling Beauty Shop Restaurant.
Getting around Memphis
Memphis’ street grid has enough diagonal streets to make GPS useful. Of the outskirt-hugging interstates, you’ll probably only ever use I-55 or I-240 to reach Graceland. (Sun Studios offers a free shuttle there too.) Overton Park is closed to vehicles on weekends, when nearby parking can be tricky. Downtown’s street parking meters take credit cards but are generally limited to two hours.
Memphis car rental locations
All the major rental agencies can be found at Memphis International Airport (MEM), as well as at locations around town. Wherever you pick up your car, you’ll get a great deal on your Memphis car rental from Hotwire.