This week at Centrum is all about the blues. It’s a well-known fact that the roots of acoustic blues music are in the South. However, columnist and world traveler Cheryl Cashman, of Port Townsend, founder of Adventure Artisans travel concierge services and friend of Centrum, is here to tell us us about another tradition to be discovered there you may not know about.
By Cheryl Cashman
Have a Ducky Time at the Memphis Peabody Hotel
Cue the Dixieland horns and sing, “Oh when the ducks …. come marching in!” Yes, ducks, because at the spectacular Peabody Hotel in Memphis, live ducks waddle out of a marble-floored elevator, march into the lobby across a long red carpet and splash into a grand fountain. It happens every day at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., and folks sometimes gather an hour in advance to see the spectacle.
Bellman Duck Masters have been leading the daily Duck March for nearly 90 years, and out of respect for these fine, feathered entertainers, duck is not served on the menu at the Peabody Hotel.
The Peabody oozes genuine southern charm and hospitality. Each room is unique and tastefully appointed. As a travel connoisseur, I can’t say enough about their personalized customer service and genuine desire to accommodate guests. Each evening, the hotel has something going on for guests – usually at the Corner Bar, but once a week, a roof-top party with live music happens and draws Memphis in. If you go to the roof-top party, I recommend connecting with the concierge to get into the VIP section.
Right outside the doors of the Peabody Hotel awaits world-famous Beale Street, where a young B.B. King worked as a disc jockey and the notable all-girl radio station WHER was founded. Memphis was a cradle for rhythm and blues, soul, jazz and gospel, and you can still hear these enchanting sounds everywhere. Musical greats like Muddy Watters, Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf and of course B.B. King grew up in the Memphis area.
Then came the age of rock ’n’ roll, and Memphis was home to founding legends like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison. Numerous venues offer a chance to enjoy the music of these greats and see historic sites like Sam Phillips’ Sun Studio (the official birthplace of rock) and of course Elvis’ Graceland mansion.
The Memphis midtown (a vibrant area that has experienced a rebirth) offers fine art galleries, plus culinary, art and music festivals all year long.
The Peabody Hotel sits in the heart of downtown Memphis, near famous shops like Lansky’s clothier, which dressed Elvis and many other musicians right on their premises. I suggest a traditional afternoon tea in the Peabody’s fine dining restaurant. The paintings are stunning, the chandeliers sparkling and the ambiance calming.
For world travelers who also appreciate a U.S. “stay-cation,” Memphis offers lots to see, do and enjoy, and I recommend staying at least 4 nights. Questions? Call me – we’ll go places together!
World travel experts Cheryl Cashman and Susan Valentino – Adventure Artisans – Virtuoso Partner – 1-844-554-6161