We came across this unique I-40 Tennessee welcome center while driving to Grand Canyon. This travel day was taking us from the Nashville East KOA to the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. As we came into Memphis we decided to stop, wake up the boys, and eat a quick breakfast on the road. We were fortunate to find this neat little I-40 Tennessee Welcome Center. Little did we know what we were about to find along the great Mississippi River.
I-40 TennesseeWelcome Center: Memphis
This Tennessee welcome center is located along I-40, Exit 1, at mile marker 0.30 along the banks of the Mississippi River.
Memphis Welcome Center: A Tribute to Elvis and BB King
The building houses two magnificent bronze statues. These two statues pay tribute to two of Memphis most famous musicians.
The statue of Elvis Presley was the first bronze statue of him in the world. Originally it was placed on Beal St. in Memphis. In 1996 the statue was moved into the welcome center to protect it from the elements, and souvenir collectors.
Across from Elvis stands a towering bronze statue of the “King of the Blues” B.B. King. The statue shows King playing his famous guitar named “Lucille.”
A Quick Visit and Breakfast
After pulling into the parking lot we went right into the welcome center simply to use the restrooms before a quick breakfast. We ended up spending time in the welcome center learning about Elvis, B.B. King, and their influence on music. This was a great surprise and yet another way to ensure the kids learn something while traveling.
We then went to find a nice picnic table and ate breakfast overlooking the Mighty Mississippi River. This was the first time any of us had seen the Mississippi, and we were taken in by its beauty.
The welcome center sits right on the banks of the Mississippi River. Of course, it offerers great views of both the Mississippi River and the Mud Island River.
The welcome center itself is open seven days a week from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm.
It offers parking for cars, buses, and lucky for us Rv’s. Overlooking the river are a number of picnic tables from which we ate our breakfast.
Without question, this I-40 Welcome Center was one of the cleanest, and most interesting rest stops we have made in all of our travels. In addition, it offers a little bit of history. Learning is one of our goals during our travels. Therefore, this stopped offering us a number of great things.
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Have you visited this I-40 rest area? Are there any other unique rest areas you have visited during your travels?