Memphis International Airport (MEM; 901/922-8000, www.mscaa.com) is located 13 miles south of downtown Memphis. There are two popular routes to Memphis from the airport. Take I-240 north to arrive in midtown. To reach downtown, take I-55 north and exit on Riverside Drive. The drive takes between 20 and 30 minutes.
The airport’s main international travel insurance and business services center (901/922-8090) is located in ticket lobby B and opens daily. Here you can exchange foreign currency, buy travel insurance, conduct money transfers, send faxes and make photocopies, and buy money orders and travelers checks. A smaller kiosk near the international arrivals and departures area at gate B-36 is open daily and offers foreign currency exchange and travel insurance.
There is wireless Internet service in the airport, but it is not free.
TennCo Express (901/345-7962, www.tenncoexpress.com) provides an hourly shuttle service from the airport to many downtown hotels. Tickets are $15 one-way and $25 round-trip. Look for the shuttle parked in the third lane near column number 14 outside the airport terminal. Shuttles depart every half hour 7:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. For a hotel pick-up, call at least a day in advance.
Memphis is located at the intersection of two major interstate highways: I-40, which runs east–west across the United States, and I-55, which runs south from St. Louis to New Orleans.
Many people who visit Memphis drive here in their own cars. The city is 300 miles from St. Louis, 380 miles from Atlanta, 410 miles from New Orleans, 450 miles from Dallas, 480 miles from Cincinnati and Oklahoma City, and 560 miles from Chicago.
Greyhound (800/231-2222, www.greyhound.com) runs daily buses to Memphis from around the United States. Direct service is available to Memphis from a number of surrounding cities, including Jackson and Nashville, Tennessee; Tupelo and Jackson, Mississippi; Little Rock and Jonesboro, Arkansas; and St. Louis. The Greyhound station (203 Union Ave., 901/523-9253), in downtown Memphis, is open 24 hours a day.
Amtrak (800/872-7245, www.amtrak.com) runs the City of New Orleans train daily between Chicago and New Orleans, stopping in Memphis on the way. The southbound train arrives daily at Memphis’s Central Station at 6:17 a.m., leaving about half an hour later. The northbound train arrives at 10 p.m. every day. It is an 11-hour ride between Memphis and Chicago and about eight hours between Memphis and New Orleans.
The Amtrak station (901/526-0052) is located in Central Station at 545 South Main Street in the South Main district of downtown. Ticket and baggage service is available at the station daily 5:45 a.m.–11 p.m.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition