Memphis Is the Most ‘Iconic’ City in America

Posted on: 4:33 pm, September 13, 2013, by , updated on: 04:57pm, September 13, 2013

(Memphis) Memphis is hoping to cash in because America thinks the city is the most ‘iconic’ in the country.

Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum are two of the top three iconic locations, according to USA Today readers.

The readers of USA Today have voted and say Graceland is the number one most iconic American tourist attraction in the country.

The home of Elvis Presley beat out other American icons like the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge, and even the Grand Canyon.

“Oh I love it. I think it’s gorgeous,” said Pat Williams.

Williams is finally making the trip to Graceland she’s been dreaming about for decades.

She’s in Memphis, all the way from Seattle.

“Well, I really didn’t think I was going to get here, and my granddaughter is working here so she wanted me to come and had me come up and see it,” said Williams.

The National Civil Rights Museum ranks third on the ‘Most Iconic’ list and is the only museum or African-American based attraction to make the top 25.

“That is tremendous when you think about the number of museums and other sites that exist across the country,”  said Beverly Robertson, who is with the National Civil Rights Museum.

Topping a list like this doesn’t just give Memphis bragging rights; it also brings a lot of money into the city.

Tourism contributes to more than 30,000 jobs in the city.

“We see people with their Civil Rights /museum bags all the time,” said Thomas Strange, manager of Central BBQ.

Central BBQ is right beside the National Civil Rights Museum and says this is great news for them, because they expect it will increase tourism.

“We see those tour buses come up and we know when they pull up they’re going to be hungry when they get done,” said Strange.

Memphis, NYC and San Francisco are the only cities to have more than one attraction on America’s Best Iconic Attractions top 25 list.

Rounding out the top five: Graceland at number one, followed by Mount Rushmore, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Grand Canyon, and the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in New York.