The Pink Palace Museum is located in East Memphis, a more suburban part of the city that isn’t typically included on city tours. The museum is just a short drive or taxi ride away, however, making it easy to visit during your stay. The exhibits and displays touch on subjects such as dinosaurs and fossils, Memphis history from settlement through the Civil War, slavery, yellow fever, Native Americans, the civil rights movement, wildlife, and a miniature circus.
Things to know before you go
- Pink Palace Museum is ideal for history and science lovers or those looking to learn more about the mid-South.
- Admission is free on Tuesday afternoons.
- Admission to the planetarium and theater can be purchased in addition to museum entry.
- There is a museum store for gifts and souvenirs.
How to get there
The museum is about a 20-minute drive east of downtown Memphis. It can also be reached by city bus line 50 at the Poplar and Lafayette stop followed by a 15-minute walk.
When to get there
The museum is open daily from mid-morning except Sundays when it opens at midday. There are evening hours on Friday for laser light shows and movie events, although the exhibits are closed.
A wealthy Memphis businessman named Clarence Saunders, founder of the Piggly Wiggly grocery store chain, commissioned the 36,500-square-foot (3,390-square-meter) Pink Palace to be his home in 1922 but never moved in. He lost his fortune in 1923, and the mansion was eventually donated to the city of Memphis to turn into a museum. This opened in 1930 as the Memphis Museum of Natural History and Industrial Arts and was renamed the Pink Palace Museum in 1967.