Memphis is home to great outdoor excursions, a rich history, and a vibrant music scene. Nature lovers and adrenaline seekers will be enticed by the stunning natural beauty and alluring attractions.
Be sure to try some of the state’s famous barbeque, drink some whiskey, and soak up some Southern hospitality while you’re there. This list will help you discover the best things to do in Memphis this year as well as some best parks and famous sights to visit.
Memphis is a city on the Mississippi River in Shelby County, Tennessee, United States. As a market for agricultural goods, natural resources such as lumber, and the American slave trade, Memphis evolved to be one of the greatest cities in the Antebellum South.
With a diverse landscape and unique neighborhoods, it is one of the most historic and culturally significant cities in the southern United States. Memphis is a regional economic, educational, media, artistic, and entertainment center.
The city recovered, becoming a natural distribution center for the South and Midwest thanks to its good location on the Mississippi. Memphis is now a thriving metropolis with significant corporate offices such as FedEx, AutoZone, and International Paper. Memphis International Airport is the world’s busiest cargo airport due to the large number of FedEx shipments that transit through. High-tech businesses, health care, and biological research are other significant economic drivers in the city.
Memphis, known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and the home of Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, is one of America’s most popular tourist destinations.
If you’re a homeowner and are looking to sell the house and move out of state, we can save you the hassle of hiring a real estate agent and making renovations. In reality, selling a house online is an excellent approach to locating a buyer in Memphis.
Fun Facts About Memphis
The name “Memphis” means “established and beautiful”, which is just one of the many fun facts about Memphis. Here are a few more:
- There are about 60 tourist attractions in the city
- Memphis boasts one of the world’s largest artesian well systems
- Memphis is the world’s pork barbecue capital, home to the Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in May and more than 100 barbecue specialty restaurants
- Memphis is the world’s largest spot cotton market, with approximately half of the United States’ cotton harvest passing through
- The Memphis Musicians Union, formed in 1873, is the country’s oldest musicians’ union.
- Memphis-based Cleo Wrap is the world’s biggest maker of Christmas wrapping paper, manufacturing two billion feet of gift wrap each year
- Memphis is the world’s hardwood capital
- The city of Memphis was designated the Great American Place for 1998 by American Heritage Magazine
Best Things to Do in Memphis
Memphis has a rich history and what better way to learn about it than by taking a tour of the city’s greatest attractions?
1. River Mississippi
It’s easy to traverse this large stretch of water due to the Big River Crossing’s pedestrian and bike bridge connecting West Memphis, Arkansas to the Mississippi. Enjoy panoramic views of the river and the city skyline while viewing the bridge’s periodic light displays.
Visiting Memphis wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Graceland, Elvis Presley’s well-known home. Discover the artist’s beginnings and discover his 1970s home design, including the famed Jungle Room. Along the street, there’s a new museum dedicated to Elvis’ collection of antique vehicles, as well as various cafés and other music-themed attractions.
3. The National Civil Rights Museum
Erected on the spot of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the museum engrosses you in the battles for the civil rights movement from enslavement to the 1960s uprising and now. Artifacts, special interactive exhibits, and other media provide first-hand descriptions of events.
4. Sun Studio
Elvis Presley began his career in this modest studio just east of Memphis. Today, you can explore Sun Studios, learn about Memphis’ rock and roll musical history from local musicians who act as tour guides, and even stand at the microphone where Elvis Presley made history by crooning “That’s All Right.”
5. Peabody Hotel
Every day at 11 a.m., a tiny but formidable parade of gorgeous ducks march from the Peabody Hotel’s rooftop through the foyer to the granite fountain, where the Peabody Ducks spend the day. Children enjoy front-row spots while parents can unwind with a drink from the bar.
6. Shelby Farms Park
Shelby Farms, one of the country’s biggest metropolitan parks, showcases a cutting-edge playground, sightseeing, kayaking, two restaurants, paddle-boating, canoeing, and horseback riding.
7. Levitt Shell
Every year, this open-air amphitheater in picturesque Overton Park stages 50 free concerts, and families from all around town come with chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets to enjoy live music within the same platform where Elvis originally publicly performed.
8. Memphis Zoo
Only four zoos have giant pandas in the U.S., and the Memphis Zoo is among them. Explore the remainder of the highly-rated zoo, which is home to monkeys, penguins, polar bears, a variety of reptiles and birds, and a young hippo named Winnie.
9. Main Street
Main Street in downtown Memphis allows visitors to experience the city’s culture all on one street: ride a vintage trolley, check out gift shops, as well as visit museums like the Blues Hall of Fame and the Center for Southern Folklore.
10. AutoZone Park
The Memphis Redbirds Triple-A baseball club allows you to witness professional players up and running prior to being promoted to the major tournaments. Grab a Ghost River beer and some BBQ nachos, and then stay for night fireworks on Saturday.
11. Beale Street
Beale Street appears to be a typical tourist attraction, but if you stay a little longer, you can see the Irish jumping goats at Silky’s, view a world-class performance at the historic New Daisy Theater, eat a burger cooked in 100-year-old grease at Dyer’s, and so much more.
12. Stax Museum
Visit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music at Soulsville, which is located in southern Memphis. The museum, which was built on the site of Stax Records, provides a humorous and musical look into the roots of Memphis soul, concentrating on icons like Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes.
Throughout the basketball season, local sports fans may be seen at FedExForum, which is just a short walk from Beale. You can watch the Memphis Grizzlies, a basketball team, play at this cutting-edge stadium.
14. Malco Summer Drive-In
This Drive-In is among the few remaining open-air drive-in cinemas in the United States. The premise crew hosts the Time Warp, an all-night cult classic movie marathon, once a month.
15. Paula & Raiford’s Disco
During the day, Raiford’s seems to be nothing more than a normal shop on Second Street. At night, the area comes alive with disco balls, a red carpet, magnificent lighting, and the most comfortable dancefloor.
Best National Parks in Memphis
1. Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, 13 miles north of Memphis, is a 12,539-acre hardwood bottomland region bordered by the great Mississippi River. The majority of the facilities are located on top of the magnificent Chickasaw Bluffs, which rise from the bottomlands and are densely forested with huge oaks, American beech, hickory, and sweet gum.
2. Overton Park
Overton Park is a huge public park in Midtown Memphis, Tennessee, with 342-acres (138 ha). It hosts Memphis Zoo, Veterans Plaza, a 9hole golf course, and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art among other features.
3. Chickasaw Heritage Park
Chickasaw Heritage Park is a 17-acre park that has historical monuments and markers. Two ceremonial mounds from past centuries sit on this huge park and a spectacular view of the Mississippi River can be seen from the west of the amazingly high mound.
4. Memphis Botanic Garden
5. The Crystal Shrine Grotto
The strangely organic concrete cavern known as the Crystal Shrine Grotto was crafted in the 1930s and is a psychedelic mix of mythological themes, odd stone forms, and expert handwork that is meant to create a relaxing atmosphere of reflection but appears more like a prehistoric Christian park.
Famous Sights to See in Memphis
1. The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
The Smithsonian Institution established the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum to honor musical pioneers from the 1930s to the 1970s. Outfits, more than 30 instruments, and other African-American music-related memorabilia, including the costumes used by the early stars, are also on display.
2. The Children’s Museum of Memphis
The Children’s Museum of Memphis (CMOM) is a lifesaver for traveling parents, with numerous activities to keep children amused, including hands-on exhibitions.
3. Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Margaret and Hugo Dixon donated their gorgeous Memphis house and French Impressionist paintings as an open-to-the-public art gallery and gardens. The home, set on 17 acres of forests, is well-known for its English, French, and Italian landscape elements.
4. The Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium
Another fantastic Memphis attraction for families visiting Memphis is the Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium. The Tennessee Science and Historical Museum is housed in a beautiful ancient home that was built in 1852 for one of the city’s wealthiest families.
5. Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, founded in 1916, is Tennessee’s biggest (and oldest) art museum. An outstanding collection of paintings and sculptures, including works from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, as well as Impressionist paintings and American prints, is spread among its 29 galleries.
Memphis is a unique place where numerous musical styles intersect, and where family joy meets urban excitement. These surprising mixes are what distinguishes the Memphis experience and why you’ll always discover a new beat, no matter how many times you visit.
The best part about your visit to Memphis is that you enjoy affordable housing and the low cost of goods and services.