August 12, 2019

City Spotlight: Memphis

Why visit Memphis, Tennessee?

  • Legendary heritage of blues, soul, and rock ’n’ roll, as the launchpad for many famous musicians.
  • Vibrant, diverse city with a rich historical past in the civil rights movement.
  • Very bike-friendly with lots to do outdoors and on the river.Known for fantastic food, especially barbecue.
Memphis

Frontdesk welcomes you to Memphis, TN! It was home to legends like Elvis Presley, WC Handy, Rufus Thomas, BB King, and more. Located on the Mississippi River in southwest Tennessee, Memphis truly has something for everyone. While the “Home of the Blues” is certainly famous for its musical history, it also boasts plenty of entertainment and activities that will satisfy a variety of interests, no matter how long you’re in town.

Memphis Vacations

Memphis has something for everyone, whether you’re a music lover, a history buff, an adventurist, or a foodie. It offers the attractions and entertainment variety of a big city while still maintaining the laid-back nature of a Southern town.

Memphis Business Trips

Memphis is a popular business destination and it would be hard to see everything the town has to offer between meetings and conferences – but make the most of your time and commit to checking out a few of the hotspot attractions and restaurants when you can!

Memphis Neighborhoods

Downtown

Downtown is where you’ll find the hustle and bustle of the city. Downtown features the famous Beale Street Entertainment District, where you can enjoy numerous blues bars and dance clubs. In Downtown, you’ll also find the famous Memphis Pyramid, now the home of Bass Pro, and the National Civil Rights Museum.

South Main

Also known as the South Main Arts District, this neighborhood is filled with galleries, boutiques, and the city’s largest farmers market. Much of the entertainment and dining can be found along South Main Street and the last Friday of every month is South Main Trolley Night, where galleries and shops host art receptions and parties.

Midtown

This Memphis neighborhood is known for being funky, artsy, and diverse. In Midtown, you’ll find Overton Square, an eclectic collection of restaurants and live performance venues, as well as Overton Park, a 342-acre public park with running trails, a dog park, a lake, a golf course, and more.

Cooper-Young

This trendy neighborhood features 1920s bungalows, mom-and-pop shops, laid-back restaurants, and lively neighborhood pubs. The neighborhood even hosts their own outdoor music and arts festival every September.

What is there to do in Memphis?

From attractions like Graceland and Beale Street to museums and riverboat tours, there is no shortage of things to add to your Memphis itinerary. Here are a few suggestions of things to do while in Memphis (plus some of the best places to eat).

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Soak Up the Music

Memphis lives and breathes music. Whether you consider yourself a true music lover or not, there are some must-see spots in the city. Go for a tour at Sun Studio, where Elvis Presley, BB King, and Johnny Cash all recorded albums, and visit Evlis Presley’s famous Graceland Mansion. If you have time to add a few more musical spots to your agenda, check out the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. And of course, don’t forget to stop by Beale Street to experience the live music and entertainment that can be found at a variety of music clubs (and in the street).

Take In the History

For a non-music-related dose of history, there is also the National Civil Rights Museum. This renowned museum is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, and teaches about the civil rights movement and the history of the time. Another interesting spot downtown is the historic 13-story Peabody Hotel, built in 1869. The hotel offers historic tours and is also home to the famous Peabody Ducks, who march in a line to and from the lobby fountain every day at 11 am and 5 pm.

Mississippi River

Explore the Outdoors

With more than 9 parks and 200+ miles of bike lanes, Memphis has a wealth of outdoor adventures. Walk or bike the Shelby Farms Greenline (Memphis has a bike share program) and while you’re there, you can also zipline through their treetop adventure course. Golfers will enjoy teeing off at one of the many beautiful golf courses around the city. Spend some time on the Mississippi River by kayaking, canoeing, or taking a riverboat tour.

Restaurants & Bars

There’s a reason Memphis is nicknamed the Barbecue Pork Capital of the World! The city is known for great good, particularly barbecue. If you’re looking for the best barbecue restaurants in Memphis, try either Rendezvous or Central BBQ – locals can’t settle on which is better. The Trolley Stop Market, which is owned and operated by local farmers, is a good spot for tasty burgers or Saturday brunch. When it comes to nightlife, every neighborhood has its bars, but nothing beats the livelihood of Beale Street. While there are many great options in the area, BB King’s Blues Club is likely the most iconic.

Frequently Asked Questions About Memphis

The city was established in 1819 by John Overton, Andrew Jackson and James Winchester.
The city was named after Memphis, Egypt, the ancient capital on the Nile River.
Memphis is known as the Home of the Blues, the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll (a title Clevelanders will fight over!), the Grind City (after the Grizzlies’ team motto, “Grit and Grind”), the Bluff City (for sitting on the fourth Chickasaw Bluff along the Mississippi River), and the Barbecued Pork Capital of the World.

Graceland is a mansion in Memphis that was once the home of Elvis Presley. While Elvis grew up in Mississippi, he purchased the Tennessee home in 1957 for himself and his family. It has been a museum since 1982 and is the second most-visited home in the U.S. after the White House.

The Memphis Pyramid was originally built in 1991 as an arena and was the home court for the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team as well as the college team. However, it has not been used as a sports or entertainment venue since 2004. In 2015, the Pyramid re-opened as a Bass Pro megastore, which includes shopping, a hotel, restaurants, a bowling alley, and an archery range.
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