Over 15 Things to Do in Memphis, Tennessee
Whether you’re from Memphis, or simply visiting for a week, there’s always something to do. Regardless if it is spring, winter, fall or summer, there’s always something fun going on. If you’re into historical landmarks you can check out the Civil Rights Museum, or Beale Street, or if you’re a foodie, you can of course sample some of the best barbecue your taste-buds have ever graced! Memphis is known as the home of rock-n-roll with Beale street and Elvis Presley.
Things to do
Check out Shelby Farms Park! This is an incredible park. It has over 50-acres of land for the buffalo. You can do some sightseeing in the Shelby Farms Park walking the nature trails, there is BMX track, boating, fishing, and even paintball available. This is a park that has a little something for everyone in East Memphis.
Another incredible park to explore is the Overton Park in Midtown. This is about 342 acres of public space and offers free hiking in the Old Forest State Natural Area. Afterwards, head on over to the Brooks Museum.
If you’re looking for a unique ‘taste’ of Memphis, head on over to the Crosstown Concourse. It has an incredibly up and coming village. You can check out one of the food trucks, visit th Crosstown Arts, eat at Mama Gaia, or sit back with friends at the Crosstown Brewing Company.
Beale Street is known as the “home of the blues”. This is a must visit area for anyone new to the city, and any locals that just haven’t had the time to visit. You can check out WC Handy’s House and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. This is the same street where you can find the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum was created by the Smithsonian. It showcases musical pioneers from the 30’s to the 70’s. There are numerous galleries to check out, and you’ll want to visit the Gibson Guitar Factory as well. You may also want to visit the Memphis Zoo, which has 500 species and over 3,500 animals to see! The most popular exhibits are the polar bears and sea lions and bald eagles!
If you find you’re ‘thirsty’ while in Memphis, take a brewery tour, or three! Whether you want to visit Ghost River, Memphis Made or High Cotton, there are plenty of incredible breweries around. Several offer taste-testings of their IPA and crafts, and there is even the Memphis Brew Bus to help.
If you’re in the Pinch District, you have to try Comeback Coffee. This is one of the most ‘hip’ coffee shops in all of the Memphis metro area, with not only delicious coffee and pastries and sandwiches, but a very laid back ambiance. Venturing out to Broad Avenue? Lucky Cat has some of the best ramen you’ll find in Memphis! The price is incredible, the food is unbeatable, and the Japanese cocktails are delicious! All of this makes it a no-brainer visit.
The Inspire Community Cafe is sort of like a co-op, that offers delicious coffee, smoothies, and all three courses with incredible gluten-free, and paleo options. They prioritize greens and organic foods, and invest back into the Memphis community. This is a wonderful little restaurant!
Riko’s Kitckin Chicken is in Madison Heights, and some of the best wings to be had in Memphis. Riko’s was initially a food truck, and is now a staple restaurant for many! Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is also some of the best fried chicken you will ever have. Yes, it will likely be packed. And yes, it may have a bit of a wait. But the chicken is incredibly well seasoned, crispy, and excellent portions. There’s a reason this restaurant has over 3,000 reviews on Google! It’s a local favorite! Many argue there’s no chicken like Gus’s chicken.
If you’re looking for a fine dining restaurant for a date night, then consider the Flight Restaurant. As more of an upscale and romantic dining option, the prices will reflect that. But the fare and food is excellent for what it is. The wine list is more extensive than the menu. You can sample a scallop benedict, elk, or a beef wellington. Whatever you opt for, you will surely enjoy your meal!
Many local Memphis patrons will say that Central BBQ in Midtown is the BBQ spot. Many will say it’s even the BEST BBQ in Memphis, with incredible brisket, sausage, pork and chicken. It’s the type of local restaurant that gets packed the moment the doors open up, which is generally a good sign! If you want real authentic Memphis ribs, then definitely check out Central!
If you’re in Memphis, then you know you’re close to the Mississippi. Looking for something free? You can view the Mississippi from the Big River Crossing, by jogging or biking across. This is the longest public pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi at almost a mile in length. At night there are more than 100,000 LED lights to light it up.
If you’re a music fan, then you have to visit Graceland. This is a must-see for any Elvis Presley & rock n-roll fans as this was his former estate that he bought in 1957. You can take a tour around his former home in Meditation Garden. His 1955 Pin Cadillac is still there along with his other car collection.
If history is important to you, then you may want to visit the National Civil Rights Museum. It is nearby to Beale Street (as mentioned above). Down the street is the Lorraine Motel. In 1968, this is where MLK was shot. It is not the National Civil Rights Museum and this hotel serves as a landmark for civil rights history in America.
The Children’s Museum of Memphis is one of the best museums in the country for children (and parents). There are endless displays that are hands-on for children to experiment with. With a flight simulator and a Mars bike simulator, there is enough here to keep your kids entertained for hours!
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