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50 Things To Do In Memphis in 2022

A rich and storied musical history, Memphis has everything from Elvis to barbecue. That said, the city, much like the musicians that have made it famous, is definitely a hotbed of amazing things to do.

Situated on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, Memphis is home to some of the country’s best urban parks! Sure, the area is generally flat (which may or may not be a good thing, depending on who you ask), but the city more than makes up for this with an abundance of green spaces offering a boatload of outdoor recreational activities!

Moreover, while any conversation about the Memphis food scene starts and ends with its world class barbecue, Memphis does have a growing restaurant and food truck community that features everything from innovative Creole-inspired food to authentic Ethiopian cuisine.

Lastly, aside from being one of the best musical destinations in the country,

Memphis is also a mecca for other forms of art. It sponsors several film festivals, and is home to two burgeoning visual art districts!

Planning a trip to this bustling southern city? Here’s a list of 50 things to do in Memphis.

50 Things to do in Memphis

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Visit Graceland

What’s special about this place?

Located along Elvis Presley Blvd, Graceland is an entertainment complex featuring 120 acres dedicated to the life and career of the legendary Elvis Presley.

Graceland contains a variety of attractions, including restaurants, gift shops, interactive exhibits, a AAA Four-Diamond resort hotel, and the King’s former estate, Graceland Mansion!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Graceland is ideal for families, scholars of American music history, and musicians and music fans.

It’s also ideal for tourists who want to learn about the life and career of Elvis Presley, one of America’s most well-known, albeit one of the most polarizing, music icons.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through all 120 acres of Graceland. Make yourself at home at The Guest House at Graceland. Immerse yourself in the life and career of Elvis Presley at Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

Stop by the Graceland Exhibition Center, and check out the Muhammad Ali: Greatest of All Time exhibit. Don’t forget to explore Graceland Mansion!

Best time to visit

Graceland is open daily, from 9 AM to 4 PM. The best time to visit Graceland largely depends on your itinerary. That said, as it’s one of the top attractions in Memphis, expect large crowds!

Learn more about Graceland here!

Explore Overton Park

What’s special about this place?

It’s arguably bett than NYC’s Central Park. Located at 1914 Poplar Ave #202, Overton Park is a 342-acre public park.

The park grounds contain a variety of attractions, including a 9-hole golf course, a number of picnic areas, a 2-acre Veterans Plaza, an art museum, and the Old Forest Arboretum—the only old-growth forest in the Southeast to be located in an urban environment!

Overton Park’s other notable attractions are mentioned separately on this list.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Overton Park is ideal for families, avid hikers, nature lovers, birders, wildlife enthusiasts, and conservationists. It’s also ideal for tourists looking to unwind in a nice green space right in the middle of Memphis!

What to do here?

Spend a day in Memphis’ Overton Park.

Go picnicking at the park’s East Picnic Area. Explore the park’s Old Forest Arboretum. Check out some of its over 200-year-old trees, and observe over 332 flowering plant species within the arboretum.

Have your binoculars ready and try to spot some of the bird species that frequent the forest. Go golfing at the park’s 9-hole golf course!

Best time to visit

Memphis’ Overton Park is open daily, from 6 AM to 8 PM. It’s best to visit the park on weekdays to avoid large crowds, ideally around 6 AM to 9 AM, or from 3 PM onwards!

Learn more about Overton Park here!

Experience Memphis’ Beale Street

What’s special about this place?

Tennessee’s most visited attraction, Beale Street features three blocks of nightclubs, iconic music venues, restaurants, and shops!

Beale Street is home to many Memphis attractions, some of which are mentioned separately on this list.

Located in Downtown Memphis, running from the Mississippi River to East Street, Beale Street is a historic 1.8-mile street.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Beale Street is ideal for music lovers, foodies and tourists looking to get a few drinks, tourists looking to immerse themselves in Memphis’ legendary music scene, and tourists looking to mingle with Memphians!

As an important part of the Civil Rights movement in Memphis, Beale Street is a must-visit for activists and history nerds of all ages.

What to do here?

Tour Beale Street. Stop by the historic Beale Street Baptist Church, Tennessee’s oldest surviving African American Church.

Explore the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery and check out black and white photos of key Civil Rights Movement events, and legendary blues and jazz performers.

Attend a free concert at Beale Street’s Handy Park, or get a potent dose of the Memphis blues at Blues Hall.

Best time to visit

The best time to explore Beale Street largely depends on your itinerary. It’s best to visit Beale Street during the day if you plan on exploring Beale Street’s museums and civil rights landmarks.

That said, as Memphis’ premier entertainment district, most tourists usually visit Beale Street at night!

Learn more about Memphis’ Beale Street here!

Go on a Memphis Zoo tour

What’s special about this place?

It is home to more than 3,500 animals representing over 500 different species! The zoo currently has 15 exhibits, the most popular of which is the 3-acre China exhibit, home to giant pandas Ya Ya and Le Le.

The Memphis Zoo offers a variety of interactive group tours, and is one of the best attractions in Memphis for family entertainment!

Located at 2000 Prentiss Place within Overton Park, the Memphis Zoo is a 76-acre zoo.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Memphis Zoo is a must-visit for families, animal lovers of all ages, conservationists, and tourists looking to spend a day of relaxation and fun with animals.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through the Memphis Zoo.

Observe white-naped cranes, François’ langurs, and giant pandas at the Memphis Zoo’s 3-acre China exhibit. Marvel at Indonesia’s Komodo Dragons at the Memphis Zoo’s Dragon’s Lair.

Take a stroll through the Memphis Zoo Arboretum and check out over 40 different tree species!

Best time to visit

The Memphis Zoo is open daily, from 9 AM to 5 PM. To avoid large crowds, it’s best to visit the zoo on weekdays.

If you want to experience the zoo at night, the Memphis Zoo offers a special Twilight Tour that takes its guests through the zoo’s Australian outback exhibit!

Learn more about Memphis Zoo here!

Watch a Grizzlies game at FedExForum

What’s special about this place?

It has hosted seven World Championship Boxing events, four concert rehearsals and tour openings, and major family shows like WWE, Hot Wheels Monster Trucks and Motocross, and Cirque du Soleil!

Located at 191 Beale St, FedExForum is a 14-acre multi-purpose arena. Home to the Memphis Grizzlies, it is considered to be one of the premier arenas in the NBA. That said, FedExForum does host other events.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

FedExForum is a must-visit for families, Grizzlies fans and basketball fans in general, MMA and boxing fans, and tourists of all ages looking to experience world class entertainment!

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through FedExForum. Check out the arena’s interior, designed to pay tribute to Memphis’ musical heritage. Watch a Grizzlies game and soak up the city’s famous “Grit & Grind” sports culture.

Attend a concert here and check out the arena’s state-of-the-art acoustics. Or, if you really want to get your blood pumping, attend a WWE event!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit FedExForum depends on your itinerary and the schedule of the event you plan on attending. That said, it’s ideal to get to the arena at least an hour before your event starts.

Take a stroll down the Wolf River Greenway

What’s special about this place?

The Wolf River Greenway is a corridor of protected green space that features picnic areas, wildflower meadows, butterfly gardens, interpretive stops, and aquatic plant displays!

Located along the meanders of the Wolf River in downtown Memphis, the Wolf River Greenway is a developing 26-mile paved pedestrian pathway. It is planned to one day span 36 miles, connecting downtown Memphis to some of its neighboring cities.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Wolf River Greenway is ideal for families, avid hikers, runners, rollerbladers, cyclists, wildlife enthusiasts, conservationists, and nature lovers of all ages.

As it’s frequented by Memphians from all walks of life, it’s also great for tourists who want to do some people-watching while enjoying the great Memphis outdoors!

What to do here?

Explore the Wolf River Greenway. Go hiking/biking on the Wolf River Greenway’s paved trails. Spend a day picnicking at the Wolf River Greenway’s picnic areas, and check out some of the wildlife that thrive along its trails.

Check out the wildflower meadows along the greenway, and don’t forget to take pictures!

Best time to visit

The Wolf River Greenway is open all year round, from 6 AM to 8 PM. To avoid large crowds, it’s best to explore the greenway from 6 AM to 8 AM, and around 1 PM to 4 PM.

Learn more about Wolf River Greenway here!

Try the soul food at Alcenia’s

What’s special about this place?

Located at 317 N Main St, Alcenia’s is an iconic southern-style restaurant. Considered a Memphis institution, Alcenia’s is known for offering some of the best soul food in the state of Tennessee.

Specialties include fried chicken, salmon croquettes, catfish, and pork chops!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Alcenia’s is ideal for families and hungry tourists craving for authentic southern-style cuisine (or as some Southerners call it, grandma’s cooking). It’s a must-visit for foodies of all ages, and is a perfect starting point to any Memphis food trip!

What to do here?

Try some Alcenia’s specialties (although, you really can’t go wrong with anything on their menu). Try their fried catfish with rice and gravy, or their smothered pork chops with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans.

Finish with a serving of their bread pudding or their peach crumble!

Best time to visit

As of this writing, Alcenia’s is currently closed for renovations. That said, the restaurant is usually open Tuesday through Saturday.

11 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Friday, and 9 AM to 3 PM on Saturdays. The best time to visit the restaurant largely depends on your itinerary.

Learn more about Alcenia’s here!

Explore Shelby Farms Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 6903 Great View Dr N, Shelby Farms Park is a 4,500-acre urban park.

It features more than 40 miles of paved and unpaved trails (including the iconic Shelby Farms Greenline), and contains a number of lakes, natural forests, and wetlands.

Naturally, it is home to a variety of wildlife, including beavers, deer, turtles, and different species of birds!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Shelby Farms Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, avid hikers, birders, conservationists, all kinds of outdoor recreationists, and tourists who want a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Memphis.

What to do here?

Explore Shelby Farms Park. Go on a treetop adventure and do some axe throwing at Shelby Farms’ Go Ape outdoor adventure park. If you’re traveling with children, stop by Shelby Farms’ Woodland Discovery Playground.

Go canoeing at one of the park’s lakes. Go hiking/biking/horseback riding at some of the park’s trails, or play some disc golf at some of the park’s open spaces. Check out the park’s wildlife, and the park’s famous bison herd!

Best time to visit

Shelby Farms Park is open daily, from 5:45 AM to 8:15 PM. It’s best to visit the park on weekdays to avoid large crowds.

If you have to visit the park on a weekend, make sure to get there as early as you can—the park gets progressively busier from 12 noon onwards!

Learn more about Shelby Farms Park here!

Visit the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1934 Poplar Ave within Memphis’ Overton Park, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is an 86,000-square-foot art museum. Founded in 1916, it is the oldest and largest art museum in the state of Tennessee.

The museum houses over 7,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and photographs. Paintings in the permanent collection include works by Italian Renaissance, Baroque, Impressionist, and 20th-century artists!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is ideal for families, architecture enthusiasts, and artists and art enthusiasts. It’s a must-visit for tourists keen on checking out Renaissance, Baroque, and Impressionist paintings.

What to do here?

Tour the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Check out its original Beaux-Arts building, a registered U.S. National Landmark designed by James Gamble Rogers.

Check out the sculptures on the museum grounds, such as the Two African Male Lions, and the Spring, Summer, Fall sculptures. Check out the museum’s current exhibitions such as Mark Seliger’s On Christopher Street: Transgender Portraits. Check out the museum’s Samuel H. Kress collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings.

Best time to visit

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is open Wednesday through Sunday. 10 AM to 8 PM on Wednesdays, 10 AM to 4 PM on Thursdays and Fridays, 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays, and 11 AM to 5 PM on Sundays.

The museum is always at least a little busy, so the best time to visit the museum largely depends on your itinerary.

Learn more about Memphis Brooks Museum of Art here!

Tour the Memphis Botanic Garden

What’s special about this place?

Located at 750 Cherry Rd, the Memphis Botanic Garden is a 96-acre botanical garden. The garden contains 30 specialty gardens, and multiple indoor event spaces.

It hosts many annual community events, such as the Halloween Hike, The Family Egg Hunt, and Mother’s Day Jazz Brunch.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Memphis Botanic Garden is ideal for families, horticulturists, nature lovers, and tourists looking for a nice garden venue for private events like weddings, reunions, and corporate retreats!

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through the Memphis Botanic Garden. Explore all 30 specialty gardens within the Memphis Botanic Garden. Take a quick Photo Tour with your kids at the garden’s My Big Backyard garden.

Check out the gardens collection of cacti and succulents at the Desert Garden. Watch the sun set at the garden’s Japanese Garden of Tranquility!

Best time to visit

The Memphis Botanic Garden is open daily, from 9 AM to 6 PM. It’s best to visit the Memphis Botanic Garden on weekdays to avoid large crowds!

Learn more about Memphis Botanic Garden here!

Watch a movie at Malco Summer Drive-In

What’s special about this place?

Located at 5310 Summer Ave, Memphis’ Malco Summer Drive-In is an iconic drive-in movie theater. Operating since the 1960’s, Memphis’ Malco Summer Drive-In is no ancient relic.

It offers four screens with digital presentations, audio powered by on-location FM frequency, and a CaptiView System for hearing and vision impaired guests!

While it regularly screens mainstream films, it also occasionally hosts film festivals that feature a variety of arthouse films!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Memphis’ Malco Summer Drive-In is ideal for families, all kinds of cinephiles, and tourists looking to experience a good old-fashioned drive-in movie theater. Obviously, it’s also a perfect venue for a movie date!

What to do here?

Drive down to Memphis’ Malco Summer Drive-In and watch a double feature. Bring your family or your date with you, and have a nice little picnic before your movie starts.

Make sure your car speakers are loud enough, as you listen to the movie through your car radio!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Malco Summer Drive-In depends on the schedule of the movie you plan on watching. That said, it’s best to get there at least a few hours ahead of time so you get to pick an ideal parking spot!

Learn more about Malco Summer Drive-In here!

Visit Memphis’ legendary Sun Studio

What’s special about this place?

Located at 706 Union Ave, Sun Studio is a historic recording studio. Known worldwide as “The Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, it is known for being the discovery location of a number of legendary artists.

Musicians like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Ray Orbison recorded at Sun Studio throughout the mid-to-late 1950s!

Officially designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2003, Sun Studio is one of Memphis’ top tourist attractions.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Sun Studio is a must-visit for all types of music lovers and musicians.

It’s also ideal for music history buffs, and tourists keen on learning about Memphis’ musical legacy, as well as tourists just keen on stepping into the same recording booth a number of legendary musicians recorded in.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through Sun Studio. Stand in the very same spot that Elvis first recorded, and learn about the stories behind certain records.

Check out some priceless memorabilia from the musical legends that once graced the studio’s booths. Listen to outtakes from these same legends’ recording sessions.

If you’re up for it, book the studio for a few hours and record some of your own tracks!

Best time to visit

Sun Studio is open daily. 10 AM to 5:15 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 10 AM to 6:15 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. The best time to visit Sun Studio largely depends on your itinerary.

That said, if you plan on doing a recording session, make sure you come at least half an hour early before your session starts!

Learn more about Memphis’ legendary Sun Studio here!

Check out metal art at the Metal Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 374 Metal Museum Dr, the Metal Museum is a museum devoted to exhibitions of metalwork and public programs featuring metalsmiths.

The Metal Museum sits on a 3.2-acre site and is on the western half of a former United States Marine Hospital. The museum features rotating exhibitions featuring fine metal artwork, as well as over 3,000 items in its permanent collection.

The museum also offers hands-on classes and workshops on metalwork!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Metal Museum is ideal for families, artists and art enthusiasts, aspiring metalsmiths, and tourists eager to learn about metalwork.

Moreover, it’s ideal for history buffs keen on exploring a former United States Marine Hospital that was once used to treat Civil War veterans.

What to do here?

Explore the Metal Museum. Check out the museum’s sculpture garden, featuring cast iron, steel, and bronze sculptures.

Next, check out the museum’s rotating exhibitions, such as the museum’s annual Master Metalsmith series, currently featuring the works of Kim Cridler. Explore the museum’s permanent collection, which focuses on artists and artworks from the post-Craft Revival period, from the 1970s to the present.

If you’re up for it, head over to the Smithy and take metalwork classes!

Best time to visit

The Metal Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 AM to 5 PM. It’s best to visit the museum on a weekday to avoid large crowds.

That said, the museum is the only institution of its kind in North America, so expect it to be at least a little busy at all times!

Learn more about Metal Museum here!

Watch a Redbirds game at AutoZone Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 200 Union Ave, AutoZone Park is an 11-acre Minor League Baseball stadium. It is home to the Memphis Redbirds baseball team, and the Memphis 901 FC professional soccer team.

Though not quite as big as MLB stadiums, AutoZone Park is built to MLB standards. It seats 10,000 people, and contains several seating sections designed to give patrons a variety of viewing options!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

AutoZone Park is one of Memphis’ premier destinations for families, baseball fans, soccer fans, and tourists looking for sports entertainment.

Sure, it’s not as grand as a Major League Baseball stadium, but it’s way more accessible, and as such, is perfect for tourists who want to get a feel of the Memphis community!

What to do here?

Watch a Redbirds game! For soccer fans, watch a Memphis 901 FC game. Try and stay awhile after the game and catch the occasional fireworks display, and take in the AutoZone Park atmosphere.

Afterwards, head on over to nearby Beale Street!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit AutoZone Park depends on the schedule of the game or event you plan on attending. That said, it’s best to get there at least an hour before your game/event starts!

Hang out at the Mississippi River Greenbelt Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 830 Island Dr, on the north end of Memphis’ Mud Island, the Mississippi River Greenbelt Park is a riverfront urban park. It consists mostly of open lawn areas with scattered trees.

It features excellent views of the Mississippi River, a boat ramp providing access into the Mississippi River, and a number of picnic areas. It’s also known as one of the best spots in Memphis for bird-watching!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Mississippi River Greenbelt Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, hikers, joggers, cyclists of all levels, birders, and tourists who want to spend the day picnicking and getting some fresh air.

Loved by locals and tourists alike, it’s also great for tourists looking to do some people watching!

What to do here?

Spend a day at the Mississippi River Greenbelt Park. Dust off those binoculars, and do some bird-watching by the river. Rent a bike from one of the park’s Explore Bike Share stations, and go biking through the park’s paved pathways.

Take your best selfies by the river, and don’t catch one of the best sunsets in Memphis!

Best time to visit

The Mississippi River Greenbelt Park is open daily, from 6 AM to 6 PM. It’s best to visit the park late in the afternoon, around 4:30 PM onwards. This leaves you with enough time to explore the park and catch the sunset.

That said, the park is at its busiest around that time.

Learn more about Mississippi River Greenbelt Park here!

Learn about Memphis’ musical heritage at the Memphis Music Hall of Fame

What’s special about this place?

Located at 126 S 2nd St, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame is a museum dedicated to honoring Memphis musicians for their lifetime achievements in music.

Established in 2012, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame conducts an annual induction ceremony and concert to honor the Memphis music scene’s notables.

Additionally, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame has an exhibit hall, which features various memorabilia, video interviews, and interactive exhibits!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is a must-visit for all kinds of music lovers and musicians. It’s also ideal for families, American music history buffs, and tourists who want to learn all about Memphis’ most iconic musicians!

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through the Memphis Music Hall of Fame museum. Check out rare video performances and interviews, as well as never-before-seen memorabilia, such as Elvis Presley’s briefcase phone!

Learn about the Memphis Music Hall of Fame’s inductees and their legacy. Shop tees, caps, drumsticks, and other Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul merch at the museum’s store.

Best time to visit

The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 AM to 5 PM. It’s a fairly small museum, so it’s best to visit the Memphis Music Hall of Fame between Wednesday to Friday to avoid large crowds!

Learn more about Memphis Music Hall of Fame here!

Dine at the Flying Fish

What’s special about this place?

Located at 105 S 2nd St, the Flying Fish is a laid-back diner specializing in seafood. More than just a seafood diner, the Flying Fish is known for its Liars Wall, where customers put up a photo of them with their big catch and lie about its size!

The Flying Fish is also the home of the world’s first Billy Bass Adoption Wall. Any customer who donates a Billy Bass receives a free(!) basket of catfish!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Flying Fish is ideal for families, foodies, professional and/or recreational fishermen, and hungry tourists craving for seafood cooked southern-style (or just hungry tourists, in general).

What to do here?

Try some of the Flying Fish’s bestsellers. For starters, get their Seafood Gumbo. Next, try their famous 1 lb. Whole Catfish with fries and hushpuppies. If you’re not really into catfish, try some of the Flying Fish’s Grilled Plates.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try their Cajun Platter served with fried gator and frog legs! Don’t forget to bring a photo of your biggest catch and put it up on their Liars Wall!

Best time to visit

The Flying Fish is open daily. 11 AM to 9 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 11 AM to 10 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. There’s really no bad time to visit the Flying Fish, just make sure you come hungry!

Learn more about Flying Fish here!

Explore the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 910 Riddick Rd in Millington, just under 17 miles northeast of Memphis, the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park is a 12,539-acre state park. The park features a nature center, and campground with 49 campsites.

It is home to a number of tree species, such as large oaks, American beech, hickory and sweet gum. The park also contains two lakes—Poplar Tree Lake and Lake Piersol. It is the most visited state park in Tennessee.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, all kinds of outdoor recreationists, wildlife enthusiasts, conservationists, hikers, and tourists looking to go on a nature getaway just a few miles from Memphis!

What to do here?

Explore the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park. Go hiking on the park’s many trails, and check out some of the plant and animal wildlife that thrive here.

The park is home to ten State Champion Trees and two National Champion Trees, so keep an eye out for them.

Go camping at one of the park’s 49 campsites. Spend a day picnicking at the park’s picnic areas, and go swimming and/or fishing at one of its lakes!

Best time to visit

The Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park is open daily, from 7 AM to 7 PM. It’s best to visit the state park on weekdays to avoid large crowds.

That said, it’s ideal to contact a local ranger and inquire about weather conditions first before making the trip!

Spend a day at the Discovery Park of America

What’s special about this place?

Located at 830 Everett Blvd in Union City, just over 112 miles northeast of Memphis, the Discovery Park of America is a state-of-the-art museum and heritage park.

The park’s central building houses 9 permanent exhibit galleries, a traveling exhibit hall, a theater, an observation tower, a café, a gift shop, and 3 programming and event spaces; while the park’s grounds feature 8 exhibit areas, a hedge maze, 4 gardens, and 2 lakes!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Discovery Park of America is ideal for families, artists and art enthusiasts, science enthusiasts, history buffs, and tourists traveling with children.

It’s particularly ideal for tourists pressed for time, and are looking for that one-stop destination!

What to do here?

Explore the Discovery Park of America. First, tour the 50-acre heritage park. Check out the heritage park’s many beautiful gardens. Check out the Children’s Discovery Garden.

Take a stroll through the park’s Japanese Garden, European Garden, and The Maze. Next, check out the park’s Dino Hall featuring accurate reproductions and real fossils.

Next, tour the museum’s Military History Gallery, Energy Gallery, and Natural History Gallery. End your tour by stopping by the museum’s Cooper Tower!

Best time to visit

The Discovery Park of America is open Thursday through Monday. 11 AM to 4 PM on Sundays, and 10 AM to 4 PM the rest of the week. It’s best to visit the park on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays to avoid large crowds.

That said, there’s so much to do in the park, you might want to plan for repeat trips!

Learn more about Discovery Park of America here!

Visit Memphis’ Orpheum Theatre

What’s special about this place?

Located at 203 S Main St, the Orpheum Theatre is an iconic 2,308-seat theatre. The Orpheum Theatre is one of the first buildings in Memphis to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Nicknamed the “South’s Finest Theatre”, the Orpheum hosts touring Broadway shows, performances by Ballet Memphis and Opera Memphis, concerts, comedy shows, and a variety of community events!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Orpheum Theatre is ideal for families, theatre geeks, all kinds of artists and art enthusiasts, and tourists keen on watching a Broadway show in Memphis! Known for its Renaissance architecture, it’s also ideal for architecture enthusiasts.

What to do here?

Watch a Broadway show at the Orpheum Theatre. Catch popular Broadway shows like Hamilton, Disney’s The Lion King, and CATS. Or treat yourself to Ballet Memphis’ Nutcracker.

If you’re not into dance and/or theatre, check out some of the magic shows at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education, the Orpheum’s other venue!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Orpheum depends on your itinerary. If you plan on attending a show, it’s best to get to the venue at least an hour before your show starts!

Learn more about Memphis’ Orpheum Theatre here!

Tour the Dixon Gallery & Gardens

What’s special about this place?

Located at 4339 Park Ave, the Dixon Gallery & Gardens is a fine art museum and public garden.

It features a permanent collection of over 2,000 objects, including French and American Impressionist paintings and significant holdings of German and English porcelain.

The Dixon also features a variety of traveling exhibitions of fine art and horticulture. The Dixon’s 17-acre campus includes formal spaces, woodland tracts, and cutting gardens!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Dixon Gallery & Gardens is ideal for families, artists and art enthusiasts, horticulturists, and tourists keen on exploring French and American Impressionist paintings!

What to do here?

Explore the Dixon Gallery & Gardens. Tour the museum’s grounds. Check out the museum’s outdoor sculpture gardens and explore the campus’ woodland tracts.

Check out the museum’s current exhibitions, such as the Black Artists in America: From the Great Depression to Civil Rights exhibition and the Phillip R. Dotson exhibition.

Browse the museum’s permanent collection. Check out works by Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renoir!

Best time to visit

The Dixon Gallery & Gardens is open Tuesday through Sunday. 10 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 PM to 5 PM on Sundays.

The museum is always a little busy. As such, the best time to visit the museum largely depends on your itinerary.

Learn more about Dixon Gallery & Gardens here!

Check out the Memphis Pyramid

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1 Bass Pro Drive, at the banks of the Mississippi River, the Memphis Pyramid is a pyramid-shaped building originally built as a 20,142-seat arena.

Currently serving as a Bass Pro Shops megastore, the Memphis Pyramid features a Bass Pro Shops retail store, some restaurants, a 100-room hotel, a laser arcade, a bowling alley, an archery range, a hotel, and an outdoor observation deck.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Memphis Pyramid is ideal for families, architects and architecture enthusiasts, and tourists shopping for outdoor recreation equipment. It’s also ideal for tourists looking to stay at a nice 4-star hotel with stunning views of the Mississippi River!

What to do here?

Explore the Memphis Pyramid. Book a room at the pyramid’s outdoor adventure-themed Big Cypress Lodge. Play a few rounds of laser tag with your friends and/or family at the pyramid’s laser arcade.

Take in stunning views of Memphis at The Lookout at the pyramid’s apex. Shop for outdoor recreation equipment at the Bass Pro Shops retail store!

Best time to visit

The Memphis Pyramid is open daily, from 9 AM to 9 PM. The best time to visit the pyramid largely depends on your itinerary. As it’s frequented by locals and tourists alike, expect large crowds!

Take in the Mississippi River at Tom Lee Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at Riverside Dr, Tom Lee Park is a 30-acre city park overlooking the Mississippi River. Tom Lee Park features multi-use trails, expansive lawns, and benches with great river views.

The park is also home to many festivals and events throughout the year. It is the venue for the annual Beale Street Music Festival, as well as the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Tom Lee Park is ideal for families, hikers, cyclists, and tourists looking to escape the city and just spend a day taking in some of the best views of the Mississippi River.

What to do here?

Spend a day at Tom Lee Park. Go for a light jog at one of its trails. Pick a spot by the river and disappear into a good book. Lastly, enjoy one of the best sunsets in Memphis!

Best time to visit

Tom Lee Park is open daily, from 6 AM to 8 PM. The best time to visit the park largely depends on your itinerary. If you plan on doing some people watching, it’s best to visit the park around 8 AM to 9 AM on weekdays.

If you plan on catching the sunset, it’s best to visit the park around 5 PM to 5:30 PM!z

Learn more about Tom Lee Park here!

Try the elevated French-Creole fare at Restaurant Iris

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2146 Monroe Ave, Restaurant Iris is a restaurant specializing in French-Creole cuisine featuring local and seasonal ingredients.

Set in an elegant renovated bungalow, Restaurant Iris offers a cozy and intimate dining space that’s perfect for special occasions.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Restaurant Iris is ideal for families, tourists craving French-Creole cuisine, and tourists looking for a nice intimate setting for a romantic date. As one of Memphis’ beloved fine dining establishments, it’s a must-visit for all types of foodies!

What to do here?

For starters, try Restaurant Iris’ scallops with Benton’s bacon jam and shaved asparagus. Next, try their confit duck leg with sage risotto, tart cherry demi, and grilled pineapple.

If you’re looking for something meatier, try Restaurant Iris’ rack of lamb, or their 14oz beef strip! For dessert, try their lemon verbena crème brûlée, or their white peach cheesecake.

Best time to visit

Restaurant Iris is open Thursday through Saturday, from 5 PM to 10 PM. Reservations are required, so make sure to make a reservation at least a few weeks in advance!

Learn more about Restaurant Iris here!

Explore A. Schwab

What’s special about this place?

Located at 163 Beale St, A. Schwab is a family-owned general store and soda fountain. Open since 1876, A. Schwab is the oldest and sole remaining original business on Beale Street.

There’s literally something for everyone here, from Elvis merch, to records, to quirky souvenir items. On top of all that, they also serve old-fashioned gelato, milkshakes, malts, and phosphate sodas with homemade syrup!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A. Schwab is ideal for families, history buffs, tourists looking for souvenirs, and tourists craving old-fashioned sodas and milkshakes! It’s definitely a must-visit for tourists visiting Memphis for the first time!

What to do here?

Go souvenir-shopping at A. Schwab! Check out all the quirky items inside the store. Check out the Beale Street Museum on the store’s balcony. Don’t forget to stop by their soda counter and try one of their signature milkshakes!

Best time to visit

A. Schwab is open daily. 11 AM to 5 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 11 AM to 7 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s best to visit the store on weekdays to avoid large crowds!

Learn more about A. Schwab here!

Visit the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art

What’s special about this place?

Located at 119 S Main St, the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art is a 24,000 square-feet museum. Housing over 1,400 items, the museum has 5 permanent exhibit galleries: 3 Asian, 1 Judaic, and the Holocaust Memorial Gallery.

The museum’s collection of Asian art is the largest in the southern region of the United States!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art is ideal for families, history buffs, and tourists looking to artwork created during China’s Qing dynasty.

As the museum’s collection heavily features jade in sculptural form, the museum is also ideal for jade enthusiasts!

What to do here?

Explore the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art. Check out the museum’s collection art during China’s Qing dynasty, including intricately carved jades, ivories, sculptures, ceramics, and funerary art.

Check out the museum’s collection of Judaica, featuring 32 bronze relief sculptures created by Daniel Kafri.

Don’t forget to check out the museum’s Holocaust Memorial Gallery, featuring photographic portraits and biographical sketches of Holocaust survivors.

Best time to do this

The Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art is open Tuesday through Sunday. 10 AM to 3 PM Tuesday through Friday, and 12 PM to 5 PM on weekends. That said, the best time to visit the museum largely depends on your itinerary.

Learn more about Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art here!

Explore historic T.O. Fuller State Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1500 W Mitchell Rd, T.O. Fuller State Park is a 1,138-acre state park. T.O. Fuller State Park features a nature center, sheltered picnic areas, basketball courts, tennis courts, swimming pools, and over 6 miles of hiking.

Although the state park is well within the city limits, the wooded area of the park allows for a natural and serene setting suitable for wildlife!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

T.O. Fuller State Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, hikers, wildlife enthusiasts, birders, and tourists looking for a nicely forested area within the city limits.

What to do here?

Spend a day exploring T.O. Fuller State Park. Go camping at one of its campsites. Hike through 6 miles of trails. Have a nice family picnic at one of the park’s sheltered picnic areas.

Have your binoculars ready, and try to spot some of the birds that frequent the area, such as the black-necked stilt.

Best time to visit

T.O. Fuller State Park is open daily, from 8 AM to 4 PM. The best time to visit the park largely depends on your itinerary. If you plan on doing some birding, it’s important to note that some birds may not be present during certain seasons.

Get your groove on at Paula & Raiford’s Disco

What’s special about this place?

Located at 14 S 2nd St, Paula & Raiford’s Disco is a cash-only, two-story night club. Known for its great variety of music, bright atmosphere, and old school charm, Paula & Raiford’s Disco is considered by most locals as one of Memphis’ most iconic landmarks.

It’s also considered one of the best places in Memphis for a wild night of dancing!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Paula & Raiford’s Disco is ideal for tourists looking to dance the night away after a long day of exploring Bluff City. It’s also great for tourists looking to mingle with Memphians. There’s really nothing like making friends on the dancefloor!

What to do here?

For the full experience, pregame. Come in the club at least little bit tipsy. Put on your boogie shoes, let loose and break out your best dance moves! Get your drink on and try to mingle with the locals.

Best time to visit

Paula & Raiford’s Disco is open every Friday and Saturday, from 10 PM to 4 AM. The best time to visit the club depends on your itinerary. That said, it’s best to get there at least an hour before it opens to avoid the long queues!

Learn more about Paula & Raiford’s Disco here!

Attend a free concert at the Levitt Shell

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1928 Poplar Ave, within Overton Park, the Levitt Shell is an open-air amphitheater. It is one of the only remaining bandshells built by the Works Progress Administration.

The Levitt Shell presents 50 free concerts every year, with performances by nationally and internationally touring musicians from all over the world.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Levitt Shell at Overton Park is ideal for families, music history buffs, musicians and music lovers, and tourists looking to catch a free concert in Memphis.

It’s also a must-visit for Elvis fans, as the Levitt Shell is where Elvis Presley gave his first paid concert.

What to do here?

Bring your own chair/blanket to sit on, a picnic basket, and some drinks. Have a nice little picnic while enjoying a free concert.

Best time to visit

The Levitt Shell is open Thursday through Sunday. 6 PM to 10:30 PM Thursday through Saturday; 12 AM to 5 PM, and 6 PM to 10:30 PM on Sundays. It’s best to get to the Levitt Shell at least a few hours before the concert starts!

Learn more about Levitt Shell here!

Get your doughnut fix at Gibson’s Donuts

What’s special about this place?

Located at 760 Mt Moriah Rd, Gibson’s Donuts is a long-running doughnut shop. Gibson’s Donuts serves a classic selection of donuts with seasonal specialties.

Known for their simple menu and “old-school” approach to doughnuts, Gibson’s Donuts is considered a Memphis institution.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Gibson’s Donuts is ideal for families, foodies, doughnut purists, and tourists craving doughnuts that are unlike anything from the big chain doughnut shops.

What to do here?

You really can’t go wrong with any of their donuts, but for starters, try their classic Old-Fashioned Donut. Next, try some Memphian favorites, like the Red Velvet Donut, the New Orleans buttermilk donut, and the Maple Bacon Donut.

For the full experience, pair your meal with a nice cup of coffee!

Best time to visit

Gibson’s Donuts is open 24/7. There really isn’t a bad time to get donuts, so the best time really depends on your itinerary. We highly suggest repeat trips, though.

Explore Stanky Creek Trail

What’s special about this place?

Located at 5760 Yale Rd, Stanky Creek Trail is a 14.5-kilometer loop trail. It is rated as moderate, with many elevation changes, tight turns, and lots of slippery parts.

That said, the trail also features beautiful wildflowers, and is generally considered one of the best trails in the West Tennessee area!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Stanky Creek Trail is ideal for families, hikers, and nature lovers of all ages. It’s a must-visit for advanced cyclists who want something more challenging than the paved paths in most of Memphis’ green spaces.

What to do here?

Explore Stanky Creek Trail. Hike the 14.5-kilometer trail. Have your camera ready, and take pictures of the colorful wildflowers along the trail. Check out some of the wildlife that thrive here.

If you’re itching for something more challenging, try biking through the trail!

Best time to visit

Stanky Creek Trail is accessible all year round. That said, it’s best to visit the trail during non-winter months, as the trail can get extremely muddy during the winter months.

Learn more about Stanky Creek Trail here!

Learn about the Civil Rights Movement at the National Civil Rights Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 450 Mulberry St, the National Civil Rights Museum is a complex of museums and historic buildings.

The museum is built around the former Lorraine Motel—the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Noted as one of the nation’s premier heritage and cultural museums, the National Civil Rights Museum explores the history of the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on our culture today.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The National Civil Rights Museum is a must-visit for families, history buffs, activists, and tourists keen on learning about the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the 17thcentury to the present.

What to do here?

Tour the National Civil Rights Museum. Check out the museum’s current exhibitions, such as the Outside the Lorraine: A Photographic Journey to a Sacred Place exhibition, featuring the work of David Katzenstein.

Check out the museum’s permanent exhibits. Explore the Lorraine Building. Pore over 260 artifacts, more than 40 films, and oral histories, and learn about the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

Best time to visit

The National Civil Rights Museum is open Thursday through Monday, from 9 AM to 5 PM. To avoid large crowds, it’s best to visit the museum on Mondays and Thursdays.

That said, there really isn’t a bad time to explore the National Civil Rights Museum. Repeat trips are highly recommended.

Learn more about National Civil Rights Museum here!

Unwind at Lafayette’s Music Room

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2119 Madison Ave, Lafayette’s Music Room is a restaurant and live music venue. It boasts live bands seven nights a week, and offers a variety of southern-inspired offerings for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Lafayette’s Music Room is ideal for families, musicians and music lovers, foodies, and tourists looking for a laid-back live music venue where they can enjoy great Southern food paired with great Southern music!

What to do here?

Try some of Lafayette’s Music Room’s bestsellers. Try their Shrimp and Grits, or their Jambalaya Pasta. Pair your meal with a nice cold beer, and enjoy the live music!

Best time to visit

Lafayette’s Music Room is open daily. 11 AM to 10 PM Sunday through Thursday; 12 AM to 1 AM and 11 AM to 1 AM on Fridays; and 11 AM to 12 AM on Saturdays. It’s best to visit Lafayette’s on Fridays and Saturdays to get the full experience!

Learn more about Lafayette’s Music Room here!

Explore the Mud Island River Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 101 N Island Dr, on the south end of Mud Island, the Mud Island River Park is a 52-acre park.

It features bike trails, paddleboats, kayaks, as well as a hydraulic scale model of the lower Mississippi River from Cairo, Illinois and New Orleans.

Attractions near the river park include the Mississippi River Museum (with 18 galleries and exhibits), the Mud Island Amphitheater, as well as a 50-ft “MEMPHIS” sign!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Mud Island River Park is ideal for families, nature lovers, hikers, cyclists, and tourists looking to take in Mississippi River from within the heart of Mississippi River!

What to do here?

Explore all 52 acres of Mud Island River Park. Go biking on the park’s paved bike trails. Go kayaking along the Mississippi River. Stop by the scale model of the Mississippi River and learn about the river’s history.

Stop by the Mississippi River Museum and learn about the history of the lower Mississippi River Valley over the span of the last 10,000 years. Lastly, take your best selfies at the 50-ft. “MEMPHIS” sign!

Best time to visit

Mud Island River Park is open from 6 AM to 7 PM. The best time to visit Mud Island River Park largely depends on your itinerary. That said, people typically spend a good few hours at the park!

Learn more about Mud Island River Park here!

Tour the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 826 N 2nd St, the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum is a historic 19th-century home that was once part of the Underground Railroad.

The former residence of German immigrant Jacob Burkle, the museum features 19th century furnishings, displays of ads about slavery and slave auctions, and a secret cellar and trap doors that offered refuge to runaway slaves.

The museum also features numerous artifacts that tell the story of slavery and the Underground Railroad.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum is ideal for families, history buffs of all ages, activists, and tourists keen on learning about the horrors of slavery and the Underground Railroad’s role in helping slaves escape.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum. Check out the 19th-century Antebellum home’s well-preserved furnishings. Explore the various artifacts within the museum that tell the story of slavery, such as displays of ads for slave auctions.

Learn about the history of the Underground Railroad. Check out the secret cellar that provided a haven for escaped slaves.

Best time to visit

The Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 AM to 4 PM. It’s best to visit the museum on weekdays to avoid large crowds.

Learn more about Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum here!

Visit The Peabody Memphis

What’s special about this place?

Located at 149 Union Ave, The Peabody Memphis is a historic luxury hotel. Constructed in 1925, The Peabody Memphis is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dubbed the “South’s Grand Hotel,” The Peabody is known for its classic Italian Renaissance architecture, old-school charm, and exceptional service.

It’s also famous for its five resident ducks (called the Peabody Ducks), who march daily through the lobby at 11 AM and 5 PM.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Peabody Memphis is ideal for families, architects and architecture enthusiasts, and tourists looking for a good old-fashioned luxury hotel that’s rich in history and conveniently close to other Memphis landmarks.

What to do here?

Book a room at The Peabody Memphis. Go to the hotel’s rooftop and take in the great view of Memphis. Pass the time at the hotel’s Grand Lobby, and check out the Peabody Ducks!

Best time to visit

The best time to visit The Peabody depends on your itinerary. If you don’t plan on booking a room, checking out the famous Peabody Ducks shouldn’t take more than an hour!

Learn more about The Peabody Memphis here!

Listen to some live Delta blues at Wild Bill’s Juke Joint

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1580 Vollintine Ave, Wild Bill’s Juke Joint is a Delta blues bar and restaurant, and live music venue.

It is generally considered as the last surviving “real” juke joint in the Delta, and is one of the few places in Memphis that offer an authentic blues experience. Some Memphians would even say it is the only place for blues.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Wild Bill’s Juke Joint is ideal for musicians and music lovers (especially diehard blues fans), foodies, and tourists looking to immerse themselves in live blues music.

What to do here?

Visit Wild Bill’s Juke Joint in the evening. Get some wings, or try their catfish platter. Pair your meal with a nice cold beer, and enjoy the live blues music.

As Wild Bill’s is a “real” juke joint, meaning, most guests sit together at tables, try to strike up a conversation with the locals!

Best time to visit

Wild Bill’s Juke Joint is open Thursday through Sunday. 11 AM to 1 AM on Thursday, 11 AM to 2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 PM to 1 AM on Sundays.

If you want to listen to live blues music, it’s best to visit Wild Bill’s in the evening. That said, if you just want to visit an iconic Memphis landmark, there’s nothing wrong with stopping by during the day!

Learn more about Wild Bill’s Juke Joint here!

Explore the historic Mallory-Neely House

What’s special about this place?

Located at 652 Adams Ave, the Mallory-Neely House is a historic Italianate style mansion. From 1852 to 1969, the mansion was home to five families.

The home features 25 rooms, painted murals, and stained-glass windows purchased at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It is one of the only historic properties in Memphis that still contains most of its original furnishings.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Mallory-Neely House is ideal for families, architects and architecture enthusiasts, history buffs, artists and art enthusiasts, and tourists looking to step into Memphis’ high society in the 1800s.

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through the Mallory-Neely House and see how Memphis’ millionaires lived back in the 1800s.

Check out the mansion’s distinct Italianate style architecture. Check out the mansion’s well-preserved furnishings, and learn about the stories of the five families that once lived in the mansion. Don’t forget to take pictures!

Best time to visit

As of this writing, the Mallory-Neely House is currently undergoing renovations. As such, tours are unavailable at the moment. That said, you could still visit the mansion on Memphis’ Victorian Village district and take pictures!

Visit Memphis’ oldest café—The Arcade Restaurant

What’s special about this place?

Located at 540 S Main St, The Arcade Restaurant is a classic ‘50s diner serving hearty breakfast and lunch fare. Founded in 1919, The Arcade (which wasn’t known as The Arcade back then) is Memphis’ oldest café.

Originally set in a small, wood framed building, The Arcade underwent a major renovation in 1955 that transformed it to the hip ‘50s diner that it is today.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Arcade Restaurant is ideal for families, foodies, history buffs, and tourists looking to experience an authentic ‘50s diner and sit where legends like Elvis Presley once sat.

What to do here?

Try some of The Arcade Restaurant’s bestsellers. Sit at Elvis’ Booth and try the café’s version of the Elvis—fried peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich.

For a more traditional breakfast/brunch, try The Arcade’s French Toast, their Pancakes, and/or their Country Fried Steak!

Best time to visit

The Arcade Restaurant is open daily, from 7 AM to 3 PM. As it’s one of the most well-known tourist spots in Memphis, it’s best to get breakfast here at around 7 AM to 8 AM to avoid long lines!

Learn more about The Arcade Restaurant here!

Spend a day at Herb Parsons Lake

What’s special about this place?

Located in Fayette County, just under 37 miles east of Memphis via I-40, Herb Parsons Lake is a 177-acre reservoir lake.

Known primarily as a fishing spot, Herb Parsons Lake features hiking and bicycle trails, an archery range, a handicapped accessible fishing pier, a boat launching ramp, and rental boats!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Herb Parsons Lake is ideal for families, wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers, hikers, cyclists, and all kinds of outdoor recreationists. It’s a must-visit for tourists looking to do some kayaking, boating, and fishing!

What to do here?

Spend a day at Herb Parsons Lake. Go kayaking and/or fishing at the lake. Go a few rounds at the archery range. Hike (or bike) the Herb Parsons Lake Trail, a 10-km heavily trafficked loop that’s suited for all levels.

If you’re up for it, explore nearby Collierville’s historic downtown area!

Best time to visit

Herb Parsons Lake is accessible all year round. That said, the best time to visit the lake depends entirely on your itinerary. If you plan on hiking the Herb Parsons Lake Trail, it’s best to visit the lake between the months of September to June!

Visit Earnestine & Hazel’s

What’s special about this place?

Located at 531 Main St, Earnestine & Hazel’s is an iconic dive bar. While famous for its burgers, it’s more known for its history.

It is housed in a building that was originally intended to be a church in the ‘30s, became a dry good store/pharmacy with an upstairs beauty salon, which then became a jazz café/brothel (which hosted the likes of B.B. King and Aretha Franklin), before finally becoming a dive bar in 1992!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Earnestine & Hazel’s is a must-visit for history buffs, musicians and music lovers, thrill seekers, foodies, and tourists looking for good food (some of the best burgers in Memphis), good music, and a damn good time!

What to do here?

First, try Earnestine & Hazel’s Soul Burger. Now go back and read that again. Next, get a beer, and just take a moment and soak up the vibe of the historic dive bar.

Check out the bar’s “haunted” jukebox. Strike up a conversation with the bar’s staff and learn about the history of Earnestine & Hazel’s. Lastly, cap your night off by exploring the “haunted” upstairs area!

Best time to visit

Earnestine & Hazel’s is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 5 PM to 3 AM. The best time to visit Earnestine & Hazel’s would be during the weekends, when the bar would feature live music, and open the upstairs area for tours!

However, if you just want to try the Soul Burger and you want to avoid large crowds, it’s ideal to visit the bar on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Learn more about Earnestine & Hazel’s here!

Visit Robert R. Church Park

What’s special about this place?

Located on the corner of Beale Street and Fourth Street, Robert R. Church Park is a 6-acre public park.

It was developed by Robert Reed Church Sr. (known as the first African-American millionaire in the South), with the goal of having a recreational area for African-American Memphians.

The park features and Ida B. Wells statue, as well as a granite and bronze memorial monument dedicated to Robert R. Church Sr. and his son.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Robert R. Church Park is ideal for families, history buffs, activists, and tourists looking to relax in a nice open space after a day of exploring Beale Street.

What to do here?

Tour Robert R. Church Park. Check out the Robert R. Church monument, and learn about the park’s history and Robert R. Church’s story. Stop by the Ida B. Wells statue, and the nearby historic First Baptist Beale Street Church.

Best time to visit

Robert R. Church Park is open daily, from 6 AM to 8 PM. To avoid large crowds, it’s best to visit the park on weekdays!

Explore Lichterman Nature Center

What’s special about this place?

Located at 5992 Quince Rd, Lichterman Nature Center is a 65-acre arboretum and nature center.

It features a Visitor Center which showcases interactive exhibits, a wildlife center featuring live animals and more interactive exhibits, and a 3-mile nature path home to a variety of plant and animal wildlife!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Lichterman Nature Center is ideal for families, wildlife enthusiasts, aspiring zoologists and botanists, nature lovers, and tourists looking for a highly interactive and educational nature adventure!

What to do here?

Explore Lichterman Nature Center. Take a stroll on the nature center’s 3-mile nature path, and check out the wide variety of plant and animal life that thrive here.

Explore the Visitor Center and check out the interactive exhibits and lake cam! Explore The Backyard Wildlife Center and check out its living and interactive exhibits that showcase three distinct habitats represented at the Nature Center: lake, meadow, and forest!

Best time to visit

Lichterman Nature Center is open Tuesday through Saturday. 11 AM to 3 PM Tuesday through Thursday, and 11 AM to 4 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. To avoid large crowds, it’s best to visit the nature center on Fridays!

Check out Memphis’ Voodoo Village

What’s special about this place?

Located at 4554-4562 Mary Angela Rd, St. Peter’s Spiritual Temple, more commonly known as “Voodoo Village,” is a Memphis neighborhood.

The neighborhood is home to a variety of quirky lawn ornaments and homemade art installations with Masonic imagery. Developed in the 1960s by a spiritual leader named Wash Harris, the strange installations were made as a form of religious expression.

These ornaments, along with the community’s reclusive nature, have earned the neighborhood a reputation for being cult-like.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Voodoo Village is ideal for artists and fans of folk art, and thrill-seeking tourists looking to tour an odd neighborhood that’s been the center of rumors about voodoo and outlandish cult-like practices for years.

What to do here?

Explore Voodoo Village. Check out the neighborhood’s (in)famous folk art installations, and take pictures.

That said, it’s important to note that the community is one that values its privacy, and it’s a neighborhood that’s routinely being trespassed on, so it’s best to ask permission from a resident first before exploring the neighborhood.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Voodoo Village depends on your itinerary. That said, if you do plan on going exploring the neighborhood, it’s important to treat the neighborhood and its residents with respect.

Get authentic Memphis-style BBQ at Cozy Corner

What’s special about this place?

Located at 735 North Pkwy, Cozy Corner is a no-nonsense barbecue joint, and is regarded as one of the most iconic barbecue restaurants in Memphis.

Run by four generations of the Robinson family, Cozy Corner is known for its legendary Memphis-style barbecue.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Cozy Corner is a must-visit for families, foodies, meat lovers, and tourists craving traditional Memphis-style barbecue! Cozy Corner serves as a perfect introduction to the flavors of Memphis barbecue!

What to do here?

First of all, come hungry. You really can’t go wrong with anything on Cozy Corner’s menu, but try their bestsellers. Order a plate of their barbecued Cornish hen and a plate of their rib tips.

Try their classic Bologna sandwich and their Smoked Sausage Sandwich. For dessert, try their Banana Pudding!

Best time to visit

Cozy Corner is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 AM to 8 PM. As the restaurant is always at least a little busy, the best time to visit largely depends on your itinerary.

Learn more about Cozy Corner here!

Explore the Stax Museum of American Soul Music

What’s special about this place?

Located at 926 McLemore Ave, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music dedicated to soul music, and to celebrating the legacy of Memphis’ Stax Records and its artists.

Its exhibits include a reconstructed circa-1906 Mississippi Delta church, a dance floor, a control room full of period recording equipment, an exact replica of the studio where Stax artists cut records, and Isaac Hayes’ custom Cadillac Eldorado!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is a ideal for families, musicians and music lovers, fans of soul music and legendary Stax artists, and tourists keen on learning about Stax Records’ legacy and the history of soul music!

What to do here?

Take a guided tour through the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

Stop by Studio A, an exact replica of Stax Records’ main recording studio. Explore the museum’s circa-1906 Mississippi Delta church exhibit, which celebrates the birthplace of soul music—a modest country church.

Check out the museum’s hall of records, featuring walls lined with cases containing all of the albums and singles released by Stax and its subsidiary labels from 1957-1975!

Best time to visit

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 AM to 5 PM. To avoid large crowds, it’s best to tour the museum around 10 AM to 12 PM!

Learn more about Stax Museum of American Soul Music here!

Check out Memphis’ oldest cemetery—Elmwood Cemetery

What’s special about this place?

Located at 824 S Dudley St, Elmwood Cemetery is an 80-acre cemetery. Established in 1852, it is one of the first rural cemeteries in the South, and is Memphis’ oldest active cemetery.

The Elmwood Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is also an official Bird Sanctuary and Arboretum. Some of Memphis’ most honored and revered citizens are buried here.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Elmwood Cemetery is ideal for history buffs, nature lovers, avid birders and birdwatchers, and dendrophiles of all ages.

It’s also ideal for tourists looking to explore one of America’s oldest cemeteries and check out graves of veterans of the American Revolution, Civil War veterans, civil rights activists, and even infamous outlaws!

What to do here?

Tour the Elmwood Cemetery. Check out the cemetery’s famous arched bridge. Explore the cemetery’s Carlisle S. Page Arboretum, containing over 800 trees that represent 63 different species.

Bring your favorite pair of binoculars and check out some of the birds that frequent the historic cemetery. Check out the graves of some of Memphis’ most notable citizens.

Best time to visit

The Elmwood Cemetery is open Monday through Saturday. 8 AM to 12 PM on Saturdays, and 8 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays. The best time to visit the cemetery depends on your itinerary.

It’s important to remember that it’s a cemetery, and not just a mere tourist attraction, so make sure to be respectful and go about your tour as quietly as possible!

Learn more about Elmwood Cemetery here!

Spend a day at Golf and Games Family Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 5484 Summer Ave, Golf and Games Family Park is a 40-acre amusement park.

It features a full-sized miniature golf course, a go-kart race track, a laser tag stadium, VR games, bumper boats, and a climate-controlled indoor arcade!

It’s considered by most Memphians to be one of the best places in Memphis for family entertainment.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Golf and Games Family Park is ideal for families, tourists traveling with children. Golf and Games Family Park is also one of the best places in Memphis for a fun and casual date!

What to do here?

Spend a day of good clean fun with your family and/or date.

Check out the park’s miniature golf course. Race with your friends at the park’s Super Track. Play some good old-fashioned laser tag at the park’s Lasertron Laser Tag. Or plays some of the most immersive VR games at the park’s Hologate!

Best time to visit

Golf and Games Family Park is open daily. 9 AM to 10 PM on weekdays, and 8 AM to 11 PM on weekends. It’s best to visit the park on weekdays to avoid large crowds!

Learn more about Golf and Games Family Park here!

Visit the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1987 Indian Village Dr, adjacent to the T.O. Fuller State Park, the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa is an archaeological museum.

Operated by the University of Memphis, the museum features an extensive collection of Native American artifacts, displays, video and hands-on archaeology laboratory exhibits.

The museum also houses exhibits on the African-American community of Southwest Memphis.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa is ideal for families, American history buffs, aspiring archaeologists, and tourists keen on learning about the area’s Native American heritage, and how the Native Americans lived in 15th-century Memphis.

What to do here?

Explore the entire archaeological site of Chucalissa.

Tour the C.H. Nash Museum, and learn about the way of life and accomplishments of the Native American people of the Mid-South. Learn about Chucalissa’s different phases, and the different communities that thrived in the area.

Check out the museum’s exhibits on the African-American community of Southwest Memphis.

Best time to visit

The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 AM to 4:30 PM. To avoid large crowds, it’s best to visit the site and the museum on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Learn more about Chucalissa here!

Check out the Memorial Park Crystal Shrine Grotto

What’s special about this place?

Located at 5668 Poplar Ave, within Memphis’ Memorial Park Cemetery, the Crystal Shrine Grotto is a 60 feet deep man-made cavern.

Constructed by Dionicio Rodriguez, the Crystal Shrine Grotto is a cavern lined with sculpted cement and five tons of quartz crystal. It contains 10 niches and artistic backgrounds that display Gospel-story statues.

The cave’s grotto area features a pool of water dyed blue with concrete trees that visitors can walk through and under.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Crystal Shrine Grotto is ideal for artists and art enthusiasts, practicing Christians who love to explore quirky religious art, and tourists who love weird, creepy, psychedelic, Christian-themed art!

What to do here?

Tour the Crystal Shrine Grotto. Check out the cave’s quartz crystal-lined interior. Check out the grotto’s meditation garden and dyed pond.

Check out the bible-themed sculptures within the cave. Check out Abraham’s Oak, and dioramas of the Nativity, the Last Supper, and the Resurrection.

Best time to visit

The Crystal Shrine Grotto is accessible whenever the Memorial Park Cemetery is open. To avoid large crowds, it’s best to visit the grotto around 7 AM to 9 AM, and 3 PM onwards!

FAQ

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Memphis

Is Memphis a safe city?

Generally, Memphis is a safe place for tourists. There’s a lot of police presence in most of the city’s top tourist areas, and it’s easy to avoid the more dangerous parts of the city. That said, it is known for its higher-than-average violent crime rate, and it’s best to take precautions and stay vigilant even in the more touristy areas.

Is Memphis expensive to visit?

Memphis is actually one of the cheapest places to visit in the U.S. The average cost of a Memphis vacation is around $129 per day, and there’s plenty of free and inexpensive ways to enjoy the city!

Is it worth going to Memphis?

Absolutely. Memphis is chock-full of attractions, museums, green spaces, and great eats! For a comprehensive guide, check out this list.

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