Known as the House of Blues, Memphis has many activities related to blues and music in general. But besides the various music museums, diving on Bil Street and blues clubs throughout the city, there is much more to see.
We’ve put together a definitive list of the best things Memphis can do – from museums and attractions, to the surrounding area, to nature and parks, to some of the best music venues.
1. Visit to the National Museum of Civil Liberties at the Motel de Lorraine
The Memphis Civil Rights Museum is an absolute must if you visit the city, no matter how little time you have.
The museum is housed in a converted building that was once a motel in Lorraine where Martin Luther King Jr. stayed on the 4th floor. April 1968 was murdered.
The Civil Rights Museum presents the history of the civil rights movement in the United States, from slavery in the 17th century to the present. century to the present.
Many showcases present scenes from all times in a very lively way, to illustrate what life was like across the dividing lines and to emphasize the key figures in the quest for equality.
You can visit room 306, where Martin Luther King, Jr. is known to have stayed when he came to Memphis and was shot. The room was left as it was in 1968 and was not touched during the renovation of the motel. You can also visit the building in front of the parking lot where probably the fatal shot was fired.
Be aware that you may have to wait in line for a while to get in – even if you’re not coming at the busiest time. The line in the parking lot can get hot, so come with water. Access to room 306 can be restricted even during peak hours.
Operating hours: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., closed on Tuesdays.
Price: Adults – $16, students and seniors – $14, children under 18 – $13, children under 5 and active U.S. servicemen – free.
2. Research on the life of Elvis at Graceland
Graceland is a notorious country house that Elvis Presley called his house and which opened as a museum in 1982.
The villa belongs to Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, and is incredibly popular. If you are coming during rush hour, it is best to get tickets in advance and try to come on a weekday if you have the choice.
Graceland is the second most visited building in the United States, with an average of 6 people per minute, after the White House in Washington. It’s just outside downtown Memphis, and a car is the best way to get there – you can park there for $10.
Graceland still has 23 rooms as it was when Elvis lived here, and you can walk around the mansion for free with any type of ticket. The gravestone of Elvis and the graves of the other members of his family are in the Meditation Garden next to the mansion.
A visit to the Elvis Experience Tour is worth seeing many other exhibits, not only the villa – the main tour is already expensive, but if it can be extended, it is worth it. Don’t bother going through the VIP tours – the benefits just aren’t worth it and throwing them away is a lot of money!
Operating hours: March-October – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday 4 p.m.), November-February – from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: Select the different options below. The Elvis Experience Tour adds exhibitions about Elvis’ career, his wardrobe, cars and gold records. With Elvis Entourage VIP you can avoid queues. Ultimate VIP offers a personal guide, food at the Vernon Smokehouse and special access to certain rooms.
Excursion to Graceland Manor: Adults – $41, seniors (62 years and older) and youth (18 years and younger) – $36.90, children under 12 – $21, children under 6 years – free. Add $5 per person to visit Elvis’ private jets.
Elvis Experience Tour: Adults – $61, seniors (62 and older) and teenagers (18 and younger) – $54.90, children under 12 – $31, children under 6 – free. Add $5 for planes.
Elvis Entourage VIP:– $99 (children up to 6 years – free). Add another $5 for planes!
Ultimate VIP: $ .174 (children under 2 years old – free). The planes are on board. Buy something nice for that five bucks.
3. Discover the legendary studioSun
The Sun Studio in Memphis is known as the cradle of rock and roll in the early fifties.
The song that is generally considered the first recorded rock’n’roll song is Rocket 88 by Jackie Branston and his Delta Cats, recorded in this studio. Later in the fifties, artists like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Ray Orbison and Ray Harris also recorded their music.
Over time Sun Studio changed hands and in the early seventies it ceased to be a recording studio. After a water and car repair workshop, the building was reopened in 1987, almost 20 years after the doors closed. Bands like U2 and Def Leppard recorded music there.
The guides are very familiar and combine many interesting stories and bizarre facts as they guide you through the building.
Sun Studio often appears in films about this period – maybe you’ve seen it in Walk the Line of Great Balls of Fire.
There is no need to buy tickets in advance – you can get them on the day of your visit.
Operating hours: Every day from 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Guided tours take place every hour from 10.30 am.
Price: Adults – $14, students and military personnel – $12, children under 12 years old – free, children under 5 years old are not admitted.
4. Visit to the Museum of American Soul Music Stax
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a strong musical theme in this list and it won’t stop. Memphis has one of the richest musical histories in the world, and the Stax Museum is an amazing place to discover the history of soul music.
Pierre Jean Durieu/Shutterstock.de
The Stacks Museum opened in 2003 and is a copy of the Stacks Recording Studio, which was here before and is known for its soul musicians such as Otis Redding and Sam and Dave.
Although most famous soul artists are not included here, the museum is dedicated to great stars such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.
You will see many souvenirs, original musical instruments, a wall with famous records and custom Cadillac Eldorado Hayes with a gold finish and white fur carpets.
Operating hours: Every day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Price: Adults – $13, students, high school students (62 years and older) and military – $12, children under $13 – $10, children under 6 years – free.
5. Museum of Rock and Soul
The Memphis Rock and Soul Museum is located in the famous Bill Street and focuses on people who overcome racial and social inequalities to create the distinctive sound of their time.
It may not be as well known as some of Memphis’ other music museums, but the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum brings together many aspects of the city’s music history, including Sun Studio, Stax and Hi Records, the origins of soul music and a collection of 100 songs from the 1930s to 1970s recorded in Memphis by some of the world’s most famous artists.
The museum opened its doors in 2000 and belongs to a group of cultural museums in the Smithsonian. He has been a member of the FedEx Forum since 2004.
If you want to experience a long day in music history, a free shuttle bus will take you from the Rock ‘n’ Saul Museum to Graceland and the Sun Studio. The Graceland bus runs every hour and the Sun Studio can be reached every 15 minutes.
The museum has published a list of over 1,000 songs with the word Memphis in their lyrics – an impressive achievement with melodies like Walk in Memphis setting the tone.
Operating hours: Every day from 9.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed on Mondays.
Price: Adults – $13, children under 18 – $10, children under 5 – free.
6. Underground Railway Museum Finding a home for slaves
Photo by Thomas R. Machnitsky – Reference
The Underground Railroad Slave Lodging Museum is located in Burkle Manor, which was part of the Underground Railroad – a secret network of shelters that allowed slaves who had moved north to escape captivity.
Historians may disagree about how well the network worked and whether it was part of the Burklow estate, but this does not detract from the uniqueness of the museum, which has been open since 1997.
The museum examines the history of the American slavery movement and Memphis’ role in the civil rights movement.
There are many artifacts and interesting information about the subway that let some slaves from the south escape, with bulletin boards showing the daily life of slaves in the 19th century.
The museum also offers three-hour Premium Heritage tours with a tour of the museum and 30 other historical sites in the Memphis area, including reception and transport if required.
Operating hours: From June to August – from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from September to May – from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: The entrance to the museum: Adults – $12, students under 18, students and high school students (65+) – $11; heritage trips : Adults – $45, students and high school students (65+) – $43, children under 18 – $33.
7. Study of Science and History in the Rose Palace Museum
Photo by Thomas R. Machnitsky – Reference
The Pink Palace Museum is housed in a majestic mansion originally built by the founder of Piggly Wiggly, the first modern self-service supermarket. After the bankruptcy of the owner, the museum opened its doors in 1930.
There aren’t many mansions in the museum, and the exhibits are a mixture of everything from dinosaurs to the history of Memphis to an authentic copy of the first Piggly Wiggly store.
3D movies are shot and are usually interesting documentaries – even if you have to pay $8 per person.
The family of the Pink Palace Museum has other attractions in Memphis, including the Lichtermann Nature Centre (see list below).
Admission to the museum is free on Tuesday afternoons from 13.00, although only the ticket for the main exhibition is available and you may be charged a little more. If you can come on Tuesday, you should – so go spend your savings on a good lunch!
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday is also open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday from 12 a.m. to 5 p.m..
Price: There are various viewing options, depending on whether you want to visit the huge CTI 3D documentary theatre or the planetarium. Children under the age of 2 and active soldiers on duty and their families are released.
Exhibition only: Adults – $15, seniors (60+) – $14, children under 12 – $10.
Exhibition and Planetarium:Adults – $21, Seniors (60+) – $19, Children under 12 – $14
Giant 3D CTI Exhibition and Theatre: Adults – $23, seniors (60+) – $21, children under 12 – $16.
Exhibition, planetarium and 3D theatre: Adults – $30, seniors (60+) – $27, children under 12 – $21.
8. Memphis Blues Hall of Fame Cheque
Photo by John Phelan – Reference
The Memphis Blues Hall of Fame is across the street, opposite the National Civil Rights Museum, and most visitors will simply pass by without seeing it.
But beware, it’s really worth it if you like music. Okay – we’ve said this before about other music museums, but you’re in Memphis!
In the museum there are many memorabilia and objects related to the blues that have become a musical legend over the years. There is a wide variety of music to listen to, and the staff can be very helpful in showing things and making connections.
Many of the exhibits are interactive, which is a great way to immerse yourself in the history of blues music, and it’s great for kids to discover amazing music they never had the chance to grow up with.
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday – 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday – 13:00 to 17:00.
Price: Adults – $10, students – $8, servicemen and children under 12 – free.
9. Visit to the Beltz Museum of Asian and Jewish Art
Photo by Thomas R. Machnitsky – Reference
The Belza Museum is tucked away at the intersection of the main street and Gaioso Avenue. Until 2007 it was known as the Peabody Place Museum and originally only had three small exhibition spaces.
The discreet entrance now leads to a much larger collection of around 1,400 objects, ranging from ancient Chinese dynasties to contemporary Jewish artists.
The museum presents different types of art with tapestries, jade, furniture and ancient Asian objects.
A few blocks from the Peabody Museum and Cotton (see two below) you can combine a guided tour of the main street with a visit to the 3 museums during the long morning.
Operating hours: Tuesdays to Fridays from 10.00 to 17.30, Saturdays to Sundays from 12.00 to 17.00, Mondays closed.
Price: Adults – $6, high school students – $5, students – $4. Children under 5 years old – free of charge
10. Visit to the Memphis-Brooke Art Museum
The Memphis Brooks Art Museum is Tennessee’s largest art museum, and the building that houses it is a masterpiece in itself. It was built in 1913 in the style of fine arts.
The museum has more than 7000 works of art, including a large number of classic European paintings.
Among the best-known parts of the collection are Renaissance and Baroque paintings from the collection of Samuel G. Kress and a number of large impressionist paintings from the Renoir and Pissarro collections.
In addition to paintings, the exhibition also presents a collection of 19th and 20th century sculptures. Centuries and a mixture of other art forms. In addition, the museum regularly organises field exhibitions at home and abroad – check out the exhibitions if you visit the museum website.
Operating hours: Wednesday – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday – Friday – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Price: Adults – $7, seniors (65+) – $6, free parking.
11. Enjoy art in the Dixon gallery and gardens
The Dixon Gallery and Gardens is located on the beautiful grounds of the Dixon Residence, a mansion surrounded by English lawns and landscaped gardens.
The museum specializes in the art of the Impressionists of France and the United States.
Some of the world’s most famous artists can be seen here, with works by Monet, Renoir, Degas, Chagall, Matisse and many others forming the museum’s permanent collection.
The Impressionist collection continues to grow as the museum continues to acquire works of art from small collections around the world.
In addition to the paintings, you can see a permanent collection of classic European porcelain (that’s a lot of dishes!) and regularly travelling temporary exhibitions, but you can also take a stroll through the beautifully maintained gardens in the area.
Operating hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00, Sunday from 13.00 to 17.00. Tuesday is optional, Saturday from 10.00 to 12.00 is free of charge.
Price: Adults – $7, high school students (65+) and students – $5, children under 18 – $3, children under 6 – free of charge
12. Something else in the National Museum for Decorative Metal
Photo by Thomas R. Machnitsky – Reference
The National Decorative Metal Museum in Memphis, or simply the Metal Museum, as it is often called, is the only museum in the United States dedicated to metalworking.
The museum is located in the former U.S. Naval Hospital and occupies three buildings south of downtown Memphis.
The museum not only presents art exhibitions, but also functions as a location centre for metalworkers and organises international events and forums on this subject.
The museum itself has everything you can imagine… …in metal. You can see metal vases, metal sculptures, steel paintings and modern art installations.
Operating hours: Tuesday to Saturday – 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday 12:00 to 17:00, Monday closed.
Price: adults – $6, high school (62+) and military – $5, students and children – $4, children up to 5 – free of charge
13. More about the history of firefighting in the Memphis Fire Museum
This special museum is located on the site of the former fire station – today’s fire station no. 1. 1.
The museum offers everything you need to know about fire prevention and firefighting, including the traditional fire engines from the 1910s and 1920s, which are the main attractions.
There is a collection of classic uniforms and various equipment for firefighting and the possibility of diving, including the possibility of diving with the baton burner.
There are a number of exhibitions for children – the museum regularly offers classes at local schools for educational purposes. If you bring your children, it is an ideal place to visit with its evacuation maze and access to the fire station.
Operating hours: May to August – Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; September to April – Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Price: Adults – $10, children under 18, over 60 and servicemen – $8, children under 2 – free of charge
14. You must spend the evening in Memphis B. B. Royal Blue.
You may think that visiting a King’s Blues B.B. Bar is a cliché, and that you should look for more authentic and real B.B. bars in the city, but you will really miss out on a really great blues experience.
Pierre Jean Durieu/Shutterstock.de
The Memphis B.B. King’s Blues Bar was the first of a network of similar clubs in the United States when it opened in 1991. It is a collaboration between entrepreneurs from Memphis and a legendary musician.
Almost every night something happens, and in summer or on more intense days there are 2 or even 3 sets that are played every day by different artists.
Our best advice is to take a table for dinner (you really should book in advance) and enjoy the show. The food will be delicious and not the best, but the atmosphere and the music will make the evening perfect.
If you want to have a chat and want a little more romance, the tables upstairs have a beautiful view of the stage, but offer a little more privacy.
Operating hours: Presented on most days – check the B.B. King’s Blues Bar calendar for details.
Price: You have to buy tickets for a number of special performances; there is a regular charge of between $5 and $10 – food and drink depends on what you want!
15. Next, listen to the most amazing local blues inWild Bill.
Residents will say that B.B. Kings is too touristy and that the music being played is too general, and maybe they are right.
Wild Bill’s is on the other side of downtown Memphis and away from the hustle and bustle of Bill Street, but it may be the main reason to go there.
There are many more people here, and the music is a traditional Memphis Delta blues.
On Sunday evening you can bring out the local talent with a jam session, and it’s chicken and local beer like in a dive bar, so don’t expect anything special.
If a local blues jam with a beaten track looks like a place for you (it has to!), come to Wild Bill for a blues night to remember.
Operating hours: Different nights are open at different times, but Wild Bills usually does not clearly define the closing time. It’s getting late, very late.
Price: Admission is free up to $10, food and drink is reasonable.
16. Live music with dinner in the Lafayette music room
The Lafayette Music Hall, located on another corner of the Memphis Center, is the third place to go for your blues stop tour.
Lafayette’s is a table tennis club with indoor and outdoor seating and is known for its blues shows.
Most events here sell priority tickets, so it’s a good idea to arrive early after the doors open (usually at 6pm). Be prepared to share your table with other guests – it’s the atmosphere of the place and the way it’s set up.
Another way to discover the Lafayette Music Room is the best Sunday brunch in Memphis with live blues – arrive before 10:30 and enjoy!
Operating hours: Performance times vary depending on the season and the day of the week (Saturdays can be busy).
Price: It depends on the service, but you really have to book in advance. Many nights cost between $25 and $30 per person.
17. Visit to a musical in the Orpheus Theatre in Memphis
The Orpheus Theatre in Memphis is a location with 2300 seats for musicals, plays, concerts, dance performances and more.
Photo Albums/ Shutterstock.com
The big Broadway shows and the world famous musicians can often be found on the official website of the Orpheum Theater.
Between the numerous museums where the blues is celebrated and most of the bars and clubs where the blues is played, you might want to spend the evening with something else, and this might be the perfect alternative.
Guided tours take place at certain times of the year (usually once a week), but you really want to see the show as it should be – full of people, music and the coveted snack break.
Operating hours: It depends on the show!
Fare: again – check the values because ticket prices vary.
18. Meet the famous Memphis Peabody ducks.
Photo by Roger Schultz – Ref.
It may be one of the most relaxing attractions and activities in any American city, but local traditions have somehow survived since the 1930s.
The Peabody Memphis is a luxury hotel in the centre of Memphis, known for the group of ducks that live on the roof and visit the fountain in the hotel lobby twice a day.
The tradition started as a joke when the owners decided that it would be nice to put a couple of ducks in a large marble fountain, but after the guests enjoyed it, the hotel appointed staff to take care of the ducks on a daily basis.
These ducks come from a special farm outside the city and are constantly changing, but for inexplicable reasons they continue to teach the next generation the routine.
Okay – the routine has changed over the years, and today the ducks are really helped to get to and from the well, but you should check it out – it really is one of the best things in Memphis!
When: The ducks lead to the fountain at 11 o’clock and then at 5 o’clock (by elevator!).
Price: Dismissed! (Unless you choose a hotel)
19. Go to a baseball game at Auto Park.
The Memphis Red Birds are a small baseball team based in the AutoZone Park Stadium.
The team was founded in 1998 and in recent years has become one of the most successful baseball teams of the Little League. She won the Pacific Coast League championship and the Trip A national championship.
This may not be a major league baseball franchise, but Memphis fans will tell you that small league games have a lot more heart, courage and fun with players who are there for the love of the game.
Shortly after the opening, the stadium was shortened to accommodate 10,000 fans and create a more intimate atmosphere without a crazy crowd trying to get in or out.
When: The baseball season generally runs from April to September. View the calendar on the official Memphis Redbirds website.
Price: Ticket prices vary, but are generally between $17 and $75, depending on the seat you choose.
20. Watch Memphis Grizzly play in the NBA on FedExForum
Memphis Grizzly is the NBA team playing at the Western Conference, and it’s great to be at the FeExForum in Memphis in winter.
Grizzly is the only Memphis sports team that plays in the top league of the respective professional sports competition.
Originally based in Vancouver, the team retained its grizzly name after moving to Memphis in 2001, although there are no grizzly or other bears in this part of the United States.
The team pays tribute to the city’s history by playing in two shades of blue – Beale Street Blue and Memphis Midnight Blue.
When: The NBA season runs from mid-October to mid-April – check the Grizzly’s competition schedule before you travel.
Price: Tickets vary by location and game, but they are among the best in the NBA and average around $55.
21. Try the incredible, world famous Gusa Roast Chicken
You won’t find this in your usual guide, but if you like fried chicken, you should really try the famous Gus fried chicken from South Front Street.
From the outside, this place is very discreet and if you’re not looking for it, you can easily pass by. There’s not a lot of neon signs around the door.
Inside you can enjoy some of the best roasted chickens in the country – expect large portions and unique local style with peanut butter chicken and fries cooked in peanut butter and a dry chicken finish.
Be aware that you have to wait during rush hour and especially on weekends. We’ve been waiting over an hour for a snack!
This original Gus franchise brand has grown in recent years to almost 30 locations in the middle, south and west of the United States.
When: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m.
Price: Reasonable and depending on your hunger!
22. Increase and decrease on the Mississippi with the boat Memphis
It’s easy to stay in Memphis and forget you’re on the Mississippi – most events in the city take place by the river.
The trip on the Mississippi is on a traditional rowing boat. There is a commentary on the history of the river and the different parts of Memphis and other places you pass.
There is an evening variant with dinner, including a barbecue buffet and live blues by a band that leaves at 7.30pm – if you choose this variant, you absolutely must be at the boat half an hour earlier to get to the jetty.
Boats depart from South Riverside Drive 45, but tickets must be bought at the ticket office of South Riverside Drive 251.
When: In summer there are daily cruises with two evening cruises at weekends, reduced to weekends during the autumn and winter holidays.
Price: You can choose between an ordinary boat trip (1.5 hours) or dinner and a boat trip with music (2 hours).
Study cruise: Adults – $20, seniors (60+), military and under 18 – $17, children under 12 – $10, children under 2 – free of charge
Dinner and musical cruise: Adults – $45, children under 18 – $42, children under 12 – $30, children under 2 – $10
23. Excursion to the Spiritual River Brewery
The Ghost River Brewery is a local Memphis brewery that has been in operation since 2007.
The brewery has its own salon where all beer is tapped, as well as food and products from the local shops.
The brewery offers 3 artisan beers all year round – Golden Ale, Irish-style Red Ale and Grindhouse Cream Ale. There are usually seasonal beers in the range, including varieties such as Oktoberfest, wheat beer and others.
The brewery is named after part of the Wolf River east of Memphis, near the Mississippi border. The company uses the river water to make beer, so it’s a real local business!
When: The stairwell is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4.00 p.m. to 10.30 p.m., Friday to Saturday from 12.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m., Sunday from 12.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m., guided tours on Saturdays at 12.00 p.m.
Price: The cost of the tour is $20 per person and includes a pint of your choice and 4 beer samples. The rest depends!
24. Buying or browsing the Bass ProPyramid .
The Memphis Pyramid was originally called the Great American Pyramid when it was first built as a multifunctional arena in 1991.
The pyramid houses everything from basketball to boxing, WWF and music concerts. The site has never gained popularity with the basketball players of Memphis (see above) and the basketball teams of the University of Memphis who moved in 2004 when the necessary improvements were more expensive than building a new stadium.
The arena was largely abandoned from its complete closure in 2007 until its reopening in 2010 as a Bass Pro Shops supermarket.
The interior of the arena has been renovated to allow the sale of hunting and fishing equipment and many other attractions, such as restaurants, a 100-room hotel, a bowling alley and a saltwater aquarium.
The shop alone is worth a visit – it is by far the largest hunting and fishing shop in the world, and can be worth a visit even if you don’t like to hunt yourself.
When: Open every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., on Sundays it closes earlier at 7 p.m.
Price: Admission is free of charge
25. Afternoon walk in Memphis Cemetery Memorial Park
The Memphis Memorial Park Cemetery is an active cemetery in a park-like setting with a large number of landscapes, carvings and the Crystal Temple Cave (see below).
Although it may seem unhealthy for some to visit the cemetery as a tourist attraction, the city designed and built the cemetery to encourage people to consciously walk through it.
In 1935, the Mexican artist Dionisio Rodriguez built a series of sculptures and decorations around the park, many of which were designed as if they were made of wood and wood.
There is a koi pond where you can feed the fish and geese, and a fountain to see. You will need to drive from the centre of Memphis to the park, but it is ideal for a 30-minute tour as you move around the city.
Opening hours: 6:00 – 20:00, the Populierenpoort remains open until 22:00.
Price: Free of charge.
26. Entry to the cave of the crystalline temple
The Crystal Church Cave is located in Memphis Cemetery Cemeterial Park, but deserves a special mention because it is almost a tourist attraction in itself.
Built in 1935, along with other sculptures and the development of the park, it is a hand carved cave built on a hill in the middle of the cemetery.
The cave is filled with quartz crystal and a stone in which the story of Christ is engraved into the image of the Last Supper. Whether you are a believer or not, a visit is worthwhile to admire the work and tranquility of the cosmos.
Like the rest of the park, access to the park is free and there are plenty of parking spaces in the park.
Operating hours: Same as the one at Memphis Memorial Park Cemetery.
27. See the bronze statue of Elvis Presley
Walk through Memphis’ music scene, stroll between different museums and blues venues, why not stop and pay homage to the king of Rock and Roll yourself?
The bronze statue of Elvis Presley stands proudly on Bill Street and a little more than real life Elvis at 9 1/2 feet.
Elvis, depicted in the sculpture, is young and plays the guitar. There is a fence around the image to prevent it from being damaged and people from touching it.
This is the second status that exists so far – it replaced the original when it needed to be repaired, but retained its place after the restoration was completed.
Operating hours: 24/7
28. Memphis Cotton Exchange Building Study
Photo by Thomas R. Machnitsky – Reference
The Memphis Cotton Museum tells the story of the cotton trade in the Mississippi delta and how it has influenced the economy and the lives of the region’s inhabitants.
The museum is housed in a building that served as a living trade fair until 1978. It is the third building in Memphis to market cotton and it opened its doors in 1922.
Today you can visit the historic hall where the crafts were made at a time when a large local industry was active.
Most of the building has been converted into apartments and the museum is a bit small, although it is still interesting because the main attraction is the blackboard and some interactive screens.
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00, Sunday from 12.00 to 17.00.
Price: Adults – $10, high school and college students – $9, servicemen and children under $12 – $8, children under 6 – for free
29. Spend some time atBill Street.
We’ve probably mentioned it a few times, but if there’s one place in Memphis you really need to take your time, it’s Bill Street.
Bill Street is full of clubs that play live blues every night, all kinds of clubs and bars you can imagine and a number of restaurants.
Its importance for the development of music in the United States is such that Congress has even passed a law declaring Memphis House of the Blues. Take Chicago, Nashville and New Orleans!
We’ve described some of the best places to go – check out the Blues Club. B. King’s Blues Club and pay tribute to the King of Rock and Roll on the statue of Elvis.
The Biler Street Music Festival takes place in early May at the end of the street leading to Tom Lee Park. There are a number of musical open air shows, so if you are flexible in your schedule, this may be a good time to visit.
30. Shopping and breakfast in the main street.
The main street runs through the centre of Memphis and is home to several good restaurants with outdoor seating.
The Main Street Trolley runs through the city center with frequent stops – the line has recently been restored. So try walking to one of the city’s landmarks, or just walk down the street and watch the old-timers zoom in.
Most of Memphis’ major attractions are on Main Street – in the south you’ll find the Art District, the National Museum of Civil Rights and the Blues Hall of Fame (see above for details on both) and the Ghost River Brewery at the end of South Main Street.
Further north, along Main Street, is the centre of Memphis with restaurants and attractions such as the Peabody Hotel and the Cotton Museum nearby.
31. Immerse yourself in art and coffee onBroad Avenue
The Broad Avenue Arts District is located east of downtown Memphis and stretches along Broad Avenue.
It is a lively area with many craft and antique shops and the occasional street kiosk.
There are several art galleries to explore and many creative cafes. The Memphis Skate Park & Coffee Society does what it says on the can: you can let your children skate while you drink (or try!) your coffee.
There are also trendy bars such as Cove and Maximo’s and the WISEACRE brewery, where you can taste locally produced beer.
Whether you want to see some art or have a good evening, it’s worth exploring the different blocks of Broad Avenue that take you away from the tourist attractions of Bil Street or Main Street.
32. Walking in Cooper Young’s thigh area
Photo by Thomas R. Machnitsky – Reference
Cooper Young is named after the intersection of Cooper Street and Yang Avenue in Medtown, Memphis.
The neighborhood is mainly residential, but it is known for some of the best restaurants in Memphis, with a fresh atmosphere and great food that people from other parts of Memphis come to enjoy.
There are several independent art and antique shops in the area, which you can reach on foot.
At night, the neighborhood turns into a lively club and café scene with something for everyone – the neighborhood is especially popular with young dating scenes.
The Cooper Young Festival is held in the region every autumn, growing every year and attracting a large audience to Memphis. The festival is all about art and music, while street performers and art dealers exhibit and sell unique pieces.
33. Large river crossing the Mississippi
It may not seem right, but if you want to take a walk with a view, the bridge over the Mississippi will take you there.
The crossing of the Big River runs along the Harahan Bridge, which connects part of the French Fort Memphis with Arkansas on the other side.
The bridge is one of three bridges that cross the river at a certain point – next to it are the Frisco bridge, which crosses the Mississippi railway, and the Memphis-Arkansas bridge, which crosses Interstate 55.
The Great River Crossing offers some of the best river views, and you can combine a walk with a river path through Martyr Park, Ashburn Coppock and Tom Lee Park, which runs along the riverside.
On the other hand, there isn’t much, so don’t hesitate to turn around and come back when you’ve finished the sightseeing tour and lost your obligatory selfishness.
34. To Mud Island River Park
Mud Island River Park (also known as Mississippi River Park) is a large park located at the southern end of Mud Island, with footpaths, cycle paths and the opportunity to paddle on the water.
Mud Island did not arrive in Memphis until 1960, after the Wolf River flooded and diverted to the Mississippi River north of Mud Island.
This was the impetus for the development of the peninsula, and the former estuary of the river became the port of the Wolf River.
In the park itself you can perfectly relax, on foot or by bike, with water on both sides and the huge Memphis pyramid on the other side of the harbour.
Don’t miss the Mississippi model (you really can’t miss it!). The model represents the entire length of the river from Cairo, Illinois to New Orleans, including all its tributaries.
The scale goes from 1 step to 1 mile, and along the way you see all the bridges crossing the river. Each tributary feeds the Mississippi with the right amount of relative water so you can understand how it develops downstream.
Mud Island River Park is also home to the Mississippi River Museum, which tells the story of the lower Mississippi River and has a replica of a steamboat.
The large open-air theatre hosts many concerts in the summer, so make sure you have something in town!
35. Spend a few hours in the Memphis Zoo.
The Memphis Zoo is located east of downtown Memphis and covers a quarter of Overton Park.
The zoo is one of the best in the world – Tripadwisor ranked it as the best zoo in the United States with over 3500 animals.
The best-known residents are the two giant pandas, which have their own space and a live webcam that broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from their residence.
Although the zoo is over 100 years old, it has beautiful facilities and green spaces thanks to a major investment program over the past two decades.
Some areas are concentrated in parts of the United States, with the Nipple Trail simulating Yellowstone National Park for grizzly bears, moose, wolves and otters. There is even a geyser to make the animals feel at home!
Besides souvenir shops and restaurants there are many attractions and rides, so Memphis has something to do for a good day.
Operating hours: March – mid-October – from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., mid-October – February – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: Adults – $18, seniors (60+) – $17, children under 12 – $13, children under 2 – free; parking – $5.
36. Relaxation at Shelby Farm Park
Shelby Farms is a very large park area, about 30 minutes drive from the centre of Memphis.
The park covers 4500 hectares, five times the size of New York’s Central Park, and its forests, meadows and lakes are home to many wild animals.
The park is home to a bison herd, and in some parts of the park there are beavers and deer.
Lake Patriot is the largest lake in the park and there is ample parking at the central lake. There is a 1.7 mile long path which runs around the lake and is perfect for a leisurely stroll.
If you want to go even further, the Chicago Trail is almost 3 miles long, and the dirty 6-mile Tour de Wolf is a nice walk of a few hours.
Operating hours: Every day from sunrise to sunset, closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Price: Free, including free parking
37. More information about nature in the Botanical Garden of Memphis
The Memphis Botanical Garden is a large park with many different areas designed for specific groups of plants.
The park seems more open and less structured than some other botanical gardens. It has 31 different gardens, from the Tennessee Iris Garden with hundreds of irises from around the world to the Japanese Serenity Garden landscape garden.
Admission is charged, parking is free and Fratelli’s Café offers a decent lunch if you arrive in the middle of the day.
During the summer months, the Botanical Garden also hosts big concerts called Live at the Garden – it can really be a great night out, so check out what’s happening in the garden. You’ll find everything from soul to classic rock, often playing with old school bands and singers.
Operating hours: Summer from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., winter from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Price: Adults – $10, seniors (62+) – $8, children under 12 – $5, children under 2 – free; concert tickets – separate and different prices
38. Enjoy a scenic view of the Mississippi from Tom Lee Park
We briefly mentioned Tom Lee Park because it overlooks the Mississippi and the Great River Crossing, but this park alone, which lies on the banks of the river, is worth a visit.
The park stretches for a mile along the river and is named after Tom Lee, who saved 32 people when the steamship M.E. Norman sank in 1925.
The park is a popular spot for pedestrians and cyclists, and you can enjoy the view of the Mississippi from one of the kiosks while taking advantage of the summer breeze blowing across the river.
The Bil Street Music Festival and its follow-up in Memphis in May is held in a park with landscape, and if you come here during the festival, don’t forget to go there.
In the third week of May, the World Pork Barbecue Championship takes place in Memphis, attracting participants from all over the world to demonstrate their pork grilling skills at Tom Lee Park.
Operating hours: 24/7
Price: Admission is free – events are paid for separately.
39. Wolf Greenway River Bike
Wolf River Greenway is an ongoing project approaching completion to build a walking and cycling trail along the 22 mile long Wolf River Road through different parts of Memphis and in the Mississippi.
The completed sections run along Shelby Farm Park and parts of the river in the Reilly area.
Large parts are still under construction, a long stretch along the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The motorway must be completed in 2019.
The whole route will be completed in 2021, but today you can already enjoy some sections.
40. Meeting with the arboretum of the Lichterman Natuurcentrum
Photo by Thomas R. Machnitsky – Reference
The Lichterman Nature Centre is a wooded area near the centre of Memphis where you can get acquainted with a variety of plants, birds and animals.
The centre presents its wild animals in its natural environment and does not contain any animals that need to be preserved. You can walk the 3 mile long route through the nature centre to see many plant and animal species for yourself. There is also a visitor centre with interactive exhibitions.
The Arboretum belongs, together with the Rosa Palast Museum, to the Rosa Palast family of museums (see no. 7 above), and some of the exhibits focus on man’s influence on fauna and on species adapted to life in an urban environment.
The Lichterman Nature Centre is free of charge on Tuesday afternoons from 13.00 hours, but can be very busy during these two hours, especially in summer.
Operating hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fridays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays and Mondays closed.
Price: Adults – $9, seniors (60+) – $8, children under 12 – $5, children under 2 – free; free entry for soldiers and their families from Memorial Day to Labour Day.
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