If you are planning a trip to Memphis then you should definitely check my list of the 6 best things to do in Memphis Tennessee. This way, you don’t miss the best things that the city has to offer.
About Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the state of Tennessee and the capital of the state of Shelby County. Memphis is known worldwide as the cradle of blues, the birthplace of rock & roll – here you can also visit Graceland, the mansion belonging to Elvis Presley. In 1968, the leader Martin Luther King was assassinated here on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. The city has grown from ashes and hatred, and Lorraine Motel is now home to the Civil Rights Museum.
Today, Memphis is an interesting mix of old and new, with Victorian villas crammed into skyscrapers and shiny malls. To get closer to the history of the city, you can walk on Beale Street. Go on a steamboat ride on the Mississippi River to experience a unique experience; or if you are a gambler, go to the casinos in Tunica.
Baseball fans will be able to participate in the matches of the Memphis Redbirds team that plays on the AutoZone Park stadium. AutoZone Park is considered one of the most beautiful stadiums in the United States baseball league and is a goal not to be missed during the season.
A walk along the Mississippi River through the city park is very relaxing and is a great way to enjoy the river.
A smaller attraction is the “Duck Parade” at the Peabody Hotel. The ducks leave their place on the roof, get off the elevator and march on the red carpet to a fountain. Children are in love with this ritual.
The nightlife is very interesting in Memphis, in this special city, many tourists coming just to enjoy music, dancing and other forms of entertainment, offered by various clubs. There are plenty of restaurants in Memphis; you can enjoy fine dining in restaurants well known for their excellent cuisine and exceptional services.
When to visit Memphis, Tennessee
Autumn and spring, especially May and October, are the most pleasant months to visit this city. The weather is easy and tourists are less numerous. In summer the city is crowded and the heat can be uncomfortable. Music lovers could visit the city during the Beale Street Music Festival.
What to pack for your trip to Memphis
High temperatures in Memphis in June, July and August usually range from 29-34 ° C. For summer travel, be sure to wear shorts, sandals, a swimsuit, sunglasses and lots of cotton T-shirts.
Spring and autumn offer the most comfortable temperatures, with relatively low humidity. You will find that you can take part in a lot of festivals during this period. Check the weather before going on vacation, but most of the time it is enough to put in your luggage: jeans, sweatshirts, a brightly colored shirt or a blouse.
Because Memphis has more sunny days a year than Miami, it’s important to pack sunscreen.
Casual shorts, light dresses, sneakers, slippers, and sports shirts are accepted everywhere. If you have taken a pair of cotton shorts, they will be suitable on the golf course but also on a trip along the Mississippi River.
Shopping in Memphis
When it comes to shopping in Memphis you will find everything from malls to small shops. Bargain hunters should head to Belz Factory Outlet Mall, 3536 Canada Road, where they will find brand name goods available with up to 75% off. For musical souvenirs, it is worth visiting Shangri-la Records, 1916 Madison Avenue, where you can find vinyl records, cassettes, and CDs. The most famous store in Memphis is A Schwab, on Beale Street. Those wishing to purchase an Elvis souvenir should go to Graceland Plaza, opposite Graceland.
Unique things to do in Memphis Tennessee
You can find the 6 best things to do in Memphis Tennessee below. Make sure you add them to your itinerary so you don’t miss out on what Memphis has in store for you.
Photo by Sean Davis
Memphis Evangelical Choir
The first entry on our list of things to do in Memphis Tennessee is the Evangelical Church. If you are in Memphis on a Sunday, put on clean and shiny clothes and go to the Evangelical Choir, where the famous pastor Al Green preaches, known not only for his liturgical services but also for his unmistakable voice.
Tourists and occasional visitors usually occupy half of the seats available in the church, knowing that the Rev. Al Green is a star of gospel music. In a broad sense, the gospel is associated with the music of the soul. Although the reverend is not present at every service held on Sunday, tourists crowd to take their seats in the church, watching a service being a real experience. It would be preferable not to forget the tithe, most visitors donating a dollar at the exit.
Photo by Alberto Cabello
Graceland Mansion in Memphis
Next on our list of things to do in Memphis Tennessee is the city’s famous mansion, which was once owned by rock star Elvis Presley. It is located on the boulevard of the same name, at number 3764, in the large community of Whitehaven, located about 14 kilometers from the city center.
Currently, this building serves as a memorial museum and is a tourist attraction for visitors to the city, but also a place where fans of the great star pay tribute, being open to the general public since June 7, 1982.
As proof of the great appreciation for the life and activity of the rock star, the National Authority entered the building in the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1991, and declared it a national historic landmark on March 27, 2006.
Graceland has an annual population of approximately 600,000, ranking third, after the White House and Baltimore Estate, in a ranking of tourist attractions.
The most famous place of this tourist objective, or its strong point, is the gate at the main entrance, which is in the form of a scorebook, with green notes, and has next to it the silhouette of Elvis Presley.
In early August 2005, Lisa Marie Presley sold 85% of her rights, retaining ownership of the property and most of the property in the house, and the business was taken over by Graceland CHX Inc, an entertainment company in which her daughter The star is on the board and produces the American Idol TV show.
In February 2006, Bob Sillerman’s president announced plans to develop and reorient Graceland, with the intention of turning this place into a tourist destination listed on a par with Disneyland or national theme parks, with the aim of doubling or even doubling the investment. triple the number of visitors. The project is worth between 250 and 500 million dollars, money that is directed to the redevelopment of the riparian area, the construction of a luxury hotel with more than 500 rooms, a meeting center, an amphitheater for live concerts and a restaurant. The works were started in 2009 and are still in progress, the area initially targeted and proposed for redevelopment being extended, in the plan appearing the arrangement of another 80,000 square meters, adjacent to the initial objective,
Over time, this place has inspired genre music artists such as Paul Simon, who has titled an album “Graceland” and Marc Cohn for the song “Walking in Memphis” performed by Cher. Even the directors at Holywood have titled the film “3000 Miles To Graceland,” which captures the story of criminals who want to rob a casino during Elvis Week. “Finding Graceland”, another famous film, has a name inspired by these places.
Graceland is a real place of pilgrimage for rock music lovers, but especially for fans of the great star who passed away prematurely among us. During the commemoration of the great rock artist, the city is full of various more modern or older devices from which one can hear the famous “Heartbreak Hotel”.
Photo by gsloan
Located in Midtown, the Zoo is home to over 3,500 animals, representing 500 different species. Founded in April 1906, the Garden was originally located in Overton Park, operating in that location for over 100 years. In 1988, by a decision of Memphis City Hall, the zoo expanded to 31 acres. Currently, only 22 hectares are put into use.
In 2008, the Memphis Zoo ranked first in the United States, in a ranking that had visitors’ criteria. Since the early 1990s, the tourist attraction has received investments of over 77 million dollars for renovation and expansion, the animals that can be visited here are exhibited in three distinct areas, the garden being accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Throughout the route you will encounter waterfalls, ponds, artificially created fountains, these being characteristics of the tourist objective.
Another fascinating aspect encountered in the Memphis Zoo is the fidelity with which the natural habitats of the animals that live in the Garden were created. These are presented in the smallest detail, an element that considerably increases the charm of the tourist objective. Most of the plant species found here are those that make up the native flora, which includes maple, poplar, and various species of native oaks. There are also exotic plants, specific to some species of animals that live in the garden, such as banana trees, begonias, hibiscus, European maples, birches, and many other specimens.
In the African garden, you can admire African elephants, giraffes, zebras, Grant gazelles, white rhinos, or ostriches. In 2006, the expansion of the Garden also included the elephant area, which now has a swimming pool where elephants can cool off at will.
Present in this exhibition is the Nile crocodile, which benefits from a special pool and an artificial shore created, a faithful copy of the conditions on the African continent.
The bee exhibition was opened to the public in 2009, where tourists can watch the life and habitat of bees with the two hives, while a guide explains in detail the benefits of bee families, the food chain, agriculture, and the pharmaceutical industry.
Leaving the bee exhibition, the road leads to the land of parrots, which has about 500 specimens, a section where visitors can interact with them, feed them and follow their behavior closely, knowing that parrots make up about 18% of pets present in the homes of people all over the world.
Inside the zoo, tourists can also meet the African lion, Nile frogs, giraffes, gorillas and chimpanzees, penguins, and snakes brought from various parts of the world.
Photo by Eric Allix Rogers
Memphis Orpheum Theater
Another great entry on our list of things to do in Memphis Tennessee is the Orpheum Theater. Built in 1928, the theater is located on South Main Street and is one of the most prominent places of culture in Memphis, being one of the few relics of the film’s fortress that was established here around 1920.
With approximately $ 4.7 million, capital invested in 1980, the theater was thoroughly renovated, including renovation of decorative plaster, crystal chandeliers, original furniture, and redevelopment of the backstage area and replacement of technical elements: sound, light or scenery.
The theater has a capacity of 2400 seats and brings on stage a wide variety of shows, including shows performed on the famous Broadway stage.
The spiciest detail of this tourist attraction is the fact that quite a few people claim that the theater is haunted by two ghosts. The employees of the theater claim that they hear slammed doors, see the lights flickering, and on the C5 place sometimes blood stains are discovered. They claim that one of the ghosts that haunt the theater is called Maria and is 9 years old and that she can be seen wearing a pink dress and her hair braided in tails, being considered a friendly ghost. The second ghost is supposed to live above the ventilation system and to block the ventilation during concerts or shows, which is felt even by the spectators.
Photo by John Cathey-Roberts
Sun Studio in Memphis
Sun Studio is a recording studio founded by the pioneer of rock music, Sam Phillips, and is located on Union Avenue at 706. The studio was officially founded on January 3, 1950. It was originally called the Memphis Recording Service, sharing the same building with Sun Records.
The first print was made here in 1951 by the famous rock-and-roll singer Jackie Breston, with the song Rocket 88, written by Ike Turner. The score, originally composed for piano, was transposed into the rock version by Jackie Breston and the band called Delta Cats. This first recording is considered the birth certificate of rock and roll. The recordings here also included country or rock songs by artists Johny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Pene, Ray Harris, Warren Smith Charlie Rich, or Jerry Lee Lewis, who recorded under the auspices of the production house of the same name. , since the mid-1950s.
Assaulted by artists, the studio’s owner expanded the studios and, in 1959, founded the Sam C. Phillips Recording Studio, known under a more familiar name in the music world as Phillips Recordings.
From this moment, with the economic boom of the mid-60s, Sam Phillips also opened the hotel chain, famous today, Holiday Inn, a name that was also borrowed in the art world and carried by vinyl records under the title of Holiday Inn Records, since 1963.
Officially reopened to the music circuit in 1987, the building has become an attraction in Memphis, which has attracted notable artists such as Def Leppard, U2, Bonnie Raitt, and Ringo Star, all of whom are true music legends of all time.
The latest project, a resounding success of this studio, is that of 2005 when Brian Setzer produced the album entitled “Rockabilly Riot Vol.1”, a tribute by Sun Records to the great singers of the genre. In 2007, the Canadian rock band Kingmakers recorded a selection of classic rock hits in their original form, including Elvis Presley’s hit, “That’s All Right.”
In May 2009, Canadian blues artist JW-Jones recorded with the legendary Hubert Smith, Larry Taylor, and Richard Innes. July 2009, consecrates the end of the prints of John Mellencamp, who recorded a number of nine songs for his new album. In 2011, perhaps the most famous blues singer, Chris Isaac, released the album “Beyond The Sun” under the baton of the producers from Sun Records.
Photo by Eric Allix Rogers
The Pink Palace and the Planetarium
The last entry on our list of things to do in Memphis Tennessee is The Planetarium. The Pink Palace and the Planetarium serve as a major point of interest for science lovers in central and southern Tennesee and exhibit science-related objects in all fields, starting with archeology and ending with chemistry, gathering over 240,000 visitors annually.
The museum is part of the Pink Museums’ family and exhibits collections of historical, educational, and technological interest, being accredited as an education center.
The museum also has a Victorian mansion, Mallory-Neely House, currently closed due to budget constraints to which Memphis City Hall is subject. The mansion of a special beauty was built in 1852 and has 25 rooms, arranged on three levels.
Sharpe Planetarium has a capacity of 165 seats in the form of an amphitheater and offers public performances, screenings, and laser lights on the ceiling. There is also a cultural center, the theater being present through a training and preparation center opened on January 21, 1995, which has a mobile screen that has the height of a four-storey building.
The Pink Palace features a variety of exhibits that relate to the history of Memphis, one of the oldest and most important settlements in the state of Tenesee. Here you will find the original arrangement of the famous shops at that time, Piggly Wiggly, known as the first self-service grocery store, and can be considered the forerunner of today’s supermarkets.
Other exhibits that can be found inside this museum are the objects of ceramics and traditional American art dating from the fifteenth century, dinosaur fossils, pre-Columbian artifacts and a very valuable exhibition of stuffed animals.
All of these things give visitors a tour of the near or far history of Memphis, Tennessee and the United States, an unforgettable history lesson.
If you are planning a visit to Memphis, Tennessee, don’t forget to check out my list of the 6 best things to do in Memphis Tennessee. Memphis has a lot more to offer, so it is up to you to walk around the city, explore, and find the best things available for you. For more information about Memphis, visit the official website.
Don’t be afraid to explore. Blogs can only guide you in the right direction, the rest is up to you!
Interested in more travel tips and destination hints? Check out our travel tips section.