Memphis, Tennessee, is probably heaven for music lovers and food connoisseurs at the same time. Want to delve into delectable BBQ cuisine served at the finest restaurants in the city or want to shake a leg to the blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and even soul music? – Memphis is the place to be.
A tourist mecca for people who love good music and lip-smacking food, there are innumerable fun things to do in Memphis. You just need to step into the city, and you will start feeling the jovial and musical vibes that the city offers. Along with the fabulous legacy of music and food, the city has a very welcoming and inviting Southern charm. If you plan your next trip but not sure about the destination, think of Memphis for sure.
We have tried and listed interesting Memphis things to do so that you can plan your trip accordingly. Read on!
National Civil Rights Museum
Do you want to feel how the Civil Rights Movement was in Memphis? If yes, you must include National Civil Rights Museum in your ‘visit-list.’ We all know that after killing Martin Luther King in 1968 at a motel in Memphis, the city became a forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. In the museum, you will find a wide display of artifacts, documents, photos, and other exhibits, which stand evidence of the tough struggle people endured for equal rights.
The museum’s main attraction is a life-size duplicate of a bus, which was brutally damaged during the Freedom Rights by the supremacists. In the various audio posts, you can hear the voice of various activists who fought for justice. The museum plays a crucial part in preserving the history and heritage of Memphis, TN.
Address: 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, TN 38103 | Timing: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm, Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday | Google Map Location: https://g.page/NCRMuseum?share | Phone Number: (901) 521-9699
Take a Tour of the Legendary Sun Studio
The famous Sun Studio of Memphis, Tennessee, is considered the ‘birthplace of Rock and Roll.’ Since its opening in 1950, the Sun Studio has witnessed recordings and live sessions from the greats like Jerry Lew Lewis, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and many more.
Enjoy a music and fun tour of Sun Studio, where proficient guides will help you explore the place. Do not forget to see the microphone which Elvis Presley used for recording his first rock and roll song in the year 1954. The legendary door of Sun Studio has greeted and welcomed many eminent musical personalities from different genres, including blues, rock n roll, etc. There is a Record Store in the studio from which you can collect some souvenirs or memorabilia.
Address: 706 Union Avenue Memphis, TN 38103 | Timing: Sunday to Thursday 10:00am – 5:15pm, Friday and Saturday 10:00am – 6:15pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/3oBZzeA9EhvGpHpy5 | Phone Number: (901) 521-0664, (800)441-6249
Stax Museum of American Soul Music
You will be spoilt for options when it comes to music museums in Memphis. Stax Museum of American Soul Music is one such place. This is the place where American Soul music’s legacy is preserved in the best way possible. The museum pays tribute to all the musical greats who had once recorded within the structure’s walls. The museum has rare collections of more than 2000 films, artifacts, interactive exhibits in various galleries. Special mention needs to be made of the unique customized Cadillac Eldorado of Isaac Hayes, which comes with a refrigerated minibar, television, pure gold exterior trim, and floorboards with white fur carpeting.
The museum also houses all albums and singles collections that have been released by Stax and subsidiary labels since 1957 – 1975. It is the real birthplace of soul music.
Address: 926 E McLemore Ave, Memphis, TN 38126 | Timing: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm, Monday closed | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/MCXvzY53QDY2e4X87 | Phone Number: +1 901-261-6338
Graceland: The Home of Elvis Presley
For lovers of music, Graceland can be considered a mecca. It is the king of rock and roll – Elvis Presley’s home. This grand mansion attracts millions of visitors annually. Explore the colonial-style grand mansion, which has been turned into a museum now. Every part of the structure is rich in culture and history – you will find music memorabilia in every nook and corner of the mansion.
From the lavish garden to the airplane that King Elvis used for traveling, from his musical instruments, artifacts to his flamboyant costumes and personal mementos – everything is on display in Graceland. This famous property is on a 200,000 square foot area and comprises gift shops, studios, museums, and restaurants. Coming to Memphis, TN, and not visiting Graceland will be a sin.
Address: Elvis Presley Blvd. Memphis, TN 38116 | Timing: 09:00 am to 04:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/ElvisPresleysGraceland?share | Phone Number: +1 901 332 3322
Beale Street Entertainment District
Confused as to what to do in Memphis? Want to feel the real pulse of Memphis? You got to visit Beale Street for sure. The place is a home of the blues, and you might be lucky is catching up with some live music as well. Along with the blues, you will also hear popular local music and spend the evening beautifully.
Truly regarded as Memphis’s entertainment district, Beale Street has innumerable bars, cafes, and restaurants serving delectable cuisines and drinks to guests. Once you enter the place, you cannot stop yourself from shaking a leg or swaying your body to the rhythm of the music (mostly blues) being played. A must-visit place while visiting Memphis.
Address: Beale Street Management, 203 Beale Street, Suite 300, Memphis, TN 38103 | Timing: Everyday 11:00 am to 03.00 am | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/sRJvDQaAoX5ogZ9v6 | Phone Number: (901) 526-0117
Now that you are in Memphis and a baseball fan, you cannot but miss visiting AutoZone Park. Baseball is one of America’s most popular games, and this park is home to Memphis Redbirds. The awesome park has been accredited high by Baseball America in its state-of-the-art, neo-traditional style facilities. Though the stadium is not very large, the ambiance is electrifying. The seating arrangements are comfortable with open-air party decks and an on-site playground for kids.
Apart from baseball games, the stadium also hosts various kinds of musical events, cultural functions, etc. Some of the best hot dogs and beer are available at the facility at truly cheap rates!
Address: 200 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 | Timing: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm, Closed on Saturday and Sunday | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/PjVDaZjXZ77iXEga9 | Phone Number: +1 901 721 6000
Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
Located on Beale Street, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum speaks about the inception of rock and soul music. This museum’s specialty is that it depicts the tale of music pioneers and legends who broke socio-economic, racial hurdles, and barriers for creating music that took the whole world by storm over time. And all this just for the love and passion of music. You can explore Memphis’s complete musical story and musical history from the 1930s to 1970s at the museum.
The exhibits displayed in the museum depict the culture, music, and heritage of Memphis, which evolved with time. There is also a store at the museum, from where you can collect interesting memorabilia and stuff to keep as a memory.
Address: 191 Beale Street, Suite 100, Memphis, TN 38103 | Timing: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm, closed on Monday and Tuesday | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/2fJKcKkzDv8PugLx5 | Phone Number: 901-205-2533/34
Meet the “Peabody Ducks” at the Peabody Hotel
One of the famous Memphis attractions is meeting the ‘Peabody ducks’ at the Peabody Hotel. Every day at 11.00 am in morning, and five ducks parade down from the roof of the hotel in the lobby. The parade is led by an official Duckmaster. On reaching the lobby, a red carpet is unfolded in which the ducks march on the tune of King Cotton March. There is a beautiful fountain in the grand lobby of the hotel, and the ducks remain in the fountain, swimming and playing the whole day. At exactly 05:00 pm, the opposite process is followed, and the ducks return to the roof.
You will be surprised to know that the ducks have a Royal Duck Palace on the rooftop. It has a duck fountain and a front yard, which is full of grass. Innumerable people wait in the hotel lobby to catch a glimpse of this rare and unique event.
Address: 149 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103 and 118 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103 | Timing: 24×7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/PfXURruV7zrygfPX6 | Phone Number: +1 901 529 4000, 1 800 732 2639
Mud Island has developed into one of the most popular tourist destinations in Memphis. It is actually a small peninsula, which is seen to flow into the Mississippi River. This peninsula is often compared to the ‘Gulf of Mexico.’ An excellent river walk has been developed in the place, where people can walk, cycle and have a great time. There are 18 galleries in the place, which help understand and explore the rich cultural heritage that Memphis has.
You can relax and grab a bite or two at the various restaurants, cafes, and eateries present by the river walk—a nice place to chill during the summer months.
Address: Mud Island, Memphis, TN 38103 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/BGag7sTDxHTVu8Mr6
When it comes to Memphis attractions, FedEx Forum comes in top position in any list. It is a multi-purpose building that is considered the home of the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA. It is also home to the NCAA Division 1men’s basketball program of Memphis University. The venue also hosts ice hockey matches, wrestling games, boxing matches, ice shows, and many other kinds of family shows and concerts along with hosting basketball games.
Entertainment opportunities are abundant at the FedEx Forum, with excellent drinking and dining facilities at different cafes and eateries. A great place to spend with the whole family during the Memphis visit!
Address: 191 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103 | Timing: 10:00 am to 05:30 pm (Monday to Friday) | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/qZPvZSq73w2ZrYaP9 | Phone Number: 901 205 2640
Shelby Farms Park
Spread over an expansive area of 4,500 acres, Shelby Farms Park offers extensive greenery and 6.5 miles of urban trail. An urban park, the place has striking sceneries and trails where one can take a stroll or even exercise. Water bodies are also abundant in the park, where people can enjoy activities like kayaking, canoeing, paddle boating, etc. Along with these, horseback riding, bike riding, fishing, and hiking can also be enjoyed at the park. There is a large playground where kids can play.
Excellent food arrangements are also available at the park in cafes, restaurants, etc., offering various gastronomical delights.
Address: 6903 Great View Drive North, Memphis, TN 38134 | Timing: 07:00 am to 07:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/DxaxDBSQq9KV1TAw5 | Phone Number: +1 901 222 7275
Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art is spread over an area of 24,000 square feet. There are five galleries in the museum containing extremely interesting exhibits. Asian art forms are displayed in the first three galleries. Artifacts from the Qing Dynasty of China are displayed from the 17th – 20th century. The fourth gallery in Belz Museum contains Judaic pieces of art, which have immense historical and heritage value. The last gallery is the Holocaust Memorial Gallery, which shows different artifacts and items from the Second World War.
Address: 119, South Main Street, Concourse Level, Memphis, TN 38103 | Timing: General timing – 10.00 am to 05:30 pm (Tuesday to Friday), 12:00 noon to 05:00 pm (Saturday and Sunday), Note: The museum is currently closed owing to the pandemic. Please check the website https://belzmuseum.org/ for any changes in the timings once the museum reopens. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/CJmnUyaUv8RLLVLW8 | Phone Number: 901 523 2787
Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium
The grand and majestic Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium in Memphis, TN, had been constructed in the 1920s. Pink-colored Georgian marble was used in the making of this palace museum. The place is a learning center with historical and scientific attractions. Some of the museum’s well-known exhibits include Native American pottery, things related to the Civil War, artifacts belonging to the history of slavery, fossils, etc. Exciting audio-visuals are also shown at the museum for information and knowledge.
The planetarium and the IMAX Theater, which are there on the same premises, are added attractions.
Address: 3050 Central Ave. Memphis, TN 38111 | Timing: 10:30 am to 05:00 pm (Wednesday to Saturday), Noon to 05:00 pm (Sunday), Monday and Tuesday: Closed | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/VxkL6MQucBmy8RNb8 | Phone Number: 901 636 236
You might find a cemetery to be an odd place to visit, but the Elmwood Cemetery is different. Established in 1852, this is one of the oldest cemeteries in Memphis. There is a dramatic Entry Bridge to the place along with a Carpenter-Gothic Office Cottage. Spread over 80-acres of land, this cemetery has beautiful flora in the form of elms and oaks and grand magnolias. Some of the most eminent and prominent residents of Memphis have been laid to rest in this cemetery. American War heroes have also been buried in this famous cemetery.
Address: 824 S Dudley St, Memphis, TN 38104 | Timing: 08:00 am to 04:30 pm, 08:00 am to 12:00 pm (Saturday), Sunday Closed | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/3HbsyDrE32hVsRPZ6 | Phone Number: +1 901 774 3212
Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid
The Pyramid in Memphis, TN, is truly a wonder in itself. Once you step into this famous colossal building, you will enter a new world altogether. What can you do inside the Pyramid? Well, this is a very difficult question to answer as the options are extensive and innumerable. People who love shopping will have the best retail experience. Spread over an expansive area of 535,000 square feet, the Pyramid houses what not!
There is a 600,000-gallon water body, a huge lavish hotel, a cypress swamp with trees that are 100 feet tall, an alligator water habitat of 84,000 gallons, innumerable food outlets, 13 lane bowling alley (ocean-themed), 28-storey freestanding glass elevator, an underwater aquarium with more than 1800 varieties of fish and much more. Awestruck? Visit the place as it is one of the most important things to do in Memphis and create memories for life!
Address: 1 Bass Pro Dr Memphis, TN 38105 | Timing: 09:00 am to 09:00 pm, Sunday : 10:00 am to 07:00pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/uYeSsCM5ZmBuPmUq9 | Phone Number: (901) 291 8200
Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum
We all have heard about slavery, but what it means can be deciphered at this museum. In the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, you will be able to see how some people who supported the anti-slavery movement tried to help African slaves by hiding them in their houses and then made way for their escape. Taking a tour through the house, you can see the dark and damp cellars, the concealed passages, and trap doors through which the slaves escaped. Jacob Burkle, a German immigrant, is a prominent name in the anti-slavery movement, and he helped many slaves escape. An experience which you will not be able to forget in a lifetime!
Address: 826 N 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38107 | Timing: 10:00 am – 04:00 pm/05:00 pm, Sunday Closed | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/2Zfk5EwyRtaJZtsz7 | Phone Number:+1 901 527 3427, 901 527 3427 / 901 527 7711
The Mississippi River can be considered as the lifeline of Memphis, TN. The river has bestowed Memphis with uncountable blessings for ages and is continuing to do so. There are innumerable options to choose from as to how you want to explore the beauty of this majestic river. The Harahan Bridge constructed over the river, was used to allow trains and cars to West Memphis from downtown Memphis. Now the bridge is named Big River Crossing, and pedestrians and cyclists can also use the same. With a length of one mile, the bridge is the longest one for pedestrians, over the Mississippi.
Along with this, there are river parks and river walks – all built by the Mississippi in some or other part of Memphis. You can also enjoy a ride in the Memphis riverboats clicking awesome pictures of the river during the ride. Unravel the beauty of the Mississippi River in Memphis and create amazing memories for a lifetime.
Tom Lee Park
Located along Riverside Drive on the Mississippi River, this park is one of the major Memphis attractions. You can enjoy and relax in the park with family and friends. Spread over an area of 30 acres, the park has become a haven for cyclists, joggers, and even walkers.
Tom Lee Park also acts as a venue for many prominent events hosted in Memphis, TN. Some of the popular events include the International Festival of ‘Memphis in May, the Big Hog Run, Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, Miss Piggy Idol Contest, etc. Apart from these, many live entertainment programs are also hosted at the venue.
Address: Riverside Dr, Memphis, TN 38103 | Timing: 06:00 am to 08:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/tom-lee-park?share | Phone Number: +1 901 312 9190
Children’s Museum of Memphis
It is evident from the name that this museum is dedicated to children. Children’s Museum of Memphis is a great tourist attraction for travelers and the local people. There is a common notion that museums are boring. But on visiting this place, kids will love museums for sure. There are wide varieties of exhibits, along with programs, fun activities, and different kinds of games. Kids get to learn about different things through games and playing activities. Highly interactive and engaging, kids love to explore various things in the museum, enhancing their learning process.
The museum offers both indoor and outdoor activities. Excellent arrangements for foods and beverages are also made at the museum in cafes etc.
Address: 2525 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 38104 | Timing: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm, Monday closed | Google Map Location: https://g.page/cmomemphis?share | Phone Number: +1 901 458 2678
Have Some Soul Food at Alcenia’s
Memphis is popular for offering soul-nourishing food, and the place to have the best experience is none other than Alcenia’s. The restaurant offers pure handmade food with love. Opened by Betty Joyce, the eatery has a welcoming ambiance and is bright and colorful. Whatever be your food preferences, you will have it at Alcenia’s.
The restaurant’s specialties include salmon croquettes, meatloaf, fried chicken, catfish, waffles, pork chops, cha-cha cabbage, fried green tomatoes, yam, different varieties of delicious desserts, etc. Once you visit the place and cafe, you are sure to keep coming back for more.
Address: 317 N Main St, Memphis, TN 38103 | Timing: 11:00 am to 03:00pm (Tuesday to Friday), 09:00am to 03:00 pm (Saturday), Sunday and Monday: Closed | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/mSgEC5Bwv15pfYzJ8 | Phone Number: +1 901 523 0200
Memphis Brooks Museum of Arts was established in 1916 and is one of Tennessee’s largest art museums. The museum premises are quite an extensive one with a Holy Court Garden, Brooks Museum Store, Café Brooks, and a grand terrace offering beautiful views. There are 29 galleries in the art museum, along with a print study room and research library.
Baroque and Renaissance paintings, as well as Impressionist paintings, are displayed in the museum. More than 7000 collections in the museum, including prints, drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, etc. 20th Century contemporary art and painting collections can also be seen at the museum.
Address: 1934 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38104 | Timing: 10:00 am to 08:00 pm (Wednesday), 10:00 am to 04:00 pm (Thursday and Friday), 10:00 am to 05:00 pm (Saturday), 11.00 am to 05:00 pm (Sunday), Monday and Tuesday closed | Google Map Location: https://g.page/TheBrooksMuseum?share | Phone Number: +1 901 544 6200
The Memphis Zoo
When you are traveling to Memphis with your family, do not forget to include the Memphis Zoo in your ‘must-visit list.’ The kids are going to love this experience. There are above 3500 animals in the zoo presently with 500 varieties of different species. Animal conservation is done in the best manner in this zoo. The best thing about Memphis Zoo is that different ecosystems and environments are created for the animals to feel their natural habitat. There are many exotic and rare creatures in the zoo, and animal lovers will love the experience.
Resident pandas are one of the main attractions of the Memphis Zoo. The zoo is also a great picnic spot for the whole family to enjoy together.
Address: 2000 Prentiss Pl, Memphis, TN 38112 | Timing: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm/06:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://g.page/ZooMemphis?share | Phone Number: 901 333 6500
Malco Summer Drive-In
Started in the year 1966, Malco Summer Drive-in in Memphis, TN, is an excellent place of attraction for you if you love movies. It is a double screen open-air theatre, where you can watch two films that are going on. You can sit in the comfort of your own car and enjoy the movie. The experience of watching movies at the venue will make you nostalgic for sure. This facility remains operational only during the summer months as the weather conditions are favorable then. Munch on your favorite snacks and edibles while enjoying the movie.
However, prior bookings have to be made as an entry is denied without confirming the booking.
Address: 5310 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN 38122 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/jtuow8iM8fxSPjWP8 | Phone Number: +1 901 767 4320
Fire Museum of Memphis
The premiere fire museum in the USA, the Fire Museum of Memphis is one of the greatest Memphis Tennessee attractions. Apart from documenting firefighting’s local history, the museum also plays an important role in promoting and educating people regarding firefighting. The museum was constructed in 1910 and contained exhibits that date back to the early 1900s and late 1800s. Many historic fire engines are on display in the museum along with items like firefighting costumes, fire equipment, badges, helmets, firefighting toys, lanterns, etc.
Address: 118 Adams Ave, Memphis, TN 38103 | Timing: 09:00 am to 04:00 pm, Sunday Closed Note: The museum is currently closed for repairs. Please check the website http://www.firemuseum.com/ for any updates. | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/q6m3VSG2bVEpVUK58 | Phone Number: +1 901 636 5650
Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Dixon Gallery and Gardens is your ideal destination if you are looking to enjoy some art forms and relax at the same time in Memphis, Tennessee. Take some time out in the evening, and you can explore this beautiful art gallery containing some of the best works of American and French Impressionism. Take a look at artworks by Renoir, Monet, Mary Cassatt, Henri Fantin-Latour, Berthe Morisot, Degas, Alfred Sisley, and many more. Special mention needs to be made by Jean-Louis Forain, the renowned French Impressionist artist. An excellent collection of 18th century German porcelain is also on exhibit in the museum.
The sculpture gardens of the venue contain Greco-Roman sculptures. The garden is a great place for unwinding or for enjoying a picnic with the family.
Address: 4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38117 | Timing: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm (Tuesday to Saturday), 01:00 pm to 05:00 pm (Sunday), Monday: Closed | Google Map Location: https://g.page/dixonmemphis?share | Phone Number: 901 761 5250
Hop on the Main Street Trolley
The answer to the question of what to do in Memphis will remain incomplete without the famous Main Street Trolley ride. Make sure that you hop on to one such trolley and enjoy the experience. It is one of the most favorite ways of local transportation for the commoners and tourists. Genuine and vintage trolley cars will take you to old times with antique lighting arrangements, detailed woodwork, and hand-carved corbels. Just know the timings of operation of these trolley cars and enjoy the ride! Base fares start at $1 per ride. Thirty-five stations are covered with these cars.
Address: 547, N Main Street, Memphis, TN 38105|Timing: 06:45 am to 12.05 am (Monday to Thursday), 06:45 am to 12.15 am (Friday), 08:00 am to 12:10 am (Saturday), 10:00 am to 06:20 pm (Sunday) | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/XhWZjCLRjLcJYNWg9 | Phone Number: +1 901 577 2640
Explore the Murals at Broad Avenue
If you are an art lover, particularly murals, Broad Avenue is the place to be in Memphis, TN. You will be surprised to see the colorful and bright murals that cover the walls and various other structures in the place. While some of the murals are temporary and keep on changing after a few months, some are permanent. Walk down the avenue or cycle through the area and enjoy the beauty of the murals. Some of the murals are great photo-clicking locations as well. Make sure that you include this in Memphis, Tennessee things to do.
Address: 2542 Broad Ave, Memphis, TN 38112 | Timing: 24X7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/J5qsfVVTWzVZY4zS9
Now that you plan to visit Memphis, Tennessee, you can refer to this list for selecting the things to do in Memphis.