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Home » 15 Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee): Travel Guide 2022

15 Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee): Travel Guide 2022

Best Things To Do In Memphis

15 Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee): Travel Guide 2022

Located on the Mississippi River in Tennessee, Memphis is a popular destination for music and food enthusiasts. Stroll down Beale Street, where you will find a diverse selection of music clubs and restaurants. 

Visit historical attractions (many completely free). The best things to do with kids in Memphis, TN, include the Memphis Children’s Museum, the Memphis Zoo, the Memphis Botanical Garden, and unique parks.

Weather in Memphis (Tennessee)

Let’s start with when you shouldn’t visit Memphis: July and August are pretty unhappy months. The temperatures hover around 90 degrees, and being outside is unbearable. Most residents use the swimming pools and air conditioning during this time. There are also a lot of mosquitoes, and the humidity is high.

Spring and fall are the perfect seasons. The temperatures range from 50 to 70 degrees, and there is no moisture in the air. Memphis has many parks and locations for hiking, hiking, and biking. During these months, the whole city is outside enjoying the city’s beauty.

Winter in Memphis is not as bad as in some cities further north. For example, in January, temperatures can be around 50 degrees; however, the humidity in the city can make it colder than it is, and the wind chill is usually much lower. Although rare, ice and snow can close the city.


1. Beale Street

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)
Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

Beale Street is a historic street that stretches for about two miles from East Street to the Mississippi River and is one of the main attractions in Memphis. Covering 27 acres, the road is a major tourist attraction due to its many restaurants and blues clubs and its open-air concerts and festivals.

Built-in 1841, Beale Street became a venue for traveling musicians in the 1860s. Between the 1920s and 1940s, many legendary blues and jazz musicians performed on Beale Street. During the 1960s, the area declined but was rebuilt during the 1970s and 1980s to become a popular attraction.

2. Sun Studio, Memphis, TN

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

Known as the birthplace of rock and roll, Sun Studio is a recording studio opened in 1950 by Sam Phillips. Then, in 1954, Elvis Presley took a microphone and made Sun the most famous studio in the world. Sun Studio is one of the best things to do in Memphis, Tennessee.

The studio building, now a museum, is wonderfully preserved. You can take a tour of the rooms where rock ‘n’ roll was born, listen to some of the recording sessions, hit the first mic Elvis used, and get a feel for the studio vibe that self-launched the careers of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, BB King, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and many others. Check out some fun vintage posters and other memorabilia in the studio’s gift shop.

Address: 706 Union Ave, Memphis, Tennessee

3. Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)
Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

Graceland is a charming mansion built in the Colonial Revival style in which Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, lived for 20 years and died in 1977. After his death, his daughter Lisa Marie opened the house to the public, and Graceland became a pilgrimage site for thousands of Elvis fans each year.

Guided tours offer insight into Elvis’ private life – all the rooms he lived in are preserved and remain unchanged. One of the most exciting parts of the tour is the trophy building, with a collection of the King’s gold and platinum records and many memorabilia from Elvis’s career, movies, and charity activities.

Graceland hosts several events related to Elvis’s life and celebrates his birthday, Christmas, and other special occasions.

Address: 3734 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, Tennessee

4. Cooper-Young Historic District

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

It’s hard to pinpoint what makes some neighborhoods unique and how some, like Cooper-Young, manage to develop such a quirky and quirky personality.

It probably has to do with the people who made this city their home – the residents consist primarily of artists, musicians, freethinkers, and beauty lovers. If you’re wondering what to do in Memphis today, this is a great place to start exploring.

Eclectic, cosmopolitan, lively, fun, and artsy are just a few of the ways to describe this block between Cooper and Young streets in downtown Memphis.

Most of the houses were built in the early 20th century. The neighborhood is cozy and walkable, attracting tourists and the rest of the city’s residents with its 60 galleries, antique shops, cafes, and vintage shops. Restaurants and bars.

Take a walk and look at the architecturally unique houses, sit in the outdoor cafes and see an exciting mix of people, or enjoy a meal at one of the fabulous restaurants. And if you come in September during the Cooper-Young one-day festival, you will see the city come to life.

Address: 2120 Young Ave, Memphis, Tennessee

5. Memphis Botanical Garden

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)
Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

Covering an area of ​​96 acres in Audubon Park, the Memphis Botanical Garden features 28 different types of gardens such as the Anne Heard Stokes Butterfly Garden, the Blue Star Memorial Marker and Garden, the Japanese Garden of Tranquility with its bridge of red drum, and many more. One of the most famous gardens is called “My Big Backyard.”

It is a family garden where children can play, splash, dig, and enjoy spending time outdoors. The park offers many adult and children’s programs and hosts special events like The Family Egg Hunt and Daffodil Dash Race.

Address: 750 Cherry Road, Memphis, Tennessee

6. Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is the oldest and largest art museum in Tennessee. Built-in 1916, the museum was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by architect James Gamble Rogers.

Bessie Vance Brooks donated the funds in memory of her husband, Samuel Hamilton Brooks. A cylindrical extension was added to the original building in 1955. The museum consists of 29 galleries, a research library, an auditorium, and classrooms.

The museum’s permanent collection includes Italian Renaissance, Baroque, Impressionist, and 20th-century art. Some artists whose works hang in the museum include Gainsborough, Hassam, Homer, Pissaro, and Renoir.

Address: 1934 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

7. National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)
Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

The National Museum for Civil Rights in Memphis was established in 1991 to share the lessons learned from the United States Civil Rights Movement and investigate how this period in the nation’s history has influenced and shaped the freedom and equality for all men today.

The museum building is also part of history: it is located in the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. 

The museum fulfills its function through galleries with historical collections, interactive multimedia exhibits, special speakers, and events. During the last renovation in 2014, the museum received 40 new oral histories, films, and interactive media.

Address: 450 Mulberry St., Memphis, Tennessee

8. Memphis National Cemetery

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)
Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

Originally called the Mississippi River National Cemetery, the Memphis National Cemetery was established after the Union Army took control of Memphis during the American Civil War.

The cemetery was founded among war veterans who had died in various hospitals along the Mississippi Delta. In 1865, Union soldiers freed from Confederate prisoner-of-war camps died when their steamship Sultana exploded, and they were also buried in Memphis.

In 1867, around 250 casualties from the Battle of Fort Pillow from both sides were transferred from various battlefield graveyards to this newly established veteran graveyard. The cemetery spans over 44.2 acres and had 42,184 burials in 2007.

The beautifully landscaped and maintained cemetery has several notable monuments such as the Illinois Monument, a granite and bronze sarcophagus created by Leon Hermant.

Address: 3568 Townes Ave., Memphis, Tennessee

9. Museum of Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum was established in 2000 by the Smithsonian Institution to tell the story of the birth of rock and the soul in Memphis. Its exhibits portray the lives of musical pioneers who overcame all racial, social, or economic barriers for the love of music. His music changed the world.

The museum is located in the FedExForum complex, and its galleries offer a complete Memphis music experience. The museum’s audio guide contains 300 minutes of information, including over 100 songs.

Visitors can visit the museum’s seven galleries at their own pace, enjoying three audiovisual performances, 40 costumes, 30 instruments, and many other treasures.

Address: P191 Beale St, Memphis, Tennessee

10. Pink Palace Museum, Memphis, Tennessee

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)
Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

The Pink Palace Museum is a history and science museum and part of the Pink Palace family. Built-in 1923, the museum’s mansion was the former residence of Clarence Saunders, the founder of Piggly Wiggly. After financial losses on Wall Street, he donated the mansion to Memphis.

Originally called the Memphis Museum of Natural History and Industrial Arts, the museum featured dolls, stuffed birds and animals, and artifacts related to Memphis history. 

The collection includes pre-Columbian artifacts, dinosaurs, fossils, Native American pottery, and exhibits from Memphis history.

Address: 3050 Central Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

11. Memphis Children’s Museum

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

The Children’s Museum of Memphis is a hands-on children’s museum dedicated to helping children learn through enjoyable experiences with its interactive and educational exhibits and programs.

Established in 1990, the museum is housed in the old National Guard Armory built between 1941 and 1942. It features over 20 hands-on exhibits. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Memphis with kids, this is a great place to visit.

Some of the museum’s exhibits include Campground/Rockwall, Creative Construction, Great American Airways, Milk Bottle Barn, and many others. The museum offers a variety of programs such as Afternoon Art, Center Stage Playtime, My First Book Club, and more. The museum also hosts many events throughout the year.

Address: 2525 Central Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

12. Woodruff-Fontaine House, Memphis, Tennessee

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)
Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

The Woodruff-Fontaine House is a historic house museum located on Adams Avenue in Memphis. Built-in 1871, the house belonged to Amos Woodruff, a manufacturer of carriages. Shortly after its completion, the house hosted Woodruff’s daughter’s wedding, and the house has been a popular wedding venue ever since.

The second owner was Noland Fontaine; After his death, the house was owned by various organizations and was left empty. In 1961, the house was saved by the Tennessee Association for the Preservation of Antiquities.

Today, tours of the fully restored Franco-Victorian house are held, and it hosts a variety of exhibits and events.

Address: 680 Adams Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

13. Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

The Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art is the result of the love of Asian art and the generosity of the president and CEO of Belz Enterprises, Mr. Jack Belz, and his wife, Marilyn. 

They began collecting Asian art in 1968 and made their collection available to the public in 1998 at the museum located in the Pembroke Square Building in downtown Memphis.

The museum’s Chinese art collection is the largest in the southern US and has more than 900 featured objects from China’s Qing Dynasty, including carved jade, ivory, paintings, sculptures, and textiles. And much more.

The Judaica collection contains works by some of Israel’s best contemporary artists, such as Daniel Kafri and Ofra Friedland. Israeli artists Marc Chagall, Samual Bak, and Mane Katz work.

Address: 119 S Main St, Memphis, Tennessee

14. Shelby Farms Park

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)
Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, is a peaceful, green oasis in the heart of Memphis’ Shelby County. It is spread over 4,500 acres, with dozens of ponds and lakes that are excellent for fishing and boating.

Green hills, flowery meadows, hiking and biking trails, forests, and gardens surround the various lakes. Shelby Farms Park is one of the best things to do in Memphis, Tennessee, with kids.

Woodland Discovery Playground invites children to explore the nature around them, have fun and adventures, and make healthy outdoor activities an intrinsic part of their lives. 

The Park’s Conservancy hosts several community programs, events, and activities for children, adults, seniors, and community groups.

Address: 500 N Pine Lake Dr, Memphis, Tennessee

15. Dixon Gallery & Gardens

Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)
Best Things To Do In Memphis (Tennessee)

At Dixon Gallery and Gardens, humans and nature compete to create breathtaking beauty. Established in 1976, this art museum has one of the best collections of Impressionist art in the country, with works by Monet, Degas, Pissarro, and others. 

The collection is housed in the home of the late Hugo and Margaret Dixon, who gifted the home and spectacular gardens to the city of Memphis.

With its vibrant art collection, this small museum often sends parts of the group along the way as visiting exhibits. After enjoying the art, stroll through the manicured sculpture gardens with a series of Greco-Roman sculptures. 

The meticulously landscaped English garden is surrounded by smaller, more intimate, but equally formal spaces.

Address: 4339 Park Ave, Memphis, Tennessee

Frequently Asked Questions: Best Things To Do In Memphis

What is Memphis famous for?

The name Memphis means Established and Beautiful. Known worldwide as the “Home of the Blues & Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll – not to mention gospel, jazz, R&B, rap and soul. Close to 20 percent of the earliest inductees (24 of the 97) in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame have come from within a 100-mile radius of Memphis.

Is Memphis worth visiting?

Memphis excels, and I mean really excels, in four distinct areas, each worth a visit: attractions, culture/museums, entertainment, and dining. For many visitors, Graceland alone is enough reason to make the trip to Memphis, and I can appreciate that because it is a really good attraction and very well run.

Is Memphis better than Nashville?

Both are rich in culture and diversity. The population in Memphis has been steadily decreasing; whereas the booming real estate market in Nashville keeps the city growing. Nashville has continued to be one of the highest ranked U.S. cities for economic growth.

How many days do you need to visit Memphis?

Personally I think at least 3 days are needed for Memphis but it’s based on what you want to do & see. Graceland will take most of your day then you have the Civil Rights Museum which will take at least a few hours followed by the other Music museums which could take a couple of hours each.

Is it safe to walk in Memphis?

Memphis is generally a safe city for tourists. You’ll notice a lot of police presence downtown (especially around Beale Street) in both the day and night, but travelers should still exercise caution in tourist areas, which are known to have a high concentration of panhandlers.

What’s the best time to visit Memphis?

The best times to visit Memphis are April and May or October and November. These short seasons are brief reliefs from the uncomfortable (and long) summer and winter seasons. Average summer highs often climb above 90 degrees with high humidity.

Which city is bigger Nashville or Memphis?

Memphis became the state’s largest city with the 1900 Census, when its population surged to 102,320 compared to 80,865 for Nashville. Nashville’s metro area, with a population of 1.83 million, is much larger than the nine-county Memphis area, which has an estimated 1.34 million people.

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