Tennessee’s second most populous city after Nashville, Memphis is all famous for being the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and blues. With a wide variety of landscapes, eateries, and hip neighborhoods full of character and attractions, things to do in Memphis are abundant. The city also has a brilliant dose of history and we can also not deny its major cultural significance. From visiting the city’s most iconic Beale Street where the Memphis blues originated to trying the lip-smacking Memphis-style barbecue, below are some of the best things to do in Memphis, Tennessee that are the best of the lot.
Founded in 1819 on the piece of land where the Chickasaw Indians previously resided, the city got its name from the ‘ancient Egyptian City’ that means “Place of Good Abode”. Just a three-hour drive from Nashville, this city locating on the banks of the Mississippi is a must-visit when it comes to planning a trip to Tennessee. Fun, cool, and so vibrant – things to do in Memphis are so diverse. From food to music and from visiting landmarks to soaking in its cultural aroma, check out below what all you can do in Memphis, the Bluff City.
Top-rated And Best Things To Do In Memphis, Tennessee:
It is like a ritual to visit Graceland as soon as you step into the city. Locating at a distance that is just 15 minutes away from downtown Memphis, this iconic house is the former home of music legend Elvis Presley. If you are a crazy fan of him and his rock ‘n’ roll music, this house is the very first place in the city that you will rush to see. This huge mansion is situated on a 13.8-acre estate and operates as a museum that allows visitors to see Presley’s room, his living room, the foyer, the home decor, and carpets, etc. The mansion is a great place to know about the legend’s personal life, visit his tomb, and appreciate the memorabilia.
It is important to note that, Graceland is a National Historic Landmark and also the second-most visited house in the U.S just after the White House. In another way, we can also say that it is the most-visited private mansion in entire America.
Visit National Civil Rights Museum:
This museum is very special as it is housed in the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. Was assassinated. It was that very balcony of Room 306 where the leader of the American Civil Rights Movement was killed. A great place to learn about the civil rights movements of America and how they impacted the nation’s culture, heading to this rich museum is one of the best things to do in Memphis. The collection of the museum throws light on the racial segregation and slave trade that were very common at that time.
There are over 260 artifacts, more than 40 films, many interactive media, and other things that guide visitors to know every little bit of history. One of the major stops on many Memphis day tours, you should have at least 3 to 4 hours of time in your hand if you want to have an expanded tour of the whole museum and its exhibits.
Stroll Down Beale Street:
When in Memphis, one can not miss but head to the happening Beale Street which is considered as the ‘Home of Blues’. A melting pot of blues, rock ‘n’ rolls, gospel, and jazz – Beale Street Entertainment District is full of restaurants, nightclubs, shops, and many other landmarks. While the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and WC Handy’s House are two of the most popular attractions, this National Historic Landmark District has plenty of other clubs and photo ops that still recite the story of the pieces of music that are cooking in the city.
Some of the must mention clubs and restaurants here are the Hard Rock Cafe, King’ Blues Club, and Rum Boogie Cafe that are all lively and bustling. Among the other landmarks, one needs to visit the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and Orpheum Theatre, and soaking in the mood of Beale Street nightlife is a must-do thing too. Checking out this amazing street is one of the most quintessential things to do in Memphis.
Eat At The Best Barbecue Joints:
The name of Memphis is synonymous with music and barbecue. And after you have checked out Beale Street which is the mecca of music, now it is the time to head to the best barbecue joints of the city that serves up the most flavorful pork ribs and shoulders along with dry-rub seasoning and barbecue sauce. Some of the best restaurants are:
Central BBQ – an institution in itself.
Bar-B-Q Shop Restaurant, etc.
This studio is of major importance as it launched many outstanding musician’s musical careers. Legendary musicians like B.B King, Elvis, and Johny Cash – all of them have recorded here in the studio. You can take a guided tour to have a detailed knowledge of the studio. Know about the legends who had used this studio, listen to many unreleased tracks, and get to see many objects used during the recording sessions. Visiting Sun Studio is one of the quirkiest things to do in Memphis.
It is the studio from where Elvis’s life journey started. The studio that was owned by record producer Sam Phillips and that opened in the year 1950 is one of the most significant landmarks in the entire Memphis.
Get To The Memphis Zoo:
Housing as many as 4,500 animals that are from about 400 species, this 70-acre zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Memphis. A great place to visit with your kids and full family, the zoo’s attractions included ‘Adonis’ who had remained the world’s longest-living hippopotamus living for a life of 54 long years. Also, this zoo is claimed to be the hippo capital of the world for having a massive collection of hippos.
The zoo is divided into many parts and is very well-maintained. Spotting different animals here is an easy thing and its Cat Country segment and Primate Canyon always remains crowded for having the mighty big cats and gorillas. At the Teton Trek exhibit, one will also be able to meet the Grizzlies and the elks that are the residents of Yellowstone’s ecosystem.
Full of diverse wildlife and being one of the most well-maintained zoos in the country, paying a visit to the Memphis Zoo is certainly one of the best things to do in Memphis, Tennessee.