Memphis is a city with a charming Southern culture, rich history, and low cost of living. It’s also known for its barbecue, music, and art!
Memphis is the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and home to Graceland, Elvis Presley’s mansion. If you like music, you’ll love this place! You can also visit Sun Studios where some of the greatest musicians of all time recorded their music.
There are so many fun things to do in Memphis that it would be hard to list them all here. But we’ve got some suggestions:
Visiting Elvis Presley’s former home can be a great introduction to Memphis, whether or not you’re a fan of the King himself.
You can tour through his mansion, take a look at his museum and see some artifacts from his personal collection, see where he lived and worked in the 1950s and ‘60s.
As you walk through the front door, you will see memorabilia from his life’s work, including his costumes, awards and trophies, jewelry, cars (including his famous pink Cadillac), and more. You’ll also get to see his private jet—the Lisa Marie—and tour the grounds where he lived with his family.
Website: The Home of Elvis Presley | Graceland
Address: 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard (Highway 51 South), Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
2. Beale Street
Beale Street is a historic street in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee. It stretches from the Mississippi River to East Street and holds a lot of history.
Beale Street is Memphis’s most famous street and for good reason. It’s the Sunset Strip of the South, a place where you can find live music any night of the week and a plethora of places to grab a drink and enjoy some local flavor.
You can enjoy the music on Beale Street by visiting one of the many blues bars or listening to some jazz at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Peabody Ducks: The Peabody Hotel in Memphis has been around since 1869 and is known as “America’s Grand Old Hotel.” You’ve probably seen the ducks waddling around its lobby—they’re an icon of the city. On Thursdays at 5 p.m., they walk down Beale Street to get fed! If you want to see them make their way downtown, stop by between 4:30-5 p.m.
Address/Location: 149 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103
The Rum Boogie Café: This is one of my favorite spots in all of Memphis. It’s got everything from amazing food (including some incredible breakfast options) to live music every night of the week! If you’re looking for an authentic experience on Beale Street that won’t break the bank, this is your spot!
Website: Rum Boogie | Eat. Drink. Boogie. Repeat
Address: 182 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103
3. The Arcade Restaurant
The Arcade Restaurant is the oldest restaurant in Memphis. Located in the historic Arcade Restaurant building, it is one of the few remaining structures from 1890.
The South Main Historic Arts District on Court Street has many other restaurants and bars which make it a great place for a night out on the town.
The restaurant was built by James Fain, who owned another bar in downtown Memphis called McCracken’s Saloon (now known as The Peabody).
Although not much is known about how he came up with this idea or what inspired him to create such an unusual design, we do know that Fain wanted something different than other restaurants at that time.
Address/location: 540 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103,
4. Shelby Farms
Shelby Farms is a must-see for anyone visiting Memphis. The park, which was previously the site of an enormous cotton farm, is now one of the largest urban parks in the nation.
It’s home to a zoo, an arboretum, trails, and more than 50 miles of paved roads. There are also plenty of places to eat and drink while you’re there!
The park itself encompasses over 16,000 acres (66 km2), making it larger than Central Park in New York City or Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
The park also boasts more than 20 miles of trails for hiking and biking. The trails include a 10-mile loop that circles the entire park.
Shelby Farms has been recognized by the National Wildlife Federation as one of America’s greatest urban wildlife refuges.
It is located in the heart of Shelby County, Tennessee, and is part of the larger Shelby Farms Greenline.
Address: 6903 Great View Drive North Memphis, TN 38134
5. Sun Studio
Sun Studio is an important musical landmark in Memphis, and a must-see for anyone interested in blues, rock, and roll, or music history. While the building itself is not much to look at—it’s essentially a house—the stories of its past will give you goosebumps.
You can visit Sun Studio during regular business hours; however, if you go after 3 p.m., you’ll have access to the studios themselves.
There are five recording rooms on site: Studio A (where Elvis Presley first recorded), Studio B (which was used by Johnny Cash), and so on through E (for the soul). If your group isn’t too large, they may even let you record something together in one of these rooms!
Website: Memphis Tour | Sun Studio | Memphis
Address: 706 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103, USA
6. Memphis Zoo
The Memphis Zoo is great for families and kids of all ages. Adults will enjoy seeing the different animals and children will love the train that circles around the zoo.
The zoo is free to enter and open 365 days a year from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, making it easy to visit even when you’re short on time. It’s also located at 750 Cherry Road, so if you have a car or bike, parking won’t be an issue!
The zoo has over 1,300 animals in its collection which include everything from elephants and giraffes to primates like monkeys and chimpanzees.
There are several types of habitats including tropical jungles, African savannas, and petting zoos where guests can interact with some of their favorite farm animals such as goats or llamas.
Address: 2000 Prentiss Place Memphis, TN 38112
7. Orpheum Theatre
The Orpheum Theatre was built in 1927 and is one of the most famous theaters in Memphis. It is home to a number of productions throughout the year, including ballet and musical performances, plays, opera, and dance recitals. The theater also hosts concerts for popular artists like Drake and Ed Sheeran.
There are a number of restaurants around the Orpheum Theatre that offer delicious food at reasonable prices. You can treat yourself to some pizza or burgers from Tavern on Beale before or after your show at this historic venue!
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay while visiting Memphis then there are plenty of hotels nearby that offer great deals on rooms so you don’t have to travel far from where all the action takes place at night!
Address: 203 S Main St, Memphis, TN, United States, Tennessee
8. A. Schwab
A. Schwab is a local grocery store, but with a twist: it focuses on fresh produce and meat from local farms. You can pick up everything you need for your next barbecue or potluck party here, and at affordable prices!
They also have an excellent selection of wines that are perfect for pairing with your favorite Memphis barbecue dish.
Address: 163 Beale St Memphis, TN 38103
9. Southland Casino
Southland Casino is a casino in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. It is located at the intersection of Interstate 55 and Interstate 240 and is owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties. The company was founded in 1956 as a dog racing track. The track was the first in Tennessee to legalize pari-mutuel wagering.
Southland currently has over 1,000 slot machines and 25 table games including Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, and others.
Address: 1550 North Ingram Boulevard West Memphis, AR 72301
10. Memphis in May
Memphis in May is an annual festival that celebrates Memphis’ music, food, and culture.
The festival includes 12 days of events and activities that include the Beale Street Music Festival, International Week, and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.
The Memphis Blues Festival showcases blues music at Tom Lee Park on the Mississippi River. The event was held for several years at Overton Square but moved to its current location in 2003 because of increased attendance and parking issues at Overton Square.
The Beale Street Music Festival is a three-day outdoor concert featuring over 50 acts on multiple stages located near Beale Street in Downtown Memphis.
The event has been held annually since 1979 with performances from artists such as Van Morrison (2006), Robert Cray (2000), Allman Brothers Band (1997) Drake White & Levi Kreis(2018).
11. AutoZone Park
If you’re into sports, take a visit to AutoZone Park. The stadium is the home of the Memphis Redbirds, baseball’s Triple-A affiliate for the St. Louis Cardinals.
It’s located in downtown Memphis and opened in 2000 as a state-of-the-art facility with 10,000 seats.
AutoZone Park is also notable because it has been named “Best Minor League Ballpark” by Baseball America magazine four times: 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Address: 198 Union Ave Memphis, TN 38103
12. Mud Island
In the heart of Memphis is a park that is so unique, that it’s almost hard to believe it’s real. Mud Island is a combination of nature and art, with sculptures and gardens that meld seamlessly with the natural landscape. The park is divided into two main areas: the Lakefront and the Riverfront.
The Lakefront offers a variety of activities, including kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing. There are also numerous walking paths for those who want to take in the sights from land rather than the sea.
The Riverfront houses a number of exhibits from local artists as well as interactive displays that make you feel like you’re part of the show!
13. South Main Arts District
The South Main Arts District is one of the coolest parts of Memphis. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon, whether you’re looking for art galleries, restaurants, shops, or anything in between.
The district has a variety of art and culture options—from live theater performances at Playhouse on the Square to daily jazz music at Earnestine & Hazel’s—and it’s also home to some amazing restaurants.
If you want to try something new, there are plenty of options available here: Korean BBQ at Seoul Korean Restaurant & Bar (which has been featured on Food Network) or Jamaican food at Dyer’s Burgers & Fries (a local favorite).
Address: Memphis, TN 38103
14. Pink Palace Family of Museums
Memphis is a city that has a lot to offer. If you are looking for things to do in Memphis, we would recommend starting with the Pink Palace Family of Museums.
This museum has a variety of exhibits, including one on American Indian culture and another on African American history.
There is also an exhibit on Elvis Presley’s life, as well as one on the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis.
The museum also features an extensive art collection and offers classes in painting, pottery-making, quilting, and other crafts.
There is also an area where you can see how everyday objects were made by Native Americans before Europeans came to North America.
The museum also houses an extensive collection of dolls from around the world.
In addition to its exhibits, this museum also has an IMAX theater where you can watch films about various topics such as space exploration or Yellowstone National Park. If you enjoy learning about different cultures or want to get hands-on experience with arts and crafts, this is definitely a place worth checking out!
Address: 3050 Central Ave Memphis, TN 38111
15. Memphis Botanic Garden
Memphis Botanic Garden is located in the heart of Memphis and is open year-round. It’s a great place to visit with kids, thanks to its many art sculptures and gardens that are sure to please every visitor.
The garden has an impressive collection of plants from around the world, as well as artwork by local artists like William Wegman and David D’Lugosz.
Website: Memphis Botanic Garden (membg.org)
Address: 750 Cherry Rd, Memphis, TN 38117, United States
16. National Civil Rights Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum, located in downtown Memphis, is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a way to learn more about the history of civil rights in America.
This museum offers visitors an opportunity to explore issues of race and inequality through interactive exhibits, educational programs, and hands-on activities.
The museum is divided into four sections: The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia; The Freedom Rides; The Mississippi Delta; and The Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike.
Each section showcases artifacts from these time periods that are meant to educate visitors about how these events have shaped our modern society.
Address: 450 Mulberry St, Memphis, TN, United States, Tennessee
17. Tom Lee Park
If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors, Tom Lee Park is a great option. This park is located in downtown Memphis and has a variety of amenities such as playgrounds, trails, and a lake.
You’ll find picnic tables, shelters, and restrooms throughout the park. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, there’s also an archery range and an interactive fountain at the park.
If you’re visiting Memphis with your family or friends, this is an excellent choice for spending some time outdoors without having to drive too far from downtown.
Website: Tom Lee Park
Address: Riverside Dr, Memphis, TN 38103, United States
18. C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa
Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa is a museum that offers a glimpse into the history of the area.
It’s named after Colonel Charles H. Nash, who was a photographer and archaeologist who played an important part in preserving the region’s heritage.
The museum has five galleries: Archaeology and Anthropology; History of Chucalissa; The American Indian; African American History; and Natural History of America’s Southeast Region.
There are also educational programs for children, including afterschool programs and summer camps.
The museum has special events throughout the year, including an annual Earth Day celebration called “Green Kids.” They also host an annual fundraising event called “A Taste of Tennessee” that features local food vendors and live music performances by local artists.
Address: 1987 Indian Village Dr Memphis, TN 38109
19. Memphis Music Hall of Fame
Located on the second floor of the Memphis Cook Convention Center, this museum is one of the city’s best-loved attractions. It features a large collection of artifacts and memorabilia from some of Memphis’ most iconic musicians.
The interactive exhibit allows you to listen to interviews with famous musicians and try on costumes from their shows.
The gift shop sells music-related souvenirs like t-shirts, hats, and CDs, as well as books about famous artists who have lived in or visited Memphis over the years including Elvis Presley (who was born in Tupelo but moved to Memphis when he was 13), Jerry Lee Lewis (the self-proclaimed “King Of Rock & Roll”) and BB King (a blues musician).
The restaurant serves Southern cuisine made with local ingredients while you sit at tables decorated with pictures taken by local photographers or you can opt for takeout so you can eat your meal on the couch while watching TV shows produced by Memphians like Oprah Winfrey or Tyler Perry.
Address: 126 Beale St Memphis, TN 38103
20. The Memphis Pyramid
If you have some time to spare in Memphis, you should check out the Pyramid. It’s a huge indoor arena that was previously home to the Memphis Grizzlies and can hold up to 22,000 people—all while looking like a giant pyramid.
It’s also home to several restaurants, bars, and shops. You can get in for free by taking the elevator near its front doors (which we recommend because it’s an awesome experience) or paying $10 for VIP access.
The top floor has amazing views of downtown Memphis and Beale Street as well as its own bar called “The View.”
If you’re going at night during basketball season, go early so that your team will be able to win!
21. Children’s Museum of Memphis
The Children’s Museum of Memphis is one of the city’s most popular attractions, and with good reason. It’s a fun place for kids—and parents—to spend the day.
What to expect: The museum features more than 150 hands-on exhibits in five galleries that include an art studio and theater where kids can show off their talents.
There’s also an interactive science lab with an astronomy exhibit that lets visitors explore deep space through telescopes and other equipment plus an area where kids can create music on instruments from around the world as well as learn about Memphis music history through interactive displays featuring famous figures such as Elvis Presley.
In addition to these fun areas are plenty of educational activities including a kid-friendly grocery store stocked with healthy food choices so youngsters can practice money skills by choosing healthy foods while learning nutrition facts about different types of apples or how much sugar is actually in soda pop!
If all this sounds too much work though then just let us do it for you by ordering our custom designed t-shirt printed exclusively using environmentally friendly ink made from recycled materials right here in Tennessee!
Website: Home – Children’s Museum of Memphis (cmom.com)
Address: 2525 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 38104, United States
22. Go Ape Zip Line and Treetop Adventure
Zip lining is always a fun activity to do in Memphis. It involves riding down a zip line, which is like a giant rope that you’re attached to on one end and free hanging on the other end.
The zip line at Go Ape Zip Line and Treetop Adventure is 1,000 feet long and can be enjoyed by people aged 5 and above (children must be 5 years old or older).
The treetop adventure consists of several platforms and bridges you can walk across or go through. This attraction is also suitable for people with disabilities because there are ramps throughout the course so everyone has access!
Website: Zipline & Adventure Park Near You | Tennessee (Memphis)
Address: 651 N Pine Lake Dr, Memphis, TN 38134, United States
23. Crosstown Concourse
The Crosstown Concourse is a food hall, market, and event space in the heart of Memphis. It’s an open building with art galleries, shops, restaurants, and bars on the first floor.
The second floor is home to a theater that has hosted various concerts over the years — including some awesome indie bands like Modest Mouse and Built to Spill.
The first thing you might notice when you walk into this place is all of the light fixtures hanging from above in different shapes and sizes; this gives it an almost magical feel at night when they’re turned on by themselves or with music playing during a concert or show.
The next thing I noticed was how many people were having fun eating at restaurants, I’ve never heard of before (and most importantly tasting food from those places), shopping for cool merchandise at stores like Felt Gallery or checking out new artists’ work at galleries throughout the building!
There are also arcade games located upstairs if you’re looking for something fun but don’t want anything too intense considering how much walking around there will be doing while checking out all these different types of things!
If there are any events going on while visiting Memphis then chances are they’ll take place here so definitely check their website beforehand just in case because otherwise, it could easily pass by unnoticed since this place gets pretty busy!
We hope that this list has been helpful in helping you to narrow down your options for fun things to do in Memphis. Memphis is a very interesting city, and there are lots of fun things to do here. We hope that this list has been helpful in helping you to narrow down your options for fun things to do in Memphis.