Memphis is a city located along the Mississippi River in southwestern Tennessee.
It is the largest city on the river and has been a major center of transportation, trade, and culture since its founding in the early nineteenth century.
The city’s strategic location made it a key point of contention during the American Civil War, and it was occupied by both Union and Confederate forces at various times during the conflict.
After the war, Memphis became an important hub for African-American commerce and culture, playing a significant role in the development of blues and jazz music.
In 1968, Memphis was the site of one of the most important moments in the civil rights movement when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated here.
Today, Memphis is known for its rich cultural heritage, its unique food scene, and its lively music scene.
Best of all, there are so many things to do in Memphis… especially if you love music.
Things To Do In Memphis
1. Sun Studio
Sun Studio is a recording studio that was opened by Rock n Roll pioneer Sam Phillips in 1950, and it played an important role in the development of the genre.
This historic studio is where icons like Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash recorded their hits.
At Sun Studio you can stand on the very spots that those legends once did and on the very spot that Elvis Presley first recorded!
On display is memorabilia from the musical legends that blended blues and country music which led to the big bang of Rock n Roll.
Visitors can take a guided Sun Studio tour of the most famous recording music studios in the world.
Located in downtown Memphis, Sun Studios is open to visitors Sunday through to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Address: Sun Studio, 706 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103, United States
Graceland is the former home of Elvis Presley, who was one of the most popular entertainers in the world.
Located in Memphis, Graceland is now a museum that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Elvis Presley bought Graceland in 1957 and lived there until his death in 1977.
After Elvis’s death, his wife Priscilla Presley opened Graceland to the public as a museum.
Graceland visitors can tour the house and see many of Elvis’s personal belongings, including his cars and motorcycles.
Visitors to Graceland can also take a tour of Elvis’s former recording studio, which is located on the property.
The studio is still in operation today and is used by many famous musicians.
One of the best things to do in Memphis for any Rock n Roll fan!
Address: Graceland, 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, TN 38116, United States
3. National Civil Rights Museum – Lorraine Motel
The National Civil Rights Museum is located in the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.
This Memphis museum chronicles the history of the civil rights movement in the United States from its beginnings to the present day.
Exhibits at the museum include the room where King was staying when he was killed, as well as a replica of the bus that Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat on.
With the help of hundreds of artefacts, more than 40 films, oral histories, interactive media and listening posts, visitors are guided through five centuries of history.
The National Civil Rights Museum also has a memorial dedicated to King and his legacy.
Address: National Civil Rights Museum – Lorraine Motel, 450 Mulberry St, Memphis, TN 38103
4. Stax Museum of American Soul Music
The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is a museum dedicated to the history and legacy of soul music.
The Stax museum is located in the former recording studio of the same name, which was founded by brothers Isaac Hayes and David Porter in 1957.
The studio was one of the most important in the development of soul music, and it helped to launch the careers of many famous soul musicians, including Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, and The Staples Singers.
The Stax museum houses a replica of the original recording studio, as well as exhibits on the history of soul music and its impact on popular culture.
Visitors can see the museum’s rare and amazing collection of more than 2,000 artefacts, interactive exhibits, films, and galleries.
The Stax Museum of American Soul is expansive and visitors should definitely take their time exploring.
Address: Stax Museum of American Soul Music, 926 E McLemore Ave, Memphis, TN 38106
5. Memphis Zoo
Memphis Zoo is one of Memphis’ highest attended attractions, a great day out for the whole family.
Located in Overton Park in Midtown Memphis Tennessee, the Memphis Zoo is home to more than 3,500 animals, including lions, tigers, gorillas, and elephants.
The zoo also has a reptile house, an aquarium, and a children’s petting zoo.
In addition to its animal exhibits, the Memphis Zoo also has a number of gardens, including a Japanese garden and an rose garden.
The zoo is open year-round, and it offers a variety of educational programs for both adults and children.
The Elephant’s Trunk Memphis Zoo Shop is conveniently located just inside the main entrance of the Zoo and paid admission is not required to visit the store.
Address: Memphis Zoo, 2000 Prentiss Pl, Memphis, TN 38112, United States
6. Beale Street
Beale Street is a street in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee, which runs from the Mississippi River to East Street.
The street is named for W.C. Handy, a famous blues musician who was born in Memphis.
Beale Street has a significant location in the city’s history, as well as in the music history of blues music.
This iconic street has three blocks of nightclubs, restaurants and shops, and is known for it’s famous blues clubs.
One of Memphis’ historic places, it has a rich history of musical pioneers and legendary live music including delta blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and gospel
Beale Street is also home to the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, which chronicles the history of rock and soul music in Memphis.
Visitors to Beale Street can enjoy some excellent live music, shopping, and dining.
Address: Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103, United States
7. The Peabody Ducks
The Peabody Ducks are a group of ducks that live at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.
The Peabody Hotel is possibly the most famous hotel in Memphis and a great spot
The ducks are taken to the hotel’s rooftop every day, where they march into the lobby and swim in the hotel’s fountain.
The tradition of the Peabody Ducks began in 1933, when the hotel’s general manager brought a pair of ducks to the hotel as a publicity stunt.
Today, the ducks are a popular attraction for both locals and visitors to Memphis.
Address: Peabody Hotel, 149 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103
8. Shelby Farms Park
Shelby Farms Park is 4,500 acres of green space and 10.65 miles of urban trails.
If you’re looking for a sprawling urban oasis in the heart of Memphis, Shelby Farms Park is the perfect spot.
This massive park is one of the largest in the country, and it’s filled with activities and attractions for everyone.
Shelby Farms Park is home to miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as horseback riding trails.
There’s also a large lake where you can go fishing or paddle boarding.
And if you want to get up close and personal with some of the wildlife, there’s even a buffalo ranch within the park boundaries.
Address: Shelby Farms Park, 6903 Great View Dr N, Memphis, TN 38134, United States
9. Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is a Smithsonian Institution-affiliated museum that chronicles the history of rock n roll and soul music in Memphis.
The museum is located on historic Beale Street, and it features exhibits on the city’s musical history, as well as interactive exhibits where visitors can learn about the music-making process.
The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum explores Memphis’ musical influence during the emergence of Sun, Hi and Stax Records.
It has an audio guide that can be used to help bring to life the exciting exhibits.
Visitors can explore seven galleries featuring more than 30 instruments, 40 costumes and 100 songs.
The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum also has a performance space where live music is played daily.
Address: Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, 191 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103, United States
10. Slave Haven / Burkle Estate Museum
Slave Haven / Burkle Estate Museum is a historic site that was once a stop on the Underground Railroad.
The museum tells the story of the enslaved people who were brought to this house and how they escaped to freedom.
The house opened as a museum in 1997 and is decorated with 19th-century furnishings.
It served as part of the overall civil rights movement of Memphis.
Visitors can tour the house and see artefacts from the time period.
The museum also offers educational programs for school groups.
Address: 826 N 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38105, United States
11. AutoZone Park
AutoZone Park is a baseball stadium in downtown Memphis AutoZone Park and is home to the Memphis Redbirds of the International League.
The stadium opened in 2000, and it has a capacity of 10,000 people.
It features air-conditioned club seating, Major League lighting, family-oriented amusement areas and a picnic pavilion.
AutoZone Park also features a number of other attractions, including a Ferris wheel, an arcade, and a team store.
Address: AutoZone Park, 200 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103, United States
12. Memphis Botanic Garden
The Memphis Botanic Garden is a 96-acre (39 ha) botanical garden located in Midtown, Memphis.
Founded in 1936 and set against the backdrop of the Mississippi River, the Garden features over 10,000 different species of plants.
The Garden’s grounds include a Japanese garden, an herb garden, a children’s garden, and numerous sculptures.
Memphis Botanic Garden is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Memphis, with over 350,000 visitors each year.
The mission of Memphis Botanic Garden is to promote the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of plants and gardening through exhibits, educational programs and research.
Address: Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Rd, Memphis, TN 38117, United States
13. Memphis Music Hall of Fame
The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is a museum that honors the legacy of Memphis music and the musicians who have made it famous.
The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is located at the corner of Second Street and legendary Beale Street in downtown Memphis.
It features exhibits on the city’s musical history, as well as interactive displays where visitors can learn about the music-making process.
The museum also has a performance space where live music is played daily.
The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is currently open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am until 5 pm.
Address: Memphis Music Hall of Fame, 421 S 2nd St, Memphis, Tennessee 38103
14. Victorian Village
The Victorian Village is located on Adams Avenue on the edge of downtown Memphis.
When it was first built, the Victorian village itself was actually on the outskirts of Memphis, but over time this changed and became a part of eastern midtown.
Some of the homes have long since gone, but there are still a few stunning houses that you really should see.
For example, the Magevney House, the Mallory-Neely House and the Woodruff-Fontaine House are all gorgeous museums that are based on Adams Avenue.
The Magevney House was placed on the National Register in 1973 as this is the oldest home still standing in Memphis.
Best of all, if you want to stay in one of the historic homes, check into Harsson-Goyer-Lee House that’s now a bed and breakfast.
Address: Victorian Village, Adams Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
15. Games Family Park Memphis
Located on the east side of town just off I-40 at exit 12A, this miniature golf and games complex claims to be the largest of its kind in the United States.
The Games Family Park is a 40-acre fun center, that houses an arcade with more than 100 games, a 54-hole mini-golf course, and a 6000-square-foot laser-tag arena.
This large sports complex also has batting cages, video games, a swimming pool, go-karts, zip lines and a picnic area.
Great for a day out, Games Family Park has fun for the whole family.
Address: Games Family Park, 5484 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN 38134
16. Children’s Museum of Memphis
One of the best things to do in Memphis with kids is a visit to the Children’s Museum of Memphis.
Located on the corner of Central Avenue and Hollywood on the grounds of the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, this is a great interactive museum that’s really good for kids.
With over 30+ exhibits, outdoor activities, seasonal activities and pop-up surprises scattered throughout the museum, it gives visitors hours of educational play.
Several of the interactive exhibits will help and facilitate creativity, imagination, problem-solving skills.
They can try the role of a pilot, dentist, ballerina, firefighter and many more.
One of the best things to do in Memphis with kids.
Address: Children’s Museum of Memphis, 2525 Central Ave, Memphis, TN 38104
What is the best month to visit Memphis, Tennessee?
The best times to visit Memphis are April and May or October and November for the weather.
November and February are the cheapest months to come to Memphis.
With the tourist season at its lowest and few major events in the city, hotel and flight prices are usually best in these months.
What is Memphis, Tennessee best known for?
Known worldwide as the “Home of the Blues Music & Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll” – not to mention gospel, jazz, R&B, rap and soul.
Close to 20 percent of the earliest inductees in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame have come from within a 100-mile radius of Memphis.
How many days do you need in Memphis, Tennessee?
At least 3 days are needed for Memphis but it’s based on what you want to do and 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.
Where is the Johnny Cash statue in Memphis?
The life-size statue of Johnny Cash can be found at 999 S. Cooper outside the venue of the first ever public performance of Johnny Cash.
What is Central BBQ in Memphis?
Central BBQ is something of an institution in Memphis and serves up some of the best wet (and dry) ribs in all of Tennessee.
Based at three locations across the city, Central BBQ is a proper southern grill with loads of character.
Where is the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art Memphis?
The Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art is located at 119 South Main Street at the intersection of Gayoso Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee.
At 24,000 square feet, the Belz Museum displays more than 1,400 objects across five permanent galleries.