Top 10 Things to Do in Memphis: Music, Food, History, and More


Top 10 things to do in memphis

Are you planning a trip to Memphis? Get ready to immerse yourself in a city known for its rich musical heritage, fascinating history, and warm Southern hospitality. With so much to see and do, Memphis offers a unique blend of experiences that will leave you captivated. In this detailed guide, we’ll explore the top 10 things to do in Memphis, providing you with an in-depth look at each attraction. So, let’s dive in and discover the magic of Memphis! 

Top 10 things to do in Memphis

  1. Visit Graceland

No trip to Memphis is complete without a visit to Graceland, the iconic former home of the legendary Elvis Presley. As you step through the doors of this magnificent mansion, you’ll be transported back in time to the world of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Take a guided tour of the mansion, marvel at his collection of cars, and explore exhibits showcasing Elvis’ life and career. Graceland is a pilgrimage for music lovers and an opportunity to delve into the legacy of one of the greatest cultural icons of the 20th century. 


  1. Discover Beale Street

Beale Street is the vibrant heart of Memphis’ music scene, where the soulful sounds of blues, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll fill the air. This historic street, lined with neon signs, iconic clubs, and mouthwatering eateries, offers a sensory experience like no other. Immerse yourself in the rhythm of Beale Street as talented musicians take to the stage, serenading you with their heartfelt tunes. Indulge in delectable Southern cuisine at renowned restaurants and soak up the energetic atmosphere that makes Beale Street a must-visit destination in Memphis. 


  1. Tour the National Civil Rights Museum

Located at the Lorraine Motel, the National Civil Rights Museum chronicles the history of the Civil Rights Movement in America. Walk in the footsteps of influential leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. as you explore exhibits that vividly portray the struggles and triumphs of the movement. From the Montgomery Bus Boycott to the March on Washington, the museum provides powerful insights into the fight for equality and justice. Prepare to be moved, inspired, and enlightened as you witness the indomitable spirit of those who shaped the course of history. 


  1. Explore the Memphis Zoo

Embark on a wild adventure at the Memphis Zoo, home to an impressive collection of animals from around the world. Wander through beautifully designed habitats and encounter fascinating creatures up close. Marvel at giant pandas, observe majestic lions, and witness the grace of giraffes. The Memphis Zoo offers an immersive experience that combines education, conservation, and entertainment for visitors of all ages. Don’t miss the chance to connect with wildlife and gain a deeper appreciation for the incredible diversity of the natural world. 


  1. Stroll along the Mississippi Riverfront

Take a stroll along the Mississippi Riverfront and be mesmerized by the captivating beauty of one of America’s most iconic rivers. Enjoy panoramic views, feel the gentle breeze against your skin, and let the serenity of the river wash over you. Explore Tom Lee Park, a green oasis where festivals and events come alive, or embark on a riverboat cruise for a unique perspective of Memphis. The riverfront offers a peaceful retreat from the city’s bustling energy and provides a scenic backdrop for memorable moments. 


  1. Indulge in Memphis Barbecue

Memphis is renowned for its mouthwatering barbecue, a culinary tradition deeply rooted in the city’s culture. Treat your taste buds to a smorgasbord of flavors as you savor tender ribs, succulent pulled pork, and savory smoked meats. Local favorites such as Central BBQ, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, and The Bar-B-Q Shop are just a few of the iconic establishments where you can experience the true essence of Memphis barbecue. Let the enticing aroma and melt-in-your-mouth goodness of these savory delights leave an indelible mark on your culinary journey through Memphis. 


  1. Experience the Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Step into the soulful world of American music at the Stax Museum, located at the original site of Stax Records. Celebrating the legacy of soul music, the museum pays homage to legendary artists such as Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, and Booker T. & the M.G. Immerse yourself in the sounds that shaped a generation as you explore exhibits filled with memorabilia, interactive displays, and fascinating stories. From the birth of soul music to its cultural impact, the Stax Museum offers a soul-stirring journey that showcases the power and influence of this iconic genre. 


  1. Take a Historic Memphis Walking Tour

Delve into the history and architecture of Memphis on a guided walking tour through its historic districts. Discover the city’s diverse architectural styles, from Victorian homes to Beaux-Arts landmarks. Learn about the captivating stories that have shaped the city, from the cotton industry to the Civil Rights Movement. Knowledgeable guides will regale you with fascinating anecdotes, providing insights into Memphis’ past and present. Whether it’s the historic Beale Street, Victorian Village, or the Cotton Row District, these tours offer a deeper understanding of Memphis’ rich heritage. 


  1. Visit the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum

Uncover the roots of rock and soul music at the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, a Smithsonian-affiliated institution. Journey through the history of these influential genres as you explore exhibits that highlight the pioneers, the cultural shifts, and the impact on American music. From the rural origins of the blues to the rise of Sun Studio and the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, the museum offers a comprehensive look at the evolution and significance of this transformative music. Engage with interactive displays, listen to iconic songs, and gain a newfound appreciation for the artists who shaped popular music. 


  1. Enjoy the Memphis Botanic Garden

Escape the urban bustle and find serenity in the natural beauty of the Memphis Botanic Garden. This peaceful oasis showcases stunning displays of flowers, themed gardens, and tranquil landscapes. Take a stroll through the vibrant Japanese Garden, admire the colorful blooms of the Rose Garden, or explore the serene Water Garden. The Memphis Botanic Garden offers a sanctuary where you can unwind, reconnect with nature, and appreciate the horticultural wonders that thrive in this carefully curated setting. 

As you explore these top 10 attractions in Memphis, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s rich cultural heritage, its contributions to music, and the resilience of its people. From the pulsating beats of Beale Street to the poignant history of the Civil Rights Movement, Memphis leaves an indelible impression on visitors. 


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