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Beer, barbeque, and the blues: These are just a few of the quintessential elements of Music City. Memphis, Tennessee is known for its rich contribution to rhythm and blues, and it’s true that anyone with a song in his heart or a melody in her soul will appreciate its deep musical roots. Still, things to do in Memphis span across lots of interests, including food and sports. Whether you are on a mission to stay active on your getaway or just want some R&R, Memphis can meet your vacation expectations.
Areas & Neighborhoods in Memphis
The life blood of Memphis isn’t restricted to downtown, and if you ask locals where the heart of the city is, you will probably get lots of different answers. Whether you want to eat during your entire vacation, or reserve some time for a historical tour, there is a Memphis neighborhood to catch your interest.
Midtown — Some people say Midtown is Memphis, and its passionate defenders have a lot to make their case with. From the Memphis Zoo to mouthwatering truffle fries at local eateries, you can easily fill a day here. Don’t miss out on the eccentric shops and antique stores in the Midtown antique and design district.
Downtown — The Downtown core of Memphis is one of the most walkable areas of the city, and you won’t be left wanting for places to go. Shopping, nightlife, and notable sites like Beale Street and Sun Studios are all downtown.
East Memphis — If you’re ready to slow things down a bit, keep in mind that many fun things to do in Memphis happen at an easy Southern pace. East Memphis hosts quite a few of them, from walks through the Dixon Gallery and Gardens to leisurely horseback rides at Shelby Farms.
Germantown — Germantown is largely residential, but visitors can still take advantage of generous parkland and good food.
Some of the best attractions in Memphis, TN won’t leave you tired out. For a relaxing day among fresh blooms, head to the Memphis Botanic Garden where you can meander around in nearly 100 acres. The butterfly garden attracts its namesake in large numbers, so bring your camera. Other things to see in Memphis keep you actively entertained. The Orpheum Theater, Hattiloo Theater, and other artistic venues are always putting on impressive performances throughout the year. Of course, you shouldn’t leave town without exploring some music history. Take a gander at the exhibits inside famed Sun Studios, which now serves as a museum.
If you want to experience the heart and soul of this Tennessee city, a few activities simply can’t be missed. Visit Graceland to pay homage to Memphis’ most famous son: Elvis Presley. Cap off your day with a trip to Beale Street, where you can let local musicians blow you away. Things to do in Memphis, TN also include: shamelessly stuffing yourself silly with barbeque, visiting the ducks at the Peabody Hotel, and embarking on walking tours. Memphis tours, which are also offered by bus, are an efficient way to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time.
Things to Do in Memphis with Kids
There are plenty of awesome experiences in Memphis that the entire gang will love. These are a few of the top family friendly experiences around.
Taking a break in Memphis on a budget? The following can be seen for nothing.
Magevney House - If you're intrigued by history and heritage, this is one attraction you really shouldn't miss.
Mud Island River Park - This vibrant place is a popular hangout for both locals and visitors.
Peabody Ducks - Make room in your must-see list to check out this place of local significance.
St. Peter Catholic Church - Gain an insight into the local religion at this spiritual place.
Court Square - If you like digging about the garden, this place will satisfy your inner green thumb.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to do in Memphis on a sunny day?
Make the most of the great weather with your pick of these outdoor experiences:
What to do in Memphis on a rainy day?
What is Memphis famous for?
Get a family happy snap at Graceland — it's an iconic local attraction.
What should I not miss in Memphis?
If you'd like to experience the best of this destination, add these sights to your itinerary:
- Memphis Zoo
- Orpheum Theatre
- Sun Studio
- Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Are there cheap things to do in Memphis?
What can you do in Memphis for free?
You could even leave your cash in the hotel safe for the day, because these top attractions won't cost you a thing:
- Beale Street
- University of Memphis
- Peabody Ducks
- Wolfchase Galleria