Whether you’re a local of Memphis or you’re just stopping in for a visit, you’ll want things to do. Here’s a list of 10 most recommended “places to go” in the city to make the most of your time!
Check out Mud Island River Park, especially the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is an exact scale model of 954 miles of the Lower Mississippi River flowing from the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico. 20 cities are mapped out along the model and you’ll learn about geographical transformations and historical events as you travel on your journey along the river. The model empties out into a “Gulf of Mexico” representation that is an acre in size. There, guests can enjoy a leisurely pedal boat ride with the beautiful skyline of Memphis in the background. It’s a great place to take the kids!
You may have seen this restaurant pop up on the T.V. show “Man vs. Food” because of its ginormous burgers and 4 pound burger challenge. It’s called the “Kookamonga burger” and comes with 7.5 pounds of food total after you add on the toppings (that’s a whopping 12,000 calories!) Only 22 people have been successful so far. Try out the challenge, or you could split a burger with the whole family. Locals say it is a must-hit spot when you’re in town. If that’s not your style of food, their menu has selections that are sure to please everyone!
Elvis Home in Graceland
If you’re an Elvis Presley fan, this is a must see! Even if you’re not his biggest fan, you’ll learn lots of fun information about the King of Rock n Roll in this self-guided tour museum. Some of the items are so iconic, they are embedded in part of American culture. You can visit the mansion where Elvis Presley lived! See his bizarre (and original!) 1970’s house decorations, learn about his awards and the charities he contributed to, and be sure to check out the planes and the car museum.
National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel
This is a crowd favorite for those who stop in Memphis, and it’s a spot full of rich information and history about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. It’s a bit surreal to actually be able to see MLK’s hotel room and the spot where he was assassinated. There are some powerful pictures of victims of racism, as well as heroes of civil rights. There are statues, life-size replicas, clothing, and high-tech additions and audio devices to get a more real life experience. This is truly an emotional spot you have to see for yourself!
Check out the Peabody Hotel, and more specifically, the ducks that march through! They are led and march right through the lobby by the duck master! The lobby in itself is gorgeous, there’s no doubt about that. If you head over there at night, make sure you visit the top floor! You don’t even have to stay the night, this hotel is great just for a visit and see its beauty! It will take you back to the late 1800’s when it was built and make you feel like royalty for your visit.
If you’ve never visited Sun Studio, go ahead over there right now! From the moment you step in, you’ll feel like you are transported back in time to the time when Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded. The building is fantastic and covered in memorabilia. Then, you can go on a tour through the building where things will get even better. You’ll get to the end of the tour and can stand in the center of the studio and listen to an impromptu recording session that was captured decades ago. It’s a real taste of music history!
The BBQ Shop
You just can’t visit Memphis without stopping at one of the hottest BBQ joints in the city. It’s a small local business that likes to keep things simple. There are a lot of BBQ options to please everybody in the family, and the ribs are probably the best in town! The staff and service are fantastic and the meals are authentic. You can’t go wrong with whatever meal you choose here and we’re sure you’ll want to come back more than once!
The Memphis Zoo
Who doesn’t love a great trip to the zoo? This is arguably one of the best in the country and one of the few that has pandas. Of course, there are lots of other loved animals. You can check out an aquarium, bird house, butterfly exhibit, giraffes, tigers, elephants, and so much more. There are some exhibits geared toward kids so you can be sure the little ones will have a blast. That’s of course not to say the adults won’t enjoy themselves as well! There are also a handful of great cafes, so you are able to spend an entire day if you want!
Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium
The Pink Palace is a great outing for the entire family. There is an IMAX theater that allows you to really immerse yourself in the environments of the film. See a replica of the first ever self-service grocery store (It’s way more fun shopping there than you would think!) Also check out dinosaur, war history, old cars, old medical devices, and so much more! There’s also a Christmas exhibit, black history, and evolution exhibit. There are so many options of exhibits to visit, you can plan on spending the entire day wandering around to see them all!
If you have kids, this is a great place to take them where they will be able to enjoy themselves! There are exhibits for kids to play in, such as a sky-scraper climbing tower, a fire truck, a police car, and a mini grocery store. There is a splash pad to play in during those hot days and it is fun for kids of all ages. There is sure to be something that interests everyone on any day of the year. If you have really young ones, there is a designated play area for toddlers. There are sometimes special events that go on throughout the year, and it is always a great learning experience for little ones!