The peninsula of Mud Island sits on the west side of the Mississippi River and the port of Wolf River on the east side. In 1960, the Wolf River was redirected to flow north of Mud Island into the Mississippi River. Located on the southern end of the island, Mud Island River Park opened to the public in 1982. The hotel sits within the boundaries of Memphis city, 1.2 miles from the centre ‘s shore, and houses an amphitheater, a museum and restaurants. The Memphis Suspension Railway (a monorail) is accessible on foot (through a footbridge over a single track), by ferry or by car.
The Park is located a short walk from the center of Memphis in the Mississippi River. The park featured the New 50-ft “MEMPHIS,” a Lower Mississippi River Scale Model and an 18-gallery river museum, a fantastic view of Memphis skyline and a 5,000-seater concert venue. Between morning to night, the Mud Island Park is open daily. From Thursday to Sunday from 10 a.m., the Mississippi River Museum is open. At five p.m. Park entry is free but tickets for museums and concerts are extra.
The island was built over 100 years ago when the Memphis harbor was paved with sand , gravel and, of course, mud. One theory is that for two years a warship called the USS Amphitrite was stuck in it causing a higher pile around its star. Others claim that the island was formed only by the river’s ebb and flow.
Squatters lived on Mud Island in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. It wasn’t the best idea, since high waters would always flood and ruin their homes on the island. In 1958 a small airport with a 3,100-foot runway was constructed on the peninsula. The archives in Memphis show that the airport was very popular with businessmen who wanted to get to Memphis city center. In 1970, the airport was closed.
The Mud Island River Park was opened on July 4, 1982 for fun. To develop the town, 63 million dollars have been invested. The modern amphitheater was one of the highlights. There flocked to play in it big names like Andy Williams. At the Tonight Show, Johnny Carson buried his name with more publicity.
The green light for the Park in May 2018 gave the city millions of dollars for further development. Negotiations on constructing an innovative aquarium are under way.
Things to Do
The Riverwalk is one of Mud Island ‘s highlights. You will see how the body of water runs for 940 miles. It is the concrete model of the lower Mississippi River, and is designed to walk you (you can get into it at some points because the water is sufficiently large!). Twenty towns and bays travel along the river, all underlined in the pattern. It covers five blocks of the city.
The Mississippi River Museum is part of the river walk. There are 18 galleries about the history of the River Mississippi, its people, its engineering and its myths. You will see a life-sized riverboat replica and will hear the stories of adventurers living on this waterway. Five galleries are dedicated to the history of the Civil War, even a gunboat is available. It is open from May to October. Hours are from 10 a.m. from Thursday to Sunday. At five p.m. Adults 10 dollars, young 5-11 dollars 8, children 4 and under with the adult free of charge.
When you’ve heard more about the Mississippi River, take a paddle boat ride to the river in a special location. Boats can be rented from a ferry at the exit of the museum. It costs $5 to rent a boat, which means a deal because of the amazing views of the city of Memphis.
This amazing museum is located in beautiful Memphis, Tennessee, along with these other must-see museums you shouldn’t miss:
- Beale Street
- National Civil Rights Museum
- Stax Museum of American Soul Music
- Memphis Zoo
- Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
- Mud Island
- Shelby Farms Park
These amazing museums are located just down the street from our location at South Third Street across from The Southgate Shopping Center. Stop by for a visit anytime!