When most people think of Memphis, there are a couple of things that come to mind: blues music and barbecue food. And while those are two very good reasons to visit the area, there are plenty of other reasons to go to Memphis for a vacation. We’re not sure why you need more convincing, but just in case you do, here are 15 reasons to put Memphis on your list of places to visit.
Beale Street is a happenin’ place
Named for a forgotten military hero and built in 1841, Beale Street is Memphis’ most famous street. This is where the blues music scene originated in Memphis and is an important place in the history of the region. Beale Street was home to many nightclubs, theatres, restaurants and pawnshops back in the 1920s, which flourished among the darker parts of events in the city, such as gambling, voodoo and prostitution. On the downtown route, which regularly hosts festivals and outdoor concerts, numerous blues clubs still exist and host live music.
The cost of visiting is low
Both residents and visitors are loving the affordability offered by Memphis. The cost of housing is much lower than that of other major US cities, and the total cost of goods and services is also low. In Tennessee, Memphis is cheaper than other cities and won’t put a big dent in the wallets of tourists visiting the area. There are many free things to see and do in Memphis, so you will have plenty to enjoy without breaking the bank, whether you live there or are just passing by.
It’s where you’ll find the best barbecue
Memphis is not only famed for its barbecue, it is well known for its dry rub ribs. In BBQ joints across Memphis, you’ll find everything from pulled pork to fried chicken. Most of these dishes are slathered in sauces and seasonings, likely to give the town its reputation as Tennessee’s barbecue capital.
There is a significant history to learn about
Memphis has a rich cultural heritage that makes it a city saturated with places to visit and museums. The 19th century cotton economy led to large numbers of African American slaves, and Memphis also became the location of a domestic slave trade slave market. In addition to slave labour, in the many museums and landmarks across the region, the growth of arts & music, as well as other cultural happenings, are recorded. The Cotton Museum, which opened in 2006 on what was once the Memphis Cotton Exchange’s trading floor, is one such site.
Elvis is still alive in the form of Graceland
Fans of Elvis Presley recognize that Memphis is where the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll once lived in the mansion of Graceland. The home is now America’s second-most-visited residence, second only to the White House. It serves as a museum and houses many original decorations and items from when it was called home by Elvis, including a painting that was his father’s last Christmas gift. Family photographs are still shown in the mansion, and Elvis is laid to rest in the Meditation Garden outside, along with members of his family.
Southern hospitality is a timeless tradition
When you visit a place, getting a warm welcome makes it more enjoyable. When it comes to giving tourists true Southern hospitality, Memphis doesn’t fall short. Memphians are warm-hearted people, well mannered and considerate, who are happy to share stories, experiences and suggestions with anyone who comes to visit. In Memphis, you would not have to worry about being handled unkindly or spoken to in a rude way. Even short-term visitors feel right at home with the inviting atmosphere of the area.
The breweries produce top notch craft beers
The city’s craft beer is one surprising highlight of Memphis. Memphis serves beer made from artesian wells with several local breweries, including Ghost River Brewing Co., High Cotton Brewing Co. and Wiseacre Brewing Co., that perfectly fit its barbecue fare. Memphis Brewfest brings together craft beer fans for beer tasting in the spring and samples of beers in different colors and tastes. The Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest, where more than twenty small craft brewers gather and tourists enjoy free samples, is held in Midtown Memphis in the fall.
The great outdoors offer much to explore
Outdoor events are abundant with the good weather that Memphis has most of the year. There are more than 60 miles of bike paths as well as an adventure park at Shelby Farms, like Shelby Farms Greenline. There is a riverwalk, a monorail, and pedal boats at Mud Island River Park, as well as a hydraulic recreation of the lower Mississippi River from Cairo, from Illinois to New Orleans. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens and the seasonal farmer ‘ markets would satisfy botanists and healthy living proponents.
Memphis in May has several events worth checking out
Several activities in Memphis, collectively known as Memphis in May, are held during the month of May. The Beale Street Music Festival, the Barbecue Cooking Contest for the World Championship, the Great River Race, and International Week are the key activities. Such activities are intended to foster the heritage and outreach of the city outside its boundaries. During the Memphis in May celebration, many cultural, international and economic programs are also being held.
Wildly cute animals live at the Memphis Zoo
The Memphis Zoo, founded in 1906, is divided into three zones that display 19 exhibits. These exhibits mimic the natural habitats of animals and it is necessary to walk almost two miles to view them all. More than 3,500 animals representing over 500 species are kept at the Memphis Zoo. Cat Nation, Primate Canyon, Teton Hike, and China, which is home to two giant pandas, are some of the exhibits. A carousel, a miniature train, gift shops , restaurants and a playground are also available at the zoo.
Memphis, Tennessee, is home to some gorgeous green, open spaces and parks for you to lose yourself in. Check out these others you shouldn’t miss:
- Shelby Farms Park
- Memphis Park
- Peabody Park
- Greenbelt Park
- Tom Lee Park
- Overton Park
- Martyrs Park
- Heroes Park
- Nesbit Park – Stanky Creek Trails
These amazing parks 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!