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Top 10 Things to Do in Memphis

Updated on November 30, 2017
S Wayne Ansell profile image

Wayne is a writer online and in print. Covering social topics, relationships, travel, music and entertainment.

Memphis Skyline

Memphis Charm!

Bluff City

Memphis is home to over 600,000 residents. Nicknamed The Bluff City, it's also known as the Birthplace of the Blues as well as Rock N Roll. Home to the likes of Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Muddy Waters and more. Memphis is Tennessee's other music city.

The World Famous Peabody Hotel

1) Peabody Hotel

If you are going to visit Memphis, you'll need to be downtown to get the full experience. The Peabody Hotel is the grand hotel of Memphis.

Famous for it's march of the ducks into it's hotel fountain. Every day at 11am and 5pm, the hotel's resident mallards march from the elevator to the hotel lobby fountain. This tradition started in the 1930's and is still popular today.

The ducks live on the roof of the hotel for three months before they retire. The ducks have been on many TV shows and movies. It's a Memphis tradition.

Saint Paul's Spiritual Temple in Voodoo Village

2) Voodoo Village

Get off the beaten path and find this quirky neighborhood in Memphis. Founded by a group of offbeat residents that exhibit artistic expressions throughout the area.

With local tales about voodoo priests, ghosts and even a real life wild man with a bat, this excursion will get you out of your comfort zone and could be a real adventure.

You can Google voodoo village or even put it in your Google maps and you are on your way. Look for St. Paul's Christian Temple.

W.C. Handy

3) W.C. Handy House and Museum

The W.C. Handy house is a shotgun style house located on the corner of 4th and Beale in Memphis, TN. The house and museum is open 11-5 Tuesday through Saturday. You can see the home of W.C. Handy as well as artifacts and glimpses of the past.

W.C. Handy is a composer and musician know as the "father of the blues". He helped popularize the blues in the early 1900's. You can go back in time and feel the same inspiration that helped define the blues.

Entrance fee is only $6.00.

Elvis Presley's Graceland

4) Graceland

Graceland, the mansion that served as the home of Elvis Presley, recently celebrated over 20 million visitors since it first opened. Graceland is the second most visited house (after the White House) with over 600,000 visitors each year.

Inside you can see the home and life of a man admired around the world. Outside is the gravesite of Elvis Presley, where many fans leave flowers or simply sing hymns. Nearby are museums where you can see clothes, cars and even the plane owned by Elvis.

You wouldn't be visiting Memphis without a trip to Graceland.


Sun Recording Studio

5) Sun Records

Sun Records was founded by Sam Phillips in 1952. It was the first to record Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. Know to many as the birthplace of Rock N Roll, Sun Records holds a special place in music history.

  • Hours are 10am to 6pm
  • Guided tours start at $24

Huey's Bar and Grill

6) Huey's

Locals know the best place to get a cold drink and a hamburger is Huey's. With three locations, Huey's is easy to find. Considered by many to be one of the best burgers in Memphis and possibly anywhere, Huey's will not disappoint. The bar is open until 2am for you night owls.

Huey's has a 4 star rating on Yelp.

Beale Street at night!

7) Beale Street

Beale Street is the heart of Memphis. You will find the street loaded with street performers and others enjoying Memphis nightlife. Beale is lined with bars and clubs. Blues and Rock N Roll spill onto the streets. You can find Memphis BBQ in the restaurants and cold drinks anywhere you turn.

Experience Memphis at B.B. Kings blues club or just walk the street and take in the sights.

Inside The Orpheum Theatre

8 ) The Orpheum Theatre

Built in 1928, this beautifully restored theater retains all the magic of the original. The Orpheum Theatre is home to touring Broadway productions as well as Memphis Ballet performances. Check the website above for events and schedules.

To add to the ambience of the occasion, it's interesting to note the stories of haunting about The Orpheum. "Mary" is the most famous, about a 12 year old girl who wears a school dress, and braids in her brown hair. Many stories of her and others often are associated with The Orpheum Theatre.

Enjoy a show with a little added intrigue!


Take a riverboat cruise!

9) Memphis Riverboats

Memphis is located on the bluffs above the mighty Mississippi River. The Memphis Riverboats are a perfect way to take advantage of the beautiful scenery. A gentle ride on a paddlewheel down river will take you back in time to the early days of Memphis. You'll get a view of the city that can't be seen from anywhere else.

Cruises are offered in a variety of packages. Special charters and cruises are available.

  • 90 minute informative cruises

    Starting at $20

    Snacks and drinks available. Restrooms onboard.

  • 2 hour dinner/music cruises

    Starting at $45

    Includes live music, dinner and a pay bar.


Great food, great music

10) Blues Cafe

Blues Cafe was founded in 1991 and serves up great food. Know for it's ribs, steaks, catfish and tamales, Blues Cafe also offers up mouth watering desserts. Locals and tourists fill the location daily.

After 9pm, the cafe fills with the sounds of live music. B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kid Rock and Queen Latifah are among the musicians who have taken the stage.

You can't go wrong if you choose the Blues Cafe!


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    • pinotprincess profile image

      pinotprincess 6 weeks ago from London

      excellent review

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 7 weeks ago from Mobile, AL

      I have visited Memphis a few times once for a business trip and once for an event. I really enjoyed the southern vibe as I am from Mobile, AL it almost feels like home. Two cities with great culture and not enough support in my opinion. With a culture like that these cities should be treasured and made to be the fantastic Culture Hubs they are meant to be. Thanks for giving me more motivation to return once again.