So you’re coming to Memphis for the conference.
That’s great! Memphis is a wonderful city filled to the brim with cool & interesting things to do. Sure, there are the obvious things to do in Memphis like Graceland & Sun Studios, but I’d like to share with you some of the things that I think make Memphis a fantastic place to be. Below is my personal Top 10 Memphis Attractions.
#10 – Big River Crossing
Ever wanted to hike over the Mississippi River? Here’s your chance. Big River Crossing is the longest pedestrian bridge over the Mississippi River. You’ll get some amazing views of Old Man River during your crossing, and if you have the opportunity to visit at night, you’ll be treated to a light show – the bridge is lit up with over 100,000 LED light bulbs. Find out more here.
#9 – Tom Lee Park
Located right next to the River, Tom Lee Park is one of my favorite places to relax & watch the boats go by. It’s 30-acres of beautiful scenery – the river on one side of you and the Memphis skyline on the other. Feeling lazy? Grab a blanket and enjoy the views. Feeling active? Try your hand at the RiverFit trail. Find out more here.
#8 – Memphis Botanical Gardens
Who doesn’t love a good garden? At the Memphis Botanical Gardens, you’ll get to experience 31 unique and beautiful gardens. The grounds are absolutely lovely – and be sure to check out my personal favorite, the Japenese Garden. More info here.
#7 – Beale Street
The most popular tourist attraction of Memphis, and for good reason. There’s no shortage of music, food, and good fun on Beale. There’s also lots to drink – check out Silky O’Sullivan’s, my personal favorite watering hole on Beale. One of my favorite places to eat is on Beale – on the side of BB Kings club, you’ll find an unmarked staircase. At the top of the staircase is an unmarked door. Inside this door, you’ll find Itta Bena, an upscale (and pricey!) restaurant – try the Duck and Waffles. More info here.
#6 – Overton Park
Smack dab in the middle of Memphis, Overton Park offers a wide variety of things to do. Check out a show at the Levitt Shell. Visit the Brooks Museum of Art. Take a stroll around the Memphis College of Art. Go see our Zoo (Featured later on this list!). Play some golf. Oh, and don’t forget to check out some of the trails and enjoy nature! More info here.
#5 – Main Street
Just a block few steps off of Beale, walking down Main Street is an absolutely wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Our historic arts district, you’ll find a plethora of locally-owned restaurants (Earnestine & Hazel’s is a favorite, and you can’t beat the chicken at Gus’s!), art exhibits, and shopping. Be sure to catch a show at the Orpheum – and don’t forget to take a ride on the newly-renovated trolleys! Check it out here.
#4 – The Pyramid
Yes, Memphis is home to a two-thirds scale stainless steel replica of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Yes, it’s also a Bass Pro Shop. No, I’m not kidding. Though it’s worth checking out for the sheer ridiculousness of it all, visiting the Pyramid is a legitimately cool experience. The first floor is a sprawling cypress swamp. At the top, there’s the Lookout, where you can have a unique vantage point to observe Downtown Memphis. There’s also a bowling alley, aquarium, archery range, a hotel, several restaurants, and Americas tallest free-standing elevator at 28 stories. More information here.
#3 – Mud Island River Park
Got some time to kill? Take the monorails down to the Mud Island River Park. There you’ll find a number of things to do – first and foremost is the River Walk. The River walk is a scale model of the Mississippi River that gives you a real sense of perspective on just how big the dang thing is. It empties out into a large pool of water (The Gulf of Mexico) – where you can rent paddle-boats. Next up is the River Museum, where you can learn about the 10,000 year history of the Lower Mississippi River Valley. If you get bored of the park, take a stroll down to the adjacent Harbor Town for lunch or dinner. More info here.
#2 – The Memphis Zoo
Home to over 1,500 animals and over 500 species, the Memphis zoo comes in at #2 on my list. There’s so much to do & see here. There’s Cat Country, Teton Trek (Bears!), Penguin Rock, China(My favorite), Stingray Bay, the Northwest Passage (where I proposed to my wife), and much much more. I recommend setting aside an entire day to truly appreciate all the wonderful things & animals they have at the zoo. Find out more here.
#1 – Shelby Farms Park
Finally, the #1! Shelby Farms Park is my all-time favorite place in Memphis. That’s why I’ve decided to make it the venue location for Southeast Solidus. Yes, you’ll be at Shelby Farms Park for three whole days – but I encourage you to venture out and really explore the park. Shelby Farms Park is MASSIVE. It’s got over 40 miles of scenic trails. If you’re into biking, there’s bike rentals, and most trails are open to you. If you’re into boating, rent a kayak or canoe – the lake is huge. Like horses? Ziplining? Disc Golf? Paintball? Good food? There’s something for everyone here. If you have the time, check out the Greenline – a 10 mile nature trail reconstructed from an old unused railway – connecting Midtown Memphis to Cordova. My favorite trail – though it’s quite a ways from the event center – is the white, yellow, and blue Wolf River trails. Oh, and did I mention the herd of bufallo? Check it out here.