Memphis, TN

If you are looking forward to spending your upcoming vacation in the United States, Memphis is one of the best off-the-beaten-track destinations available to visit. Memphis, which is located on the Mississippi River has received a lot of attention from tourists in the past. That’s mainly because Memphis offers something for everyone. Memphis is very southern culturally and with that comes some excellent foods and traditions. We hope this Netherlands travel guide can help you plan your trip, learn about the must-see places in Memphis, give you travel tips, and ensure you make the most out of your trip to Memphis.

When to Visit Memphis

Memphis can get pretty humid due to it’s proximity to the Mississippi. Memphis for the most part also experiences a true four different seasons. Therefore, it is important for you to figure out the best time of the year to visit here. The months in between April and May, which fall in the spring, can be considered as the best time of the year for the people to visit Memphis due to the mild weather. However, the summertime is the most popular time among tourists to visit Memphis. May is also a great time to visit Memphis because there are lots of festivals, the biggest one is called Memphis in May which lasts just about the whole month.

How to Reach memphis

The best way to reach Memphis is by flying unless you are close enough to drive. It is possible for you to find direct flights to Memphis from major destinations such as New York, Washington, Chicago, Toronto, etc. If you want a really unique way to travel to Memphis you could also take a riverboat!

Where to Stay in Memphis

The best way and safest area to stay in will be the downtown area. Anything on the South Main area will work. The two popular hotels are the Madison and the Peabody. However, they fill up fast and can be expensive. There are also other chain hotels in the downtown area which will be cheaper. There are also a good amount of lofts/condos on Airbnb for a decent price. Downtown is a great location for tourists because it’s close to many attractions, good restaurants and it’s safe. 

Getting Around memphis

Memphis has a public transit system and the trolly system downtown is great.  However, to get around the entire city it might be best to rent your own car, so that you will be able to overcome frustration when getting from one place to another. You can also use rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber as well.

Memphis travel tips

Experience the live music scene. Memphis is the home to a large number of iconic music venues. Hence, you can think about visiting those venues during the time that is being spent in here. Beale street is a great place to catch live music.

Relax and enjoy the riverfront view.  In Memphis, you will be able to find 11 amazing riverfront parks. All these parks provide great views of the Mississippi River.  

Try the Memphis Style BBQ!. You should definitely go ahead and enjoy a plate of Memphis style ribs. You can do it dry or wet and the best place to try it is at the Bar-B-Q Shop.

Think about if you really want to see Graceland. When you are in Memphis, the biggest tourist attraction that comes up is Graceland. Around half a million people tend to visit Memphis every single year and most visit Graceland.  This is by far the most crowded attraction in Memphis and expect large crowds during peak season. You will have to spend close to $50 for the entrance as well. If you are a huge Elvis fan than sure it’s probably a must but if not there are better things that Memphis has to offer. 

Don’t waste your money or time at the Bass Pro Pyramid oberservation tower. There is an observation tower at the top which costs about $10 to go to the top for a panoramic view. The line is typically long as well. Instead if you are seeking a good view almost every downtown hotel (such as the Madison) has an equal or better view. There are also some rooftop bars around the city with nice views as well. The Bass Pro itself might be worth seeing as it’s pretty ridiculous inside but if you have a limited time in Memphis, I would skip it.

Typical Costs in memphis

Price Range for Hotels

Memphis is not the cheapest destination when it comes to hotels. Most the hotels in the popular downtown area can get expensive. They can range from $150 to $200 on average. There are higher end hotels as well such as the historic Peabody Hotel which is worth checking out even if you aren’t staying there. 

Cost of Meals

Meals are not too bad compared to cities such as New York and L.A. For example you can get a huge amazing tasting BBQ platter with ribs and pulled pork for around $20. Other meals also tend to be fairly priced.

Top Places to Visit

National Civil Rights Museum

You can visit the National Civil Rights museum that is located in Memphis. In fact, this museum is located at the Lorraine Motel which is the assassination site of Martin Luther King Jr.  So you are able to get a first hand experience of the event as well as great information about the civil rights movement. 

Mississippi River

 As mentioned earlier, Memphis is located in close proximity to the Mississippi River. Therefore, you should think about taking a look at the Mississippi River and experience it during the stay. The casual parks that you will be able to discover in Memphis can provide an excellent assistance with experiencing the river. You can also find a large number of spots, which are ideal for having fun and relaxing.

Art Galleries and Museums

Memphis is full of art galleries and art museums. The South Main area is a great area to check out local artists. The Brooks Museum is the main art museum in the city and has a great selection and rotating special exhibits.

Memphis Sports

Memphis is passionate about it’s sports. The Memphis Grizzly games are full of energy and is a unique expereince for any sports fan. The Memphis Redbirds are a triple A baseball team that has one of the best minor league stadiums in the country.

Sun Studio

Step in the footprints of music legends at Sun Studio. Sun Records is a record label founded in Memphis, Tennessee during the 50s. Sun Studios was the first company to record numerous musical legends such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Charlie Rich,.

The Food

Memphis has some of the best food spots in the country. It’s known for it’s BBQ but has a lot of good soul food as well. For BBQ try out the Bar-B-Q Shop or the Germantown Commissary. Gus’s Chicken and Gibson’s Donuts are also staples of the city.