Is Memphis on your list? It should be. Home of the Blues is just scratching the surface of all that this city has to offer. Some of the most unique experiences can be found here and with very little planning. Check out six recommendations for things to do in the Memphis area.
Mud Island River Park
One of the most exciting and educational experiences was a trip to Mud Island River Park. Located right on the Mississippi River, this gorgeous park has concerts and restaurants right along the River. However, that is not the highlight. The park created a scaled replica of the Lower Mississippi River to walk from “Illinois” right out to the “Gulf of Mexico,” spanning the entire park. Fall-Spring enjoy hopping along the replica, and in the summer, take swimsuits to splash and swim when they turn on the water features!
Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum
The Lorraine Motel is so well preserved and intertwined with the surrounding area that you might miss it if you aren’t paying attention. This makes the landmark for the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. even more powerful. Even if the museum is closed, walking up to the historic motel is a heartbreaking and meaningful experience. The preservation of the motel, the marks outlining the trajectory from the building where the shots were fired, and the art that is seamlessly part of the neighborhood, all make you feel as if you were dropped into 1968.
Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid
Ok, so you may not be an outdoorsy person. You still want to check out this massive Bass Pro Shop. Built in a gigantic glistening pyramid, the Bass Pro Shops is like no other. The top is the hotel/lodge, but the entrance takes you to the retail area that is a replica of every nature aspect. Boats in the water, actual ducks, a mountain with animals throughout, all are spanning 2 floors. You could spend a couple of hours just walking inside. If you get hungry, there is a restaurant right off the first floor. (side note for RV/Van travelers: Bass Pro Shops allows overnight parking in a guarded lot.)
Finding parks and nature in a busy city can often be a bit of a challenge. But Shelby Farms compliments Memphis perfectly. There is also so much to do! Want something super chill? Visit the playground or walk the lake and trails. Are you looking for some water fun? Splash in a water Sprayground or rent a Kayak to go around the lake. For those who want to be more active, go horseback riding, take the zipline, or try disc golf!
Beale Street is the historic place for the Home of the Blues. Almost every restaurant is hopping with live music. Noted as the “melting pot of delta blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and gospel.” All we know is you won’t leave without a bit of sway and pep to your step. The building facades, courtyards, and outdoor seating give this small stretch a vibe that reminds us of New Orleans but has a personality of its own. And do not forget to try some BBQ!
Who DOESN’T want to see the home of The King? Even if Elvis’s music is not your style, a glimpse of his estate is a fun trip into the past. Tour includes stepping aboard his luxury plane, Lisa Marie, AND getting a peek at his jet, Hound Dog II. The museum has also upgraded experiences to make it more interactive and attention-grabbing for families. So, it isn’t just a walk around, but a lot of fun and play to go with it.
It is hard to pick out what makes Memphis so unique. Mixed with so much history and soul, every activity was a lesson and experience that will be remembered for a lifetime.
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