Saturday, July 20, 2024

10 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Memphis Tennessee 2024

Memphis, Tennessee is a vibrant city known for its music, food, and history. There are so many fun things to do in Memphis Tennessee that it can be hard to choose! Here are some of the top attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy when in Memphis.

1. Visit Graceland, the Home of Elvis

Things to Do in Memphis

One of the iconic things to do in Memphis is to visit Graceland, the home of the King himself – Elvis Presley. Fans can tour the mansion, see Elvis’ cars and airplanes, walk through the Meditation Garden where he is buried, and see exhibits highlighting his life and career. You’ll see Elvis memorabilia everywhere in Memphis, but Graceland is a must for any music lover.

2. Tour Historic Sun Studio Where Rock Was Born

Historic Sun Studio

Another classic & one of the fun things to do in Memphis is to visit Sun Studio. This is the recording studio where Elvis first recorded tracks like “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky” in the early 1950s. Rock and Roll was born at Sun Studio, which also recorded Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and many others. The studio offers tours where you can stand on the “X” where Elvis and other famous musicians stood while recording some of their first hits.

3. Feast on Memphis BBQ

No trip to Memphis is complete without tasting some mouth-watering barbecue. Two of the most popular spots are Corky’s BBQ and Central BBQ. Memphis-style barbecue features slow-cooked pulled pork or ribs with a tangy, sweet tomato-based sauce. Stop in one of these joints for classic Memphis barbecue or visit Rendezvous for their famous charcoal ribs. Barbecue nachos, baked beans, coleslaw, and sweet tea complete the true barbecue feast.

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4. Hear Live Music on Beale Street

Beale Street

Part of the fun things to do in Memphis Tennessee is listening to live music on Beale Street. Lined with blues clubs and restaurants with late-night jams, this iconic street comes alive at night with the sound of blues, jazz, and rock music spilling onto the sidewalks. Have a blues-inspired cocktail, listen to talented musicians, and soak up the musical energy of the city that inspired legends. You may even catch a live show on an outdoor stage like the WC Handy Park performance area.

For more live tunes, check out music along Main Street in downtown Memphis. Historic venues like the Orpheum Theatre and Lafayette’s Music Room have concerts and shows. The Halloran Centre for Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art venue nearby as well. You’ll find blues, rock, indie music, and more echoing off the downtown streets of Memphis.

5. See Art at the Memphis Brooks Museum

Memphis Brooks Museum

Art lovers will enjoy the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art which features works from Monet, Renoir, and other European and American masters. Located in Overton Park, the museum has a great permanent collection and special exhibitions that rotate through. The adjacent Memphis Zoo in Overton Park makes a great combo itinerary for art and wildlife.

6. Learn Civil Rights History at the National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

History buffs will appreciate the National Civil Rights Museum which is located at the former Lorraine Motel. This is where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. Exhibits chronicle major events and figures from civil rights history including the Montgomery bus boycott and lunch counter sit-ins. It’s a thoughtful experience that explores the hardships and victories of the civil rights movement.

7. Enjoy the Memphis Zoo

Memphis Zoo

Kids and adults alike will love the thrills at the Memphis Zoo. This zoo has penguins, pandas, a birdhouse, reptiles, and even giant grizzly bears. Ride the train through different animal zones and check out special interactions like the giraffe feeding experience. This expansive zoo has something for every age and interest to make it one of the top things to do in Memphis Tennessee.

8. Explore Massive Shelby Farms Park

Massive Shelby Farms Park

If the weather’s nice, take advantage of Shelby Farms Park. At over 4,500 acres, this massive park has trails, picnic areas, a lake, and fields of wide open green space. Rent bikes, go for a jog, try stand-up paddleboarding, or just find a nice spot to stop and relax. It’s a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors just minutes from downtown.

9. Take a Memphis Musical Tour

Memphis Musical Tour

Fans of the blues won’t want to miss a show at B.B. King’s Blues Club for some authentic Memphis music. The legendary blues guitarist’s club on Beale Street has live shows nightly so you can enjoy blues, soul, funk, and more from local musicians keeping Memphis’ musical heritage alive. Order some southern-inspired food and drinks to complete the experience.

10. Shop in Downtown Memphis


Shopping is one of the fun things to do in Memphis Tennessee too. Hit up the shops at the Peabody Place downtown or the swanky boutiques at the Shops of Saddle Creek. Find the latest Memphis styles and souvenirs. Antique hunters should check out the vintage shops along South Main Street or in the Cooper-Young neighborhood for some retro treasures.

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