Tennessee, United States

Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the fourth Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of theWolf and Mississippi rivers. Memphis had a population of 653,450 in 2013, making it the largest city in the state of Tennessee. It is the largest city on the Mississippi River, the third largest in the greater Southeastern United States, and the 23rd largest in the United States.

Info Memphis


Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the fourth Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of theWolf and Mississippi rivers.

Memphis had a population of 653,450 in 2013, making it the largest city in the state of Tennessee. It is the largest city on the Mississippi River, the third largest in the greater Southeastern United States, and the 23rd largest in the United States.

The greater Memphis metropolitan area, including adjacent counties in Mississippi and Arkansas, had a 2014 population of 1,317,314. This makes Memphis the second-largest metropolitan area in Tennessee, surpassed by metropolitan Nashville.

Memphis is the youngest of Tennessee's major cities, founded in 1819 as a planned city by a group of wealthy Americans including judge John Overton and future president Andrew Jackson. A resident of Memphis is referred to as a Memphian, and the Memphis region is known, particularly to media outlets, as Memphis and the Mid-South.

POPULATION : • City 646,889
• Urban 1,060,061 (US: 41st)
• Metro 1,341,746 (US: 41st)
FOUNDED :  Founded May 22, 1819
Incorporated December 19, 1826
TIME ZONE : • Time zone CST (UTC-6)
• Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
LANGUAGE :  English
AREA : • City 324.0 sq mi (839.2 km2)
• Land 315.1 sq mi (816.0 km2)
• Water 9.0 sq mi (23.2 km2)
ELEVATION :  337 ft (103 m)
COORDINATES :  35°07′03″N 89°58′16″W
AREA CODE :  901
POSTAL CODE : 37501, 37544, 38002, 38016, 38018, 38028, 38088, 38101, 38103–38109, 38111–38120, 38122, 38124–38128, 38130–38139, 38141, 38145, 38147–38148, 38150–38152, 38157, 38159, 38161, 38163, 38166–38168, 38173–38175, 38177, 38181–38182, 38184, 38186–38188, 38190, 38193–38194, 38197
WEBSITE :   City of Memphis


Memphis is the largest city in the state of Tennessee and the second largest metropolitan area in the state after Nashville. The state rests in the southeastern portion of the United States. Memphis, with a population totaling more than 653,350 as of 2013, is also the county seat for Shelby County. The city's claims to fame include Graceland, the mansion Elvis Presley lived in during his later years. Maybe more importantly, Memphis is considered by many to be the home of blues music.

Memphis is an older city that has been through a lot. With that said, the city has developed a rugged yet, colorful sense of character that locals identify with. A lovely mix of old and new, Memphians have worked hard to build a vibrant community while keeping the city's old-time charm. Memphis has much more to offer than just Graceland with its lively neighborhoods and constant renewal.

Although downtown Memphis has experienced quite a rebirth and renewal in the last few years, the center of the city is older and while new development is hard to find, revitalization of old areas is beginning to take shape. Areas such as Beale Street and Mud Island have become relatively safe and citizens once again have a vested interest in making downtown safe, exciting, and a great place to visit and relax after decades of abandonment.

Whether visiting or moving to the area, from May to October make it well worth your while to visit the Memphis Farmers Market which formed and began in 2006 - it is one of the brightest shining stars of the early Spring, Summer, and through Mid-Autumn.

A word of caution: Memphis is extremely hot in the summertime, and the humidity can make you feel even hotter! Those who have trouble tolerating high heat and humidity may wish to avoid visiting during July or August.


Early history

Occupying a substantial bluff rising from the Mississippi River, the site of Memphis has been a natural location for human settlement by varying cultures over thousands of years. The area was known to be settled in the first millennium AD. by people of the Mississippian Culture, who had a network of communities throughout the Mississippi River Valley and its tributaries and built earthwork ceremonial and burial mounds. The historic Chickasaw Indian tribe, believed to be their descendants, later occupied the site. French explorers led by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto would encounter the Chickasaw in that area, in the 16th century.

J.D.L. Holmes, writing in Hudson's Four Centuries of Southern Indians, notes that there was a third strategic point in the late 18th century through which European powers could control American encroachment and their interference with Indian matters—after Fort Nogales (present day Vicksburg) and Fort Confederación(present day Epes, Alabama): "...Chickasaw Bluffs, located on the Mississippi River at the present day location of Memphis. Spain and the United States vied for control of this site, which was a favorite of the Chickasaws." In 1795 the Spanish Governor-General of Louisiana, de Carondelet sent his Lieutenant Governor,Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, to negotiate and secure consent from local Chickasaw inhabitants so that a Spanish fort could be erected; Fort San Fernando de las Barrancas was the result. Holmes goes on to note that the consent was reached despite opposition from "disappointed Americans and a pro-American faction of the Chickasaws," when the "pro-Spanish faction signed the Chickasaw Bluffs Cession and Spain provided the Chickasaws with a trading post…".

In 1796, the site became the westernmost point of the newly admitted state of Tennessee, located in the Southwest United States but the area was largely occupied and controlled by the Chickasaw nation. Captain Isaac Guion led an American force down the Ohio River to claim the land, arriving on July 20, 1797. By this time, the Spanish had departed. The fort's ruins went unnoticed twenty years later when Memphis was laid out as a city, after the United States government paid the Chickasaw for land.

19th century

The city of Memphis was founded on May 22, 1819 (incorporated December 19, 1826) by John Overton, James Winchesterand Andrew Jackson. They named it after the ancient capital of Egypt on the Nile River. Memphis developed as a trade and transportation center in the 19th century because of its flood-free location high above the Mississippi River. Located in the low-lying delta region along the river, its outlying areas were developed as cotton plantations, and the city became a major cotton market and brokerage center.

The cotton economy of the antebellum South depended on the forced labor of large numbers of African-American slaves, and Memphis also developed as a major slave market for the domestic slave trade. Through the early 19th century, one million slaves were transported from the Upper South, in a huge forced migration to newly developed plantation areas. Many were transported by steamboats along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. In 1857, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was completed, connecting the Atlantic Coast of South Carolina and this major Mississippi River port; it was the only east-west railroad constructed across the southern states prior to the Civil War. This gave planters and cotton brokers access to the Atlantic Coast for shipping cotton to England, a major market.

The city's demographics changed dramatically in the 1850s and 1860s under waves of immigration and domestic migration. Due to increased immigration since the 1840s and the Great Famine, ethnic Irish made up 9.9 percent of the population in 1850, but 23.2 percent in 1860, when the total population was 22,623. They had encountered considerable discrimination in the city but by 1860, the Irish constituted most of the police force. They also gained many elected and patronage positions in the Democratic Party city government, and an Irish man was elected as mayor before the Civil War. At that time, representatives were elected to the city council from 30 wards. The elite were worried about corruption in this system and that so many saloonkeepers were active in the wards. German immigrants also made this city a destination following the 1848 revolutions; both the Irish and Germans were mostly Catholic, adding another element to demographic change in this formerly Protestant city.

Tennessee seceded from the Union in June 1861, and Memphis briefly became a Confederate stronghold. Union ironclad gunboats captured the city in the naval Battle of Memphis on June 6, 1862, and the city and state were occupied by the Union Army for the duration of the war. The Union Army commanders allowed the city to maintain its civil government during most of this period but excluded Confederate veterans from office, which shifted political dynamics in the city as the war went on. As Memphis was used as a Union supply base, associated with nearby Fort Pickering, it continued to prosper economically throughout the war. Meanwhile, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest harassed Union forces in the area.

The war years contributed to additional dramatic changes in city population. The presence of the Union Army attracted many fugitive slaves who escaped from surrounding rural plantations. So many sought protection behind Union lines that the Army set up contraband camps to accommodate them. The black population of Memphis increased from 3,000 in 1860, when the total population was 22,623, to nearly 20,000 in 1865, with most settling south of what was then the city limits. The white population was also increasing, but not to the same degree. The total population in 1870 was 40,220, after thousands of blacks had left the city; they numbered 15,000 that year, or 37.4% of the total.

20th century

In terms of its economy, Memphis developed as the world's largest spot cotton market and the world's largest hardwood lumber market, both commodity products of the Mississippi Delta. Into the 1950s, it was the world's largest mule market. Attracting workers from rural areas as well as new immigrants, from 1900 to 1950 the city increased nearly fourfold in population, from 102,350 to 396,000 residents.

From the 1910s to the 1950s, Memphis was a place of machine politics under the direction of E. H. "Boss" Crump. He gained a state law in 1911 to establish a small commission to manage the city. The city retained a form of commission government until 1967 and patronage flourished under Crump. Per the publisher's summary of L.B. Wrenn's study of the period, "This centralization of political power in a small commission aided the efficient transaction of municipal business, but the public policies that resulted from it tended to benefit upper-class Memphians while neglecting the less affluent residents and neighborhoods." The city installed a revolutionary sewer system and upgraded sanitation and drainage to prevent another epidemic. Pure water from an artesian well was discovered in the 1880s, securing the city's water supply. The commissioners developed an extensive network of parks and public works as part of the national City Beautiful movement, but did not encourage heavy industry, which might have provided substantial employment for the working-class population. The lack of representation in city government resulted in the poor and minorities being underrepresented. The majority controlled the election of all the at-large positions.

Memphis did not become a home rule city until 1963, although the state legislature had amended the constitution in 1953 to provide home rule for cities and counties. Before that, the city had to get state bills approved in order to change its charter and for other policies and programs. Since 1963, it can change the charter by popular approval of the electorate.

During the 1960s, the city was at the center of civil rights issues, as its large African-American population had been affected by state segregation practices and disenfranchisement in the early 20th century. African-American residents drew from the civil rights movement to improve their lives. In 1968 a city sanitation workers' strike began for living wages and better working conditions; the workers were overwhelmingly African American. They marched to gain public awareness and support for their plight: the danger of their work, and the struggles to support families with their low pay. Their drive for better pay had been met with resistance by the city government.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, known for his leadership in the non-violent movement, came to lend his support to the workers' cause. He stayed at the Lorraine Motel in the city, where he was assassinated by a sniper on April 4, 1968, the day after giving his prophetic I've Been to the Mountaintop speech at the Mason Temple.

Grief-stricken and enraged after learning of King's murder, many African Americans in the city rioted, looting and destroying businesses and other facilities, some by arson. The governor ordered Tennessee National Guardsmen into the city within hours, where small, roving bands of rioters continued to be active.  Fearing the violence, more of the middle-class began to leave the city for the suburbs.

In 1970, the Census Bureau reported Memphis' population as 60.8% white and 38.9% black. Suburbanization was attracting wealthier residents to newer housing outside the city. After the riots and court-ordered busing in 1973 to achieve desegregation of public schools, "about 40,000 of the system's 71,000 white students abandon[ed] the system in four years." The city now has a majority-black population; the larger metropolitan area is narrowly majority white.

Memphis is well known for its cultural contributions to the identity of the American South. Many renowned musicians grew up in and around Memphis and moved to Chicago and other areas from the Mississippi Delta, carrying their music with them to influence other cities and listeners over radio airwaves. These included such musical greats as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, Carl Perkins,Johnny Cash, Robert Johnson, W. C. Handy, B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Isaac Hayes,Booker T. Jones, Eric Gales, Al Green, Alex Chilton, Justin Timberlake, Three 6 Mafia, the Sylvers, Jay Reatard, Zach Myers, and many others. Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis.


Memphis has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with four distinct seasons, and is located in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 8. Winter weather comes alternately from the upper Great Plains and the Gulf of Mexico, which can lead to drastic swings in temperature. Summer weather may come from Texas (very hot and humid) or the Gulf (hot and very humid). July has a daily average temperature of 82.7 °F (28.2 °C), with high levels of humidity due to moisture encroaching from the Gulf of Mexico. Afternoon and evening thunderstorms are frequent during summer, but usually brief, lasting no longer than an hour. Early autumn is pleasantly drier and mild, but can be hot until late October. Late autumn is rainy and cooler; precipitation peaks again in November and December. Winters are mild to chilly, with a January daily average temperature of 41.2 °F (5.1 °C). Snow occurs sporadically in winter, with an average seasonal snowfall of 3.9 inches (9.9 cm). Ice storms and freezing rain pose greater danger, as they can often pull tree limbs down on power lines and make driving hazardous. Severe thunderstorms can occur at any time of the year though mainly during the spring months. Large hail, strong winds, flooding and frequent lightning can accompany these storms. Some storms spawn tornadoes.

The lowest temperature ever recorded in Memphis was −13 °F (−25 °C) on December 24, 1963, and the highest temperature ever was 108 °F (42 °C) on July 13, 1980. Over the course of a year, there is an average of 4.4 days of highs below freezing, 6.9 nights of lows below 20 °F (−7 °C), 43 nights of lows below freezing, 64 days of highs above 90 °F (32 °C)+, and 2.1 days of highs above 100 °F (38 °C)+.

Annual precipitation is high (53.68 inches (1,360 mm)) and is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year, though the period August through October tends to be drier. Average monthly rainfall is especially high in March through May, November and December.

Climate data for Memphis 

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
Average high °F (°C) 49.8
Daily mean °F (°C) 41.2
Average low °F (°C) 32.6
Record low °F (°C) −8
Source: NOAA


Memphis is located in the southwest corner of Tennessee at 35°7′3″N 89°58′16″W.[34] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 324.0 square miles (839.2 km2), of which 315.1 square miles (816.0 km2) is land and 9.0 square miles (23.2 km2), or 2.76%, is water.


Downtown Memphis rises from a bluff along the Mississippi River. The city and metro area spread out through suburbanization, and encompass southwest Tennessee, northern Mississippi and eastern Arkansas. Several large parks were founded in the city in the early 20th century, notably Overton Park in Midtown and the 4,500-acre (18 km2) Shelby Farms. The city is a national transportation hub and Mississippi River crossing for Interstate 40, (east-west),Interstate 55 (north-south), barge traffic, Memphis International Airport (FedEx's "SuperHub" facility) and numerous freight railroads that serve the city.

In both 2011 and 2012, the magazine Travel + Leisure ranked Memphis among the top ten "America's Dirtiest City," for widespread visibly littered public spaces, with unremoved trash, based on surveys by both readership and local citizens.

On a more positive note, in 2013 Forbes magazine ranked Memphis as one of the top 15 cities in the United States with an "emerging downtown" area.

Also in 2013, USA Today readers voted Beale Street as America's Best Iconic Street and Graceland as the Best Iconic American Attraction. The National Civil Rights Museum (at the Lorraine Motel, the site of Rev. Martin Luther King's assassination) ranked third in the poll of national attractions.


The Memphis Riverfront stretches along the Mississippi River from the Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park in the north, to the T. O. Fuller State Park in the south. The River Walk is a park system that connects downtown Memphis from Mississippi River Greenbelt Park in the north, to Tom Lee Park in the south.


Shelby County is located over four natural aquifers, one of which is recognized as the "Memphis Sand Aquifer" or simply as the "Memphis Aquifer". This artesian water is pure and soft. This particular water source, located some 350 to 1,100 feet (110 to 340 m) underground, is estimated by Memphis Light, Gas and Water to contain more than 100 trillion US gallons (380 km3) of water.


The city's central geographic location has been strategic to its business development. Located on the Mississippi River and intersected by five major freight railroads and two Interstate Highways, I-40 and I-55, Memphis is ideally located for commerce in the transportation and shipping industry. Its access by water was key to its initial development, with steamboats plying the Mississippi river. Railroad construction strengthened its connection to other markets to the east and west.

Since the second half of the 20th century, highways and interstates have played major roles as transportation corridors. A third interstate, I-69, is under construction, and a fourth, I-22, has recently been designated from the former High Priority Corridor X. River barges are unloaded onto trucks and trains. The city is home to Memphis International Airport, the world's second busiest cargo airport(following Hong Kong). Memphis serves as a primary hub for FedEx Expressshipping.

As of 2014, Memphis was the home of three Fortune 500 companies: FedEx (no. 63), International Paper (no. 107), and AutoZone (no. 306).

Other major corporations based in Memphis include Allenberg Cotton, American Residential Services (also known as ARS/Rescue Rooter); Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz; Cargill Cotton, City Gear, First Horizon National Corporation, Evergreen Packaging, Fred's, GTx, Guardsmark, Lenny's Sub Shop,Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, ServiceMaster, Thomas & Betts, True Temper Sports, Varsity Brands, and Verso Paper. Corporations with major operations based in Memphis include Carrier, Gibson guitars (based in Nashville), Kruger Products(manufacturer of White Cloud tissue products), Merck & Co., Medtronic, Sharp Manufacturing, Smith & Nephew, and Technicolor Home Entertainment Services.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis also has a branch in Memphis.

The entertainment and film industries have discovered Memphis in recent years. Several major motion pictures, most of which were recruited and assisted by the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission, have been filmed in Memphis, including Making the Grade (1984), Elvis and Me (1988), Great Balls of Fire! (1988), Heart of Dixie (1989), Mystery Train (1989), The Silence of the Lambs(1991), Trespass (1991), The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag (1992), The Firm(1993), The Delta (1996), The People Vs. Larry Flynt (1996), The Rainmaker(1997), Cast Away (2000), 21 Grams (2002), A Painted House (2002), Hustle & Flow (2005), Forty Shades of Blue (2005), Walk the Line (2005), Black Snake Moan(2007), Nothing But the Truth (2008), Soul Men (2008), and The Grace Card(2011). The Blind Side (2009) was set in Memphis but filmed in Atlanta. The 1992 television movie Memphis, starring Memphis native Cybill Shepherd, who also served as executive producer and writer, was also filmed in Memphis.

Prices in Memphis



Milk 1 liter $0.95
Tomatoes 1 kg $3.90
Cheese 0.5 kg $5.40
Apples 1 kg $3.20
Oranges 1 kg $3.50
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $1.85
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $15.00
Coca-Cola 2 liters $1.70
Bread 1 piece $1.12
Water 1.5 l $1.90



Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $25.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $48.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $7.25
Water 0.33 l $1.30
Cappuccino 1 cup $4.70
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $5.00
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $3.50
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $1.50
Coctail drink 1 drink $9.00



Cinema 2 tickets $20.00
Gym 1 month $40.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $15.00
Theatar 2 tickets $86.00
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $0.10
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $5.50



Antibiotics 1 pack $6.00
Tampons 32 pieces $5.60
Deodorant 50 ml. $2.50
Shampoo 400 ml. $4.35
Toilet paper 4 rolls $2.70
Toothpaste 1 tube $2.00



Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $42.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M ) 1 $35.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas ) 1 $75.00
Leather shoes 1 $95.00



Gasoline 1 liter $0.53
Taxi Start $
Taxi 1 km $
Local Transport 1 ticket $1.75

Tourist (Backpacker)  

68 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

257 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Memphis International Airport (IATA: MEM). Memphis is the primary FedEx distribution center, and, with the world's second busiest cargo airport, the sky is always full of planes making your eBay purchase a glorious reality. Passenger service at Memphis has shrunk in recent years as Delta no longer maintains a hub here. In fact, in spite of the airport's name, the only international flight still serving Memphis is a seasonal service from Cancun.

  • Allegiant Air: Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Orlando/Sanford
  • American Airlines: Charlotte, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, New York-LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Washington-National.
  • Delta Air Lines: Atlanta, Cancun, Cincinnati, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, Orlando, Salt Lake City
  • Frontier Airlines: Denver, Washington-Dulles
  • Southwest Airlines: Baltimore, Chicago-Midway, Dallas-Love, Houston-Hobby, Orlando, Tampa.
  • United Airlines: Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Houston-Intercontinental, Newark.

Transportation - Get In

By Train

Running along the Mississippi River, Amtrak's overnight service City of New Orleansbetween Chicago and New Orleans, serves Memphis once a day. Memphis Central Station is located on South Main St, which is just south of downtown.

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

  • Greyhound3033 Airways Blvd (at Brooks Rd), +1 901 395-8770. Greyhound maintains a terminal on the south side of town just west of the airport.
  • Megabus. Low-cost carrier offers service to Memphis from Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Little Rock, and Dallas. Fares start at $1 each way when reserved well in advance. Buses stop at the American Way Transit Center, located at the southwest corner of American Way and Getwell Road. This location is several miles southeast of downtown, and public transit service is infrequent; MATA bus routes 36 and 56 will take you downtown.

Transportation - Get In

By Car

  • Interstate 40 is a good route into town but doesn't go through Memphis; to get to the other side of 40 you take the north loop which is I-40, or the south loop, which is known as I-240 and is Memphis' beltway.
  • I-55 will take you right into town; just take the Riverside Drive exit from either direction to be at Beale Street in a minute.
  • Highway 72 Comes from Alabama, through Mississippi, and ends in Memphis.
  • Parking - Except for downtown, parking is usually free. If you're downtown, try the "Parking Can Be Fun" garage on Union Avenue. It's cheap, absolutely bizarre, and right where you want to be. Expect to hunt for cheaper parking if there's an event going on at the FedEx Forum, Beale Street or AutoZone Park. Parking vendors also appear to charge higher prices during these peak times.

Transportation - Get Around

  • Driving - Travel by car is really the only way to get around Memphis if you want to do anything other than see Downtown.
  • Public Transit - Bus service provided by the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) is available across the city. Some routes are very poorly served in the evenings. At nights and weekends some buses take a different route than during the day which can be a trap for visitors.
    • A trolley operates downtown and into Midtown, mostly for the benefit of tourists.
  • The Bettie Bus - Airport Shuttle and local tours. [www]

Memphis is laid out in a more or less east/west fashion. Roads primarily go east/west and north/south. The expressway cuts directly through the city.

Downtown is on the west; it sits atop the bluffs, overlooking the mighty Mississippi River. (It is referred to as Downtown, not as West Memphis, which is a town just across the river in Arkansas.) Moving east you'll come to Midtown, a charming part of the city thought by some as the best part of Memphis. Beyond that, you will find East Memphis, and then the suburbs of Germantown, Collierville, Cordova, and Bartlett. The area between downtown and Midtown, referred to by locals as "Crosstown," is coming to life slowly but surely. There is a movement to turn it into an artist community. Members of this movement call the area "the Edge". However, most of the "art district" is on South Main.






  • Memphis Backbeat Mojo TourPicks up at Elvis Presley Plaza on Beale, toll-free:+1-800-979-3370. You can see most of Memphis' historic musical attractions on this fun, funky, educational bus tour. It's the only tour in town to put Memphis' musical heritage in the hands of real musicians, who will combine story, comedy, and live music in a one-of-a-kind show on wheels. Audience participation is encouraged with drums and other percussion pieces provided on the restored 1959 transit bus. Tour is 90 minutes., but if time allows, go for the extended 2.5 hour version. Well worth the time and money. Tours sell out, so reserve online in advance. $25.


  • A. Schwab, Beale Street. Dry goods store whose motto is "If we don't have it, you don't need it." It's the place for souvenirs. It's been there forever, and is a breath of fresh air from the bulk of the establishments on Beale St, with live blues of its own during the day. Most family friendly store on Beale.


  • Midtown Artist Market. A local artists' cooperative. Has been named Best of Memphis by readers of the Memphis Flyer at one time or another. -- Retail location is closed but the website and organization is still active.
  • Wizard's A fine gift shop with "smoking supplies" (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).
  • Midtown Books. An excellent selection of used books. Has been named Best of Memphis by readers of the Memphis Flyer at one time or another. -- Has moved downtown in the basement of Memphis Tobacco Bowl near the corner of Madison and Third Street. Has an excellent coffee shop as well as the selection at the Tobacco Bowl. Now known as Downtown Books.
  • Overton Square. A small shopping/entertainment district on Madison Avenue, near Cooper.
  • Burke's Books936 S. Cooper St. Memphis, TN 38104, HOURS OF OPERATION:Monday - Thursday 10AM to 6PM, Friday & Saturday 10AM to 8PM, Sunday 12:00 to 5PM One of the oldest independent book stores in the country, Burke's has been selling new, used and rare books since 1875. A popular stop along book signing tours for authors ranging from John Grisham to Archie Manning and Anne Rice, Burke's has also been visited by celebrities such as Benecio Del Toro, Michael Jackson, Gene Hackman, REM and Matt Dillon, to name a few.

Out East

  • Collierville Town Center - Catch Poplar Ave. east to the town of Collierville and browse the interesting shops on the square. Very pretty in the holiday season. Small and quaint, this square boasts a setting and some shops that aren't found elsewhere in Memphis. A steam engine and a few private railcars are open to the public.


Of all the places in the world one can buy Elvis souvenirs, none is better than Graceland.


Memphis is one of the cheapest places in the USA to live, and that includes going out to eat. Memphis is famous for two things: music and food. The local BBQ is well-known, and you can sample it "wet" (with spicy, tangy sauce) or "dry" (rubbed with spices before cooking). Other options abound across the city, from Southern home cooking to international fare. You won't go wrong with famous names, but the adventurous will find real treasures in modest hole-in-the-wall joints that make up for their shabby appearance with fabulous flavor.


  • Earnestine and Hazel's531 S. Main St+1 901 523-9754.Memphis, TN 38103.Open Hours: Mo to Th from 5pm to 2am, Fr to Sa from 5pm to 3:00am, Su from 7pm to 02:00 AM. Eclectic, unique atmosphere, a staff that defines cool and of course the Soul Burger. Visitors can request a special ghost tour upstairs of the one-time brothel and then enjoy the best burger in Memphis. With a jukebox loaded with classic hits and a staff full of colorful stories of its history, even Cameron Crowe couldn't resist including Earnestine and Hazel's in his film "Elizabethtown".
  • Little Tea Shop, Open for lunch Monday – Friday, 11am – 2pm, 69 Monroe Ave. +1 901 525-6000. Memphis' oldest eatery (1918). Boasts "Healthy Home Cooking." Family-owned; fast, friendly service. Traditional Southern "meat & three" with daily specials. Don't miss dessert! (Featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.)
  • Pearl's Oyster House, 299 S. Main (522-9070), 11AM Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays. Excellent New Orleans/Florida Panhandle-influenced seafood. Variety of oyster styles, po' boys, gumbo, shrimp, crawfish, grouper, and fried pickles. Two bars and a patio out back. Atmosphere is casual. On the trolley line.
  • Automatic Slims, Adjacent to the Peabody Hotel on 2nd Street. Kind of trendy, but nice wait staff and good food. Expect $25-$35/person.
  • Blues City Cafe, Beale and 2nd Street. Good ribs. The garlic pan-seared shrimp is tasty, as well. Prices from $6-$18. Jean Paul's Last Call is a small bar attached to Blues City. It attracts server staff crowd after-hours.
  • Flying Saucer, One 2nd Street. 90 beers on tap and ~120 in the bottle. Best beer selection in town. Serves typical bar food which is decent quality despite the Flying Saucer being a small chain.
  • Texas De Brazil, adjacent to the Peabody Hotel. Everything you expect in a Brazilian steakhouse. Expect $40-$50 per person for supper, but it's worth it. Lunch is the most economical time. Dressy attire--a dress shirt and slacks for men at the least--is strongly recommended.
  • The Rendezvous. A Memphis legend. Excels at Memphis-style BBQ in a no-frills environment where some of the crusty wait staff have logged more than 30 years. Go early--this in-the-basement establishment has quite a following and a long wait is expected nearly every night. Dry-rub ribs are the trademark, but also give the sausage plate and BBQ nachos a try. Pricey given the decor (and the fact that you're eating BBQ). Expect $15-$20 per person.
  • The Arcade Classic old diner. Traditional diner food with the addition of pizza and hummus sandwiches. It's across the street from the train station at 540 South Main Street. Featured in several movies, including Jim Jarmusch's "Mystery Train".
  • Bluff City Coffee, In South Main's Art District. Try their signature cup "The Real Cappuccino".
  • Harry's Detour, 106 G.E. Patterson. Lunch Tu-Sa 11:30am-2pm, Dinner W-Sa 5:30pm-10pm. An eclectic menu of delicious main courses, soups, salads and desserts served in an intimate setting. Private room and patio.
  • Westy's Bar/grill that occupies the site of the old North End restaurant. The North End was destroyed by arson in 1998, and Westy's took its place. Known for fried pickles, tamales, a wide selection of wild rice dishes and a popular fudge pie. Expect $7-$12 pp, open late.
  • Dyer's, This retro diner is on Beale Street almost directly North of the FedEx Forum and next to Alfred's. It's got great burgers at a reasonable price. The only catch is that they are deep fried. It's definitely worth trying. Another recommendation is their chili cheese fries.
  • Huey's. Blues, Brews & Burgers since 1970. Casual tavern with a custom of blowing toothpicks into the ceiling through straws. Burgers any way you can imagine earns it a perennial "best burger" win in local reader polls. Several locations, including 77 S. 2nd. Come on Sundays for jazz afternoons and blues evenings.
  • Bardog Tavern73 Monroe Avenue. At Great bar scene with awesome food that is a cut above your average bar grub. It's also a bit cheaper than the touristy places, as you can eat here for under $10 easily.
  • Gus's World Famous Hot & Spicy Fried Chicken (Gus's fried Chicken), 310 S Front St Memphis, TN 38103 (located on Front, a few blocks south of Beale St),  +1 901 527-4877. Sunday – Thursday 11am-9pm Friday – Saturday 11am-10pm. Fried chicken.


  • Young Ave. Deli Good place for bar food and/or rock shows. Try the fried dill pickles and of course the sweet potato fries. Located in the Cooper-Young district of Midtown. One of the biggest beer selections in town.
  • Pho Saigon Super yummy Vietnamese soup less than $10 for a bowl as big as your head.
  • Molly's La Casita Very good Mexican food priced around $10 per entree, with the best margaritas as voted by Memphis residents.
  • Pho Hoa Binh, Madison Avenue - Hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese. $5-$10. Great tofu and wheat gluten dishes, so don't miss it if you're vegetarian.
  • Saigon Le, Cleveland Avenue - Another awesome Vietnamese restaurant. $5-$10.
  • Indochina, Cleveland Avenue - Another excellent Vietnamese restaurant. Famous for their homemade egg rolls. $5-$10.
  • Brother Junipers, U of M area - Open for breakfast and lunch. Great omelettes. Free-Trade Coffee. Strange hours. $5-$10. Associated with the Juniper Bakery, all proceeds going to drug rehab.
  • Bosco's, Overton Square The only locally brewed beer in Memphis (also a national award winner). Great pizza, entrees, etc. Excellent jazz brunch on Sundays. $10-$20.
  • Huey's A Memphis landmark, the original Huey's offers one of the best burgers in town. $6-12.
  • Dino's, On Mclean near North Parkway intersection - Serves reliable versions of basic "American-style Italian food", being open for breakfast, lunch (offering sandwiches and plate lunches) and dinner six days a week. $6-20.
  • Corky's - One of the most well known barbecue places in Memphis. 3 or 4 locations within the city; $6-$20 per person. You can purchase their barbeque sauce too and have ribs shipped.
  • The BBQ Shop - Another of the best barbecue places in Memphis. One location on Madison Ave. Popular barbecue with good service. A sandwich with two sides will run you about $7.
  • Bayou Bar and Grill, Great Cajun food at moderate prices located near Studio on the Square. Tuesday is $3 pint night. The Gumbo and spicy chicken sandwich is great.
  • Central BBQ2249 Central Ave,   +1 901 272-9377. or 4375 Summer Ave. +1 901 767-4672 This is yet another great BBQ place. There are two locations, but the original on Central Ave. is said to be the best by locals. BBQ nachos and ribs are must-haves.
  • Jack Magoo's Sports Bar2583 Broad Avenue,   +1 901 746-9612. Located in the historic Broad Avenue Arts District, Jack Magoo's has a full menu and TV's galore to watch the game. 21 and up. Check the website for live music schedule.

East Memphis

  • Folk's Folly551 South Mendenhall Rd.Consistently voted "Best Steak," by readers of all four major Memphis publications, Folk's Folly pairs fine dining with a cozy, comfortable atmosphere. This Memphis landmark embodies an unwavering commitment to quality by offering corn-fed prime steaks, and fresh seafood. All menu items are prepared in our scratch kitchen. $100+
  • Belmont Grill, at Poplar and Mendenhall - Hole-in-the-wall bar and restaurant that serves great food. Try the shish kebobs. $10-$20.
  • Germantown Commissary, On Germantown Road between Poplar and Poplar Pike (technically in Germantown) - Some of the best ribs Memphis has to offer. $10-$20.
  • The Half Shell. Good seafood is hard to come by in Memphis, but Half Shell scores. Extensive menu, with a cajun tilt to most dishes. Fresh gulf oysters, King Crab, Champagne brunch on the weekends, and menu "front page" items that change frequently. The kitchen is open until 2AM (1AM on Sunday). Locations at Mendenhall/Poplar and Winchester/Centennial (near Southwind). There is also an abbreviated menu available at the Rhythms Cafe & Bar in Concourse B, near Gate 35 at the Memphis International Airport. Half Shell is also known for its live music on the weekends and its lively late-night bar crowd. Entrees $9 and up.
  • Buckley's--For the best steak in all of Memphis, you must head to Buckley's on Poplar. Wonderful food, exceptionally friendly staff, and affordable prices!
  • Juicy Jim's546 S. Highland St,   +1 38111 901-458-4448. Memphis,Tn This is a great sandwich place near the University of Memphis on Highland Ave. The food is a bit expensive with sandwiches being about $8-$12, but the quality is great and it is well worth it. The best sandwich shop in Memphis and has great pizza too. The shop will be moving across the street to the pizzeria in about 3 months.
  • Edo4792 Summer Ave,   +1 901 767-7096. Great Japanese home style cooking. This is about as close to real Japanese food as you can get without being in Japan. Expect to pay about 9 or 10 dollars for a very tasty meal. They also have reasonably priced Japanese beers.
  • Muddy's Bake Shop. Delightful neighborhood bakery with delicious baked goods--don't miss the cupcakes, with names as creative as the cupcakes are delicious--and wonderful, welcoming staff. Light lunch served as well, menu changes weekly. Voted best birthday cake in memphis by Nickelodeon Parents Connect. Lunch Items $6 and under. Cupcakes $1.50.
  • Sekisui. 50 Humphreys Center. Best Japanese food in Memphis. Although there are many locations around Memphis, the Humphreys location is the original and still the best. If you're lucky, your waitress will be Japanese, and the head sushi chef is Japanese. Jimmy Ishii, the owner, is also Japanese.


  • Jerry's Sno Cones, at the corner of Wells Station and Reed Ave, Jerry's has some of the best Sno Cones you'll find anywhere, with a huge selection of flavors. They also have a hot food menu featuring Burgers, and fried bologna sandwiches. You can get a full meal sandwich, fries, drink, and dessert all for under $10., [www]
  • Ellen's Soul Food and Bar-B-Q, 601 S. Parkway E. - Expect to hear the menu when you arrive to get down at this old-school soul food dream, though a hand-written paper copy is also available. Fried everything is their specialty, including okra, cornbread, chicken, and catfish that's worth a trip to Memphis by itself. The service is so good that the management will set you straight if you try to eat neck bones with a knife and fork. Entrees $7-9, including two side orders.
  • Coletta's. 1063 S. Parkway E. One of the oldest restaurants in Memphis, with excellent American-Italian food. Don't miss the barbecue spaghetti or pizza.
  • Jim Neely's Interstate Barbecue2265 S. Third Street. No ambiance to speak of, but the barbecue is outstanding even by Memphis's high standards. The Interstate Barbecue in the B terminal of the Memphis airport is just as good. There's always a line, but it's worth it. There will be another plane later.
  • Tycoon3309 Kirby Parkway,  +1 901 362-8788. This is a great Asian restaurant that specializes in noodles. They offer a variety of Asian cuisine ranging from China to Vietnam to Malaysia. Prices average at about 7-8 dollars.
  • Eat Well2965 N Germantown Rd,  +1 901 388-8178. Called a "modern Japanese buffet," this place has a healthy variety of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese food, perhaps with an emphasis on Japanese. Lunch buffet is $12 with sushi, dinner buffet has sashimi and is $20. They also have great Japanese-style pan-friend gyoza. It's a great and refreshing buffet, and much of the clientele is Asian (Japanese, Chinese, and Korean) at any given time.
  • Mi Pueblo3750 Hacks Cross Road+1 901 751-8896. This is a great Mexican buffet with a nice selection of Mexican food. Clientele is mostly Mexican (so you know it's good), and prices are reasonable ($7 - $15)


  • Exline's - A Memphis chain serving up some big ol' round pizzas cut into square pieces. The toppings are huge (as in large bits). The cheese on the cheese fries is nacho and it comes from a can; super fantastic. ~$10.
  • Camy's. Want to just hang out in your hotel? Call Camy's for the best pizza delivery in town.
  • Pie In The Sky, tasty pizza joint formerly located at Cooper & Young, and now revived at Lou's Pizza Pie, LLC at 2158 Young Avenue. Lou is Back!!
  • Memphis Pizza Cafe, Overton Square, also on Park Av., and a couple in the 'burbs - Tasty Pizza (BBQ chicken is good). Cold beer. All you really need. $10-$15.
  • Garibaldi's, U of M area (back behind the YMCA). Great 70's atmosphere, great 70's style pizza. $5-$10.
  • Fox Ridge Pizza, 2 locations: Fox Meadows & Cordova, round pizza, square cut, unique sauce and cheese. Also excellent hamburgers. $10-$20
  • Mellow Mushroom Brilliant! Finally a real pizza place in Memphis (Germantown). This place also has and extensive craft brew beer menu. $10-30
  • Juicy Jim's Pizzeria551 S. Highland Street,  +1 901 435-6243. Hours: 3pm - 3am. Owned and run by Juicy Jim and located across the street from the old sandwich shop of the same name. This place has great pizza and subs at reasonable prices. Expect to spend about $10 - 20 for a nice sized pie with a couple toppings. The sandwiches are equally great and inexpensive considering the quality and size. Also has very reasonable beer prices: around $3 for a pint

Variations of Quick

Memphis has a tradition of hiding its best food at the back of convenience stores. For instance:

  • Kwik Check, Madison Ave. near Overton Square. Best deli sandwiches in Memphis. Try the "Cheesy Muff" (vegetarian muffeletta) or "My Bleeding Heart" (spicy spicy hummus pita). $5-10.
  • Kwik Shop, Central Ave. and East Parkway - Big huge burgers. Super nice steak fries. Gyros are excellent. They have veggie burgers just as big as the meat ones, but they only have one grill. $4-$6.

Sights & Landmarks


  • Downtown Memphis. Buy a ticket and take the trolley to get a good overview of the area.
  • Beale Street. "Home of the Blues". Dozens of bars and clubs, most of them featuring live music. At night the street is closed to vehicles and you can drink on the street; some bars have "drinks to go" windows where you can get a 32-ounce cup of beer for $5 and go bar-hopping. Many bars have no cover charge. Peabody Place is largely a wasteland, as nearly all the stores inside have closed.
  • Mississippi River. River tours available most days through a variety of providers. Tom Lee Park is a nice place to view the river.
  • National Civil Rights Museum450 Mulberry St. M-Sat 9AM-5PM, Sun 1PM-5PM (closes an hour later Jun-Aug). Built out of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was fatally shot in 1968. Near the Amtrak station. $12 for adults; free for Tennessee residents Mondays after 3pm.
  • Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art119 South Main St. Located downstairs from the Center for Southern Folklore, this wonderful museum holds a collection of over 900 Asian and Judaic artifacts. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for students. Admission is free for children 12 and under.
  • Ornamental Metal Museum374 Metal Museum Drive. Tues-Sat 10AM-5PM, Sun 12PM-5PM. Displays art jewelry, architectural pieces and sculpture. The grounds are full of permanent installations, and the Museum boasts one of the best views overlooking the Mississippi River. They also have a working smithy. Adult admission $5.
  • Fire Museum of Memphis118 Adams Ave. M-Sat 9AM-5PM. An interactive museum designed to teach children and adults about fire safety. Also features a realistic room to show how much damage a dropped lit cigarette can do. Adult $6.
  • Mud Island River Park125 North Front St. Apr 14 – May 26 10AM-5PM, May 27 – Sep 4 10AM-6PM, Sept 5 – Oct 31 10AM-5PM. The park is accessible by monorail, made famous by a chase scene in the movie "The Firm". The park contains a museum of the Mississippi River and a scale model of the river. Visitors are welcome to remove their shoes and wade through the replica mighty Mississippi. The "Gulf of Mexico" is a large pool in which visitors may rent paddle boats. At the tip of the park is an excellent vantage point of the city and the river. The northern end of the island is occupied by HarborTown, a model community. Entry to the park is free. Adult $8 (Mississippi River Museum, Roundtrip Monorail Ride, Guided River Walk Tour).
  • Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum191 Beale St (corner of Third St; on the plaza of FedExForum). Daily 10AM-7PM (last admission 6:15PM). A short video is shown at frequent intervals and then you are given a headset so that you can listen to commentary and numerous songs as you walk through the exhibits. Sponsored by the Smithsonian. Adult $10. The museum used to be housed in the Gibson guitar factory across the street, which puts visitors right on the factory floor. Famous musicians periodically visit to pick up custom guitars or to play a set at the Gibson Lounge, in the west end of the building.
  • The Arcade Restaurant540 South Main Street. The oldest restaurant in Memphis, this is one of the most Memphis- cultured places in town. Speros Zepatos founded the diner in 1919 after immigrating from Cephalonia, Greece. Situated at the corner of South Main Street and G.E. Patterson, the restaurant serves tasty food in the heart of downtown.

The Edge

  • Sun Studio. Numerous blues, rock 'n' roll, and rockabilly recordings were made here, including Elvis's and Johnny Cash's first recordings. Tours are available, usually given by wallet-chained and mutton-chopped local musicians. Tour tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased at the cafe and gift shop inside the front door of the studio. Free parking is available in the back of the building.
  • Sleeping Cat Studio, 341 1/2 Monroe.


  • Memphis Zoo. Pandas and other animals galore - consistently ranked as one of the top zoos in the country. Lots to do for children and adults. Seasonal events include numerous educational events, Zoo Lights in wintertime for all ages, annual Zoo Brews beer-tasting from around the world and Thursdays Unplugged at the Lodge, drinks and music in the Yellowstone-inspired Teton Trek Lodge for adults.
  • The Pink Palace Museum. Built as a private residence by Clarence Saunders, the man who introduced Piggly Wiggly, the world's first self-service grocery store, the Pink Palace Mansion was later taken by the tax man and subsequently turned into a museum. (Saunders never actually lived in the house.) It is a very eclectic place, with everything from shrunken heads to animatronic dinosaurs with a life size copy of the first Piggly Wiggly in between. Also has an IMAX theater and a planetarium. Well worth a visit.
  • Overton Park. Encompasses the Memphis Zoo, Memphis College of Art (MCA), the Brooks Art Museum, the Overton Park Golf Course, and the largest stand of old growth forest in a US city.
  • Cooper-Young. This neighborhood of restored homes is centered around the intersection of Cooper Street and Young Avenue, known by some as "the intersection of Memphis." This intersection has several cool bars and restaurants, as well as numerous shops. Be sure to come for the free annual Cooper-Young festival in September. Also, just north of the Cooper-Young intersection is Black Lodge Video. This rental store, located in a house, has almost every video imaginable. Be sure to look for the "This is s••t--the worst we could find" section.
  • Overton Square. Overton Square has undergone many changes over the years but is still the hottest place in midtown Memphis for locals and tourists who are looking for somewhere to eat, shop, or be entertained.

East Memphis

  • Lichterman Nature Center. Part of the Pink Palace family of museums, its 65-acres of lakes, meadows, and forests feature lush gardens with native wildflowers and trees and provide a home to a wide variety of plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
  • Memphis Botanic Garden with over 96 acres of natural woodlands and cultivated gardens, is also home to the seasonal outdoor concert series 'Live at the Garden' and the renowned Japanese Garden of Tranquility. New to MBG is 'My Big Backyard", a 2.5 acre children's garden with a larger-than-life birdhouse, a tunneling adventure, a teaching pond, "leaping lawn", "critter creek", and many other spaces that cater to children of all ages. [www]
  • Shelby Farms Park. One of the United States largest urban parks, Shelby Farms is over five times the size of New York's Central Park. Visitors enjoy walking, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, sailing, canoeing, paddle-boating, disc-golf, and bird-watching. In Fall 2010 Shelby Farms opened its new Woodland Discovery Playground which includes a large treehouse, sand area, climbing nets and activities for children of all ages. The park is also home to a herd of American Bison.

South Memphis

  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music926 E. McLemore Ave. Tu-Sa 10am-5pm, Su 1-5pm. The promotional material says "no backpacks" but this is not so. In any case, they can keep your backpack at the front desk, as with cameras which are not allowed. Adult $13.

Around town

  • Graceland. Home of Elvis Presley, "The King of Rock and Roll". It's no surprise that this is the number one tourist attraction in Memphis. Think "tacky tourist" trap but don't miss it – you might be pleasantly surprised. Although it is not advisable to venture in the suburbs surrounding the site, there is lots and lots of Elvis stuff to see here - the house itself (note that the upper floor, with Elvis' bedroom and Lisa Marie's nursery, is not open to the public), customized private airplanes, an automobile collection, gold records, costumes, and more. Take note of Elvis Week ("Death Week" to the locals) in early August, culminating in the candlelight vigil on the anniversary of Elvis' death. It is a big deal, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. Check out the bizarre felt-pen scribblings on the fence, some hip-ironic, some of the psycho-lunatic-fan sort. If you happen to be in Memphis during Birth or Death Week – January and August, respectively – sit downtown for a few hours just to watch the Elvis fans. Not just on Halloween, but at any time of year, dress up like the King (or like Priscilla if you're a girl) and you'll instantly be a star in your own right!

Things to do

  • Walk to the river and touch the Mississippi's water with your fingers.
  • Ride a trolley around the downtown area. Loads of fun, these are a great way to go places downtown, but in midtown and further you might want to rent a car. There are busses for you penny pinchers, though.
  • Check out some live music on Beale Street
  • Memphis Redbirds. Baseball team that plays at AutoZone Park, located in the middle of downtown. They are the Triple-A affiliates of the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • FedExForum. FedExForum is the largest public building construction project in Memphis history. Managed and operated by the Memphis Grizzlies, the facility is home to both the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA and the University of Memphis Tigers men's basketball team. FedExForum is located at 191 Beale Street and Third Street.
  • Memphis Grizzlies. Professional basketball team.
  • Memphis Tigers. Teams representing the University of Memphis, which participate in NCAA competition as members of the American Athletic Conference. The most visible Tigers team by far is the men's basketball team, regularly a conference contender and occasionally a national contender as well. As noted above, the men's basketball team plays at FedExForum (though not the women's team, which plays on campus). The football team also plays off campus at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on the Mid-South Fairgrounds.
  • Mississippi Riverkings. Minor league hockey team near Memphis
  • Take a carriage ride around downtown and see Beale Street, Court Square, Confederate Park, the Mississippi River, Hernando DeSoto bridge, several movie locations on Front Street, the original and the current Peabody Hotel, all while learning about the great city of Memphis
  • Fourth of July Fireworks, Tom Lee Park, Mississippi River: These fireworks have improved immensely since two fireworks shows merged into one at the river in 2007. There is also food, music, and other entertainment.
  • Memphis In May International Festival. Month-long festival featuring:
    • Beale Street Music Festival - a showcase of over 40 national, regional, and local artists on multiple stages for three days, occurring the first weekend in May.
    • World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest - hundreds of teams compete for over $100,000 in prizes and ultimate bragging rights, and visitors can taste the country's best barbecue.
    • Sunset Symphony, a day of entertainment on the banks of the Mississippi River with local musicians, an air show with vintage and concept aircraft, and as the sun is setting, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra performs. After dark, as the symphony begins their last set, the sky fills with fireworks, thus marking the close of Memphis in May.
  • Ghost River Brewing827 S. Main Street+1 901-278-0087. Check out this great beer producer. You can tour the facility for free on any Saturday, but you must make reservations. Tours start at 1pm.

Festivals and events

One of the largest celebrations of the city is Memphis in May. The month-long series of events promotes Memphis' heritage and outreach of its people far beyond the city's borders. The four main events are the Beale Street Music Festival, International Week, The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, and the Great River Run. The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is the largest pork barbecue-cooking contest in the world.

In April, downtown Memphis celebrates "Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival", or simply Africa in April. The festival was designed to celebrate the arts, history, culture, and diversity of the African diaspora. Africa in April is a three-day festival with vendors' markets, fashion showcases, blues showcases, and an international diversity parade.

During June, Memphis is home to the Memphis Italian Festival at Marquette Park. For over 20 years, the festival has hosted musical acts, local artisans, and Italian cooking competitions. It also presents chef demonstrations, the Coors Light Competitive Bocce Tournament, the Galtelli Cup Recreational Bocce Tournament, a volleyball tournament, and pizza tossing demonstrations.

Carnival Memphis, formerly known as the Memphis Cotton Carnival, is an annual series of parties and festivities in June that salutes various aspects of Memphis and its industries. An annual King and Queen of Carnival are secretly selected to reign over Carnival activities. From 1935 to 1982, the African-American community staged the Cotton Makers Jubilee; it has merged with Carnival Memphis.

A market and arts festival, the Cooper-Young Festival, is held annually in September in the Cooper-Young district of Midtown Memphis. The event draws artists from all over North America and includes local music, art sales, contests, and displays.

Memphis sponsors several film festivals: the Indie Memphis Film Festival, Outflix, and the Memphis International Film and Music Festival. The Indie Memphis Film Festival is in its 14th year and was held April 27–28, 2013.  Recognized by MovieMaker Magazine as one of 25 "Coolest Film Festivals" (2009) and one of 25 "Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" (2011), Indie Memphis offers Memphis year-round independent film programming, including the Global Lens international film series, IM Student Shorts student films, and an outdoor concert film series at the historic Levitt Shell. The Outflix Film Festival, also in its 15th year, was held September 7–13, 2013. Outflix features a full week of LGBT cinema, including short films, features, and documentaries. The Memphis International Film and Music Festival is held in April; it is in its 11th year and takes place at Malco's Ridgeway Four.

On the weekend before Thanksgiving, the Memphis International Jazz Festival is held in the South Main Historic Arts District in Downtown Memphis. This festival promotes the important role Memphis has played in shaping Jazz nationally and internationally. Acts such as George Coleman, Herman Green, Kirk Whalum and Marvin Stamm all come out of the rich musical heritage in Memphis.

Formerly titled the W. C. Handy Awards, the International Blues Awards are presented by the Blues Foundation (headquartered in Memphis) for Blues music achievement. Weeklong playing competitions are held, as well as an awards banquet including a night of performance and celebration.


  • Wine is sold in dedicated, licensed liquor stores in Memphis. Most grocery stores may have an "independent" liquor store conveniently next to the grocery store. Apparently this regulation discourages alcohol use by forcing you to walk a few extra feet to buy your booze. High-alcohol-content beers are sold in liquor stores. Traditional brands such as Budweiser are sold in grocery and conveniennce stores only. Liquor stores are open from ~8am usually 10am-11pm, M-Sa. (Beer can be sold before noon on Su in restaurants.)
  • Buster's Wine on Highland at Poplar, near the University of Memphis. This is where most of the locals go for wine. Also has a good selection of harder liquor and high-test beer. This place is very popular and always packed on the weekends, but has a fantastic, efficient staff that get you in and out quickly. Open every hour it's legal: 8am to 11pm, Monday through Saturday.
  • Joe's Liquor Speaking of booze, if you need packaged goods and you're in midtown, head to Joe's (Poplar and Belvedere) as much to see Sputnik (the vintage, spinning, twisting neon star) as for the beverages. Go at dusk for maximum effect.
  • Great Wine And Spirits is out east. Probably has one of more extensive wine stocks in Memphis liquor stores.
  • Bosco's, Overton Square. Brew pub and food. Featured on many "Best Of" lists.
  • Newby's, Highland Street (called the Highland Strip, near The University of Memphis). "Playboy" magazine rated Newby's the "Best place to party like a Rock Star!"
  • "The High Point", Madison Avenue. Swing dancing, the best live bands and any libation you crave.
  • Bluff City Coffee, 505 S. Main. The latest addition to the Art District of Downtown Memphis. Specializing in Italian style espresso based coffee. The coffee shop features comfort and conference style seating for meetings, free wireless internet, and print/copy/scan/fax capabilities to keep you productive throughout your day. Make sure to bring your laptop and stay a while. This coffee shop also feature a collection of Don Newman's vintage black and white photographs from the 30's, 40's, and 50's.
  • The Buccaneer, Midtown. This bar converted from a house has music of all types every night, with a counterculture twist. A penchant for chaos and tolerance to listen to an hour of feedback while the band fights is a plus. Ramones t-shirt optional.
  • OtherlandsCooper st. at Cowden. A social hub for Memphis' art and music community. Espresso by day and beers at night when the coffee shop hosts intimate folk/rock shows.
  • Blues Night Club1405 Airways Blvd (Midtown),   +1 901 327-7947. So the area's rough enough to scare away most anyone not from the neighborhood, but the vibe is good inside, with DJs spinning blues and R&B, accompanied by a full dance floor, every F-Sa in the evening.
  • RP Tracks This is a nice and moderately priced bar/restaurant near the University of Memphis on Walker Ave. It's a good place to start the evening on the Highland strip. They have many types of beer at reasonable prices (about 7 bucks for a pitcher) and have some veggie-friendly selections on their menu.
  • The Oasis Lounge663 S. Highland Ave,   +1 901-405-3011. A great place to come relax and have a cup of coffee and enjoy a nice hookah. This is a private club due to the smoking factor so be prepared to pay a $6 membership fee and to be carded (this is an 18 and up establishment). It's got a very nice, laid back atmosphere and also has free Wi-Fi. Located on South Highland next to McDonald's. This is a coffee shop, and there is no alcohol on premises. A DJ plays there on Saturday nights.
  • Mollie Fontaine Lounge. Victorian mansion-turned-lounge featuring potent drinks and an innovative, varied menu in a chic atmosphere. Explore all the rooms, each unique in theme and decor, full bars upstairs and downstairs, and a piano bar with amazing jazz singer weekend nights. Make sure not to miss the mac 'n' cheese, chocolate brioche sandwiches for dessert and the delightful mojitos. 679 Adams Avenue, p901.524.1886. Wednesday- Saturday 5pm 'til the spirits go to sleep.

Safety in Memphis

Stay Safe

Stay safe

Safety in Memphis, while the Beale Street area has maintained its safety, crime is generally higher throughout the city. Memphis in 2015 was ranked the 3rd most dangerous city in America [www] and it is wise to not venture outside of the downtown area. Throughout the day, especially at night, there is usually a large police presence downtown, especially in the area around Beale Street. Use a higher common sense while in Memphis as crime has continued to get worse in the past few years. Leave no valuables in plain sight in your car and be mindful of where you are, especially at night. Although the city's race relations aren't as bad as within a 1950s perspective, occasionally one might encounter racism. If you are of a specific race and feel intimidated or as a target of racism, report to the police. It is also wise to stay away from areas in North and South Memphis, as these areas have very high rates of crime.

Stay healthy

Memphis has some of the best hospitals in the region. Methodist, Baptist, and Saint Francis are the main hospitals in the city. Regional One (formerly known as "The Regional Medical Center at Memphis", aka: The Med), a city owned hospital, has one of the best trauma and burn centers in the Mid-South. There are many clinics in the area as well, many of which are operated by the hospital systems. Some of the hospitals in the city, though, can have long lines in emergency rooms. If you are not seriously injured, it would be best to go to one of the minor medical clinics or to drive to one of the hospitals in the suburbs of Memphis such as Methodist Germantown, Baptist East, or Saint Francis Bartlett.

Mid. / 4.0

Safety (Walking alone - day)

Low / 2.0

Safety (Walking alone - night)

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