When you think of Memphis, Tennessee one of the following probably comes to mind: the repetitive chanting of “whoop that trick” from the 2005 movie Hustle and Flow starring Terrence Howard, early seasons of The First 48, the highly debated question of, “Is Elvis Presley still alive?” Or, simply the word “Mane”
While all of these are definitely synonymous to Memphis, TN there’s so much more to the bluff city. According to Frommer’s Travel Guide, Memphis, Tennessee was recently voted one of the best places to go in 2019. In this post I’ll be sharing from a native Memphian’s perspective, 5 things to do while spending the weekend in Memphis.
1. Grab some Real Memphis BBQ
Ask any Memphian “what to do in Memphis this weekend”, and they will tell you, eat! Food is important to us. But not just any food, good food! For decades, Memphis has been known for their Bar-B-Q and people travel from all around the world to experience it. The following are some excellent, no-frills, Bar-B-Q joints to check out. P.S. In addition to barbecue, you gotta try a Fried Bologna Sandwich or a Circle B Smoke Sausage. P.P.S. Get the coleslaw too, trust me!
*These restaurants aren’t listed in any particular order.
2. Hang out on Beale Street
“Walking in Memphis, walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale.” If I could describe Beale Street in one word it would be: Entertainment. From the Beale St Flippers to the live music, No matter the time or day, Beale Street exudes entertainment for all!
3. Walk across the Mississippi River
Obviously, you can’t walk on water because you aren’t Jesus! However, you can walk across the Mississippi River via, Big River Crossing, the longest active rail/ bicycle/ pedestrian bridge in the country. Big River Crossing is a 10-mile multi-modal corridor that connects Main Street in Memphis, TN to Main Street in West Memphis, AR. The view of the city’s skyline from this point is amazing and provides a great opportunity to get a photo of The Pyramid aka Bass Pro and The Hernando de Soto Bridge.
If time permits, I would strongly recommend going at sundown to catch the sun as it sets on the Mississippi River. There’s also a light show that occurs every hour from sundown until 10 pm. Click here for more information about Mighty Lights.
Oh, and did I mention it’s all absolutely FREE! You’re welcome!
4. Visit the National Civil Right Museum
I’ve visited a number of Civil Rights/ African American Museums and I have to say, this one, by far, is the best! And I’m not saying this because it’s Memphis, it really is great.
The museum was once The Lorraine Motel, the place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Assassination. During your visit, take a glimpse back in time and experience life in the ’50s and ’60s for a person of color. You’ll need at least a day to get through all of the reading and interactive exhibits. Take a seat at a White’s Only lunch counter. Briefly experience what life was like for Rosa Parks who only wanted relief for her aching, tired feet. And visit the motel room of Dr. King to take a peek into the last few moments of his life.
If you are looking for a great history lesson or even things to do in Memphis with kids, this the National Civil Rights Museum should definitely go on your list.
Click here for more information regarding planning your visit.
5. Take a Self Guided Street Art Tour
If you are like me and love to save a coin, this should probably move to the top of the list with a note beside it, free things to do in Memphis.
There’s more to Memphis than just good food and music. Memphis is filled with art of all forms. Consider taking a self-guided tour of some of the local murals and art sculptures in downtown Memphis by artists from around the world!
I could go further, but with the time constraints of a weekend, I’ll stop here.
So, have you ever been to Memphis? What are some of the things you have done or desire to do during your next visit? Leave your responses below.
Thanks for reading. As always, pray fervently and travel often!