Planning a trip to the home of blues, soul and rock n' roll? Glean some Memphis-piration from this list that includes a variety of activities from world-famous attractions to where the locals frequent.
Start your morning the right way by joining the local crowds at Gibson's Donuts for a blueberry cake donut or classic glazed. Later on in the day, stop into the ever-colorful, locally-owned Muddy's Bake Shop for a Prozac chocolate cupcake or slice of peanut butter pie. Muddy's is deemed "Memphis' happy place" for confections and conversations.
Walk across the Mississippi River
Big River Crossing is the longest public pedestrian bridge across the mighty Mississippi River. Get a new view of the city by biking, walking or running across the longest active pedestrian bridge in the nation. The bridge serves as a connection point between Memphis, Tennessee's many attractions with West Memphis, Arkansas.
Drink a local brew
Memphis' craft beer scene not only comes with unique flavors and combinations (such as Wiseacre's "Gotta Get Up to Get Down" espresso and beer blend), but it also encompasses unmatched tap room atmospheres. Taste a beer flight from Memphis Made's Midtown warehouse, High Cotton's intimate hangout in The Edge District, Wiseacre's Broad Avenue bustling patio, and the soon-to-open Ghost River Downtown tap room.
Listen to live music
Take your pick or visit all the talent during a weekend evening in Memphis. Levitt Shell presents more than 50 free concerts at Overton Park ranging from soul to opera with past performers ranging from Nikki Lane to The McCrary Sisters and Mike Farris. Loflin Yard is your casual, cool hangout that serves up burgers, brisket and wings with a side of live music performed by local artists. And, of course, historic Beale Street is where you'll find blues, soul and rock 'n' roll flood the streets from venues that flank both sides of the street. Follow your ears to the music that interests you for a night full of dancing and foot tapping.
Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid, located at the entrance of downtown Memphis, is one of the world's largest retail destinations. Go inside for an "underwater" Fish Bowl bowling experience, complemented by themed drinks and fare. There's also an extensive aquarium, alligator ponds, shopping, spa, Big Cypress Lodge - a luxury hotel inside the Pyramid with screened-in porches and more, the world's tallest freestanding elevator and more.
Sample the barbecue
Memphis is as famous for its barbecue as it is for its rock n' roll and blues legends. Ask the locals their favorite spots and you'll instantly have a long list of barbecue restaurants serving up delicious dishes from ribs to chicken to died-and-gone-to-heaven pulled pork. Check out Tennessee's Barbecue Trail that travels through Memphis and across the state.
Taste the farm in "farm-to-table"
Memphis farmers markets lure crowds, rain or shine, for fresh produce, food trucks and complementary live music performances 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday mornings April through October. Take a stroll through farm booths at downtown's Central Station location, Midtown's Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market, or East Memphis' Agricenter for locally-made products and foods to get a fresh taste of Memphis.
Ride the Green Line
Experience the city's connectivity through a 10.8-mile urban bike and walking trail, welcoming locals and visitors for a natural tour through Memphis and its Greenline bookends - Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in the nation with ziplines, miles of hiking trails, and even a buffalo herd.
Relive the history
Understand Memphis' gripping yet uplifting Civil Rights Movement story at the National Civil Rights Museum which includes the Lorraine Motel room Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stayed in the night before his assassination. The museum tells this story through interactive exhibits that are made for pause and reflection.
Memphis' music journey is told through impactful tours of the city's historical landmarks like at Sun Studio where rock 'n' roll was born thanks to Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis' iconic nighttime jam session. Elvis Presley's Graceland gives an inside look into the personal life of the King of Rock 'n' Roll while showing his expansive influence on music through museums and artifacts found at Elvis Presley's Memphis, a new entertainment complex that also houses his cars, airplanes, live entertainment, gift shops and themed restaurants. Stax Museum of American Soul Music traces the evolution of soul music and Stax's global music influence beginning in a circa 1906 Mississippi Delta church to Studio A, an exact replica of the recording studio at Stax. Couple that with a dance floor, interactive exhibits, loads of memorabilia and timeless artifacts along with the Wall of Sound which spans the albums and singles released by Stax (1957-1975).
Catch a basketball game
Visit the FedEx Forum for an enthralling Memphis Grizzlies' home game, where the spirit of Memphis shines through every basket. If visiting during the offseason (May-October), represent the "Grit and Grind" mentality through a blue and gold t-shirt available throughout downtown retail stores.
This is just a sampling of all the great things to do in Memphis. Explore more trip ideas while visiting the home of the blues, soul and rock n' roll.