fun things to do in Memphis

If there’s one thing we know to be true it’s that everyone knows how to party down in Memphis. From the bright lights to the music, food and culture, this city is one of the shining examples of why Tennessee is considered to be such a fascinating state.

Need help planning your trip to Bluff City? Look no further. Read on and discover 55 fun things to do in Memphis.

1 – Experience the Sun Studio tour

Sun Studio in Memphis

There are locations across the globe that give fans an immediate insight into the music landscape and everything that comes with it – but the Sun Studio really does take the biscuit.

This 1950s studio was home to some of the true greats and if you don’t believe us, go and check out what Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash got up to there.

2 – Eat your heart out on a food tour

food tour in Memphis

We all deserve a great bite to eat, especially if we’re heading away on holiday, and Memphis isn’t going to be in short supply of that.

The taste of downtown is expansive but if you want to get as close to authentic as possible, the food tour will take you to every sensation imaginable.

3 – Have a spooky experience on a ghost tour

ghost tours in Memphis

Very few folks are naturally fans of the horror genre but even if you aren’t, the haunted Memphis ghost tour is a real eye-opener.

This city, like many others, has endured extraterrestrial moments in the past – and looking into them, instead of ignoring them, helps those of us who may not have entertained our spiritual sides in the past.

4 – Hop on board with a segway tour

Segway tour in Memphis

We’d always suggest that walking is a great way to get around, not only for health reasons but because you get to see more of the niche things about Memphis.

Still, a one or two-hour segway tour of the downtown area can’t hurt, especially when there’s a 30-minute training session attached to it.

5 – Sail away on the Riverboat cruise

boat tour in Memphis

Sometimes we all need to get away from the concrete jungle atmosphere, if only to immerse ourselves in a different setting and remember what it feels like to get back to basics.

The riverboat cruise won’t stand out as an obvious idea for things to do in Memphis, but it comes highly recommended by all who give it a try.

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Rise to the challenge at Craft Axe Throwing

Craft Axe Throwing Memphis

Have you ever dreamed of hurling hatchets or living like a lumberjack? Axe throwing has become one of the most popular sports in North America with competitions and events cropping up throughout the country.

Discover this adventurous modern sport at Craft Axe Throwing, situated on the edge of Downtown Memphis, and learn how to skillfully throw hatchets under the guidance of experienced instructors. There’s no need for prior experience.

The premise is simple — try to land the axe at the center of the target. The closer to the center, the more points you get. Try your hand also at ninja stars, knives and daggers.

Challenge your family or friends over a round of the best local beers, or join a league for some friendly competition against others.

Check it out now for energetic and challenging games perfect for a night out with buddies or workmates. It’s a great place for team building and group events — with plenty of craft beer choices and catering options!

6 – Experience skydiving  and take a leap of faith

skydiving in Memphis

We miss 100% of the shots we don’t take and even though this is a polarising activity to take part in, it’s one of the best thrills life can give you.

Tandem skydiving takes the need for adrenaline and multiplies it by 1,000 and then some. So, with that in mind, we’d recommend a visit to West Tennessee Skydiving to give this a punt.

7 – Enjoy the serenity of horse riding

horse riding in Memphis

In one of the most urban parks in the United States, stretching across 4,500 acres, it’s possible to get a little bit overwhelmed – but that worry dwindles away when you’re on a good old fashioned horseback trail.

Memphis doesn’t specialise in horse riding but as you can clearly see, there are some great guys and girls who certainly know what they’re doing.

8 – Cycle away on a bike tour

bike tour in Memphis

This guided bike tour really makes tourists realise just how economical and green Memphis is.

From the perspective of adventure it may not blow your socks off, especially if you’re doing most of the work, but it’s an entertaining and relaxing way to get out onto the open road and see what this city is all about.

9 – Discover Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum – the heart of Memphis

Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, Memphis

There are musical pioneers that live in every corner of this wonderful planet and one of the most important destinations to help people realise that is Memphis, Tennessee.

The story of how these top dogs overcame inequality to make a difference truly is inspiring. They’ve shaped the way we all think about the beautiful sound of soul, and with regards to rock, they changed the game entirely.

10 – Visit Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art

Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art, Memphis

It can be easy to walk past and miss this for some who don’t know what they’re searching for, but the Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art is actually pretty essential.

There are more than 1,000 objects housed at this museum from furniture to paintings to tapestries and beyond.

Memphis opens its arms up to just about everyone, and this proves why that’s a good thing.

11 – Explore Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis

Feel the rhythm and learn about the hustle, soul and raw talent that was needed to create an entirely new boom period for music.

Stax Records knew how to make stars back in the day and they were always very aware of how difficult it was going to be – but instead of giving up, they stuck to their guns and found their groove.

12 – Head to Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum where wonders await

Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum, Memphis
credit to Woodruff-Fontaine House Museum

It may seem like we’re talking about nothing but museums here but there’s a reason for that: Memphis is all about preserving history and everything that comes with it.

This gorgeous building is home to different tours, lunches and even weddings, all those years on from when it was part of the Millionaire’s Row back in the late 1800s.

13 – Delve into the history of the Memphis Cotton Museum

Cotton Museum, Memphis

The cotton industry has influenced our everyday lives since before we can even remember and instead of shying away from that, we should be embracing it with each passing second.

It intends to take one big look at the life and arts of the mid-South and take us on a journey through the sacrifices that were made.

14 – Work through the mystery of the Scavenger game

scavenger game in Memphis

Getting a taste of the vibe in any city is important for the longevity of your stay as well as how much fun you have. So then, why not opt to go on an almighty Scavenger Hunt across every terrain of Memphis?

Some folks find games like this pretty silly but once you get into it, there’s a thrill attached that can’t be described.

15 – Take a step back and relax at the Spa

spa in Memphis

Unwinding is quite literally what a holiday should always be about and it doesn’t matter if you’re only heading to Memphis for 10 hours or 10 days – this is going to be worth your time.

From hotel spas to sauna sessions and full body scrubs across the land, the options here are pretty endless.

16 – Tour the National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis
Sculpture of Rosa Parks inside a bus at the National Civil Rights Museum

The civil rights movement is something we all need to learn more about and something that every school should be teaching – it really is that simple.

Starting in the 17th century and running through to the current era, the United States has had so much progression in this field and it deserves to be recognised at the National Civil Rights Museum.

17 – Have fun at Beale Street – the night of your life

Beale Street, Memphis

Oh, you’d best believe we were going to get onto Beale Street.

This is the home of blues music and it’s also where travellers go to really embrace everything that’s great about Memphis. It may be just under two miles long but it definitely doesn’t sell itself short with every single venue having something special behind it.

Oh, and if you get a minute, make sure to visit the classic A. Schwab’s, operating since 1876.

18 – Visit Graceland – The home of Elvis

Graceland, Memphis
Elvis Presley’s dining room in Graceland Mansion

He was the king – and to this day, many still think of him in that way.

Graceland is a mansion that is located on a 13-acre estate with it once being owned by the great Elvis Presley. Ever since his death the property has been owned by his daughter, but across the last few decades, it has become something of a shrine for those who loved Elvis with all their hearts.

19 – Be amazed by the Peabody Hotel Ducks

Peabody Hotel, Memphis

The Peabody Hotel is pretty spectacular within its own right but the legend of the ducks takes it to a whole new level.

Every day at 11 am and 5 pm there is a Duck March at Peabody in which ducks visit the lobby fountain. It sounds unbelievably strange but instead of looking at it like that, we prefer to see it as a piece of history that has been kept intact.

20 – Get inspired at Memphis Orpheum Theater

Orpheum Theater, Memphis

Sitting at the intersection of South Main and Beale Street is the glorious Orpheum Theatre.

This place, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, presents various forms of performing arts and aims to inspire those who want to pursue a career in the arts one day.

Plus, in a general sense, the productions are unbelievably entertaining.

21 – Explore Memphis Music Hall of Fame and learn where legends are born

Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Memphis

It may not seem like the biggest or grandest building from the outside looking in, but that’s never been the point for a city like Memphis.

This destination honors all of those from the city of Memphis who have been able to make a real difference in the industry with the induction ceremony being held every year.

22 – Try axe throwing

axe throwing in Memphis

Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.

Axe throwing, obviously, comes across as a dangerous activity that we probably shouldn’t engage in unless we know what we’re doing – which is precisely why there are professionals waiting to teach you everything they know (well, almost everything).

23 – Meet some stunning animals at Memphis Zoo

Memphis Zoo, Memphis

It makes a lot of sense for people to feel apprehensive about visiting a zoo due to the controversies that surround them, but for those who just want to see some beautiful animals outside of their natural habitat, the Memphis Zoo can teach many youngsters why it’s so vitally important to protect these species.

24 – Relax at Shelby Farms Park

Shelby Farms Park, Memphis

Shelby Farms Park stretches across 4,500 acres and serves as one of the biggest urban parks in the entire United States.

It’s a retreat away from the city chaos and has 40 miles worth of trails that can be explored. Plus, if you’re into your fishing, this is easily one of the top places to come.

25 – Explore the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum

Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, Memphis

Life is all about learning and growing as an individual and we can all stand to do that through a visit to the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum.

The antislavery movement was so powerful and while many of us wish it wasn’t true, it came in the wake of years of suffering for millions across the globe.

Here, you can learn more about what happened and how the country has moved forward.

26 – Watch a baseball game at AutoZone Park

AutoZone Park, Memphis

Everyone needs a good ballpark and that’s why we’re so happy to see that AutoZone Park is still going strong.

This Minor League stadium is home to the Memphis Redbirds of the Triple-A East and the Memphis 901 FC of the USL Championship, with the Redbirds actually being an affiliate team for the MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals.

27 – Get lost in splendor at Memphis Botanic Garden

Memphis Botanic Garden, Memphis

In our view it’s near enough impossible not to appreciate nature on some level, which is why we’re absolutely in love with the Memphis Botanic Garden.

This 96-acre garden in Audubon Park is open to the public on a daily basis, giving you the opportunity to step back from everyday life and just have some peace.

28 – Catch the Grizzlies at FedExForum

FedExForum, Memphis

It’s hard not to get caught up in the romance of basketball, and that’s especially true when heading on down to FedEx Forum.

Whether it be the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA or the University of Memphis playing NCAA Division I, FedEx always lights up with fans giving their all to get behind the lads.

29 – Learn more at the Children’s Museum of Memphis

Children’s Museum of Memphis

When it was founded back in 1990, the Children’s Museum of Memphis intended to provide children with learning experiences that would hopefully last a lifetime.

From interactive exhibits to programs for children to engage in alongside their family members, we think the last 30 years have reminded everyone of how powerful facilities like this can be.

30 – Visit the Memphis Museum of Science & History

Museum of Science & History, Memphis

How do you explain some of the greatest questions we have about this life and the universe we’re a part of? It’s simple, really, just head on down to the Memphis Museum of Science & History.

It’s obviously a bit more complicated than that but this is the kind of learning center we all need. There are attractions, history lessons and even a planetarium for everyone to check out.

31 – Browse Blues Hall of Fame Museum – the true greats

Blues Hall of Fame Museum, Memphis

We all know that Beale Street is the home of blues music and will always be regarded as such, but we do feel as if there needs to be an area in which the masses can celebrate those who made the biggest contributions.

Now, there’s a physical museum to do just that, the Blues Hall of Fame Museum!

32 – Relax at Dixon Gallery & Gardens – a can’t miss experience

Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis

The great thing about art is that it’s so subjective, and yet sometimes, the majority of spectators can come together and almost universally agree on the beauty of any one given location.

Dixon Gallery & Gardens is found over 17 acres of land with American and French impressionism being the largest focus – with Monet, Renoir and more being housed here.

33 – Visit the Fire Museum of Memphis

Fire Museum of Memphis

Firefighters, whether they’re on-call or off-call, full-time or part-time, deserve far more respect than they actually get – and that’s why we love the existence of the Fire Museum of Memphis.

This non-profit organisation teaches the uneducated amongst us about the risks posed by fire, whether it be the risk of death, injury or property loss.

34 – Watch a concert at Cannon Center For The Performing Arts

Cannon Center For The Performing Arts, Memphis

The Memphis Symphony Orchestra is hosted at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts and while there may only be a capacity of around 2,000, the intimate feel of this place is what makes it so special.

The acoustics are always phenomenal, the atmosphere is beautiful and the building is as clean as it gets.

35 – Golf and Games Family Park – fun for all the family

Golf and Games Family Park, Memphis

Do you ever worry about taking life too seriously? If that’s the case, head on down to Golf & Games Family Park!

Whether it be golf with friends and family or bumper boats and even laser tag, this place has just about everything for a day full of fun and forgetting about your troubles.

36 – Step inside a new adventure at Jumping World

Jumping World, Memphis

If you thought our last entry was fun, wait until you get a load of Jumping World!

There is entertainment waiting around every corner here and that’s nowhere close to an exaggeration. They’ve got foam pits, indoor trampolines, basketball dunking, dodgeball and so much more that it’s near enough impossible to get through it all in one session.

37 – Experience ziplining

Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park, Memphis

The forest doors are open once again and the world can begin to flock back to some experiences that need to be seen in order to be believed.

At Go Ape there are treetop adventures, axe throwing classes and even treetop journeys to be had high up in the trees – oh, and there’s always a fun zipline just waiting to be conquered.

38 – Travel through time at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis

There’s something so important about the diversity of culture and everything that comes with it, which is one of the reasons why we love the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art so much.

It’s the oldest and largest art museum in the entire state of Tennessee with collections, programs and exhibitions galore.

39 – The quaint beauty of the Victorian Village

Victorian Village, Memphis
The Massey House, the oldest in the area and currently the home of “Memphis City Beautiful”

Have you ever wanted to step back into the past and really feel the emotions of a generation gone by? Well then, do we have some good news!

The Victorian Village is made up of 19th-century mansions, museums and even music studios, blending together some of the very best elements of Memphis.

40 – Explore Crystal Shrine Grotto

Crystal Shrine Grotto, Memphis
credit to Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery

Those who have been and gone in this world deserve to be remembered, which is why we love the Crystal Shrine Grotto and Memorial Park.

This private cemetery actually plays host to the only man-made crystal cave on the planet in what can be viewed as an odd yet intriguing bragging point for the city.

41 – Chill out at The Beauty Shop restaurant

The Beauty Shop restaurant, Memphis

The saying on the front windows is very simple: look good, eat good.

The Beauty Shop restaurant is a really trendy spot in midtown Memphis with a shop that borrows from the 50s beauty-style extravaganza. It’s camp, it’s wonderful and you can sit below a hair dryer whilst planning out your meal.

If that isn’t luxury, we don’t know what is.

42 – Try Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken, Memphis

There are some great places to stop for a bite to eat in Memphis but few can hold a candle to the joy and history of Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken.

You haven’t lived until you’ve tried a bit of this golden goodness with the deep fried skin being made into the colour of bourbon, with the kind of crunch that would make any punter weep.

43 – Taste Jerry’s Snow Cones

Jerry’s Snow Cones, Memphis

They say they didn’t invent the snow cone, just the snow cone supreme – and we’re pretty fascinated to test the waters with it.

Between Jerry’s Snow Cones and the Burger Shack there’s a whole lot to take in here with a big chunk of vibrancy to go along with it. They’re loud, they’re proud and they seem to make pretty darn good food.

44 – Experience Malco Summer Drive-In

Malco Summer Drive-In, Memphis

There’s a lot of fun to be had whenever attending the movie theatre, but it pales in comparison to the old school vibes of a good drive-in.

Malco Summer Drive-In offers up multiple screens that blend together old classics with some mainstream hits that are airing right now. Plus, you can watch from the comfort of your own car – what’s not to love?

45 – Who could turn down Central BBQ?

Central BBQ, Memphis

For all meat eaters out there, you’re gonna want to pay attention to Central BBQ.

This award-winning barbecue restaurant stems from the heart of Memphis and produces some of the best products out there on the market. The secret ingredients are fantastic, the meat falls off the bone and we’re always left wanting more.

46 – Bass Pro Shops Pyramid – pure fishing excitement

Bass Pro Shops Pyramid, Memphis

The Memphis Pyramid is a remarkable feat of architecture and to this day stands tall as one of the best spots in the city.

Now, though, there’s a great lookout and dining point at the head of what is known as the Bass Pro Shops Pyramid, and it’s more than worth your time.

47 – Have a drink at B.B. King’s Blues Club

B.B. King’s Blues Club, Memphis

Wanna learn more about the blues? Then there’s no better place to be than B.B. King’s Blues Club in good old Memphis, Tennessee.

The soulful blues are there right alongside rock and roll and classic soul – making up all the ingredients necessary for one of the biggest and best nights of your trip.

48 – Fancy a drink at Old Dominick Distillery

Old Dominick Distillery, Memphis

In what is popularly described as a sensory journey, Old Dominick Distillery shows us all how property whiskey should be made – right alongside gin, vodka and bourbon, too.

Domenico Canale is at the forefront of the 45-minute tour and even if you just want to walk around and take a few samples, it quickly becomes evident that this is a really cool place to be.

49 – Feel lucky at Southland Casino Racing

Southland Casino Racing, Memphis

Feeling lucky, punk?
Southland Casino Racing provides fun and entertainment for those who like to live on the wild side of life.

Whether it’s a dollar being put down or 50 there are many different games available with the end goal being a pretty simple one – win some cash and then use that money to head out on the town.

50 – Grab a bite at The Arcade Restaurant

The Arcade Restaurant, Memphis

The Arcade Restaurant holds a special place in the hearts of locals as it is the oldest cafe in the entirety of Memphis.

The pictures on the wall alone tell the story better than we ever could with some of the true greats taking their seats in one of those famous ol’ booths.

51 – Find your next ride at the Edge Motor Museum

Edge Motor Museum, Memphis

The Edge Motor Museum is billed as being the only auto museum in Memphis, and whether you believe that or not, this place perfectly illustrates the rise and fall of the classic American sports car.

These vehicles take people from point A to point B but when you peel back the curtain, there’s a whole lot that goes into it.

52 – Try golfing in Memphis – an endless supply

golfing in Memphis

Everyone should endeavor to get in a few rounds of golf every week – and not just because the last few presidents spent most of their time doing it.

The Links at Audubon, Tunica, Galloway and Mirimichi are just a few of the many top-class golf courses that can be found within a short drive across Memphis.

53 – Immerse yourself at Levitt Shell Amphitheater

Levitt Shell Amphitheater, Memphis

The Levitt Shell Amphitheater is an open-air experience that is best known for being the site of Elvis Presley’s first paid concert in July 1954.

They say the first-ever true rock and roll show was performed here and while accounts of that may vary, it’s still an incredible place to hang out and soak in history.

54 – Go wild on a pub crawl

pub crawl in Memphis

A two-hour private tavern pub crawl across the city of Memphis? Sign us up!

As you switch from one bar to another on this private pedal adventure, you’ll suddenly realize that life is all about living.

That sounds a bit cliche but there’s something about this kind of experience that gets us hyped.

55 – Enjoy a dinner & music river cruise

dinner and music cruise in Memphis

In the home of the blues it’d be pretty rude not to indulge on a dinner and music river cruise, don’t you think?

This is the kind of relaxation that we can get on board with and even if it’s not everyone’s style on the face of it, a few minutes on this cruise is enough to convert anyone to the idea of being out on the open water.

We hope you have enjoyed our selection of things to do in Memphis. Do not hesitate to comment below if you wish to recommend other places to visit in Memphis.

Want to keep the adventure going? Once you’ve smashed through the Memphis bucket list, make sure to check the list of fun things to do in St Louis, Birmingham, and Nashville next door.

Happy travels!