Memphis Attractions: The 10 Best Tourist Attractions In Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee, is a city that dances to the rhythm of its own bluesy heartbeat. It’s a place where history whispers from every corner, and the vibrant culture practically begs you to join in the fun. As someone who’s explored the nooks and crannies of this soulful city, I can tell you that the attractions here are as diverse as the melodies that drift from Beale Street. So, let’s dive into the top 10 tourist attractions that make Memphis an unforgettable destination.

Graceland: The King’s Castle

First up, no trip to Memphis is complete without paying homage to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll at Graceland. Elvis Presley’s former home is a pilgrimage site for fans worldwide. You’ll feel his presence as you wander through the Jungle Room, with its green shag carpets, or as you gaze at his collection of gold records and flashy costumes. It’s more than a museum; it’s a journey through the life of a legend.

Beale Street: The Heartbeat of Memphis

Beale Street is where the Memphis beat comes alive. It’s a neon-lit corridor of sound, with live music pouring out of every open door. Here, you can savor mouthwatering barbecue, sip on a cold drink, and let the blues take you away. Whether you’re catching a street performance or ducking into a club, Beale Street embodies the soul of the city.

The National Civil Rights Museum: A Journey Through History

Located at the Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, The National Civil Rights Museum offers a profound experience. It’s a place of reflection and education, where the struggles and triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement are brought to life. The exhibits are powerful, often moving visitors to tears with their raw honesty.

Sun Studio: Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Music lovers, rejoice! Sun Studio is where Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and, yes, Elvis Presley cut their first records. The guided tour is a blast from the past, showcasing vintage recording equipment and iconic memorabilia. Standing in the very spot where “That’s All Right” was recorded is nothing short of magical.

Memphis Zoo: A Wild Adventure

Who doesn’t love a day at the zoo? The Memphis Zoo is home to over 3,500 animals, making it a fantastic outing for families or anyone who enjoys wildlife. From the giant pandas to the roaring lions, there’s an exhibit for every animal enthusiast. Plus, the zoo’s conservation efforts are truly commendable.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music: The Sounds of Soul

Stax Records was a powerhouse in the soul music scene, and the Stax Museum pays tribute to its legacy. You’ll find yourself grooving to the music as you explore the exhibits, which include Isaac Hayes’ custom Cadillac and an authentic 1906 Mississippi Delta church. It’s a Celebration of soul that you can feel deep down in your bones.

Mud Island River Park: An Island Escape

Mud Island River Park offers a scenic retreat with its riverwalk model and pedal boats. It’s a slice of tranquility in the heart of the city, where you can enjoy stunning views of the Mississippi River. Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll or attending one of the park’s many events, it’s a breath of fresh air.

Memphis Botanic Garden: A Floral Wonderland

The Memphis Botanic Garden is a lush oasis that spans 96 acres. With themed gardens, including a Japanese garden and a butterfly garden, it’s a place where nature’s beauty is on full display. It’s perfect for a peaceful walk or a picnic amidst the flowers.

The Peabody Ducks: A Quirky Memphis Tradition

Now, for something a little different, the Peabody Ducks are a must-see. These feathered celebrities march to and from the Peabody Hotel’s fountain daily, a tradition that dates back to the 1930s. It’s a delightful spectacle that adds a touch of whimsy to your Memphis adventure.

Shelby Farms Park: Outdoor Fun for Everyone

Last but not least, Shelby Farms Park is one of the largest urban parks in America. With over 4,500 acres to explore, it’s a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. You can hike, bike, paddle, or even zip-line. It’s the perfect spot to stretch your legs and embrace the great outdoors.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Memphis attractions?

    Spring and fall offer pleasant weather, making it ideal for exploring the city’s attractions. However, if you’re a music fan, you might want to time your visit with the Beale Street Music Festival in May or Elvis Week in August.

  • Are there any hidden gems in Memphis that tourists usually overlook?

    Absolutely! The Cooper-Young District is full of quirky shops and eateries, and the South Main Arts District offers a bohemian vibe with galleries and boutiques. Don’t miss these vibrant neighborhoods!

  • Can I visit all these attractions in one trip?

    It’s ambitious, but yes, you can! Plan your itinerary carefully, and consider staying near downtown to be close to several of these attractions. Memphis is more compact than you might think.


Memphis is a city with a rich tapestry of cultural landmarks, each offering a unique slice of history, music, and Southern charm. From the hallowed halls of Graceland to the lively buzz of Beale Street, there’s an attraction to stir every soul. The National Civil Rights Museum provides a poignant look at America’s past, while Sun Studio and the Stax Museum celebrate the city’s musical heritage. For nature lovers, the Memphis Zoo, Mud Island River Park, and the Memphis Botanic Garden offer delightful escapes, and Shelby Farms Park beckons with its vast outdoor activities. And let’s not forget the whimsical Peabody Ducks, a true Memphis original. These top 10 attractions showcase the heart and spirit of Memphis, making it a must-visit destination for travelers from all walks of life.

So, whether you’re a history buff, a music fanatic, or just in search of some good old-fashioned fun, Memphis has got you covered. Pack your bags, bring your appetite for adventure, and get ready to explore the best tourist attractions Memphis has to offer. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.