It Takes Soul…
It takes soul to find a rhythm that’s all your own, to give more than you take, and to change the world around you. It takes soul to be a Memphian.
Soul defined a new generation of sound. Soul transformed ideas into empires. Soul is going to give the world cures. Each of us gives a piece of ourselves to this city in whatever way we can, and that’s what makes up our collective soul.
Memphis has changed the world… and we’re not done yet! We are a city of doers, dreamers and believers. We create, we invent, we experiment. That’s what drives this unstoppable city.
Here along the mighty Mississippi, people and ideas mix here to do something magical and redefine the world around us. Now a new generation is taking its turn, hungry to make an impact and create change yet again.
Memphis is synonymous with music, and no discussion about this city would be complete without acknowledging the key role that music plays. After all, why do you think Memphis is mentioned in more songs than any other city on the planet?
Sure, you’ve heard about the giants who changed the way the world listens to music. Elvis, BB King, Otis Redding – these are household names in Memphis, but the legacy of sound they created is so much more, and it keeps evolving every day. It’s the traveling artists rolling through Memphis to take part in that legendary sound, the rich sound of instruments that come howling from a dive bar on any given Thursday night, and the gospel choirs that fill you up with hope on Sundays. It’s a tight-knit community of singers and songwriters, producers and promoters inventing and reinventing that authentic Memphis sound.
This is what attracts and inspires some of the biggest names in modern music, from Justin Timberlake to Bruno Mars. Beyond being something you listen to, Memphis music is something you experience, and it gets better and better every day.
Yes, we have THE best barbeque in the world, but it takes more than pulled pork sandwiches (served Memphis style with slaw on top) and rib meat that falls right off the bone to be named the “Best Food Town in America.” From our fusion food trucks to our James Beard Award-nominated chefs, Memphis brings flavor like few other cities can. Avocado paleta, ‘prozac’ cupcakes, ‘soul burgers’ and sno cones, Memphis food is funky, and these flavorful food experiments are what define our city’s taste buds. Next time you’re in these parts, why not drop by the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, the Best Memphis Burger Fest, the Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival, the Memphis Food & Wine Festival or whatever else happens to be in town? We’re confident you won’t regret it.
Beyond the plate and savory bites in front of you, Memphis food has purpose. Our farm-to-fork initiatives have attracted restauranteurs like Kimbal Musk, and food education programs have been implemented in food deserts to teach our youth about agriculture and sustainability.
Memphis food is finger-licking good, and we celebrate it at any and every opportunity. Hot Wing Fest, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, Burger Fest, Crawfish Fest, Food and Wine Fest, BreakFest – you name it, we made it, and we’re not done yet.
Whatever the weather and no matter the day, there’s never a dull moment in Memphis, because Memphians know how to have a good time. Plus, when you’re home of world famous Beale Street and Paula & Raiford’s Disco, boredom is not an option.
Shelby Farms is one of the largest urban parks in the country (more than 5 times the size of Central Park) and is a hub for outdoor lovers. At 4,500 acres, Shelby Farms is a playground of horseback riding, suspended obstacle courses, cycling, running and more. Sports lovers can Grit n’ Grind with the Memphis Grizzlies, touchdown with the Tigers, and steal home base with the Red Birds.
Memphis boasts a fine arts experience unlike any other, showcasing diverse talent sure to thrill and entertain viewers. From productions at leading black repertory theatre, Hattiloo to modern shows from Ballet Memphis, legendary Stax Museum of American Soul Music to the National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis has a unique experience for everyone.
And don’t forget the shopping, kayaking on the river, libraries, and the nationally ranked Memphis Zoo (Pandas included).
Make no mistake, Memphians have a culture of food and fun, but we also know how to get down to business. Memphis has always been a hub for everything from commerce and logistics to artisans and creatives. Big ideas turned into even bigger businesses that remain headquartered here, from FedEx and AutoZone to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The result is a highly supportive, connected entrepreneurial network of doers and dreamers. That’s why Inc. ranked Memphis at the top of its opportunity index for entrepreneurs.
In Memphis, powerful corporations encourage and give back. From start-up incubators like Epicenter to biotech accelerators like BioTech, our inspiring community of makers and artisans to philanthropists supporting a cause, Memphis is the place where soulful inventions and ideas are scaled into reality to serve a purpose and make a difference.
Music has been the soul of Memphis for generations, to the point that our city has actually changed the way the world views music. As a matter of fact, we’re confident you’ll recognize the passion, joy and energy with which Memphian residents and transplants perform whenever you see it—after all, you need look no further than Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and B.B. King, to name just a few local legends who tapped into the Memphis vibe and shook the world by creating new sounds in rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and more. Although Memphis continues to attract musicians and fans from across the globe who flock here for concerts and festivals, don’t think you need to buy a ticket to enjoy some tunes! On the contrary, music is found everywhere in Memphis, from the streets at night to church choirs on Sundays.
In recent years, the Memphis art scene has been growing at an exponential rate, but our city’s creative spirit existed long before those bustling galleries opened their doors. Did you know Memphis is the home of color photography pioneer William Eggleston? To this day, Eggleston lives and works in Memphis, drawing upon more than half a century of experience to provide inspiration for photographers and fans of the medium around the world. Whether you aspire to be the next Eggleston or are drawn (no pun intended) to another form of art and design, Memphis arts will inspire you.
Beyond being a hub of music and nightlife, Memphis serves as the headquarters to some of the biggest names in business, including FedEx and AutoZone. For those in the healthcare space, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is also based here, which in turn established our city’s strong reputation for R&D in the sector. If you’re an entrepreneur with big dreams, you’ll be delighted to learn that venture capitalists like Epicenter are a major part of the Memphis business community, working to incubate small businesses and shape them into the big-name brands of tomorrow. In fact, Memphis has been ranked among the best cities for startups, due in no small part to its vast array of professional networking opportunities.
While soul-healing music, world-class photography, delectable cuisine and a dynamic corporate landscape each compose a core part of the Memphis city culture, they are by no means the only things the Bluff City has to offer. Indeed, people from all over the world come to Memphis to enjoy the unique vibe of Beale Street, drink in the beauty of Shelby Farms and see the history of the nation up close at the National Civil Rights Museum—and that’s not even the half of it.
From the Memphis College of Art to the 20,000 square feet of space at the Children’s Museum of Memphis, there’s a little something for everyone in this amazing city. The Memphis Zoo is home to over 3,500 animals and is one of the few zoos that allow visitors the opportunity to feed stingrays and baby sharks. There is a learning experience for everyone in Memphis.
One of the top attractions in Memphis is at the Peabody Hotel where people line up along the red carpet to watch a parade of ducks in the hotel lobby. The Legend of the Peabody Memphis Ducks dates back to the 1930s and the ducks still visit each day. Onlookers can see the ducks daily between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Successful business opportunities are everywhere in Memphis, as the city makes sure local entrepreneurs have access to necessary funding and great opportunities to grow. The opportunities for startups are endless here with the local economy and the city’s location.
The entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of the city and Memphis is thriving on new ideas. Memphis has been referred to as the edgiest startup hub in the U.S. on a daily basis, as innovative companies open and flourish.
New initiatives have captured the spirit of both local and out-of-town entrepreneurs. Emerge Memphis and Epicenter work with entrepreneurs educating and training through technical assistance programs while fostering an entrepreneurial culture and energy in the startup community.
Ranking as number one for the best metropolitan areas for black-owned companies, Memphis dethroned Atlanta after data showed Memphis has a lower unemployment rate and more black-owned businesses. The city is putting in the extra work to make sure minority entrepreneurs have success. Organizations here want to see black-owned businesses thrive. With the help of organizations like Emerge Memphis, EpiCenter and the Black Business Association of Memphis, black business owners are supported and encouraged to pursue business ownership.
A city that encourages and attracts talent and ambition, Memphis has a reputation for fostering support for black-owned businesses. The city is home to Black Restaurant Week and Hattiloo, which have both had a strong economic impact in Memphis.
With the Let’s CHANGE initiative, Memphis is getting healthy. The initiative focuses on building on community-based projects and programs to encourage and create a culture of healthy living. Let’s CHANGE is supported by the government, businesses, nonprofits and community-based organizations.
Memphis is also full of opportunities to get active outdoors. If you take a walk in Tom Lee Park, something will get you moving. RiverFit was created to get people active and whether it’s children playing on the monkey bars, elderly couples walking or families playing catch, the area is full of activity and has created a real sense of community.
Overton Park, a 342-acre public park, sits in the heart of Memphis, offering plenty of activities for Memphians to enjoy and serves as another great outdoor space where people have the opportunity to stay active and healthy.
Discover Your Own Version of Memphis
The beauty of this city is everyone has something a little bit different they want to experience. Whatever music you love or food you enjoy, there’s something here for you, all with a Memphis twist.
You can enjoy one of the world-class jazz destinations, all with that sweet southern Memphis kick made famous by the likes of B.B. King, or classic country crafted by the Man in Black himself, Johnny Cash. When you hear their music, you instantly know who’s playing and singing, because there’s just something unique about them. The way that final guitar note lingers in the air long after the song has finished. Or the way the earthy tone of Cash’s vocals seems to cut through rock and water and nestle into your bones. It’s that Memphis difference that adds heart to just about everything.
You can taste it in the food. You’ll see it in the art. You’ll experience it with the live performances. It’s a city of life and of vibrancy. And it’s all because of the culture every resident brings to the table.
Culture Both Large And Small
Memphis stands out because it’s both large and small. It’s a growing city with an expanding population, and yet it’s not an overcrowded destination where it’s impossible to try every restaurant or to experience every music venue. While there’s always something new to explore and take in, you can always come back to the watering hole where everyone knows your name, or the coffee shop that just seems to make the perfect cup, every single time.
This is only possible in a large but small city. In other words, it’s the perfect place to call home. A home that will embrace your personal culture and background while it opens itself up to you.
Come Experience the True Memphis
Whether you’re here for a visit or you’re interested in settling down, now is the perfect time to come in and experience the true Memphis. The Memphis you can’t get from pictures or from movies or even from reading about it. It’s the Memphis you can only experience by setting foot into this culturally beautiful city.
Bring Your Soul…
Memphians are a special group of people and we like our things unique- barbeque in an alley, dancing ducks in a lobby, and a pyramid in the skyline. If it stands out as different than the norm, there’s a good chance it’ll be welcome here. After all, it takes soul to find a rhythm that’s all your own.
Welcome to Memphis, our city of soul. Don’t forget to bring yours.