Coming up with a “best of” list for Memphis is hard, because we know how many unique and incredible things to do and see there are. Plus, if you ask 100 different locals to list their “best of” lists, you’d likely get 100 different answers.
Everyone has their favorites, but we like to consider ourselves experts, so we sifted through all the lists out there and compiled our own list of the most noteworthy inclusions! Without further ado, here are a few suggestions to point you in the right direction for the best experiences in Memphis:
1. Best Place for the Blues
Memphis is the home of the blues, beloved for bringing the world people like W.C. Handy, B.B. King, and Big Walter Horton. People from across the country make the pilgrimage to hear today’s best blues musicians and sit around the historic stages where the legends got their start.
For the best blues clubs in Memphis, we turn to Foursquare—a list for the people, by the people. While this list doesn’t include all of the places to hear the blues, it’s a pretty good start.
2. Best Barbecue
With more than 100 barbecue joints serving up the world’s best dry rub ribs, it’s almost impossible to pick the best barbecue in Memphis.
Everyone wants to know where they should go to get the best (in fact, the best Memphis BBQ list is one of the most sought-after guides online).
For this round up, we turn to Thrillist, which specializes in giving a spotlight to the under-recognized BBQ gems in Memphis – you won’t be disappointed!
3. Best Craft Beer Bars
The carefully curated tap list. The opportunities to tickle your taste buds with local flavors and regional favorites. The knowledgeable staff, proper pours, and all things beer culture – indeed, Memphis has a vibrant craft beer scene.
There’s nothing quite like finding a quality craft beer bar in a city you’re visiting or in your own backyard. We’ve got a whole batch for you to consider, and The Commercial Appeal has been kind enough to identify five of the best.
4. Best Things To Do
Memphis has sites of historic and national importance that everyone should see, including the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, Elvis’ Graceland, Sun Studios, and Stax. And we can’t forget about Beale Street, the Memphis Zoo, the Grizzlies, and that’s not to mention the art scene and festivals – the list goes on and on.
With a nod toward the affordable, U.S. News & World Report put together a list of the 10 best things to do in Memphis, which offers something for every type of person and budget.
5. Best Outdoor Activities
To truly appreciate all that Memphis has to offer, you need to get outside and experience the splendor of the South. We’re a surprisingly walkable city, and we have outdoor experiences to get you moving in every neighborhood.
The Memphis Zoo is ranked as one of the top zoos in the country. Shelby Farms has 4,500 acres of land and is home to treetop adventures, horseback riding, and running trails. There are rivers and lakes to kayak and paddle board on, free yoga in parks across the city, biking, hiking, fishing, and more.
How do you find the best opportunities for outdoor activities in Memphis? You ask the people, which is exactly what TripAdvisor did.
6. Best of What the Locals Love
If you truly want to experience a city, you’ve got to eat where the locals eat, meet where they meet, and get off the beaten track to head to attractions and events you may not have heard much about. Fortunately, Memphis is the best place to do this, and our friendly locals are quick to share their favorite spots with you. Who knows, they may end up offering to show you around themselves!
The good people at the Memphis Flyer polled locals on their favorite bands, venues, food, drink, theatres, museums, books, and everything in between.
The list is a great place to start for anyone who wants to truly experience and appreciate everything Bluff City has to offer.
7. Best Reasons to Stay
Not everyone who visits Memphis leaves. After you’ve had a taste of the food and fun, you might just decide to stay, and we won’t blame you.
Some stay because they fall in love with the neighborhoods, the music, food, and ease of life here. Some stay for the education and employment opportunities.
The reasons to stay are endless, and Livability.com offers a list of some of the most common.
Looking for even more? Memphistravel.com has you covered.