A skyline of Memphis

7 Things to Do for Your First Time in Memphis

Are you planning a day trip or extended visit to Memphis, TN? We are excited to have you here, and we want to share a few spots you should experience during your stay. From food to entertainment, here are insider tips on things to do in Memphis:

Find great food and drinks in Memphis

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken: Your trip to Memphis wouldn’t be complete without a quick stop in this hole-in-the-wall spot that serves up some delicious dishes. The coconut pie, greens and fried green tomatoes are some of the unexpected items you may want to try when visiting. Of course, the fried chicken they are known for should be one of the main things you get.

Restaurant Iris: If you are looking for something on the fancier side, the French cooking here is something you should experience. From surf and turf to sandwiches, every dish is excellent and flavored to perfection. The slow atmosphere of Restaurant Iris is meant to give you a respite during a busy day. So, prepare to slow down and enjoy the fine dining.

Dodici at Bari: It doesn’t get much more local and unique than this tiny, secret restaurant. The private and quiet spot creates customized drinks and is a very eccentric experience. Head through Midtown’s Bari Ristorante and up the steps to experience the unmarked bar. Seating is limited, so you may experience a wait.

Outdoor exploration and entertainment

Shelby Farms Park: From the drive-thru Christmas light display to the dog park, locals love the Shelby Farms Park, and you will want to stop here too! The paths cross beautiful views, perfect for a jog or walk. A lake provides space for water activities and fun family activities, like horseback riding. An onsite restaurant can make this a great spot for a day trip.

Orpheum: This historic theater is one of our favorites and a place you should visit when you are in Memphis. The stage is beautiful and the sound in this building is excellent. From the orchestra to live theatre, there is a wide variety of shows you can choose from to fit your interests. Watch the Orpheum site to purchase tickets from season ticket holders at a discount!

Educational experiences and history

National Civil Rights Museum: The museum is a reminder of what we’ve gone through as a nation. There is a lot of information here and exhibits covering the mid-twentieth century in America. The moving exhibit is something visitors should take the opportunity to experience, no matter their age or background.

Graceland: Elvis’ home is a glamorous part of the Memphis history that every visitor should experience. The huge entertainment complex is filled with museums, stores, food, presentations and more. Try the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich in the main café and enjoy all the fantastic décor in dramatically decorated rooms. An iPad with headphones will provide you with commentary throughout the guided tour so you can get to know all the sites at Graceland.

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Additional reading: Best reasons why visit Memphis!

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