Planning a trip to Memphis? Here are ten tips from our team to keep in mind before you go.
1. Prepare for a layover
Direct flights to Memphis can be hard to find, unless you live in a hub city. The airline that flies there from everywhere is FedEx, and as that might not be the most comfortable option, prepare to change planes once on your way.
2. Arrange for a car
Memphis is definitely not a mass transit town. You’ll either want to rent a car or prepare to use Lyft or Uber. However, your own car will be necessary if you…
3. Get out of town
Western Tennessee is lovely, but for a really amazing experience, visit the Shiloh battlefield, just across the Tennessee line from Corinth, MS.
4. Dress in layers
Weather in Memphis can change in an instant, from hot and humid to thunderstorms in the summer or even snow in the winter.
5. Plan to eat… a lot
Memphis is one of the great BBQ cities in the country, and home to some of the best food anywhere. The best places tend not to take reservations, so be prepared to wait in line. Our favorite? Rendezvous, where Memphis ribs were born.
6. Beale Street is crowded
Waits at some restaurants can exceed two hours. Our tip? Eat elsewhere (there are some great places with lovely outdoor seating on Main St.) and return to Beale for music and drinks. Prepare to pay a cover, though.
7. Get on the river
Either visit Mud Island (the iconic views of the Memphis skyline are normally taken from here) or take a Mississippi River cruise. The river is at the heart of the city.
8. Waits are part of life
In addition to dinner on Beale St., you will more than likely have waits at the top tourist attractions. I waited over an hour to get into the Civil Rights Museum. Decide which place is your top priority, and arrive early. Speaking of arriving early…
9. See the Peabody Ducks
While the show itself is only a minute or so long, it’s one of those truly unique Memphis experiences. But arrive an hour or so early (shows are at 11 and 5) if you want a seat. Grab a drink at the bar and watch all of the people in the gorgeous lobby. Schmooze with tourists and locals alike as you wait for the big event.
10. Read about Memphis before you go
Our guide is obviously the best, but Frommers also has a nice overview of the city and a walking tour of downtown that I did.