Memphis, deceptively, is a vibrant and exciting town, chock full of stuff to do for tourists and residents alike, including a ton of activities for kids. There is no excuse for ever being bored, especially if you’re a history or science buff.
If you’re coming for our wedding, we invite you to spend a few extra days to sample a little of what Memphis has to offer.
First, there is the obvious: Graceland! Plan to spend at least 2 or 3 hours here, touring the home, the planes, and inspecting the gift shops. Even the gift shops are themed!
For further musical adventures, don’t forget to hit up Sun Studios, a hop, skip and a jump from downtown. This will take you about an hour. Also, there is the Stax Museum, though this is not in a very good part of town, so exercise caution when in this neighborhood, the Memphis Rock N Soul Museum (a Smithsonian, and also right downtown), or go all out with a Backbeat Tour of all the major historical musical sights of the city, including Beale Street, though in my opinion, Beale is best done on foot on a Saturday night.
Memphis has more than just musical history, though. The National Civil Rights Museum is built in the Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis, where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. Plan to spend at least 2 or 3 hours here. This museum alone is worth a trip to Memphis.
For kids, there is the Children’s Museum of Memphis, right in Midtown (only a few blocks from our house), and the Pink Palace, featuring an IMAX theater, a planetarium, and the Lichterman Nature Center.
Overton Park in Midtown is a must visit! It contains the famous Memphis Zoo, the Memphis College of Art, the Brooks Museum of Art, the oldest and largest fine arts museum in Tennessee, a dog park, an old-growth forest, and acres and acres of vast, green park space, right in the heart of the city.
Shelby Farms Conservancy is slightly east of town if you’re yearning for a bit of nature, and has public events going on all year round. And one can’t forget that mighty Mississippi River, and the Mud Island Riverfront Park.
Other random attractions include the historic Elmwood Cemetery dating all the way back to the Civil War. The Memphis Botanical Gardens, the Metal Museum (downtown), and the Crystal Shrine Grotto in the Memorial Park Cemetery, and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens.
This is but a small listing of highlights. Consult Google for many more ideas and options.