10 Things to do in Memphis for First Time Visitors

Planning a trip to Memphis, Tennessee? If this is your first time visiting there, you’ll have plenty to do. You’ll find numerous attractions and great places to eat just by walking through the streets. To make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the things you might not yet be aware of, we’ve put together a list of ten popular things to do for first time visitors to the area. Check out these popular places to visit, things to do and outstanding eateries.

1. Take a water tour of the Mississippi River

This river has earned the nickname “the Mighty Mississippi” for good reason. It’s the waterway that provided the water passage for the Lewis & Clark expedition to the west, and it inspired many of the writings of Mark Twain that have gone down in literary history as classics. The best time to view the river is at sunset when it’s at its most beautiful. Taking a tour on a paddle wheel is an experience that you won’t forget.

2. Visit Elvis’s former home

No trip to Memphis is complete unless you take a tour of Graceland. This is the home of the late great entertainer, Elvis Presley. Find out what all the hype about this grand mansion is truly about for yourself. It’s one of the top rated tourist attractions in all of Memphis.

3. Take in a live Blues concert

Memphis, Tennessee is the home of a variety of talented musicians who are happy to perform on the streets and in a variety of cafe, pub and concert venues. You’ll find no shortage of opportunities while you’re there. Catch a set at the Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street. We promise you’ll want to come back for more. You’ll also find great entertainment at B.B. King’s Blues Club for a great lineup of popular artists and bands.

4. Go to Silky O’Sullivans and see the Irish Diving Goats

This excursion rolls a collection of fun and exciting experiences into one visit. Silky O’ Sullivans in housed in a building that is more than 100 years old. On the patio they keep a herd of beer guzzling goats that live in a “goat tower” and enjoy drinking beer with visitors and the locals. It’s a novel type of entertainment that you don’t see everyday. While you’re there, enjoy the Irish Ale that is a one of a kind beverage and this is the only place you can get it. The address of this venue is 183 Beale Street.

5. Observe the Peabody Hotel’s Duck Parade

The Peabody Ducks are long time fixtures at the hotel and they’ve been there as far back as the 1930s. These residential fowl are led at 11:00 every day with a special escort that leads them from their top of the building Duck suite, through the elevator system to the red carpet awaiting below. This is the path they follow to the marble fountain that is located in the hotel’s lobby. They’re allowed to frolic in the fountain and keeps guests entertained by posing for pictures until time to go back to their room at 5:00 p.m. You can catch the daily Duck Parades at these times, 7 days a week. The Peabody Hotel is located at 149 Union Avenue and in addition to the Duck Parade, the views of the city and surrounding area from here is nothing short of breathtaking.

6. Take a ride on a vintage trolley

Memphis is famous for its vintage trolley system. It’s located in the downtown area and runs on an old electric system. It doesn’t cost much to hitch a trolley ride and it’s a unique experience that lets you see some of the major sights in the city to pinpoint the locations of several notable museums to visit later. On your ride you’ll see the FedExForus, The National Civil Rights Museum Beale Street and the South Main Historic Arts District for more ideas on cool places to visit while you’re in town.

7. Eat breakfast at Memphis’ oldest cafe

This historical establishment is called the Arcade Restaurant. It’s a venue that is Elvis Presley related. He was a regular at the eatery and you’ll get to view the booth that he preferred to sit in while he enjoyed his meal. It features a nostalgic decor that will make you feel like you just took a step back in time, plus the food is good. You can find it at 540 S. Main Street in Memphis.

8. Eat at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

If you like spicy chicken then then you can find some of the world’s best at this restaurant. People from across the nation rave about the chicken served here. While the presentation is not fancy, the flavor will make your taste buds dance. It’s a must do for all first timers in the city. You’ll find it located at 310 S. Front Street in Memphis.

9. Visit the Lorraine Motel for an educational experience

The Lorraine Motel is the historical site of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr on April 4, 1968. The tragic event spurred the establishment of the National Civil Rights Museum in an adjacent building. Here, you’ll learn more about the history of this important era in American politics and the struggle for human rights. It’sloccated at 450 Mulberry Street.

10. Visit the Sun Studio for a trip back in time

Sun Studio is located at 107 Union Avenue in Memphis and it’s the place where famous artists including Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Harris and Charlie Feathers recorded their albums during the 1950s era. They offer tours by admission but if you don’t want to spend the money, you can take pictures of this historical site from the cafe or outside.

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