Memphis, Tennessee is known for its history, barbecue, and musical heritage. While there is plenty to see and do, with some planning you can see Memphis in two days. Save time before checking into your hotel – drop off your luggage with one Luggage storage in Memphis and drive to your first destination.
To help you get started exploring this exciting city, here are our 10 most popular things to do in Memphis in two days, so you can make the most of it even if you’re just here for a short stay.
When visiting Memphis you must definitely go Graceland. Even if you’re not a die-hard Elvis fan, there are plenty of really cool exhibits and artifacts inside. You can see Elvis’ house and garden, his bespoke planes, and a huge entertainment complex filled with costumes, vehicles, and personal memorabilia.
Personally, I really enjoyed learning about Elvis’ early years and his relationship with his family. I didn’t know before that he had been in the military for some time, so I found this exhibition really interesting.
Known as “The Birthplace of Rock and Roll,” Sun Studio is another must-see attraction during your two days in Memphis. Tours are offered daily, and the guides tell the story of the iconic studio and how it put Memphis on the map.
Famous artists like BB King, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis all recorded at the Sun Studio. You can even hear outtakes from recording sessions during your tour.
Are you ready to experience and hear great music? Beale Street is known as the “home of the blues”. This nearly two-mile stretch of downtown Memphis has been a popular meeting place since the 1920s and is known for its bars, restaurants, and clubs.
If you visit Beale Street at night, get ready for live music, street dancing and drinks by the bucket. Be aware, however, that Beale Street does not open until 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights for adults over the legal age of 21.
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National Civil Rights Museum
An important cultural museum in Memphis is this National Civil Rights Museum. It consists of a few buildings, one of which is the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed on April 4, 1968.
Visitors will learn about the history of the civil rights movement in the United States through interactive exhibits, films, and oral lore. Speakers and special events are planned throughout the year.
One event that you will only see in Memphis is the famous Peabody Duck March. The ducks march to and from an Italian travertine marble fountain in the Peabody Hotel’s grand lobby at 11am and 5pm each day.
The tradition began in the early 1930s when Frank Schutt, then general manager of the Peabody, and a friend returned from a hunting trip, drank a little too much and thought it would be fun to put some of their live duck decoys in the well. The guests loved it and so the ducks have been marching to the fountain ever since.
If you’re traveling to Memphis with kids, go to the Memphis Zoo. The zoo is home to over 4,500 animals! There are daily keeper chats and feedings throughout the zoo, so you can get up close and personal with the family’s favorite species.
There are also special events throughout the year, including some for adults. So the kids aren’t the only ones having fun at the Memphis Zoo.
Shelby Farms Park
Another great place to take the kids with you or just get out and enjoy the outdoors is this Shelby Farms Park. It’s 4,500 acres, five times the size of Central Park, making it one of the largest city parks in the United States. There are 40 miles of paved and unpaved trails, over 20 fishing lakes, a canopy adventure course, outdoor ax throwing, and much more!
Memphis has a great story, but that story also involves some terrible ghosts! Many of the buildings in downtown Memphis are believed to be haunted. There are stories of civil war ghosts and even little girls that will scare you! Visitors can take a variety of haunted tours on foot, bike, or bus.
Why not see Memphis from a different perspective from the water? Take a river cruise on the mighty Mississippi and enjoy live historical commentary detailing past and present life on the Mississippi.
Looking for a romantic evening in Memphis? Dinner cruises with live music, a BBQ buffet and bar are also available.
Did you know Memphis is over? 100 grill restaurants? Enjoy smoky pulled pork, chicken, brisket and ribs with a strong taste. Of course, you should accompany your grill with a large serving of coleslaw, beans, and mac and cheese.
Many of the great grill restaurants are right on Beale Street, so you can enjoy your meal while listening to blues, jazz or rock and roll. You will be right in the center of the entertainment!
Whether you’re traveling to Memphis alone, with your family or as a couple, there is something for you! During your visit to Memphis, enjoy food, music, history, and even outdoor spaces. I hope the list above keeps you entertained with great fun and cultural activities in Memphis in two days – and longer!
Have you been to Memphis, Tennessee? Have you tried the famous Mediterranean BBQ? Do you have any favorite attractions there? Let me know in a comment below!
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