Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Staycation at the Big Cypress Lodge

The Pyramid sitting on the Mississippi River downtown was one of the first sights I saw as I drove into Memphis that rainy day back in June. The Pyramid has its place on the Memphis skyline (like our 2017 Teach For America Memphis Corps t-shirt!) and is a Memphis landmark, but how many Memphians have actually gone inside and explored?

Having grown up in Chicago, aside from family trips out to parks like Yosemite and Death Valley in California, I didn’t grow up fishing or hunting. I’d been inside Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid once before when I visited in July with my boyfriend. Hassan is all about fishing, like a true Michigander, so he was a great companion for that first visit inside a store specializing in hobbies I had no clue about. The Pyramid houses not only the Bass Pro Shop, as marked by the enormous Bass Pro Shop insignia on the side of the pyramid, but also the Big Cypress Lodge, a hotel created especially for visitors to experience not just the store, but also Memphis! This week I spent a night at the Big Cypress and was treated to a stay like nothing I’ve experienced.


I love observing and gazing around at little details and sights in everyday settings, and the Big Cypress Lodge was such a treat for my eyes. Every single inch of this hotel was meticulously thought about: the light fixtures, complimentary snacks, bathroom toiletries (I definitely took home the minty fresh exfoliating body soap bar…), even down to the “Do Not Disturb” doorhangers for your room, they had “Hibernating” doorhangers with a tuckered out bear. The owner of Bass Pro Shops, Johnny Morris, came through to the hotel and oversaw everything to make sure the hotel had that special touch of the outdoors. It’s definitely evident no matter where you look in there!

The decor of all the rooms is reminiscent of spending a night in a cabin, hence the “lodge” at the end of the hotel name. While those of us who aren’t as inclined toward the outdoors may think of very simple and slightly uncomfortable lodgings, Big Cypress Lodge has the rustic combined with the luxury. With glass shower doors and a hot tub in the bathroom, an electric fireplace and cozy bedding in the bedroom, it’s really a hotel experience like no other. I treated myself to a bath while watching TV from the window in the bathroom and had the greatest sleep in months. With taxidermy pieces placed around the room as you watch cable TV, I’d imagine this is what it’s like to live life as a champion hunter or fisherman.

Bass Pro Pyramid Memphis Pano

Photo: Amanda Hill

When you aren’t gazing at the neat little features of every corner of your room, you have a boatload (pun intended) of other things to have fun with, too. The elevator up to the Lookout at the top of the Pyramid is complimentary with your stay. While up there, not only can you take in the sights of all directions of the city, you can also have a great meal and drinks while doing so. I had a yummy dinner and checked out the views of the city at night. For kids, Big Cypress hosts movie nights with cookies and popcorn, showing different Christmas movies during this time of the year and other favorites during the rest of the year. There’s also a bowling alley in Uncle Buck’s on the main floor of the pyramid, with additional hours for hotel guests once the store closes.

Even if you’re like me and didn’t grow up fishing in rivers or hunting out in the forest, don’t think this place isn’t for you! It made for an awesome staycation with everything I needed to relax after my first semester of teaching and had additional fun with the quirky decor. If you’re an avid outdoorsperson, I’m sure you’ll also have a blast staying a night or two here, enjoying the homey lodgings and the added luxury you may not get when you’re out in the forest for the night.

Check out the Big Cypress Lodge if you’re looking for a staycation with some added outdoor elements without missing out on comfort. Thanks for a great stay, Big Cypress Lodge!

What else am I up to? Keep up with my Year One adventures here.

What is Year One? Go here to read more.

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