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Wallis Rogin: A High-Schooler’s Dream Summer in Memphis


In the midst of exams, there’s only one thing getting me—and plenty of other students—through this dreaded week of finals: the thought of summer. 

Recently, I was taking a Spanish exam when I saw the word “verano” on the paper. I am far from fluent in Spanish, but I know what verano means… SUMMER! This may have sent me into daydreaming about my amazing plans for the summer. I may have forgetten that I was taking an exam. But it was worth it. I’ll gladly dream about summertime in Memphis any day.

Two young women, Wallis Rogin and her friend, are smiling and posing for a photo in a stadium. One is wearing a dark shirt, while the other is in pink. People and empty seats are visible in the background.

Keep on reading to hear about my daydream. Here’s what I plan to do during my coveted time off these next few months. Maybe you can do the same for a blast this summer!

If it’s not too hot outside, then I will definitely be heading to Shelby Farms Park to enjoy a nice bike ride, a hike, a kayaking excursion or even just some time in the sun. You can easily bike to the park from the Greenline, and I will tell you from experience, it’s a great time. There is often Mempops at Shelby Farms on a nice day, so you will definitely see me there often.

Speaking of parks, I plan to go to Overton Park at least once a week because there is so much green space to run around and a maze of hiking trails that even I (as a frequent visitor of this park) sometimes get lost in.

And right next door to Overton Park is the Memphis Zoo! Though I am not a child anymore, nothing can beat a zoo day because animals always fascinate me. I recommend seeing the tigers because they have one year old cubs who are deserving of all of our attention because of their insane cuteness.

I think I’ll be spending a lot of time in Midtown! If you are into live music like I am, then you just found a  great place to enjoy free music all summer long. The line-up is stacked with cool music, so I’ll be frequenting the Shell on Friday nights.

On rainy days, I have some other cool plans. If it’s raining outside, I’ll gather a group of friends and go to The Amuse Adventure Museum or we’ll enjoy an escape room at Memphis Escape Rooms.

If there’s one thing I can count on this summer, it’s that it’ll be HOT. What better way to spend it than eating as much ice cream as possible?! Personally, my go-to is Sugar Ghost, but there are so many more tasty treats all over.

If we’re talking food this summer, there’s so many amazing options to eat at with friends. If I’m downtown, I’ll likely grab a bite to eat at Huey’s or Good Fortune. But if I’m in Midtown, you’ll find me at Global Cafe, Cafe Eclectic, or Maciel’s Tortas & Tacos. If I head out east, I’ll be at Sunrise, or Local Lime. Just thinking about all of these places is making me hungry, and I will surely be enjoying them plenty.

With my friends, I have so many ideas about places we can go to hang out. I can’t wait to go to a 901FC game or explore Crosstown Concourse—you never know what might be going down! Railgarten is another great summer spot with friends, with plenty of lawn games, a sand volleyball court, and delicious food. 

Memphis is giving me so much to do this summer. So, I want to return the favor and give back to Memphis! I plan to volunteer some days at organizations like Madonna Learning Center, Streets MinistriesCarpenter Art Garden, and Memphis Communiversity. These are all wonderful organizations that do amazing work around our city, and I’d love to play a role in investing in our city.

This summer, Memphis truly is the place to be. By giving you an inside look into my plans this summer, I hope to inspire you to have a blast this summer as well!

Wallis Rogin is a rising senior at St. Mary’s Episcopal School. During her time at St. Mary’s, she serves as the co-editor of Tatler, the student-led news site. You can check out the rest of their articles here.

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