Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

22 Ways to Have the Best Memphis Staycation

GoApe USA at Shelby Farms Park, Photo: Marie Fong

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is be a tourist in your own city. Check out these suggestions for having a legit Memphis staycation:

  • Learn about Memphis Music

Take a tour at Sun StudioStax, the Blues Hall of Fame, Memphis Music Hall of Fame, the Rock n Soul Museum, the Center for Southern Folklore, the Gibson Guitar Factory, get a new record at Goner Records or Shangri-La, and check out a local show on just about any night of the week.

  • Visit Graceland

It seems to be a trend to live in Memphis your whole life but never actually go to Graceland; now’s your chance! Go see where the King once called home in the midst of his endless concerts, movies, and recordings. Check out ticket prices and packages here. Then, get off the beaten path and walk where the King walked.

  • Explore history at the National Civil Rights Museum

With over 260 artifacts, 40 new films, and interactive media and listening posts to allow you to time travel through the struggles of slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Movement, and ultimately Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination at the Lorraine Motel downtown, the National Civil Rights Museum will bring you to a humbling halt as you are set to evaluate the injustices of the past and ways to continue spurring more equality for the future.

  • View the Ernest Withers Collection

Famed photojournalist Ernest Withers captured iconic images of the Civil Rights Movement and fostered close friendships with James Meredith and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., among others. Beyond that, he also covered exciting moments in African American history involving Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. His works are on display on Beale Street and the collection is held in the last working studio of Withers.

alton brown with gus's

Photo: altonbrown.com

  • Try local hole-in-the-wall restaurants

Being “the #1 food city in America” (at least by Alton Brown’s standards) Don’t know where to start? Check out our Memphis food bucket list here.

  • Check out the newly renovated Pink Palace Planetarium

After being closed since 2014 for remodeling, the Pink Palace Planetarium officially reopened to the public at the end of January. Now, they have an incredible dome theater to transport you to intergalactic adventures with audio and visual effects that are out of this world. Check out more information about films they’ll be screening here.

  •  Go Ape at Shelby Farms Park

If you’ve been to Shelby Farms Park within the past few years you may have noticed people scaling Go Ape’s intricate set-up of platforms, ropes, and nets with multiple zip lines hovering across Pine Lake. You may have even thought, “WHAT IN THE WORLD THAT LOOKS SO DANGEROUS I WOULD NEVER IN MY LIFE–” or something along those lines. However, rest assured the entire course is extremely safe, secured by harnesses, pulleys, carabiners, and a detailed training session on how to properly use the equipment before ever stepping foot off of the ground. Throughout the course, trained instructors will be on the ground ready to assist or answer any questions at each station. Try it for yourself.

  • Grab some friends and bike, walk, or run the Shelby Farms Greenline

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to bike from Midtown to Shelby Farms Park? See for yourself why the Shelby Farms Greenline has been voted as the best TN trail.

prince mongo mural at wiseacre by birdcap

Mural by Birdcap at Wiseacre, Photo: Amanda Hill

  • Go on a scavenger hunt for all of the murals around town

It’s no secret that Memphis loves art and loves creating art. One of the details that makes Memphis so eclectic and just plain awesome is the incredible street art that seems to grace nearly every street corner. Make sure you explore all the hidden treasures with our list of lesser known murals here.

  • Spend an afternoon in Victorian Village

Victorian Village is home to several beautiful homes with beautiful Victorian architecture including the Mallory-Neely House Museum, the Woodruff-Fountaine House Museum, the Massey House, the Mollie Fontaine House and the James Lee home. Many of these homes have national historical significance or are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Spend an afternoon taking in the beautiful buildings and homes in this area. The Victorian Village boundaries are mapped out as Poplar Avenue to the north, Danny Thomas to the west, Madison Avenue to the south, and Manassas to the east, but each house has a searchable address. You can even take a ghost tour.

  • Get active and run with Breakaway

Breakaway Running has several free options for runners of all areas of experience. Whether you’ve competed in marathons or are looking to begin an active lifestyle, Breakaway’s group runs are fit for you. Check out more information in our post about them here.

Central BBQ App Sampler

Central BBQ App Sampler

  • Eat ALL the BBQ

Grab some friends and put yourselves to a gluttony challenge: try a different BBQ restaurant every day and see which ones are your favorites. Check out our list of places the locals go for BBQ here.

  • Drink ALL the coffee

Memphians have almost as much love for coffee as they do for BBQ. Reconnect with friends, enjoy a hot cup of Joe, and explore different atmospheres all over Memphis. Not sure where to go? Check out our suggestions for a coffee fix here.

  • Eat ALL the donuts

It’s easy to start your morning (or night) off with some delicious donut options. Go here for the list.

  • Drink ALL the beer

From breweries to growler fill stations, you could try a new brew at every meal and still not try them all. Drink responsibly.

 

Memphis bridge and sunset

Photo: @jordanamichael on Instagram

  • Kayak or canoe down the Mississippi

If you’re experienced, paddle past Harbor Town, Tom Lee Park, Mud Island, and wherever else your heart desires. If you’ve never kayaked before but can’t hold back your desire to explore the Mississippi, go here to get started.

  • Indulge in local art

Go art hunting through museums or create your own art with this list. There are always free art shows and more listed in our events post as well.

grind stairs on riverside drive across from tom lee park

Stairs across from Tom Lee Park/RiverFit, Photo: Amanda Hill

  • Get RiverFit in Tom Lee Park

Get active by the river for free with all of the RiverFit equipment. Check out our video here to see more.

  • Learn a new sport

Between the new soccer team and bike polo, there are plenty of ways to learn a new sport and have fun doing it. Don’t want to be on the field? Support your Memphis Grizzlies, Memphis Tigers, Memphis Redbirds, Rollin’ Grizzlies, Memphis Roller Derby and enjoy!

  • Find a way to give back

There are always a ton of opportunities to invest in Memphis and support the amazing organizations doing important work. Start here for some ideas.

  • Rent an Airbnb

Don’t have the funds to go on a trip? Check out our local Airbnbs to get away from it all and still enjoy the rest of the items on this list. Some of them even have their very own pools.

  • Take one of Jimmy Ogle’s Walking Tours

Easily one of Memphis’ most knowledgable people, Jimmy Ogle lives, breathes, eats, and sleeps Memphis history. Check his out his bio, and you’ll see a long list of appointments and recognitions. Thankfully, he loves to share what he knows and offers FREE Memphis walking tours on various days throughout every month. Check his schedule here for more info on the tours, the meet up location, and other details you’ll need to know.

Got an idea to add? Let us know in the comments!

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