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On the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, Memphis is Tennessee’s largest city and the commercial and cultural center of the western part of the Volunteer state and several of its neighbors. The city is a blend of Southern tradition and modern efficiency, where aging cotton warehouses stand in the shadow of sleek new office buildings, and old-fashioned paddle wheelers steam upriver past the city’s most striking landmark, the gleaming, stainless-steel Pyramid Arena.

Memphis Sights

Memphis’s streets are well marked, and there’s plenty of parking, so the city is best explored by car.

Memphis Reviews

Although Memphis has a satisfying variety of restaurants, the local passion is barbecue; the city has 70-odd barbecue places. Popular “meat-and-twos” and “meat-and-threes” (diners serving meat with two or three vegetable side dishes), such as the Cupboard, specialize in fried chicken, turnip greens, corn bread, and other southern specialties. Numerous soul-food restaurants, offering country specialties like fried chicken and pork chops, can be found outside of Downtown.

Memphis Reviews

Memphis hotels are especially busy during the month-long Memphis-in-May International Festival and in mid-August, during Elvis Tribute Week. Book well ahead at these times.


A handful of areas make for good stepping out downtown. Beale Street tops the list, with more venues per square foot than any other place in town.

Among Midtown’s nightlife offerings, Overton Square is the best known. With its concentration of theaters, restaurants, and bars within a few blocks, you’re sure to stumble onto something lively.


Memphis has some of the biggest malls in the South, places where you can find just about anything you might want, from Southern cooking to high fashions.

This is also a great town for antiques, bookstores, souvenirs, and, naturally, Elvis memorabilia.

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