The Top Things To See And Do In Downtown Memphis

Memphis is known for music and the best barbecue around
Memphis is known for music and the best barbecue around | © Galit Seligmann / Alamy Stock Photo
Kalpana Satish

Memphis, Tennessee, is known as the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock n’ roll, but music is not the only thing that the city has to offer. There is plenty to discover for locals and visitors alike in the city’s trendy downtown. Check out the top things to see and do in the buzzing home of B.B. King, Elvis Presley and Justin Timberlake.

Swing by Sun Studio

There goes a saying that, “If music was a religion, then Memphis would be Jerusalem and Sun Studio its most holy shrine”. Sun Studio is a famous recording studio where talents like Elvis Presley created magic years ago and it still holds its charm today. The studio was opened in 1950 and continues to record artists such as U2. The quaint little location is quite a sight to see and for those interested in visiting Graceland there are shuttles that take tourists there and back.

Walk around Mud Island River Park

B.B. Kings Blues Club

Memphis is home to one of the biggest Blues scenes in North America and was home to the King of Blues, B.B. King. There are 4 other B.B Kings Blues Clubs located in the United States but the one in Memphis is the first to be opened and unquestionably the most famous. It is located on the historic Beale Street and has a menu of various Southern style soul food. They have an in-house band that produces the most soulful blues music that the South can offer.

Stroll down Beale Street

One of the most famous streets in downtown Memphis is Beale Street. This street has been built up since the beginnings of the Roaring Twenties. From gambling to dancing, the street was home to a wide variety of activities, but mainly known as a fun spot for a night on the town. It still has the same flair today, with throngs of people, loud music, glitz, and energy galore, laden with bright lights and clubs and pubs to boot!

Stay at the Peabody Hotel

The Peabody Hotel is a five-star hotel located in downtown Memphis. The first Peabody was built in 1869 before the current bigger and grander hotel in 1925. It still holds all the grandeur of the past and has a charming and elegant appearance. It’s most famous for the duck fountain in the lobby of the hotel that is home to five mallard ducks. The hotel is near many local attractions and has also been voted as having one of the finest rooftop bars in town.


The all-American tradition of baseball can be found at the AutozonePark in the heart of downtown. It’s home to the Minor League Baseball team of the Memphis Redbirds. It was was named the 2009 Minor League Ballpark of the Year by Baseball America and boy does it deserve it! When locals flock here to support their team, the atmosphere erupts and there’s nothing quite like it.

Experience wonders at the Orpheum Theatre

The world class Orpheum Theatre has hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment history and left audiences in a state of amazement with its grandeur and design. It was built as a non-profit organization in 1928 and has been functioning at full steam since then. Apart from concerts, it shows movies, operas, plays, ballets, local arts groups, and biannually, Broadway shows. Big names like Tony Bennett have been coming back to perform frequently.

Attend a basketball game at the FedEx Forum

If you are into college basketball, the FedEx Forum is the perfect spot to hit up a game in downtown. Great sports food and good seats are provided with the ticket cost so that visitors can have a well-rounded experience at the arena whenever they choose to attend. The sleek design and modern aesthetic of the stadium make it functional and an attractive addition to the city. Check out their events calendar to book tickets in advance.

Learn about Cotton at the Cotton Museum

Cotton has been a significant part of the city’s history for many decades. The Memphis Cotton Exchange once contributed to the global economy for cotton and was thriving in Memphis. The Cotton Museum allows visitors to understand more about the cotton generation process and the history of it in this country. It was an empire that transformed American culture and is fascinating to learn about.

Shop at the Memphis City Farmers Market

Farmers markets can be found in almost every city, laden with local produce and charm. Memphis is no different. The city’s farmer’s market is a weekly, non-profit market cooperative that is run by vendors and artisans. What makes this market unique is that the items are producer-only and no resale items are allowed. This encourages personal advancement and stimulates the city economy.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Edit article