Top 10 Memphis Tennessee Attractions

As a native born to Memphis, I’ve seen many of the great things that bring people to our city. While there’s no shortage of awesome attractions to choose from here in Memphis, this is my top 10 list of the absolute best Memphis, TN attractions the city has to offer. Whether you’re a longtime resident or visiting on vacation, these are 10 must-see destinations.


#10. Memphis Pyramid

Memphis, TN is actually named after a city in Egypt. The Memphis Pyramid is number 10 on the list, but only because it’s nearly impossible to miss. The Pyramid can easily be seen from many areas around the city. It was once used as a popular entertainment venue, but it was recently purchased by Bass Pro Shops. I personally saw Van Halen, Kiss and The Smashing Pumpkins perform there.A show hasn’t gone on at the pyramid in many years, but it’s still nice to look at. Whether you get to see it with or without a giant Bass Pro Shops sign, the Memphis Pyramid is an astonishing site to see while visiting Memphis.


#9. Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Zoo is one of the most overlooked attractions in Memphis. The zoo is a popular favorite among Memphis natives, but visiting tourists often miss out on the great animal exhibits you can find here. Visitors are greeted at the entry by giant silhouette statues of animals found within the zoo. From there, guests can walk through diverse exhibits like Primate Canyon, Cat Country, and many more. The Memphis Zoo is also home to rare and exotic animals including Komodo Dragons and Panda Bears.


#8. Sun Records

Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins were all legends of their time, and they all recorded music at Sun Records. Memphis has a rich history of musical influence that’s still prominent today. If you want to feel the musical history of Memphis, Sun Records is open to the public today as a Museum. If you want to walk where Carl Perkins’ blue suede shoes and many others’ did, then Sun Records is one Memphis destination you don’t want to miss.


#7. Mud Island

Mud Island is comprised of a small museum, an amphitheater and a monorail. One of the most interesting things to see at Mud Island, is the scaled down representation of the Mississippi River surrounding the local area. It’s like getting a bird’s eye view of the landscape, without the need for a helicopter. You can check out the cool sites while riding the monorail, or see a live performance at the Mud Island Amphitheater.


#6. Pink Palace Museum

You’ll find worldly culture and local history at the Pink Palace Musem in Memphis. The children’s museum gives people of all ages an enlightening experience. Exhibits change from time to time, but the Pink Palace has displayed everything from Terra Cotta Soldiers to prehistoric monsters. One past exhibit was called ‘The Scoop on Poop’,and taught visitors everything they did, “or didn’t” want to know about feces. It’s a wild place full of great information, and a huge credit to our city.

Charles Vergo's Rendezvous

#5. Rendezvous

There are a lot of great restaurants in Memphis, but the city is world-famous for barbecue. If you want the complete Memphis experience, be sure to spend an evening out at Charles Vergo’s Rendezvous. The barbecue dishes you find at most restaurants are made with electric smokers or convection ovens, but Rendezvous barbecue is made over a real charcoal pit. If you’re looking for authentic Memphian dining, Rendezvous makes ribs and pulled pork just like us southerners do at home. It’ll cost you, but dry rubbed ribs smoked over a pit are never free. You’ll have to do it yourself the old-fashioned way, or go see the guys at Rendezvous for some authentic Memphis barbecue.


#4. Peabody Hotel

There are no shortage of hotels in Memphis, but none can compare to the Peabody. This historical hotel is located in downtown, and like everything else downtown, it’s not far away from the hot-spots in Memphis. If you see some ducks get on an elevator, don’t worry, you’re not seeing things. The Peabody Hotel is famous for its walking of the ducks tradition that started during the hotel’s dawning era.


#3. Graceland

While he wasn’t born here, Elvis will always be a big part of Memphis. Elvis Presley resided in his Memphis home throughout most of his career, and his mansion now serves as a historical museum of his success as an entertainer. Visitors can see Elvis’ guitar shaped swimming pool, and take a tour through his extravagant home. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Memphis, but it’s most certainly not the best.


#2. Memphis in May

The number 2 attraction in Memphis isn’t a place but a time. Memphis in May is made up of a series of festivals and events. The Memphis in May Music Festival, also known as the Beale Street Music Festival, is a 3-day event featuring performers from a variety of music genres. The music festival is followed by the Memphis in May barbecue competition. People come from all over the world to be a part of Memphis in May. If you want to party Memphis style, then early May is the best time to visit our city.


#1. Beale Street

The music festival only happens in May, but Beale Street is the number one attraction in Memphis all year long. This music centered street is home to the best clubs in Memphis. You can find popular franchises like B.B. King’s Blues Club and the Hard Rock Cafe, but you’ll also be able to visit local Memphis clubs like Silky O’Sullivan’s. With a variety of street performers on Beale, you don’t necessarily have to go in a bar to be entertained. You can find every type of music you can imagine on Beale Street, and some that you’ve never thought of. Beale Street is the top attraction in Memphis, TN.

Many of the best destinations in Memphis can all be found downtown, and the rest aren’t far away. Whether you’re on vacation, visiting on business or live here right now, the top 10 attractions in Memphis, TN will entertain, enlighten and inspire you.

This article is dedicated to the memory of Silky O’ Sullivan, a local club founder that passed away earlier this week. Thanks for helping make Memphis more fun Silky.

About Allen Morey

Allen Morey is a freelance writer and co-developer of . His industry experience includes system administration, web design, SEO and marketing. Visit on Google+ for more information.


  1. Amy Orvin says:

    What great looking places. If I ever visit Tennessee, I’d love to visit the Memphis Zoo first! Looks sooo fun!!

    • Jammie Morey says:

      The Memphis Zoo is the best! We haven’t been there in a few years though, they have added so many new features.

  2. john hutchens says:

    sounds like alot of fun things to do. thinking about planning a vacation there for next summer

  3. I would love to visit Tennessee some day. I loved your list of places to visit, I would love Graceland and the zoo.

  4. Laura Jacobson says:

    Oh some day I hope to vacation down there! We went thru Tennessee one time while driving down to Florida, but did not have a chance to spend much time there. Was so beautiful though! I would love to go thru Graceland!

    • Jammie Morey says:

      Love it down here, been here off an on for about 12 years. Been to Graceland once, it is so pretty there, but it is a bit pricey.

  5. Sandy Cain says:

    Tennessee is a wonderful place! I haven’t been there in years – never made it to Nashville or Memphis, but spent a little time in Knoxville. The people were all so friendly, I was very impressed! I hope to get back down there some day, and get a chance to see some of the sights! (and eat some of that world-class Memphis barbeque!)

    • Jammie Morey says:

      I was always scared of Memphis, luckily I have gotten out of it some, and we go to the zoo every so often. They have a lot of free activities for the family on certain days if you’re a resident of TN. Great way to do fun home schooling field trips.

  6. Mary Happymommy says:

    I’ve visited Pigeon Forge but haven’t gone to Memphis. I’ve always wanted to see Graceland.

    • Jammie Morey says:

      I have never been past Nashville, Memphis has a lot of great attractions, I still haven’t had the pleasure to see.

  7. Janet W. says:

    I haven’t been to Memphis in years! This is a great list of places to keep in mind for whenever we decide to go back that way!

  8. I have never been there. Would love to visit someday

  9. jr frugalmom says:

    I did not know that Memphis, TN is named after a city in Egypt. How cool that you have your very own pyramid there.

    • Jammie Morey says:

      The pyramid was once a place where they held concerts and such. It’s now being turned into the bass pro shop. I have heard they’ll be many fun attractions inside the building. Cannot wait until it’s done to take the family and check it out!

  10. crafty one says:

    i have never visited TN. This post makes me want to take a tour of the area.

  11. I would like to see the pyramid. Graceland is not really on my list, but I bet that place gets plenty of traffic without me.

    • Jammie Morey says:

      The pyramid will be opening in May and is now the Bass Pro Shop! I heard they have a hotel in it and some restaurants, I will have to take pictures when we make it up that way.

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