There is something about my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee that draws people in from the music, food, and energy that creates a magical experience you can’t get anywhere else in the country.
Whether you’re into blues, soul or rock’n’roll, Memphis is a must-see destination and if are wondering what to do with 3 Days in Memphis here is my guide for things to do in Memphis.
There is so much authentic music that was and is being created in Memphis from R&B, blues, and rap. Memphis is a place where you can eat fall off the bone BBQ or the next day eat at a 5-star restaurant where the food is literally a work of art.
Memphis is a place where there is a rich history on every corner. You can stand in the same spot as Martin Luther King or where Blues Legend BB King made sweet music. Memphis is the place where you can create your own magical experience surrounded by food and music.
Click Here To Watch My Video On Things To Do In Memphis
Top Things To Do In Memphis
Day 1 In Memphis
The National Civil Rights Museum should be your very first stop when you come to Memphis, and it will not disappoint. The National Civil Rights Museum is a wonderful historically accurate museum that depicts the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement.
The museum is located in the old Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King stayed and was killed when he was in Memphis to help and support the striking sanitation workers. The museum focuses on the civil rights struggles of African-Americans, but it has expanded to that of other groups.
The museum is one of the most incredible museums you will have ever visit. It is filled with history, emotions, incredible photos, mementos, people’s stories, along with archival video and audio footage.
The stories of slavery in our nation and of the civil rights movement are gut-wrenching and maddening. I bring my daughter once a year to ensure she knows her history so she will appreciate the freedoms she currently has because of the brave men and women who came before her.
Related Post: The Civil Rights Museum In Memphis and The Alabama Civil Rights Trail
Memphis Culinary Scene
Next on your list should be Cozy Corner which has by far, in my opinion, the best BBQ in Memphis. Cozy Corner is in a temporary location inside Encore café at 726 N. Parkway due to a fire they sustained in Jan 2015.
Cozy Corner has been in operation since 1977 and has established itself as a Memphis BBQ gem. They have been spotlighted on “Diners Drive-ins and Dives” on The Food Network and have slow smoked some of the best meat in Memphis for generations.
Known for their BBQ Cornish game hen along with other classics like the BBQ bologna, and of course, their ribs, Cozy Corner has been feeding our families great food for generations.
ADDITIONAL MUST EAT MEMPHIS BBQ SPOTS
Now that you have tasted my favorite here are a few additional local favorite BBQ joints.
Central BBQ is a local favorite and you can’t go wrong with ribs or shoulders but they have other delicious options, including wings, smoked sausage, homemade potato chips and a special 8-inch portobello that is marinated, grilled, and topped with smoked Gouda cheese.
Rendezvous is legendary in Memphis and where at any given time you might see celebrities with bbq sauce running their chin and enjoying the goodness of Rendezvous. They have been featured on both the Travel Channel or Food Network because of their famous dry-rub ribs.
A&R Bar-B-Qis a staple in the African American community in Memphis and even though I no longer live in Memphis every single time I visit home I make it my business to stop by and get a hot link!
The hot links are spicy and sweet at the same dame time! Lawd, they are so good and the bbq sauce just drips everywhere and with every bite, you will close your eyes think life is good.
They also have pork ribs that are tender, juicy and the meat just falls off the bone. Order the dry-rub ribs, so that the flavors of the meat that is smoked in their own pits won’t be masked by any sauces and you can enjoy Memphis BBQ.
Don’t forget the half-slab of the pork ribs, smoky dry-rub rib tips, or the chopped pork sandwich.
A & R is the essential stop for every barbecue lover who has 3 Days In Memphis.
Lunch Box Eat
If you are looking for a great place to have lunch then “Lunch Box Eat.com” is the place for you. I Love this place simply because of their fried avocados and eggplant! I never thought those two could be so delicious.
I don’t know what kind of mayo-based dipping sauce was served with the avocados, but it was so delicious.
Make sure you also try the mac ‘n pork club and the broken rib bones. The club sandwich was half a mile high and the meat was falling out of every side. The sandwich went really well with bbq sauce.
The creamy, cheesy goodness of the mac complemented the pork and the sauce complemented the pork. The broken rib bone sandwich was equally messy, but in a good way and it was so smoky and flavorful. The toasted bread provided a nice crunch to all of it.
If you are looking for things to do in Memphis and places to eat this hole in the wall will not disappoint.
Day 2 In Memphis
In the heart of Downtown Memphis, you will find the Beale Street Entertainment District you will find a melting pot of blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and gospel music along with people from every walk of life that is seeking out great music to help them relax from the stress of life.
Beale Street is the most visited attraction in Tennessee with over 25 clubs and shops to stroll in and out of including restaurants and bars like Wet Willies, Blues City Cafe which has some great BBQ or you can just stroll down the street taking in the scenery.
If this is your first time in Memphis Beale Street should be on your Memphis bucket list of things to do in Memphis.
GRACELAND & ELVIS PRESLEY’S MEMPHIS
Graceland has undergone a massive renovation and it is no longer the Graceland of the past and is well worth the stop on your 3 days in Memphis. The tour will take you from Elvis’ humble beginnings through his rise to becoming a megastar.
You will see how Elvis lived by touring the mansion and the Entertainment Complex which allows you to immerse yourself in Elvis’ life and career.
The state-of-the-art entertainment complex includes the Elvis The Entertainer Career Museum, Presley Motors Automobile Museum and themed discovery spaces showcase Elvis’ influences in the Elvis Discovery Exhibits.
Make sure you grab a bite to eat from one of the two restaurants on the complex. You can easily spend 5 hours touring the mansion and entertainment complex so make sure you give yourself enough time to see each exhibit.
Fine Dining In Downtown Memphis
Felicia Suzanne’s is located in downtown Memphis and the cuisine is American with a low-country focus, and on any given night you will find the Memphis power elite in the house.
Felicia Suzanne’s is located in an older building, that used to house a department store on Main Street. The restaurant has been tastefully converted into a restaurant.
My husband and I were greeted with a sample (catfish tarte) from the chef once we sat down, which was a very nice touch. The hubby ordered spaghetti and I ordered lamb chops. Both were VERY filling and hearty.
Looking at the menu, there seem to be a lot of classics offered, with a modern flare. Food and service were excellent so make sure you put Felicia Suzanne’s on your Memphis bucket list.
Day 3 In Memphis
Slave Haven was once the home of Jacob Burkle, a German immigrant who used his home as a haven for slaves escaping along the underground railroad. The home has now been turned into an underground railroad museum.
Although it may not look like much from the outside, the museum, and really its curators and guides, packs a big punch. Your tour starts with a look at the middle passage, the transport of slaves from Africa to the United States.
The tour continues with an in-depth look at the clues and symbols slaves used to communicate the path to freedom from the hymns to the symbols embedded in quilts.
You will also learn about stereotypes that have been used to make black people seem and look inferior. The last stop on the tour is to see actual crawl spaces slaves used to escape from the slave catchers. I took my mom and daughter to visit Slave Haven and it was quite an eye-opening experience and just made me so thankful for how we have come but how far we still have to go.
Related Post: Underground Railroad In Memphis and The Relationship Between Sports and Politics
The Children’s Museum of Memphis has everything you need to keep your little ones entertained after you have hung out on Beale Street enjoying live music and cocktails. There is a fire engine for climbing, a castle for dreaming, a kid-sized city with a bank for cashing play checks, and a grocery store for filling shopping carts are among the favorites at this Midtown museum, located next to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Stadium.
W. C. Handy Park is great for people watching and just spending time with your family. Make sure you look for the statue of the ear20th-century trumpeter, which dominates this open-air park and amphitheater. After three days of walking take a load off at one of the benches and listen to the sounds of the Mississippi River.
Where To Stay In Memphis
Hotel Napoleon, a 58-room conversion of the historic Scimitar Building, the boutique hotel has been opened 2 years and is right in the heart of downtown Memphis. The building was built in 1902 by Napoleon Hill a wealthy 19th Century Memphian.
Guest rooms are equipped with Bluetooth-enabled clock radio docking stations, 50-inch flat screen televisions with 130 channels and WiFi connections so guests can print documents on the lobby printer, which is paired with a large-screen Apple desktop.
All of the rooms retain its characteristics and architecture from the building’s heyday including high ceilings, original windows and many have a view of the Memphis skyline and exposed brick walls. Click here to Save up to 30% on hotels for a romantic getaway!!
Make sure you check out these additional things to do in Memphis.
- AutoZone Park
- Country Music Hall of Fame
- Memphis Music Hall of Fame
- Magevney House
- Fire Museum of Memphis
- Civic Center Plaza
- Handy Park
- Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
- Mississippi River Museum at Mud Island
- Mud Island River Park
- Statue of Elvis
- W.C. Handy Memphis Home and Museum
- Orpheum Theater
- Downtown Memphis
- Memphis Cook Convention Center
- Cannon Center for the Performing Arts
- Hunt Phelan Home
- Mallory Neely House
- Woodruff Fontaine House
- Sun Studio
- National Civil Rights Museum
- National Civil Rights Museum – Lorraine Motel
- Pyramid Arena
- Memphis Amtrak Station
- Slave Haven Burkle Estate Museum
- Business District
- Stax Museum of American Soul Music
- Autozone Park
- Beale Street
- FedEx Forum – Memphis Grizzlies
- Hard Rock Cafe
- Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
- Memphis Zoo
- Rhodes College
- Overton Park and Zoo
- Children’s Museum of Memphis
- Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
- Tom Lee Park
- Pink Palace Museum
- Southland Race Track