When most people think of Memphis, Tennessee, they think Elvis, Beale Street, the Mississippi River, BBQ, Graceland, and the Blues. These days, Memphis is all that and more. The city has thriving arts scene, a new and growing collection of breweries, tons of parks and music venues, sports, history and then there's the food. Yes, the BBQ is to die for. Always have the BBQ! But, you can also find some of the best southern cooking this side of the Mississippi. Justin Timberlake said it best when he said, "London ain't got no Gus's Fried Chicken. Paris may rendezvous, but they ain't got no Rendezvous. Egypt has the pyramids, they don't have a Bass Pro Pyramid."
And then there's the local's Memphis. Since I'm lucky enough to have married a Memphian and have visited a lot over the years, here is a small compilation of some off-the-beaten-path Memphis flavor mixed in with a few tried and true attractions much loved by locals and visitors alike.
The Broad Avenue Arts District is a great little spot to buy local art, jewelry, clothing, candles and more. My favorite spots are Five in One Social Club for candles and mugs, City & State for more local products and a good cup of coffee, The Cove for the coolest nautical themed bar atmosphere and hand crafted cocktails, and Muddy's Bakeshop for desert!
Other great spots to check out art around the city include Memphis College of Art and The Brooks Museum, both in Overton Park, as well as Crosstown Arts, a collection of galleries and spaces hosting exhibitions throughout the city.
Eat and Drink
Porcellino's Craft Butcher in East Memphis is equal parts coffee shop, cafe and butcher shop. The breakfast is to die for and you are definitely going to want to buy some of the spicy beef jerky and homemade granola for the road. Seriously, if anyone in Memphis feels like mailing me some more granola, I'd be okay with it. Wink, wink, hint, hint.
Even the locals venture out to The Peabody Memphis once in a while to catch sight of the world famous ducks as they make their daily journey from their home on the hotel's roof, down the elevator to take their bath in the lobby fountain. Who wouldn't want to see that?
The Memphis Riverfront has also recently been revamped. Take a run along the greenway that runs along the Mississippi River and head to Beale Street Landing to get a glimpse of The American Queen, the largest steamboat ever built. Though she calls Memphis her home, you can always take her for a spin cruising down the Mississippi for a couple of nights.