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Local Attractions

Explore These Exciting Things to Do in Memphis, Tennessee

The central location of The Peabody Memphis makes us the perfect gateway for exploring everything from the birthplace of rock ‘n roll and the home of the blues to Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion. On your journey through the history of American music, be sure to sample some famous slow-cooked BBQ and take in historical sites ranging from the National Civil Rights Museum to the beautifully restored historic mansions in Midtown.

Whether you’ve come to explore Memphis from end to end with the kids, are sneaking off for a romantic getaway or simply have a few hours to kill between meetings, the best things to do in Memphis are just moments from The Peabody.  

To get you started on your Memphis adventure, we’ve listed a few of our favorite attractions and things to do below. For more recommendations or tour planning assistance, please contact the Peabody Concierge.

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Attractions

Belz Museum Exterior

Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art

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Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art

The Belz Museum has a world-class collection of various Asian and rare Judaic arts. The permanent exhibit includes creations for Chinese nobility during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). The Judaic art is a rare collection of contemporary Jewish Art and artifacts: lacquer boxes, metal-works, paintings and photos. Finally, the Holocaust Memorial Gallery tells the histories and accomplishments of survivors from the surrounding areas.

Lorraint Motel Signage

National Civil Rights Museum

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National Civil Rights Museum

The National Civil Rights Museum traces the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. The complex features museums and historic buildings with interactive exhibits, educational films, ongoing learning programs and special events.

Graceland Entrance with Elvis impersonator on motorcycle

Elvis Presley's Graceland

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Elvis Presley's Graceland

Graceland is the second-most visited private home in the U.S. (only surpassed by the White House) and is known for its iconic gate, shaped like a book of sheet music. Elvis’ home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was declared a National Historical Landmark and is open to the public, so lace up your blue suede shoes and take a tour.

Sun Studio Building Exterior

Sun Studios

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Sun Studios

The birthplace of rock-n-roll? Maybe! The very first rock single was recorded here. The studio has hosted some of the greatest talent known: Johnny Cash, Elvis, Carl Perkins, B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis have all walked through its doors. Even if you don’t care to hold Elvis’ actual microphone, this is a must-see stop on any serious musical pilgrimage.

Beale Street with crowds

Beale Street

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Beale Street

Head on over to “America’s Most Iconic Street.” Historic Beale Street surrounds visitors with live music, tasty regional treats and two miles of boutique shopping and fascinating people watching.

Stream running through Mirimichi Golf Course

Mirimichi Golf Course

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Mirimichi Golf Course

Mirimichi, a world-class golf course founded by Justin Timberlake, is just 15 minutes from The Peabody.  From tee to green and every step in between, you will be challenged by its championship design and inspired by the beauty that surrounds you. A beautiful and tranquil place of golf and nature with elevated greens, swathes of native grassland, waterfalls and meandering creeks – it is a sanctuary with no houses, no roads, no noise – just golf and nature.

Wide angle of court at FedEx Forum

Fedex Forum

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Fedex Forum

Memphis loves its sports teams, and there’s no better place to cheer than the FedEx Forum, which is located conveniently near the famed musical mecca of Beale Street. The Memphis Grizzlies are often playing in a heart-stopping NBA game, or you’ll catch the NCAA Division I men’s basketball team from the University of Memphis as they sink baskets. This spacious forum also hosts concerts and family shows.

AutoZone Park Entrance

Autozone Park

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Autozone Park

There’s something nostalgic about minor league baseball games. Kids get up close and personal with the players, adults watch stats to spot the next big star and the players are there for the love of the game. Named the Minor League Ballpark of the Year in 2009, AutoZone Park is home to the Memphis Redbirds, the AAA farm team for the St. Louis Cardinals. Stop by and note the video screen; it’s the largest in minor league baseball!

Woman on obstacle course at Shelby Farms

Go Ape Shelby Farms

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Go Ape Shelby Farms

Go Ape’s first treetop adventure course (zip lines, obstacles and more!) in Tennessee is just minutes from downtown Memphis in Shelby Farms Park.  Shelby Farms, in the heart of Shelby County, is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, with more green space than New York’s Central Park or San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Tree-mendous!

Memphis Rock N Soul Museum Signage

Memphis Rock 'N' Soul Museum

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Memphis Rock 'N' Soul Museum

Located on iconic Beale Street, this museum celebrates the legends, myths and icons of the Memphis music scene dating back to the birth of rock and soul music in the 1930s. Seven separate galleries showcase three audiovisual exhibits, over 30 instruments, 40 costumes and numerous other treasures that tell the fascinating story of American music.

Stax Museum Exterior with band outside

Stax Museum of American Soul Music

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Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Learn the story of how a small record store in an old movie theater became one of the most powerful music recording studios in the world. Opening in 1954, Stax Records introduced the world to legends-to-be like Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, Wilson Pickett, Luther Ingram, Albert King, the Bar-Kays, Booker T. & the MG's, Johnnie Taylor, Rufus and Carla Thomas, and more.

Memphis Children's Museum Exterior

Children's Museum of Memphis

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Children's Museum of Memphis

The first thing you’ll notice about this place is the gigantic children’s blocks spelling out “CMOM.” The second thing you’ll notice is that this place is all about the kids…the kids playing, exploring, laughing and learning as they race through interactive exhibits. Parents, sit back and relax; you’ll love watching the imaginations run wild as your children go through the museum.

Brooks Museum of Art Exterior

Brooks Museum of Art

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Brooks Museum of Art

Founded in 1916, Tennessee’s oldest and largest art museum exhibits works of fine art ranging from the Renaissance and baroque periods to genres that include English portraiture, Hellenistic and classical Roman art, and contemporary art.

Cotton Museum at Memphis Cotton Exchange

Cotton Museum at Memphis Cotton Exchange

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Cotton Museum at Memphis Cotton Exchange

The main exhibit of this museum is located on the historic trading floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange, once the hub of the global cotton economy. The museum seeks to tell the story of “King Cotton” and the birth of Memphis, paying homage to early residents and to the lasting impact they had on language, art, music and history.

Bridge at Memphis Botanic Garden

Memphis Botanic Garden

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Memphis Botanic Garden

Strolling through any one of 23 specialty gardens at the Memphis Botanic Garden, you can forget you’re actually in an urban spot. Ninety-six manicured acres beckon visitors to literally stop and smell the roses. While all the gardens are spectacular, children can’t get enough of My Big Backyard, a garden designed especially for kids.

Panda eating bamboo at Memphis Zoo

Memphis Zoo

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Memphis Zoo

Considered one of the best zoos in the United States, this 70-acre facility at Overton Park is home to over 3,500 animals, including lions, tigers, elephants, polar bears, panda bears, seals, and sea lions. In addition to the Northwest Passage arctic exhibit, a farm discovery center and the nine-acre Cat Country and Primate Canyon, you’ll find several restaurants and shops.