Wanderlust {Memphis}

I have absolutely loved all of your suggestions so far for our Tour of Tennessee happening next spring.  We’ll start in Chattanooga, head to Knoxville and Nashville, and then wrap up our week in Memphis!

Like Nashville, Honey and I have only been once for a wedding many years ago.  We only had time to eat some good BBQ and visit Graceland during our stay.

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I’d love to hear your suggestions for…

  • where to stay
  • where to eat
  • what to see / do

Now, the really hard part is going to be narrowing down all of your feedback for each of our stops!!  We are so excited for this adventure!


Dixie Delights Tour of Tennessee

in collaboration with
Dollywood  |  Visit Nashville  |  Memphis Travel

Part 1 – Read House, Ruby Falls, Rock City + More
Part 2 –  Wild Cave Expedition, Tennessee Aquarium + More

Part 3 – Dollywood + Dixie Stampede
Part 4 – Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort

Part 5 – a quick morning in the city

Part 6 – Hattie B’s, Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame
Part 7 – Hermitage Hotel, Wildhorse Saloon, Draper James

Part 8 – Peabody, Beale Street, Graceland
Part 9 – BBQ, Civil Rights Museum, Sun Studio


25 thoughts on “Wanderlust {Memphis}

  1. Memphis – we went for a bowl game years ago but here are a few fun things to check out! Obviously the ducks at the Peabody Hotel, Graceland, Beale Street after dark, a carriage tour, BBQ – we liked Blues City Cafe, BB King’s Blues Club, the Riverwalk.

  2. I stay with my sister in law when I go to Memphis but I have to recommend that you try Muddys Bakeshop. They have the BEST cupcakes I have ever had and my favorite is Prozac. It is a Chocolate cupcake with Chocolate frosting. They have cute names for all of the cupcakes. As for BBQ, we have tried several and Corkys on Poplar is my favorite. Hueys is a great place for hamburgers..we have gone there several times. The Memphis Zoo is always fun and you must see the ducks at the Peabody. But knowing your sweet tooth, Muddys is a MUST. There are two locations. We go to the one on Sandifer…in a little shopping area.

  3. Ducks at Peabody, Memphis Zoo… On my list for next time is Whimsy Cookie Company – one of the owners is Collins Tuohy, daughter of Leigh Anne Tuohy, & Michael Oher’s sister. Of course we were headed to Arkansas after Memphis, but as crazy as it sounds, we loved driving over the Mississippi River into Arkansas…so pretty. Can’t wait to read about your trip! I love it!!!

  4. Gibson’s Donuts and Gus’s Fried Chicken(if you go to the one on Mendenhall the donut shop is across the street) are both delicious!

    1. I have it on my list after seeing very moving pictures taken just after he was shot at the civil rights museum here!

  5. Gus’s in Memphis is a must!! We live in Arkansas and anytime we make a trip across the bridge Gus’s is what’s for supper!!

  6. You will have so much fun here!! Memphis is such an awesome city, glad you’re coming to visit! I definitely recommend staying downtown (I love the Westin, but there is a Hampton Inn right around the corner from the Westin, and it is lovely, too!) The Peabody is historic, for sure, but most of my out of town guests got a dose of that experience by just visiting to see the duck march – it’s a must-do! The National Civil Rights Museum is right off South Main Street, and the best “local’s fave” barbecue restaurant, Central BBQ, is right next door. The Harahan Bride just opened up- it’s a pedestrian bridge that connects downtown to Arkansas over the Mississippi River! It will give you the BEST views of the downtown skyline! Beale Street has a neat vibe (would be totally ok for the boys during the day!), and there’s a spot called A Schwab’s- they have an old fashioned soda fountain, and also is a store with the coolest stuff inside.

    Honestly, I could go on and on… Check out ilovememphisblog.com – it’s the best place to find out news/events/restaurant reviews from a local perspective!

  7. Amanda,
    What a fun trip to plan! I have been to each of these cities several times and here are my top recommendations as far as things to see:

    You MUST see the Parthenon while in Nashville. This is a full size replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece. John will be amazed! The day we visited there were groups of school children his age there . Of course, regardless of whether you are a country music fan or not you must see the Ryman and catch a performance at the Grand Old Opry. I enjoyed going to the Loveless Café on the edge of the Natchez Trace for a good Southern Meal. A little touristy but you might get lucky and see a star pop in. The walls are adorned with pictures of all the stars and famous people who have dined there.

    We really enjoyed the Chattanooga aquarium and although its not as large as Atlanta’s it was still very good in my opinion. May sure you do Lookout Mtn. and the incline. Of course, no trip to Memphis would be complete without seeing Graceland and heading down to Beale Street for some great BBQ and Blues. Also, the zoo and botanical gardens are worth a visit.

    Nashville and Knoxville have some great vintage and antique shopping too. If you have time try to hit some of the shops in the down of Franklin outside of Nashville. Knoxville has some great vintage shops too such as Nostalgia and Retrospect. Have fun!

  8. Hi, I’m so excited you’ll be traveling to my hometown! I definitely agree with the other recommendations for the Civil Rights museum, Central BBQ for BBQ sandwiches and/or Rendezvous for BBQ ribs, and the Peabody duck march at the Peabody Hotel (happens in the morning and early evening each day–get there a bit early to get a good spot to watch). The Peabody also has a delicious Sunday brunch. Also, I think y’all might like to visit the Bass Pro Shop in the pyramid downtown. It’s huge and very neat! The inside looks like a Louisiana swamp with trees, live ducks and alligators, and tons of cool taxidermy. You can also go up to the observation deck at the top for great views of the Mississippi River and downtown; there is a per person fee for the observation deck. The Memphis Zoo is awesome if y’all have time.

  9. Yay! My hometown!! With kids in mind and the time of year I think y’all would have A blast taking in a Redbirds game. They are the minor league team for the St Lois cardinals and the games are a lot of fun. The ballpark (Autozone park) is truly one of if not the best minor league parks out there! Can you tell we love baseball in my family :). While downtown You must eat at charlie Vergos ‘ Rendezvousus and get the dry ribs. I mean even Prince William and Prince Harry ate there when they visited!!
    Gibson’s donuts on Mount Moriah is heavenly and a local favorite for the best shaved ice you will ever have is Jerry’s snow cones on wells station rd. The line wil be very long but it is soooo worth it especially for kids.
    The National Civil Rights museum has been redone and is really worth a stop. I could go on and on….
    Hope this helps! Enjoy our fun city!

  10. My mama was from Memphis! It will be a terrific trip! I’m sure so many others have mentioned the Peabody, but I’ll say it again. My tip: we love to get there early and do happy hour while we wait and then scoot on over to the Rendezvous for dinner and ribs. (Or the Peabody has a great Sunday brunch.) Corky’s or Central for BBQ or Gus’ for chicken. Although I haven’t been there in years, the Women’s Exchange has the most darling children’s clothes (think handmade and embroidered dresses for CeeCee) and a great ladies lunch. This might seem kind of odd, but we stop (when I can sweet talk Hubby) at the Williams-Sonoma outlet before heading out of town. (Pottery Barn is next door, too.) I have to say though, nearly 40 years worth of trips to Memphis and I’ve never been to Graceland. Have a wonderful time!!

  11. So fun! We lived there for 3 years and took it all in with our two boys.

    Children’s Museum of Memphis and view the Liberty Bowl right outside of it and (for Mama) drive through the most beautiful Memphis neighborhood nearby, Chickasaw Gardens
    Peabody Ducks at 11am or 5pm, and make sure to go up to the roof too
    Bass Pro
    Grizzlies game or at least go to the FedEx Forum and buy Grizz gear there
    Rock and Soul museum
    The playground at Shelby Farms
    Walk by the river downtown

    Breakfast: Gibsons Donuts, Brother Junipers, Porcellinos
    Other meals that are boy friendly: Hueys, Central BBQ, Gus’s (but have another option for your boys from elsewhere-sometimes the chicken is too spicy for kids), Honey Gold wings from Mr Ps (and see the U of Memphis campus), Hog and Hominy, Ita Bena (speakeasy restaurant above BB Kings on Beale Street-we took our boys all the time for a nice dinner), the Farmer (in the cutest little shopping center near Chickasaw Gardens), South of Beale
    Dessert: Muddys Cupcakes, Jerrys Sno-Cone, Gibsons Donuts, Whimsy Cookie, LaMichocena Mexican Ice creams

  12. We just love going to Memphis with our kids. We’ve gone several times and always have fun. We have always stayed at the Hilton Memphis and it’s very nice. They do love the Peabody ducks. It’s fun to go in the afternoon there, too… for drinks and snacks in the lobby when it isn’t as crowded. We have great luck at BB King’s for dinner because we go a little early. They have always given us a nice table where the kids could see and hear the performers and even though there aren’t many kids there, I never feel like mine are unwelcome in any way, even well into the evening. :) Have fun!!

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