What To Do In Memphis?

In just over a week, my partner will be traveling out to Memphis for a graduate school interview. I know, I know… Memphis has not been maintaining its squeaky clean reputation lately. Don’t worry, he’s renting a car to avoid the 30-minute walk from his hotel to the school. Gosh, what has happened to our cities? Nevermind, we can’t say the quiet part out loud. Anyways…

He’s flying in a day early to mitigate any risk of delayed flights. He’s a bit jaded after forty years of perpetual bad luck–except for locking me down, of course 😉–but I’m excited for him and eager to craft a mini-itinerary for his trip.

His plan involves picking up snacks from Kroger, hanging out in the hotel room, and driving around safe neighborhoods to identify areas we may be interested in living. Okay, frugality and practicality are great and all, but it’s his first time in a new state and I want him to enjoy the 48-hour adventure.

So far, this is what I’ve found:

  • The Crystal Shrine Grotto: bizarre Depression-era art cave.
  • Mud Island River Park: a five-block-long replica of the lower Mississippi River, from Cairo, Illinois, to New Orleans, Lousiana, where each 30-inch stride is equivalent to one mile on the actual river.
  • Silky O’Sullivan’s: an Irish pub with dueling pianos and tower-climbing goats.
  • Brussel’s Bonsai Nursery: the United States’ largest bonsai nursery.
  • Bombay House: supposedly the best Indian food in Memphis. Because I don’t think vegetarian BBQ is a thing.
  • Fort Pillow: state park on a Civil War battle site.
  • Slave Haven: underground railroad museum.
  • Shelby Farms: multi-use park with lakes and wildlife.
  • He’ll be alone, so something like a riverboat cruise may not be too fun… right?
  • We was thinking about a drive to New Orleans, but he’s allotted a limited number of miles on the rental car, so that may not be a feasible option.

If anyone lives in or has visited Memphis, I would love your suggestions on things to do! Know of any simple hikes, great restaurants, neat museums, beautiful sights, or fun activities? Let me know!

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