The home of blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll was recently named on the prestigious Frommer's list as one of the Best Places to Go in 2019, plus Home to Go listed Memphis as one of the best destinations in the USA for Millennials in 2019 and travel site Travel Lemming included the city in its Emerging Destinations 2019 list.
Best known for its rich musical legacy and vibrant culinary scene, Memphis is a must visit and in 2019 the city will celebrate its bicentennial year - and that's a party not to miss!
To celebrate, we've put together a list of hot spots and events you need to see or do in Memphis during 2019:
Memphis in May - bicentennial edition
The month long festival which usually honours a specific foreign country every year through a variety of different events, is (for the very first time!) paying homage to Memphis at next year's festival. Honouring its home town as part to the bicentenary celebrations and its founding contributions to rock, soul and blues, Memphis in May will include the Beale Street Music Festival, World Championship Barbecue cooking contest and the Great American River Run. A regularly updated list of bicentennial events can be found here.
Little known neighbourhoods
Take a trip through the less touristy parts of town to really experience Memphis. The historic neighbourhood of Cooper-Young is totally on-trend but also totally relaxed, making it the perfect place for tourists who want to explore like a local. Great food and drinks, plus a happening arts and music scene mean that you can easily spend a day (and night) exploring this hidden gem. For even more of an arts fix, head over to the up and coming district of Crosstown. You can also enjoy some hula-hooping, comedy, or nightly punk music shows.
You can't travel to Memphis without visiting the home of The King, Elvis Presley, which has recently undergone a $45 million, 40-acre expansion. Spanning 200,000 square feet, the estate features interactive exhibits, an entertainment complex featuring new museums, restaurants, gift shops and more - you must tick it off your Memphis bucket list!
Memphis Music Hall of Fame
Located in the heart of Memphis, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame honours Memphis musicians for their lifetime achievements in music and those who changed the world of music as we know it. The museum and exhibition introduces guests to some of the greatest musicians of all time - each of whom are responsible for shaping modern music.
Big River Crossing
Reaching almost a mile in length, the Big River Crossing is the longest public pedestrian bridge in the US. The scenic way stretches across the famous Mississippi River, creating ties to attractions throughout the Memphis, West Memphis and the delta region. As the connecting point of Main Street to Main Street, the 10-mile corridor includes pedestrian and bicycle ways, along with a Big River Trail System.
After exploring the Big River Crossing be sure to stick around in the evening for the Mighty Lights installations which illuminate the two bridges over the Mississippi River with a light show on the hour, every hour. Choose a bar along the water and watch the lights as the sun sets.
From legendary BBQ to discerning distilleries
Along with its lively music culture, Memphis recently experienced a gastronomic growth spurt, welcoming a host of new restaurants - including BBQ joints that the state is world-famous for, plus breweries and spirit-makers including Old Dominick Distillery which celebrates the whiskeys of 1866 Memphis.