Museums & Attractions

Exploring Memphis’ museums always turns up a surprise. From mummys and the Lorraine Motel to Post-Impressionist paintings and a half-mile scale model of the Mississippi River, Memphis has a multitude of museums celebrating the historic, the cosmopolitan, and the mind-blowing.

*For events, concerts, and calendar listings, pick up a copy of the Memphis Flyer or go to

Audubon Park

750 Cherry, East Memphis

From tennis and golf to playgrounds, Audubon offers a variety of fun for everyone. A soccer field, picnic tables, and jogging trails also create plenty of opportunities for days of outdoor activities. Audubon is also home to the W.C. Paul Arboretum and the beautiful sights of the Memphis Botanic Garden.

Beale Street


With the truest blues, the historical feel, the best Southern food, and the strongest drinks around, it’s no wonder Beale has such a longstanding popularity. For a weekly listing of the best bands and the hottest activities on Beale, pick up a free copy of the Memphis Flyer available all around town.

Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art

119 S. Main, (901) 523-2787

With one of the largest collections from the Q’ing dynasty, the Belz Museum has amazing artifacts, ranging from a imperial cinnabar throne to ivory masks. The museum has an extensive collection of Judaic art and occasionally presents demonstrations of traditional Chinese music, martial arts, and calligraphy.

Biblical Resource Center & Museum

140 E. Mulberry, Collierville, (901) 854-9578

In the Historic Town Square of Collierville you’ll find the Biblical Resource Center, which displays ancient artifacts and replicas of important archaeological finds. The museum also has the interactive exhibit “How We Got the Bible” and a gift shop.

Center for Southern Folklore

119 S. Main, Downtown, (901) 525-3655

Dedicated to the continuing preservation of Southern culture and heritage, the Center features a unique combination of educational displays, southern food, live music, and a gallery full of local art and oddities. The Center’s Folklore Store offers even more art, books, music, and pieces of the South you can take home.

Children's Museum of Memphis

2525 Central, Midtown, (901) 458-2678

With plenty of interactive, kid-friendly exhibits, the Children’s Museum is a great way to spend time with your youngsters and help them learn hands-on with math, art, and science. A mini grocery store also gives the little ones a place to feel like big kids.

Chucalissa Museum

1987 Indian Village Dr., South Memphis, (901)785-3160

The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa is a prehistoric American Indian archaeological site dating back to the 15th century. The site features a Mississippian mound complex, nature trail and arboretum, hands-on archeology lab, and exhibits that explore the history and life-ways of Native Americans of the historic and prehistoric southeastern United States.

Cooper-Young District

Intersection of Cooper & Young, Midtown

As the most eclectic, artistic neighborhood in the city, Cooper-Young has some of the best food and culture around. In fact, the American Planning Association named Cooper-Young one of America's "10 Great Neighborhoods" in 2012. Between Café Olé’s margaritas, Young Avenue Deli’s fantastic live music, and Do’s sushi, you may never leave Cooper-Young. 

The Cotton Museum and the Memphis Cotton Exchange

65 Union, Downtown, (901) 531-7826

As the driving force behind the city’s economy back in the day, cotton has a special place in Memphis’ heart. Created in the old Memphis Cotton Exchange building, museum visitors have the opportunity to learn the lingo, history, and social impact of cotton on Memphis.

Davie Manor Plantation House

9336 Davies Plantation, Bartlett, (901) 386-0715

In 1807, an Indian chief built a log cabin in Shelby County, which was expanded into a farmhouse by the Davies family in 1851. Today, that log cabin is the oldest log house in the county, with deer and other wildlife roaming over the 2,000 acres that are still devoted to the plantation. You can tour the property between April and December.

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens

4339 Park, (901) 761-5250

The Dixon Gallery offers a variety of touring exhibitions, as well as its own brag worthy collection in permanent residence, with works from Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Cezanne. The beautiful Georgian-style home and gardens also offers open-air concerts periodically.


191 Beale, Downtown, (901) 205-2525

Known for being one of the finest facilities in the NBA, FedExForum is home to Memphis’ Grizzlies and Tigers basketball teams. Besides the Tigers and the Grizzlies, FedEx Forum houses some of the most popular concerts and events of the year, with everybody from the Rolling Stones to Celtic Woman having played to packed houses previously.

Fire Museum of Memphis

118 Adams, Downtown, (901) 320-5650

A great place for kids and anyone who loves a bright\ red fire truck, the Fire Museum showcases an old 1910 steam-powered fire engine along with many other artifacts, stories, and photographs from some of Memphis’ most memorable fires. There are also interactive games for the little ones.

Golf and Games Family Park

5484 Summer, near Bartlett, (901) 386-2992

The 40 acres at this complex includes mini golf, a driving range, a pro shop, batting cages, bumper boats, kiddie rides, an arcade, and much more. The park also has a virtual roller coaster and laser games. The popular park also includes fully furnished pavilions — perfect for family gatherings — with a play area for the itty-bitty ones.


3734 Elvis Presley Blvd., Whitehaven, (901) 332-3392 or (800) 238-2000

Graceland is the grand home of a kinda famous singer you may have heard of. Much of Graceland looks the same as it did when Elvis lived there, including the Jungle Room, gold records, and a “Sincerely Elvis” museum that displays photos and homemovies of The King.

Historic Elmwood Cemetery

824 S. Dudley, Midtown, (901) 774-3212

The cemetery has been around since 1852 and is the final resting place of 17 Civil War generals, two Tennessee governors, three U.S. senators, and 22 Memphis mayors. And watch out for the crazed ghost of the elms!

Lichterman Nature Center

5992 Quince, East Memphis, (901) 636-2211

With a lovely lake surrounded by a winding boardwalk and a 16,000-square-foot visitors’ center, Lichterman is a great place to spend the day. Native plants, birds, butterflies, and other critters live throughout the area. A wildlife center with living exhibits and interactive learning activities give kids something to participate in.

Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park

13 miles north of Memphis near Millington, off Hwy. 51, (901) 876-5215

With hiking trails, campgrounds, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool, Meeman-Shelby has some of the most gorgeous green areas in the area. Shelby Forest offers fishing and boating through the Poplar Tree Lake, which spans over 125 acres. The nature center contains natural history exhibits and activities for kids. Park staffers also provide guided tours.

Memphis Botanic Garden

750 Cherry, East Memphis, (901) 576-4100

One of the reigning centers of horticulture, Memphis Botanic Garden showcases the most beautiful plants and flowers in the Mid-South. The garden is open year-round, and exhibits native wild flowers as well as more than 23 unique gardens. The Botanic Garden also features special events, educational programs, and art exhibits. The Live at the Garden Summer Concert Series is another great event at the Botanic Garden.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

1934 Poplar Ave., Midtown, (901) 544-6200

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art houses a permanent collection of more than 3,000 works of art, ranging through French Impressionism, Flemish and Italian Renaissance, and the Baroque eras. Also, the museum hosts social and entertainment events that take place on the first Wednesday of every month.

Memphis/Germantown Art League

(901) 382-2622

The Memphis/Germantown Art League covers Tennessee and three neighboring states. The purpose of the nonprofit organization is to aid member artists in their professional growth and in the development of their skills by providing them opportunity for exhibitions, workshops, and demonstrations.

Memphis Jewish Community Center

6560 Poplar, (901) 761-0810

Since 1949, the Memphis Jewish Community Center has been a multi-purpose sports, activity, and cultural complex, serving more than 6,000 members around the Memphis area.

Memphis Pink Palace Museum & Sharpe Planetarium

3050 Central, Midtown, (901) 636-2362

This museum features a unique, in-depth showcase of local history, music, culture, and science. The Pink Palace also has a shimmering planetarium and a popular IMAX theatre, which has featured movies on subjects ranging from Hurricane Katrina to the deep sea.

Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum

Central Station, 545 S. Main St., Suite 121, Downtown  (901) 590-3099
The Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum is dedicated to documenting the local history of Railroad and the Memphis Trolleys. The museum provides static exhibits as well as video documentation and railroad model diaoramas.

Memphis Riverboats, Inc.

45 Riverside, Downtown, (901) 527-BOAT or (800) 221-6197

A Memphis Riverboat cruise offers guests a relaxing, scenic visit on the Mississippi River. Memphis Riverboats provides a variety of touring and special-event cruises.

Memphis Rock ’N’ Soul Museum

191 Beale, Plaza at FedEx Forum, Downtown, (901) 205-2533

A must-see visit for all music fans, the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum allows visitors a self-guided tour with headphones. The recordings offer guests a course of Memphis Music 101, showcasing a history of some of the greatest music in the world.

Memphis Zoo

2000 Prentiss Place, Midtown, (901) 333-6500

Offering a home to more than 3,500 animals, including 500 species, the Memphis Zoo is one of the top tourist attractions around and one of the best zoos anywhere. Exhibits include Cat Country, Primate Canyon, Animals of the Night, Once Upon a Farm, China — home to Le Le and Ya Ya, the famous giant pandas — and the Northwest Passage — where the polar bears roam.

Mud Island River Park

125 N. Front, Downtown, (901) 576-7241 or (800) 507-6507

Mud Island is the $63 million park built atop the long sandbar on the Mississippi River. Mud Island’s attractions include the River Walk and a 5,000-seat amphitheatre, where worldrenowned artists such as the Beach Boys and the Allman Brothers have performed; last fall, Steely Dan, Fall Out Boy and the Lumineers took the stage.

National Civil Rights Museum

450 Mulberry, Downtown, (901) 521-9699

The National Civil Rights Museum offers plenty of interactive and informative exhibits on one of the most significant times in American history. With audio-visual displays bringing these events to life, the National Civil Rights Museum is a must-visit place for children and adults.

National Ornamental Metal Museum

374 Metal Museum Dr., (901) 774-6380 or (877) 881-2326

The National Ornamental Museum ins the only institution in the U.S. devoted exclusively to the art of fine metalwork. The non-profit museum relies on private funding and tuition from the classes and workshops it offers. Exhibits at the museum change every two to three months.

Overton Park

1914 Poplar, Midtown, (901) 214-5450

Overton Park is an oasis in the center of the Midtown metropolitan area, with plenty of jogging trails, bike paths, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Overton Park is home to Rainbow Lake, the Levitt Shell, and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Golfers are also given the opportunity to enjoy the public course on the south side of the park. Softball teams also practice here on the field near the pavilion.

Overton Square

Madison and Cooper, Midtown

With a variety of restaurants, including Boscos Squared, Bayou Bar & Grill, Le Chardonnay, Side Street Grill, and  Memphis Pizza Café this three-block concentration of culture is a highlight of Memphis. Overton also two top-notch theatres — Playhouse on the Square and TheatreWorks — as well as movielovers haven Studio on the Square.

The Peabody

149 Union, Downtown, (901) 529-4000

The Peabody Hotel opened its doors Downtown in 1925. Today, Memphis tourists and locals enjoy the classy lobby, with live piano, a bar, and one of the best restaurants in town, Chez Philippe. The hotel also hosts parties in its ballrooms and dances on the famous Plantation Roof. One of the other famous features of the hotel is the twice-daily duck march that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Shelby Farms Park

500 N. Pine Lake Dr., Near Cordova (901) 222-7275 

The 4,500 acres that makes up Shelby Farms Park appeals to nature lovers, sports lovers, and anyone who enjoys the great outdoors. Shelby Farms Park, which is the second largest county park in the nation, is home to a wide variety of birds, reptiles, deer, and other wildlife — including bison, which roam free on the farm’s animal range. Patriot Lake is the largest of a battery of beautiful waters, and the Lucius Burch Jr. Natural Area and horse stables are other standouts on the park map.

Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum

826 N. Second, Downtown, (901) 527-3427

Slave Haven is known as a former station on the Underground Railroad. Tour guides show secret cellars and trap doors that were used as escape routes for runaway slaves.

Soulsville: STAX Museum of American Soul Music

926 McLemore, South Memphis, (901) 946-7865

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is a celebration of Memphis music and the culture behind it. Music made famous by stars like Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, and others. While touring the museum, make sure to catch WATTSTAX, a depiction of the development of the music label and the people who created it.

South Main Historic Art District

Downtown, South Main and G.E. Patterson, Downtown

As the center of the Memphis arts scene, South Main has unique retail shops, including great boutiques and antique shops. The area also includes some great food spots, such as Spindini, Onyx, and the Arcade Restaurant, as well as some fun and eclectic coffee shops. The 13 art galleries in the area are all within walking distance of one another, and on the last Friday of each month, hundreds fl ock to the Art Trolley for a tour of the local galleries.

Southland Park Gaming & Racing

1550 Ingram, West Memphis, Arkansas, (870) 735-3670 or (800) 476-6182

The world’s largest greyhound racing facility lies in West Memphis at Southland Park, just over the Mississippi River and the bridges that connects Arkansas to Downtown Memphis. Here, guests can watch the canine action trackside or at grandstand levels, play the slots and other games, listen to sizzling live music, and eat fine food.

Sun Studio

706 Union, Downtown, (521) 0664 or (800) 441-6249

Visit the historic site where rock-and-roll was born — the famous Sun Studio. Walk in the footsteps of greats like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Howlin’ Wolf, and many others. One of the best parts about visiting the studio is that you can make your own record and take it home.

Tom Lee Park

Riverside and Beale, Downtown, (901) 636-6564

One of the most popular parks in Memphis, Tom Lee Park is a home for joggers, walkers, rollerbladers, and kite-fl yers. You can gaze at the Mississippi River and the boats that fl oat by on it. The park is also the site of the famous Memphis In May activities, including the Beale Street Music Festival and the World Champion Barbecue Cooking Contest.

Tunica County, Mississippi

Tunica is located a mere 30 miles away from Memphis by Highway 61 and is a hub for Mid- South gaming. With exciting casinos, gorgeous hotels, restaurants, gift shops, championship golf courses, dance pavilions, and big-name entertainers, Tunica is one of the best entertainment areas in the Mid-South.

Woodruff-Fontaine House

680 Adams, Downtown, (901) 526-1469

Built in the 1870s on what was known as Millionaires’ Row, this French-Victorian mansion has lavish architectural details such as winding staircases and ceiling medallions. As the home to two prominent Memphis families, the Woodruff-Fontaine House is a part of Victorian Village, where several nineteenth-century Memphis homes have been preserved and restored.

College and University Galleries

The Art Museum at the University of Memphis

142 CFA Building, University of Memphis, (901) 678-2224

The gallery at U of M is home to two permanent collections: “Egyptian Antiques” and “The Spirit of Africa”. A wide range of temporary exhibits make their way through as well, including contemporary art. Admission is free and guided tours are offered for groups of 60.

Memphis College of Art

1930 Poplar Ave, Memphis, 901-272-5100

The college doubles as an art and design institution with a gallery presenting various changing exhibitions. The gallery often showcases the work of the students and faculty throughout the course of the year.

Christian Brothers University Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery

650 East Parkway South, (901) 321-3243

Located at CBU’s Plough Library, the gallery is a venue for temporary exhibitions that display the work of the students at the school and a variety of guest artists that come to the college throughout the year.

Rhodes College Clough-Hanson Gallery

2000 North Parkway, (901) 843-3000

The Clough-Hansen Gallery offers a combination of contemporary student art, Asian woodcut prints, porcelains, fabrics, and other objects that form the backbone of the permanent collection.