Tucked away on the western side of Tennessee adjacent to Arkansas and the Mississippi River, Memphis is a blend of nostalgia and modern charm. Known as the "home of the blues" and the "birthplace of rock and roll," it is the second largest city in Tennessee, but by no means is it crowded. It is far from glitzy Nashville so visitors won't run into Broadway-like kitsch (tractors pulling screaming loads of tipsy bachelorettes aren't part of the city's appeal). However, the roots of musical culture, history and welcoming attitude of the south are front and center.
Memphis is the kind of place where there is something for every type of traveler. There are sites steeped in Americana, plenty of restaurants worthy of a reservation and luxe accommodations. Visitors can picnic in the park where the first-ever rock and roll concert took place, hang with climbing goats on Beale Street or dive head first into plates loaded with delicious barbeque.
The best time to visit Memphis is the spring or fall when temperatures are more tolerable – summers are long and hot in the southern city. Temperate weather makes it easy to spend time outdoors walking (the city boasts over 3,000 acres of green space) and enjoying views of the Mississippi River or exploring the city's various attractions. Depending on their location, visitors don't need a car when visiting, since the downtown area is exceedingly walkable and ride-sharing opportunities are prevalent.
Tip: Book a suite at Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis. Visitors have plenty of room to spread out and will enjoy floor-to-ceiling views of the Mississippi River.
Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis is the ultimate home base while visiting Memphis. The recently opened hotel offers luxurious accommodations and is located within walking distance of several of the city's most sought-after attractions.
The hotel made history as the first and only hotel on Tennessee's famed Beale Street and is home to downtown's only resort-style pool, featuring cabanas and a deck for live entertainment.
The hotel has two restaurants, Cimas and Beck & Call. Beck & Call is Memphis' only riverfront and rooftop bar offering unobstructed views of the Mississippi River and the biggest light show on the river on the famed Hernando de Soto Bridge.
Guests of Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis are welcome to all the amenities of the world's first Caption by Hyatt hotel. Located next door, Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis boasts an urban feel with do-it-yourself check-in and ordering at a delicious restaurant, Talk Shop and Beer Garden.
Tip: Wear comfortable walking shoes and stretchy pants. Memphis is known for its delicious and heaping plates of southern style comfort food.
Visitors can enjoy several delicious meals within walking distance of the hotel, including Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken. The restaurant has been a local favorite and has used the same family recipe since 1953. Also within walking distance, Beale Street offers several tasty options, including B.B. King's Blues Club and Rum Boogie Cafe.
Catch a ride to The Second Line, where chef Kelly English puts his spin on delicious cajun and creole food. Don't miss their famous po' boy or seafood pasta.
The craft beer scene in Memphis is burgeoning, and Grind City Brewing is known for its beers and seltzers. The brewery is located on 2.5 acres and offers a varied selection of seasonal favorites and menu staples.
With over 100 barbecue restaurants, Memphis is a pork grillin' hot spot. Every local has their favorite, but visitors can't go wrong with a tasty meal at Rendezvous. For over 70 years, the Vergos family has served their signature dry rub barbecue to legions of locals and visitors.
Tip: There is so much history to explore in Memphis it is easy to plan a full and fun itinerary.
The best way to pack in most highlights in Memphis is on a bus tour. Backbeat Tours not only provides a historical tour of the city, but they also do it while singing. The fun and upbeat tour has a musical component that makes seeing several musically and culturally significant sites a bit more fun.
Save time to visit Sun Records, the recording studio known worldwide as "The Birthplace of Rock' n' Roll." Visitors will hear Elvis Presley's first recording, see memorabilia from the recording studios' heyday and even take a picture with the microphone used by Elvis Presley and several other musical icons, including Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and B.B. King.
The National Civil Rights Museum is within walking distance of Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis. The museum, partially located in the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, is known as one of the premier institutions dedicated to civil rights and gives an in-depth history of African Americans in the U.S.
Visitors can't leave Memphis without spending time on Beale Street. Located minutes from Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis, in the heart of downtown, visitors can hear a mix of blues, rock and gospel music every night of the week. Beale Street is only three blocks long, but its history and legendary mix of clubs, restaurants and shops make the National Historic Landmark worth visiting. Watch out for the famous Beale Street flippers who make it their social media-worthy job to jump over as many people as possible and check the calendar for annual events like Memphis in May and Beale Street Music Festival. The Orpheum Theater also located on Beale Street, has original chandeliers and fixtures from the 1920s. Visitors can catch Broadway productions, musical acts and comedy shows in the historic venue.