Getting Around Memphis

The best way to get around Memphis is in a car. Attractions pepper the city, making "Walking in Memphis" a challenging feat -- with or without your "Blue Suede Shoes." With a car, you can easily spend a few days exploring the city's rich heritage and soulful sounds. Travelers who don't road-trip here arrive through Memphis International Airport (MEM), positioned southeast of downtown. Buses and trolleys are also not a bad alternative.


The sprawling city is best explored with your own vehicle. Downtown Memphis (with its plentiful parking) sits right along the Mississippi River, which can be a useful marker to find your way. As you head east (away from the river), the city will become less dense and the attractions will start to disappear. The city's highways can morph into parking lots within minutes. To avoid clogged streets, stay off the roads between 7 to 9 a.m. and again from 4 to 6:30 p.m. 

Public Transport

If you're afraid of getting lost or caught up in traffic, the Memphis Area Transit Authority operates city-wide buses as well as a trolley system, which uses vintage trolley cars -- a thrill for the kids. The Main Street Trolley is particularly useful for tourists and runs on a circular route from the Pyramid Arena to the National Civil Rights Museum. Then again, the bus and the trolley will move significantly slower than your own car.

Next Steps: Memphis

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