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Free Things To Do in Memphis

If you have extra time, Shelby Farms Park is worthwhile.
  • #4
    View all Photos
    #4 in Memphis
    0.9 miles to city center
    Free, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    0.9 miles to city center
    Free, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Originally constructed in 1925, The Peabody Memphis has held a long-standing reputation as one of the finest hotels in the South. While the building itself is quite breathtaking, the real attraction here is the march of the Peabody Ducks. In fact, the ducks are a featured stop on many of the best Memphis tours. Since the 1940s, these North American mallards have been a staple feature of the historic hotel. Visit around 11 a.m., when the ducks make their way from their Royal Duck Palace on the hotel's rooftop down the red carpet through the hotel lobby and into the Peabody Fountain. Join the onlookers that gather along the carpet to tap their toes to the beat of John Philip Sousa's "King Cotton March" as the ducks waddle past. At 5 p.m., the tune picks up again and the ducks hop out of the fountain and make their way back along the red carpet to their home. 

    Recent visitors said this spectacle is a fun activity that children are sure to love. Just note that the lobby can get crowded, so be sure to secure a good vantage point by arriving early and heading up to the second-floor atrium. The Peabody Memphis is located less than a half-mile from downtown. The daily duck march is free to watch. 

    Originally constructed in 1925, The Peabody Memphis has held a long-standing reputation as one of the finest hotels in the South. While the building itself is quite breathtaking, the real attraction here is the march of the Peabody Ducks. In fact, the ducks are a featured stop on many of the best Memphis tours. Since the 1940s, these North American mallards have been a staple feature of the historic hotel. Visit around 11 a.m., when the ducks make their way from their Royal Duck Palace on the hotel's rooftop down the red carpet through the hotel lobby and into the Peabody Fountain. Join the onlookers that gather along the carpet to tap their toes to the beat of John Philip Sousa's "King Cotton March" as the ducks waddle past. At 5 p.m., the tune picks up again and the ducks hop out of the fountain and make their way back along the red carpet to their home. 

    Recent visitors said this spectacle is a fun activity that children are sure to love. Just note that the lobby can get crowded, so be sure to secure a good vantage point by arriving early and heading up to the second-floor atrium. The Peabody Memphis is located less than a half-mile from downtown. The daily duck march is free to watch. 

  • #6
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    #6 in Memphis
    0.5 miles to city center
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    0.5 miles to city center
    Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Are you looking for the heart and soul of Memphis culture? Head over to Beale Street. It was here that the blues was born, and many famous musicians – including B.B. King, Alberta Hunter and Isaac Hayes – got their start. During the day, stores and restaurants beckon with music memorabilia and savory barbecue, while at night, the area between Second and Fourth streets comes to life as numerous live music clubs open their doors to music fans of all types. The Beale Street area is also home to several popular attractions, such as the Orpheum Theatre, the W.C. Handy House Museum and the New Daisy Theatre.

    Recent visitors described the atmosphere on Beale Street as "buzzing," thanks to the variety of live music that pours from the clubs stationed along the street. Though reviewers say this is a must-see when in Memphis, they also warned crowds can grow stifling, especially on the weekends. Beale Street also hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, which some travelers advised avoiding due to the headache-inducing crowds and traffic. Beale Street is also a featured stop on many of the best Memphis tours.

    Are you looking for the heart and soul of Memphis culture? Head over to Beale Street. It was here that the blues was born, and many famous musicians – including B.B. King, Alberta Hunter and Isaac Hayes – got their start. During the day, stores and restaurants beckon with music memorabilia and savory barbecue, while at night, the area between Second and Fourth streets comes to life as numerous live music clubs open their doors to music fans of all types. The Beale Street area is also home to several popular attractions, such as the Orpheum Theatre, the W.C. Handy House Museum and the New Daisy Theatre.

    Recent visitors described the atmosphere on Beale Street as "buzzing," thanks to the variety of live music that pours from the clubs stationed along the street. Though reviewers say this is a must-see when in Memphis, they also warned crowds can grow stifling, especially on the weekends. Beale Street also hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, which some travelers advised avoiding due to the headache-inducing crowds and traffic. Beale Street is also a featured stop on many of the best Memphis tours.

  • #12
    View all Photos
    #12 in Memphis
    Free, Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The weather in Memphis is usually on the warmer side, and there's no better place to enjoy the sunshine than Shelby Farms Park. Located amidst the downtown action, the park offers more than 4,500 acres of green space and more than 20 bodies of water. There are also fun recreational activities for youngsters, such as the unique Woodland Discovery Playground – which was designed by children – and the Water Play Sprayground, a 4,000-square-foot play space featuring spray jets, water pumps and geysers. There's also zip lines, water sport rentals and more than 40 miles of trails, including nature trails for hiking and paved routes for biking. There are even trails dedicated to horseback riding. Previous visitors appreciated the extensive trail options, as well as the variety of annual events held at the park. If you're visiting in April, make time for the Down to Earth festival where parkgoers celebrate Earth Day. If you're visiting in winter, be sure to admire the glistening lights at the Starry Nights events, which begin in November; visitors say Starry Nights events are perfect for family holiday fun.

    The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and is free to enter. Note that some park activities, such as horseback riding and the zip line experiences, cost extra. Along with plentiful picnic areas, the park offers a visitor center as well as restaurants and food vendors, water stations and public restrooms. Plan your park visit at the official website.

    The weather in Memphis is usually on the warmer side, and there's no better place to enjoy the sunshine than Shelby Farms Park. Located amidst the downtown action, the park offers more than 4,500 acres of green space and more than 20 bodies of water. There are also fun recreational activities for youngsters, such as the unique Woodland Discovery Playground – which was designed by children – and the Water Play Sprayground, a 4,000-square-foot play space featuring spray jets, water pumps and geysers. There's also zip lines, water sport rentals and more than 40 miles of trails, including nature trails for hiking and paved routes for biking. There are even trails dedicated to horseback riding. Previous visitors appreciated the extensive trail options, as well as the variety of annual events held at the park. If you're visiting in April, make time for the Down to Earth festival where parkgoers celebrate Earth Day. If you're visiting in winter, be sure to admire the glistening lights at the Starry Nights events, which begin in November; visitors say Starry Nights events are perfect for family holiday fun.

    The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and is free to enter. Note that some park activities, such as horseback riding and the zip line experiences, cost extra. Along with plentiful picnic areas, the park offers a visitor center as well as restaurants and food vendors, water stations and public restrooms. Plan your park visit at the official website.

  • #16
    View all Photos
    #16 in Memphis
    Free, Tours, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Tours, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    A stroll along the Memphis Heritage Trail guides visitors to numerous landmarks that illustrate the many ways African Americans have contributed to the city's history. This walking museum spans 20 blocks in the downtown area and features a variety of themed itineraries that allow travelers to tour different areas of the city based on a specific interest.

    The Civil Rights Historic Loop winds past important attractions like the National Civil Rights Museum and I AM A MAN Plaza where you can admire the landscape sculpture dedicated to the members of the 1968 Sanitation Workers' Strike as well as those who strived to mend racial inequality in the city. The Business-Entertainment Historic Loop showcases the Martin Luther King Jr. Reflection Park, the Orpheum Theater and the Cotton Museum – a highlight for past visitors thanks to its variety of interactive exhibits. Meanwhile, the Historic Commerce Loop brings visitors past the Beale Street Baptist Church – the city's first church built for Black people. The Memphis Heritage Trail organization also hosts events and outreach programs to connect with the community.

    A stroll along the Memphis Heritage Trail guides visitors to numerous landmarks that illustrate the many ways African Americans have contributed to the city's history. This walking museum spans 20 blocks in the downtown area and features a variety of themed itineraries that allow travelers to tour different areas of the city based on a specific interest.

    The Civil Rights Historic Loop winds past important attractions like the National Civil Rights Museum and I AM A MAN Plaza where you can admire the landscape sculpture dedicated to the members of the 1968 Sanitation Workers' Strike as well as those who strived to mend racial inequality in the city. The Business-Entertainment Historic Loop showcases the Martin Luther King Jr. Reflection Park, the Orpheum Theater and the Cotton Museum – a highlight for past visitors thanks to its variety of interactive exhibits. Meanwhile, the Historic Commerce Loop brings visitors past the Beale Street Baptist Church – the city's first church built for Black people. The Memphis Heritage Trail organization also hosts events and outreach programs to connect with the community.

  • View all Photos
    0.9 miles to city center
    Free, Sports
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    0.9 miles to city center
    Free, Sports
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

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  • View all Photos
    9.4 miles to city center
    Free, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    9.4 miles to city center
    Free, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

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