If you've been following me for a while, you know I'm kinda obsessed with Memphis, Tennessee. I've lived near Memphis my entire life. I almost take being near Memphis for granted, but I know it's on some of your bucket lists.
During Labor Day weekend, I went to Memphis with my dad. We spent some time exploring new and old favorites in one of my favorite cities.
Today, I am sharing my itinerary with you exactly as we did it. There are SO many amazing Memphis places we didn't explore during this guide because we mostly tried to explore new places versus older ones. There was only one repeat activity from a past adventure highlighted in today's post. Check out my a big Memphis travel guide for more details on other things to do in the city.
We got a later start to our first day in Memphis. I live about an hour from Memphis, so we didn't leave until around 3 PM that afternoon. We managed to see a lot, even during the time we had..
I Am A Man Plaza & Clayborn Temple
Address: 294 Hernando St, Memphis, TN 38126
The first thing we did in Memphis was check out I Am A Man Plaza. I Am A Man Plaza has been on my Memphis list for a while, ever since it was unveiled in 2018. I'm so excited that I was finally able to go and cross this off my internal Memphis bucket list.
I Am A Man Plaza is in front of Clayborn Temple, and it commemorates the 1968 sanitation worker strike that happened in Memphis. This strike coined the slogan “I Am A Man,” and it was the reason MLK was in Memphis when he was assassinated in 1968.
I knew about the strikes and the reason MLK was in Memphis, but there were so many details that I didn't know about. I Am A Man Plaza does a fantastic job of educating you on the entire strike through a timeline you can read that's embedded in the sidewalk. You can also see the names of the 1968 sanitation workers engraved at the plaza site.
Seeing I Am A Man Plaza is a quick dose of civil rights history. We stayed there for about fifteen minutes taking pictures and reading up on the strike. It was a great thing to check out as we got into town.
Check-In At Your Hotel Of Choice
There are so many hotels to stay at in Memphis. We decided to stay downtown, so we got a hotel near Beale Street. I love Hotel Indigo Downtown Memphis as an option, but this time I booked via Hotwire. We ended up booking a room at the DoubleTree in Downtown Memphis. It was a pretty amazing location. It was a few streets from Beale Street, right across the street from AutoZone Park, and close to a ton of restaurants.
DoubleTree in Downtown Memphis has mixed reviews online, but I had a pretty great experience staying there. The hotel lobby was beautiful, everything was clean, and I was able to sleep comfortably. I do wish that people were more considerate of people outside the hotel because people loved to rev their engines on the street in front of the hotel, but the hotel can't change that.
Another thing I wasn't super impressed with was their valet service. At one point, we were scared that they might have lost our car and/or the keys to our car because they were overwhelmed and had a poor system for keeping up with keys. Valet is the only true way to park at this hotel, though. I would be careful and make sure you add something identifiable to your keys like a key fob before you hand them over.
Dinner At Huey's
Address: 77 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103
After checking in and hanging out at the hotel for a bit, we headed to get some dinner in downtown Memphis. We decided to go to Huey's after looking at some of the other dining options in downtown Memphis.
Huey's was a fun burger restaurant. They specialize in creating awesome burgers. I ended up getting their Little Miners Trio burger with some fries on the side. I loved that I could taste a variety of burgers with this dish. For my drink, I got some sweet tea, but then I decided to also get a Beached Mule which was similar to a Moscow Mule only it used coconut rum instead of vodka.
Overall, I loved my experience at Huey's. I can't wait to go back and eat here again.
Exploring Beale Street
If you are visiting Memphis for the first time, I think checking out Beale Street is a must. We stayed close to Beale Street in downtown Memphis, so Beale was just a short walk from our hotel. If you decide to stay in another part of town, understand that the main part of Beale is blocked off to cars. There is plenty of parking. Depending on the time you visit, parking may be higher than usual. If you are willing to walk a bit, you might even find free street parking. I'd probably go for a parking lot or garage, though.
Once you get parked, explore the area. Find some good live music, watch the Beale Street Flippers, or grab some dinner. There are also a ton of photo opportunities on Beale Street that are perfect for a quick Instagram. No matter what time of day you got to Beale Street, there is bound to be something to do.
Drinks At Lew's
Address: 341 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103
On one end of Beale Street, there is a wonderful place called Lew's Blue Note Bar & Grill. It's one of my favorite places to visit on Beale Street. They often have live music at night on the weekends. They serve some good drinks and food there too if you want to have a drink on Beale. It's not a large venue, but it's so fun to visit. We found this place on Beale while celebrating my 25th birthday on Beale a few years ago. Now every time we go to Memphis, we have to stop in for a drink and the music here.
A quick note about this image, it was taken back in March, not during Labor Day Weekend. This was such a pretty picture of Beale, that I had to include it here.
Late Night Dinner At TGI Fridays
Address: 185 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103
Since we only had drinks at Lew's, we went back to the hotel and felt like eating something. TGI Fridays is connected to the DoubleTree in downtown Memphis. I don't always go to chains when I am taking mini-trips or vacations, but I honestly haven't had TGI Fridays in years, and I miss it. When I was in college, I went to TGI Fridays a ton because we had one where I lived and they took BearBucks (a currency attached to our student IDs in college.)
Initially, we went to get dessert, but we waited so long for a table I decided to get a late-night dinner instead. I saw that they had Beyond Meat cheeseburger on the menu. I live in a smaller town, so Beyond Meat isn't available in the grocery store here yet. I'm not vegan or vegetarian for that matter, but I always like to experiment with the foods I eat. I didn't think the burger was an exact replica of a good burger, but I ate it, and I was satisfied afterward. I don't know if it would fill a burger craving if I stopped eating meat and craved one, though.
The next day started bright and early with a delicious breakfast. We got to see so many new things and see a street in Memphis that kinda looked like the perfect background in a modern-day fairy tale.
Breakfast At 3rd & Court Diner
Address: 24 N. B B King Blvd, Memphis, TN 38103
I've wanted to visit 3rd & Court Diner for the longest time. When I stayed at Hotel Indigo in Memphis a few months back for a hotel review, 3rd & Court was still being built. It didn't open officially until May of this year. I've been following along with their beautiful dishes on Instagram. I couldn't wait to spend some more time in Memphis so that I could visit the restaurant.
3rd & Court serves a variety of delicious food, but we decided to visit for breakfast because my dad and I are a sucker for a good breakfast. I think this should be on your Memphis bucket list whether you intend to stay at Hotel Indigo or not.
3rd & Court is a beautiful diner with the most delicious food. I had the chicken hash for breakfast while my dad had a breakfast sandwich with some of their cheese grits. It was such a good meal, and I even had leftovers for later. I honestly need the chicken hash every week for life. It was made with pulled chicken, peppers, mushrooms, onions, and potatoes with two sunny eggs on top. Yummy!
The entire menu at 3rd & Court Diner is terrific, and I can't wait to make this a regular part of my Memphis experience.
Address: 374 Metal Museum Dr, Memphis, TN 38106
Not going to lie, the Metal Museum wasn't my favorite experience during my recent trip to Memphis. While the views of the Mississippi River there are fantastic, I wasn't a massive fan of my experience.
It all started with trying to figure out the photography policy. I forgot to read the policy before I went, so I asked the person at the front desk and was told no photography of the exhibits. While I am always okay with following museum protocol, I went back later and found out that photography was allowed of the exhibits.
Overall this experience left me a bit unsure about how I feel about this museum. Some of the museum pieces were great, but overall we didn't spend a ton of time here. I feel like this place has a lot to work on, even though it's been around for a while. I didn't get the hype, but I can see how other people might love it here. Entrance is only $6, so if you have some free time, it might be worth your while. Although, I love the National Civil Rights Museum and the Brooks Museum Of Art much better. Even Stax Museum or Pink Palace would be worthy replacements if you are looking for a museum to visit while in Memphis.
Lunch At The Green Beetle
Address: 325 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
Since we ended our time at the Metal Museum earlier than expected, we had some time before our scheduled Old Dominick Distillery tour. We decided to find something to eat, and we ran across The Green Beetle, Memphis' oldest tavern. I ended up splitting a plate of chili cheese fries with my dad so we wouldn't be going to Old Dominick Distillery on an empty stomach. The meal was affordable, and they played lots of good music while we were there.
Tour At Old Dominick Distillery
Address: 305 S Front St, Memphis, TN 38103
First and foremost: Lyft, Uber, or have a designated sober friend to accompany you to tour Old Dominick Distillery. Old Dominick Distillery was my favorite part of my experience in Memphis on this recent trip, but ain't nobody got time for impaired driving, y'all.
Old Dominick Distillery is a distillery based out of Memphis that makes a ton of amazing products. They've been around since before the prohibition, and they have a terrific story to tell. For just $12 + tax, you can go on a tour of their beautiful distillery. The tour includes a 45-minute guided tour of the distillery and a tasting at the end of the tour. You get to taste some of their amazing products and even stuff their testing.
When I say a tasting, I actually mean a flight of seven shots, no big deal.
If you don't want to do a full distillery tour, or you can't get enough Old Dominick, they also sell incredible mixed drinks using their products, and they even have a gift shop with products so you can take them with you. If you want to see some Mississippi river views, head up to their rooftop bar.
Unless you regularly drink, I probably wouldn't drink at the bar and do their tour on the same day. I am such a lightweight, so doing both wouldn't have been very fun for me.
Late Night Ice Cream & Mural Watching
Address: 125 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103
After we recovered from our adventure at Old Dominick Distillery, we decided to go out in search of ice cream. Margie's 901 Ice Cream was a few streets over from our hotel. Margie's 901 is located on South Main and honestly, this street is so beautiful at night, and there are many shops and places to eat to explore there.
The ice cream shop was quite busy, but I ended up getting a banana split, and it was such a fun late-night treat.
After we got done with our ice cream, we walked back to our hotel. South Main is filled with some pretty gorgeous street art and pretty lights. We made sure to enjoy every second of our time on our way back to the hotel.
Conclusion: 48 Hours In Memphis, Tennessee
My dad and I had so much fun visiting Memphis recently. This short trip was the perfect way to spend Labor Day weekend. Are you planning a trip to Memphis any time soon? I hope this gave you some ideas on what to add to your Memphis itinerary.