A Local’s Guide To Summer In Memphis

Summer is heating up in Memphis – and in more ways than one! As the temperatures rise, so do the number of things to see, do, eat, and enjoy in our hometown. Whether in the community or in your backyard, nowhere does summertime better than Memphis.

If you are planning a move to Memphis, are new to the area, or have lived here your whole life, you are sure to be surprised by the number of things happening in Memphis. Revitalized areas have spurred creativity and growth for our city, increasing the amount of festivals, cultural offerings, restaurants, and more.

Especially in Midtown and Downtown, where real estate sales have grown nearly 20% in the past year, the number of things to do correlates to the demands of new residents, who seek the best of the city close to home. We do not expect this trend to change; over the past year, home sales in Tennessee have risen 5% overall.

So sit back, follow our guide, and soak up one of our favorite times of year in Memphis.

The Heart of Memphis

What makes Memphis one of the best and most unique cities in the South is its heart: its people, culture, and spirit. Both physically and culturally, downtown and midtown Memphis are located in the heart of it all.

With a growing real estate market, thanks to the addition of new buildings like the Artesian Metropolitan Residences Downtown and also to long-standing neighborhoods like Cooper-Young and Central Gardens in Midtown, there is more going on than ever before. Add some Memphis love to your summer by experiencing the best of Memphis culture.

Live Music in Memphis

The city tagline “Home of the Blues, Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll” is more than just a saying. On any given day (or night!), you can find live music throughout the city. This summer, explore some of our top picks:

To find a venue or band that’s just for you, pick up Memphis’ free weekly publication, The Memphis Flyer, for a listing of what music is happening around town.

Festivals and Events in Memphis

Summer always kicks off in Memphis with the annual Memphis in May. As a month-long celebration of music, barbecue, and diversity, it perfectly defines our city and what we love most. Once June arrives, our festivals and events are officially in full swing! We can’t attempt to list everything happening in Memphis this summer, but here are just a few favorites:

The Arts in Memphis

In Midtown and Downtown, the growth of public art is apparent. Turn a corner and you are bound to see a large mural or a unique sculpture that transforms the city’s landscape. To get your fill of art throughout the summer, don’t miss these local favorites:

  • Memphis Brooks Museum of Art: Newly reopened, now is the time to pay a visit to the Brooks Museum’s stunning collection and exhibitions.
  • Dixon Gallery and Gardens: Escape to this serene gem, which boasts a beautiful collection of Impressionist art and equally gorgeous gardens.
  • Crosstown Arts: A new gallery space featuring inventive contemporary art exhibitions.

Take It Outside

Activity abounds in the summer, and Memphis’ access to outdoor entertainment is only growing. From incredible restaurant patios to our stellar parks, you have plenty of options to get moving or take it easy.

Outdoor Space in Memphis

While there are parks in neighborhoods throughout the city, we would be remiss if we didn’t showcase three of our favorites:

  • Shelby Farms: Shelby Farms, one of the largest parks in the country and five times the size of Central Park in New York City, has an array of options for outdoor enthusiasts. Ride your bike on the Greenline, run the trails, or enjoy the dog park with your furry friends.
  • Overton Park: Overton Park has been beautifully revitalized in recent years, making it midtown’s own huge backyard.
  • Beale Street Landing: Set alongside the mighty Mississippi River, Beale Street Landing is the perfect spot for a picnic and a scenic Memphis sunset. Take the whole family and catch an outdoor movie at Beale Street Landing this summer.

The Patio Scene

Patios are the best way to enjoy Memphis’ food, drinks, and people watching. See a full list of favorite patios here, but be sure to check out our personal favorites:

  • Loflin Yard: A new addition this year, Loflin Yard is an oasis in the middle of Downtown. With a great menu, family and dog-friendly vibe, and live music on the weekends, there is something for everyone to love.
  • Wiseacre Brewery: The Memphis brewery scene is growing, as are your options for delicious beers to sample. Start your brewery crawl at Wiseacre and enjoy the huge outdoor space with your friends.
  • The Second Line: Among all the restaurants in town, it is tough to pick a favorite patio. The Second Line’s patio, however, is in the heart of Midtown, is open all day, and is a great place for grabbing cocktails and a fantastic meal.

Cool Down

Would you rather hide from the Memphis heat this summer? Lucky for you, there are many indoor options to explore.

Memphis Museums 

Aside from the wonderful art museums we mentioned, Memphis is home to some of the best museums for all areas of interest.

Theatre in Memphis

From the Orpheum Theatre Downtown to Playhouse on the Square and Hattiloo Theatre in Midtown, your options for theatre are endless. Whether you are interested in Broadway productions or seeing local talent, each of these theatres is worth checking out.

Shopping in Memphis 

There are plenty of options for shopping around the Memphis area. In midtown, check out the quaint shops in Cooper-Young, including book stores, record stores, coffee shops, and more. 

Downtown, there is a new addition that is turning heads: the Pyramid, an icon of the Memphis skyline, has recently become the largest retail locations in America, a Bass Pro Shop. Not only is it a store, but it includes a hotel, a bowling alley, a restaurant and bar, an observation deck, and more. It’s truly a marvel to behold.

Family Friendly

As a great place to raise a family, Memphis offers so much for families of all ages and sizes! Especially when kids are off of school through the summer, many parents seek new and fun experiences around town. You can’t go wrong with these picks:

  • The Memphis Zoo: Regularly ranked as one of the top zoos in the nation, the Memphis Zoo always amazes. With their newest exhibit the Zambezi River, kids can get a close look at a major zoo attraction, the hippos!
  • The Pink Palace: Whether you’re exploring the exhibits or catching an Imax movie, The Pink Palace is always sure to teach you something new and expand your mind.
  • Children’s Museum of Memphis: A favorite for families year after year, the Children's Museum is a great place for your little one to play, learn, and use their imagination.

Making Memories

While there is so much going on around town, the best summer traditions are made in the home. Explore Memphis during the day, then enjoy coming back to your wonderful home each night. Finding the right home is a big job – and we are here to help you do it.

Your Memphis realtors at Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS would love to discuss your search for a home in our city (and we will probably keep bragging on how great Memphis is, too). Contact us today to get started.


Posted by David Tester at 8:37 AM
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