Overview of Memphis
Beauty, architectural variety
Central Gardens is among the most beautiful neighborhoods you'll find in any city. The area is featured on the National Register of Historic Places, and because of its wealth of trees and greenery, the state of Tennessee has classified the district as a level-three arboretum. Although the offices and city resources of Downtown Memphis are nearby, families will be able to find plenty of quiet and privacy in Central Gardens, as well as enough grass and shade to make any outdoors-loving child happy.
One of the most attractive features of Central Gardens for those looking to rent a home is the sheer number of different architectural styles you can find among the neighborhood's houses. Single-family houses predominate along the tree-shaded streets of the district, and there are enough options to choose from to appease even the pickiest of tastes. It's easy to spot homes built in the American Craftsman style. The Colonial and Tudor Revival styles are also popular, and Mediterranean Revival homes make a notable appearance as well.
For those who'd like to get a better sense of the homes Central Gardens has to offer, the neighborhood puts on the annual Home and Garden Tour each September. With many houses along Central Avenue - one of the main roads in Central Gardens - on display, the event can be a great activity even for those who have already secured their Memphis rentals and want to take a look at the other historic dwellings in the district.
Activities for young families
The homes themselves aren't the only attractions in Central Gardens: The area also offers a range of activities perfectly suited for families with growing children.
The Memphis Zoo in Midtown is easy to access from the neighborhood. One of the most impressive zoos in the nation, its exhibits include two giant pandas - which can only be seen at five zoos in North America - and a variety of animal shows are a regular feature on the events calendar.
Surrounding the zoo is a large recreation complex, so families can make a day of their trips and add some variety to their agendas. Rainbow Lake is a great spot for a picnic, and the Overton Park Limestone Running Trail offers the perfect space for outdoor exercise. The zoo will help keep families active and entertained in the winter, too: Memphis Zoo on Ice offers ice skating during the colder months, and kids can go owl-spotting at the Winter Wildlife Owl Prowl.
For weekends when you might prefer to keep the family indoors, the Children's Museum of Memphis lies to the east of Central Gardens, just off Central Avenue, and features plenty of fun, education and hands-on exhibits for kids.
Lifestyle, cultural resources
But don't worry: There's plenty in the way of adult-centered activities in Central Gardens, too. The neighborhood is perfect for those who enjoy an active lifestyle as well as a bit of refinement.
Driving east on Central Ave., you'll soon come to the Memphis Country Club, where golf enthusiasts can get their fill of the sport on the club's beautiful grounds. Alternatively, those who enjoy the visual arts can avail themselves of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art to the north. Afterward, you can get some shopping done at the Chickasaw Oaks Village Mall Shopping Center, an easy drive from the museum down Poplar Avenue.
Central Gardens also features a number of excellent restaurants, like Asian-influenced Tsunami and Tex Mex eatery Cafe Ole, both of which lie on South Cooper Street.