Memphis City Guide: Neighborhoods & Things to Do
Memphis is a bustling city with some of the most iconic landmarks in the country, many of which have links to Blues and Rock ‘n Roll. Many people move to the city because it’s more affordable than other major U.S. cities. And with new businesses filling the once empty buildings throughout the city, Memphis is becoming a cultural and financial center of Tennessee. There’s still room for growth, though, so if you’re an entrepreneur, you should definitely consider a move to Memphis where prices are low, and the opportunities are rich. As far as housing goes, there’s something for everyone here. You’ll find many affordable housing options, as well as homes in more affluent neighborhoods. Using our Memphis city guide, you’ll be able to find the perfect rental for your budget.
Memphis city highlights
Memphis is rich in history and boasts some of the best landmarks in Tennessee. Use our Memphis city guide to find apartments close to your favorite Memphis attractions.
- Graceland: A must-see place in Memphis is Graceland. The mansion/estate turned museum pays homage to the late, great King of Rock ‘n Roll. It is one of the most famous buildings in the country. The estate is opulent with a Colonial-style mansion and sprawling gardens. On the anniversary of Elvis’ death, there’s a candlelight vigil at his gravesite that’s open to the public.
- National Civil Rights Museum: The National Civil Rights Movement is an important part of our heritage and Memphis was at the forefront of it all. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968 at a Memphis motel. The city decided to use that location as the foundation for an educational movement, thereby constructing the National Civil Rights Museum around it. The museum is full of exhibits with photos and documents, as well as audio posts so you can learn more about sit-ins and boycotts for justice.
- Beale Street and Sun Studio: Beale Street is one of the most iconic streets in the country and is a major landmark for Blues music history. Due to its location along the Mississippi River, it was a thoroughfare for musicians and travelers, many of whom headed to Sun Studio, the birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll music. Elvis and Johnny Cash recorded here – just to name a few!
- Shelby Farms: Looking for a place to feed your love of nature? Head over to Shelby Farms. There you’ll be awestruck by the thousands of acres of Tennessee countryside. The hills, lakes and forests are home to wild bison, rare birds and other wild animals. Visitors can go hiking, biking, horseback riding, swimming and rowing.
- Orpheum Theater: Another iconic locale in Memphis is the Orpheum Theatre, which is one of the most prestigious in the country – and one of the longest-running in the state. You’ll be able to see Broadway shows, ballet and concerts. It’s also said that the theater is home to a friendly ghost who enjoys being entertained just as much as the theater’s visitors.
Memphis city guide to the best neighborhoods for renters
Are you ready to make Memphis your home? Our Memphis city guide will help you not only find the ideal apartment but will also help you find a neighborhood that fits your budget, needs and aesthetics.
Midtown is a sprawling neighborhood that’s lively and full of fun nightlife activities. Enjoy going to the theater? Make a date with your significant other to visit the Playhouse on the Square. If you’re a fan of live music, there are plenty of venues to visit regularly, including bars that host local bands, as well as concert halls that host larger touring acts. Is there something for the foodies in Memphis? Absolutely! You’ll find relaxed joints like pizza parlors and barbeque steakhouses as well as fine-dining establishments.
East Memphis is a major business hub of the city. It’s known for its upscale retail shopping centers where you can find designer brands in both fashion and household items and décor. Residents have access to the Audubon Park golf course, as well as the Memphis Botanic Garden and Dixon Gallery & Gardens, which showcases Impressionist art. East Memphis is also a commuter-friendly neighborhood with commutes typically taking less than 30 minutes. The area is also one of the most affordable suburbs of Memphis, making it an ideal place for young professionals and families who either can’t afford downtown Memphis or who don’t want to be surrounded by the hustle of the city 24/7.
Located in Downtown Memphis, Mud Island is a small peninsula bordered by the Wolf River, Harbor Town and the mighty Mississippi River. It usually takes less than 10 minutes to get from Mud Island to downtown Memphis, making it a great neighborhood for commuters. On the island, you enjoy concerts and views of the Memphis skyline at a 5000-seat venue. Four days a week, the Mississippi River Museum is open to the public. Less than 10% of the population have children, so this is a nice neighborhood for retirees or young professionals who need an affordable place to live and an easy commute.
Raleigh is a suburb of Memphis that is made up primarily of single-family homes and high-rise apartment complexes with small studio apartments, as well as larger four-bedroom apartments. New complexes have been built in recent years and some are still vacant – and there’s nothing like moving into a brand-new apartment that no one else has lived in! Nearly 5% of households in this neighborhood consist of same-sex couples. That’s a higher percentage than 99% of U.S. neighborhoods. The commute to downtown Memphis is approximately 15 minutes.
If you’re Elvis’ biggest fan, you might want to check out apartments for rent in Whitehaven. This is a residential area and the most famous residential home in the area is the Graceland estate. You’ll find Elvis memorabilia everywhere. At the Graceland Mansion museums, you’ll get to see Elvis’ clothes and cars. Nearby, there are Elvis-themed diners. But this neighborhood isn’t simply all about Elvis. You’ll also find a beautiful golf course at the nearby T.O. Fuller State Park, which also boasts excellent hiking trails.
Parkway Village is a family-friendly neighborhood with lots of trees and lovely, landscaped yards. It’s a quiet, friendly area with a diverse community. When developers decided to turn some farmland into a beautiful neighborhood in 1956, they did so with the idea that it would provide “gracious suburban living.” While things have changed in all neighborhoods in the past 60 years, neighbors still feel this is a nice neighborhood to raise a family and build strong bonds with your community.
Southwind is a gated community, and the residents’ average age is in the mid-50s. Residents describe it as peaceful and secure with well-maintained properties. It’s animal- and kid-friendly, too. There are plenty of restaurants, you can go wine tasting and there’s even a golf course nearby. In addition to the condos and townhouses in the neighborhood, you’ll also find luxury mansions. Even so, it’s still an affordable neighborhood for many.
Crosstown is one of the historic neighborhoods of Memphis. In recent years, much of it has been updated, including its main attraction: The Sears Crosstown building, which is a 1.5 million square foot building that is nearly 95 years old. Originally, it was the Sears, Roebuck &Co distribution center, as well as a retail store. Now, you’ll find a wine store, pharmacy, eye doctor and multiple hair salons. Additionally, the building is home to a number of restaurants with tasty menu items, many of which deliver, which is great for young professionals or busy families after a long day of work and errands.
Hickory Hill is a diverse, middle-class neighborhood with single family homes and several well-kept apartment complexes. This might not be the best neighborhood if you want to raise a family as some of the schools in the areas have received poor ratings from parents. But if you’re looking for something more suburban and away from the hustle of downtown Memphis, you’ll find this to be a nice, quiet neighborhood. While there aren’t a lot of restaurants or chain retailers in the area, many entrepreneurs and small, local businesses have taken advantage and set up shop in the area. The area has lots of affordable housing, so it’s great for folks who are just starting out. Hickory Hill is also home to the largest public community center in Memphis, as well as the longest public golf course.