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Memphis doesn't just attract tourists; it draws pilgrims. Music-lovers lose themselves to the throb of blues guitar on Beale St. Barbecue connoisseurs descend to stuff themselves silly on smoky pulled pork and dry-rubbed ribs. Elvis fanatics fly in to pay their respects at Graceland. You could spend days hopping from one museum or historic site to another, stopping only for barbecue, and leave happy.

Celebrating its bicentennial in 2019, Memphis has long been marked by a certain baroque, ruined quality both sad and beguiling. But the city these days feels re-energized. Neighborhoods once downtrodden and abandoned – South Main, Binghampton, Crosstown and others – are being reinvented with kitschy boutiques, hipster lofts, daring restaurants, welcoming microbreweries and design-minded revamps of old buildings, all dripping with Memphis' wild river-town spirit. Poverty is still prevalent, and some neighborhoods are considered unsafe at night, but the vibe overall is one of optimism and local pride.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Memphis.

Top experiences

Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Memphis.