Many people visit Memphis during the summer. This is when there are many school breaks, but it is also the hottest and most humid time of the year. The summer season is quite long and can be very uncomfortable for visitors. This is also the time of year when hotel room rates are at their highest. Winters can be cold - daytime temperatures often stay below freezing and it can sometimes snow. The spring months of April and May and the fall months of October and November are the best times to visit Memphis. There are fewer crowds and the weather can be very pleasant. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Getting to Memphis, Tennessee

Getting to Memphis, Tennessee
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January is the coldest month of year in Memphis with an average low temperature of 33°F (0°C) and an average high temperature of 50°F (10°C). Snowfall, on the other hand, averages at 2 inches (5 cm).

In February, snowfall decreases to 1 inch (3 cm). The average high and average low temperatures increase to 55°F (13°C) and 36°F (2°C) respectively for the last month of the winter season.

March sees a significant increase in average temperatures with high temperatures hitting 64°F (18°C) and average low temperatures measuring in at 44°F (7°C).

Memphis Weather in April: The temperatures continue their steep incline in April as the average high and average low temperatures range between 73°F (23°C) and 53°F (12°C).

May brings an end to spring with an average high temperature of 81°F (27°C) and an average low temperature of 62°F (17°C). May’s precipitation rate is quite high with rainfall hitting 5 inches (131 mm).

June kicks summer off with a whole lot of heat as the average high temperatures soar to 89°F (32°C). Evenings bring some respite as the average low temperature hovers at about 70°F (21°C).

In July, the warmest month of the year, the average high temperature increases even further to 92°F (33°C). Meanwhile, the average low temperature increases a handful of degrees to 74°F (23°C).

Memphis Weather in August: The last month of summer is characterized by the lowest precipitation rate of the year. Memphis receives about 3 inches (73 mm) of rainfall in August, while also being the second to the hottest month of the year. The average high and average low temperatures are 91°F (33°C) and 73°F (27°C) respectively.

September is marked by a welcome drop in Memphis’ average temperatures. The average high temperature decreases to 85°F (30°C), while the low temperature averages at 65°F (18°C).

In October, temperature averages drop further to 74°F (24°C) for an average high and 54°F (12°C) for an average low.

Memphis Weather in November: As the last month of fall, November sees temperatures sinking quickly. The average high temperature only hits 63°F (17°C). Congruently, the average low temperature decreases to 44°F (7°C).

December sees the most rainfall out of the year with a 6 inch (146 mm) average. The high temperatures average at 52°F (11°C) and low temperatures drop to an average of 35°F (2°C).

If you’re planning on paying a visit to the beautiful state of Tennessee, one of the things y0u absolutely must not miss out on are its festivals and outdoors activities. These activities are best enjoyed in the summer, which lasts from June through August. Meanwhile, the best month to avoid the tourist crowds in Tennessee is during the fall months. For those who are avid fans of hiking, the trails are at their best during October and November.

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2.Getting to Memphis, Tennessee - Continued

Getting to Memphis, Tennessee - Continued
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There are several ways to get to Memphis. Visitors can fly to the Memphis International Airport which is located approximately 11 miles south of downtown. Several domestic and several international airlines fly into this airport. Arriving by train is another option: Amtrak has a route that goes from Chicago to New Orleans via Nashville’s Central Station on South Main Street. By car you can use Interstate 40 that connects Memphis with Little Rock to the west and Nashville to the east. Interstate 55 connect Memphis with St. Louis to the north and Mississippi to the south. Greyhound has bus routes that connect Memphis with many cities around the country.

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3.Getting From the Memphis Airport

Getting From the Memphis Airport
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To get from the Memphis International Airport to downtown Memphis, visitors have several choices. There are nearly ten car rental agencies located in the Ground Transportation Center a short walk from the baggage claim area. Many people choose to rent a car to get from the airport to downtown, and then to get around the Memphis area. The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) provides several bus routes that serve the airport: MATA Bus #2 and #4 both go from the airport to downtown Memphis. There are many taxi companies at the airport as well as limousine companies. Several shuttle companies also provide transportation into the city.

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4.Getting Around Memphis by bus, trolley, taxi, on foot

Getting Around Memphis by bus, trolley, taxi, on foot
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Memphis is spread over a large area, so using a car is the best way to visit the city. Attractions are often not close to each other. There is plenty of parking. The downside of using a car is that traffic in Memphis can become very congested especially during rush hours. For people who choose not to use a car, the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) operates both a bus system and a trolley system. Bus stops are marked with green and white signs. There is no fee to transfer from a bus to a trolley. Ask your hotel to call a taxi if you need this kind of transportation. The only area that is walkable is downtown Memphis.

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5.Memphis Restaurants

Memphis Restaurants
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Memphis is known for Elvis’s fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches and pork barbecue, and there are more than 100 barbecue restaurants in the city. But Memphis offers a wide range of places to eat. The city is known for fine dining restaurants, award-winning chefs, burger joints, bars and breweries, restaurants serving simple local fare like Southern soul food, and eateries serving ethnic cuisine such as Mexican and Italian. Some of the favorite local dishes are barbecued ribs, meatloaf, butter beans, fried pickles, mashed potatoes, and purple-hull peas. There are chain restaurants in Memphis such as the Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and P.F. Chang’s.

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6.Shopping in Memphis

Shopping in Memphis
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Shoppers will be happy to discover how popular shopping is in Memphis. There are malls that feature the latest trends and fashions; antique shops; shops that sell vintage clothing and other items; art galleries; historic department stores; and record stores. Many attractions and museums have gift shops that sell unique items. If you are an Elvis fan, there are many shops that sell Elvis souvenirs around town and especially around Graceland. There are some upscale boutiques at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis: these boutiques sell fine art, designer clothes, jewelry, collectibles, and much more. Outside of downtown, there are shops to explore in East Memphis and the suburbs.

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7.Memphis Neighborhood Guide

Memphis Neighborhood Guide
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Memphis is a sprawling city made up of several distinctive neighborhoods. Downtown Memphis is the oldest area of the city. Beale Street is downtown’s main entertainment center; there are also several museums here including the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and the National Civil Rights Museum. Midtown is located east of downtown and is dominated by the 342 acre Overton Park. This park is the home of the Memphis Zoo. East Memphis is known for its budget accommodations, the Memphis Botanic Gardens, and the University of Memphis. Graceland is conveniently located for Elvis fans: it is less than 10 miles south of downtown Memphis and just west of the airport,.

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8.Getting Married in Memphis

Getting Married in Memphis
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Sitting along the Mississippi River, Memphis is a popular place for weddings. A marriage license can be obtained at any county clerk’s office including the Shelby County Clerk in Memphis. Some of the hotels and clubs that make good wedding venues include the Madison Hotel, the Westin Memphis Beale Street, the Racquet Club of Memphis, the Club House at Windyke Country Club, and more. There are some art galleries and museums where weddings can be held such as the Art Village Gallery, the Memphis Pink Palace Museum, the Visible Music College, and Dixon Gallery and Gardens. The Tower Center offers a wedding venue with a great view.

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9.Where to Stay in Memphis

Where to Stay in Memphis
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There are many hotels in the downtown area of Memphis. This is the best place to stay if you want to explore this area with its restaurants, shops, and the pleasant views of the Mississippi River. There are luxury properties such as River Inn of Harbor Town, the Peabody Memphis, the Madison Hotel, and the Westin Memphis Beale Street. If you are an Elvis fan, there are many accommodations close to Graceland: some are even close enough to walk from your hotel to the attraction. If you are looking for budget accommodations, consider East Memphis. There are many affordable and family-friendly chain hotels in this area.

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Best Time to Visit Memphis - Weather Year Round



Attraction Spotlight: Memphis Botanic Garden

Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the Memphis Botanic Garden is comprised of more than 96 breathtaking acres containing 29 specialty gardens. The garden aims to educate and entertain visitors of all ages about various plant species, gardening, and conservation.

History:

The land that the Memphis Botanic Garden calls home has quite a long history – one that dates all the way back to the founding of Memphis in 1819. The land was once owned by a well-to-do family by the name of Buntyn. The family became quite successful owners of a cotton plantation that grew from a small parcel of land to a whopping 40,000 acres.

Through the years, the Buntyn family built two gorgeous homes and tended to the property lovingly until the town of Memphis began to build roads and railroads through the property. In 1947, the City of Memphis officially bought the land from the Buntyn family trust and established a city park.

The park itself has had many different names over the years and the surrounding land now includes a golf course. However, the creation of the Botanic Garden began sometime in 1953, when 2,500 iris rhizomes were donated to the park, and in 1957 the arboretum was established. These two major events started to shape the Botanic Garden into what they are today – a world-class destination with gorgeous gardens.

Gardens:

Arboretum: The design of the W.C. Paul Arboretum began in 1957 by landscape architect George Madlinger. There are now more than 170 species of trees, some more than 50 years old, encompassing the entire 96 acres of the Botanic Garden.

Asian Garden: The Asian Garden aims to transport visitors to East Asia through the experience of the landscape. This garden features plants from many East Asian countries, including China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

Azalea Trail: The Madlinger Azalea Trail features dozens of varieties of colorful blooming azaleas along a shady dirt path.

Blue Star Marker: This marker was dedicated in 2007 to honor the United States Armed Forces. It is positioned on the corner of Park Avenue and Cherry Road in an American flag-themed garden designed by Suzy Askew.

Butterfly Garden: The Anne Heard Stokes Butterfly Garden features a variety of blooming flowers that attract many species of butterflies and insects. Visitors can stroll through this lively garden and see all kinds of wildlife, including hummingbirds, herons, turtles, and fish.

Camellia Collection: This garden features evergreen trees and shrubs with a large variety of blooming camellias.

Conifer Collection: This garden features cone-bearing and needled evergreens that are typically rare to the Memphis area.

Container Garden: This central garden features flowers and shrubs planted in oversized containers. There are interesting border beds, benches, and a lovely picnic area.

Daylily Circle: The Thomas Trotter Daylily Garden features more than 500 different daylilies and has been awarded national prizes for its quality.

Daffodil Hill: This garden has more than 300,000 bright and colorful daffodils blooming all over the hillside. There are more than 117 different varieties on display.

Delta Heritage Garden: This garden is meant to engage visitors with the story of the Mississippi Delta through plants.

Desert Garden: This cactus and succulent garden features all kinds of plants, specifically xeric plants, which flourish in desert-like conditions.

Dogwood Trail: A large collections of American and kousa dogwoods bloom along this trail in the month of April.

Four Seasons Garden: This formal garden introduces visitors to uncommonly used plants and arrangements. There is a gorgeous fountain at the back of this garden to enjoy.

Herb Garden: This garden features more than 300 threatened or endangered plants from around the world.

Nature Photography Garden: This garden is currently closed.

Holly Collection: This garden has one of the most extensive collections of holly in any public garden. The entire collection was donated in 1997 by Barbara Taylor.

Hosta Trail: Established in 1999, this garden is one of only two gardens in the United States with a certified hosta collection.

Prehistoric Plant Trail: This trail is for children to run, play, and explore. There are statues of dinosaurs, stone caves, and a sand pit for discovering fossils.

Hydrangea Garden: There are more than 35 varieties of hydrangea planted throughout the garden.

Iris Garden: This garden is the one that started them all. In 1953, more than 2,500 iris rhizomes were donated by Mrs. Morgan Ketchum. This area is covered in circular flower beds filled with a large variety of irises.

Japanese Garden: The Japanese Garden of Tranquility is one of the most photographed areas in Memphis. It boasts a large variety of Japanese trees, flowers, sculptures, and religious items.

Living Wall: This wall contains names of the gardens’ donors and is meant to enclose the concert area.

Magnolia Trail: There are more than 300 magnolia trees planted throughout the garden and they begin flowering in February and last through the summertime.

My Big Backyard: This area is an interactive, hands-on area for children to explore and learn about nature. There are a variety of tours and camps held in this area all year round.

Rose Garden: This picturesque garden features hundreds of roses along a brick-lined path. It is the perfect place to host a wedding or large event.

Sensory Garden: This garden is designed for visitors with special needs.

Sculpture Garden: A collection of sculptures are on display throughout this garden.

Water Garden Room: This room features a large indoor summer water garden. It is filled with pebbles, succulents, and large crystal-clear pools of standing water.

Wildflower Woodland: This area is maintained and allowed to bloom naturally. It contains an abundance of wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.

Additional Information:

Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road Memphis, TN 38117, Phone: 901-636-4100

More Things to Do in Memphis

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Attraction Spotlight: National Civil Rights Museum

The National Civil Rights Museum is located in the iconic Lorraine Motel, a historic landmark in Memphis. The museum features exhibits highlighting the American Civil Rights Movement, African-American History, and hosts cultural events for the community and members.

History

The National Civil Rights Museum was established in 1991 and has since become one of the nation’s leading museum’s commemorating the American Civil Rights movement and African American culture and heritage.

The museum is located in the historic Lorraine Motel where celebrated civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was murdered in the spring of 1968. Since its opening in 1991, the museum has undergone massive renovations, including the $27.5 million expansion in 2013-14 that added 40 films, and additional interactive exhibits to the already expansive galleries.

The National Civil Rights Museum has been featured on the History Channel, CNN, and in many predominate news outlets, magazines, and newspapers around the world, including the documentary The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 which was nominated for an Academy Award. Additionally, the museum is included in the top 5% to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and strives to be a voice for human rights and social justice through the International Coalition of Sites of Conscious of which the museum was a founding member.

The NCRM is open every day but Tuesday from 9am- 5pm with extended hours during the summer months. Admission prices can be found online.

Exhibitions

The National Civil Rights Museum has a collection of 260 artifacts and 40 films that provide an educational experience throughout 5 permanent exhibits and a series of temporary exhibits that rotate, taking visitors through the history of the civil rights movement and African American heritage in the United States from Slavery beginning in 1619 through the current Black Lives Matter Movement.

A Culture of Resistance: Slavery In America 1619-1861- This graphic exhibit explores the impact that slavery had not only in the United States but on global economy and world markets. Displays in this exhibit focus on the Atlantic slave trade, the goods that were cultivated by slaves and the wealth created by slaves for plantation owners.

Standing Up By Sitting Down: Student Sit-Ins 1960- The nonviolent sit in movement of the 1960’s that started in Nashville is presented in this exhibit with the original lunch counter featured with 3D figures of students and hecklers. Films are also shown in this exhibit that show the history of the protests and conflicts regarding segregation and student action.

The Year They Walked: Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-1956- One of the original exhibits in the NCRM, visitors can listen to audio on an actual bus with a 3d representation of Rosa Parks and other who participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We Are Prepared To Die: Freedom Rides 1961- This exhibit outlines the history of a Supreme Court decision in 1960 to outlaw segregation in public transportation terminals and the Freedom Ride initiated by the Congress of Racial Equality in 1961 that sent hundreds of young students into the south, some of whom were imprisoned in Parchman Penitentiary in Mississippi.

What Do We Want? Black Power- The Black Power exhibits explains the often-misunderstood movement that is also one of the most influential parts of the Civil Rights Movements. This movement continues to be a part of the struggle for equality in the African American community in new forms such as Black Lives Matters. Other displays within this exhibit outline the rise of political influence within the African American community with the right to vote and first elected officials to congress.

Educational Opportunities

The National Civil Rights Museums champions education and awareness of cultural and civil rights issues through a wide range of programs offered at the museum and throughout the community. The museum offers book signing, film presentations, special events for community groups and organization throughout the year and many free admission programs for Title 1 schools in grades 4-12 through grants.

Book and Author Series- This monthly series features authors that have written about events impacting civil rights in America and the world, historical accounts, and conspiracy theories, biographies, and recollections.

Lunch and Learns-A lecture series featuring many media types, discussion panels, and demonstration to raise cultural awareness centered around culture and civil rights. Schedules are produced annually and programs are free to the public.

Educator Seminars- One week seminars are open to educators who participate in Affiliate School Programming and focus on the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power, and tours of historic landmarks that teachers can use in educating their students.

450 Mulberry Street, Memphis Tennessee, 38103, Phone: 901-521-9699

Back to: What to See in Memphis, TN

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