Mud Island River Park
Consisting of nearly 60 acres of land in the middle of the river, the Mud Island River Park is accessible only by a pedestrian bridge. In addition to the museum mentioned above, its a popular destination for those looking to get outside and stretch their legs without traveling far from the city center.
There are a few nice restaurants, shops, and coffee shops as well, so its a great place to spend an afternoon with a cappuccino and a good book, waiting for the sun to set.
The bridge crosses over onto Memphis North Front Street, and the walk across takes just a few minutes.
Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge Tennessee
Another beautiful, protected area of land found close to Memphis is the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge.
This refuge is an area of wild, watery swampland thats about as southern as you could imagine.
Tall trees rise from the murky waters amongst the dense vegetation its an excellent place to kayak, hike, bike and explore.
Peabo Bryson And The River City Jazz & Music Festival
6:30-11 p.m. Sept. 4, Cannon Center for the Performing Arts
The veteran soul balladeer headlines an evening’s entertainment that also includes South African singer-guitarist Jonathan Butler, smooth-jazz saxophonist Najee and the fusion group, Pieces of a Dream. Find more information on or at thecannoncenter.com.
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Golf And Games Family Park
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The fun never stops at the Golf and Games Family Park.
Offering everything from batting cages to arcade games, its one of the best amusement centers in the city.
Youll enjoy hours of entertainment as you unleash your inner child in a whirlwind of games, rides, events and activities.
Do you like spending time outdoors?
Play on the bumper boats in the water or swing on the sky trail rope course in the air.
Do you prefer the luxury of an air-conditioned building?
Play laser tag with your kids or strap into the hologate virtual reality simulation.
Theres also golf, of course. Its right there in the name.
A mini-course is available for anyone who wants to pick up a putter and try their luck on the green.
If youre wondering what to do on a Memphis vacation, the Golf and Games Family Park is one of the top places to visit when youre in or near the city.
You can go today you can go tonight.
Theres a little something for everyone regardless of the time or the occasion.
This is why its one of our favorite spots in Memphis!
Address: 5484 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN 38134, United States
National Civil Rights Museum And Lorraine Motel
Memphis has many claims to fame the most infamous by far is as the place where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed in 1968.
The most prominent of the nations black civil rights leaders, he was staying at the Lorraine Motel when he was gunned down.
The National Civil Rights Museum is one of the countrys most complete sites of its kind and does a fantastic job laying out the movement and the lives of some lesser-known civil rights leaders as well.
Located on Mulberry Street in Memphis, it is close to other attractions.
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Free Live Music And Entertainment
Kick back and hear free live music at venues throughout Memphis.
Beale Street Entertainment DistrictCorner of 2nd Street and Beale Street One of America’s most famous streets, Beale Street is where W.C. Handy penned the first blues song and where youll find three blocks of restaurants, nightclubs, live music, museums and neon. Peruse the A. Schwab Dry Goods Store, follow the music Walk of Fame, see hundreds of motorcycles for Bike Night or catch the Beale Street Flippers hand-springing down the street.
Overton Park Shell ConcertsLocated in Overton ParkBuilt in the 1930s and recognized as the site of Elvis’ first professional rock ‘n’ roll show, the Overton Park Shell is an outdoor performing arts pavilion located in beautiful Overton Park. Every summer and fall, the Shell hosts more than 50 free concerts blues, gospel, country and rock represented, and the family-friendly vibe invites kids to dance, hula hoop, run and groove as the bands play.
Playhouse on the Square66 S. CooperPlayhouse on the Square is a regional theater company located in the Overton Square dining, shopping and entertainment district. It offers pay-what-you-can nights just look for the show schedule on the companys website.
Overton Square Movie Nights2101 Madison Ave.Also in the Overton Square Entertainment District, follow the tower to open-air Chimes Square. From April through June on Thursday evenings at 8 p.m., you can bring your own blanket or chair and curl up for free movies.
Why We Recommend Going Here
Meeman-Shelby is a 13,476-acre sanctuary for a variety of wildlife, including more than 200 species of birds.
For those who are into nature walks, it features around 20 miles of hiking trails.
Moreover, the state park is a great spot for family-style camping and fishing parties.
And, with its tranquil setting and flourishing flora, its also one of the most romantic places to visit in the area.
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Pinnacle Mountain State Park
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Pinnacle Mountain State Park is an incredible place with sweeping mountain and lake views.
With a litany of outdoor activities to do in one place, this must do Arkansas activity should be at the top of your list.
Just outside of the states capital of Little Rock, Pinnacle Mountain is the focal point of the park.
Within the park, however, visitors can enjoy activities like hiking and/or biking over 15-miles of trails, hiking to the peak of Pinnacle Mountain, exploring the parks rivers, and more.
In addition to all the action-packed fun, there are plenty of opportunities for leisure as well.
Pack a lunch to enjoy in the parks pavilion, read a book/relax along the riverside, basque in the beauty of this Arkansas arboretum, and so much more.
Boating is even welcomed in the Big and Little Maumelle Rivers.
The park provides the landscape for so many outdoor activities that give visitors a glimpse into why Arkansas is nicknamed The Natural State.
Address: 11901 Pinnacle Valley Rd, Roland, AR 72135, United States
Fort Smith National Historic Site
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During your visit to this Arkansas landmark, youll have the opportunity to explore what frontier life for Native Americans was like.
In essence, Fort Smith National Historic Site preserves nearly 100 years of Native American history.
Exploring Fort Smith is an immersive adventure.
Youll have the chance to tour old jails, trails, courtrooms, gallows, and more.
Additionally, youll get to take a firsthand look at artifacts like postcards, record books, and weapons.
Fort Smith National Historic Site couples nature with education and history and as such this is a wonderful destination to visit today or this weekend.
Furthermore, the park hosts childrens programs like Be a Ranger, trading cards, puzzles, and other fun programming.
During your visit to Fort Smith, you can walk the grounds, check out historical artifacts, reflect at the riverside, enjoy a picnic, snap scenic photographs, and so much more.
One of many awesome tourist attractions, be sure to check out Fort Smith National Historic Site.
Address: 301 Parker Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72901, United States
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Most Unique Thing To See/explore In West Memphis
The local casino has a dog track/racing. Weve never been but some people might find that interesting. Its Southland Casino and Racing.
Southland Casino Racing, formally Southland Park Gaming and Racing, is a casino, buffet, and greyhound racetrack in West Memphis, Arkansas. 6,656 greyhound races took place at the Park in 2019. Simulcast thoroughbred and greyhound races from other tracks around the United States are also offered.
Tips For Spending A Weekend In Memphis Tennessee
- Stay hydrated with a reusable water bottle or a filtered water bottle.
- Have a travel umbrella or rain jacket with you just in case it rains.
- Looking for a backpack that can carry all your items and camera gear for the day?
- Always keep your phone charged with a portable power bank.
- Wear comfortable shoes that can carry you all day sightseeing!
- Most restaurants and businesses tend to be closed on Sunday and Monday, so check ahead.
- In spring and summer have a packable hat, sunglasses, and reef-safe sunscreen handy.
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Fun Things To Do Near Memphis Tn: Best Places To Visit Nearby
- Emily Appelbaum
Feeling adventurous in Memphis?
Why not explore these fun things to do near Memphis, TN?
No matter how much you enjoy Memphis, you can use a little road therapy on your vacation.
So, roll down your car windows, fill up the gas tank, and drive to our recommended attractions near the city.
From outdoor enthusiasts to golf aficionados, these suggestions will delight all types of vacation-goers.
Take A Tour Of Nearby Bartlett
The Memphis and West Memphis areas have an amazingly diverse history. The Bartlett Historical Society was established to preserve the communitys heritage, and they mainly do that through education.
Located on Court Street in Memphis, they are inside the Gotten House a renovated historic home thats been around for ages.
The museum is free to visit, but guests are encouraged to donate so that the facility can continue to operate.
In addition to the museum, the society offers guided historical city tours that are always big hits with guests, so consider experiencing both.
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National Civil Rights Museum At The Lorraine Motel
During the 50s and 60s, the country was caught in the grip of a mass movement toward equality that often pitted neighbor versus neighbor. In no place was it more front and center than in southern cities like Memphis and Little Rock.
In 1968, the movements leader Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down at the Lorraine Motel. Its now been turned into a civil rights museum that is one of the places that deserves to be visited, as it focuses on one of the most pivotal eras in the nations history.
Its located on Mulberry Street in Memphis.
Memphis Rock And Soul Museum
You probably know that music is the beating heart of Memphis soul.
Located on world-famous Beale Street just across the river from Memphis, the Memphis Rock Museum is a great place to spend a few mornings or a few hours in the afternoon, especially during the hot and humid summer months.
The museum has done an excellent job documenting the lives of some of the most beloved music legends. Its stocked with a jukebox so you can hear some old classics you may have forgotten for decades.
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What Is Your Favorite Thing To Do In West Memphis
Go to the park or walk around the lake. Worthington Park has a playground, sand area, green space, and a walking area. They decorate it for Christmas and its a fun place to walk at night with the lights.
Tilden Rodgers Park has a lake with a walking trail around it, a fishing area, a picnic area, tennis courts, and baseball fields.
You can find Worthington Park on the corner of S Worthington Drive and N Missouri Street . Amenities include: 7 picnic tables with grills, a gazebo, a play area, a play ground, and a volleyball net.
Tilden Rodgers Park is home to an excellent sports complex with baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, a walking track and two pavilions. It also has a Family and Community Fishing Program pond which receives regular stockings. Open to fishing with rod or pole only.Catfish daily limit is 3.Trout daily limit is 5.A trout permit is required to keep trout.
Start Planning Your Trip To Arkansas
Theres no doubt, Arkansas is a beautiful state to visit.
Hopefully, this list of unique attractions, nature-wrought sites, and historical experiences will help you round out your itinerary.
Most notable on this list is the answer to why Arkansas has been nicknamed The Natural State.
There are more parks, hiking trails, rivers, lakes, mountains, waterfalls, and other outdoor attractions than we can name.
Certainly, if youre an outdoor lover youll find plenty to do in AR.
However, if youre not quite the outdoorsy type, theres still plenty to do with your family.
From museums and theatres to theme parks and spas, theres certainly something for everybody.
Arkansas is rich in nature, culture, heritage, entertainment, and endless activities.
So add a few of our suggested attractions to your AR itinerary and youre sure to have a blast.
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Arkansas Air And Military Museum
Arkansas Air and Military Museum
If your group is looking for some great things to do in Arkansas, the Arkansas Air and Military Museum is a history-rich, top destination.
The museums mission is to preserve and share aircraft and aviation artifacts and memorabilia from early times until now.
However, the museums collection pays special homage to exhibits from the Arkansas area.
When visiting the museum youll have the option of a guided tour or a self-guided tour.
Some of the exhibit themes you can plan to encounter during your visit include military, forgotten wars, aviary engineers, and more.
The Arkansas Air and Military Museum also frequently hosts special programs so be sure to check out the events calendar before your visit.
The museums collections are an awesome marriage of aviation and military.
If these are subjects of interest for travelers in your party, be sure to add the museum to your itinerary.
This must see museum is a great experience for the whole family.
Address: 4290 S School Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701, United States
Mammoth Spring State Park
Located within the town of Mammoth Spring, the Mammoth Spring State Park is home to one of the largest springs in the USA. Water flow is approximately nine million gallons per hour. Also located in the park is a restored 1886 train depot and a Frisco Railroad caboose.
Check out most of the action via an interpretive hiking trail, including a pathway across the dam and an out-of-service hydroelectric station. Covered pavilions are available for use, and can be rented ahead of time for large groups.
Address: 17 US Hwy 63, Mammoth Spring, Arkansas
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Best Place To Camp In West Memphis
There is a KOA campground in Marion .
And Village Creek State Park in Wynne has hiking and camping.
Memphis KOA: The tang of barbecue, the beat of the blues, the home of the King. Memphis. . . whats not to love? This KOA is 15 minutes from Beale Street, birthplace of the blues. Book a tour at the campground dont miss Elvis Presleys Graceland. Visit the National Civil Rights Museum, Rock n Soul Museum, Cotton Museum and more. Be sure to see the Peabody Hotels Marching Ducks. Pull through into a shaded big-rig site with free cable TV or stay in a Camping Cabin. Free Wi-Fi. Dip in the pool, throw horseshoes and play a game on KOAs giant chess/checkers set.
Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site
This historic school was where desegregation began. The army escorted nine black teenagers to their first day of school here in 1957, without incident. The event was noted as being an important moment in the Civil Rights Movement.
Besides a historic site, Little Rock Central High School is still an active education space with more than 2,500 students enrolled. The only way to tour Little Rock Central High School is with a ranger-led tour that must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance.
Address: 2120 West Daisy L Gatson Bates Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas
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Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge
Distance from Memphis: 56 miles
This Tennessee wildlife refuge was established in 1964 to provide a habitat for migrating waterfowl.
Situated along the scenic Hatchie River, Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge spans over 11,556 acres. It boasts rich wildlife, including songbirds, waterfowl, shorebirds as well as various species of mammals, reptiles, and fish.
It also helps to preserve the diminishing bottomland hardwood forests. Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge is the perfect place for a family getaway from Memphis and other places nearby.
Once at the refuge, you will find many guides, volunteers, exhibits, signs, and more that aims to educate you about the Tennessee refuge.
The refuge offers various fishing and hunting opportunities. Every year it hosts an annual youth fishing rodeo in June, on Free Fishing Day. Fishing is permitted in Oneal and Oxbow Lakes.
Starks Museum Of American Soul Music
The Starks Museum of American Soul Music occupies nearly 20,000 square feet on East McLemore Avenue near downtown Memphis. Its filled with paraphernalia and exhibits related to the citys rich soul music history.
Guests will enjoy interactive displays, musical instruments, original costumes and photos. For those who can remember the glory days of the soul, it is like walking down the memory lane.
The museum is relatively inexpensive and conveniently located near other popular city attractions, including exhibits on greats like James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Otis Redding, to name a few.
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Hot Springs National Park
These hot springs in the Ouachita Mountains have long been a source of interest to people living in the area, and were believed by American Indians to have healing properties. The park was established in 1921, but visitors have been coming here for much longer.
The park contains lovely old bathhouses that are still in use today in various forms, including the historic Fordyce Bathhouse, which is now the park’s visitor center. There are several other attractions within the park, including an observation tower, hiking trails, and plenty of opportunity to experience the different hot springs that define this natural retreat.
Address: 369 Central Ave, Hot Springs, Arkansas