How to Spend a Day in Memphis, TN

River Views®, a River Cruise Blog

Memphis, TN is famous around the world as the birthplace of rock'n'roll and home to the blues. However, its thriving music scene is just the start of what this city has to offer visitors. Singles, seniors, and families can all find both fun and free things to do in this exciting riverside city before their cruise begins.

Fun Things To Do in Memphis


No visit to Memphis is complete without a visit to this museum dedicated to the King of Rock'n'roll. Elvis's former home is maintained in his personal style and countless pieces of memorabilia decorate every wall. Don't miss the museum of his glitziest outfits. If you think you can pull it off, you can even buy replicas to wear yourself!

Free Things To Do in Memphis

There are tons of free and fun things to do in Memphis! Should you decide to continue your stay in this great city, you can check out these free activities, as they are not offered with a river cruise or city stay package.

Shelby Farms Park

If you plan on extending your stay in Memphis, this massive park in southeastern Memphis covers more than 4,500 acres. It includes over 40 miles of hiking and biking paths that will take you through forests, around ponds, and over rolling hills. The park also includes a herd of Bison, which can make for a fun photo opportunity.

The Memphis Pyramid

Also a free and fun activity that is not included in the river cruise or city stay packages, the Pyramid is one of Memphis's most eye-catching buildings that is worth a trip! Curious about this architectural wonder? You can visit this 32-story building for free. It's another great photo opportunity and offers a wide variety of things to see and do inside the structure, including an interactive wetlands, numerous aquariums, and an 'underwater' bowling alley.

Things To Do in Downtown Memphis

Beale Street

Beale Street is one of the most influential streets in America. This is where several music legends' careers were born, including W. C. Handy, the founder of the Blues. There's a walk of fame here and more themed bars and live music than you'll find almost anywhere else.

Mud Island

Despite the name, Mud Island is actually a picturesque strip of land in the Mississippi River. Here you can stroll under the shade of towering trees, watch riverboats glide by, and grab a bite to eat. Visit Paulette's and you can enjoy French-Hungarian cuisine and view the place's collection of antiques.

Things To Do In Memphis with Kids

The Memphis Zoo

The Memphis Zoo is home to more than 4,500 animals kept in spacious, natural-looking habitats. There are seasonal exhibits like camel excursions where the kids can take a camel ride as well as special events held year-round. Ticket discounts are available for children under 12.

The Peabody Ducks

Visit the Peabody Hotel at 11 AM or 5 PM and you'll uncover one of Memphis's lesser known, but completely delightful, attractions. Here, a flock of ducks will march to and from the Peabody's fountain with musical accompaniment. This has been an adorable tradition in Memphis dating back for 90 years.

Your Pre-Cruise Schedule: Magic in Memphis

Memphis has a wealth of historic sights and great activities for visitors with any interests. Some of the highlights include:
  • Fun activities like visiting Graceland.
  • Free sights like dropping by the Memphis Pyramid
  • Exploring the Downtown Memphis booming entertainment scene including Beale Street
  • Kid-friendly activities like visiting the Memphis Zoo
Are you ready to book a city stay to Memphis? Contact us at American Queen Steamboat Company to see what cruises are available.