After winning a host of accolades and travel awards in 2019, the city of Memphis continues to give travellers new reasons to visit – or revisit – this gem of the south. Australian and NZ tourists are two of the nations leading the charge, with a 4.6% increase in visitation from both last year, making the combined market one of the top four international originators for the city.

Although famously known for its legendary music and historic landmarks, Memphis’ lesser known suburbs and neighbourhoods are beginning to come into their own, with many of them becoming must-see locations in their own right.  The rise in popularity of many local precincts coupled with the greater area’s tourism boom, has seen more than two dozen hotels under construction or in the works. With the vast majority in the outskirts of the city, many of the developments cater to the growing demand of travellers for new and different kinds of hotel experiences – at the heart of which is often a localised, authentic travel experience.

Memphis is a city on the move, seamlessly merging a wonderful history with an exciting future. A few key reasons for travellers to add the city to their travel lists in 2020 include:

New hotels and restaurants –

In addition to the at least 26 new hotels in development or planning stages, the former Memphis College of Art Building on South Main has been transformed into the new Arrive Hotel. Here, visitors can enjoy the Hustle & Dough bakery located in the Arrive lobby, and come evening carefully crafted cocktails and mouth watering eats at Bar Hustle. The iconic Earnestine and Hazel’s is part of Memphis’ history, with 100-year-old building recently undergoing renovations and restoration. The possible haunted local is a must for those wanting to experience the real Memphis, and the ‘Soul Burger,’ is a must.

Must see local neighbourhoods –

Since opening in 2017, the vertical urban village that is Crosstown Concourse has won a number of awards for sustainability and regularly adds new restaurants and venues to its offer. Enjoy live music at the new black-box Crosstown Theatre, or an intimate show in the Green Room. When finished here, enjoy a sweet treat at Lucy J’s, or a cocktail at Art Bar. Travellers can find Instagram-worthy shots with Memphis’ new public art. Pose in front of Tennessee’s first rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of Cooper and Young in Midtown, and visit the new mural at Arrive Hotel located on E. Butler Ave, which is by Memphis muralist Birdcap.

Coming soon to Memphis:

  • One Beale
  • Union Row
  • Pinch District
  • The Snuff District
  • The Clipper

Historical sites and celebrations –

Experience the iconic women of Memphis and take part in the new Memphis Women’s Legacy Trail. Opening on March 27 2020, the new trail will be comprised of 25 stops that honour local ‘Women of Achievement’, and includes the Equality Trailblazers monument. This year will also see the Theatre Memphis’ celebrate its 100th year, with planned upgrades also set to take place

Exciting new venues and exhibition centres –

The all-new Graceland Exhibition Centre recently opened and invites visitors to journey through space and study dinosaurs. Based inside Elvis Presley’s Graceland, the centre offers ever changing exhibits year round and two dining options; TCB Food Hall and The Jungle Room Bar. The iconic Hernando’s Hideaway recently made a comeback, with the music venue once a favourite for famed musicians Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. Now, travellers can stop in and hear from the next generation of Memphis music legends.