Spread the love

BB-KingTennessee’s second-largest city, the vibrant city of Memphis, is famous for its music, great food (and we’re not just talking about the fantastic BBQ), and its important place in America’s history of civil rights. Exceptional hotels and something to please every type of traveller await in Memphis.

Memphis Tourism officials have announced that the Tennessee city is well on its way to pre-pandemic numbers, with some categories even surpassing it. In 2022 approximately 11 million tourists ventured to Memphis, which is 5% higher than the national average. Before the pandemic in 2019, Memphis had a record year of tourists visiting the Home of Blues, Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Blues Museum Memphis, TN

Blues Museum Memphis, TN

The tourism board anticipate that the destination will be back to full recovery by late 2023 or 2024. In addition, Australia recently outranked Germany in most international visitors and has now claimed the third spot behind the United Kingdom and Canada.

“These strong numbers demonstrate the power of the city’s rich music, culture and food scenes that encourages travellers to visit Memphis,” said Chris Ingram, Director of Memphis Tourism Australia & New Zealand.

The tourism board implemented a strategic roadmap to recovery in the earliest days of the pandemic, where they anticipated reaching the current numbers by the end of 2023 or 2024. “To add to the excitement, we’re pleased to see that more Australians are crossing the ditch and discovering this beautiful city and all that it has to offer.”

The rebound to tourism will result in more money for local businesses and open new job opportunities for Memphians.

In the past couple of years, the city of Memphis has introduced a range of hotels, experiences, and restaurants, meaning that there are heaps of new things to explore while visiting the Home of Blues, Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll. With events now also having a huge comeback, there’s also a range of exciting events to look out for in 2023.

Here below are some of the recent hotel openings:

ARRIVE hotel on South Main Sean Fisher Mr. BootstrapsArrive Memphis: This recently opened boutique hotel is a food destination as much as a fabulous city stay. Travellers looking for accommodation with food at the forefront will love staying at this chic hotel, which has its bakery meaning you’ll have direct access to freshly baked pastries and bread every day.

Central Station Hotel: This hotel opened before the pandemic and quickly became a local favourite. It was converted from a 1914 rail hub in downtown Memphis’ Central Station and has been designed with Memphis’ rich music culture in mind.

The Memphian: Located in the arts and culture scene of Memphis, the Memphian pays homage to the culture of its neighbourhood with its eclectic décor, two restaurants and a rooftop bar.

Caption by Hyatt: The recently opened hotel is the first of its kind and is located just around the corner from the bustling Beale Street. The concept focuses on a do-good mentality and offers travellers an upscale, contemporary-meets-urban collaborative experience.

Next door to the Caption by Hyatt lies Hyatt Centric, the perfect spot to enjoy the sun in a private cabana at the only resort-style pool area in Memphis and grab a cocktail or two at the hotel’s Beck & Call Rooftop Lounge.

Canopy by Hilton Memphis Downtown: Conveniently located a short walk from Beale Street, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, the Memphis Rock n’ Roll Museum and a short drive to Graceland, this recently opened hotel was designed with nods to the traditions of music, barbeque and bourbon. Details of the design are those found in a recording studio, and the story of local guitar musicians inspired the rooms.

Some of the events happening in Memphis this year:

Memphis in May: Arguably the biggest event of the year in Memphis, this month-long international festival brings people in from worldwide. Make sure also to check out the World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest.

Vegan Food Festival – June: Memphis is typically known for its finger-licking BBQ food, but the city is becoming more appealing to those wanting vegetarian or vegan food. This festival will surely entice more people to explore a different side of the BBQ capital.

Mempho Fest – September: It’s nearly impossible to visit Memphis and not be surrounded by the music culture, and with good reason! This legendary musical experience takes place in Memphis in September, and this year’s line-up was an impressive list of indie rock talents, including The Black Keys, Wilco and Portugal.

Goner Fest – September: Taking place at the Railgarten, an old railyard hangout in Midtown, this annual multi-day festival many claims as the city’s best music event of the year, taking place in September each year and is often well represented by Aussie talents.

Memphis Food & Wine Festival – October: The regular Memphis Food & Wine Festival will give travellers the perfect excuse to feast on the Tennessee city’s diverse culinary and wine offerings. The festival brings together the most celebrated chefs from Memphis to introduce a range of types of food, including soul food, fine dining, twists on Southern classics and authentic Italian and Mexican cuisine.

Some recently opened restaurants and experiences:

Cameo: This craft cocktail bar opened in 2021 and is locally owned by some of Memphis’ best bartenders. The menu has been designed so that the food caters to the cocktails instead of the other way around, and the team excels at a classy yet casual food menu.

Inkwell: Inkwell’s mission is to serve excellent drinks in a truly inclusive atmosphere for all Memphians (including short-termers!). This newly opened cocktail bar is located in the Edge District next to the historic Sam Phillips Recording Studio (founder of Sun Studio). It offers a curated list of signature drinks, classic cocktails, mocktails, and wines, plus a small food menu.

Tonica: A new Spanish-inspired tapas bar, Tonica’s unique take on the concept is self-described as “Spanish inspired – Italian touch”. The result is a menu full of food authentic to Spain, with a few surprises that may not be as traditionally Spanish.

The Genre Memphis: The name probably gives it away, but this recently opened urban bistro was opened by two veteran DJs and has been designed to represent Memphis’ music scene. With drinks named after artists and famous songs and the wall decorated with vinyl and album covers, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the heart of Memphis.

Listening Lab: For travellers wanting to immerse themselves in the music culture of Memphis, this audio library will be the favourite hangout spot. The private-turned-public library that opened last year was built around the 60,000-piece collection of the late John King, co-founder of legendary Ardent Records. It’s the ultimate spot where music enthusiasts can enjoy listening to music on vinyl in the same way you’d enjoy a book at a library.

Explore more of Memphis here: https://www.memphistravel.com/.



Edited by Matthew Thomas