Memphis was founded in 1819 on the bluffs high above the Mississippi River, a spot that would remain safe from the flooding waters.
Those same bluffs that keep the city safe from the river also provide some of the best places to see Mississippi River in Memphis. There aren't many cafes and restaurants that overlook the river; in fact, the historic buildings along Front Street actually face away from the river.
But thanks to several parks and trails, there is an abundance of spots to enjoy the beauty of the Mississippi River in Memphis, especially at sunset.
Tom Lee Park
Tom Lee Park is an open park space that sits between Riverside Drive and the river, just south of Beale Street. This park has sidewalks that wind through it, and is connected to stairs that lead up to the Bluff Walk above. This is the home to the major Memphis in May events every year.
The Metal Museum is a small museum that focuses on blacksmithing and other metal works. Its back yard leads down to amazing views overlooking the Mississippi River.
Mud Island River Park
Mud Island sits between the Wolf River Harbor and the Mississippi River. The views of the open river are minimal in the park itself, but looking out to the Memphis skyline beyond the Harbor, especially when watching a concert at the amphitheater, are worth it.
Mississippi Greenbelt Park
Across Island Drive from the homes, apartments and businesses of Harbor Town on Mud Island sits the Mississippi Greenbelt Park. The long expanse of grass and large trees stretches along the riverfront.
River Inn of Harbor Town
The River Inn of Harbor Town is a luxury hotel in Harbor Town on Mud Island.
The Peabody Memphis and Madison Hotel provide guests great views of the Mississippi River from the rooftop. The Peabody welcomes visitors to take the elevator up without staying at the hotel. It also has a weekly Rooftop Party on Thursdays during the spring and summer. The Madison has the new Twilight Sky Terrace, a place to sip drinks and enjoy food by the fireside looking out to the river.
A peaceful and beautiful stroll can be found atop the bluffs on the Bluff Walk. The best stretch possibly is between Beale Street and the South Bluffs neighborhood. Along the way, views of the river sit below, as the path goes next to some of the city's most beautiful homes.
Beale Street Landing
Beale Street Landing at the foot of Beale Street is the city's home for riverboat cruises. A grassy expanse on top of the building provides unique views of the river and Mud Island.
Martyr’s Park sits near the older bridges crossing the river off Interstate 55 on Channel 3 Drive. The park is connected to Tom Lee Park via the Riverwalk Pedestrian Path. And to the north sitting in Downtown’s core is Memphis Park, formerly known as Confederate Park.
It sits on the bluff next to the University of Memphis law school.