10 Best Things to Do for Couples in Memphis, Tennessee

USA, Tennessee, Beale Street at twilight
Dan Reynolds Photography / Getty Images

A spectacular city for music lovers, Memphis is Mecca for fans of rock, soul, and the blues, but it's also a great destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway. While its unique history is memorialized in museums and other attractions, the city remains a lively cultural destination. If you're planning a trip to Memphis with your loved one, keep in mind that it can get very hot and humid in the summers, when the sound of music continuously fills the sultry air, but may also be quite chilly in the winter months, when the city comes to life with twinkling lights and holiday cheer. No matter what time of year you go, though, you're sure to find plenty of romantic activities for your and your partner.

01 of 10

Remember History at the National Civil Rights Museum

National Civil Rights Museum

Stephen Saks / Getty Images

Address
450 Mulberry St, Memphis, TN 38103-4214, USA
Phone
+1 901-521-9699
4.4

A place of peace borne out of a site of tragedy, the National Civil Rights Museum began at the Lorraine Motel, a small minority-owned business in downtown Memphis where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. State and local support helped to convert it to a museum dedicated to helping visitors better understand the history and lessons of the American Civil Rights movement. If you and your loved one are fans of history, this important museum makes a great addition to your travel itinerary. While it may not be as romantic as some other activities, you're sure to learn something about the important role Memphis played in the Civil Rights Movement.

02 of 10

Listen to Live Music on Beale Street

Beale Street

Taylor McIntyre / © TripSavvy

Address
Beale St, Memphis, TN, USA

Memphis is known as the "home of the Blues," and Beale Street is where the voices of the Mississippi Delta and the cotton fields converged years ago to sing their songs of love, life, and hardship. A night-time attraction for couples, Beale Street in downtown Memphis is home to clubs where the blues are performed live and visitors can pick up recorded music and mementos in adjacent stores.

New Daisy Theatre (330 Beale Street) is a great destination for live shows in a historic venue while the Rum Boogie Cafe (182 Beale Street) is a happening nightlife spot that always features a big band and vibrant crowd. For something more secluded, Absinthe Room (166 Beale Street) offers a cozy, vintage-style bar with traditional absinthe service and a jukebox.

03 of 10

Tour Elvis' Home at Graceland

Graceland

 Taylor McIntyre / © TripSavvy

Address
3764 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38116, USA

Elvis, the dirt-poor hillbilly with the incredible voice and mesmerizing performing style, went on to gain millions of fans around the world before his untimely death, but when he wasn't on the road or performing, he retired to Graceland, the 14-acre estate he built for his family and friends. To experience all the romance and wonder of the King of Rock 'n' Roll's historic estate, you and your loved one can book a tour of Graceland year-round. However, Elvis Week in early to mid-August and Elvis' Birthday on January 8 are both great times to visit the estate for special events including concerts, movie screenings, and an Elvis Expo.

04 of 10

Stay at the Peabody Hotel

Peabody Hotel

 Taylor McIntyre / © TripSavvy

Address
118 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103, USA
Phone
+1 901-529-4000

The historic Peabody Memphis is an AAA Four-Diamond hotel located in the heart of the city. Named one of the best historic hotels in America, the Peabody Memphis is known as the "South's Grand Hotel" thanks to its charm, elegance, and gracious hospitality. It first began welcoming guests in 1925 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, but couples hoping for a romantic getaway can still book a room at this luxurious accommodation year-round.

However, what this attraction is best known for is The Peabody Ducks, five live mallard ducks that march to and from the Grand Lobby on a red carpet twice daily in a show of Southern hospitality that even extends to the web-footed. The hotel also has a noteworthy Sunday brunch, which provides a great opportunity to stop by and check out the historic site even if you're not spending the night.

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05 of 10

Dress Like a Rock Star at Lansky Brothers

Lansky Brothers

Joe Luther / Flickr / CC

Address
149 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103, USA
Phone
+1 901-529-9070

Elvis was almost as famous for his costumes as he was for his voice, and the former were provided by Lansky Brothers clothiers of Memphis. More than an attraction, Lansky Brothers remains a huge draw for men who like to dress expressively. However, Lansky Brothers maintains a shop in Memphis' Peabody Hotel that features popular brands for women, too. Spend the afternoon getting dressed up like a rock star with your loved one at Lanksy Brothers so you can go out in style later that night.

06 of 10

Enjoy a Leisurely Afternoon at Mud Island River Park

Mud Island River Park

 Taylor McIntyre / © TripSavvy

Address
125 N Front St, Memphis, TN 38103, USA
Phone
+1 901-576-7241

A park that pays tribute to the Mississippi River, Mud Island contains the Mississippi River Museum, a monorail, and the River Walk—a representation of the river from Cairo, Illinois, to New Orleans, Louisiana. Visitors can also rent bikes or board canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats to navigate the harbor, and there are a number of picnic areas throughout the park that are perfect for a romantic picnic lunch with your loved one. As an added bonus, the Memphis skyline is visible from throughout the park, providing an unbeatable backdrop to your intimate meal. However, be aware that Mud Island is a popular destination for school field trips, so couples stand a better chance of enjoying the location on weekends.

07 of 10

Tour the Museum of American Soul Music

Stax Museum of America Soul Music, Memphis, Tennessee

Buyenlarge / Getty Images

Address
926 E McLemore Ave, Memphis, TN 38126, USA
Phone
+1 901-261-6338
4.5

Located on the original site of the legendary Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, this attraction is dedicated to keeping the memory of Stax soul music legends alive. Music greats including Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, the Staple Singers have recorded in the Stax studios, as have comedians like Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, and Moms Mabley. The 17,000-square-foot site holds more than 2,000 pieces of musical memorabilia, video footage, and items that reflect the greatness of American soul music, making it the perfect destination to explore with your music-loving significant other.

08 of 10

See the Animals at the Memphis Zoo

Memphis Zoo Animals

Raymond Boyd / Getty Images

Address
2000 Prentiss Pl, Memphis, TN 38112, USA
Phone
+1 901-333-6500

Located on 70 acres in Overton Park, the Memphis Zoo is an attraction that is home to some 3,500 animals from more than 500 different species. While it may not sound like the most romantic activity, wandering around through the exhibits is a great way to bond with your loved one. Popular exhibits of the zoo include Primate Canyon, an outdoor environment featuring gorillas, orangutans, and monkeys; the aquarium, which features both fresh and saltwater fish; and Once Upon a Farm, an indoor-outdoor exhibit that's home to a variety of livestock including horses, cows, and donkeys.

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09 of 10

Witness the Birthplace of Music Legends at Sun Studio

Sun Studio

 Taylor McIntyre / © TripSavvy

Address
Sun Studio, Memphis, TN 38103, USA

If you want to see where Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, and other seminal rock'n'roll performers first recorded their voices, put Sun Studio, "the birthplace of rock 'n' roll," on your tour of Memphis attractions. Located at the corner of Union and Marshall avenues and open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun Studio offers guided tours as well as the chance to record in the same studio as the King himself. If you and your loved ones are fans of classic rock music, you won't want to miss this historic tour on your romantic vacation to Memphis.

10 of 10

Share a Romantic Meal

Music Venues and Diners in Beale Street, Memphis

Tim Graham / Getty Images

There are few better ways to treat your loved one like the king or queen they are than to book a reservation for two at a fine dining restaurant, and Memphis is home to several great establishments that offer a romantic ambiance, delicious food, and great drinks. ACRE on South Perkins Road offers upscale dining in a cozy and intimate setting with a menu that changes with the seasons while Chez Philippe on Union Avenue allows dinner guests to step back in time to a period of southern decadence in the city. Other great fine dining establishments in Memphis include Folk's Folly, Erling Jensen, Flight, and Paulette's.

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Top 10 Memphis Sights and Attractions for Couples