Before I’d moved to Louisiana, the furthest south I’d ever been was Washington, D.C. Does that count!? Is D.C. even considered to be in the South?? Now that we’re down here, we plan on making the most of our time in a new area and traveling as much as we can. Case in point, of the first three weekends after I moved here I was only in town for one of them. There’s too much to see!
While Memphis may seem like a random first destination, it was close enough we could leave after work on Friday and because BBQ. Obviously. It was a quick 48 hour trip, but I think we found plenty to eat, drink and do to pass on my recommendations.
I know I just mentioned the whole point of eating in Memphis was to get BBQ, but you can’t have that for breakfast! I guess technically you could, but we opted for Brother Juniper’s and it was well worth the hour long wait to be seated. Matt had a sausage omelet, I had scrambled eggs with pesto, roasted red peppers and mozzarella cheese, and we had quite possibly the most delicious biscuits I’ve ever tasted. Prepare for a bit of a line for Saturday brunch, but this place is not to be missed.
We happened to be in Memphis the day of the Belmont Stakes and knew we had to watch it somewhere. We picked Huey’s to have some appetizers and it ended up being the perfect atmosphere to watch American Pharaoh win the Triple Crown!! Good food and a lot of great local beer options.
Charles Vergos’ Rendezvous
This is one of the top BBQ joints in Memphis. Also, just so you’re prepared, traditional Memphis BBQ is dry rub. This is my personal favorite kind of BBQ, so I was more than ok with that. We saved our appetites all day so we could stuff our faces at Rendezvous and it did not disappoint! I’m not even sure we talked during our meal, we were too busy devouring rib after rib. A must go!
Bluff City Coffee
Located in the adorable South Main Historic District, Bluff City Coffee is a fun little coffee shop. They pride themselves in their espresso, but I was partial to my nutella danish. Grab yourself a coffee and explore this cute, historic neighborhood.
We found Bardog when we were just walking around downtown from our hotel. It’s a cute neighborhood bar and was surprisingly full for early on a Friday night. This was just the kind of spot we were looking for, somewhere fun for tourists but a popular spot for the locals too. We didn’t eat anything here, but the food looked (and smelled) absolutely amazing! Not just your local bar fare, either. I saw people eating spaghetti with homemade meatballs, mussels and calamari…what kind of bar is this?! My only complaint was that smoking was allowed upstairs. I realize this is a personal preference, but smoking has been illegal in Idaho bars for years now, so it just came as a surprise to me.
The beauty of Beale Street is that there are no open container laws, meaning you can grab your drink to go and wander up and down the street. Because of this I didn’t really pay attention to any of the specific bars and restaurants! Oops. Beale Street stretches almost 2 miles though, so there is bound to be a place for everyone to enjoy. There is also plenty of live music and entertainment on the streets themselves, so make sure to walk around and catch it all.
Memphis Farmers Market
I’m a huge sucker for farmers markets. In the middle of road trips I’ve even stopped in small towns along the way just to check out the stands. I love the fresh and local produce and it’s so fun to see what different vendors are selling. I limited myself to only buying a handful of peaches from the Memphis Farmers Market, but it was in such a cute location and had so much variety, I would be there weekly if I was a local. The market is open every Saturday, April-October, from 7am-1pm.
See the Peabody Ducks
Yes, I know this is cheesy. But how can you go to Memphis and not see the ducks?! Oh…you don’t know about the ducks? Let me give you the brief history. Rumor has it, friends of the hotel owner showed up at the hotel drunk after a night of hunting. They thought it would be funny to leave their live duck decoys in the lobby fountain for the owner to find in the morning. Well, not only did the owner find the ducks swimming in the fountain the next day, he found a crowd of people watching and thoroughly enjoying them. Since then, a group of ducks now live on the roof of the Peabody and are escorted (yes, escorted) down to the fountain to swim each day, then escorted back up to the roof at night. The ducks march at 11am and 5pm. Make sure you go early to get a good seat!
Mud Island River Park
The park is located on a peninsula between Wolf River Harbor and the Mississippi River. We just happened to walk across the bridge to get a better view of the river, then looked down and saw the main attraction of the park: an exact scale replica of the Mississippi! I realize this may not sound very cool, but just trust me. The entire structure extends 5 city blocks and the “river” empties into an acre size “Gulf of Mexico”. We bought ice creams from the concessions and spent the afternoon walking around enjoying the park and the Memphis skyline in the background.