Tucked in the south west of Tennessee, Memphis is the largest city in the state and is widely regarded as the birthplace of blues and rock and roll. Many music legends lived the dream here and as a result, fans of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash flock here to pay tribute to their idols. Beale Street is considered to be the heart of the music scene. Memphis is also known for its finger licking good food, and especially its pork; whether it’s barbecued, pulled or cured, you will be spoilt for choice. As well as being a food and music lover’s paradise, there’s plenty more to keep you entertained from the Mississippi to a Memphis Tigers basketball match; there’s a lot to love in this town.
A 4x4 is ideal for tackling the huge freeways and the city itself, as parking is plentiful and mostly free, with the exception of the downtown area.
Driving in Memphis
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Parking in Memphis is mostly free, except in the downtown area. If you head to the ‘Parking can be fun’ garage on Union Avenue, it’s the cheapest place to park downtown.
The Interstate 40 is a good way to get to Memphis, but doesn’t take you through the centre. To do this, take the north loop on I-40 or the I-240 south loop.
The I-55 goes through the downtown area, just take the Riverside Drive exit from either direction and you will be on Beale Street in no time.
Highlights & Hotspots
Whether you’re a fan of Elvis or not, a trip to Gracelands is essential, allowing you to go back to a time when kitsch was all the rage. The mansion itself is preserved from the 70s when The King resided here before passing away. His car collection is on show, while fans can stay in the Heartbreak Hotel.
Widely regarded by many as the number one attraction in Memphis, Sun Studio was not only the first place Elvis cut a record, but many other legendary artists such as BB King, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. The tour is run by genuine music enthusiasts from the local area.
A boat trip down the Mississippi river is a great way to soak up the laid back attitude and take in some local history. You’ll be able to see Civil War battlefields, acres of farmland, restored plantations and Victorian riverfront towns.
If Man Vs Food makes your mouth water, then head to Corky’s BBQ where the neon pig signage outside lets you know you’re in for an all American treat. From their infamous wet and dry ribs, to their southern fried catfish, there’s plenty to tempt all palates.
Memphis International Airport is just a seven-mile drive south of downtown Memphis. The airport is one of the busiest in the state, serving a wide variety of local, regional and international destinations all year round.
The airport is accessible from the I-240, which goes onto the I-69 northbound. Take that road and you‚Äôll find a few exits to the left leading to downtown Memphis.