Memphis, Tennessee, is on the Mississippi River in Tennessee and is the home of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll. If you love music, you will be in your element on Beale Street in Downtown Memphis, where live music plays in restaurants and bars seven days a week. Choosing where to stay in Memphis can make a big difference to your enjoyment of this city.
You won’t want to leave Memphis without visiting the iconic Sun Studios, where artists such as Elvis Presley, BB King, and Johnny Cash recorded their albums. Music attractions are everywhere, such as The Blues Hall of Fame and The Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Immerse yourself in the life of Elvis by visiting his home, Graceland.
Food is an integral part of the Memphis scene. It is known for its barbecue and soul food. Barbecue is loved so much that it is even put on spaghetti. Memphis is known for dry-rub ribs and fried chicken, but its sides are also famous. Try turnip greens, shell ‘n’ cheese or mash and gravy. Vegans and vegetarians don’t have to feel left out as many plant-based restaurants have popped up serving delicacies such as beet burgers, cauliflower hot wings, and carrot dogs.
Hopefully, I have whetted your appetite, and you want to visit Memphis. The next step is deciding where to stay in Memphis. Perhaps you want to be in the heart of the city so that you can take advantage of as much as possible, or maybe you want to be in the suburbs where you can experience the countryside but be close enough to visit the city within half an hour’s drive. I have chosen five neighbourhoods and hopefully, you will find a hotel to suit from my choices.
- Where To Stay In Memphis
- Downtown Memphis
- Midtown Memphis
- East Memphis
Where To Stay In Memphis
If you want to experience the heart and soul of Memphis, the Downtown area is a bustling hub full of blues and soul venues, especially on Beale Street.
There are museums galore to visit, such as The Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum which includes costumes and interactive exhibits, The Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame, The Memphis Music Hall of Fame, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.
If you are interested in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950 and 1960s, visit the Lorraine Motel (the place where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated on 4 April 1968) and the National Civil Rights Museum.
You will have lots of choices when it comes to food, with options ranging from Memphis-style barbecue to fine dining with a Southern twist.
It is only 15 km (9.3 miles) to Graceland from Downtown Memphis and takes 11 minutes in a car or taxi. You can also book a day trip to Graceland.
- You are close to many attractions.
- Most attractions are within walking distance.
- There is a good bus and trolley service.
- Cons Of Staying In Downtown Memphis
- It can get busy and crowded.
- It can get unsafe at night so don’t go down dark alleys.
Places To Stay In Downtown Memphis
Luxury – The Westin Memphis Beale Street
This hotel is steps away from Beale Street, so you will be in the centre of the action opposite the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.
It’s a great place to start your exploration of the music scene and a bonus is the free parking that the hotel provides.
If you want to explore further afield, you won’t have to search for parking for your rental car.
The rooms are luxurious, with a private bathroom, air conditioning, tea and coffee-making facilities, and room service.
The Bleu Restaurant & Lounge offers delicious seafood dishes and continental breakfast. You can enjoy a cocktail in the lounge before or after your dinner.
The facilities offered by the hotel are second to none. There is a fitness centre, business centre, and banquet facilities. It is the ideal location to host a special event.
Midscale – Peabody Memphis
This hotel is also only steps away from Beale Street.
Peabody Memphis is well-known for the Peabody Ducks, five ducks who live on the rooftop but come down to the fountains in the lobby twice a day using the elevator.
They are well worth seeing and are a big tourist attraction.
The rooms at this hotel are elegant and have a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, an executive work desk, air conditioning, and a plush seating area.
The Peabody has excellent facilities, including a fitness centre, indoor pool, and spa.
The restaurant, Chez Phillipe, features gourmet French cuisine, while the Capriccio Grill offers Southern specialities for an included breakfast and steaks, pork chops, and seafood for dinner.
Enjoy a cocktail at the Peabody Corner Bar with a light bite.
Budget – Moxy Memphis Downtown
This hotel is 1 km (0.62 miles) from Beale Street, so it is within walking distance. You won’t need to rent a car if you don’t want to leave Downtown Memphis.
The rooms are comfortable and have free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, an en-suite bathroom with a hairdryer, complimentary bathrobes, and air conditioning.
You can work out at the fitness centre or use the business centre.
At Pickups, you can order your ingredients and fix up your meal 24/7, while at Bar Moxy, you can order craft cocktails, beer, and flats day and night.
This is a significant advantage if you arrive late and need something to eat.
This hotel is excellent value for money and is for adults only, so if you want a break from kids, this is the place to go.
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- Where To Stay In Memphis
Midtown is to the east of Downtown Memphis.
Here you will find Overton Square, a lively nightclub hub with live music venues, including bars hosting local bands and larger venues presenting touring acts.
There are theatres, such as the Playhouse on the Square, worth attending if you enjoy big shows or intimate dramas.
Dining options are varied in Midtown Memphis and should suit all tastes. You will find barbecue and pizza as well as fine dining.
Take a walk in Overton Park and connect with nature in the middle of a city. You will also find the Brooks Museum exhibiting modern art and the Memphis Zoo here.
- Nightlife is exciting in Overton Square.
- Plenty of places to eat out.
- Can commune with nature in the city.
- Cons Of Staying In Midtown Memphis
- You need to rent a car or take a bus or taxi to get to Downtown Memphis with all its attractions.
Places To Stay In Midtown Memphis
Luxury – The Memphian a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
One of the many positives about this hotel is that it overlooks Overton Square.
Getting to attractions, restaurants and bars on foot is easy. There’s no need to hire a car if you want to stay in the area.
The rooms are luxurious and have a private bathroom, a TV, free Wi-Fi, and a desk.
There is private parking on site if you want to venture further afield and need to hire a car.
The Complicated Pilgrim restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Breakfast is a la carte or American, and the portions are massive.
The breakfast will set you up for the day, and you might not even need lunch. Food served in the restaurant is local and regional fare, emphasising fresh ingredients.
The Tiger & Peacock Bar serves cocktails and light bites, so you can enjoy an evening in the hotel if you don’t feel like going out.
Midscale – Holiday Inn Express Memphis Medical Centre
This hotel is conveniently located just off Interstate Memphis, so is easy to find if you arrive from the airport.
If you stay here, you will probably need a car, but there is free parking. It’s just 4.82 km (3 miles) to Memphis Zoo and 2.4 km (1.49 miles) to Beale Street.
The rooms are modern and come with air conditioning, heating, an attached bathroom, a 32-inch flat-screen TV, a coffee maker, a work desk, and an ironing board and iron. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
The hotel is good value for money as the cost includes a hot breakfast buffet. Facilities include a seasonal outdoor pool, a fitness centre, and a business centre.
Budget – Best Western Plus Gen X Inn
This budget hotel is in a good position as Memphis City Centre is just a five-minute drive away, and Graceland is 15 minutes away.
It offers convenient free parking and breakfast is included in your room rate.
The rooms are good value for money and have a private bathroom, air conditioning, heating, cable TV and free Wi-Fi. There are tea and coffee-making facilities in the rooms.
Don’t worry if you arrive late; there is a 24-hour front desk. Other facilities include a fitness centre and a business centre.
If you want a quieter area with a country feel but still want to be close to the city centre, East Memphis is a good choice.
The streets are lined with trees and the homes have lush gardens.
The Shelby Farms Greenline urban trail cuts through the area.
As well as hiking here, you can horse ride, cycle, and participate in water activities on one of the two lakes.
In Audubon Park, you can visit the Memphis Botanical Garden.
If you like to shop ‘til you drop, the Laurelwood Shopping Centre offers designer fashion stores and various eateries.
This area is not devoid of museums, and here you can find The Memphis Museum of Science and History and The Children’s Museum of Memphis.
If you want to experience the music scene, it’s just an 18-minute drive from East Memphis to Downtown Memphis.
- It is known as the garden district with plenty of outdoor activities.
- It is more peaceful than Memphis City Centre.
- You need a car or public transport to get into Memphis City Centre.
Places To Stay In East Memphis
Luxury – Double Tree By Hilton Memphis
A great perk of this hotel is that they offer complimentary airport transportation, so there’s no need to spend money on a taxi or hire a car and try to find the hotel after a long flight.
However, if you hire a car once you get to the hotel, there is free parking. It’s a win-win situation.
The rooms are luxurious and feature a private bathroom, air conditioning, heating, a TV, a tea and coffee maker, and a safe and free Wi-Fi.
The hotel has a restaurant where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Other facilities include a bar, indoor pool, and fitness centre.
Midscale – Courtyard by Marriott Memphis East/Park Avenue
The rooms in this hotel offer everything you need for your stay.
They have a private bathroom, air conditioning, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, a desk with an ergonomic chair, coffee-making facilities, and a microwave.
The Bistro offers breakfast and dinner and turns into a full-service bar in the evening. There’s no need to go out if you don’t want to.
The Market is open 24/7 and sells a selection of snacks and beverages if you don’t want a sit-down meal.
The facilities at the hotel are excellent and will enhance your stay. There is a seasonal outdoor pool, a fitness centre, a picnic area, and barbecue facilities.
The hotel is 19.3 km (12 miles) from Downtown Memphis and 16.1 km (10 miles) from Graceland.
Budget – Staybridge Suites Memphis-Poplar Ave East – an IHG Hotel
You get value for money at this budget hotel as a buffet breakfast is included in your room rate.
Eat as much as you want and set yourself up for sightseeing. There are also vending machines in the hotel with snacks and drinks.
The rooms offer all you need for your stay, including a private bathroom, TV, air conditioning, heating, and a TV.
The facilities in the hotel are excellent for a budget hotel. There is a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and a shared lounge.
It’s 19.3 km (12 miles) to Downtown Memphis, and if you hire a car, there is free parking at the hotel.
Cordova is a suburb of Memphis, about a half-hour drive from Downtown Memphis.
It is a fantastic place to stay if you want a bit of outdoor living while being near enough to the city centre for days out.
Cordova is right next-door to Shelby Farms Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the US.
It covers 4500 acres and is more than five times the area of Central Park in New York. Here you can hike, horse ride, cycle, and rent boards and boats on one of the lakes.
- Shelby Farms Park is a great place to go if you like outdoor activities.
- It is more peaceful than the city centre.
- You need a car if you want to explore the city centre.
Places To Stay In Cordova
Luxury – Home2 Suites By Hilton Memphis Wolfchase Galleria
This hotel is 29 km (18 miles) from Memphis City Centre so you will probably want to hire a car to visit the city.
An advantage of this hotel is that it offers free parking.
The rooms are elegant, with a private bathroom, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a TV, and a fully equipped kitchen. Included in your stay is a buffet breakfast.
The facilities at the hotel are good and include a fitness centre, a business centre, laundry service, a 24-hour front desk, and a shared lounge.
Midscale – Hyatt Place Memphis Wolfchase
If you enjoy shopping, this is the hotel for you. It is a 10-minute walk from Wolfchase Galleria Mall, the largest indoor shopping and entertainment centre in Memphis.
The rooms in the hotel have everything you want, a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a sofa, and a desk.
The 24/7 Bakery Cafe offers flatbreads, salads, and burgers if you need to eat. You can also enjoy a beer or cocktail here. Other facilities at the hotel include a seasonal outdoor pool, a fitness centre, a business centre, luggage storage, and a 24-hour front desk.
If you want to hire a car, the hotel has free parking. Beale Street is just 30 minutes drive away.
Budget – Courtyard By Marriott Memphis East Galleria
This budget hotel stands out because not only is there free parking but they offer free bicycles as well.
The rooms offer all you need: a private bathroom, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, cable TV, and an ergonomic workspace.
Other facilities in the hotel include a fitness centre, a whirlpool, and an indoor pool. If you like the outdoors, the hotel is close to parks and nature preserves.
You can get a la carte or continental breakfast here, although there aren’t any other meals. However, there is a bar and a fitness centre.
The hotel is 29 km (18 miles) from Downtown Memphis.
Germantown is another suburb of Memphis and was founded in 1841 by German emigrants. It is a small historic area that transports you back to Old America.
There are plenty of activities here, only 35.4 km (22 miles) from Downtown Memphis. It gives you the opportunity to explore two different worlds.
While in Germantown, visit the Wolf River, where you can paddle, walk and cycle. It is heaven for nature enthusiasts as it is a conservation site for plants and animals.
At the Germantown Depot, you will find an 1868 Memphis – Charlestown Railroad Depot where early settlers built their first homes in the US.
The Germantown Commissary offers small country stores selling anything from jeans to slow-cooked Memphis-style meat.
- Germantown takes you back in history.
- It is peaceful.
- It is about a half hour drive to the city centre.
Places To Stay In Germantown
Luxury – Homewood Suites Memphis Germantown
This hotel has the bonus of a free shuttle service to and from the hotel and the airport, so that’s one less expense.
The free shuttle service is also available for an 8 km (4.97 miles) radius of the hotel. You won’t need to hire a car if you stay in the area.
The suites at the hotel are luxurious and come with a private bathroom, cable TV, air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, and free Wi-Fi. There is a complimentary breakfast on the go.
Facilities at the hotel include a seasonal outdoor pool, a gym, and a business centre. There are also laundry facilities and a gift shop.
Midscale – Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Memphis/Germantown, an IHG Hotel
A daily continental breakfast is included in your stay, which is always a bonus as you don’t have to go out and try to find somewhere to eat first thing.
The rooms offer all you need: a private bathroom, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, TV, microwave, fridge, hairdryer, and ironing facilities.
Facilities include an indoor pool, a business centre, a fitness centre, a launderette, and 24-hour reception.
It will only take 25 minutes to drive from the hotel to the centre of Memphis.
Budget – Fairfield Inn and Suites Memphis Germantown
This hotel is a great value, offering a hot buffet breakfast with waffles and pastries. There is even free coffee in the lobby at all times.
The rooms offer all you need: a private bathroom, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, cable TV, and an ergonomic workspace.
Other facilities include a fitness centre, a whirlpool, and an indoor pool. If you like the outdoors, the hotel is close to parks and nature preserves.
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