Memphis, Tennessee is a place where you can feel lost in time, surrounded by rich history and the roots of some of today’s most popular music. Southern hospitality and tradition combine with modern comfort and a sense of belonging in Tennessee’s largest city, which still manages to retain the quiet charms of simple living. From the vibrant neighborhoods of Downtown Memphis to the majestic Mississippi River, there is no shortage of variety to be found by people staying in apartments in Memphis. Also, you can’t visit this sunny getaway without trying some legendary Memphis barbecue.
Memphis was founded in 1819, by future president Andrew Jackson and two other individuals, who named it after a capital of ancient Egypt. In the 19th century, Memphis prospered as a center of trade as well as transportation thanks to its location above the Mississippi River. The region’s placement also helped it become a leader in both the cotton and lumber industries. Between 1900 and 1950 the city’s population nearly quadrupled, as it was a magnet for immigrants as well as workers from beyond its territories. It was also a pivotal setting in regards to the civil rights movement, as the large population of African Americans in Memphis was faced with rampant racial segregation in the 1960s. A strike by mostly African American sanitation workers seeking better wages and living conditions led to the arrival of Martin Luther King, Jr, who delivered his final speech in Memphis before his assassination.
Memphis features a humid subtropical climate, featuring winters that range from mild to chilly with an average temperature in the 40s °F for the month of January. Snow is uncommon, although ice and freezing rain have been known to occur. The spring months are usually accompanied by thunderstorms, which can include hail as well as heavy winds. Summer in Memphis can be influenced by either Texas or the Gulf of Mexico, and can be very hot and humid, or hot and very humid. The average high temperature is in the lower 80s °F during the summer, although humidity levels can be high as a result of the moisture from the Gulf. While thunderstorms can be frequent on summer days, they are usually over quickly. Autumn starts off mild and dry, and can turn cooler with more rain as winter approaches.
Getting Around Memphis
Memphis’ transit authority operates the city’s bus system as well as trolleys that allow easy access to the various attractions tourists might want to visit. Memphis apartments Downtown are within walking distance of many sightseeing destinations, and the presence of public transportation makes it possible for you to see everything worth seeing without the need for a car. There are even free shuttle rides available that provide access to some of the local landmarks. Memphis International Airport is one of the top 50 busiest passenger airports in the United States. Additionally, Memphis Central Station offers access to both the Memphis trolley system as well as Amtrak trains. Bike lanes have also seen a recent increase in Memphis, creating new possibilities for economical, responsible travel.
Commuting in Memphis
Memphis has more highways than any of the other cities located in the Southeastern United States. I-40 goes coast to coast, eventually reaching North Carolina to the east and Los Angeles to the west. I-55 links Memphis to Missouri and Chicago to the north, and New Orleans to the south, while I-240 serves the inner workings of the city by connecting Midtown, Downtown, North Memphis, South Memphis, East Memphis and the airport. Although Memphis is the most populous city in Tennessee, commuters in Memphis rank better than most other U.S. cities in terms of their time spent driving. The roads can get busy at times, but things move quickly enough that people who fear gridlock traffic needn’t be concerned.
The Memphis Daily News serves as a dependable source for local and far-reaching news as well as information regarding commerce and business. On television, WREG-TV broadcasts 40 hours of newscasts on a weekly basis. Popular radio stations include WEVL 89.9 FM (listener supported, volunteer radio with a random selection), KXHT 107.1 FM (rap and hip hop), WRBO 103.5 FM (soul classics) and KJMS 101.1 FM (urban contemporary).
The endless possibilities in Memphis make it a city that is difficult to define. There are museums and historical sites that will satisfy anyone seeking to learn about the rich history of the south and the civil rights movement. The plentiful parks and trails can keep active nature lovers happy, and there’s no shortage of sights for music aficionados interested in the origins of the classics. Between the countless animals at the Memphis Zoo, the mouthwatering soul food and barbecue that’s always in easy reach, and the minor league stadium where you can watch the Memphis Redbirds in action, Memphis is a city that comes equipped with everything you might want to experience. No matter who you find your apartment in Memphis, you're bound for adventure.
Memphis is home to a number of iconic landmarks. The National Civil Rights Museum, which is one of the country’s most notable cultural museums, is located where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Sun Studio, the birthplace of rock and roll, and Graceland, the museum and former home of Elvis Presley, are also places well worth a look. Other stops include the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Orpheum Theatre and Beale Street, whose restaurants and blues clubs have made it a major tourist attraction.
Things to do in Memphis
The iconic Mississippi River is at your disposal, and with the boat tours available you can learn about Memphis in a new way, from the deck of an authentic riverboat. The parks and fishing offer even more activities outside, but the fun doesn’t stop when you head indoors. The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Metal Museum, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum and the Blues Hall of Fame all call Memphis home, and when you’re staying in this incredible city you can have it all right in front of you.
Africa in April is a three-day festival that celebrates the art, diversity and history of the African culture. In June there is the Memphis Italian Festival, which includes musical acts, artists, Italian cooking competitions and even pizza tossing demonstrations. Memphis in May is a number of events spanning the month of May that puts on display Memphis’ best. Included in this wonderful festival are great events like the Beale Street Music Festival and The World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest - where locals can truly get their chow on with some of that true Memphis BBQ! Hungry yet?
Memphis Vacation spots
The Butterfly Meadows Inn and Farm, located just three hours away in Franklin, Tennessee, offers guests the homely comforts of a country house with meadows filled with butterflies just a short walk away. Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, the most frequently visited park in Tennessee, borders the Mississippi River and contains two different lakes as well as a museum and nature center on its grounds.
Where to move in Memphis
The neighborhoods in Memphis can vary greatly in size, population and popularity making your options for Memphis apartments plentiful. Midtown Memphis is walkable and has plenty of shops, restaurants, schools, stores, attractions and entertainment sources available nearby. It is one of the safer areas in the city, with less crime than the Memphis average. Downtown Memphis isn’t quite as walkable and has fewer stores, but it still has numerous places to eat, drink and shop as well as the iconic Beale Street. East Memphis-Colonial-Yorkshire is a sizable neighborhood with a number of public parks and schools, several attractions and a crime rate that is lower than the city average. Hickory Ridge-South Riverdale is pricier and not as walkable as the other neighborhoods, however, its good schools and popular mall make it a desirable place to live.