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Memphis Essential Info


Memphis is the largest city in the state of Tennessee and the second largest metropolitan area in the state after Nashville. The state rests in the southeastern portion of the United States. Memphis, with a population totaling more than 653,350 as of 2013, is also the county seat for Shelby County. The city's claims to fame include Graceland, the mansion Elvis Presley lived in during his later years. Maybe more importantly, Memphis is considered by many to be the home of blues music.

Memphis is an older city that has been through a lot. With that said, the city has developed a rugged yet, colorful sense of character that locals identify with. A lovely mix of old and new, Memphians have worked hard to build a vibrant community while keeping the city's old-time charm. Memphis has much more to offer than just Graceland with its lively neighborhoods and constant renewal.

Although downtown Memphis has experienced quite a rebirth and renewal in the last few years, the center of the city is older and while new development is hard to find, revitalization of old areas is beginning to take shape. Areas such as Beale Street and Mud Island have become relatively safe and citizens once again have a vested interest in making downtown safe, exciting, and a great place to visit and relax after decades of abandonment.

Whether visiting or moving to the area, from May to October make it well worth your while to visit the Memphis Farmers Market which formed and began in 2006 - it is one of the brightest shining stars of the early Spring, Summer, and through Mid-Autumn.

A word of caution: Memphis is extremely hot in the summertime, and the humidity can make you feel even hotter! Those who have trouble tolerating high heat and humidity may wish to avoid visiting during July or August.

Description is available from Wikitravel under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. A list of contributors is available at the original article.


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Fun Facts

  1. Memphis is named after an Egyptian city on the Nile River, which explains why so much of our architecture, from the Pyramid downtown to the Memphis Zoo, references Egypt. (You can also see a statue of Rameses and visit a pocket museum dedicated to ancient Egyptian art on the campus of the University of Memphis.)
  2. Memphis was the first city in Tennessee to open a brew pub (in the 1990s). Boscos is still brewing beer and serving food to visitors on its popular patio in Overton Square, and is now joined by three additional Memphis craft breweries, all of which you can visit.
  3. Memphis sits atop four natural aquifers, giving us some of the purest, best-tasting water in the U.S. (That explains why the beer and locally-distilled Pyramid Vodka taste so good.)
  4. May is a banner month in Memphis. Throughout the month, we honor a designated country and ourselves with a string of major festivals and events. These include Beale Street Music Festival, an outdoor music extravaganza that rocks on for an entire weekend, and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, which attracts hundreds of competitive cooking teams to prove their talent. Events take place along the Mississippi River.
  5. Memphis is home to some superlative green spaces: Overton Park, now more than one century old, was recently named one of “10 parks that changed America” by PBS, while Shelby Farms Park is considered the largest urban park in the country (and features trails, a treetop zip-line course, lakes for fishing and a playground you have to see to believe).

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