Beale Street heart - David Meany

Have a Romantic Weekend in Memphis

Did you know that Travel & Liesure named Memphis #4 Most Romantic City in the US? Here are some of the reasons why. 

Beale Street Heart by David Meany 

Emily Keplinger | February, 2017

Searching for an easy getaway for a romantic weekend? Look no further. Memphis has a worldwide reputation for serving up the finest things the South has to offer, and it’s a versatile destination for couples looking to escape for a few days. Each neighborhood boasts its own charm and unique amenities. Here are some ideas for planning the perfect trip for two.

DOWNTOWN

Center your stay in the heart of downtown at the legendary Peabody Hotel. Known as the “South’s Grand Hotel,” The Peabody offers gracious rooms with every imaginable amenity, including nightly turn-down service and chocolates on your pillow. And if that isn’t sweet enough, the hotel has Feathers Spa, a full-service resort-style spa that provides a variety of luxurious treatments.

After all of that pampering, make your way to the lobby for cocktails and watch the famous Peabody Duck March before heading out for a night on the town. Stroll hand-in-hand down Beale Street, America’s Most Iconic Street, on your way to experience Itta Bena, a posh restaurant tucked away on the top floor of B. B. King’s Blues Club. The azure-tinted windows mean that everywhere you look, you see “the blues” of Beale Street, and the mood lighting gives off an exclusive, speakeasy vibe.

After dinner, head downstairs to one of the city’s best live music venues showcasing legendary musicians. Bring your day full-circle with a moonlit carriage ride through the streets of downtown. The horse-drawn tours usually run late into the evening, and start and stop at the Union Avenue entrance to The Peabody.

HARBOR TOWN

Harbor Town, a charming riverside neighborhood in downtown Memphis, is another option. Recognized as one of the top hotels in the country by Travel & Leisure, The River Inn at Harbor Town is an intimate, boutique hotel that offers upscale lodging and unsurpassed service. Take in a panoramic view of the sunset while overlooking the storied Mighty Mississippi River from the hotel’s rooftop bar, Terrace at the River Inn. Stroll the pathways that meander alongside the river’s banks or amble over to Mud Island River Park to walk a scale model of the Mississippi.

Dining options range from casual dining at gourmet store Miss Cordelia’s to the bar and grill atmosphere of Tug’s or the fine dining at one of Memphis’ most charming restaurants, Paulette’s. Or opt for an evening dinner cruise aboard one of the Memphis Riverboats and see the river and the city skyline from a whole new perspective.

SOUTH MEMPHIS

If you want your romantic weekend to have the royal treatment, infuse it with the spirit of The King by checking into the newly-opened Guest House at Graceland. The posh hotel celebrates the legacy of Elvis and is located just down the street from Graceland. Daily tours take you behind-the-scenes into the personal side of this music icon, and the new Elvis Presley’s Memphis entertainment complex provides more dining, music history, and shopping options (opens early March 2017).

For an immersive Memphis experience, hop in the backseat of a 1955 Cadillac for a ride around town with Tad Pierson of American Dream Safari. His encyclopedic knowledge of people and places will have you feeling like a Memphis insider. He also offers a “Juke Joint” tour that makes for an unforgettable evening that is pure, blues-soaked delight.

Sunset behind the American Queen Steamboat - Andrea Zucker
Tapas and cocktails at Alchemy in Memphis, TN

VICTORIAN VILLAGE

Step back in time with a stay at the opulent 1870s James Lee House. This bed and breakfast is in one of the grand homes of Millionaire’s Row in historic Victorian Village. The property is an architectural gem from days gone by, but the luxury accommodations and amenities are completely up-to-date. There are two other historical houses open for tour nearby, The Mallory-Neely House and the Woodruff-Fontaine House), or drinks in the Victorian home turned swanky cocktail bar at Mollie Fontaine Lounge.

MIDTOWN

Stop by Overton Square, home to Memphis’s unofficial theater district to catch a show at Playhouse on the Square or Hattiloo Theater. Afterwards, catch live music at Lafayette’s Music Room, a restaurant and bar that offers live music. You’ll have your choice of more than a dozen restaurants, including Iris, a cozy fine dining space in an elegant bungalow. The Creole and French cuisine has garnered accolades for "Best Restaurant," "Best Service" and "Best Chef." Reservations far in advance are a must.

For a more casual evening, start early with a free taproom tour at Memphis Made Taproom and stay to sample beers from this small craft brewery in the Cooper-Young district. The adjacent “I Love Memphis” mural is the perfect backdrop for a selfie with your sweetie, too. Another you-can-only-get-it-in-Memphis souvenir awaits you at Phillip Ashley Chocolates, a “luxury chocolate boutique, where each chocolate is hand-crafted in small batches, including a special Taste of Memphis collection.

EAST MEMPHIS

Take in fine art and nature in East Memphis’s galleries and gardens. The permanent French Impressionist collection at The Dixon is the picture of romance, literally. The history of the museum is a love letter to the city; be sure to stroll the grounds, too, with gardens reminiscent of European parks.

Nearby, the 96 acres of the Memphis Botanic Garden in East Memphis is home to 29 speciality gardens. Beautiful in all seasons, the trails are walkable during the day. After a busy weekend, sleep in on Sunday before heading to feast on the award-winning, Cajun-inspired Sunday brunch buffet at Owen Brennan’s and enjoy a live jazz band. Their Bananas Foster would make anybody swoon.