Mississippi River Attractions in Memphis

Aerial view of Beale Street Landing Boat Dock in Downtown Memphis. Photo by Wendy Whittemore - Aerial Innovation of TN

Memphis Riverboat on the Mississippi. Photo Credit: Memphis Riverboats, Inc.

Memphis Riverboat on the Mississippi River

Memphis Bridge with fog

Hernando DeSoto Bridge covering the Mississippi River. Photo by John Bell.

The Memphis skyline may have changed, but the steady pulse of the Mississippi River remains constant.

One of the best ways to explore the Mississippi River is to take a cruise on the Memphis Riverboats paddle-wheelers. Relax as the captain entertains you with tales of river life, or grab your sweetheart and dance the night away on a romantic dinner cruise.

Just a short walk from the historic cobblestones on the bank of the river is the entrance to Mud Island River Park. Fun for all, there you’ll find the Mississippi River Museum. Explore the 18 galleries covering all aspects of river life – the Civil War, delta music, river engineering and much more. 

Outside the museum doors is a detailed replica of the lower Mississippi River, where Mud Island visitors travel 1,000 miles – from Cairo, Ill., to New Orleans, La. – in just five blocks. The journey ends at the 1.3 million-gallon Gulf of Mexico, where you can enjoy a paddleboat ride as the sun sets over the real-life Ol’ Man River. Don’t be surprised to find children of all ages wading and splashing their way downstream on a hot summer’s day.

While on the island, check out the performance schedule for the Mud Island Amphitheater and catch acts such as James Taylor, Sheryl Crow and Maroon 5. Sweet sounds echoing off the river makes for the perfect end to a perfect day.

Tom Lee Park, the 33-acre riverfront park that runs for about a mile and a half along the banks of the Mississippi River, offers visitors ample space for running, biking, Frisbee-tossing or kite-flying. Grab your camera, spread out a picnic blanket or stretch out on a park bench and take in the breathtaking rolling-river views. Stick around as the park plays host to two of the city’s major festivals: Memphis in May’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and Beale Street Music Festival.

One of Memphis’ newest attractions is Beale Street Landing. The project features three different park spaces of varying elevations, a 400-foot-long floating riverboat dock, play area for kids, restaurant, gift shop and more.

The Mississippi River keeps rolling along, and so does Memphis. Come see what’s new to do in the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll.