Adarryll Jackson

The best places to view the Mighty Lights

December, 2018

Mighty Lights is a new way to experience the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis! Join us for a nightly light show on the iconic Hernando de Soto and Big River Crossing bridges. The Hernando de Soto - sometimes called the “M” bridge due to its double arches - is a major auto thoroughfare across the river, and Big River Crossing at the Harahan Bridge is the popular walking and biking pedestrian bridge on the south end of downtown.

Every evening from sundown until 10 p.m., both bridges are illuminated with state-of-the-art LED lights in exciting patterns and bright colors. Even better, on holidays and special occasions, you can expect themed light shows, like red, white, and blue lights for Memphis’ 4th of July celebration, blue lights for University of Memphis Tigers games, and special shows for big events like the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend and Memphis In May. The shows begin every hour, on the hour. It’s totally free to enjoy Mighty Lights. 

Here are some of the best places to view the Mighty Lights nightly light show in Memphis:

Riverfront Parks

Memphis’ riverfront offers a series of parks with wonderful views of the river and Mighty Lights. Bring the family to enjoy the renovated River Garden playground at Mississippi River Park, and stay for the sunset and light show on the Hernando de Soto bridge. A stroll through Tom Lee Park will give you great views of both bridges - be sure to stop at Beale Street Landing. For the best view of the lights at Big River Crossing, post up at Martyrs Park to the south. 

The Bluffwalk and Fourth Bluff

Take in the city’s riverfront, the mighty Mississippi, and Mighty Lights from the heights of the Bluffwalk. This paved pathway leads you along the top of the Bluffs, past smaller parks and homes, and connects to Tom Lee Park and Martyrs Park. The Fourth Bluff at Memphis Park is located on Front Street between Court and Jefferson and offers great views of the Hernando de Soto Bridge. At the Fourth Bluff, there’s a lit bridge that leads to the promenade behind the University of Memphis Law School as well.

Mud Island

Head over to Mud Island - actually a peninsula - to Greenbelt Park to observe the river and bridge for Mighty Lights. This quiet park adjacent to the Harbor Town community has a clear view of the bridge from the north. Enjoy dinner before or after at one of the restaurants in Harbor Town. 

While On A Ride

Why not take in the view of the bridges while traversing the parks and pathways of Memphis riverfront parks? You can always take a walk, but Memphis now offers Explore Bike Share bike-renting program or electric scooters offered by Bird and Lime companies. You can find scooters placed in various locations downtown; download the apps on your smartphone to locate and rent. There are dozens of Explore Bike Share stations around downtown, including at Big River Crossing, Beale Street Landing, and Tom Lee Park. You can use the station kiosk or smartphone BCycle app to rent a bicycle.

Rooftops

There are a handful of public rooftops where you can catch a glimpse of Mighty Lights on the Hernando de Soto bridge. The Hu Hotel’s rooftop bar has a fantastic view of this bridge with indoor and outdoor seating. It’s open from noon until 10 p.m., and until midnight on weekends, reservations are recommended. You can also see the Mighty Lights in the distance while enjoying a Memphis-made cocktail from Old Dominick Distillery’s rooftop, open in the evenings Thursdays through Sundays. 

For a stunning view of the Mighty Lights (plus downtown Memphis, and the River) ride the glass elevator after to the top of the Memphis Pyramid. The Pyramid is home to Bass Pro Shops and the Big Cypress Lodge hotel. There's a $10 fee to ride the elevator. ​

On A Riverboat

What better way to take in the majesty of the Mississippi than to take an evening riverboat cruise? Memphis Riverboats offers evening dinner cruises on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., so you can catch a few Mighty Lights sessions and enjoy a Memphis barbecue dinner and music.