Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day of pampering at the spa, an evening bar crawl with a side of dancing, or an outdoorsy group weekend trip, we've got you covered. Memphis is a prime spot for a girls’ getaway weekend or a bachelorette party. Here are some ideas for a memorable trip with your besties.
Planning Tip: Before you dive into the weekend, consider which hotel is right for your friend group. Whether you want to stay within walking distance of Beale Street, check into a stylish boutique hotel, take advantage of luxurious amenities at "the South's Grand Hotel" or get a good deal, you'll find your perfect stay in Memphis.
Memphis offers what seems like infinite live music options, from blues to jazz to rap. If the ladies want that down-home Memphis blues vibe, you won’t want to miss iconic Beale Street. B.B. King’s Blues Club and Blues City Café are fun spots to catch live music while chowing down on some Southern grub. But be sure to stop and lend your ear to Beale Street’s talented street musicians.
The Hi-Tone in the Crosstown neighborhood offers rock, punk and emo shows for a very affordable admission fee. You can also catch live outdoor music from local and regional artists at Railgarten in Midtown. The Levitt Shell, an outdoor amphitheater that hosted Elvis’ first live public show, offers free seasonal concerts.
Festivals happen year-round in Memphis – arts festivals, food festivals, music festivals, even Harry Potter and Bob’s Burger Festivals. One of the best-known Memphis festivals is Beale Street Music Fest in May, a three-day, four-stage event featuring 60 musical acts from every genre and from all over the world. In the Fall you can catch Mempho Music Festival at Shelby Farms Park with past performers such as Jason Isbell, Cage The Elephant, Anderson Paak and Cold War Kids.
If you really want to dig into Memphis’ roots and party with the locals, check out the annual Soulsville USA Fest, a fall blowout party featuring soul, jazz, trap jazz, gospel, and hiphop artists on four stages, plus vendors, food, art, and dance. It’s a party in the streets of South Memphis’ historic Soulsville neighborhood celebrating the city’s rich African American musical heritage. The party happens just outside the STAX Museum of American Soul Music, hallowed ground for music fans from around the world and home to a one-of-a-kind collection that includes Isaac Hayes superfly custom-made Cadillac Eldorado with 24-carat gold exterior trim. You and your girls can boogie on the museum’s dance floor, inspired by the moves of dancers in vintage episodes of Soul Train playing on the surrounding screens.
Breweries & Distillieries
If your girlfriends are beer lovers, they’re going to love Memphis, home to several craft breweries that produce some of the South’s best beer. Some say the secret is in our water, which comes from artesian wells.
Memphis Made Brewing in Cooper-Young is a small craft brewing company whose tap room is open to the public on weekends. The adjacent outdoor area is home to one of the city’s most photographed spots – the I Love Memphis mural – and a group photograph is a must for every visitor. Grab a delicious bite from the popular food trucks parked outside.
Hit up High Cotton Brewing Co. in the Edge District. Taste their Scottish Ale and IPA in the cozy taproom and take the Saturday brewery tour.
Wiseacre Brewing on Broad offers a variety of popular, flavorful beers, including the award-winning Tiny Bomb. They’ve got a dog-friendly deck, offer brewery tours most Saturdays, and host special events such as Oktoberfest.
Also check out Memphis’ original craft brewery, Ghost River Brewing, which has a tap room Downtown that offers 12 beers and daily visits from food trucks.
If you’re not into beer, raise your glass at the Old Dominick Distillery, where you can taste vodkas, whiskeys, and the 60-proof Memphis Toddy – a high-rye bourbon drink inspired by an old family recipe from the historic distillery. Tours, cocktail hours, and live music are also on tap at Old Dominick.
Memphis is a music mecca, and participation is strongly encouraged! Head to The Zebra Lounge in Midtown’s Overton Square, where piano players accompany everyone from college students to retired folks to tourists. Enjoy sips of specialty cocktails between belting out tunes from artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Al Green to Beyoncé.
Two Midtown beer bars are popular weekend karaoke spots with the locals: Dru’s Place and The P&H. Order your girls a couple of pitchers, select some tunes, and enjoy the relaxed Memphis vibe.
Brunch is the quintessential meal of the girls’ getaway package, and Memphians love their brunch. For upscale fare, head to Owen Brennan’s in East Memphis. Raise a mimosa and toast to your girlfriends at this spectacular Sunday brunch, where the menu includes a seafood bar, breadstation, dessert station, and creole and Cajun specialties. Enjoy a side of live jazz with your crawfish étoufée. If you’re looking for something trendy and fabulous, The Beauty Shop is your Sunday brunch spot. Located in the hip Cooper-Young neighborhood, the restaurant’s motto is “Look Good. Eat Good.” Here, in what used to be Priscilla Presley’s styling salon, you and your girls can sip classy brunch cocktails while you dine on beignets, fried oysters and Egg Sardou while seated under vintage hooded Belvedere hair-dryers.
Just as The Beauty Shop is housed in a former beauty shop, and The Liquor Store on Broad Avenue is housed in what used to be a liquor store. The foodies in your group will appreciate this colorful diner-style restaurant that serves up Latin-infused cuisine and a delicious array of brunch cocktails.
Whether you’re out for one more hurrah before wedding bells ring or you’re just kicking it with your girlfriends, local bars offer plenty of happy hours specials for the ladies. Head to Alchemy in Cooper-Young from 4-6 p.m. on Friday evenings for half off drinks and food, excluding entrees. You and your girls can share small dishes such as charcuterie or truffle deviled eggs with house smoked salmon and crispy capers and indulge in trendy cocktails with names like the Fall Fashion, Floating Butterfly and No Name #3.
Another fun happy hour option is South of Beale in Downtown Memphis, which on Fridays offers $2 off drafts, wells, wine and cocktails from 3-6 p.m. Enjoy cocktails like The Bobcat and The Golden Dawn and nibble on chicken and waffles and tempura turnip fries at this contemporary gastropub in the city’s trendy South Main Arts District.
Plan your own Memphis bar crawl in one of the city’s nightlife-friendly neighborhoods like Cooper Young, Overton Square, or South Main. And of course, Beale Street is the quintessential girls’ trip spot for late night adventures; try a boozy slushie at Wet Willy’s, tip the piano player and request a song dedicated to the bride-to-be at Silky O’Sullivan’s piano bar, or get down to some live music at B.B. King’s Blues Club, Rum Boogie Cafe, or any of the many clubs on the city’s most famous street.
What’s a party without dancing? Whether you’re in Memphis for a group weekend break, a girls-only getaway, or a combined bachelor-bachelorette party, the city has some of the best dance floors you’ll find anywhere. The entrance to Paula & Raiford’s Disco, a two-story nightclub Downtown, is lined with a red carpet, velvet rope, and pink neon. The venue features fog machines, disco balls and leather couches, and is covered with balloons, streamers and handprints. The dance music is an eclectic mix of old and new, and it’s the ideal spot to bring your friends and your boogie shoes.
Earnestine & Hazel’s Juke Joint, which has one of the best vintage jukeboxes of soul, blues and rock n’ roll this side of the Mississippi, is another great spot to get down on the dancefloor. The bar is said to be one of the most haunted in the country, and employees and regulars say the jukebox sometimes plays of its own accord, and it has great taste. The bar also sometimes hosts live bands, and the dance floor can get pretty lively. Once you’ve worked off all those calories, treat yourself to one of the bar’s famous Soul Burgers – a favorite late-night treat for Memphis revelers.
Yoga, Health & Fitness
Book a salt relaxation session at Better Bodies Yoga in East Memphis, which has a salt cave packed with Himalayan pink salt, which is said to improve overall health and wellness, or relax and escape with a session at RelaxH20 Aqua Massage Therapy and Oxygen Bar in Downtown Memphis.
Take the girls to Five in One Social Club on Summer Avenue for some unique arts and crafts workshops where you can make everything from sunprints to beeswax candles to nostalgic shrink-dink charms. On Broad Avenue, you’ll find Bead Couture, which sells beads and jewelry making supplies and hosts workshops your crafty girlfriends will appreciate.
For a luxurious girls’ weekend trip, treat yourself to an indulgent spa experience at Gould’s Salon Spa in the heart of Downtown Memphis. Pamper yourself with a day of massage, facials and mani-pedis, and ask for a blowout before you leave so you can step onto South Main Street looking fabulous. Add a string of pearls and head to The Peabody, the South’s Grand Hotel, for afternoon tea at Chez Phillippe. You’ll feel like real Southern belles as you savor hot tea, dainty sandwiches and petite, dreamy desserts at one of the city’s most opulent dining establishments. C'est magnifique!
If your idea of a girlfriend getaway centers on retail therapy, especially throwback and vintage style, you’re in luck. Check out Lansky 126 inside The Peabody Hotel, which has been dressing Memphians – including Elvis – since 1946. They’ll dress you like a rock star in vintage Memphis music tees, classic denim and leather jackets.
Then head over to Edge Alley to shop at Paulette’s Closet for vintage clothing, shoes and accessories. Paulette named the boutique after her fashionable grandmother, and her motto is “Come Play Dress Up.” Before you leave, fuel up with a cup of java from the Edge Alley Café. Then head to Broad Avenue Arts District, which features an array of unique boutiques. Bingham and Broad sells local art, jewelry, pottery and gifts. Mbabazi House of Style uses traditional African fabrics to create modern apparel, accessories and home decor. And 20Twelve is a sleek high-end boutique featuring designer clothing, bags and accessories from across the fashion spectrum – from boho chic kaftans to to romantic floral blouses.
Wrap up with cocktails and oysters at The Cove, the neighborhood’s nautical-themed bar.