12 Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors

It’s going to be a gorgeous day outside in Memphis, and here are 12 ways to enjoy it, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Leah Gafni
Bike Share Mural

1. Go on a bike ride

Did you know Memphis has 60+ miles of bike trails and lanes? This includes the Shelby Farms Greenline, a dedicated 10.65-mile paved trail that connects pedestrians and cyclists through the city to Shelby Farms Park and connects to the Wolf River Greenway, and the Big River Crossing, the longest bicycle/pedestrian bridge across the Mighty Mississippi into Arkansas. 

Exploring Shelby Farms

2. Check out a Shelby Farms Park

Zipline through the trees and over lakes with GoApe Adventures, rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard on Hyde Lake, let the pups run around the off-leash dog park, let the kids run around the Woodland Discovery Park playground, go find the herd of bison that roam, get in a game of frisbee golf, head to the stables to ride horses or rent a bike to cycle and explore the 4,500 acres of Shelby Farms Park. 

Polar Bear at Memphis Zoo

3. Go to the Zoo

Named one of the top zoos in the country and one of only four zoos where you can see giant pandas. With  70-some acres and amid its 3,500 animals including the newest Zambezi River Hippo camp home to baby hippopotamus Winnie who was born at the Memphis Zoo in 2017. You'll want to spend the whole day discovering lions, tigers and petting stingrays, oh my. 

Alfred's On Beale Patio

4. Post up on a patio

It’s basically a religion in Memphis. If the sun is shining, the patios will be full of people eating, drinking, playing lawn games, listening to Memphis music and having a good 'ole time. 

Canoeing on a river in Memphis

5. Get on the water

Of course, you know about the Mighty Mississippi, but what about the Ghost and the Wolf Rivers? Explore the waterways and rent a kayak or canoe if you're an experienced paddler or take a tour with Allen's Kayaking or Kayak Memphis Tours. Don't want to do any exercise? Then walk on board a Memphis Riverboat, grab a seat, order a drink and listen to your guide as they tell stories about the river city. 

6. Hike Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park

Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park has plenty to do outdoors. Fishing, hunting, mountain biking, camping and hiking are just a few of the activities that are available. Just take a scenic drive down One-Way road and you'll be in awe of this 12,539-acre hard wood forest just a few minutes north of downtown. Stop by the Shelby Forest General Store on the way into the park to grab a map, some snacks and some advice from owners Doug and Kristin. And if you happen to be there on a Friday night, you'll find a live bluegrass band and a steak dinner for $13. 

My Big Backyard memphis

7. See the blooms

Visit the Dixon Galleries and Gardens or the Memphis Botanic Garden to experience beautiful flora and lush landscape design. The Botanic Gardens boast 96- beautiful acres including 31 specialty gardens and My Big Backyard for the kids, while The Dixon Gallery is host to eight to ten exhibitions every year and Cherry + Park, a delicious on-site cafe. 

8. Take in the riverfront

Watch the sunset in Tom Lee Park, let the kids get soaked at the Beale Street Landing Splash Pad, stroll through the newly renovated River Garden Park or catch a free yoga class. You could also just rent a scooter and ride along the Mississippi riverfront as you watch the giant barges go by. 

Levitt Shell at night

9. Catch some live music

Enjoy one of the 50 free concerts at the Levitt Shell in Overton Park where you can throw down a blanket and bring your own cooler or grab a beer and some food at the food truck. Catch a show at the Memphis Botanic Garden's Live at the Garden series or right on the banks of the Mississippi at Mud Island Amphitheater. Or take the elevator to the top of the Memphis Peabody Hotel for the Peabody Rooftop Party held every Thursday starting in April to August. 

Oneika Raymond Travel Blogger

10. Hunt for art

There is beautiful public art all over the city. Grab your camera and find all the Instagram worthy walls to shoot. You'll discover local artists that tell the visual stories and collaborations with artists from out of town that were inspired by Memphis. 

Earnestine & Hazel's / Alex Shansky

11. Discover a neighborhood

Memphis has so many vibrant neighborhoods. Downtown you'll find the trolleys and galleries of South Main Arts District and the Medical District. Just a little east is architectural award-winning Crosstown Concourse. Keep going and you'll head to midtown where you'll find Broad Avenue Arts District, Overton Square Entertainment District connected to the theatre district and the hip Cooper-Young. Don't forget our suburbs: Cordova, Collierville, Germantown, Bartlett, Millington and Arlington. Not only will you find historic main streets and great shopping, but there are parks and attractions to discover there too. 

901FC / Craig Thompson

12. See a game

When the sun is shining, there's nothing better than being with the fans and catching a game. Head to the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium to watch the University of Memphis Tigers or AAF Memphis Express football or especially for the big events: Southern Heritage Classic or the Autozone Liberty Bowl games. Autozone Park was named one of the most beautiful ballparks in the country and is home to both the Memphis Redbirds AAA league and the new 901FC United Soccer League. Memphis is the place to be no matter if you're into baseball, football, that other football or just want a reason to get nachos, a hot dog and a cold beer. 

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