Fourth of July Fireworks over Downtown Memphis | Phillip Van Zandt

Spend July 4th Weekend in Memphis

So, you’re in town for Independence Day and looking for things to do before or after the area’s biggest fireworks extravaganzas and celebrations? Here are 10 ways to take in Memphis on Fourth of July weekend:

1. Picnic at Fourth Bluff Park

Downtown is the perfect base for your holiday weekend in Memphis. What better way to take in the sights and sounds of Downtown Memphis than a picnic in the park? Pick up some Memphis grub and head to Fourth Bluff Park to enjoy a meal with friends or family while overlooking the Mighty Mississippi River.

2. Take in the Views from Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid’s Observation Deck

For more stellar views, head to Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid. Ride the nation’s tallest free-standing elevator to the observation deck, where you can look out over the mighty Mississippi River and Downtown Memphis.

3. Visit Graceland

Spend the day at Elvis Presley’s Graceland. See the mansion, Elvis' stage costumes, classic car collection and so much more at this comprehensive attraction on the King of Rock and Roll. Then, celebrate at Graceland’s All-American Fourth of July Weekend with concerts, cocktails and cookouts.

4. Take a Riverboat Cruise

Explore the mighty Mississippi River from the deck of a river boat. From sightseeing cruises to holiday-themed excursions, Memphis Riverboats offers a river adventure full of history and stunning views of Downtown Memphis.

5. Try the World’s Best Barbecue

You can’t celebrate the Fourth of July without eating a little — who are we kidding? — a lot of barbecue! And in Memphis, we’ve got the world’s best pitmasters cooking up ribs, pork shoulder and all your favorite fixings. Check out our guide to the best barbecue joints in town.

Aerial view of Bass Pro at the Pyramid | by Sean Fisher/Mr. Bootstraps.
Visit Elvis Presley's Graceland. | Alex Shansky
Explore the Mississippi River from the deck of a riverboat | Phillip Van Zandt
World Famous Rendezvous pork barbecue. | by Craig Thompson

6. Explore Shelby Farms Park

Plan a visit to Shelby Farms Park before attending fireworks shows out in the suburbs. This 4,500-acre nature escape is jam-packed with hiking and biking trails; kayak, canoe and SUP rentals plus a kids sprayground to help you stay cool; a state-of-the-art play area and an aerial ropes course and zip lining adventure.

7. Cheer on the Redbirds

Stop by AutoZone Park to cheer on the St. Louis Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds. The Redbirds host a three-game home stand July 1-3 with post-game fireworks over Downtown Memphis on July 3.

8. Paddle the Mississippi River

Get out on the water and take in the “Big River” firsthand with a guided canoe tour. Mississippi River Expeditions offers exciting guided canoeing adventures, including sunset cruises, full-day and multi-day trips, that provide unrivaled views of Downtown Memphis' skyline and the riverfront.

9. Experience Memphis Nightlife

After the parades have wrapped and the fireworks have fizzled, it’s time to hit the town! From live music on iconic Beale Street to dinner and a show in the Overton Square Performing Arts District to bar-hopping and a railyard hangout in the Cooper Young Entertainment District, Memphis’ nightlife scene will have you partying late into the evening.

10. Taste Some Local Craft Beer

Beat the heat with a refreshing craft beer or seltzer from Memphis’ hoppin’ craft brewery scene. Around Memphis, craft breweries serve award-winning IPAs, porters, lagers, stouts and more. Hitch a ride with Memphis Brew Bus, or check out Memphis Hops Stops to win prizes at participating breweries. 

BONUS: Catch a Fireworks Display

It's 4th of July! Of course you're going to want to see fireworks. Memphis' largest Independence Day event, Liberty For All, will be held on July 3 at Liberty Park. Catch the biggest firework show in town plus live music, food trucks, carnival games, and more. Keep an eye on our blog for more 4th of July events.

About the Author

Born and raised in Memphis, J.T. Mullen has written about the city and its surrounding area for more than seven years. You'll probably catch him in the stands of a Memphis Tigers basketball or football game with barbecue nachos in hand.