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.

8. Kayak the Mississippi River

Get out on the water and take in the “Big River” firsthand with a guided kayaking tour. Kayak Memphis offers a guided tour of the Mississippi River for skilled kayakers and a guided harbor tour for those with less experience. Both adventures provide unrivaled views of Downtown Memphis' skyline and the riverfront. Try Mississippi River Expeditions with Quapaw Canoe Memphis for exciting canoeing adventures, including sunset cruises, full-day and multi-day trips.

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. For the ultimate July Fourth Memphis brewery experience, book the Red, White and Brew tour with Backbeat Tours