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7 Reasons Why This Cultural American City Is Breaking Tourism Records

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When you think of Tennessee you probably imagine great music, fantastic food, and vibrant nightlife.

And you’d be right – especially in one of the state’s most famous cities currently breaking tourism records. 

This cool cultural corner of Tennessee offers all the above plus fascinating history, eye-catching architecture, and unique experiences that are helping it grow rapidly in popularity. 

aerial view of downtown memphis tennessee with bass pro pyramid and skyscrapers

Home of the Blues

It seems that Memphis is becoming one of the places to be for travelers, with the city’s International Airport reporting that a record-breaking 4.8 million passengers passed through its doors in 2023.

Curious to know more about why ‘the Home of the Blues’ is rocking right now?

Here are a few pointers:

Great Climate

Like many places in Tennessee, Memphis has a great climate that features long, hot summers with not too much persistent rain.

If you want to avoid the highest temperatures of summer (average 85F), then consider visiting in Spring for a cooler experience.

a trolley pulls into a station in memphis tennessee

March average temperatures are around 55F, while April is 65F, and May is 70F. It does rain a little more in spring, so make sure you pack a poncho.

Must-Visit For Music Lovers

Perhaps the most obvious reason people are attracted to Memphis is its unrivaled music scene.

Not only is it known as the home of blues, but many world-famous musical acts have strong links to the city including Elvis Presley, B.B. King, and Johnny Cash.

Beale Street is the place to go to absorb some live blues music, which is still thriving in Memphis, if you want to pay homage to those famous artists mentioned above, then try visiting B.B. King’s Blues Club or the famous Sun Studio, where Elvis recorded his early work. 

The tourist authority has even made some banging playlists to help give you a true feel for the sounds of Memphis:

The Pull Of The Pyramids

Another thing you can see in Memphis is a glistening pyramid. Yep, you read that right.

The city is home to a flagship store for outdoor retailer Bass Pro Shops, which is housed inside what was formerly known as the Great American Pyramid and the Pyramid Arena.

Even if outdoor pursuits aren’t your thing, the pyramid still makes for an interesting visit thanks to its other attractions, such as a lookout point at the top of the highest free-standing elevator in the country and a bowling alley that makes you feel like you’re living underwater with its huge fish tank surrounds.  

close up view of memphis pyramid that is now a bass pro store


Memphis is a relatively cheap place to travel to.

The average three-star hotel price for June and July is around $150 per night according to the latest data from Kayak, however, you can often find more basic rooms for cheaper.

An evening meal for two can cost as little as $40, while a pint of beer is around $5 or so.

illuminated neon signs outside blues bars on beale street memphis

Newspaper The Times also recently named Memphis as the best affordable city in the U.S.

So Easy To Get To

One of the reasons why Memphis International Airport recorded such an impressive record in 2023 is because of how well-connected it is.

You can fly non-stop to Memphis directly from more than 30 different American cities including the likes of Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Washington D.C., Boston, and Atlanta. 

hernando de soto bridge lit up at night in memphis tennessee

Plenty of budget carriers also fly to Memphis, as well as the major airlines, so you should be able to find a decent deal. 

Festivals Galore

As you’d expect, Memphis has a packed schedule of events throughout the year that peaks in the summer months.

Many of these events attract travelers in the thousands such as Juneteenth, Elvis Week (August 9-17), and Delta Fair and Music Festival (September).

Another interesting cultural event to check out is Memphis in May, where each year, the city celebrates a different country around the world.

close up of a blues guitar being played by a musician

This year will be the turn of France, so expect to find lots of French-themed events, exhibits, and celebrity appearances.

Cooking Contests Like No Other

Perhaps the only thing Memphis is more famous for than blues music is its incredible barbecue food.

From May 15-18 this year, the city will host the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, where grillers from around the world will pit their culinary prowess against each other to win big prizes.

The real winners, however, are visitors to the city during this event who will have more than enough delicious grub to keep them sustained. 

delicious looking barbecued ribs

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