As a non-native Memphian, I constantly welcome family and friends to town. Even after two decades, we still haven’t run out of not-to-miss places in Memphis, especially since the city keeps making more! So my favorite way to plan a day is to pick an area in town and focus on two or three things in close proximity. This is an especially appealing strategy for holiday travelers who may already be road-weary, and it fills up the day without making a long-time commitment to any one activity. So as you welcome your own guests over the holidays, here are 11 multi-stop destinations that show off the spirit of Memphis.
5. Overton Square
Overton Square has reclaimed its 1970s glory as Memphis’ entertainment hub with Hattiloo Theatre— the only freestanding black repertory theater in five surrounding states — a new iteration of Playhouse on the Square and its sister Circuit Playhouse, as well as independent productions at Theatreworks. This area is clearly the live theater center of the city, but also features Ballet Memphis’ new headquarters, live music stand-outs like Lafayette’s Music Room and even a four-screen cinemaplaying both mainstream and art-house features. And you’ll have plenty of places to go before or after a show; the Cooper/Madison intersection hums with retail and restaurant activity, and Overton Park the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and The Memphis Zoo — and its holiday Zoo Lightsprograms — lie just to the north.