Memphis, meet your new favorite picnic spot

Posted by Holly Whitfield | September 2nd 2009 1550 0

Ed. Note: Hi friends! This spot described below has been really popular for picnics and meetups since this post has been on the blog for almost a decade now! Unfortunately, I’ve gotten feedback from the Metal Museum that folks are leaving their trash and bottles on their Grounds or at the nearby Chickasaw Heritage Park. Please clean up after yourselves and maybe even pick up any other trash you see. Then consider supporting the Museum at one of their many events and fundraisers!  


One of the great things about Memphis is also one of the biggest pains about living here – sometimes, the best things in town are difficult to get to.

Take the National Ornamental Metal Museum. It’s the only museum of its kind in the United States. There are galleries, a foundry, resident artists that live and work on the grounds, a library, and one of the most amazing views of the Mississippi River you’ll ever see.

It’s a little tricky to get to, though. If you’re coming from downtown, take Riverside south until you get to I-55. Get on I-55, then get right back off onto Metal Museum Drive. If you don’t get off there, you’ll go to Arkansas.

Once you make it onto Metal Museum Drive, it’s almost like you’ve left town. Everything is green and calm. The museum is housed in an old public health service hospital next to an army base.

The campus is absolutely gorgeous, and the best part is that it’s free and open to the public whenever the museum is open. People bring picnics, books, cameras or friends and enjoy the sculptures and view.

Be sure to check out the foundry and smithy where the resident artists and blacksmiths work. It’s rare to visit a museum that also serves as a workshop for artists. If you’re interested in blacksmithing, the museum offers classes year round.

Go There:

National Ornamental Metal Museum

374 Metal Museum Dr
Memphis, TN 38106-1514
(901) 774-6380


Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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  1. Peter Owen says:

    Calvary Church had their picnic on the grounds and it was amazing! Loved the view.

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