Reasons to Love Memphis #40: The Riverfront

Posted by Holly Whitfield | September 15th 2010 1781 0

As the temperature has gotten more pleasant, I’ve been making excuses to walk around outside. A few nights ago, after killing the better part of an eight piece family meal at Gus’s with a friend, I took a long walk near the Mississippi River.

It’s been a while since I’ve done that, and I’m glad I did. This city has an awesome riverfront.

6F, Mississippi River, Memphis, Tenn.

Water levels are at 6F, whatever that means.

Though Memphis’ riverfront isn’t as developed as those in other cities, we’ve got a lot to love. Things like:

Paved Trails: There is a wide, paved walkway that runs from Beale Street down to South Main atop the Chickasaw Bluff. It’s perfect for dog walking, running, skating and leisurely strolls. It’s also a good place for contemplative sitting – there are tons of benches along the trail.

Tom Lee Park: Tom Lee Park is the huge, grassy expanse where most of the Memphis in May events are held. During May, it can be a crowded, muddy mess. The rest of the year, it’s a great place to run around, fly kites, walk your dog, or take photos. (Be sure to check out the statue honoring Tom Lee, a man who saved people from a sinking riverboat.)

Tom Lee Park, Memphis, Tenn.

Tom Lee Park

Mud Island River Park: Mud Island offers one of the best meta-river experiences in town. Their river walk is a scale model of the Lower Mississippi on an island in the middle of said river. The park also has paddle boats, kayak rentals, overnight camping, an amphitheater, a museum, and a monorail.

– Riverboat rides: On the weekend, hitch a ride on the Memphis Queen, an old-school white riverboat that docks at the base of Monroe. Sightseeing tours last about 90 minutes.

Riverboats docked at Memphis

The Memphis Queen

– New Development: Construction has already started on Beale Street Landing, which is going to be a combination boat dock, restaurant and retail facility. There’s also a plan to make Mud Island a little more accessible.

What do you love about the riverfront? What developments would you like to see there in the future?

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