Reasons to Love Memphis #40: The Riverfront
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.
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.)
– 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.
– 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?