Before You Go
Coordinates | 35.1495° N, 90.0490° W
Baton Rouge to Memphis | 383.9 miles
Driving Time | 5 hours, 30 minutes
Flying Time (BTR-MEM) | 4 hours, 7 minutes
Why Memphis? | Famous for the blues and barbeque, Memphis is a charming southern town with a little something for every member of the family. From concerts to the zoo, your trip is sure to include a ton of family fun and plenty of good food in between. Memphis is one stop where you and your family will surely have a rockin’ time.
Where to Stay
See the ducks on parade when you stay at the Memphis classic, The Peabody Memphis. The legendary ducks (yes, real ducks!) greet guests each day as they march to the Peabody fountain. It’s a time-honored tradition that you won’t want to miss. The Peabody Memphis is located in the scenic downtown area, putting you in the center of all of the action. They offer many different rooms, too, that have all been updated to celebrate the Peabody’s 150th year.
Where to Eat
760 Mount Moriah Road, Memphis, TN 38117
Be like the locals and head to Gibson’s for great donuts to start your morning. If you’re in the mood for classics, their blueberry donut is hard to pass up. Looking for something even more exciting? Try the bacon donuts. If donuts aren’t your thing, Gibson’s cinnamon rolls and apple fritters are also crowd pleasers.
2249 Central Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104
Voted one of Memphis’s favorite BBQ spots, Central BBQ offers heaping plates and a family-style atmosphere. For a barbecue classic, try the ribs or the beef brisket. And for the kiddos, let them choose between the Jr. Brisket or something more standard like mac and cheese. Top it off with a slice of peanut butter pie.
77 S. 2nd Street, Memphis, TN 38103
You really can’t go wrong with a deliciously juicy burger, and grabbing one at Huey’s certainly won’t disappoint. Try any of their delicious appetizer options like Memphis original potato skins or fried pickles before feasting on one of their burgers. Tempt your tastebuds with the Huey Burger or the (open-faced) Sunshine Burger topped with egg and bacon.
What to Do
Meet Ya Ya and the other Pandas at the Memphis Zoo. The Zoo is one of only four zoos in the US that have giant pandas. If pandas aren’t your kiddo’s favorite animal, the Zoo has 3,500 other animals on its 76-acre grounds who are all waiting to see you and your family. ■ memphiszoo.org
Catch some free live music by heading over to the Levitt Shell. This iconic Memphis spot hosts more than 50 free concerts every year, with performances by local bands and famous musicians. If snow is still on the ground during your trip, it’s also a stellar sledding spot for the kiddos. ■ levittshell.org
No Memphis visit is complete without a visit to Elvis’s home at Graceland. Take a tour of the mansion to see how the King once lived, and hear various features and stories while on the tour from Elvis and his daughter, Lisa Marie. ■ graceland.com
See the Mississippi from a different view than we have down here while on the Memphis Riverboats. The Riverboats offer both 90-minute cruises and dinner cruises, so the whole family can enjoy however they choose. The 90-minute cruise gives you a tour of the waterfront of Memphis, and the dinner cruise offers scenic views and a live band. ■ memphisriverboats.net
Retreat from the hustle and bustle to take in the sights at Shelby Farms Park. The Park has trails for walking, biking, running, and hiking, and there are plenty of opportunities for water activities. It’s even home to a thriving herd of buffalo who roam the park. While you’re there, stop by the Woodland Discovery Playground. The Playground is an innovative space that was designed by kids, for kids. It features six play nests, each focused on a different type of play. ■ shelbyfarmspark.org
With so much to do, you and your kiddos will be able to experience an entire day at The Children’s Museum of Memphis. This kid-friendly environment allows children to lose themselves in the world of playful learning through dozens of interactive exhibits, including the Campground, Bank, Dinosaur Dig, American Airways, and the Doodlebug Studio. ■ cmom.com