Memphis, the largest city in Tennessee, is located in the southwest corner of the state and borders both Mississippi and Arkansas. The city is located on a bluff high above the Mississippi River, where it is protected from the floodwaters of the Mississippi. Several cultural icons that helped shape popular American music grew up in and around Memphis, including Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash, and B. B. King. Memphis boasts a diverse workforce, and ranks high for low taxes, competitive wages, and cost of living.
Memphis was founded in 1819 by John Overton, James Winchester and Andrew Jackson. The name was taken from the ancient city of Memphis, Egypt. With its location on the banks of the Mississippi, Memphis became an important transportation center with cotton and lumber as major trade goods, eventually leading Memphis to become the world’s largest market for these goods. Memphis seceded from the Union in 1861, but was captured by Union gunboats in the Battle of Memphis in 1862. During the 1960’s Memphis was embroiled in the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Memphis has seen substantial job growth in recent years, adding an average of 10,000 new jobs annually during the years 1996 to 2004.
The weather in Memphis is typical of the mid-south region, with hot and humid summers and mild winters. Precipitation peaks from early spring through August, with heavy rainstorms in the spring, tapering off to brief storms in the summer months. It rarely snows in Memphis, with an average seasonal snowfall of less than 4". Use the links below to learn more about the weather and climate in Memphis.
Memphis provides plenty of public transportation with 33 bus routes covering over 300 square miles. Vintage trolleys shuttle downtown area passengers along Main Street, the riverfront, and Madison Avenue. Tourists can benefit from the Memphis Hop, which provides shuttle service between 10 local attractions. Amtrak runs the Chicago to New Orleans passenger route through Memphis with a station conveniently located in downtown Memphis. The Memphis International Airport is just 7 miles from downtown Memphis and operates 83 gates with flights to many national destinations.
Cost of Living in Memphis
Memphis is a very affordable place to live, with an average cost of living index around 15% to 20% below the national average and housing as much as 30% below the national average. Considering moving to Memphis? Use these cost of living calculators to discover how your budget matches living in Memphis.
The Memphis City School district merged with the Shelby County School District to form the Unified Shelby County Schools. It is the largest school system in the state of Tennessee with over 220 primary and secondary schools in the district. The University of Memphis, or U of M, is a public university that was founded in 1972 and offers over 250 fields of study.
Methodist Hospitals of Memphis are ranked as the number-one medical facilities in the Memphis area. This medical system is nationally ranked in seven pediatric specialties and high performing in nine adult specialties. Ranked number two is the Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. This general medical and surgical facility is recognized as high performing in seven adult specialties including cancer treatment, cardiology, diabetes and neurology, to name a few. If you are making Memphis your new home, be sure to know about the medical resources available to you:
Memphis Real Estate
With many available homes and great prices in Memphis and the surrounding area, it pays to research where you want to live. Collierville, Germantown, and Bartlett are desirable neighborhoods with excellent schools. The Cooper-Young district in midtown has many beautiful, historic houses. Explore places to live in Memphis using the following links.
When visiting Memphis, you will find plenty of options for your stay. The Peabody Hotel is one of the most elegant hotels in Memphis, and is world-famous for the Peabody Ducks, who are escorted from their rooftop palace to the lobby fountain each day. The Talbot Heirs provides spacious, comfortable and creative accommodations, and is located in the heart of downtown Memphis. The River Inn at Harbor Town is rated by TripAdvisor as the #1 hotel in Memphis and features a great view of the Mississippi River from their rooftop terrace. Find places to stay in Memphis with these links.
No visit to Memphis is complete without a visit to the Rendezvous Barbecue Restaurant where the Memphis "dry rubbed" style of barbecue was made famous. You’ll find the Rendezvous in an alley behind the Peabody Hotel. For traditional southern food, it is hard to beat Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken where they serve what could possibly be the best fried chicken in the world. The Soul Fish Cafe is known for their catfish tacos, sweet potato fries, and southern-style mac and cheese. For other dining selections, use the following links to explore Memphis restaurants.
Things to Do in Memphis
You don’t need to be a fan to enjoy visiting Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley. The King of Rock and Roll's life is captured in the memorabilia on display among original furnishings dating to the 1970’s and earlier. The Memphis Zoo, rated #1 by TripAdvisor in 2008, is one of only 4 zoos in America where you can see giant pandas. Start your music history tour at the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum where you can pick up an audio guide and map to use as you walk Beale Street and the neighborhood that includes the recording studio where Elvis cut his first record.