Memphis Tennessee’s Southern Lifestyle



This article is geared towards people living in Memphis although visitors/tourists will also find useful information here. Something that has perplexed me for years is how people fail to explore their own back yard. This includes people living in Memphis for decades or all of their lives without taking advantage to explore the rich neighborhoods, entertainment, and cultural venues that Memphis offers.

Highrises of Memphis, Tennessee skyline in night time

Explore the Neighborhoods

One place the people of Memphis might want to begin is by exploring the many diverse neighborhoods that make up the city. The people of Memphis are known for their civil pride, right down to specific neighborhoods. You can seek out the help of a realtor or tourist information specialist to explore neighborhoods before deciding if your lifestyle is best suited for the city’s eclectic, unconventional Midtown, or the buttoned-up suburban Cordova neighborhoods. Of course, everything in between is also available. Memphis has it all.

As you would expect, the city core is heavily populated by young hipsters. These neighborhoods include:

  • Midtown – probably the most diverse neighborhood in the city. Many people living here tend to be Hipsters, political progressives, aging hippies, and artists of all stripes.
  • Cooper-Young – the most iconic neighborhood in the city. It’s definitely the hippest. People living here lean towards progressive families with kids, artists, hipsters, and a thriving LGBTQ community.
  • Crosstown – an up-and-coming arts district whose residents are made up of young professionals, artists, musicians, and lower-income families that have lived in the area for years.
  • Downtown – filled with the hustle and bustle of office workers during the day, the evenings transform it into a lively entertainment district with restaurants and bars brimming with locals and tourists. Residents tend to be Hip young professionals and empty nesters who’ve sold their suburban homes in favor of condo living.
  • Harbor Town – well-to-do young families and empty nesters living in condos and townhomes overlooking the Mississippi River.
  • South Main – home to wealthy millennials and former suburbanites.
  • Binghampton – favored by mostly lower-income families, plus a handful of young, single Millennials who have chosen the area for its inexpensive rent.
  • Cordova – is a quiet suburb offering a mix of mid-sized and massive homes, as well as sprawling ‘burb-style apartment complexes. This neighborhood attracts families wanting to avoid inner city schools, suburbanites, and middle income people that were priced out of similarly sized properties in Midtown.

Of course, there are many other attractive neighborhoods in and around the Memphis core.

Explore Iconic Memphis

Memphis has a history that goes well beyond the music and BBQ that it is known for around the world. It’s true that the city is transforming with miles of bicycle lanes, Farmers’ Markets, and condominiums. However, there are still many attractions/venues catering much more to local residents that recall the Memphis of the past rather than the non-ending stream of tourists visiting Memphis today. A few of these include:

  • Summer Drive-in that opened in 19966. The four-screen cinema looks much the same as it did on opening day in ‘66 when it screened Doris Day’s The Glass Bottom Boat and Paul Newman’s The Prize on one screen.
  • Jerry’s Sno Cones has been around since the 1970s and is best known for its frozen treats. The Sno Cone Artists are known to have a heavy hand with the syrup. This venue also serves other traditional middle income food fare such as hamburgers, hotdogs, and nachos.
  • Sweden Kream’s history is a bit of a mystery but it’s believed to have been opened in the 1940s, before the development of the neighborhood that surrounds it. This old fixture of Memphis is best know for its Southern hospitality mixed with juicy burgers and shakes that take patrons back to simpler days.
  • Stepping into The Arcade Restaurant feels like stepping back into Memphis’ glory days when Elvis reigned supreme. This 1950s-style diner actually dates back to 1919, making it Memphis’ oldest continuously operating restaurant.

Both the history and current lifestyles of Memphis are worth an entire book rather than a short article. If you’re a long time (or short time) resident of Memphis, you need to explore the wonderful city you are fortunate to live in.

Please leave a comment if this article was helpful or if you have a question.

photoAuthor bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for 10 years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest. With the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.