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Where to Stay in Memphis: Best Areas & Hotels

Wondering where to stay in Memphis? From the iconic Beale Street and Downtown to the chic East Memphis and Germantown, these are the best areas and hotels in the city.

Where to Stay in Memphis: Best Areas and Hotels
Where to Stay in Memphis: Best Areas and Hotels

Often referred to as the “Home of the Blues” and the “Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” Memphis, Tennessee, is a city with a vibrant musical heritage. Its position along the Mississippi River adds to its distinctive southern charm. If you’re seeking the best areas to stay in Memphis, you’re in the right place.


Thanks to its rich music scene, iconic attractions like Graceland and Beale Street, and numerous events, Memphis attracts millions of tourists annually and boasts many accommodations, from luxury hotels to affordable inns and motels suitable for a range of budgets.

Other notable attractions in Memphis include the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, which delves into the history of the civil rights movement in America; Sun Studio, where legendary artists like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash recorded their first hits; Stax Museum of American Soul Music, showcasing the history of soul music and Stax Records; and Mud Island River Park, offering breathtaking views of the Mississippi River.

But Memphis has much more than just its musical background. Its history dates back to 1819 when it was founded by Andrew Jackson (the 7th US President). Since then, it has served as an essential center for transportation and trade. The blend of southern hospitality and an energetic atmosphere makes this city an exciting destination for leisure and business travelers.

Continue reading this guide to discover more about the best areas to stay in Memphis.


Accommodation Options in Memphis, TN

The Best Areas to Stay in Memphis, TN: A Summary

If you don’t have time to read the full article, this summarizes our recommended districts for visitors to Memphis, USA. Keep reading to learn more about each of these areas.


What’s the Best Area to Stay in Memphis, TN?

Beale Street is the best area to stay in Memphis, TN
Beale Street is the best area to stay in Memphis, TN. Our favorite hotel in the area is the Peabody Memphis.

The best area to stay in Memphis is Beale Street. This famous nightlife spot boasts numerous attractions, easy accessibility to public transportation, and dining and shopping choices. Set in Downtown Memphis, this vibrant neighborhood is home to some of the city’s most iconic spots, including the historic Orpheum Theatre, the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. Furthermore, it is in close proximity to some of the best-rated hotels in Memphis.

Find available accommodation on Beale Street.

Best Hotels on and near Beale Street


Where to Stay in Memphis for Sightseeing & Nightlife

One of the most popular attractions in Memphis, staying near Graceland provides easy access to Elvis Presley's iconic home, musical haven, and museum.
One of the most popular attractions in Memphis, staying near Graceland provides easy access to Elvis Presley’s iconic home, musical haven, and museum. Our favorite property here is The Guest House at Graceland.

As mentioned above, Beale Street is the best location for tourists in Memphis. That said, there are many more areas offering different vibes and sights. These are some of the best districts to stay in Memphis:

  • Downtown Memphis is ideal to be near the city’s main attractions and entertainment options. This area boasts landmarks like the Peabody Hotel, AutoZone Park, and historic Beale Street. Several top-rated hotels can be found in Downtown Memphis. These include ARRIVE Memphis and the Comfort Inn Memphis Downtown.
  • As mentioned above, Beale Street is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, live music, and iconic blues clubs. Some of the best hotels in this area are the Peabody Memphis and The Westin Memphis Beale Street.
  • For fans of Elvis Presley or rock-n-roll history, staying near Graceland can be a great choice. Graceland is the former home-turned-museum honoring the legendary musician. Located about ten miles from downtown, the area has several hotels like The Guest House at Graceland.
  • Across the Mississippi River from Memphis, West Memphis, Arkansas, offers affordable accommodations with easy access to the city. A few hotels and motels, such as Tru By Hilton West Memphis, can be found along Interstate 40.

Where to Stay in Memphis, TN: District by District

1. Beale Street

Best area to stay in Memphis for nightlife

Beale Street truly comes alive at night
Beale Street truly comes alive at night
Beale Street is one of the most famous attractions in Memphis, TN
Beale Street is one of the most famous attractions in Memphis, TN
Several of the top-rated hotels in Memphis are located near Beale Street
Several of the top-rated hotels in Memphis are located near Beale Street

Beale Street is an excellent area to stay for those interested in experiencing Memphis’ rich musical history.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Memphis, Tennessee:
  • Rich musical history
  • Proximity to popular attractions
  • Historic Orpheum Theatre
  • Vibrant nightlife scene
  • Dining options
  • B.B. King’s Blues Club
  • Charming architecture
  • Easy access to public transportation
  • Variety of accommodations
  • Safe and walkable streets
  • Memphis Music Hall of Fame

Beale Street, located in downtown Memphis, is a vibrant historical street spanning approximately 1.8 miles and running from the Mississippi River to East Street. It is renowned for its musical heritage, as it played a critical role in the development of blues music in the early 20th century. It has attracted legendary artists such as B.B. King and Elvis Presley. Today, several clubs and bars along the street continue to showcase live music performances, offering a taste of Memphis blues.

Noteworthy attractions on Beale Street include the W.C. Handy House Museum, dedicated to the “Father of the Blues” and featuring his memorabilia, and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.

But Beale Street is not just limited to its music scene; there are several other attractions in the area. These include A. Schwab’s, a historic general store that has been operating since 1876. It offers a variety of merchandise, from souvenirs and clothing to vintage-inspired toys and home goods.

There are multiple ways to access this lively district. The nearest light rail stations include Main Street Trolley Stations at Peabody Place and Exchange Club Park. The trolley line connects various points of interest throughout downtown Memphis.

Hotels near Beale Street range from boutique accommodations to luxury hotels. Beale Street Accommodations in this area tend to be more expensive compared to other parts of Memphis; however, their close proximity to Beale Street’s attractions makes them an ideal choice for explorers looking for convenience.

Best Hotels near Beale Street

Peabody Memphis
Best 4-star hotel
Peabody Memphis

Steps away from Beale Street, this famed hotel celebrates the Southern tradition and charm of its past while providing luxury accommodations, including fine dining options, an indoor pool, fitness center and full-service spa.

Hilton Garden Inn Memphis Downtown Beale Street
Best 3-star hotel
Hilton Garden Inn Memphis Downtown Beale Street

Hilton Garden Inn Memphis Downtown Beale Street in Memphis provides accommodations with a shared lounge and a bar.

La Quinta by Wyndham Memphis Downtown
Best budget hotel
La Quinta by Wyndham Memphis Downtown

Ideally set in the center of Memphis, La Quinta by Wyndham Memphis Downtown has free WiFi throughout the property, a fitness center and free private parking for guests who drive.

Residence Inn Memphis Downtown
Best serviced apartments
Residence Inn Memphis Downtown

This Marriott hotel is located in downtown Memphis, Tennessee and 15 minutes from Graceland. It also features a gym. All units have a kitchen and living area.


2. Downtown Memphis

Best Location in Memphis for Sightseeing

Downtown Memphis is a great area to stay for leisure and business travelers
Downtown Memphis is a great area to stay for leisure and business travelers
Beale Street is the most famous nightlife area in Memphis
Beale Street is the most famous nightlife area in Memphis
Mud Island is one of the top attractions in central Memphis
Mud Island is one of the top attractions in central Memphis

Thanks to its easy access to public transportation, dining options, and local events, Downtown is one of the best areas to stay in Memphis.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Memphis, Tennessee:
  • Proximity to Beale Street
  • National Civil Rights Museum
  • Sun Studio
  • South Main Arts District
  • Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
  • Dining and live music
  • Easy access to public transportation
  • Local food and shops at Central Station
  • Mud Island River Park

Downtown Memphis, located along the Mississippi River, is the historic, cultural and commercial heart of the city and is known for its rich musical history and lively atmosphere. The area is famous for being the birthplace of blues music and as a key location in the civil rights movement. As a result, it offers numerous historical sites and museums to explore.

One of the area’s most significant landmarks is the aforementioned Beale Street, an iconic location steeped in musical history. The National Civil Rights Museum, located at the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, is another must-see attraction in the area.

In addition to its historic sites, Downtown Memphis offers a mix of entertainment venues, parks, and recreational facilities. Mud Island River Park gives visitors a chance to learn about the Mississippi River. Meanwhile, AutoZone Park is the home stadium for the Memphis Redbirds baseball team.

Downtown Memphis is easy to navigate by foot or via public transit. The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) operates buses and trolleys in and around the downtown core.

The area offers several accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly motels to upscale boutique hotels.

Best Hotels in Downtown Memphis

Big Cypress Lodge
Best 5-star hotel
Big Cypress Lodge

Located within the iconic Memphis Pyramid, Big Cypress Lodge features accommodations with a 24-hour fitness center, private parking, a terrace, on-site restaurants, and free WiFi.

ARRIVE Memphis
Best 4-star hotel
ARRIVE Memphis

Conveniently located in the center of Memphis, ARRIVE Memphis provides air-conditioned rooms, a fitness center, free WiFi, and a restaurant. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space.

MOXY Memphis Downtown
Best 3-star hotel
MOXY Memphis Downtown

Less than a mile from the FedEx Forum, Orpheum Theater, and Beale Street, this hotel is located in the heart of downtown Memphis and offers comfortable guest rooms with free WiFi.

La Quinta by Wyndham Memphis Downtown
Best budget hotel
La Quinta by Wyndham Memphis Downtown

Ideally set in the center of Memphis, La Quinta by Wyndham Memphis Downtown has free WiFi. At the hotel, rooms are equipped with a private bathroom.

The Rambler
Best serviced apartments
The Rambler

Located in Memphis, a 9-minute walk from Orpheum Theater and 700 yards from the center, The Rambler provides air-conditioned accommodations with free Wi-Fi and an outdoor swimming pool.


3. Germantown

Upscale suburb to stay in Memphis

Germantown is an upscale residential community on the outskirts of Memphis known for its peaceful atmosphere, friendly locals, and beautiful parks. It is one of the best areas to stay in Memphis.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Memphis, Tennessee:
  • Charming historic district
  • Proximity to downtown Memphis
  • Shelby Farms Park
  • Memphis Zoo nearby
  • Great area if you have a car
  • Unique local shops and boutiques
  • One of the safest areas to stay in Memphis
  • Family-friendly atmosphere

Germantown, a suburb southeast of Memphis, is an attractive base for those looking to experience a quiet suburban atmosphere. With a rich heritage that dates back to its founding in 1841, Germantown retains much of its historical charm.

One of the area’s notable features is the Germantown Performing Arts Center (GPAC), which hosts numerous concerts, theatrical performances, and art exhibitions throughout the year. Additionally, the Germantown Community Theatre showcases local talent in various productions. Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States, spans over 4,500 acres and is just a short drive away. Closer to the heart of Germantown lies Oaklawn Garden, where visitors can wander through picturesque botanical gardens and browse through historical artifacts at the on-site museum.

Saddle Creek is an outdoor shopping center with upscale stores. For dining options, Germantown offers several locally-owned restaurants. Families visiting the area may appreciate the town’s quieter atmosphere for their stay.

In terms of transportation options, this suburban community relies mainly on car travel. However, public transportation does service the area through MATA bus routes that connect Germantown with downtown Memphis.

Germantown offers mainly mid-range accommodations, including well-known chains.

Best Hotels in Germantown, TN

Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis Germantown
Best 3-star hotel
Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis Germantown

Located in Memphis, Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis Germantown has accommodations with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, and a fitness center.

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Memphis/Germantown, an IHG Hotel
Best budget hotel
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Memphis/Germantown

Located just off Highway 40, this Tennessee hotel features an indoor swimming pool and a daily continental breakfast.


4. Midtown Memphis

Centrally located and diverse Memphis district

Packed with shops, restaurants, and attractions, Midtown offers is a great district for tourists in Memphis, TN.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Memphis, Tennessee:
  • Central location in Memphis
  • Proximity to Downtown
  • Nearby attractions like Graceland
  • Tom Lee Park
  • Memphis Zoo
  • Easy access to public transportation
  • Wide variety of dining options
  • Range of accommodations for every budget

Located in the heart of Memphis, Midtown covers an area between Downtown to the west and East Memphis to the east.

Midtown showcases homes with various architectural styles, such as Victorian, Craftsman, and Tudor Revival. A famous neighborhood within Midtown is Central Gardens, which was established in 1900 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s known for tree-lined streets, beautifully maintained yards, and some of the finest residential architecture in Memphis.

Overton Park is a key attraction in Midtown. It hosts several sights, like the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis College of Art, and the Levitt Shell open-air amphitheater, where Elvis Presley once performed. The Memphis Zoo is home to over 3,500 animals and 500 different species.

Located in Midtown, the Cooper-Young neighborhood embodies Memphis’ creative spirit with specialty shops, craftsman bungalows, and mural art on display. It also includes a variety of restaurants. Furthermore, Overton Square Entertainment District offers theaters, live music venues, and restaurants.

Best Hotels in Midtown, Memphis, TN

The Memphian a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
Best 4-star hotel
The Memphian a Tribute Portfolio Hotel

Located in Memphis, The Memphian a Tribute Portfolio Hotel provides rooms with air conditioning and a private bathroom. Private parking is available on-site.

Best Western Plus Gen X Inn
Best 3-star hotel
Best Western Plus Gen X Inn

Best Western Plus Gen X Inn is less than a 15-minute drive from Graceland. Cable TV with HBO and free Wi-Fi is offered in every room.

Holiday Inn Express Memphis Medical Center - Midtown, an IHG Hotel
Best budget hotel
Holiday Inn Express Memphis Medical Center – Midtown, an IHG Hotel

Located just off Interstate 240 in midtown Memphis, this Holiday Inn Express features a daily hot breakfast buffet and outdoor pool. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel as well.


5. Graceland & Memphis Airport

Best area for Elvis Presley fans

Providing access to Elvis-related tours and the airport, as well as other nearby attractions like Sun Studio, the area around Graceland is one of the top districts for tourists in Memphis, TN.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Memphis, Tennessee:
  • Proximity to Graceland Mansion
  • Elvis Presley Automobile Museum
  • Affordable accommodations
  • Easy access to Memphis International Airport

Graceland and the nearby Memphis International Airport are both essential points of interest for travelers visiting Memphis, Tennessee. The Graceland area is predominantly known for its association with Elvis Presley, as it houses his former mansion and now serves as a museum dedicated to celebrating his life and career. The mansion attracts music history enthusiasts with its detailed exhibits featuring Elvis Presley’s personal belongings, awards, and memorabilia.

Graceland offers music and Elvis-themed hotel options, such as the Guest House at Graceland. Several other options are available in the area.

Memphis International Airport is located approximately 7 miles southeast of downtown Memphis. Serving as the primary airport in the region, it serves domestic and select international destinations to airlines like Delta, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines.

Best Hotels near Graceland & Memphis International Airport

The Guest House at Graceland
Best 4-star hotel
The Guest House at Graceland

Less than a 5-minute walk from Elvis Presley’s Graceland Mansion, The Guest House at Graceland offers accommodations with 2 on-site restaurants, a theater, and an outdoor pool with a pool bar.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Memphis Arpt Elvis Presley Blv, an IHG Hotel
Best 3-star hotel
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Memphis Arpt Elvis Presley Blv

Located a 14-minute walk from Elvis Presley’s Graceland, this 3-star hotel provides accommodations with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, and a fitness center.


6. East Memphis

Safest area in Memphis

East Memphis is an affluent business hub situated east of downtown Memphis.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Memphis, Tennessee:
  • Memphis Botanic Garden
  • Great area for business travelers
  • Many accommodation options
  • Family-friendly parks and activities
  • Safe and walkable neighborhoods
  • Shelbourne Place Mall and Wolfchase Galleria
  • University of Memphis campus

East Memphis, a prominent suburban area, is recognized for its upscale neighborhoods, shopping centers, and excellent dining options. Located approximately 10 miles east of Downtown, this area was mainly established in the mid-20th century as a suburb.

One of the significant landmarks in East Memphis is the Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium. This museum showcases the cultural and natural history of Memphis and surrounding regions, offering exhibitions on everything from dinosaurs to early 20th-century American life. Shelby Farms Park, another key attraction in the area, spans 4,500 acres of diverse landscapes, including forests, meadows, and wetlands.

Restaurants and bars lining Poplar Avenue offer cuisine options like Southern barbecue and French or Italian flairs. East Memphis is serviced by several key roadways, including Interstate 240 and Poplar Avenue. Public transit is limited.

Best Hotels in East Memphis, TN

Hilton Memphis
Best 3-star hotel
Hilton Memphis

Located in the heart of the Business District, this East Memphis hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, a 24-hour business center, and free airport shuttle services. Free WiFi access is available.

Staybridge Suites Memphis-Poplar Ave East, an IHG Hotel
Best budget hotel
Staybridge Suites Memphis-Poplar Ave East, an IHG Hotel

Located in Memphis, Staybridge Suites Memphis-Poplar Ave East, an IHG Hotel, has a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, shared lounge, and free WiFi throughout the property.


7. West Memphis, AK

The cheapest area to stay in Memphis

West Memphis provides an accessible location with affordable accommodations.

    Why is this the best area to stay in Memphis, Tennessee:
  • Affordable accommodation choices
  • Proximity to downtown Memphis
  • Southland Casino Racing
  • Picturesque green spaces and parks

Located across the Mississippi River from Memphis, West Memphis offers some of the cheapest hotels and motels in the region. Although it’s a separate city (it’s even in a different state!), West Memphis serves as a great gateway to the attractions on both sides of the river.

Located just minutes from downtown Memphis and with easy access to Interstate 40 and Interstate 55, West Memphis offers budget-friendly motels and mid-range accommodations.

MATA offers a bus service to downtown Memphis. However, access to a car is highly recommended if you’re planning to stay in this eastern Arkansas city.

Best Hotels in West Memphis, AR

Radisson Hotel West Memphis
Best 3-star hotel
Radisson Hotel West Memphis

Located along Interstate 55, this Radisson Hotel West Memphis features an on-site restaurant, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center. Guest rooms offer free WiFi.

Tru By Hilton West Memphis, Ar
Best budget hotel
Tru By Hilton West Memphis

Tru By Hilton West Memphis, Ar, offers 2-star accommodations in West Memphis and features a fitness center, a shared lounge, and a casino.


Where to Look for Accommodation in Memphis, TN: Useful Info

Situated in Tennessee’s southwest corner, along the Mississippi River, Memphis stands as the state’s largest city.

Memphis, located in Tennessee, has a rich history with fascinating facts. Memphis was founded in 1819 by three wealthy Americans – James Overton, John Rice, and Andrew Jackson (who later became the 7th U.S. President). The city sits on a bluff called Chickasaw Bluff, chosen for its strategic location and resistance to flooding. During the Civil War, Memphis was a key area due to its location on the Mississippi River and quickly became a center for Union forces. In the 20th Century, Memphis played a crucial role in the development of blues and rock ‘n’ roll music with artists like B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash. Finally, Memphis has played an important role in American Civil Rights history; in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel.

The best time to visit Memphis is during the fall, specifically September to November. During this period, the weather is pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 60-70°F (15-21°C). There are also several events happening during this time, like the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival in September and the Indie Memphis Film Festival in November. These events showcase the musical heritage and independent filmmaking talents of Memphis, making it an ideal time to visit.

The city’s main attraction is the Graceland Mansion, the former residence and final resting place of Elvis Presley. Memphis has also been home to renowned artists such as Johnny Cash and B.B. King, while others like Aretha Franklin, Carla Thomas, Anita Ward, Isaac Hayes, Justin Timberlake, Jake Randall, and Lucy Hale were born here.

Owing to its musical impact, Memphis has earned nicknames such as “Home of the Blues” and “Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll.”

Memphis has several popular tourist attractions. These include the National Civil Rights Museum, an informative and educational facility dedicated to the American civil rights movement; Beale Street, a lively street famous for its live music venues; the Memphis Zoo, which houses over 4,500 animals and 500 species in its naturalistic habitats; the Sun Studio, renowned as the birthplace of rock-and-roll where artists like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison recorded their early music; and the Pink Palace Museum, a cultural and natural history museum that explores the regional history and science topics.

Regarding transportation within the metropolitan area, Memphis offers bus and trolley services. Numerous car rental agencies can be found at the airport, and various transport services are available through mobile apps.

Memphis has a higher crime rate than the national average, with property crime being more common than violent crime. As in most places, some areas are safer than others. The main dangers in Memphis are theft, burglaries, and assaults. These risks tend to be higher in certain neighborhoods and more likely to occur at night. The downtown area, East Memphis, and Midtown, where most tourists spend time, are generally safer due to increased police presence and surveillance systems. Nonetheless, you should still exercise common sense. Stay aware of your surroundings and stick to well-lit and busy areas after dark.