Situated in the heart of downtown Memphis, River Garden, previously known as Mississippi River Park, is a vibrant public space that stretches along Wolf River Harbor. It offers a tranquil yet engaging escape from bustling city life, attracting both locals and tourists with its plethora of outdoor activities and attractions.
In the park, you'll find a playful, all-ages treehouse and human-size nests constructed from Mississippi River driftwood. It also offers picnic tables, kayak rentals, scenic walkways, and stunning harbor-side views.
Why visit Mississippi River Park?
Breathtaking views. Thanks to its strategic location at the heart of the five-mile River Line pedestrian and bike trail, the park is a treasure trove of fabulous vistas. The park’s design highlights panoramic river views, which are sure to leave you in awe.
Family-friendly fun. The park is a popular spot for family outings. Its open green spaces, play structures, and picnic areas offer endless entertainment for children, while adults can unwind in the tranquil environment.
Sustainable tourism. Mississippi River Park has a strong commitment to sustainability and contributes to the well-being of the environment. It is an excellent choice for travelers who value eco-friendly practices.
Proximity to major attractions. The park's prime location places it within easy reach of other notable attractions in Memphis. Historical landmarks like Beale Street and the National Civil Rights Museum, as well as famous Mud Island River Park, are just a short distance away.
Best places to visit near Mississippi River Park
Memphis Riverboats. Take a short walk from the park and experience the mighty Mississippi River aboard a riverboat cruise. These cruises offer scenic views of the river, live music, and sometimes even dinner options. It's a relaxing way to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Mud Island River Park. This must-visit attraction offers a unique experience with a scale model of the lower Mississippi River. You can stroll along the Riverwalk and enjoy panoramic views of downtown Memphis.
Beale Street. Known as the "Home of the Blues," Beale Street is a historic street lined with vibrant blues clubs, restaurants, and shops. It's a must-visit destination for music lovers and those looking to experience Memphis' lively atmosphere.
National Civil Rights Museum. Located at the site of the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, this museum is an important historical landmark. It offers interactive exhibits that chronicle the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on American history.
The Peabody Memphis. A historic luxury hotel, The Peabody is known for its famous Peabody Ducks, which march daily through the lobby. Even if you're not staying at the hotel, you can witness this unique tradition and explore the grandeur of the building.
Sun Studio. Known as the "Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll," Sun Studio is where legendary musicians like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded their first tracks. You can take a guided tour to learn about the studio's history and see where these iconic recordings took place.
Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Dedicated to preserving the legacy of soul music, this museum showcases exhibits on the history of Stax Records and its artists, including Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes. It's a must-visit for music enthusiasts.
Memphis Zoo. Located in Overton Park, the zoo is home to a diverse array of animals from around the world. With exhibits featuring lions, elephants, pandas, and more, it offers an exciting and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
Graceland. Less than a 20-minute drive away, Elvis Presley's former home, Graceland, is a popular tourist attraction and a pilgrimage site for fans of the legendary musician. You can explore the mansion, view his collection of cars and costumes, and learn about his life and career.
Memphis Botanic Garden. If you're looking for a peaceful and scenic retreat, this place is worth a visit. It features various gardens, including the Japanese Garden, rose garden, and butterfly garden, as well as walking trails and seasonal events.
What are the most interesting and unique facts about Mississippi River Park?
The park was initially named after Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy during the Civil War. It was renamed in 2013 as Mississippi River Park, and then, after a $1.6M renovation, it became River Garden.
Mississippi River Park is a great spot for birdwatching. Located along the Mississippi Flyway, a bird migration route stretching from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, the park becomes a temporary home for several species of migratory birds during the migration season.
What's the best way to see the park?
Walking. One of the best ways to see any park is by taking a leisurely stroll. Walking allows you to take your time, appreciate the views, read the informational signs, and explore all the nooks and crannies. Don't forget to pack comfortable shoes!
Biking. The park is part of the River Line bike trail, so you can rent a bike and cover a lot more ground compared to walking.
Picnicking. There are picnic areas within the park where you can enjoy a meal or snack while enjoying the view of the river. It's a great way to take a break after exploring the park.