Where Is Memphis Located?

Memphis, Tennessee, USA downtown skyline.
© Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Written by Justin Sexton

Published: October 6, 2023

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Memphis, Tennessee, USA at Hernando de Soto Bridge at dusk.

Memphis, Tennessee, USA at Hernando de Soto Bridge at dusk.

©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve ever heard of the Grizzlies basketball team or rappers like Young Dolph, Three 6 Mafia, and Key Glock, they are from Memphis. Maybe you’re more of a fan of barbeque food. Well, Memphis is always in the conversation for having some of the greatest barbeque in the United States. The city has a rich cultural history rooted in music and regional history.

Where Is Memphis Located On The Map?

Memphis is located in the southwestern part of Tennessee It’s only nine miles from Marion, Arkansas. Memphis is thirteen miles from Lynchburg, Mississippi, and eleven miles from Southaven, Mississippi. The closest major Tennessee city Memphis is near is Bartlett. Memphis is eleven miles from Bartlett, Tennessee.

How Far Is Memphis From Other Major Cities In Tennesee?

CityMiles Apart From Memphis
Bartlett10.5 miles
Nashville212 miles
Chattanooga337 miles
Franklin207 miles
Jackson87 miles

Is Memphis A Good Place To Live?

The second largest city in Tennesee is a safe place to live. “The birthplace of Rock and Roll” is recognized as one of the most affordable cities in the United States. The cost of living in Memphis is nineteen percent lower than the national average. Residents pay an average of 842 dollars and the average cost of a house is around $93,000. In the previous year, the number of jobs in their job market grew by 1.4%. Some popular career fields in Memphis are in the health, legal, financial, and customer service fields.

What Is The Geography In The City of Memphis, Tennessee?

Memphis is located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River and in the southwestern part of Tennessee. The city of Memphis is very close to Arkansas and Mississippi. It’s famous for its very humid summers as it’s a part of the Southern region. Tennessee gets its humidity from moisture coming from the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to the Memphis Sand Aquifer.

What Is The Memphis Sand Aquifer?

The Memphis Sand Aquifer is an underground formation that helps provide clear freshwater for Shelby County. Memphis is in the Shelby County area. How the sand aquifer provides fresh water for the town is in an interesting way. It’s not an underground lake. Think of it as a sandbox that’s been rained in. The protective clay acts like a barrier to the shallow aquifer, which prevents pollution caused by the modernization around Shelby County. There are organizations that are trying to fight the pollution of the Memphis Sand Aquifer. The Memphis Sand Aquifer can go as deep as three thousand feet below sea level. It’s slated to contain more than 100 trillion gallons of water. Since it was first tapped in 1887, the aquifer went down 125 feet further in the ground. That’s a good sign that more water can be created from the aquifer.

The Seasons In Memphis

The four different seasons in Memphis vary greatly.

Their winters are mild but it does contain some cold snaps. The coldest winter in Memphis, Tennessee happened on Christmas Eve 1963 as the day’s temperature was thirteen degrees below zero! Their most recent severe snowstorm occurred in 2008 as the city got seven inches of snow. Spring is a transitional season for the city as more of the city’s severe weather takes place in the springtime. The torrent thunderstorms, hailstorms, and tornadoes can create winds up to 60 mph. Humidity in Memphis is at its lowest in the winter.

The summertime brings unbearable humidity as moisture from the nearby Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico brings moisture to the city. The highest recorded temperature in the city was one-hundred-eight degrees Fahrenheit on July 13, 1980. Late autumn is rainer and colder as most of the warm weather from the summer lingers around until October-November. Overall, the climate is a subtropical one. Memphis doesn’t get too much snow. The winters are short but very cold and wet. The summers are long and humid.

What Is The City Famous For?

Memphis has a rich musical history along with being a hotspot for foodies.

The Real Birthplace of Rock & Roll???

Memphis, Tennessee is famous for being “The Birthplace of Rock & Roll.” This may be a controversial topic as several people have said that Cleveland, Ohio is the true birthplace of Rock and Roll. The place where Rock and Roll was made at Sun Studios. Sun Studios first opened its doors in 1952. Sam Phillips opened the studios as a small storefront on Union Ave with the slogan “We record anything- anywhere- anytime.” The next year would have a future music star walk through the studio doors in Elvis Presley, and the rest, you can say, was history.

Sam Phillips initially made the studio so that black voices could record Blues music. His aim wasn’t to “record weddings and school day revues… [he was] looking for higher ground, for what [he] knew, existed in the soul of mankind. And especially at the time, the black man’s spirit and his soul.”

Prior to Elvis, Sam Phillips worked with the likes of B.B. King, Rosco Gordon, James Cotton, and more on recording their music and playing their songs at radio stations. After a few impromptu studio sessions singing all the hits at the time, Elvis randomly broke into singing “That’s All Right” by bluesman Arthur Crudup. After that, Elvis went on to record five more singles with Phillips. Then, Sam Phillips went on to work with many other rock legends at the time like Johnny Cash. Sam Phillips was a part of the inaugural Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class in 1986. He was also elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

Beale Street

A walking tour of the famous Beale Street in Memphis, Tennesee

Beale Street is a National Historic Landmark and the Home of Blues. Visitors can chow down on some excellent food at the many restaurants there and see where many musicians in the past century got their beginnings. Beale Street has its own iteration of the Hollywood Star Walk. Instead of stars, they use brass music notes on the lining of the sidewalk. Some of the names etched forever in the brass music notes include Tennessee natives like Justin Timberlake, Issac Hayes, rap group Three 6 Mafia, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Memphis BBQ

The history of Memphis barbecue, or BBQ, began in the early 20th century. The pork shoulder and pork ribs are the signature cuts in Memphis. However, there are plenty of chicken and fish specialty dishes. Compared to Texas and the Carolinas, which use split logwood as fire sources, Memphis prefers charcoal. In the late 1930s, pork sandwiches were the lunchtime staples. The city drew an influx of black migrants to Memphis after the Civil War. The city’s black population went from 3,000 to over 50,000 at the turn of the 20th century.

To tie in the history of Beale Street, a black man named John Mills opened his own barbecue spot on the corner of Beale and Gayoso Avenue in the late 1920s. John Mills was the first person to make Memphis famous for their barbecue ribs. Two decades later, Charle Vergos started selling his famous dry-rubbed ribs at the famous Rendezvous restaurant.

A food tour of the famous Leonard’s BBQ restaurant in Memphis, TN.

Although John Mills gained popularity first, Leonards was the first true Memphis BBQ spot that opened in 1922. This 101-year-old food spot is located on the corner of Trigg and Latham. Unlike John’s restaurant, they only served white customers until segregation ended in the 1960s. Their signature meat cuts are slow-roasted pork shoulders and ribs overnight in a brick pit fire by hickory charcoal.

With many decades thanks to the contribution of Leonard’s, John Mills, and the famous Rendevouz spot, Memphis Barbecue grew into one of the best barbecue cities in the nation.

The Peabody Duck March

Yes, you read that right. The Peabody Duck March is located in Memphis, Tennessee. This decades-long tradition began more than ninety years ago! At 11 am and 5 pm, five mallard ducks descend from the Royal Duck Palace in The Peabody Memphis to walk across the red carpet. These ducks were seen on shows like Sesame Street and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

How did a tradition this peculiar begin? Well, in 1932, the then-general manager and a few of his hunting friends along with live decoy ducks stopped by the bar at the Peabody for a few drinks. The drunken group thought it would be a hoot to have the ducks march across the hotel. In 1940, the hotel created the Duck Master job after a former Barnum and Bailey Ringling Circus brother offered to take the ducks to and from the hotel’s fountain each day. It turned into a full-blown spectacle that’s been covered on platforms like Sports Illustrated and People Magazine.

The Memphis Grizzlies Basketball Team

The Grizzlies became an expansion team of the NBA in 1995, except that they were originally located in Vancouver, Canada. They were a part of the Western Conference in their first few seasons in the league. After several issues from poor attendance to financial problems to players not wanting to play in Canada at the time, the Grizzlies had to relocate. The Memphis relocation happened in 2001 and it turned the franchise around for the better.

Now it’s home to some NBA legends like the twin power forwards Pau and Marc Gasol along with Memphis legend Zach Randolph. Today, the Grizzlies are a young and energetic team led by Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. The youthful energy of the Grizzlies made it the spot to hang out courtside for hometown heroes like the late and great Young Dolph, his cousin Key Glock, rap group Three6Mafia, Glorilla, and Yo Gotti.


Where is Memphis located? It’s located in Southwest Tennesee by the bordering states of Arkansas and Mississippi. It’s on the eastern banks of the Mississippi River. The city’s climate is subtropical with mild winters and very harsh summers due to its humidity. They have a popular aquifer that is a big source of pure freshwater for the county. The Memphis Sand Aquifer contains 100 trillion gallons of water and is nearly 3000 feet below sea level.

Memphis has a rich history in food and culture. Their BBQ is considered one of the best compared to its Carolina and Texas counterparts. Their BBQ culture began in the late 1920s and grew into a cultural phenomenon in the food world. Memphis natives still debate with Cleveland natives on who’s the true “Birthplace of Rock and Roll”, but Memphis has a valid case with Sam Phillips being in the inaugural Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class back in 1986. Sam Phillips opened a studio on Beale Street that helped black musicians record music and that eventually led to his recording sessions with Elvis Presley, and the rest was history.

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About the Author

Justin is an A-Z Animals Writer that loves to cover places, unique natural disasters, and travel. He has eight years of experience as a writer in the medical and media fields. He wrote for the likes of VCU Health, theMSQshop, PayDay LA, and Comic Book Resources under the penname Jay Guevara. Although he's a full time writer, Justin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science with a background in Community Engagement. After spending over two decades in Richmond, Virginia, Justin now resides in the suburbs of Rancho Cucamonga, California. He's a dedicated gymrat. He's also a two-time poetry author who's influenced by rappers Joe Budden and IDK along with Dante Alighieri.

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