We love our parks and outdoor spaces here in Memphis. We are home to one of the 20 largest urban parks in the United States, Shelby Farms Park. Even in this urban environment, there are ways to get outside and connect with nature that do not require you to drive miles and miles out of town. Here is your guide to the Bluff City’s gorgeous green spaces.

A Guide to Memphis’ Parks & Green Spaces

Agricenter Sunflower Trail

7777 Walnut Grove Rd., Memphis, TN 38120 

The Agricenter Sunflower Trail is a biker and pedestrian path that connects the Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Patch to the Agricenter Farmers Market. In August 2016, $100,000 was given to improve this trail, and it was officially reopened in September 2017. This paved path also connects Shelby Farms Park to the Agricenter, making it easily accessible for people of differing able-bodiedness. Even though this green space is near a busy road, it embodies an undeniable sense of peace and calm.

The Sunflower Trail makes for great pictures and great memories!

The Sunflower Trail makes for great pictures and great memories! Image: Agricenter International

Shelby Farms Park

6093 Great View Dr., Memphis, TN 38134

Shelby Farms Park is the mother lode of Memphis parks and green spaces. When someone says Memphis park, this is the first thing that pops into any local’s mind — and for good reason. This park is huge, covering 4,500 acres. Home to many trails, playgrounds, activities and event sites, there is something for literally every resident of this city or visitor. The park is open from sunrise to sunset daily, so utilize it the best you can, especially if it is nice out.

Former mayor Bill Morris originally brought the buffalos to Shelby Farms Park to give the community access to living history. Decades later, they remain the icon of The Park. Image: Rebecca Dailey of Shelby Farms Park Conservancy

Former mayor Bill Morris originally brought the buffalos to Shelby Farms Park to give the community access to living history. Decades later, they remain the icon of The Park. Image: Rebecca Dailey of Shelby Farms Park Conservancy

Audubon Park

751 Cherry Rd., Memphis, TN 38117 

Audubon Park is a nice place for a picnic or a lazy afternoon. With an idyllic lake and the sound of quacking ducks, one could come here and lose track of time. There are plenty of benches and space to walk around, as well as picnic tables with grills and an exercise park. Many local events, like craft fairs, are hosted here. This truly is a fabulous urban green space.

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Central Gardens National Historic District

Central Gardens, Memphis, TN 38104

This neighborhood was built in the early 20th Century and is home to some of the most beautiful dwellings in the Greater Memphis area. This is one of the most enduring neighborhoods in the entire city. It was created with the concept of developing sprawling greenways, long boulevards and shared communal spaces. Central Gardens National Historic District is listed on the National Register and is protected by the City of Memphis as a local historic district. Even if all you do is drive through this neighborhood appreciating the architecture, this place was created to honor green spaces and community.

This unique Italian Renaissance-styled three-story house was built in 1918. The hipped green ceramic tile roof, detailed first-floor windows and symmetrical façade are hallmarks of this Italian Renaissance-style home, which will be open to tour on this year’s 42nd Annual Central Gardens Home & Garden Tour. Image: Central Gardens Association

This unique Italian Renaissance-styled three-story house was built in 1918. The hipped green ceramic tile roof, detailed first-floor windows and symmetrical façade are hallmarks of this Italian Renaissance-style home, which will be open to tour on 2018’s 42nd Annual Central Gardens Home & Garden Tour. Image: Central Gardens Association

Dixon Gallery & Gardens

4339 Park Ave., Memphis, TN 38117

Founded in 1976 by Hugo and Margaret Dixon, Dixon Gallery & Gardens is an art museum and public garden, blending the arts and horticulture. The Dixon features a permanent collection of more than 2,000 artistic items. The museum organizes and presents from eight to 10 exhibitions every year, which can be appreciated by people of all ages. The Dixon sits on 17 acres of land and is a beautiful public garden. With so much to look at and to take in through all your senses, this could easily become the perfect place to spend a free weekend afternoon.

Serving as a museum and garden, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, is a hot spot in the summertime!

Serving as a museum and garden, Dixon Gallery & Gardens is a hot spot to cool off in the summertime! Image: Dixon Gallery & Gardens

Lichterman Nature Center

5992 Quince Rd., Memphis, TN 38119

This center in the heart of East Memphis provides a respite from the urban hustle and bustle that surrounds it. The Lichterman Nature Center has exhibits, native flowers and trees and a dedication to environmental education. This 65-acre property is also a popular wedding venue. Lakes, meadows and forests sit on this land that many plants and animals call home. This center is accessible to those who need to reconnect with nature the most, the people who live in the city around it.

Memphis Botanic Garden

750 Cherry Rd., Memphis, TN 38117

Come take a stroll through the 96 acres of lush green space at the Memphis Botanic Garden. Open daily to the public, the Botanic Garden exists to help connect people to nature and teach the importance of our environment. There are 31 gardens featuring different horticultural achievements. Wander through the Arboretum and the Fragrance Garden and take in the beauty of the Japanese Garden. Centrally located, this place is an easy drive for anyone who lives in Memphis.

A lush, verdant vignette at the Memphis Botanic Garden | Image: Memphis Botanic Garden

A lush, verdant vignette at the Memphis Botanic Garden

Mud Island

Mud Island, Memphis, TN 38103

Mud Island is a park full of Memphis history on the Mississippi River. Walk less than half a mile across the Skybridge to reach the Riverwalk, a scale model of the Lower Mississippi River. The Riverwalk is composed of more than 1,700 concrete pieces and takes up the space of almost five city blocks. There are paddle boats available, views of Downtown Memphis and the chance to soak up the sun and appreciate the natural world. The Mississippi River Museum, also on Mud Island, captures 10,000 years of the storied river’s history.

Overton Park

1914 Poplar Ave #202, Memphis, TN 38104

This park not only has green spaces but also includes a nine-hole golf course, a zoo, two playgrounds, an art museum and a 126-acre forest. One of the missions of Overton Park is to conserve the park they have. That is a lot of park for Midtown Memphis. This park is a nice place to just sit out and appreciate a nice, beautiful and sunny day. With loads of activities for everyone, there is no chance someone will get bored here.

Overton Park is definitely a one-of-a-kind park that you will never forget!

Overton Park is definitely a one-of-a-kind park that you will never forget! Image: Overton Park Conservancy

The Greenline

S Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN 38018

The Greenline is an almost 11-mile paved urban trail that connects Midtown Memphis through Shelby Farms Park all the way to Cordova. Transformed from an unused railroad line, the Greenline has become a staple of the Memphis community. You can bring your own bike or even rent one from their own Greenline Bike Rentals. Get some exercise and take in the tranquility this urban path can offer. What’s more: This bike route has connected Memphis sub-communities to one another, tapping into the lifeblood of the entire city.

Bike, run, jog or just walk your dog down the beautiful, shaded Shelby Farms Greenline.

Bike, run, jog or just walk your dog down the beautiful, shaded Shelby Farms Greenline. Image: Rebecca Dailey of Shelby Farms Park Conservancy

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Tom Lee Park

Tom Lee Park, Memphis, TN 38103

Sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River, Tom Lee Park is the perfect spot to take that sunset walk or jog. With panoramic views of the Mighty Mississippi, this location takes up 30 acres and stretches along one mile of the river bank. This park is named after the famous river worker, Tom Lee, who saved 32 passengers from a sinking steamboat in 1925. Also the location for the Beale Street Music Festival, one of the biggest events of the Memphis in May International Festival, this park has been the source of some memorable experiences. So hop in the car — or your bike — and go have yours.

With its breathtaking view, its easy to see why Tom Lee Park is a downtown favorite.

With its breathtaking view, it’s easy to see why Tom Lee Park is a downtown favorite. Image: Downtown Memphis

Get out there and savor the green space in Memphis!

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