U of M Culture


There’s no better place to do just that than in the Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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The University of Memphis is situated in the middle of a cultural mecca. Whether you like to eat, reflect on the past or take in the arts, there’s something for everyone within minutes of the campus.

Within walking distance from campus:

The Highland Strip

Head west on Walker Avenue and you’ll bump into Highland Avenue, also known as the Highland Strip: a fun collection of restaurants and shops. Listen to live music at Newby’s or the Bluff, or grab a burger from Ubee’s. Need a late night snack? Check out Insomnia Cookie. Enjoy a cappuccino while you study at Cafe Eclectic, or jump start your day with breakfast at Brother Juniper’s on Walker, a nationally acclaimed breakfast and lunch spot that received a shout out from Rachael Ray in her book, Best Eats in Town. Also on Walker Avenue are other University faves – RP Tracks, Garibaldi’s Pizza, Moe’s and the Tiger Bookstore.

A short drive from campus:

Cooper-Young Entertainment District

Drive west of campus down Central Avenue, and you’ll pass the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium where our Tigers play home football games. Go a little further and you’ll find the award winning Central BBQ. At Cooper Street, take a left and head toward Young Avenue, the heart of Midtown. The artsy, neighborly feel of this area can’t help but draw people to it. Many businesses are open during the day, but evening is when Cooper-Young really comes alive. Named for the intersection of Cooper Street and Young Avenue, the district is jam-packed with a unique mix of shops and restaurants, even a local brewery. Young Avenue Deli and Celtic Crossing are both hot spots for live music nightly. Standouts include Tsunami, Sweetgrass, Alchemy, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Soul Fish and The Beauty Shop Restaurant, which, as the name implies, was once an old beauty shop. There’s a bookstore, antique stores, trendy boutiques, coffee houses, a chocolatier, local record label shop, a drum shop, a shelter for homeless cats called The House of Mews and so much more. This part of town definitely has its Memphis mojo working.

Overton Square Entertainment District

A lively, ultra casual environment where you always find creative people walking around. It is anchored by three live performance theatres and a multi screen movie theatre that specializes in showing avant-garde releases as well as Hollywood blockbusters. Day and night, this district is popping with live music, specialty shops, upscale and relaxed dining, dessert shops, fitness centers and so much more. There are too many great places to list them all, but for special occasions you might try Restaurant Iris or Bari Ristorante. For grabbing a quick bite, there’s Boscos, The Second Line, Local on the Square, Memphis Pizza Café, Golden India, Babalou and Bogie’s Deli. Enjoy live music nightly at Layfayette’s. The world-famous Memphis Zoo is just a few blocks north of Overton Square. To get there, take Central Avenue west to Cooper Street. Turn right on Cooper and continue straight. Once you pass Union Avenue, you will be in the Square. Street parking is available, or look for the large parking garage on your left, just past Hatiloo Theatre.

Broad Avenue Arts District In Binghampton

Once a forgotten part of town, Binghampton is now getting national press for its transformation into a thriving arts community thanks to neighborhood activists with a creative vision. Try dinner at The Cove, which has had rave reviews from Southern Living and The New York Times. Enjoy playing video games? Check out the Rec Room! Other places to visit include Three Angels Diner, Wiseacre Brewing Company, Broadway Pizza, City & State coffee shop, art galleries, cute shops and the Hampline—a bicycle and pedestrian line connecting Overton Park to Shelby Farms Park. Located at Broad Avenue/Sam Cooper Boulevard between Hollywood and the railroad tracks.

10 to 15 minutes from campus:

Historic Downtown & Trolley Line

There is so much to do, see, taste and hear in downtown Memphis, that we could never fit it all in, but it’s a must on anyone’s list. Downtown is where you’ll find FedExForum (home to the Tiger Men’s Basketball program), The Peabody Hotel and its famous ducks, legendary Beale Street, The National Civil Rights Museum, Sun Studio, The Orpheum Theatre, Tom Lee Park with pedestrian pathways along the stunning Mississippi River, Mud Island River Park, the Farmer’s Market, the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, AutoZone Park – the Memphis Redbirds’ AAA baseball stadium and so much more. And the food – oh, man, does Memphis know how to do food! Visit memphistravel.com for full listings.

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