Memphis perches atop a low bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The center city district lies, roughly speaking, along the river. Main Street, a pedestrian-only mall (except for the trolleys) runs north–south, while Union, Madison, and Poplar Avenues are main east–west thoroughfares.
While not compact, central Memphis is entirely walkable for people willing to use a little shoe leather. The Main Street trolley makes it easy to see downtown and uptown attractions without a car.
Downtown refers to the area south of Union Avenue in the city center. It is the heart of Memphis’s tourist district.
Uptown refers to locations along Union Avenue and points north in the center city district. Here downtown workers are more common than tourists, and tall office buildings rise above the city blocks.
You’ll need a car to explore the attractions in Midtown, which sprawls along Union, Poplar, and Madison Avenues as they head eastward from the city center.
East Memphis is home to old suburbs, gracious homes, and some excellent parks and other attractions.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition