Overton Park sits a few miles east of downtown Memphis, making it easy to visit on your own or as part of a city tour. The top attractions are the Levitt Shell amphitheater (where Elvis played), the Memphis Zoo, a 9-hole golf course, Rainbow Lake Playground, and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Nature enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Old Forest State Natural Area—more than 100 acres (40 hectares) of untouched forest with more than 5 miles (8 kilometers) of unpaved and paved trails.
Things to know before you go
- Overton Park is ideal for outdoor lovers, culture buffs, and those who want to see more of Memphis outside downtown.
- The Levitt Shell hosts paid concerts as well as 50 free concerts each year.
- The shell is an outdoor venue, so dress appropriately; lawn seating is first-come first-served.
- Free parking is available in the park but pay attention to tow-away zones.
How to get there
The park is less than a 15-minute drive from downtown Memphis in an area known as Midtown. It can be reached by city bus on line #50.
When to get there
The Brooks Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from late morning to late afternoon, with extended hours on Wednesday. Shows at the Levitt Shell are mostly seasonal from spring to fall. The zoo is open daily year-round. Check the Overton Park website for other events.
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
The Brooks Museum features an array of art, including sculpture, decorative arts, textiles, and photography. The collection of European and American paintings ranges from early Renaissance to contemporary with works by Canaletto, Pissarro, and O’Keeffe, to name just a few. Ancient, pre-Columbian, and African art are also on display.