Barbeque, Blues and Beale Street. Memphis is a unique city full of charm, so it’s no wonder you’ve decided to move here! Located right on the Mighty Mississippi, we’ve got a lot to offer. But, like any move, there are some tips you can follow for a more graceful moving experience.
Tip 1: Research the different neighborhoods
Memphis has a variety of neighborhoods within its over 300 square foot radius. For example, you can live in downtown, Midtown, Mud Island or East Memphis and have a different experience in each place. The best source to go to for information on property value, safety and schools are the locals. Anyone from Memphis should be able to guide you towards the right area for you and your family. If you don’t know anyone here yet, check out this guide on We Are Memphis to help you get started.
Tip 2: Take in the city’s culture
Memphis is known for its fall-off-the-bone ribs and overall melt-in-your-mouth barbeque. Local joints all around the city have their own take on BBQ, and you’ll never be without an amazing pulled pork or brisket sandwich. Memphis is also an extremely historic city, and is the home to the National Civil Rights Museum as well as Elvis’s Graceland. Once you visit those sites, take a walk down the world-famous Beale Street to experience its incomparable live music scene.
Tip 3: Consider getting a car
If you’re coming from a bigger city that had a thorough public transportation system, you might be a little taken aback when you first move to Memphis. Though Memphis is walkable downtown, and traffic is cut-off on parts of Beale Street, there isn’t a lot when it comes to public transportation. It’s not that Memphis doesn’t have it – it just may not be as extensive as you’re used to. And while Memphis has trolleys downtown that add an almost fairytale charm, they may not be practical to use if you’re on a tight schedule. Having a car will put your mind at ease when it comes to grocery shopping, taking the kids to school or out for a fun day at the Memphis Zoo. For the most part, it’s pretty easy to find parking anywhere you go.
Tip 4: Invest in lots of bug spray
The mosquitoes in Memphis are no joke. They hang out everywhere in the summer – even over concrete surfaces like garages and driveways! Investing in some heavy-duty bug spray can help prevent the annoying itchiness that mosquito bites bring. If you have a balcony or porch, you may even consider planting some citronella plants to keep these pesky insects at bay.
You may also want to look into buying some heartworm preventative medication for your dogs and cats. Mosquitoes can pass on this potentially fatal parasite through biting your pets. You should of course consult with your veterinarian, but they’ll more than likely recommend getting your cats and dogs on some sort of heartworm preventative medication. Although this parasite is a small risk in some American cities, it’s prevalent in the mid-south and you don’t want to mess around with it. Not only can heartworms cause serious health issues for your fur baby, but it can do serious damage to your wallet, too. The cost of treating a dog with heartworms can be upwards of $1,000. So, better to be safe than sorry!
Tip 5: Wear your sunscreen
The summertime sunshine is beautiful, but powerful! You should get used to making sunscreen part of your family’s daily routine, at least from April to October. This way, you can enjoy all of the patios and outdoor spaces Memphis has, while avoiding the uncomfortable sting of a sunburn.
Tip 6: Check your health insurance coverage
This can be applied when moving to any city, really. There are a variety of hospitals and amazing doctors here in Memphis, but you should check your current health insurance plan to make sure you know which hospitals and physicians are in-network before you move. Or, you may find that a different health insurance plan has more options here. If you have Medicare or are moving here with a loved one who has a Medicare plan, make sure your plan’s service area won’t be affected.
Tip 7: Get involved with the community
Most locals here would describe Memphis as “the biggest small city”. Whoever you meet here, you’re destined to run into again. If you’re from a bigger city, like Chicago or Los Angeles, this might come as a shock. Lucky for you, no one here really cares that much. As long as you’re nice and polite, you’ll have nothing to worry about! Plus, this makes it easy and even more fun to be involved with the community. There are plenty of opportunities here. You can start by checking out Volunteer Odyssey to see what they have available. You can volunteer at the downtown farmers market, or at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Not only will you be contributing to great causes, but you’ll meet some new friends along the way!
Tip 8: Enjoy the outdoors!
Memphis has a lot to offer for those who love the outdoors! Whether it’s taking a trip over to Shelby Farms with your kids, kayaking down the Wolf River or taking a boat tour on the Mississippi River, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy with the family. Plus, the city just re-vamped the Hernando de Soto bridge, which has light shows every night on the hour.
And if you haven’t heard of Memphis in May, you’re in for a treat! This city-wide party takes place over the course of the entire month of May. It kicks off with the Beale Street Music Fest, which takeovers Tom Lee Park for the first weekend. The rest of the month has events including BBQ fest, the Great American River Run and more.
Memphis is a unique city with a charm all its own. From farmers markets to music festivals to touring the Mighty Mississippi, there’s plenty to love for anyone looking to move here.
Did you just move to Memphis? Leave a comment and let us know how these tips worked for you!
About the Author
Caroline Gillard is a freelance writer and recent Memphis transplant. As a stand-up comedian on the side (and after the right amount of drinks), Caroline aspires to be playful with her writing while providing useful information for her readers.