By Lizzie Moody
The COVID-19 pandemic does not have to put all fun activities on pause. Memphis has numerous outdoor activities to keep us sane during this time.
Shelby Farms has countless trails around the lake or through the woods that are perfect spots for walking, running, and biking. Another fun activity is renting one of their kayaks or stand-up paddleboards to take out on the lake. For a fine-dining experience at Shelby Farms, Coastal Fish Company provides fresh seafood as well as beautiful views of the lake and vibrant sunsets if you are lucky.
Overton, Audubon and Tom Lee Park are just a few of the unique parks in Memphis. Parks are a great place to spend an afternoon reading a book, hammocking, or picnicking.
I recently explored an area I had never been in Memphis: Harbor Town. This is a great place for a picnic or a walk down by the river. Many times, they also have rentable bikes and scooters which would be a fun way to explore Mud Island.
Big River Crossing
Downtown Memphis has some of our city’s coolest attractions. If you want to be active, I recommend taking a stroll across the walking bridge over the Mississippi River. As an added benefit, you will get pretty views of the Memphis Bridge, Bass Pro Pyramid, and the downtown Memphis skyline.
Check out the different outdoor farmers markets in Memphis, especially the Downtown Memphis Farmers Market. This is a great way to get fresh produce as well as support local farmers. After getting some ingredients, you can cook a fresh, delicious meal or dessert. Recently, I picked up some peaches from Jones Orchard and baked a delicious peach cobbler.
Restaurants (patio or takeout)
When the weather is nice, I have been finding places to eat with pleasant outdoor patios. Some of my favorite outdoor patios are at Coastal Fish Company, City Silo, Babalu, Swanky’s, and Ben and Jerry’s. Alternatively, it is always a safe option to get takeout and have a picnic.
Drive-in movies are always a fun idea, especially during a pandemic. So, bring a chair and some snacks to the Malco Summer Drive-In to have an ideal movie night.
Spending time outside with some animals at the zoo is the perfect quarantine activity. Some of my personal favorite animals to see are the hippos and pandas.
Take advantage of the longest continuous paved trail in Memphis for walking, running or biking. One of the best things about the Greenline is its shade, so it can be used even in the heat of the day.
Memphis has many hidden art murals around town. So, go hunt for different murals and take pictures of the art you encounter; many can be found in Midtown or Downtown.
Botanic and Dixon Gardens
If you enjoy nature, you will enjoy walking around these beautiful gardens and seeing ponds with fish, blooming flowers and even a Japanese styled garden.
Tennessee Safari Park
Earlier this summer, I decided to check out the safari park in Jackson, TN that I had heard many people talk about. As I drove through the park, animals such as buffalo, camels, gazelles and ostriches walked up to the car to eat from the bucket of food I had for them. It was intimidating as large animals approached at first, but as I fed more animals, I got comfortable with them. I would recommend this unique experience to anyone, especially animal lovers.
If you are willing to branch out a little from Memphis, try taking a mini road trip to Shelby Forest. This is a Tennessee State Park with options for hiking or camping. If you stop by the small log cabin known as the Shelby Forest General Store, you will be greeted by the Ammons, who are the owners. This St. Mary’s family includes St. Mary’s alumnae Katelyn (‘08) and Ellery Ammons (‘12).
Instead of watching another episode of Netflix in bed, pick one of the activities from the list and go out to explore our unique city (safely, of course)!
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