Since moving to the Midsouth, I’ve certainly received flack for choosing a pad near Memphis. The perception of Bluff City isn’t very cloudy. People either love it or they (have learned to) hate it. But I’ve found that a lot of the negative chatter comes from the outside. Many locals don’t even know that a long stretch of modernized River Parks are being constructed along the Mississippi (parallel to and south of the Wolf River Harbor). From uptown and the Memphis river walks to the eastern suburbs, there is plenty worth peeking in on.
When you actually immerse yourself in the culture and interact with people, the stereotypes disappear. I would know. As I’ve been finding myself over the past few months, I sort of forced myself into the heart of Memphis. I won’t go into detail how (yet), but I will say the shaded southwest corner of Tennessee is home to some of my top encounters. Although I haven’t even scratched the surface of what the city brings to the table, I can say I’ve been very encouraged by the people. It was a pleasant surprise I’ve really learned to appreciate.
The Best Sights From My Memphis River Walks.
On a few of my downtown treks, I brought my drone. It was hard to resist. Since there is a lot of ground to (un)cover, an eye from the sky always helps. It also gives me a great opportunity to capture the architecture of the city and full layout of the land. To be honest, I wasn’t aware of the construction project myself. There is a lot of history off the Mississippi and I was simply hoping to film some of it. But after seeing what Memphis has planned for its community, I was definitely intrigued.
Although the project isn’t near finished, you can easily see it starting to come together. People are already enjoying most of the hardscape. Nothing about the area seemed dangerous or risky. It was a peaceful environment that will soon be host to an abundance of activity. You can almost sense it brewing in the air. After 2020, the public needs it. With a cold breeze always blowing off the Mississippi, it’s going to be a solid place to gather this summer.
Anyways, I’ll stop rambling now. Here is the drone footage I liked most during my two trips to Riverside Drive and Beale Street Landing.
1. The Mud Island Amphitheater.
Instead of waiting until the end to reveal my favorite, I decided to kick things off with my top shot from the Memphis river walk. Mud island has plenty to do, but the aged amphitheater is a sight worth seeing. There just aren’t many venues like this anymore. Seated next to the boat ramp, between the Memphis sign and island’s marina, the venue has quite the surrounding view. One of my favorite parts about the first picture is the simple fact you can see the unique riverwalk in the background. I wish there were some upcoming events scheduled.
2. The Floating Pavilion at Tom Lee Park.
Jam packed with playgrounds and open grass, this Mississippi River Park should be a future hit for Memphians. As you can see, it’s currently under construction – but it’s expected to open by Labor Day weekend. I really like this shot because I was able to capture crews at work on a sunny day while decorating the background with the city’s skyline. The architecture at Tom Lee Park is very unique and it adds a lot of flavor to the urban bank near Uptown.
3. Univ. of Memphis Law School Skyline.
It was hard to pick a favorite shot of this building along Riverside drive. Since it’s raised quite a bit higher than the shoreline, I was able to capture low and high angles of the iconic building. The pedestrian bridge (which frequently supports a horse and buggy) leads away from the Tennessee welcome center and runs straight into the Memphis Suffrage Monument.
The stunning property offers a lot to the community as they prepare students to pursue change in America. I wish I would have gotten a closer look at the design.
4. An Overlook of Beale Street Landing.
I heard a lot of good things about this hotspot in Memphis – and I wasn’t disappointed. Like the other River Parks, the design, layout and purpose is modern and unique. You could spend a few hours just admiring the details and structural reasoning. There is a civic space, a cultural arts center and even a designated space for “blues musicians to gather”. Once this stretch becomes a little more popular, Beale Street Landing is going to be a lot of fun to explore.
5. The Mississippi River Museum.
Next to the Amphitheater on Mud Island is a information-filled center for all ages. Connected to a pedestrian bridge, it’s easily accessible and surrounded by additional fun. As you can see, there is a great view of the Hernando Desoto Bridge that runs into Arkansas. The boat ramp and marina that connects to the Wolf River Harbor is beautiful.
If you think Memphis is a dirty place, how do you explain these angles? If you haven’t dropped in the Mississippi River Museum and all of the stops on Mud Island – you should!
6. The Condos on Riverbluff Place.
This is one of my favorite shots on the Memphis River Walk because of the golden, natural light and evolving landscape. You have to drive down here to truly appreciate the space the city is developing for its residents. I don’t think I have to say much for you to appreciate this shot.
What’s crazy is, Vance Park isn’t even completed yet. I’m sure plenty of young families will be attracted to this little Midsouth pocket of charm. Nearly everything you need is within minutes of this residential area.
7. South Bluff Homes Near Butler Park.
You don’t have to travel too far south of Tom Lee Park to find some upscale housing on the Mississippi. I love these two drone shots because I would have never guessed something like this existed in Memphis. With all of the parks popping up in this area, it doesn’t seem like a bad place to raise family.
8. Welcome Center, Pedestrian Bridge.
One of my favorite features to film at the Memphis River Walk (by far) was the pedestrian bridge leading the the museum. The design is sound and really cool to look at. I was able to get quite a few close ups that show just how much thought went into the construction of the new addition to Bluff City.
I like how you can see the Amphitheater and Bass Pro Pyramid in the background. The Riverside drive Welcome Center and Wolf River Lagoon provide a modern feel to a unique environment that compliments the land well. You don’t even notice the busy interstate buzzing above your head.
9. Memphis Riverboats on Riverside Drive.
Although this shot is similar to the Law School photos, I couldn’t help myself. The Memphis Queen Line is pretty popular in the region – and rightfully so. This shot not only shows a lot more of the Mississippi River, but it also captures the extent of the Harahan and Memphis-Arkansas Bridges. If you look closely, you can see a few cruise ships and the “Memphis” sign on Mud Island.
Although Memphis isn’t quite the tourist destination it once was, the Riverboats have been a staple for nearly 70 years. So there’s a lot of history in these drone images.
10. The Memphis Yacht Club.
The little marina just south of i-40 in the Wolf River Lagoon was an amazing capture from the sky. Not only does it have a small town feel in a large city, but it’s surrounded by major urban developments. The cleanliness of the facilities, calmness of the water, and opportunity to incorporate some of the bridges grabbed my attention.
Stay Tuned As I Continue Exploring Memphis.
Nearly everything about the Memphis River Walks is appealing. Nothing feels unsafe or looks disgusting. If you haven’t taken the time to swing by, I highly recommend it.
I hope you appreciate some of the photography I was able to capture! If you’re ever in need of an elevated vantage point, don’t hesitate to reach out. email@example.com.