If you're heading down south on vacation, you may be asking yourself, “what is the best time to visit Memphis?”
The best time to visit Memphis is between mid-May, mid-June, mid-September, and mid-October, with October being particularly recommended. While the weather is hot from late May through September, with the hottest period in July and August, these recommended periods provide relatively comfortable temperatures.
If you're seeking comfortable weather, the best time to visit Memphis is spring and fall, particularly in April, May, October, and November. The temperatures are mild during these months, and the city hosts numerous festivals and outdoor activities.
Spring is an ideal time to explore Memphis, as the weather begins to warm up in April and May without the overwhelming humidity of summer. This is also when the city comes to life with Memphis in May, a popular month-long festival full of family-friendly events and entertainment. This is your chance to experience some of Memphis's best attractions, pleasant temperatures, and vibrant festivities.
As summer approaches, the temperatures rise, reaching their peak in June, July, and August. While this could still be a reasonable time to visit if you don't mind the heat, remember that these months bring higher humidity and the risk of thunderstorms. During this period, it's wise to prioritize indoor activities or explore Memphis's rich history through museums and guided tours.
On the other hand, if you prefer cooler temperatures, consider visiting during the fall season. October and November offer ideal conditions to wander around the city, as the weather is milder, and there are still plenty of outdoor events and festivals. The changing foliage also adds a touch of charm, perfect for capturing stunning photographs.
Winter in Memphis, from December to February, can be quite unpredictable. While temperatures remain relatively moderate compared to other regions, they can still fluctuate. You may need to prepare for occasional snowfall and chilly winds. If you choose to visit during this season, ensure you pack warm clothes and plan for mostly indoor activities.
When you visit Memphis, understanding the weather conditions can help you plan your trip accordingly. In Memphis, the climate is typically humid subtropical, which means you'll experience a mix of temperatures and precipitation throughout the year.
During the spring months, especially between April and early June, the weather tends to be mild and pleasant. With average temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and rainfall amounts staying moderate, you can enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about extreme heat or heavy precipitation.
As summer begins, the heat and humidity levels start to rise significantly. Daily highs can reach the 90s, and the air will feel heavy with moisture. While you may still encounter some rain during the summer months, it's usually not as frequent or as severe as in the spring. Remember to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and take breaks in the shade to enjoy Memphis comfortably in the summer heat.
Fall brings milder conditions back to the city with temperatures between mid-September and early November averaging between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is usually more sporadic than the spring months, making it an excellent time for exploring the vibrant autumn foliage.
Winter in Memphis can be chilly and icy, but it rarely sees significant amounts of snow. With average temperatures ranging from 40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, be prepared for the possibility of rain and sleet rather than snow. Don't forget to bundle up and wear appropriate layers during your winter visit so you can comfortably explore the city's many indoor attractions.
Festivals and Events
In the spring, you will experience one of the most iconic happenings in the city, the Memphis in May Festival. This event showcases rich music scenes of the region while promoting the city's diverse culture.
If you're an Elvis Presley fan, you can't miss Elvis Week in August. This annual celebration dedicated to the King of Rock and Roll attracts visitors from around the world. Participate in various events, tribute concerts, and explore Graceland, Elvis’s lavish home.
BBQ enthusiasts can head to the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and experience some of the finest barbecue creations. This competitive event takes place in May and brings together the best grilling teams from around the world.
A wonderful family event is the Bluff City Balloon Jamboree in June, where hot-air balloons fill the sky, accompanied by live music and entertainment.
In the realm of fashion, Memphis Fashion Week is held annually in April, providing a glimpse of the city's stylish side. At the same time, the Italian Festival celebrates Italian culture, food, and entertainment in June.
Blues music fans can enjoy the International Blues Challenge, an annual event held in January featuring talented musicians and vibrant performances.
The Germantown Festival, held in September, is a fantastic community event showcasing local arts, crafts, food, and entertainment.
Finally, don’t forget to catch the Memphis Grizzlies basketball games if you're a sports fan. The season typically runs from October to April, providing ample opportunities to experience the energy of live NBA games.
The best time to visit Memphis is from April to June or during the shoulder season of mid-September to early November. During these months, you'll experience moderate temperatures, less humidity, and a variety of events and attractions to enjoy.
In the spring, Memphis comes alive with blooming flowers, and a host of exciting things to do. Outdoor concerts and live music events kick-off at venues like the Levitt Shell, featuring local and national blues artists. Spring is also the perfect time to explore parks, museums, and other attractions, such as the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and now part of the National Civil Rights Museum.
April and May offer unique experiences for Elvis Presley fans, culminating in Memphis in May, a month-long festival that includes family-friendly activities and events paying homage to the King of Rock'n'Roll. Kids will also love visiting places like the Children's Museum of Memphis or exploring the vast collection of critters at the Memphis Zoo.
The shoulder season, from mid-September to early November, brings more comfortable weather and fewer tourists. This period is ideal for visiting some of the city's iconic attractions like Graceland, Beale Street, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music without the large crowds and high season rates. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the mild temperatures while exploring parks, botanical gardens, and riverfront views.
Keep in mind that while the summer months are hot and humid, there are still plenty of indoor attractions to explore, such as the Pink Palace Museum, the Orpheum Theatre, or catching a performance at the world-famous Sun Studio. Just remember to stay hydrated and take breaks from the heat as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the ideal time to explore Beale Street?
The ideal time to explore Beale Street in Memphis is during the spring months of April and May, as well as in the fall months of October and November. It is at these times that you can enjoy pleasant weather, a lively atmosphere, and a variety of outdoor events and concerts.
What is the most affordable time of year to travel to Memphis?
The most affordable time of year to travel to Memphis is during the low season, which typically falls in winter. Hotel rates and airfare tend to be cheaper during this time, although the weather might be colder and fewer events occur.
Which month offers the best experience at Graceland?
You can have a great experience at Graceland, Elvis Presley's former home, during the spring or fall, when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are generally smaller. April, May, October, and November are recommended months to visit Graceland and make the most of your experience.
How does the climate in Memphis vary by month?
Memphis experiences a warm and humid climate with temperatures generally ranging from the 30s (°F) in the winter to the 90s (°F) in the summer. The spring and fall months offer more moderate and comfortable temperatures, while the summer can be hot and humid, and the winter can be cold and sometimes wet.
What's the typical weather during the rainy season in Memphis?
The rainy season in Memphis generally occurs from March to July, with April and May being the wettest months. During this time, you can expect higher humidity and frequent rainfall, varying from light showers to heavier downpours.
Is it recommended to plan a trip to Memphis in September?
While September in Memphis can still be hot and humid, it is generally considered a good time to visit due to slightly cooler temperatures compared to the peak summer months and fewer tourists. However, it is important to note that the weather can still be unpredictable, so it's advisable to plan for both warm and potentially wet conditions.