It may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s true: Memphis is for lovers. Home to Graceland, Elvis Presley’s longtime residence, the city is forever linked with the King of Rock ’n’ Roll. Generations of lovers, young and old, have celebrated romantic milestones to the soundtrack of Elvis Presley’s ballads. Love Me Tender, It’s Now or Never and Can’t Help Falling in Love are just a few of the songs likely to evoke fond memories of special moments.
But there’s more to romantic Memphis than love songs. Located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River and blessed with a temperate year-round climate — average temperatures hover in the mid-50s even in February — Memphis is a place where it’s possible to go for a romantic riverfront stroll in the afternoon and cozy up by a fire the same evening.
We asked Memphis insider Cara Greenstein, founder of Caramelized, a lifestyle blog offering advice for adding “sweet touches to everyday experiences,” to share some of her favorite places to find romance in Memphis.
First up: Cocktails at Terrace at the River Inn overlooking the Mississippi River. Offering expansive river- and city-view vistas from its fourth-floor perch in HarborTown, Terrace boasts folding windows that open wide on good-weather days and close easily to create a cozy space without compromising the view during inclement weather. Small plates for sharing and a full complement of beer, wine and cocktails — adventurous couples may want to try the Bartender Surprise, a cocktail created at the bartender’s whim — make Terrace an ideal date-night destination.
Nostalgia junkies will love Cara’s next suggestion: a drive-in movie at Summer Quartet Drive-In. Open seven nights a week in summer and weekends-only in winter, the Summer Quarter Drive-In is one of the last remaining drive-in theaters in the United States. Arrive early to choose a premium parking spot and set up a picnic supper to enjoy before the movie begins.
Covering more than 60 miles of trails, the Memphis and Shelby County Bike Map offers suggested routes for all experience levels. For a challenging ride, consider the Mississippi River Trail, a 32-mile tour through Shelby County, Downtown Memphis and across the Interstate-55 Bridge into Arkansas. The map also outlines a leisurely 2.5-mile ride on a paved surface through Overton Park. And maybe “just right” at seven miles, the Shelby Farms Greenline brings riders to the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy where activities run the gamut from paddling in Hyde Lake to horseback riding to seasonal outdoor performances at the Wooden “O” Amphitheater.
At the end of the day, snuggle up with your significant other back where it all began. Opened in October 2016, The Guest House at Graceland is a AAA Four Diamond hotel located adjacent to Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Delta’s Kitchen, one of the two restaurants located at the hotel, will be serving the special Valentine’s Dinner on February 14, 16 and 17, 2018, from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Follow this link to find out more about Valentine’s Day Dinner at Delta’s Kitchen.