Photo courtesy of

8. Jefferson Davis Park

Established in 1930, Jefferson Davis Park was named for the venerable Civil War figure and is located near Mud Island. Devote some time to walk or jog around the park and enjoy the scenery. As you pass through, take note of several Civil War cannons that reside on the grounds.

7. Tom Lee Park
Photo courtesy of ilovememphis

Named for a courageous citizen who rescued 32 people when a steamer went down in the Mississippi in 1925, this park runs along the same mighty river. It hosts a variety of activities throughout the year and offers pleasant routes for joggers and walkers.

6. Mud Island River Park
Photo courtesy of Mud Island River Park

Taking advantage of an island that sprang up in the Mississippi in the early 20th century, this park offers a variety of attractions. Among them are the Mississippi River Museum, which tracks both the river's development and the culture and towns that grew up along its route. Along the island, the River Walk, a scale model of the Mississippi's path, allows visitors to follow the Big Muddy from its start in Minnesota to its final destination, the Gulf of Mexico. The flow of the model river mimics that of the real one. The Mud Island amphitheater attracts top names in music, a monorail offers fun overviews of the area, and bike and pedal boat rentals provide energetic folks the chance to venture further afield. Restaurants and gift shops are also available on the 52-acre island.

5. Confederate Park
Photo courtesy of Ken Lund

Overlooking the Mississippi River, this park is a quiet oasis. It also shelters a memorial to Confederates who fought in the Civil War. Views are great from this vantage point, especially sunsets.

4. Memphis Botanic Garden
Photo courtesy of

With almost 100 acres of gardens set in the middle of East Memphis, there's something for any lover of the outdoors at MBG, including the serenity of a Japanese garden, a huge herb garden and a sensory garden. But the MBG's newest – and certainly the most loved – garden recently is 'My Big Backyard' – a children's garden / playground that's as popular with parents as it is with little ones. With a myriad of picnic tables and spaces, a natural play structure, a cabin, and plenty of colorful flowers and plants for children to discover, My Big Backyard has become an instant hit with families. And during the holiday season, some nights are extra-special, with a snow machine creating a winter wonderland, and hot chocolate served for all. During the spring and summer, a weekend concert series under the stars brings big names to the gardens, and concertgoers can pack picnic dinners and enjoy the music on the lawn.

3. Court Square

Tall shade trees and a fountain grace this green space that's known as the city's oldest park. Stroll the grounds to invigorate yourself, and take in many of the plaques and markers designating historic events. On a more modern note, the park was the backdrop for several scenes in the movie The Firm.

2. Audubon Park

Audubon Park offers residents and visitors a chance to enjoy some "green." The park features a variety of recreational facilities, including tennis courts, a playground, a soccer field, picnic tables, a golf course and jogging trails. Park grounds also encompass W.C. Paul Arboretum and the Memphis Botanic Gardens.

1. Overton Park
Photo courtesy of Overton Park Conservency

This open concourse hosts a variety of big-name attractions such as the Memphis Zoo, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and Memphis College of Art. In addition, it offers sports opportunities that include trails, a small golf course, a soccer field and tennis courts.