Memphis is one of the biggest music cities in the world. From Elvis to B.B. King, dozens of the world’s most famous musicians have lived, recorded and performed in the city, and you’ll hear the next generation of artists all over Bill Street. But you may be wondering what’s the best time of year to come to Memphis.
The best time to visit Memphis is from September to mid-October. The summer season is over, so there are fewer tourists after Labour Day and the weather is ideal with daily maximum temperatures of around 27°C (80°F).
Read on to find out all the details about what happens in Memphis throughout the year, the weather month after month and the best time to visit Memphis, depending on what you’re looking for.
When do you have to go to Memphis?
When to visit Memphis – suite
- It’s the best time for good weather: The best weather in Memphis is in September and October. The summer heat is over and these are the two driest months of the year with daily peaks above 20°C until the end of October. April and May are also months of good weather, although you can catch a few rainy days on your way to Memphis.
- The best time for sightseeing: Memphis’ tourist attractions are the most visited in the spring and autumn. The big attractions can be very busy during the summer months – once we had to wait an hour and a half in the scorching heat of a motel car park in Lorraine before we came in. September to October and March to April – the best months for sightseeing.
- It’s the best time to save money: November and February are the cheapest months in Memphis. With the tourist season at its lowest and several major events in the city, hotel and airfares are usually highest during these months. From October to mid-April, the portfolio is much better than during the summer months when tourists come to Memphis.
Best time to visit Memphis
- It’s the best time to reach the Mississippi: There is much to see and do around Memphis, but don’t lose sight of the Mississippi as it flows through the center of town. Events are held on the river in summer, and if you want to take a dip in the river or go for a walk on one of the park’s promenades, the nearest one is best from May to October. Many of Memphis’ May events take place on the banks of the river, so in the quieter month of September you can join in the festive atmosphere or take a stroll in Tom Lee Park.
- The best time for museums and events: While the museums and major attractions remain open all year round, some outdoor activities are only offered during the summer months. Mud Island and a series of summer concerts at Levitt Shell and the Botanical Gardens take place from June to August, so this is the best time to visit.
- It’s the best time for concerts and music: September and October are the two months of the year when concerts, live music events and festivals seem to take place in Memphis all the time. It hosts the Delta Fair & Music Fest, Soulsville USA, Gonerfest and Mempho Music Fetsival and surrounding events such as the Cooper Yang Festival. Memphis in May is another major event series that includes a music festival on Bill Street. Don’t forget that Bill Street is noisy all year round and there is live music in the clubs every day of the week.
- It’s the best time for families and children: The months of October and April are wonderful for the softer weather and for children visiting the tourist attractions. December in Memphis is also wonderful, with many family Christmas events throughout the city.
- It’s the best time to avoid the crowd: Memphis is in the most tense situation from the beginning of May until the weekend of Labour Day in early September. The hustle and bustle of ordinary tourists in summer starts early in the morning with the Memphis festival in May. To avoid hustle and bustle, visit the less busy months from mid-September to April with November and February.
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High season for tourists (May to August)
May and June are very touristy months, as the Memphis Festival in May attracts visitors from all over the world and the summer holiday season starts in June. Although the months of July and August are hot and humid, the tourist season remains high as tourists come to Memphis during the summer holidays.
As in many American cities, the tourist season ends abruptly on Labor Day, when the children have to go back to school and the summer holiday season ends.
Shoulder seasons (March-April and September-November)
As long as the weather permits, visitors keep coming to Memphis, but nowhere as much as during the summer months. You will notice that queues in popular tourist resorts are shorter and it is easier to book a table in a restaurant.
Low season (December to February)
Late November – February is the low season for tourism in Memphis. Christmas events mainly attract the locals, and in winter there are fewer events and celebrations. The number of people celebrating Elvis’ birthday increased at the beginning of January, but it is usually a quiet time of year.
Best time to visit Memphis for the blues
Hearing the great blues is probably the best reason to visit Memphis. All in all, another good month awaits you if you want to visit the many bars with live music along Bil Street or in other parts of the city. There are shows every night and the quality of the music is very high.
To make the most of your visit, come to one of the major blues events – the Memphis Festival in May and the Blues Music Awards in May, Blues Day in July and the International Blues Challenge in January.
If you want to spend your time scuba diving in Bil Street (and we strongly recommend it), any time from September to April is ideal. Summer tourists don’t exist anymore, so it’s easier to take a table or a chair in a bar and listen to the great blues all night long.
Weather in Memphis during the year
Average monthly temperature and precipitation for Memphis
|Average maximum temperature and precipitation
data from U.S. NOAA climate data.
|January||47.8 °F / 8.8 °C||3.98 inches/101 mm|
|February||52.8 °F / 11.6 °C||4.39 inch / 112 mm|
|Mars||62.0 °F / 16.7 °C||5.16 inch / 131 mm|
|April||71.9 °F / 22.2 °C||5.50 inch / 140 mm|
|May||79.9 °F / 26.6 °C||5.25 inch / 133 mm|
|June||87.0 °F / 30.6 °C||3.63 inch / 92 mm|
|July||90.4 °F / 32.4 °C||4.59 inch / 117 mm|
|August||90.0 °F / 32.2 °C||2.88 inch / 73 mm|
|September||83.5 °F / 28.6 °C||3.09 inch / 78 mm|
|October||73.2 °F / 22.9 °C||3.98 inches/101 mm|
|November||61.4 °F / 16.3 °C||5.49 inch / 139 mm|
|December||50.4 °F / 10.2 °C||5.74 inch / 146 mm|
Weather in Memphis per month
- The weather in Memphis in January: January is the coldest month in Memphis with night frost. The average value of 29.9°F (-1.1°C) drops every day, and even the daily highs remain low for most days without exceeding 50°F (10°C). In January, it usually snows a little in Memphis, only a few centimetres (5 cm) on average, but it can freeze for a whole month, with temperatures rising on both sides of the freezing point. Average temperature: 38.9 °F / 3.8 °C. Average precipitation: 3.98 inches / 101 mm.
- The weather in Memphis in February: February remains cold with average temperatures only slightly higher than in January. A slight warming means that snow is rare, but a relatively wet climate can make it much colder than it actually is. Average temperature: 43.1 °F / 6.2 °C. Average precipitation: 4.39 inches / 112 mm.
- The weather in Memphis in March: Spring comes into force in March with temperatures rising sharply to 16.7°C (62°F) per day. Spring in Memphis is a stormy season, and March is the most unstable month. Possibility of tornadoes and thunderstorms. March is the first of the three wettest months, although humidity is the lowest of the year. Average temperature: 52.5 °F / 11.4 °C. Average precipitation: 5.16 inches / 131 mm.
- The weather in Memphis in April: In April, Memphis continues to warm up with an additional temperature difference of 10 degrees for a daily maximum of 22.2°C (71.9°F). Summer and spring weather means that the weather can vary greatly throughout the day, and since April is the wettest month (with the exception of snow in December), frequent precipitation is to be expected. Average temperature: 62.0 °F / 16.7 °C. Average precipitation: 5.50 inches / 140 mm.
- The weather in Memphis in May: If precipitation continues until May, the weather at the end of the month improves significantly with warm days and nights. The average daily temperature drop is 16.3°C, which makes the evenings pleasantly warm. Wait a few days at the end of the month to reach the peak of the 80s (above 30° C). Average temperature: 70.6 °F / 21.4 °C. Average precipitation: 5.25 inches / 133 mm.
- The weather in Memphis in June: Summer in Memphis is hot and humid, and June is the first month of summer heat. It is expected that the 32°C (90°F) will be exceeded in a few days and that the prevailing winds from the Gulf of Mexico will bring moisture into the air. Average temperature: 78.0 °F / 25.6 °S. Average precipitation: 3.63 inches / 92 mm.
- The weather in Memphis in July: July is the warmest month of the year, with daily highs averaging 32.4°C. At high humidity and temperatures above 35°C, don’t forget to apply sunscreen and bring a bottle of water, because it gets hot. Average temperature: 81.5 °F / 27.5 °C. Average precipitation: 4.59 inches / 117 mm.
- The weather in Memphis in August: In August the weather remains warm and dry, with the lowest annual rainfall of this month. Even the lowest temperatures at night average 21.8°C (71.2°F). Be careful when walking through the city or queuing for the National Civil Rights Museum, as the sun can be very hot. Average temperature: 80.6 °F / 27.0 °C. Average precipitation: 2.88 inches / 73 mm.
- The weather in Memphis in September: The month of September remains hot and dry and temperatures only begin to fall at the end of the month. September is also the wettest month, so it can be as hot as June or August. Average temperature: 73.0 °F / 22.8 °C. Average precipitation: 3.09 inches / 78 mm.
- The weather in Memphis in October: The autumn season starts in mid-October. Both temperature and humidity have dropped significantly since September. If the temperature drops to 10.7°C every day, you will feel much cooler. At the end of the month, when the autumn showers start, it can also be wet. Average temperature: 62.3 °F / 16.8 °C. Average precipitation: 3.98 inches / 101 mm.
- The weather in Memphis in November: November is a transition month between the warm summer months and winter. As soon as the first days of frost arrive in the middle of the month, the leaves are brightly coloured and the cool, wet days give the impression of a real autumn. Average temperature: 51.8 °F / 11.0 °C. Average precipitation: 5.49 inches / 139 mm.
- The weather in Memphis in December: Winter arrives in December, when the temperature drops and the daily average is only 0.4°C (32.7°F). Cold rain and some snow are expected until the end of the month, with the highest annual rainfall expected in December. Average temperature: 41.6 °F / 5.3 °C. Average precipitation: 5.74 inches / 146 mm.
Memphis events and matters per month
January in Memphis
- Elvis’ birthday party is a 4-day event that takes place on the 8th. January starts to celebrate Elvis Presley’s birthday with concerts and many events in Graceland.
- King’s Day – King’s Day, celebrated at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, celebrates the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most influential and inspiring leaders of the American civil rights movement. Admission is free for those who give food or blood to selected organizations.
- The International Blues Challenge is an annual event that takes place at the end of January. Novice blues artists and bands, both future and lesser known, try to break into the premier league and perform on the international scene.
- The DreamFest weekend is a long weekend of collaboration between independent local musicians and artists with concerts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
February in Memphis
March in Memphis
- Silk O’Sullivan’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the biggest parade in Memphis with big floats, ridiculous cars, great costumes and lots of people in green dresses.
- Black Restaurant Week – More than a dozen local black restaurants come together to offer a unique menu and exceptional offerings to raise awareness and attract new customers.
- The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Weekend is an Elvis tribute show you’ve never seen before. The winners of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest gathered for the weekend in Graceland.
- The Memphis Brewfest is the largest beer event in Memphis, held throughout the day at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium with a large number of local craft beers and dining cars.
- Memphis Comedy Festival – a 4-day festival with performances throughout the city in various comedy genres, including buffet, improvisation and big shows.
- Vintage901 Spring Weekend – Local breweries and distilleries work together with top chefs and restaurants to prepare an extraordinary meal and drink at the weekend. Tickets are expensive, but they sell fast, so come early.
- World Hot Wing Championship – The South Wing Hot Wing Contest & Festival has long been a world championship where you can try out a ridiculous variety of hot wings at one of the world’s largest hot wing festivals.
- Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival – A free festival in the centre of Memphis where you and your family can come and enjoy music and all kinds of crayfish dishes, from barbecue to gumbo, on 3 different stages.
- Africa in April – 5 days of events and a parade dedicated to the history, culture, economy, gastronomy and music of Nigeria, held in Memphis for more than 30 years.
- Memphis Fashion Week – Memphis Fashion Week takes place in the first week of April and runs since 2012 – there are catwalk shows and fashion events all over town and after the holidays!
- The Edge Motor Festival is a lively street event near Memphis Edge, featuring vintage cars, live music and dining cars, with the new Edge Motor Museum in the centre.
May in Memphis
- Memphis in May – A major event in Memphis that brings the whole city together. Amazing festivals and events take place throughout the city, including the Bil Street Music Festival in early May, the BBQ World Championship in the middle of the month and the Shelby Music Festival.
- The Jude Dragon Boat Race, an annual fun boat race with entertainment and food, invites everyone to participate and help raise money for St. Michael’s Children’s Research Hospital.
- Memphis Festival in Greece – A festival that has been taking place for over 60 years, combining Greek music and dance with great dining and drinking.
- Blues Music Awards – This great event has 25 different categories where blues music is played throughout the show and after it ends on Bil Street.
- Italian Music Festival in Memphis – A weekend where everything Italian is celebrated in the Marquette Park with musical dishes and even a mini amusement park for children called Luigi Land.
- Cooper-Yang Garden Walk – Discover 84 different city gardens in the Cooper-Yang district of Memphis with walks, shows and demonstrations and different vendors.
June in Memphis
July in Memphis
- 4. July River Fireworks – Memphis celebrates the National Fireworks Festival on the Mississippi River in Mud Island River Park, which can be seen from the park across the river or from the island itself.
- WEVL Blues on the Bluff – Family Blues Day takes place in the Metaalmuseum. It is an event with its own chair, where you can relax under a tree with good music.
August in Memphis
- Elvis Week is a busy week with events around the life of Elvis Presley. The week starts with a candlelight vigil at Graceland Gate, and the Elvis Tribute Artist Contest is on the program.
September in Memphis
- Delta Fair & Music Fest – A popular fair conquers the International Gateway to Agriculture with fairground rides, live music, derby destruction contests and even lawn mower races!
- Gonelfest – Tickets for this festival, which takes place at the end of September and attracts bands from all over the world, sell fast.
- WLOK Stone Soul Picnic – A free concert of soul, gospel and R&B music at Levitt Shell in Overton Park.
- The Southern Heritage Classic is an American football match between the historic black colleges of Tennessee State University and Jackson State University, both teams being called the Tigers.
- Mid-South Pride Fest – This annual Pride Festival is dedicated to the LGBT community and includes a popular parade through Memphis.
- Germantown Festival – A multi-year festival in the area with live music, shopping, art and many events during 2 days in early September.
- Cooper Yang Festival – A large outdoor festival featuring hundreds of artists from across the United States representing art, music and crafts in the historic Cooper Yang district.
- Mid-South Fair – A large fair with colourful attractions, a petting zoo and even pig races for the whole family to enjoy.
October in Memphis
- Cooper-Young Beerfest – fundraising for the surrounding community, Beerfest only for regional breweries – tickets cost $50 but include beer and mugs at will!
- The Pink Palace Craft Fair is an art and craft event in Audubon Park where artists exhibit their work and compete in categories ranging from conventional painting to metalwork.
- Mempho Music Festival – Experience two days in Shelby Park on a large stage of different music genres with established stars and up-and-coming artists.
- RiverArtsFest – located on Riverside Drive, RiverArtsFest is dedicated to the visual arts. Approximately 200 artists show their work live.
- The Memphis Food and Wine Festival is a food and wine festival held in the Memphis Botanic Gardens, with proceeds going to the FedEx family home to support children being treated at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
- The Soulsville Festival (USA) is a free music event that takes place on 3 stages of the Stax Museum with music ranging from gospel to hip-hop with different vendors and dining cars.
November in Memphis
- The Indie Memphis Film Festival is an independent film festival that takes place at the beginning of November or the end of October and presents almost 300 films and screenings in theatres around Memphis.
- Graceland Lighting Ceremony – Christmas lighting is traditionally illuminated at the end of November with music and the spirit of Christmas.
- Festive Miracles in the Garden is a festive event that takes place in December at the Memphis Botanical Garden. The Memphis Botanical Garden is equipped with Christmas decorations and lighting, activities for children and the Memphis Christmas tree.
- Starry Nights in Shelby Farms Park – a festive atmosphere with lights, a Christmas village with mistletoe and many interesting places for the whole family.
- The St. Jude’s Memphis Marathon is an annual cool weather event held in December to raise funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Jude’s providing treatment and research for child cancer.
- Liberty Bowl – The largest annual college soccer game, which takes place in late December or early January, is part of a series of bowings in the United States.
- New Year’s party in Beale Street – A New Year’s party in Beale Street, with a music scene and fireworks, but you have to be 21 years old to be there.