MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Bluff City is winning more accolades as an international travel destination.
Conde Nast Traveler has named Memphis one of the global “23 Best Places to Go in 2023” and “23 Best Places to Go in the U.S. in 2023”. The city is one of only two U.S. destinations in the global list, which covers 22 countries over six continents.
“Nashville claims a lot of national buzz, but the city of Memphis has been quietly reshaping itself to be the hottest destination in Tennessee,” Kelsey Ogletree, a contributor with the travel magazine, wrote. “Over the past decade, its downtown has invested billions in revitalization projects—and now, visitors can begin reaping the benefits.”
Canadian visitors such as Rick and Margaret Clark agree.
“We wanted to see Graceland. We wanted to see Beale Street and just do the Memphis experience and we have loved it,” Rick said.
Among those new developments, Conde Nast Traveler noted the renovation of Tom Lee Park and the return of the Memphis in May festival to the riverfront, the city’s restaurant and bar scene (barbecue still reigns but vegan outlets are popping up, they wrote), and the opening of eight new hotel properties including Hyatt’s first Caption hotel at One Beale and The Memphian in Overton Square.
Local tourism officials said the city’s hotel demand per night is outpacing pre-pandemic levels from 2019. Last year, the city welcomed 10.7 million visitors with an estimated economic impact of $4 billion.
“This is an accolade that celebrates our city and destination, recognized and endorsed by a global brand such as Condé Nast Traveler is an incredible honor and speaks to not only the strength of our music and culinary scene, but the tremendous investment in tourism infrastructure that has taken place here in the Home of Blues, Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll,” said Kevin Kane, president and CEO of Memphis Tourism.
Memphis has in recent years been recognized as Time Magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places” in 2021, Frommer’s “Best Places to Go” in 2019 and Fodor’s “Go List” in 2018.