When searching for a new home, many of our clients consider the walkability of an area to be a major selling point. As more and more people prefer a live, work, play lifestyle, the popularity of walkable communities will continue to increase. This is becoming more evident in the way many Memphis neighborhoods have begun developing housing around shops and restaurants.
With the continued focus on mixed-use developments, our rankings will probably change in the near future, but here is our current list of the “The Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Memphis.”
7. East Memphis
Just making our list is East Memphis, which has a few nice spots that offer decent walkability. Some examples include areas that back up to Overton Park, Broad Ave Arts District, Cooper Young and the Colonial View neighborhood, which is just a short stroll to some of the best new restaurants in Memphis, including one of our favorites, Hog & Hominy. There’s also the Highland Strip area next the University of Memphis which will see a $350 million overhaul that includes shops, restaurants and apartments.
6. Central Gardens
Recognized as one of North America’s “Best Old House Neighborhoods,” Central Gardens comes in at #6. This community has beautiful tree-lined streets and sidewalks, but I would only consider the homes closest to Union Avenue as truly walkable. Residents here can easily walk to Fresh Market, Starbucks, Danvers, Pei Wei, Printer’s Alley Bar & Grill and a variety of fast food restaurants. Adding to the convenient lifestyle is the massive new Kroger on Union Avenue which is currently under construction.
This community is one of the more hip and trendy neighborhoods in the city. Residents here are just steps away from excellent restaurants like Beauty Shop, Sweet Grass and Cafe Ole. Want to grab a quick drink with friends? Head over to Alchemy, which is known for their wonderful handcrafted cocktails or check out the Memphis Made Brewing Company and their tap room. There’s also great boutique shops as well as the popular national chain, Urban Outfitters. Of course no neighborhood is complete without a great coffee shop and Cooper-Young doesn’t disappoint with Otherlands and Java Cabana. The only thing missing that would make this a true walkable neighborhood is a grocery store.
4. South Main Arts District
This area has seen dramatic improvements from commercial and residential developers over the last few years. The renovation of Hotel Chisca and Central Station are just two examples of massive investments back into this community. Located on the trolley line, it’s easy to get around to the different parts of the city, but if you choose to stay in the South Main Arts District, you have plenty of options to walk to. The nightlife here is some of the most active in Memphis and there are great restaurant options like Pearl’s Oyster House, Gus’s Fried Chicken and the Arcade, which is the oldest cafe in the city. The Memphis Farmer’s Market is also just a short stroll down the street. With many more development’s planned in the future, I can see this area moving up on our list of most walkable neighborhoods.
3. Overton Square
Located in Midtown, the neighborhoods surrounding Overton Square enjoy one of the most walkable areas in the city. Residents have easy access to the vibrant Overton Square with all of it’s shops, restaurants and live music. Overton Park is also just steps away, which boasts the Memphis Zoo, Levitt Shell auditorium, a 9-hole golf course, bike paths and playgrounds. If all this wasn’t enough, Crosstown Concourse, a major mixed use development, is currently under construction and is also within walking distance. Once the new Kroger on Union Ave is completed, grocery shopping will be as breeze as well. As far as convenience goes, this area is hard to beat.
2. Harbor Town
When it comes to walkability, it’s hard to beat Harbor Town, because it was developed for this specific purpose. Located just north of downtown on Mud Island, this mixed-use community embodies the idea of convenience. The town square offers restaurants, shopping, salons, a fitness center, grocery store, coffee shops and a Montessori school. There’s also walking trails, playgrounds a boating marina and beautiful views of the Mississippi River. Park your car on the weekends, because you won’t be needing it in Harbor Town.
1. Downtown Core
Coming in at #1 on our list is the Downtown Core area, which is probably not a huge surprise to most people. Residents here don’t have to worry about a long commute, as they can get anywhere quickly on the trolley. As far as nightlife goes, you won’t find a better one than what the famous Beale Street provides with it’s row of live music venues. There are also excellent restaurant options located here like Flight, Rendezvous and the new Loflin Yard. Looking for a sophisticated night out? Stop by the Peabody Hotel for cocktails then take in a Broadway play at the beautiful Orpheum Theatre. If sports is more your speed, you can watch the Memphis Grizzlies at nearby FedEX Forum or catch the Redbirds playing at AutoZone Park. Having a grocery store close by is a necessity for a walkable neighborhood and the City Market located on South Main Street checks this box. Overall, the Downtown Core continues to see widespread revitalization and development with a focus on condo living, which is why we don’t see it losing the top spot for walkability anytime soon.