Midtown and Beyond Midtown
The wrought-iron archway in Midtown’s Overton Square that reads “Midtown is Memphis,” may best describe this part of Memphis that sits between Downtown and everything east. Midtown is arguably the most diverse and eclectic part of the Mid-South, Memphis’ version of New York’s Greenwich Village.
The borders of greater Midtown are vast, starting as far as Cypress Creek, well past Rhodes College to the north, as far south as parts of E.H. Crump Blvd and Central Ave, and extending almost into Downtown Memphis. But the heart of Midtown is locally recognized within the borders of North Pkwy (north), Central Ave (south), East Pkwy (east), and Highway 240 (west). It contains some of the most beautiful and historic neighborhoods in all of Memphis, including landmarked Evergreen, Cooper-Young, Annesdale, and Central Gardens.
Midtown is the home to a diverse crowd of single Millennials, families and long-time Memphians, and some of the most prestigious churches in the city. Its central location makes it ideal for short commutes into Downtown or to the campuses of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. It is also home to some of the best dining in all of Memphis, from fried chicken and Brooklyn-style delis and pizza to high-end Asian, Italian, German, Tapas-style, Mexican and Southern-inspired cuisine. Residents are a walk or a bike-ride from Memphis’s own historic Overton Park, and can enjoy live rock, soul, country and blue-grass music any day of the week, in Cooper-Young, Overton Square, Minglewood Hall, or in the famous Levitt Shell, where a local resident named Presley held his first public performance in 1954. Midtown truly is Memphis.
The quiet tree-lined Evergreen neighborhood is one of several in Midtown landmarked as a National Historic District. It has a rich, activist history as the neighborhood central to the movement to halt the expansion of Interstate 40 into Overton Park in the early 1970’s. The quaint streets and green lawns of Evergreen feature a diverse set of homes, including American bungalow, Cottage, Craftsman, Four-Square, and Spanish Mission. Residents here are a 10-minute drive from Memphis’ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Downtown and the South Main Arts District, within a short walk from the businesses along Poplar Avenue, the live music and old record stores up and down Madison Avenue, or a bike ride to the restaurants and shops around the popular Overton Square. Directly east of the neighborhood, residents here can walk to Memphis’ historic Overton Park, on the National Registry of Historic Places and one of the “10 Parks That Changed America,” or to the Memphis Zoo. To the west residents can walk to Crosstown Arts, a vibrant, bohemian-like contemporary artists’ community and soon home to the new Crosstown Concourse and a massive residential and commercial “mixed-use vertical urban village” in Memphis’ historic Sears Building that will feature shops, restaurants, galleries, and artists’ spaces.
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The land-marked Central Gardens neighborhood is a jewel of Midtown. Annually voted Memphis’ Best Neighborhood by Memphis Magazine, a National Historic District for almost 50 years, and one of North America’s best “Old House Neighborhoods,” Central Gardens is the largest neighborhood in Midtown, sits on 53 blocks of tree-lined streets and boasts an eclectic mix of houses, most of them built between the 1850’s and 1930’s. Mid-American architectural styles include everything from American bungalow, Craftsman and Tudor, to Queen Anne, Colonial, and Neoclassical. Most of the homes here sit up on small “bluffs,” are set back from the street, and strolls around the neighborhood will be met with friendly walkers, joggers, lush green lawns, front porches, and bay windows. In the southern part of Midtown, Central Gardens residents are less than a 10-minute drive from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Downtown and the South Main Arts District, a short walk to the businesses along Union Avenue or to the restaurants and shops around the Cooper-Young neighborhood, and a bike ride away from Overton Square and Overton Park. A tightly-knit, friendly neighborhood, it is also home to some of the most respected and historic churches in the city, as well as some of the areas best public and private schools.
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Another of Midtown’s land-marked neighborhoods, little Annesdale Park is made up of just four full city blocks. However, they are an eclectic set of blocks, comprised of historic houses, a quaint family-owned restaurant, an old school bar & grill, art galleries, and a spa. They also border the Memphis Medical District, a rich concentration of some the best Memphis has to offer in its world-renowned medical industry. Annesdale is home to many of the same architectural styles as neighboring Central Gardens, including American bungalow, Four Square, Craftsman, and Tudor, and with lush lawns that provide set backs from the street. Residents here are a short walk from the Medical District, the facilities of the Memphis University Club, as well as Memphis’ Central High School, and are a short drive from Midtown’s Cooper-Young area, Overton Square and Overton Park, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and all that Downtown and the South Main Arts District has to offer. It’s another tightly-knit, friendly neighborhood where just about everybody knows your name.
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One of Memphis’ many historic districts, and named for the crossroads of Cooper Street and Young Avenue, this neighborhood truly invokes the bohemian spirit. If Midtown is Memphis’ answer to Greenwich Village, then Cooper-Young is its East Village, with an eclectic mix of restaurants, yoga studios, coffee houses, a locally-grown food market, a music shop, a recording studio, a beloved record store, historic Burke’s Books, and is home to Memphis’ own Central BBQ. CY, as it’s known, is home mostly to the more intimate and affordable American cottages in the bungalow, Craftsman, or Four Square styles, most with open front porches that welcome visitors and neighbors out for their walks. CY boasts many of the city’s more iconic churches, and CY residents are a short walk from all the shopping and dining that their neighborhood has to offer and are adjacent to East Parkway and the campuses of the University of Memphis. As in the rest of Midtown, CY is a less-than fifteen minute drive to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Downtown and the South Main Arts District, as well as a few minutes away from Overton Park and the major retailers of East Memphis.
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East of Midtown
A drive east on Poplar or Central avenues will take you toward the dining, shopping, and established neighborhoods of East Memphis. In between lie the campuses of the University of Memphis and the quaint and historic suburban neighborhoods of Chickasaw Gardens and East Buntyn.
Another Mid-South jewel, beautiful Chickasaw Gardens lies east of Midtown, is centrally located and surrounded by the Liberty Bowl and the Mid-South fair grounds, the main Memphis Public Library, the Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium, the greens of the Memphis Country Club, and the campuses of the University of Memphis. As noted on its neighborhood association website, Chickasaw Gardens is “one of the most historic and desirable neighborhoods in Memphis.” Originally its land was part of the estate of one Clarence Saunders, who founded the “Piggly Wiggly” chain of grocery stores, and it’s layout includes a central lake, winding streets, many park-like common areas, large estate-sized lots, and an abundance of huge oak trees. The homes in the gardens feature a wide array of traditional architectural styles, including Georgian, Federal, Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, Tudor, and English Country. Residents here live with the comforts of 24/7 security, access to some of the better public and private school systems in Memphis, and are within a walk or short driving distances of everyday shopping off Highland and Poplar, the dining and entertainment district known as Highland Strip, and Memphis’ famous Botanic Garden and the artwork of its Dixon Gallery & Gardens, as well as a short 20-minute drive into Memphis’ Downtown and South Main.
For more information about Chickasaw Gardens click here:
Just a stone’s throw southeast of Chickasaw Gardens and overlooking the Memphis Country Club lies the little enclave known as East Buntyn. Another of Memphis’ many historic districts, East Buntyn can boast the same local amenities as Chickasaw Gardens, bordering the dining and entertainment of Highland Strip and sitting near the western edge of the University of Memphis. This quaint neighborhood is home to smaller and affordable houses built primarily mid-century, and whose architectural styles include traditional American bungalow, Craftsman, or Four Square, most with open front porches. Like Chickasaw Gardens, residents here enjoy their proximity to some of Memphis’ better public and private school systems, to the shopping off Highland and Poplar, and to Memphis’ famous Botanic Garden and the artwork of its Dixon Gallery & Gardens, as well as the same short 20-minute drive into Memphis’ Downtown and South Main.
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Outer Memphis and Beyond
Outside of Memphis’ I-240 loop to the due east of the city lies the “bedroom” community of Cordova, most of which resides within Memphis’ city limits. A drive east along Poplar or out on Hwy 385 takes you into the thriving towns of Germantown and Collierville. Residents of these communities are proud of their Shelby Farms, a crown jewel of an urban park of over 4000 acres, which features hiking, bike, and horse trails, diverse wildlife, an 18-hole golf course, and the end-point of the Shelby Farms Greenline, an urban trail that runs all the way to Midtown, Memphis. Beyond these communities, a drive northeast along Tennessee’s I-40 takes you to the quiet and rural towns of Lakeland and Arlington.
East of Memphis and down Poplar Avenue lies the affluent rural and suburban community known as Germantown. Incorporated in 1841 and named Germantown due to its high concentration of German residents in the mid 1800’s, it is now home to some of the most beautiful hilly, tree-shaded, rural neighborhoods in all the Mid-South, featuring a diverse mix of mid-century architectural styles from American cottages to large Tudor. Germantown is known for its civic-mindedness, its public school systems, its wide array of churches and community groups, and as a healthy, safe and wholesome place to live. In the Shops at Saddle Creek, it also features some of the best high-end shopping in the Memphis area, is known for some of the very best groups of medical centers in all of the South, and is home to FedEx’s world headquarters. Germantown residents can also enjoy the great outdoors of Shelby Farms and the 18-hole golf course at the Germantown Country Club, and are a less than a half-hour’s drive into Downtown.
For more information about Germantown click here:www.germantown-tn.gov/
Farther east and past Germantown lies the suburban and country town of Collierville. Collierville’s southern limits sit less than a mile from Mississippi state lines. It was founded in 1835, has ranked in the 100 best places to live, and its charming and historic town square is widely recognized as one of the nation’s best. Collierville can also boast some of the most beautiful tree-shaded, rural neighborhoods in all the Mid-South, and its avenues and winding roads feature a diverse mix of mid- to late-century architectural styles including Contemporary, Traditional, or Modern Tudor. Like its Germantown neighbor, Collierville is known for its wide array of churches, for its excellent public school system, and as a healthy and safe place to live. Collierville has its own high-end shopping options at Carriage Crossing, and is the home to the offices of the FedEx Credit Union. Collierville residents are a short drive away from the great outdoors of Shelby Farms, golf at the Ridgeway Country Club, and are just over a half-hour from Downtown.
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East of Memphis, sandwiched between Memphis’ Wolf River to the south and the I-40 to the north, Cordova has the unique Memphis distinction of residing in both city-incorporated and non-incorporated rural areas. Long-ago known for its vast farmland and as a train stop on the way to Nashville, today Cordova is thriving and growing, and its winding avenues and roads are home to a rich mix for family living, sprawling suburban neighborhoods and robust shopping centers, including the Wolfchase Galleria and a brand new Ikea store just beyond its city limits. Cordova residents also enjoy the great outdoors of Shelby Farms. Cordova is a 30-minute’s drive from Midtown and Downtown destinations, and less than 20 minutes from the dining and shopping of Germantown.
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Just beyond Cordova and toward the outskirts of Shelby County lies the rural and growing community of Lakeland. Lakeland has the best of rural living within close proximity to the shopping of Cordova and a short 30-minute drive into Downtown Memphis. Many of the homes in Lakeland were built late century, some are built on half-acre or larger lots, the neighborhoods here are well kept, clean, and safe, and Lakeland’s new school district boasts some of the top-rated schools in Shelby County.
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Just past Lakeland is the growing town of Arlington. A quiet, rural town with a charming town square, some say that Arlington is “Shelby County’s best kept secret.” It combines the best of rural living, with estate-size lots on an abundance of land, while being close to the shopping and conveniences of nearby Cordova, within commuting distance of greater Memphis, and within a 3-hour drive from Nashville to the east. Many of the homes here were also built late century, like Lakeland the neighborhoods here are clean and safe, and Arlington’s Community Schools’ system is one of the best in Shelby County.
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Bartlett is a
Neighborhood City comprised mostly of detached, single-family homes. This
rapidly growing city in Shelby County, is part of the Memphis Metropolitan Area
and is located just northeast of Memphis. Bartlett is easily accessible from 5
Exits off of Interstate 40 and nearby I-240, with quick access to the Memphis
International Airport, Sports, Entertainment and Convention Facilities; as well
as the exciting events Downtown. The city with a “small town feel” is proud of being
a Green City with an extensive system of thriving parks and lush green-ways.
Trees line many of the streets and every new business development is carefully
planned to include room for planting additional greenery. Being a planned city,
Bartlett is aesthetically pleasing to the eye with new buildings, signs and
landscaping watched over by a Design Review Commission. You will find Bartlett
is served by an abundance of dining, shopping, recreation and office space
locations. Home to several historic
museums, Bartlett is home to Davies Manor Plantation, the oldest log home in
Shelby County. You can tour the picturesque thirty-two acre plantation or take one of the
walking tours along relaxing nature trails. In 1999 Bartlett opened the
Bartlett Performing Arts & Convention Center. Commonly known as BPACC, the
Performing Arts Center is located directly across the street from the Bartlett
Police Station and just around the corner from the Bartlett Recreation Center. Recreational activities are never in short supply at this 55,000 sq. ft. facility where you will find a swimming
pool, racquetball courts, basketball courts, a running track and a variety of exhilarating workout opportunities. Bartlett offers the convenience to life in Memphis and
incorporates a genuine neighborhood experience.
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Downtown by the AW Wills Bridge, you will find a charismatic neighborhood with
an expansive view of the majestic Mighty Mississippi River. Mud Island. We call
this our island but in reality it is a peninsula bordered by the Mississippi
River and the Wolf River. More than 5,000 people live in this resort-like
community with nature trails, jogging trails, ponds, fountains and a manicured,
lush landscape. Joggers, Frisbee enthusiasts,
dog walkers, and families out for a stroll, dot the landscape along the
Riverfront. You will find single and
multi-family housing in this vibrant community. Housing ranges from luxury
homes and condos, to apartments catering to young professionals. Golf carts are utilized by many residents to
travel around the area. The island hosts a market, specialized retail, salons,
restaurants, a unique hotel and a small private school. Harbor Town offers a picturesque
where you will see
boats and yachts bobbing
along the peaceful horizon. Glorious sunsets reflect the serene nature of life
along the Mississippi.
For more information about Mud Island click here:
25 miles North of Memphis and just across the line in Tipton County, you will
find Atoka, Although the city is considered to be part of the Memphis
Metropolitan area, it is far enough away to be able to maintain a distinct,
rural atmosphere. It feels as though this southern town is a branch of nature
with a peaceful forest and a picturesque landscape throughout. Many of the families in Atoka chose to leave
the urban centers of Memphis and settle down in the quiet little town whose
motto is, “A Great Place to Call Home.” This family friendly community is home
to a Green-way Trail and 5 parks, several of which have the designation of being
an award-winning park.
For more information about Atoka click here:
Downtown is unique, artsy and thriving with new development. Living downtown, you are always just a stones’ throw away from exciting events such as taking in a game at Auto Zone Park, home to the Memphis Redbirds or cheering on the Memphis Grizzlies and the University of Memphis Tigers at FedEX Forum. You might choose to simply rock the night away at one of the spectacular concerts FedEx Forum adds to the Downtown vibe. You can party hardy at a number of events held on the riverfront such as the much anticipated Memphis World Championship BBQ Cooking Event and the Memphis in May Music Fest – all just a short distance from your neighborhood. Ride a trolley or pedal your bike and discover the hidden gems in Downtown. Housing options are exceptional throughout downtown, some with a traditional flair, others catering to the modern inspired homeowner. Victorian Village features new homes built in styles reminiscent of the Victorian era where you will also find historic homes for touring and a bed and breakfast inn to host a family getaway. Downtown is buzzing with warehouses and businesses transformed into amazing lofts and condos. Gracious homes overlook the Mississippi River where you can kick back and enjoy a peaceful sunset. Downtown aims to keep you happy; you can’t go wrong with the abundance of award-winning chef-owned restaurants, galleries, hot spots for night life, and locally owned shops. Chic, Classic, Modern or Traditional – Downtown Memphis has it all.
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