Nothing says “variety” like a getaway in the Memphis, Tennessee, area. The region combines the best of scenic vistas, cityscapes, small-town celebrations, and city nightlife. You can venture into nature for boating, biking, and hiking or just as easily immerse yourself in cultural entertainment ranging from live music to arts festivals. When you’re ready to book vacation rentals, expect everything from gorgeous lakefront homes to trendy apartments in historic districts. A trip to Memphis is sure to be exciting, whether you’re traveling with family or friends. Here are 10 top places to book your Memphis vacation rental for your next stay.

1. Downtown Core

night lights
Source: Flickr / Josh Grenier

Stay close to attractions and restaurants with a rental in central downtown, a bustling neighborhood that wins you over with quaint Southern touches steeped in heritage. You can see beautiful river views from your hotel window, hail a horse-drawn carriage. or watch the famous chorale of ducks marching from the Peabody Hotel fountain. The city offers entertaining tours and museums for people of all ages, whether you love hearing about haunted buildings or the birth of rock and roll. The best part is outdoor recreation is minutes away, so your travel party can get close to wildlife or suit up for a swim.

2. South Main

yellow trolley
Source: Flickr / Ginny

Great restaurants, quirky stores, and a thriving arts culture collide in this small subsection of downtown. Although you can find plenty of attractions in walking distance, the trolley is a fun way to explore the city. Round up the adults in your party for Trolley Nights, a monthly event of live performances, artisan wares, and late night dining. Stop by in the fall for River Arts Fest, a celebration of Memphis’s rich musical and artistic influences. While you pick out souvenirs at the market, the kids can visit arts stations for hands-on activities.

3. Midtown

trees at the park
Source: Flickr / Bunny Jager

Midtown contains pockets of urban life and historic residential communities, providing a diverse range of apartments and single-family homes for vacation. Ideal for families, the neighborhood is home to the Memphis Zoo, Overton Park, and Peabody Park. The tree-lined walking trails at Overton offer a peaceful place to admire the Memphis foliage. If you happen to arrive around Christmas, journey through twinkling exhibits and visit friendly reindeer during the annual Zoo Lights event.

4. Horseshoe Lake, Arkansas

city buildings
Source: Flickr / dconvertini

To delight in back-to-basics fun and nature calling from your backyard, travel over the Arkansas state line to Horseshoe Lake. Boating and fishing are common pastimes in this laid-back area, so you can get an abundance of quality time with your family or guests. Downtown Memphis is just 40 minutes away, and you can pack your schedule with water sports, hiking, and swimming at several spots along the Mississippi River.

5. Cooper Young

garden seats
Source: cooperyounggardenclub.org

Known as the city’s hipster haven, Cooper Young draws people with a love for community spirit, historic character, and artistic appreciation. Expect to find many of the city’s galleries, magazines, and arts venues headquartered here, and plan to attend the Cooper Young Festival for an intro to local businesses. The neighborhood association and garden club work hard to maintain the culture and appearance of the area, so you’re likely to find vacation spots with chill garden hangouts for relaxation and entertaining.

6. Germantown

green nature
Source: Flickr / curated by Gary Bridgman

East of Memphis, Germantown supplies a wealth of outdoor activities focused on conservation, local arts, and wellness. The city’s Wolf River Conservancy and Shelby Farms Park Conservancy connect a network of woodlands, greenways, lakes, and rivers, giving you countless ways to stay active. Whether you like kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, ziplining, or watching wildlife, you can devote hours to exploring the meticulously preserved terrain. Make time to see the thriving buffalo population at Shelby Farms, and stick around for fun at the spray pools, BMX race track, or paintball field. Schedule your trip around September for an afternoon of live music, shopping, and kiddie rides at Germantown Festival.

7. Harbor Town/Mud Island

tennessee
Source: Flickr/Robert Cross

Count your blessings if you can snag a rental on Mud Island, a scenic peninsula linked to downtown Memphis by monorail, walking trails, and ferry boats. Along with the northern section known as Harbor Town, Mud Island hosts a community of waterfront homes and businesses. Few can resist snapping photos of boats in the beautiful marina or heading to the Mississippi River Park for bike rides, hikes, or pedal boats. Mud Island also houses the Mississippi River Museum and Amphitheater. Don’t miss a chance to journey along Riverwalk, an interactive scale model of the Mississippi River.

8. Lake Cormorant, Mississippi

bridge and boat on the river
Source: Flickr / David Brossard

Less than 30 minutes from Graceland, Lake Cormorant delivers a taste of suburban life with greenery stretching as far as the eye can see. A cluster of lakefront rentals offers a tranquil retreat, where you can spend time fishing and boating or enjoy your meals outdoors. Although you won’t find attractions in the neighborhood, this naturalist paradise lies close to the Mississippi River and several stunning lakes and parks.

9. Cordova

tennessee
Source: Flickr/jennifer yin

Cordova lies north of Germantown and minutes away from Shelby Farms Park, making it a convenient spot if you’re planning a host of outdoor excursions. With its historic downtown and picturesque streets, Cordova offers small-town charm close to the city proper. Attend the annual crafts fair to take home unique mementos from local artisans. Take a short drive north to Bartlett for shopping at Wolfchase Galleria, the largest mall in the area. When you want to keep the kids busy, enjoy a day of laser tag, disc golf, and paddle boating at Shelby Farms Park.

10. Oxford, Mississippi

covered porch
Source: Flickr / Matthew Nichols

When you don’t mind a longer drive to the city, consider staying in the college town of Oxford, Mississippi — a 90-minute ride from Memphis. Not only is Oxford a famous stomping ground for many writers, artists, musicians, and film productions, but the city houses several historic buildings. The South’s oldest known store still sits in the courthouse square, and crowds gather for concerts at the Lyric Theater, a music venue that began as the city’s first movie theater. From biking and fishing to sporting events and museum tours, there’s no shortage of things to do if you’re traveling with teens or children.