Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in West Memphis, AR

  • Published 2023/03/13

West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas.

It’s situated right at the border of Arkansas and Tennessee, separated only by the great Mississippi River.

While it may still be part of the Memphis Metropolitan area, it belongs to a different state and functions separately, with its own unique attractions and activities.

Due to its proximity to important urban centers, rural areas, and state and national parks, the area offers an abundance of leisure opportunities.

Here are the best things to do in West Memphis, Arkansas:

Get Your Competitive Juices Flowing at Tilden Rodgers Park

Aerial view of Tilden Rodgers Park

Nick8282, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tilden Rodgers Park is a large park and sports complex located near the junction of West Service Road and North Airport Road.

This park is an ideal place to play sports and get active during your trip.

The park’s prominent feature is a giant eight-acre lake that has its own pier and is a perfect place to go fishing—you’ll need to get your fishing license beforehand though!

There are also some picnic shelters with grills and tables, a walking trail with a peaceful view of the lake, and an open field perfect for those who want to play sports like soccer, football, or baseball.

Speaking of sports, this park also houses the Tilden Rodgers Sports Complex, which features various sports facilities.

There are 12 lighted tennis courts, five multipurpose ball fields, four lighted baseball and softball fields, two horseshoe pits, a mile-long walking track, and a volleyball court.

It’s safe to say that Tilden Rodgers Park is the place to be if you’re looking for a fun and competitive time in West Memphis.

All of these facilities are available for rent for a day at a fixed price.

Most people get access to these facilities by gathering friends, renting a field or court, and playing as many pick-up games as they want!

If you’re up for the challenge, head to Tilden Rodgers Park and get your competitive juices flowing.

Enjoy the Open Field at Grimsley Park

Grimsley Park is located two miles northwest of downtown West Memphis.

This park is an excellent place to get to know the community better while enjoying a great time outdoors.

Grimsley Park is known for its open field and inviting atmosphere—it’s perfect for picnics, a game of frisbee or kickball, or an afternoon of relaxation and leisure while enjoying the fresh air.

There’s also a playground for the kids and a picnic shelter.

You can also take advantage of the park’s other amenities, such as a basketball and tennis court and an open field with a backstop.

If you want to enjoy a fun day outdoors with plenty of activities, head to Grimsley Park!

Catch a Show at West Memphis Civic Auditorium

West Memphis Civic Auditorium is the city’s premier entertainment venue.

Located in downtown West Memphis, this auditorium hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, theatrical productions, dance recitals, musicals, and more!

With a seating capacity of over 1,000, the West Memphis Civic Auditorium is one of the largest venues in the West Memphis area.

It’s also the most technically advanced, with state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems.

There’s a concession stand to make your experience more enjoyable, with snacks and drinks for purchase.

It’s also adjacent to many restaurants downtown; you can grab a bite before and after watching a show!

Whether you want to see a concert, watch a production, or enjoy some good-vibe music fests, the West Memphis Civic Auditorium is worth checking out.

Drop by and see the list of scheduled events when you’re in the city.

Visit the West Arkansas Memphis Welcome Center

Exterior of West Arkansas Memphis Welcome Center

Thomas R Machnitzki (, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For those unfamiliar with the area, stopping at the Arkansas West Memphis Welcome Center right off Interstate 40 is a terrific opportunity to gain a sense of the city’s geography and learn about various exciting activities.

There are many maps and pamphlets that you can take with you, as well as pleasant residents who will gladly offer suggestions on things to do.

Additionally, like a museum, the center is ideal for exploring West Memphis, filled with historical artifacts and photographs that provide context on the city’s past.

The staff will also help you spot interesting and unique places to visit and give you a better understanding of the local culture.

Stop by the Arkansas West Memphis Welcome Center for some helpful information!

Take the Dogs Out for Some Fun at Westwood Acres Dog Park

Located along Oxford Street in downtown West Memphis, the Westwood Acres Dog Park is the city’s latest attraction and one that would make dog parents very happy.

This park is a great place to take your dogs out for some quality outdoor time, as it has everything your furry friend would need for an enjoyable experience: a decent-sized fenced grass field, drinking fountains, sports benches, a fire hydrant, walking ramps, and more.

There are also separate areas for small and large dogs, so you can be sure that your pup will have the best time possible without getting bullied by bigger dogs.

Beyond the Westwood Acres Dog Park is an even larger open area with trees and plenty of greenery, perfect for some daytime picnics with your dogs.

If you’re looking for a place to take your pup out and get some fresh air—all while socializing with other dog parents in West Memphis—Westwood Acres Dog Park is the place to be.

Visit the Lawrie House

Exterior of Lawrie House

Bradhyde, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

West Memphis doesn’t have many historical landmarks, making visiting the Lawrie House all the most significant.

Located at North 7th Street, this historic house was built in 1939 by plantation owner and West Memphis local J. O. E. Beck.

Beck purchased the land and built the home as a present for his daughter who married a man named John Lawrie; hence the name “Lawrie House.”

Since it’s one of the longest-standing structures in the area, the Lawrie House earned a spot on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places.

Today, visitors can drop by and admire the house from the outside.

The house is a two-and-a-half-story Colonial Mansion that depicts the architectural style of the period and is a reminder of the history of West Memphis.

Its four-column facade, gable roof, and symmetrical design give you a glimpse of what it was like in mid-20th century West Memphis.

Wander through Big River Trail

The Big River Trail is a seven-mile trail loop that goes through the West Memphis Flood plain located near the great Mississippi River.

Bikers and hikers are welcome to use this trail, which features a variety of small wildlife and vegetation.

There are plenty of vistas that overlook the downtown Memphis skyline located across the river.

There are also plenty of natural woodlands that you can explore and a few creeks where you can cool off during the hot summer months.

Some people might think that seven miles are pretty short; however, the amount of outdoor scenery and wildlife makes this trail worth exploring.

If you want to explore the natural areas in West Memphis while getting your heart rate up, make sure to go on a hiking or biking trip at the Big River Trail.

Catch Some Adrenaline-Pumping Races at Riverside International Speedway

Entrance to Riverside International Speedway

Thomas R Machnitzki ([email protected]), CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located at Legion Road, the Riverside International Speedway is a world-class hub of automobile racing filled with thrilling and adrenaline-pumping events.

Boasting a 0.25-mile Gumbo clay oval with banked corners and seating on both straightaways, this facility offers an unparalleled racing experience on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River.

Couple Clayton and Sherry Allen, both entrepreneurs who are avid racing enthusiasts, own and manage the racetrack.

Exterior of Riverside International Speedway

Thomas R Machnitzki ([email protected]), CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Riverside International Speedway offers different racing events throughout the year, such as the Big Jimmy Cup, USCS “Rumble at the River,” MLA Mid-South Nationals, and more.

If you’re a professional race car driver looking for a place to compete or an enthusiastic racing fan who wants to watch some world-class races, the Riverside International Speedway has something for you.

If you feel the need for some speed and excitement, make sure to check out this amazing race track in West Memphis.

Test Your Luck at Southland Casino Hotel

Southland Casino Hotel is the premier spot for entertainment and gaming in West Memphis.

Located at Ingram Boulevard—east of downtown West Memphis—this casino hotel is every gambler’s idea of paradise.

It features more than 1,900 slot machines, video poker, and a variety of table games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, poker, and more.

There’s also a live greyhound racing track where you can place your bets and cheer on your favorite hound.

Southland Casino Hotel consistently delivers promotions and events to captivate travelers and enhance the gaming experience.

Apart from gaming, Southland Casino Hotel also has various accommodations ranging from standard deluxe rooms to luxury suites.

There are also plenty of nearby dining and entertainment options, so you never have to worry about where to eat after a night of games.

If you’re looking for a place to have a great time and test your luck, Southland Casino Hotel is the place to be.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Since downtown Memphis is only a 12-minute drive from across the Mississippi River, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t want to explore the hustle and bustle of the city.

With that said, here are some things you can do while you’re there:

Watch a Grizzlies Game at FedEx Forum

Exterior of the FedEx Forum

Thomas R Machnitzki (, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The FedEx Forum at Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee—8.9 miles away from downtown West Memphis—is a multipurpose arena that is the home of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.

An up-and-coming team, the Grizzlies have earned a reputation for being one of the most exciting to watch in basketball.

If you’re an NBA fan, watching a Grizzlies home game is an absolute spectacle and something that you wouldn’t want to miss out on when you’re in Memphis.

Interior of the FedEx Forum

Trev0B, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Catch a Grizzlies game at the FedEx Forum, where you’ll have access to some of the best seating options.

From the energetic crowd to the electrifying plays of the team’s number one player, Ja Morant, you will surely experience a fantastic night at the FedEx Forum.

Plus, with the wide range of food and beverage options within the arena, you won’t have to worry about missing out on any of the action.

People in the FedEx Forum

“Orange(no facial hair)” at Flickr, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum

Exterior of the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum

JustPixs /

Memphis has a rich history in music; it’s known as the “Birthplace of Rock’ n’ Roll” and has a popular soul music scene.

This makes visiting the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum in Tennessee—8.8 miles from downtown West Memphis—a must.

This unique museum depicts the musical journey of Memphis, from the 1940s to today, through the stories of some of its most iconic music stars, including Elvis Presley and B.B. King.

Building sign of the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum

jejim /

Through its unique exhibits, the Memphis Rock ‘n Soul Museum delves into the inspiring stories of musical trailblazers who broke down racial and economic barriers to create a genre that forever changed the music world.

The museum features interactive multimedia displays, live music performances, and memorabilia from the city’s most iconic artists.

The museum also has several interactive exhibits, from vintage jukeboxes to digital listening stations where you can listen to classic songs you haven’t heard in decades.

Tour the Mississippi River with Memphis Riverboats Rentals

If you want to get the most out of your trip, why not go on a tour with Memphis Riverboats Rentals?

Located at Riverside Drive—9.3 miles from downtown West Memphis—this boat rental service offers guided tours in the area, from sightseeing cruises that allow you to enjoy the river’s beauty and nature to dinner cruises where you can enjoy a delicious meal as you watch the sunset in Mississippi.

The boat rental service also offers private boat charters and fishing trips so you can experience the river like never before.

A tour guide shares exciting stories as you sail along and offer a wealth of knowledge about the area’s culture and history.

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting way to explore Memphis and its majestic river, make sure to check out the offerings of Memphis Riverboats Rentals.

Check Out Graceland, Elvis Presley’s Former Abode

Exterior of the Graceland mansion

Rolf_52 /

Memphis is filled with plenty of landmarks and attractions, but none are as popular as Graceland.

This iconic estate was once owned by the King of Rock n Roll himself—Elvis Presley—and remains one of the city’s most important attractions.

Located at Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis—14.6 miles away from downtown West Memphis—Graceland is a breathtaking mansion within a 13.8-acre estate.

Grave of Elvis Presley at Graceland

photosounds /

Now serving as a museum dedicated to Presley and his family, Graceland is open for guided and self-guided tours that take you through the property’s multiple buildings, including Elvis’ personal home and the Meditation Garden where he is buried.

The home also features plenty of memorabilia, artifacts, and historic photos dedicated to the greatest musician ever.

Whether or not you’re a fan of Elvis Presley, a trip to Graceland is worth it.

Interior of the Graceland mansion

jejim /

Explore the Wild at the Memphis Zoo

Lions at the Memphis Zoo

Mont592 /

The Memphis Zoo is one of the most visited places in Memphis, Tennessee.

Located at Prentiss Place—12.8 miles away from downtown West Memphis—the Memphis zoo has been around since 1906 and is home to more than 4,500 animals of 500 different species from around the world.

The zoo features multiple exhibits that showcase the unique animals and creatures of different habitats, from the giant pandas in China to the giraffes of Africa.

These exhibits include Teton Trek, CHINA, Primate Canyon, Cat County, and more.

A red panda at the Memphis Zoo

OnTheBrightside97 /

The Memphis Zoo is also home to one of the largest aquariums in the country and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

A visit to the Memphis Zoo is an absolute treat, especially for the young ones.

If you’re looking for a fun and educational way to explore Memphis, the Memphis Zoo is worth checking out!

A pelican at the Memphis Zoo

Mont592 /

Final Thoughts

West Memphis, Arkansas, is a fantastic city with something for everyone.

It may not have as much to offer compared with its neighboring city, but its proximity to Memphis does add to its charm and provides visitors with a wealth of opportunities for exploration.

Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s history, culture, and food, or just want to have some fun, West Memphis is the place to be.

Take note of these best things to do in West Memphis, Arkansas for your next trip.

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