Discover all the fun things to do in West Memphis, Arkansas from the locals! West Memphis is rich in history and full of great things to do and amazing places to eat.
West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 26,245 at the 2010 census, ranking it as the state’s 18th largest city, behind Bella Vista. It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area, and is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee. –Wikipedia
Things To Do in West Memphis, Arkansas
For this article, I interviewed my friend Brittany. She and her family have lived in West Memphis for many years and know all the best spots! In fact, she has fully convinced me to drive over there and visit that Shake Shack!
If you are looking for: the best place to eat in West Memphis, an interesting museum, the best drive-through Christmas light display, or just fun things to do in West Memphis…this article is for you!
1. Favorite Things to Do in West Memphis
1. Go to the park or walk around the lake. Worthington Park has a playground, sand area, green space, and a walking area. They decorate it for Christmas and it’s a fun place to walk at night with the lights.
2. Tilden Rodgers Park has a lake with a walking trail around it, a fishing area, a picnic area, tennis courts, and baseball fields.
You can find Worthington Park on the corner of S Worthington Drive and N Missouri Street (Next to the West Memphis Boys Club). Amenities include: 7 picnic tables with grills, a gazebo, a play area, a play ground, and a volleyball net. –source
“Tilden Rodgers Park is home to an excellent sports complex with baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, a walking track and two pavilions. It also has a Family and Community Fishing Program pond which receives regular stockings.
Open to fishing with rod or pole only.
Catfish daily limit is 3.
Trout daily limit is 5.
A trout permit is required to keep trout.”
2. Best Restaurant in West Memphis
Shake Shack in Marion. Family owned and operated for 50 years. It has a diner feel and is very family friendly.
You can even join in on some fun at the Shake Shack! “[This is] our burger to honor our local worst maritime disaster in US history. The Sultana Burger has four levels – just like the boat did. And the burger is overloaded – just like the boat was. With each successful challenge, we donate $2 to the Sultana Disaster Museum. Eat the burger in 30 minutes and receive a t-shirt and your name on the Sultana Wall at the Shake Shack.” –source
Y’all. Eating that Sultana Burger DEFINITELY sounds like a fun thing to do in West Memphis, Arkansas! Are you up for the challenge?
3. Things to Do with Kids in West Memphis
Big River Crossing is a huge favorite!
“Opened October 22, 2016, Big River Crossing is the longest public pedestrian/bike bridge across the Mississippi River, providing dramatic views of its ever-changing landscape. By connecting Main Streets in Memphis and West Memphis, the BRX ties together urban, rural, and natural areas and gives users recreation options unique to each setting.
The nightly Mighty Lights LED display accentuates this iconic structure and is one of the largest light implementations in the country with the addition of the Hernando de Soto Bridge.” –source
4. Unique Things to Do in West Memphis
The local casino has a dog track/racing. We’ve never been but some people might find that interesting. It’s Southland Casino and Racing.
“Southland Casino Racing, formally Southland Park Gaming and Racing, is a casino, buffet, and greyhound racetrack in West Memphis, Arkansas. 6,656 greyhound races took place at the Park in 2019. Simulcast thoroughbred and greyhound races from other tracks around the United States are also offered.” –source
5. Best Walking Trail in West Memphis
Big River Crossing- It’s a bridge that crosses from West Memphis to Memphis and you can walk/bike over it, no auto traffic. It’s often lit up at night as well.
Village Creek State Park is about 40 min from West Memphis and has hiking trails.
If you are looking for a fun thing to do in West Memphis (especially with kids!) don’t miss this: “Village Creek State Park encompasses nearly 7,000 acres of beautiful forested hills and clear streams to create an environment found nowhere else in Arkansas. There are 33 miles of multi-use trails, campgrounds with bathhouses, an equestrian campground with stable facilities (includes class B campsites), 10 cabins, two lakes, a day-use area with pavilions and picnic sites, outdoor and indoor theaters, a small museum, and a visitor center with a gift shop. Interpretive programs are available year-round. You can walk on a segment of the Trail of Tears as part of the trails.” –source
6. Favorite Museum in West Memphis
The Sultana Museum in Marion. People travel here to check it out.
“The Sultana, a Civil War era sidewheel steamboat, exploded and burned on the Mississippi River on April 27, 1865. Acknowledged by Congressional Resolution as the greatest maritime disaster in United States history, nearly 1,200 of the more than 2,200 passengers and crew were killed in the explosion and fire which sank the Sultana near Marion, Arkansas, across the river from Memphis, Tennessee. Designed to carry only 376 passengers plus crew, investigations revealed a litany of corrupt practices, including kickbacks, and bribes paid to high-ranking Union officers caused the overcrowding of the boat. …In its magnitude, the story of the Sultana is as great as that of the more famous Titanic, and yet much more intriguing.”- source
7. Secret Place in West Memphis
Shake Shack isn’t a secret but it is locally loved and probably missed by many who stop in the area.
Find all the cool things to do all over Arkansas (that are recommended by the locals!) here: 100 EPIC Arkansas Bucket List Things To Do
8. Live Theatre in West Memphis
We do have DeltaARTS and Crittenden Youth Theatre. They typically put on an adult and children’s show each year.
“DeltaARTS provides arts education and imaginative learning experiences for over 15,000 students, teachers, families, and senior citizens through the following programs: Student Matinee Performance Series, Lincoln Center Educator Aesthetic Education Workshop, Artists Classroom Residencies, Wolf Trap Early Learning through the Arts, Crittenden Youth Theatre, Young Authors Symposium, Arts Focus Schools, Arts for Seniors, DeltaARTS Gallery and a Public Art Program.” –source
9. Best Drive-Through Christmas Light Display
There is one house in West Memphis that goes all out. The whole yard is decorated and the lights sync up to a radio station with Christmas music (like Mannheim Steamroller). I think it is part of the former Simmons Christmas Lights Show.
Also, the Benson Family Light Show in Marion. It’s about a 30 minute show in the yard of a local house.
10. Best Place to Camp in West Memphis
There is a KOA campground in Marion (called Memphis KOA but in Arkansas).
And Village Creek State Park in Wynne (about 40 minutes from WM) has hiking and camping.
Memphis KOA: “The tang of barbecue, the beat of the blues, the home of the King. Memphis. . . what’s not to love? This KOA is 15 minutes from Beale Street, birthplace of the blues. Book a tour at the campground – don’t miss Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Visit the National Civil Rights Museum, Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, Cotton Museum and more. Be sure to see the Peabody Hotel’s Marching Ducks. …Pull through into a shaded big-rig site with free cable TV or stay in a Camping Cabin. Free Wi-Fi. Dip in the pool, throw horseshoes and play a game on KOA’s giant chess/checkers set.” –source
11. West Memphis Christmas Parade
We have a yearly Christmas parade!
“Whether you are participating or spectating, get ready for a wonderful float style parade displaying the community’s Christmas spirit! This is our favorite event and we hope to add new interactions and experiences this year.” –source
12. Favorite “Mom and Pop” Restaurant in West Memphis
Sicily’s (Italian/sandwiches), Ponchos (Mexican), and Crossroads (American diner) in West Memphis are locally owned.
Howard’s Do-Nuts is local and has been here for years. It is our favorite do-nut shop locally.
Shake Shack in Marion is our favorite locally-owned restaurant.
13. “Arkansas Made” Products from West Memphis
Pancho’s Cheese Dip is locally made and you can buy it in our Wal-Mart and Kroger stores, as well as at the Pancho’s restaurant itself.
“Pancho’s centers on bringing people together through food. We make every batch of our famously addictive queso from scratch, in our original kitchen where it all began over 60 years ago.” –source
You can find Pancho’s restaurant on 3600 E Broadway Ave, West Memphis, AR 72301.
Fun Things To Do In West Memphis, Arkansas
Whether you are a history buff who can’t wait to learn all about the Sultana Disaster or you just really love cheese dip and handmade shakes, West Memphis Arkansas has plenty of fun things to do!
Personally, I really need one of those shakes right now. I wonder if they make a shake with cookie dough mixed in? I think it’s time to check out that menu!
A special thanks to Brittany for giving us all the insider information on West Memphis!