Memphis, known for its soul, grit, and rock and roll, is also a great place to visit during the holidays. Never too crowded and always chopped full of fun and festive happenings, this bluff city is primed to put any Grinch in the holiday spirit. And when you work up a thirst for something sudsy and delicious, Memphis has your back!

The key to any weekend jaunt is to start strong, but never put too much pressure on yourself. After all, It’s nearly impossible to fit it all in, and the point is to have fun.

For a wintry trip in December focused on shopping and dining I would suggest staying at the iconic Peabody Hotel. Their happy hour is a great way to check in, taste some local beers and get the lay of the land before hitting the town for some good shopping and unique cuisine. The lobby is decked out with countless Christmas trees donned with ornaments of all shapes and sizes, as well as one of the biggest gingerbread houses you will ever see. They also have several one-of-a-kind shops including the famous clothier to the king, Lansky Bros and the enticing Feathers Spa. The duck march is a must-see too. But whatever you do, don’t forget to take a selfie atop the Skyway roof.

Before shopping grab a cold one and a bite at Cental BBQ!

Depending on your taste and budget, there are many wonderful restaurants right downtown including Huey’s, Central BBQ and the Majestic Grille.

A flurry of decorations up and down Main Street, and of course down Beale Street, will put you in a great mood. All restaurants offer beers from the local breweries and a wide selection of craft brews as well. While downtown, visitors should pop in to the newly opened Old Dominick Distillery. They make some of the most delicious vodkas and bourbons this side of the Mississippi river. They also offer super fun tours, tastings and have a great gift shop.

After dinner there’s always something to do as live music is always beating on Beale Street. But you can also head in to midtown for some great live music at funky haunts like Lafayette’s Music Room and DKDC. Or you can stay put downtown and grab a cold beer and soul burger treat at Ernestine & Hazel’s.

There’s no wrong way to do Memphis – it’s a choose your own adventure kind of town.

Hit one of Memphis’ six breweries after a long day of shopping for your loved ones.

After a good night’s rest, Saturday morning is all about breakfast at the Arcade. Try and sit at Elvis Presley’s booth if it’s available. The sweet potato pancakes are to die for and you might as well grab a delicious Bloody Mary or mimosa to wash it all down. Then you can head over to Broad Avenue and Cooper Young for some great shopping. Broad Avenue has many boutique shops including Falling into Place, Five in One Social Club and Bingham & Broad. Gifts for everyone on your list can be found at these unique, yet fun shops. In the historic Cooper Young district you can hit up Burke’s Books and Goner Records for the book enthusiasts and music lovers on your list. Lunch at Soul Fish or the Young Avenue Deli will get your energy back up too – both have great beer selections that feature local and regional favorites.

Shop for unique items at Bingham and Broad.

Once you feel good about collecting gifts for the loved ones on your list it might be a good idea for a little sightseeing. The newly opened pedestrian bridge Big River Crossing is a great spot for catching photos of the Memphis skyline. Then head up to the sky deck at the Bass Pro Pyramid.

By this point it’ll be time to grab dinner. If you like Italian food with a southern twist, you can’t go wrong with Catherine & Mary’s, or you if you haven’t had your fill of cue it may be the right time to pop into the Rendezvous.

Saturday night offers endless possibilities as Memphis rarely stops the party. Spots to check out include Paul Raiford’s Disco, Blind Bear and Loflin Yard.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list on Memphis’ wintry game, it’ll get you off and running. Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Written by Jeff Hulett  Photos by The Peabody Hotel and Shelley Justiss