Just over 30 minutes from downtown Memphis, Collierville, TN, is a true Southern gem. Warm hospitality and a strong community feel, combined with outstanding food, shops, and activities, make this beguiling small town worth a visit. You may even recognize the city for its charming Town Square. This beautifully manicured space was the location for several scenes of the Hallmark Channel film Wedding at Graceland in 2019.
Voted Parade Magazine’s Best Main Street in 2014, Collierville’s fascinating history is always on display. “When you stand in our town square, you get a glimpse of yesterday,” says Ashley Carver, Director of Tourism, Town of Collierville. “In one corner of Town Square Park, you’ll find a log cabin built in 1851 that served as a stagecoach stop. Next came the railroads, which are a big part of Collierville history.”
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A restored 1940s train depot on Town Square now fittingly serves as the town’s Visitor Center. Nearby are a much-loved collection of historic trains to explore, including Frisco 1351, which hauled freight for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway. The early age of automobiles is represented by McGinnis Oil Company, a cool retro gas station that opened in 1927 and is still operational.
The town square continues to serve as a hub of town activity in the present day. So what should visitors do in Collierville? Let’s take a look!
A great first stop is the Morton Museum of Collierville History. Admission is always free to this local treasure, which takes visitors on a stroll through the town’s 150-year history. The museum is housed in a beautiful Gothic Revival (former) church founded near the end of the Civil War and donated to the town in 2008.
Owned and operated by the Town of Collierville, The Harrell Performing Arts Theatre is a stellar showcase for local talent. For over 20 years, the Collierville Arts Council has presented over 150 quality productions at the theatre, including an irresistible presentation of Elf The Musical for the December holiday season.
The Morton Museum of Collierville History is a visitor’s guide to local history, including programs and exhibitions for all ages. Image: Town of Collierville
Harrell Theatre audiences loved Elf The Musical, the hilarious tale of Buddy the elf’s quest to find his true identity. Image: Terry Dean, Collierville Arts Council
The Collierville Greenbelt System offers more than 18 miles of well-maintained walking trails if you are craving the great outdoors. Check out the QR Fit Trail at H.W. Cox Park for a more intense workout. Use your smartphone to access exercise videos for your core, flexibility, upper body, and lower body.
Collierville has several lovely parks that make the most of the natural landscape, with amenities ranging from playgrounds to baseball fields to picnic tables. W.C. Hinton Park is home to a nine-hole disc golf course which will soon be expanded, thanks to a grant from the State of Tennessee. The funds will also provide a new amphitheater and increased parking.
Enjoy the beauty of the local landscape on the Collierville Greenbelt System. Image: Town of Collierville
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W.C. Hinton Park has a wonderful playground for children, picnic tables, soccer fields, walking trails, and more! Thanks to a grant from the State of Tennessee, visitors can soon enjoy an expanded disc golf course and amphitheater. Image: Town of Collierville
And then, of course, there is the Town Square. Every Friday night from April to October (weather permitting), musicians gather to play bluegrass and traditional folk music. The jam sessions are free to the public, who are invited to bring their own chairs to sit and listen — or play. “Music is fundamental to the town square,” Ashley says. “For over 20 years, we’ve had musicians from all over the region gather and jam in a very relaxed way. Rumor has it that W.C. Handy played here back in the day.”
What fun! Join musicians from around the region as they jam on the Square on Friday nights from April to October. Bring your own instrument to play a little bluegrass, or just sit and enjoy the fun. Image: Town of Collierville
If you can’t get enough music, Main Street Collierville hosts a free Summer Concert Series — five performances on Thursday nights in June, July, and October. Grab your family and a blanket or chair, and head over to hear various bands playing on the Gazebo stage in Town Square Park.
Start your day with a tasty treat from Square Beans Coffee. In addition to a menu of well-crafted coffees, espressos, and teas, you’ll find seasonal specialty drinks, European pastries, breakfast, and lunch. Off the square, Carrington Oaks Coffeehouse is a wonderful stop for aromatic coffees and good eats.
If you’re craving hamburgers, you’ve come to the right place. For an old-school experience, check out Mensi’s Dairy Bar (and be sure to sample a delicious shake or other ice cream treat). Dyer’s Café is known for its selection of Famous Burgers, plus hot dogs, sandwiches, tamales, and catfish. Huey’s Collierville offers its signature laid-back vibe, specialty burgers, and tasty pub grub.
Start your day in Collierville on the Square with a delicious cup of coffee from Square Beans Coffee. Image: Town of Collierville
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A mainstay of Collierville since 1996, The Silver Caboose Restaurant & Soda Fountain offers home cooking at its best. The Soda Fountain is one of the few remaining originals in Tennessee — be sure to stop by for a real, old-fashioned banana split, hot fudge sundae, ice cream soda or float, or milkshake. Yum!
Warm and inviting, Café Piazza offers a menu of delectable pasta dishes, specialty pizzas, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. For sophisticated, eclectic Southern fare, visitors love Raven & Lily Restaurant. For outstanding pub grub, Highlander Restaurant & Pub fits the bill. Visit Zopita’s on the Square for a filling lunch, or pick up one of their Italian-inspired take-and-bakes for an easy, delicious dinner. And for bar-b-que “so good you’ll slap yo’ mama,” stop by the Collierville Commissary.
Collierville is fast becoming a destination for food enthusiasts, with more restaurants planning to open soon. We can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store!
Yum, yum! Stop by The Silver Caboose for hearty home cooking — then head for the authentic Soda Fountain for a decadent treat. Image: Town of Collierville
Raven & Lily Restaurant is cooking up Southern delights with an eclectic flair! Image: Raven & Lily Restaurant
Indulge in a selection of Italian eats from Zopita’s on the Square. Image: Justin Fox Burks
Collierville is full of cute little boutiques, plus a few larger retail stops. If you enjoy an afternoon of antiquing, Sheffield Antiques Mall has everything your heart desires. Home to over 300 dealers, the mall is a browser’s paradise, with collectibles, jewelry, furniture, lighting, and much more. For luxury brands in an upscale setting, visit the open-air lifestyle shopping mall Carriage Crossing, located on Houston Levee Road.
For a taste of the French countryside in Collierville, visit First Fruit Collection, located right on the square. First Fruit offers home furnishings and accessories in their retail showroom, but their specialty is custom designs!
Whether you’re in the market for specific pieces to complete your home, or you’re just looking for a little design inspiration, First Fruit Collection is a must-visit when you’re on the square. Image: Facebook
Also on the square, Hewlett & Dunn Boot & Jean Co. has everything a cowgirl needs — a beautiful and extensive selection of boots, Western wear, hats, belts, and more. (Cowboys are welcome, too!) C.J. Lilly & Company is a lovely, customer-service-oriented floral and gift shop with many options, from bags to candles to jewelry. Visitors looking for distinctive collectibles, gifts, decor, and furniture will love the treasures at The Brooks Collection. For home furnishing and accessories, look inside the delightful Dee Larue Designs. Upscale specialty shop Patricia’s offers women’s and children’s clothing, jewelry, shoes, and home goods.
Cowgirls and cowboys are in for a treat at Hewlett & Dunn Boot & Jean Co. Image: Town of Collierville
At C.J. Lilly & Company, flowers and great gifts abound. Image: Town of Collierville
Billed as a “crazy little food shop celebrating all things foodie,” Bazaar Food Shop offers flavored and infused olive oils, balsamic vinegar, tea, coffee, mixes, and sauces to elevate your next meal.
A bit further out, Loni’s is known for its high-quality, unique clothing and accessories. Itty Bitty Bella is a charming boutique for children’s clothing, bedding, strollers, and more.
“Bazaar caters to those who want a warm, friendly, unique shopping experience that makes you feel cozy and wanting to come back and enjoy different products and events that foster small-town friendliness,” says Kim Avery, co-owner of Bazaar Food Shop. Image: Town of Collierville
Enjoy exploring this sweet Southern town!
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