Editor's note: Last year, Torrey Harris became the youngest legislator in Tennessee when the 29-year-old bisexual Black man won his seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Harris first moved to Memphis a decade ago and quickly became an active leader in the community. Before becoming a state Representative, he worked with several Memphis organizations including Shelby County Young Democrats, CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, and Friends For Life, one of the oldest and most comprehensive HIV service organizations in the South.
In this exclusive guide for Out Traveler, Harris shares his six favorite places in his favorite city.
National Civil Rights Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum (at the Lorraine Motel) is one of my favorite places. It's formerly the hotel where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Now a museum, it has amazing exhibits of African American History and features the life work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. It reflects how far we've come. I truly enjoy taking people to the National Civil Rights Museum. I'm there so much it seems like I'm there at least twice a month.
I love the outdoors, and I love to go running at Overton Park regularly. The park has everything you need to enjoy the outdoors and be at one with nature, from walking and bike trails to the best picnic spots. The park is also home to the Memphis Zoo, the Levitt Shell amphitheater, the Brooks Museum of Art (pictured above), which happens to be the oldest and largest art museum in Tennessee. Overton Park is a place where I feel comfortable, and a lot of people don't realize we almost lost this great park. Several decades ago, a proposed highway came very close to destroying this great park that so many visitors and locals love today.
The Wolfriver Greenway
One of my favorite spots is the Wolfriver Greenway, a connection of biking and hiking trails that, once all the connections are finished, it will connect downtown Memphis to the suburbs and Shelby Farms Park.
Shelby Farms Park
Shelby Farms Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country. I love the outdoors, and over the last few years, Memphis has increased bike lanes and trails all over the city, making it easier to experience the outdoors.
Curry N Jerk
One of my favorite spots is in downtown Memphis is Curry N Jerk, a restaurant which features authentic Jamaican-style meals, like jerked chicken (above) or oxtails with rice and peas. They have an amazing brunch that I love, and they're a locally-owned business. I try to go there as often as possible. Plus they're also a Black-owned business and I'm always eager to support my community and local business.
I'm big on food, but I love a good cocktail. In midtown, the Doghouzz restaurant's been open for about a year now located next door to popular Crosstown Concourse, a vertical village in midtown Memphis. The Doghouzz is LBGTQ owned and LGBTQ-friendly and has one of the largest whiskey selections in the city; along with many variations of hot dogs, it's like a gourmet restaurant of hot dogs.
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