A big city with a small-town feel, Memphis enjoys a low cost of living and a profound connection to community. With a taste of city life through great food, entertainment and museums, the city’s culture is rooted deep in history, music and tradition. With a vibrant downtown, tree-lined neighborhoods and one of the largest parks in the nation, Memphis provides recreational and cultural activities that appeal to anyone year-round.
More than 60,000 local residents from all backgrounds rely on SCO for their eye care through The Eye Center and through a number of Community Outreach initiatives. Our students experience the gratifying impact of making a difference in the lives of people who benefit from SCO’s unique status as one of the nation’s top optometry colleges. SCO is proud to be one of the Tennessee treasures that makes Memphis great. Take a look to discover some of the many attractions near our campus!
Article: Memphis Rising
There's something in Memphis for the entire family. From zoos to museums to theaters to shopping in a giant pyramid boasting breathtaking views of the Mighty Mississippi; children, teens and adults alike will all find something to enjoy when they explore the city we call home.
If you know Memphis, then you know that our barbecue is second to none. You'll be delighted to find that's not all we have to offer. From funky little kitchens to modern, sleek steakhouses, the food in Memphis is diverse and exquisite. Dive in to a one-of-a-kind foodie paradise, and find something that will make your taste buds sing.
If you love immersing yourself in the outdoors, Memphis has tons of greenspace to explore. The beloved Shelby Farms Park Conservancy offers 4,500 acres of green space and 6.5 miles of urban trail in the heart of Shelby County. If organized sport is more your thing, the city has eight golf courses, several parks and recreation centers, as well as the Memphis Redbirds, the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Check below for more great outdoor activities in the Memphis area.
The lively shopping scene in Memphis is as robust as it is eclectic. From gallery shopping in Cooper Young, Overton Square and Midtown, to big name retailers at Laurelwood and Oak Court, there are a variety of shops around the town that have just what you need. For shopping near campus, check out our list for a few notable options.
Finding a place to live is important for your future at SCO. We regularly hold housing fairs that can help you learn about different areas near campus and other options for you to consider. In fact, there are a variety of student-friendly living options that neighbor the SCO campus. Take a look at some of the options below.
Immerse yourself in the Memphis community and you will find that the makeup of Memphis is not only diverse but defines our richly diverse culture. The listings below offer just a small glance at what makes Memphis great.
Living in Memphis opens up opportunities to explore and really get to know the community. We encourage students and families to experience the true essence of Memphis by participating in local events, festivals, taking in the local scene and making it your own.
Here is a sampling of the variety of festivals and fair hosted in Memphis each year. To learn more about an event, click through to visit their website.
Expedia has called Memphis one of the 15 Best Places to Experience American Culture. Experiencing Memphis culture through a variety of ways will paint a vivid picture of why Memphis is great.
119 South Main
4339 Park Avenue
374 Metal Museum Drive
450 Mulberry Street
826 North Second Street
191 Beale Street at FedEx Forum
926 East McLemore Avenue
671 Jefferson Avenue
The listings below are a few of the major entertainment hotspots from around town. We invite you to visit their websites for more information and to immerse yourself in the local flavor of the city’s nightlife.
There are several options for housing throughout Memphis and surrounding areas. Midtown Memphis offers a number of affordable and practical housing options with close proximity to the SCO campus, and food and entertainment options in the thriving Overton Square area. Harbor Town is also popular with students for its convenient Mud Island location.
The Office of Student Services assists all students in locating housing that’s affordable and safe. A housing fair is held each Spring, a roommate wanted list is maintained online, and brochures with direct links to the apartments our students find most popular are provided before an applicant comes for an interview. To contact the Office of Student Services to discuss housing, please call (800)238-0180.
From local designers to legendary brands, Memphis has it all. Check out these well-known shopping areas, throughout Memphis.
Memphis has endless options for getting outside and enjoying yourself. Visit the websites below to learn more about all the activities and events happening around the city.
Memphis cuisine is best known worldwide for its barbecue, but don't limit your taste buds to just one delicacy. Listed below are some local restaurants in close proximity to the college. In no way should this be considered an all-inclusive list of the city's best; just a sample of a few within a short drive.
Hip decor accents the tasty Caribbean and Southwestern dishes.
83 South Second Street
Table-side guacamole is a must try at this popular Mexican restaurant.
2115 Madison Avenue
Known for its sushi, but this local favorite offers a great seafood and steak menu too.
135 South Main Street
Legendary restaurant known for its fried chicken and other Southern comfort foods.
310 South Front Street
Perennial winner of “Best Hamburger in Memphis”. Jazz bands on Sunday.
1927 Madison Avenue (Midtown)
77 South Second Street (Downtown)
A soulful sandwich shop known for its quirky lunchroom theme and twist on traditional Southern food.
288 S 4th Street
A 1940’s style bar and grille specializing in steaks, fresh seafood, and gourmet burgers.
145 South Main Street
Bistro-like atmosphere, offering daily lunch and dinner specials.
122 Monroe Avenue
Charming pizza restaurant located in the Overton Square district.
2087 Madison Avenue
World-renowned luxury chocolate boutique, named one of the Top 5 Chocolate Boutiques in the South by Garden & Gun.
1200 Madison Avenue
A taste of New Orleans from one of Memphis’s top chefs.
2144 Monroe Avenue
An American restaurant with Southern flair situated in the heart of the Cooper-Young District.
862 South Cooper
Midtown eatery and watering hole.
2119 Young Avenue
Local Examples of Memphis’s World-Famous BBQ:
1782 Madison Avenue
2249 Central Avenue
5259 Poplar Avenue
2265 South Third Street
52 South Second Street
Bring the whole family to these fun-for-all local spots. Please visit the websites below for more information regarding hours, tickets and more.