A historic town in Shelby County, Tennessee, located in the Memphis metropolitan area, Collierville consistently finds its way onto lists of the best places to live in the United States, such as 2008's Relocate-America Top 100 and Parade Magazine's Best Main Street competition in 2014. The 40,000-plus people who call Collierville home create the town's traditional focus on a thriving and pleasant community, no matter the challenges. Almost wiped out by the Civil War and then yellow fever, this neighborhood perseveres and has been known for over a century as a place of beauty, comfort and constant growth.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Head to the south part of the neighborhood to find the commercial district clustered around U.S. Route 72, otherwise known as Poplar Avenue. While the local eateries do lean toward Southern and soul food, you can expect to find a reasonable amount of variety when it comes to international cuisine.
For Italian fare, try Ciao Baby, a Neapolitan style, wood-fired-oven pizza parlor that claims to cook your pizza in just 90 seconds in its 900-degree oven, using flour imported straight from Italy and tomatoes grown in the volcanic soul of Mount Vesuvius. Try a calzone or panini stuffed with the meats, cheeses and vegetables of your choice, or indulge in a signature pizza such as the Rapini, with toppings including broccoli rabe, sausage, Parmesan reggiano, garlic and olive oil.
To experience traditional Southern cuisine in an old-fashioned setting with plenty of charm, visit The Silver Caboose. Billing itself as not about trendy dining or superstar chefs, this restaurant instead touts its recipes handed down from mothers and grandmothers. During the week and on Sunday, the restaurant opens only for lunch, offering a sandwich bar and daily specials such as turnip greens and pot likker. Enjoy the Sidecar Menu on a Friday night, with casserole specialties ranging from cheese potatoes to meat loaf followed by traditional desserts such as pecan pie.
Seafood lovers head to the Cajun Catfish Company on Thursday nights for all-you-can-eat snow crab legs and boiled shrimp. The menu also features Cajun and catfish favorites ranging from gumbo to po' boys and fried oyster platters, as well as catfish right off the grill.
As evening falls, stay in the southern half of Collierville to enjoy the modest range of nightlife options. Tony's Trophy Room, Chili's and the Skybox all feature sports games on overhead screens as you enjoy a pint of the good stuff. Tony's Trophy Room also hosts karaoke nights on Wednesdays and live music on the weekends.
History & Culture
By the early 1800s, the settlement of Collierville was attracting pioneers for its convenient location along the Wolf River and Nonconnah Creek and fertile land. A charter was passed in 1835 for a railroad to run through the town; although this failed, it was followed in 1850 by an even grander route plan from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic. Heavily involved in the Civil War and the site of the Battle of Collierville, the town rebuilt from the ashes but was then hit hard by yellow fever in 1878 and forced to rebuild almost from scratch as it developed into the 20th century.
Visit the Morton Museum in the historic downtown area to explore the town's rich history. The Main Street Collierville organization hosts annual events, including the Sunset on the Square summer concert series, the Annual Preservation Awards Ceremony and the Taste of the Town.
Almost completely devoid of public transportation options and not served by ride-share services such as Uber, Collierville demands that its residents own their own vehicle, book a taxi from one of several local companies or walk or cycle between the downtown businesses when completing errands. You have limited on-street parking as well as parking lots provided for the customers of visitors. The neighborhood features several major thoroughfares, including the Nonconnah/Bill Morris Parkway, U.S. Route 72, Winchester Boulevard and State Routes 57, 175 and 205. You find pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in place within Colliersville, although most locals opt not to use them due to the spread-out nature of the neighborhood.
Thanks to its quality amenities and historical preservation, living in Colliersville can be more expensive than elsewhere in Tennessee, with a cost of living almost 20 percent higher than average state cost and 6 percent higher than the national average. Expect a average rental cost for a one-bedroom apartment of around $970 a month, while a pint of beer in a local establishment will cost you around $8. The price of gasoline sits a about 8 percent below the national average.
Shopping enthusiasts are pleased to know that Colliersville is home to an 800,000-sq.-ft. mall by the name of Carriage Crossing, featuring a wide range of chain stores ranging from Banana Republic and Barnes & Noble to Claires and Bath & Body Works. Main Street Collierville, meanwhile, hosts small stores and family businesses, with charming businesses surrounding the square. To find the perfect gift for a loved one, visit Dixie Pickers, locally renowned for its men's clothing and toiletries as well as hunting gear, yeti coolers and sports memorabilia. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, try the Sheffield Antiques Mall for an eclectic range of antiques, toys, artwork and decorations.
For grocery shopping, choose from a range of local markets and supercenters, including Aldi, Kroger and Walmart, as well as smaller stores such as Sam's Indian Grocery. For a large variety of locally grown seasonal produce, visit the Collierville Farmer's Market. Local vendors also peddle soaps, herbal tinctures, seasonings, pre-made foods and eggs at the market, as well as baked goods, seafood and pickles.
The Collierville Park System includes 20 regional, neighborhood and community parks that between them include many acres of green space, 25 athletic fields, plenty of miles of trails and the Cox Community Center and Herald Theatre.
Visit the H. W. Cox Jr. Park to find the centerpiece of the system, with 67 acres of parkland incorporating a four-field baseball and softball complex, six outdoor tennis courts, two playground for the kids and a picnic pavilion. This park also hosts several events during the year, such as the Independence Day Celebration and Business Expo, while the Cox Community Center caters to exercise lovers with two gyms and a fitness complex.
Head to W. C. Johnson Park for 271 acres near the Wolf River Corridor, including 75 acres of undisturbed wetlands known as the Peterson Lake Nature Center. Also a big hit with the kids, this park features artificial-turf athletic fields, two playgrounds, a gazebo and 3.5 miles of walking trails, as well as hosting numerous athletic events from district level up to national.
Dog owners head to Suggs Park to take advantage of its off-leash dog park, while families enjoy the athletic fields, playground and picnic areas. Confederate Park in the heart of the Historic Town Square District meanwhile displays turn-of-the-century walkways, cast iron fences and a bandstand, forming the heart of the town.