Two of the best places in Shelby County are Cordova and Germantown.
They are like identical twin brothers with different personalities. Both twins are buff with shopping centers, handsome with large homes and well-groomed with tradition.
But one twin, Cordova, is faster paced with an explosive demeanor. It doesn’t mind a few apartment complexes and has more of an urban feel. Meanwhile, the other twin goes at a slower speed and enjoys the suburban flow of things – Germantown.
Cruising down Germantown Parkway turns into Germantown Road; therefore you literally slow down from the ’Dova to G-Town.
Cordova is a community that lies east of Memphis and north of Germantown. It is near Bartlett and is conveniently located not too far from Collierville. A majority of Cordova has been annexed by the City of Memphis.
Germantown is a city in Shelby County with a population near 40,000, according to the 2010 Census. This suburb’s economy is based on retail and commercial service sectors.
These bedroom communities have plenty to offer. So let’s rank them in The Best Sellers’ List Top 10. But first, a few honorable mentions: Painting With a Twist, Tennessee Shakespeare Company, Vom Fass, September Nail Salon, Oaklawn Garden, Pinot’s Palette, Bluff City Virtual Reality, Serenity Spa Day, TJ Mulligan’s Highway 64, Bellevue Baptist Church and Meddlesome Brewing Company.
10. Wolf River Conservancy
As a person who likes outdoor exercise and experiencing nature, I think each area’s trail, park or lake is vital. If you’re going to move to one of these communities, you need a top-notch park. In the German-town and Cordova areas, the Wolf River Greenway is an ideal attraction. The corridor of protected green space along the Wolf River includes a paved pathway for nonmotorized transportation.
This 10- and 12-foot wide pathway will eventually extend a total of 36 miles to connect neighborhoods all the way from the north end of Mud Island in Downtown Memphis.
This pathway will encourage healthy lifestyles for many Memphians and surrounding residents for years to come. It is great for walking, running and biking. The Wolf River Greenway will be the centerpiece of the area’s trail systems, which include the Shelby Farms Greenline.
9. GPAC/Germantown Community Theatre
There are two entities that provide structure and life to the artistic culture of Germantown. Those places are the Germantown Performing Arts Center and Germantown Community Theatre.
Let’s start with the baby brother, GPAC. Enjoying its 25th season, GPAC is a built as a multidiscipli-nary performing arts facility. The diverse group has been on a mission to educate, enrich and engage the public with all forms of entertainment.
The nearly 1,000-seat main theater has been the perfect platform for many actors, singers, musicians and more since 1994. GPAC has showcased visual art with exhibits and kept the community involved with projects.
Meanwhile, GPAC has brought in notable artists to more than 100,000 visitors annually. So make sure you are one of those who make a stop by 1801 Exeter Road.
Many have ventured over to 3037 Forest Hill Irene Road through the years to the Germantown Commu-nity Theatre. Now producing its 48th season, GCT has been a part of the Mid-South performing arts scene for five decades.
This legendary group originally started in a chapel at St. George’s Church. For nearly 40 years, GCT has called Forest Hill Irene Road home with a theater seating 112, including two accessible seats.
GCT is the place to see local actors under the lights.
8. Medical District
We’re all familiar with the world-class Medical District in Memphis with St. Jude, Regional One and Le Bonheur. Another emerging area of medical excellence is quickly developing in the Germantown area. Located at 7691 Poplar Avenue is Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital. Across the Mid-South, the amazing strides made at the West Cancer Clinic at 7945 Wolf River Blvd. are well known.
Being sick and facing ailments are a part of life. But it is great to know that just a few miles away are wonderful treatment facilities. Toss in Baptist East Memorial Hospital on Walnut Grove, and ace medi-cal attention is just minutes away for residents in Cordova and Germantown.
The newest jewel in this trio is Methodist Germantown. Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital is already nationally recognized and has 319 beds.
It is a full-service hospital with amazing architecture.
When facing one of the toughest battles in your life, the West Clinic is a comfortable setting.
In addition to the calming settings, the West Clinic has provided 40 years of top-notch cancer treatment and care for adults.
Just think, research that could save many lives in the future is being done in the back yard of German-town and Cordova.
7. Shops at Saddle Creek
Located at the corner of Poplar Avenue and West Farmington Boulevard is the Shops of Saddle Creek. With more than 40 stores, this was the centerpiece of Germantown shopping for several years.
The beautiful architecture makes your feel like you’re shopping in a European country. It has a high-class feel and is an escape from the normal hustle of life in Memphis.
Here are a few of the shops at Saddle Creek to enjoy and bust your wallet: Athleta, Chico’s, J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, Everything But Water, J. Jill, Madewell, Victoria’s Secret and many more.
6. Germantown vs. Houston
One of the best things about high school is beating your rival. In the Germantown/Cordova areas you have teams like St. George’s, the Cordova Wolves, ECS, FACS and the two powerhouses, Germantown and Houston.
The longtime Houston Mustang vs. Germantown Red Devil rivalry won’t be played in 2019 or 2020. That is a really sad state of affairs in the local prep football scene.
Houston vs. Germantown is must-see in any sports or activity. If it is Knowledge Bowl or tennis, these two schools want to beat each other for the bragging rights of Germantown.
But the showcase event between the two institutions has been football. That will end this season. For 28 consecutive years, we could mark our calendars for a black and gray vs. red and gray battle.
Last year Germantown went 10-0 and Houston racked up a 9-1 record. The Mustangs’ only defeat came courtesy of the Red Devils. Maybe Houston will be able to avenge that loss in the playoffs this year. That’s the only way we will see Germantown vs. Houston.
That’s one matchup I’m rooting for this year. Plus that will keep tradition alive in Germantown.
I’ve seen a corn maze, rodeo, gun show, concert, mixed martial arts fight and fair at 105 S. Germantown Parkway over the years. The Agricenter defines multipurpose arena.
The Agricenter Showplace Arena is a sports arena located in Cordova was opened more than 30 years ago. The arena holds about 4,500 and has even hosted soccer.
Some know it as the Agricenter International. That name has been earned with a variety of events held at the venue. Here is a quick example of how diverse things are at the Agricenter: There is still time to head out to the Farmers’ Market until Oct. 31, and the 2019 Delta Fair & Music Festival begins Aug. 30.
4. Chuckles Comedy House
Some of the biggest names in urban-style comedy have appeared on stage at 1770 Dexter Road in Cordova. The past few years, Chuckles Comedy House has been a great date spot for couples. Here is a quick rundown of the venue. Chuckles Comedy Club offers regular shows and national acts with a full bar and pub food.
Before the month is over, Chuckles is scheduled to host former Saturday Night Live actor Finesse Mitchell and the Oscar-winning Mo’Nique. In the past, legends like Bruce Bruce, Paul Mooney, Chris Tucker and D.L. Hughley have appeared in Cordova.
You will see plenty of acts who have appeared on HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime, Conan and other national broadcasts.
3. Germantown Commissary
I absolutely love when our office has Germantown Commissary food. Sweet, spicy and tangy barbecue at its best comes from 2290 S. Germantown Road. It is a great place to visit near Germantown High School and the railroad tracks.
The exterior give you that old town flavor. Then once you walk through the doors, the menu enhances your taste buds with great smoked meat and delicious sides.
Now the Commissary has a location open in Collierville on South Houston Levee. But with great cater-ing, Commissary barbecue is a call and a click away.
The BBQ has a long history but in 1981 Walker Taylor transformed the small country store into the commissary we enjoy today. My favorite is the BBQ shoulder. And I will pick up a salad to try a health-ier option. You can’t go wrong at the Commissary.
2. Wolfchase Galleria area
In February 1997, the Wolfchase Galleria opened in time for me to close out my high school years in style. It was several days my classmates and I would leave Raleigh-Egypt and race to 2760 North Germantown Parkway to enjoy the mecca of malls in our city.
Wolfchase Galleria is a regional shopping mall managed by Simon Malls. The intersection of Germantown Parkway and I-40 has been the destination for thousands of people daily with the Wolfchase Gal-leria featuring more than 110 stores. The surrounding area is loaded with stores, restaurants and enter-tainment stops.
Today the Wolfchase Galleria still serves as my go-to place to shop, get some exercise and reminisce about the good ol’ times.
1. Shelby Farms Park
I’ve fallen in love with Shelby Farms Park the past five years. Since moving to the area, I’ve lodged hundreds of miles on the trails, encountered buffaloes and avoided duck poop. There have even been guest appearances by deer while running at 6 a.m.
Those are just a few of the things that make Shelby Farms so awesome. The annual attractions, concerts, 5Ks and much more just add to the appeal. At 4,500 acres, Shelby Farms Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country. Shelby Farms gives thousands of people a chance to relax or break away from the daily grind of Memphis. The Park features more than 40 miles of trails, both paved and unpaved. Shelby Farms has 20 bodies of water that provides great fishing too. There is something for everybody at Shelby Farms. And that’s why it ranks No. 1 on this countdown.
THOMAS SELLERS JR. is the editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for West 10 Media/Magic Valley Publishing. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to [email protected].