The international airport in Memphis Tennessee is located 11 miles away from the downtown. Memphis is a very tourist friendly city, receiving many visitors every year, most of the attractions are located in a concentrated area of the downtown where it is possible to find good hotels, excellent pubs and many restaurants, someone visiting Memphis does not have necessarily to rent a car, but can take advantage of Public transportation, that service is not bad and serves the whole city with reliable schedules.
There is a public bus line running from the international airport to the MATA Terminal in Downtown, from there one can catch one of the other public buses to almost any corner of the city or jump in the Tram that takes one to the heart of the tourist district in the city. The bus leaves from terminal C outside the baggage claim area, there is a small sign that marks the place from where line 2 departs. Buses run from Around 6 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday more or less every 30 to 40 Minutes, there are only few services on Saturdays and on Sundays when it runs every hour. The whole trip takes less than an hour, but it can be a little longer during rush hours. Remember to take some cash with you to pay the ride, it costs 2.60 USD from the airport to any point in the route. The bus runs through very important points of the city such as Park Avenue, Central Avenue and Madison. For those who like to walk it is a very nice experience to go from the MATA Terminal to Beale Street, it takes around 40 minutes and one can enjoy a nice part of the city. Those wishing to check the complete schedule of buses can visit the official webpage http://www.matatransit.com/mapsandschedules/route-2/ here you will find as well maps, fares and other helpful information.
Another very easy option is to catch a cab in the airport. It costs around 30 USD from there to Downtown. Cabs are metered but one can agree on a price before the trip. Many hotels as well, offer free shuttle from the airport, others offer that same service but it is surcharge, it is a good idea to call the desired hotel ahead of booking a room to confirm if they offer transportation and to discuss their schedules.
Memphis airport is a very nice facility, an airport that is easy to navigate, where one never finds long lines, the city itself has a very attractive offering of lodging and entertainment to keep the whole family happy.