Germantown is a suburb of Memphis, bordering it to the east-southeast. Germantown's economy is dominated by the retail and commercial service sectors; there is no heavy industry in Germantown. In the city center is the "Old Germantown" neighborhood, anchored by a railroad depot (a 1948 reproduction of the 1868 original) and railroad tracks that recall the community's earliest days of development as an outpost along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad.
The city hosts many horse shows and competitions annually, most notably the Germantown Charity Horse Show in June. Other major annual events include the Germantown Festival, an arts and crafts fair, in early September.
Germantown is known for having some of the most restrictive sign ordinances in the country, excellent fire and police services and well-maintained parks. In addition, Germantown is one of only 29 cities in the nation that maintains a triple-A Bond rating from both Moody's and Standard & Poor's. On November 27, 1994, an F3 tornado tore through eastern portions of Germantown, resulting in at least two fatalities, including at least one in one home where several families had gathered for a reunion.