Tennessee delights travelers with an abundance of pleasures. It’s a state that seems created to awe its visitors. Whether you’re here for the history, for the music, for the outdoors, for the cocktails, or for the barbecue and whiskey, you can be sure you will see, try, and do unforgettable things.
An amazing destination for outdoor lovers due to its geographical wealth, Tennessee invites travelers to discover the Mississippi River in the western part and the Appalachian Mountains to the east, around Knoxville. The Great Smoky Mountains, one of the most visited mountains in the country, create beautiful settings for hiking and climbing.
History buffs love it here. The 16th state to join the Union, Tennessee tells stories about the War of 1812 and the Civil War. It is also known as the Volunteer State because it offered the services of its men during the War of 1812 and played an important part in many battles. Chattanooga, the gateway to the South during Civil War, is home to important memorials dedicated to some of the most important battles fought here.
If you’re here for the music
Many come here for the music. Music can be heard at every corner in Tennessee but especially in Nashville and Memphis. Tennessee delights the entire world with rhythms of blues, country, rock and roll, bluegrass and all that is between.
A stop in Memphis is always a must to pay homage to the King at Graceland. Millions of visitors come here every year to visit Elvis Presley’s estate and discover if he was really mortal. Beale Street is filled with music. This street in Memphis is the scene of impromptu street performances, concerts of famous musicians or the starting point for the artists of tomorrow.
For live music head to the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and embrace the country western and bluegrass. Hop from bar to bar in the District to discover fresh artists or stop at the Grand Ole Opry for classic country music.
Want to find out more about country music? Head to Bristol, the Birthplace of Country Music and the place where the Carter Family and Jimmy Rodgers found their stars. Brownsville invites you to visit the museum dedicated to Tina Turner.
If you’re here for the outdoors
The Great Outdoors is indeed great in Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most wonderful parks in the country being visited by more than 10 million people each year. It is a free national park and a natural treasure that offers as gifts scenic drives to Cades Cove or along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail and plenty of trails for hiking and biking. The hikes to Abrams or Rainbow Falls are legendary while biking the Cades Cove Loop is a unique experience. This is also a superb destination for fishing and camping.
Since the mountains have been home to settlers since the prehistoric Paleo Indians, you can expect to encounter a rich Appalachian mountain culture and a strong sense of southern hospitality.
Beyond the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll find the perfect spots for rafting, if you get to Ocoee River in Cleveland, and the most thrilling zip-lining adventures through the treetops in Gatlinburg. For those who love the outdoors but not so much the thrills, a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi in Memphis is always a great idea.
If you’re here for the food, beer, and whiskey
One of the delights that charms the visitors of Tennessee is undoubtedly the local cuisine. You definitely won’t go hungry here where the southern cooking enchants the taste buds. Whether you want to try the slow-cooked Memphis barbecue or Nashville’s hot chicken, you can be sure you will enjoy a memorable culinary experience.
There are so many food festivals in Tennessee that it’s impossible not to find one during your stay here. Tennessee celebrates pretty much every known culinary treat from biscuits and marshmallows to cornbread. A barbecue extravaganza can be savored at Lynchburg’s Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, the largest of its kind in the world.
Everything is accompanied either by oak barrel-aged whiskey made at one of the 30 distilleries that can be visited along the Tennessee Whiskey Trail or cold beers on tap from the many craft breweries in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville.
If you’re here for the history
Many history buffs are in love with Tennessee, a state that has been the scene of important and strategic battles. Chattanooga is both the “Scenic City” and the gateway to a trip back in time. The city was a Civil War battlefield and home to the grand central station for southern railway travel in the 19th and 20th centuries.
At Chickamauga, you’ll find the terrain inhabited once by the Civil War troops, while at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum you can admire restored trains that date back hundreds of years ago. If you’re a history buff and adventurer, head to the Lookout Mountain to explore the nooks and crannies there.
Chattanooga is rich in history but this doesn’t mean it stopped evolving. Today is a pioneer in various technological fields, being the first to offer its citizens internet service with a speed of 2 gigabits per second. Find out why the city is called the “Scenic City” and enjoy a walk along the river to catch one of the most spectacular sunsets you’ve ever seen atop the Walnut Street Bridge, the longest pedestrian bridge in the world.