Tennessee Is Tops!
From the famous to the surprising, from the serious to the sensational, Tennessee will find a way to pique your interest, catch your eye and take your breath away.
Pick a city to explore or a theme to pursue. Indoors or out, rowdy or romantic, world-famous or hidden gem, Tennessee attractions have fun written all over them. The beauty of Tennessee's landscape from the mountains to the Mississippi and the uplifting beat of music from the blues to bluegrass are only part of the story. The options for seeing, doing and learning are as broad as the state.
Visitors from around the world visit Tennessee to enjoy the scenic beauty, the music, the history, the hospitality and the fun. Beale Street, Graceland and Sun Studios, the Grand Ole Opry and RCA's Historic Studio B are among the icons that represent this notable musical heritage, while Civil War sites like Shiloh, Carnton and Chattanooga speak to the desperate years of division within the state. Discover breathtaking scenery, legendary whiskey, larger-than-life heroes, and even some legendary marching ducks. Every region of Tennessee is different in landscape, history and musical heritage. Take some time to explore the states, cities and countryside to see what makes Tennessee tick.
Memphis and The East
Explore the Mississippi and visit the dramatic landscape of Reelfoot, a lake formed by an earthquake. Follow the rhythms of Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Tina Turner and Isaac Hayes. Farm for pearls, cheer for the Grizzlies and learn about a writer, a railroad man and statesman. West Tennessee is a land driven by the rhythm of the Big River. It is cotton country, the land of the blues, a place of movement, music and social change.
Taste the good times, in River City (Memphis) or travel through the countryside to see what's happening in the small towns and farms of West Tennessee. From the famous Beale Street Historic District to the Stax Museum, from the famed Sun Studio to Elvis Presley's Graceland; Memphis is all about the blues and what it contributed to American music.
The beautiful Orpheum Theatre, numerous art museums, the Rock-A-Billy Hall of Fame in Jackson and Dixon Gallery and Gardens, West Tennessee is filled with treats for the eye. If family fun is on your list, visit the famous marching ducks at the Peabody Hotel, play around on Mud Island, see who's wandering around at the Memphis Zoo, or check out the gems at the Freshwater Pearl Farm in Camden. For world-class educational exhibits for the whole family, check out the Discovery Park of America in Union City. The 50-acre complex allows guests to blast off into space, ride a giant human slide, feel an earthquake, stroll through four gardens, Freedom Square, The Chapel, The Barn, Mill Ridge and so much more. Beautiful state parks, the meandering Wolf River, dramatic Reelfoot Lake and professional sports venues like the FedEx Forum call to the adventurous.
Visit the National Civil Rights Museum or Shiloh, where both Indian Mounds and a massive Civil War battle site reflect life in previous eras. Learn about agritourism at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville. See how the Mighty Mississippi and the railroads shaped the world. Visit the homes of famous writers like Alex Haley in Henning, great singers like Aretha Franklin from Memphis and musicians and folk heroes like Casey Jones.
Nashville and the Heart
Nashville is synonymous with music the world over. The sounds of country, rock, jazz, blues, and gospel provide the soundtrack to this vibrant city. But music is only the beginning of the attractions that draw millions of visitors to Middle Tennessee. Museums, sports, full-on family fun and natural wonders make Middle Tennessee a vacation dream. Add bold pioneers, shrewd business dealings, the beautiful work of artisans’ hands and the dark history of bloody Civil War battles. Middle Tennessee offers endless opportunities for exploration, adventure, education and entertainment.
The Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman, "mother church of country music," and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum are all part of the story. RCA's Historic Studio B, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and the Blue Bird Cafe all add shades to the musical color. Visual arts are showcased at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, The Copper Fox and Leiper's Creek Gallery in Leiper's Fork.
For the naturalist, check out Cumberland Caverns, zoos and endless wilderness like Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. Float along Dale Hollow Lake and Obey River. Enjoy waterfalls on hikes through state parks like Frozen Head in Wartburg and Pickett State Park in Jamestown. Fish or ski on one of the lakes, or take in some professional sports excitement as the Tennessee Titans clash, the Nashville Predators bash, and the Nashville Sounds crack the bat.
See the scars left by some of the Civil War's bloodiest battles in charming Franklin and Stones River National Battlefield. See beautiful historic homes sprinkled throughout the region that celebrates local heroes. Meander idyllic small-town squares and take it easy while browsing through a festival or shops filled with art created by regional talent.
In the East
East Tennessee is the land of misty blue mountains, rushing streams and placid lakes. The hills and hollows echo with the sounds of old-time string music gleaned from a Celtic heritage. Stone arches, river gorges and sweeping meadows of wildflowers are all part of the eastern landscape. The land still bears its battle scars from old wars and the extensive fauna is iridescent with dew in the early-morning hours. It is also a place where crowds are loud, orange is a common favorite color and fall means football and vibrant foliage. Sports, bustling cities with a laid-back lifestyle, high-end tourist attractions and historic towns all contribute to the variety of life in East Tennessee. A deep respect for the arts and a love of lazy days on the water calls to both locals and visitors alike. From the Tri-Cities in the Northeast, where mountain music first broke into the mainstream and the Revolutionary War left its mark, to the Knoxville area with its Appalachian lore and scientific sites, to historic Chattanooga's vibrant riverfront, East Tennessee is full of fun.
All of Tennessee's 54 state parks have something beautiful to offer, from rich forests, hollows, ridges and breathtaking wildflowers of Roan Mountain State Park to the magical combination of scenic, botanical and geological wonders of Pickett State Park in the upper Cumberland Mountains. Chickasaw State Park sits on some of the highest terrains in West Tennessee, with more than 50 miles of trails and recreational opportunities. Along with vast scenic woodlands and 250 miles of horseback riding trails, Natchez Trail State Park includes four lakes and a swimming beach.
Tennessee has everything to offer, including the arts, sports, family fun, nature and history. We might be biased living here, but Tennessee tops them all!
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