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!
More Top Tennessee
Outdoor Adventure and Historic Charm
Clarksville-Montgomery County, Tennessee is the acoustic rendition of a supercharged city where modern amenities meet Southern charm. Kayak the blueways, stroll the greenways, or hit the fairways — outdoor adventure is limitless in this historic and idyllic river city. Unplug and unwind as you indulge in gourmet meals and savor award-winning wines from Beachaven Winery. Live professional theatre and a multitude of family-friendly concerts, festivals and events are just the beginning when you visit Clarksville. visitclarksvilletn.com
Incorporated in 1980, the Town of Farragut has top schools, safe neighborhoods, and is one of the best places to live in the Southeast. Farragut offers nine hotels within short distance to a variety of dining experiences, from fast casual to fine dining. Abundant shopping options at Turkey Creek, including popular chain stores and local boutiques, will entice you to linger longer. Take time to enjoy the annual community events, like the Farragut Food & Wine Festival in May or Light the Park in December.
Poised as being both a historic and antique shopping district, families can find fun around every corner. Explorers can take a leisurely stroll along the Walking Tour to find unique points of interest or bike along the Tweetsie Trail. Visitors will also find that the diversity of downtown shops and eateries is unmatched. Downtown businesses support evening activities such as classic car shows, motorcycle rallies, karaoke, and open mic nights. Also in Downtown Elizabethton, the Doe River Covered Bridge built in 1882 is believed to be the oldest such bridge in the state still used daily.
Dickson County, Tennessee
The outdoors is calling to you to Dickson County! Montgomery Bell State Park is located seven miles east of Dickson in Dickson County, and was once the center of iron industry in Middle Tennessee and is considered a treasure. Dickson itself is a revitalized town with quint shops and restaurants serving up the finest Southern barbeque. The “farm to table” experience elevates the locally grown produce and meat, and can always be found on the historic Main Street.
A Cajun Twist in Tennessee
Amber Falls Winery, Hampshire TN
With deep roots to Southern Louisiana, owners Tim and Judy set out to make wine with a touch a Cajun, in the burgeoning Tennessee wine scene. Not only did they successfully produce some superior and tasty wines, but also earned quite a few accolades along the way. Offering a range of bold dry reds to novelty fruit wines, visiting the winery any time of year is a treat. Open seven days a week, enjoy free wine tastings, an upscale gift shop, and fun live music on the weekends from April through October.
East Tennessee History Center
The museum collection of the East Tennessee Historical Society consists of more than 13,000 artifacts that provide a foundation to preserve, interpret, and promote the history of East Tennessee’s 35 counties. It offers an active award-winning exhibition program that encourages visitors to return often. Brown Bag lectures are a phenomenal program at the museum. These lectures are free, open to the public and led by local professionals and historians sharing a vast range of history related to Knoxville and Tennessee.
East Tennessee History Center
601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville
Gaylord Opryland Resort
Expect an extraordinary experience at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, boasting stylish rooms, modern meeting spaces and a location less than 10 miles from Nashville International Airport. While you can find shopping and dining right under their roof, you will also want to explore nearby attractions including the Grand Ole Opry, Opry Mills, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the General Jackson Showboat. During your getaway, make an appointment at Relâche Spa & Salon, or gather your group for an outing at Gaylord Springs Golf Links.