Tennessee Travel Guide
From the Grand Old Opry to the legacy of Elvis Presley to the spectacular views in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee has a lot to offer those looking for an interesting and inspiring southeast vacation destination.
Nashville, the capital of country music will make any Tennessee travel guide with its impressive list of music venues that include the Ryman Auditorium and the granddaddy of country music havens in the Grand Old Opry. As one of Tennessee’s biggest tourist attractions, the Opry gives visitors a unique look at the history and culture that lives in country music and its performers.
The Country Music Hall of Fame showcases the instruments, costumes and professional lives of some of the best known names in the business. Set about in various changing exhibits, this is a must see on a Tennessee vacation, whether you are a country music fan or not.
The Tennessee State Museum offers free admission to its 60,000 square foot space that showcases everything from prehistoric animals to the turn of the century artifacts. It traces Tennessee history through the explorers, the pioneers and the Civil War to today through displays, exhibits and plenty of interesting things to see.
For fans of the Dukes of Hazard, Cooter’s Garage is a must-see Tennessee tourist attraction. The General Lee, Daisy’s Jeep, and other vehicles used on the show are displayed along with memorabilia and memories of this classic series.
Memphis is the home of Graceland, world famous for being the home of the King, Elvis Presley. Along with the mansion is the Elvis Automobile Museum, his planes and the chance to learn about the man and his music through tours and concert footage. Each year on the anniversary of his death, thousands make the pilgrimage to Graceland to pay their respects and the site is also used for numerous functions throughout the year.
From Blue Suede Shoes to the Pink Palace Museum, your Tennessee vacation through Memphis can also take you to this interesting museum with the first self-serve grocery store as well as the story of Memphis through the Spanish Explorers, the Civil War and the Yellow Fever epidemics that helped shape the city.
The National Civil Rights Museum and the Lorraine Hotel are indelible parts of the nation’s history as the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Today the story of the turmoil is told through the museum exhibits and the hotel that is located across the street.
Because Memphis is located on the mighty Mississippi River, a Tennessee vacation can include a riverboat cruise that uses Memphis as a port of call. The Mud Island River Park is a 52 acre affair that houses the River Walk (look for the Mississippi carved into the pathway) and the Mississippi River Museum which offers tourists insight and history into the famous waterway.
Knoxville, Tennessee is located in the northeast of the state and is home to the World’s Fair Park and Sunsphere Tower that was built for the 1982 World’s Fair. From the observation deck, visitors can see the whole city while the park has nice pathways and pavilions that make for a great place to stroll amid the trees and flowers.
The Confederate Memorial Hall was a house that was used during the siege of Knoxville back in the days of the Civil War. This historic Tennessee tourist attraction today shows the history of the siege and the city where tourists can still see the bullet holes and see the stairway to the sniper’s nest that sits high on the roof.
Tennessee may be country music central, but it is also home to the most visited National Park in America, the Smoky Mountains. Straddling the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, the park offers those on a Tennessee vacation the chance to take in the breathtaking scenery through a variety of options. Drive the scenic routes, bike the many trails or hike to view beautiful vistas. The rushing rivers, pretty waterfalls and the chance to see such wildlife as black bears and deer make this one of Tennessee’s premier tourist attractions. Many historic buildings are also found in the park like log cabins, school houses and churches, as well as 100 native tree species that make for spectacular autumnal views. This piece of the Blue Ridge Mountains is an UNESCO World Heritage Site that also houses part of the Appalachian Trail. Visitors can access the park at Gatlinburg.
What Tennessee travel guide would be complete without an underwater lake? Well, they have just that, at the Lost Sea Cave where visitors take to glass bottomed boats in a cave lake surrounded by unique formations. This is America’s largest underground lake and a gem amid Tennessee attractions.
For a three-in-one adventure, travelers to Tennessee shouldn’t miss Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga. Here you can experience Rock City with the 100 foot waterfall, the Swing-A-lot rope bridge and a lovely view from the top of Lookout Mountain. Ruby Falls is America’s deepest cave that boasts the tallest and most visited underground waterfall, while the Incline Railway is the steepest passenger railway in the world, chugging up the side of Lookout Mountain while offering spectacular views.
Tennessee can offer you any type of vacation that you want, whether it is exploring the great outdoors or some of the great American cities that lay within its borders. From dueling guitars to mountain lookouts, Tennessee won’t leave you hanging.