Tennessee is a US state widely known for its countryside music and is the heart of the country’s music scene. If you are one of the travelers who believe that the most visited United States’ spot is Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or Yosemite, you are yet to experience the underlying beauty of Tennessee. This might be surprising for you to know that the number one most visited US Park is, The Great Smoky Mountains. This straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The state also possesses outstanding natural beauty, rich history, and top-rated attractions. Tennessee has also been the home of the greatest artists and musicians from where they started their journey. Here we have listed some of the interesting and best things to do in Tennessee which adds to the top tourist attractions in the state:
1. Tour of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Also known as “The Smokies”, provides great adventure than in the small town of Gatlinburg. When taking a route from downtown Gatlinburg, you can have a melodious drive to the park’s popular areas, simply jump on a chairlift, and head to the hills for an adventurous trip. This also offers a ski resort and amusement park which offers activities year-round. The park also offers 900 miles of hiking trails, 6,643-foot-high Clingmans Dome, and an observation tower that offers 360 degrees view. The best time to come for hiking and sightseeing in the Smoky Mountains is from spring to fall. Overall, the park offers picturesque meadows, mountain views and valleys, and wildlife. In order to make it more adventurous, you can plan an overnight camping trip and fun stay in a rustic cabin in the woods. No wonder, it is one of the top 10 things to do in Gatlinburg Tennessee that you must add to your itinerary.
2. Graceland and the Elvis Presley Memphis Complex
Graceland and the Elvis Presley Memphis Complex is considered as one of the top attractions of Memphis and is compared with the White House in Washington D.C., in terms of popularity. Graceland Mansion is also one of the famous rock ‘n’ roll residences of the world. The mansion also remains a popular place of pilgrimage for people from far places as tourists witnesses a unique glimpse into the King’s life. The mansion is also home to a vast warehouse-like structure that displays many outfits of the stars, his influences as well as his rise of fame. The mansion is also a home of the family tomb which remarks a collection of cars, aircraft, and his tours, TV room, his room, and Jungle Den. The Graceland also provides visitors with a “virtual trip” before their arrival and virtually visiting the attractions that can be experienced on their website. No wonder, it is one of the fun things to do in Tennessee with kids all around the year.
3. Birth of the Music Biz: Nashville
Nothing compares to the rich musical tapestry famous everywhere in Tennessee things to do. Nashville is home to some of the most salient points related to music and also includes the Country Music Hall of Fame. This music biz is located in the Grand Ole Opry which is a mainstream of the city’s famous Music Row. The music biz is widely known for its Gaylord Opryland Resort which is a famous country music theme and also a radio show of a similar name. The broadcast of the same is done from Ryman Auditorium. Other than a music hangover, the place is also a home of heritage trails, beautiful walkable and pleasant riverfront parks.
4. Home of the Blues: Memphis
Memphis is widely known as the City of Blues as the place is the birth of Rock and the Cradle of American Music. Memphis is located at Beale Street (a place where the Elvis got their big break), Tennessee which runs from the Mississippi River. “Father of the Blues” stayed at Home of Blues and worked to make the place a suitable fun and amazing place for visitors. The Home of Blues includes Memphis Hall of Fame and WC’s Handy House where the father stayed. Apart from this, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is a must include sightseeing destination for Tennessee as it attracts several tourists and highlights great musical pioneers from the 1930s to 1970s. Stax Museum of American Soul is also a replica of the original Stax Records Studio and is a major sight-seeing destination. The Sun Studio as well is a must include the destination in the itinerary which features the career enhancement of stars such as Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, and Roy Orbison.
5. Hello, Dollywood
Hello, Dollywood is named after famous country singer Dolly Parton and the place has been Tennessee’s most popular attraction which has a record to attract three million visitors per year. The attraction is located in the small town of Pigeon Forge. This provides an always busy 150-acre theme park which also provides family fun with a perfect blend of Smoky Mountains traditions and crafts, thrilling rides, and entertainment for all age groups. The attraction in total has 90 rides out of which nine of them are rollercoasters, which include a popular “Tennessee Tornado”. The tornado is spread across ten themed areas like Timber Canyon and Jukebox Junction. Hello, Dollywood is also a home to live concerts and festivals. The attraction also consists of an old steam railway known as “Dollywood Express” which circles the park. Visitors also enjoy its water park known as Splash Country and Dollywood DreamMore Resort which provides immense relaxation and great hospitality services to visitors. If you are searching for the best things to do in Tennessee Pigeon Forge then this must be on your priority list.
6. Tennessee’s Civil War Heritage
Tennessee is a state which has got its shape by war and is a home of many soldiers for the Southern cause. Tennessee is the most northerly of the Confederate states and witnesses numerous battles during deadly conflicts. Fort Donelson National Battlefield is the first and major Union victory and home to a cemetery, visitor center, fort, and a much-loved pair of breeding eagles. The heritage also consists of Shiloh National Military Park is often a sobering experience for visitors as it is the first Civil War battle in the west which contains more than 3,500 Union graves. Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park is known as the country’s largest military park and is located near Point Park Battlefield where the infamous, “Battle Above the Clouds” took place.
7. Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
Andrew Jackson Hermitage is located a few miles east of Nashville and is a plantation home of the seventh US President from 1804-1845. The attraction is home to park-like gardens and woods and also consists of the tomb where both Jackson and his wife were laid to rest. The mansion also consists of a museum that opened in 1889 and includes a number of artifacts and documents which are related to his presidency. If you are searching for some of the free things to do in Tennessee this weekend then this must be an ideal choice.
8. The Parthenon, Nashville
A visit to Tennessee is incomplete without visiting the huge Parthenon as it is widely known as Tennessee’s most remarkable attraction and is located in Centennial Park which is just a short walk from the city’s downtown core. The attraction is entirely made up of cement and impresses with its attractive dimension, both inside and out. The building is the home of the city’s permanent art gallery, which displays the work of American painters in the 19th- and 20th-century. The building also houses a spectacular 42-foot-high gold-covered statue of the goddess Athena Parthenos.
Whether you are looking for cool things to do in Jackson Tennessee, unique things to do in Tennessee Nashville or romantic things to do in Tennessee smoky mountains, the above travel guide covers everything. Tennessee is a state which provides its visitors with plenty of great outdoor adventures. This beautiful state also excels in its hospitality services and offers a feeling of relaxation which attracts a huge number of visitors every year. Now you know what to do in Tennessee, you can plan your journey with total enthusiasm. If you are planning to explore the best places to visit near Tennessee, don’t forget to check our America travel guide.
About Author: Ritika Agarwal is a professional writer and editor who loves sharing her travel experiences through regular blogging.