Traveling to sunny Tennessee this year may be the vacation you need as you steadily move away from concrete jungles and enter a more nature-friendly part of the US. The southern state of Tennessee is famous for its country music, excellent food, and beautiful landscape. It is also well known for its cities, Nashville and Memphis, home to soulful music and the blues.
Whether you wish to explore the Great Smoky Mountains, pay homage to Elvis Presley’s house in Graceland, or catch a quick show, Tennessee is brimming with activity. The state will leave you energetic, refreshed, and with a strong desire to keep coming back. So prepare your luggage and get ready to enjoy everything the south has to offer:
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Visit The Great Smoky Mountains, National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of Tennessee’s most popular tourist sites. Not only is the park quite vast, but it stretches over multiple borders and is known for its various adventures you can partake in. More than 150 hiking trails test your strength, agility, and fitness along with your survival skills. You’ll walk over streams, discover waterfalls, and climb tall peaks like the Clingman’s dome. Additionally, you can sign up for extreme sports like riding the fast-flowing water; if you’re interested in a challenge, look into white water rafting Tennessee and book yourself for this recreational event.
White water rafting involves controlling your inflatable raft through powerful water currents as you get pulled in and pushed forward. But don’t worry much. There are varying degrees of difficulty involved in this sport, with classes one and two being peaceful floats on small rivers. Class 3 marks the beginning of white water rafting, while class 4 is when you become an intermediate white water rafter. Finally, for the most advanced and highly skillful participants, Class 5 is the way to go. Your other activities include going horseriding, watching the azaleas bloom in June, or exploring the historical site of Cade Cove.
Ride in Dollywood
Dolly Parton is more than the best Southern singer. She’s also a philanthropist who co-owns the Dollywood Theme park, a tourist favorite from January to March. Dollywood is located approximately 30-40 miles from Knoxville in Pigeon Forge, right next to one of the gates of the Smoky Mountains. The park hosts over 3 million guests, making it a crowded affair.
When you’re at Dollywood, there is much for you to do. You can catch live artists performing southern gospel, introducing you to Appalachian music. You may even meet Dolly Parton and her team if you’re lucky as they survey the amusement park. You can go on over 40 rides, including two water slides. Looking for a quick recommendation? Try the lightning rod, the world’s fastest wooden coaster, or the wing eagle, the country’s first-ever wing coaster.
Head to the Civil Rights Museum
Located in Memphis, the civil rights museum is your closest glimpse into one of the most important historical events in the history of Tennessee. The original structure came into being in 1991 and has all the details you need to learn about America’s fight for equality. The museum is a collection of buildings with a story to tell, and each one is filled with monuments for you to explore.
One of these buildings is the infamous Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr, the most prominent movement leader, was assassinated in 1968. Additionally, the museum offers over 260 artifacts, more than 40 historical films, and interactive displays such as the Montgomery bus boycott, which got ignited by the arrest of Rosa Parks in 1955. There is also a section dedicated to the testimonials of influential civil rights activists and pioneers of the movement.
A Tribute To Elvis
While at Memphis, you shouldn’t leave the city until you make a quick stop at Graceland. Graceland takes you on a guided tour through this singer’s home. This mansion is the king of rock and roll’s home and where he rests. You move around the manor with an iPad, making it an interactive tour, with John Stamos, a well-known Hollywood star known for playing Uncle Jesse in Full house, narrating in the background.
While the upstairs quarters and the bathroom where Elvis collapsed are not accessible to the public, you can still walk around the living room, kitchen, and office area. Once you’re out of the house, you can climb into the airplanes Elvis owned before culminating your trip in Meditation Garden, where he’s buried next to his family.
Dance at the Grand Ole Opry
Nashville is the musical city of Tennessee, so why not catch a few tunes while you’re in town? The Grand Ole Opry is a country music stage that holds weekly concerts. It is also the longest-running broadcast station in the US. You can catch various genres being played in front of you, including American folk, gospel music, and bluegrass.
What makes this music even better is that you get to see famous country singers and music chart toppers sing for you in person, like Blake Shelton. You can also sign up for a tour of the dressing room and the stage before the music starts. After grooving to a live concert, you can also catch broadcast skits, comedy routines, and stand-up jokes. Make sure you have some bbq and relish in southern-style briskets on your way out.
The southern state of Tennessee is the best vacation spot to tap into your inner country lover. It is a chance for you to move away from city life and embrace the rural way of living. However, while you’re in Tennessee, there is much for you to do to make the most of your holiday. Since the state has access to monuments like the Smoky Mountains, try going down that park. This vast land has hiking trails, guided tours, and thrilling sports activities for you to enjoy.
Suppose you’re in the mood to have fun on the coaster, head down to Dollywood. Museums are also a great way to spend your time. Fortunately, Tennessee has some of the most excellent historical buildings, including an in-depth study into civil rights. You may also make your way to Graceland and try picturing the life and legacy of Elvis Presley. Furthermore, when you’re in Nashville, try going to the Grand Ole Opry and catch fresh tunes.