There’s no doubt about it, Tennessee has got soul. Home to some of the greatest country music landmarks, great food and endless attractions to keep the whole family entertained, Tennessee is a southern belle of a state. Starting with the capital of Nashville, you’ll find a thriving music scene, charm and culture. The Honky Tonk Highway is one of the best places down south to catch some live music and a meal, and clubs like Tootsie's Orchid Lounge and Rippy’s Smokin’ Bar and Grill are known the whole state over. For history, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a great spot, or take a tour of RCA Studio B where Elvis recorded most of his hits. There’s also the Johnny Cash Museum, and the fascinating Ryman Auditorium, nicknamed the “Mother Church of Country Music”, and the
famous Grand Ole Opry where you can see some of the south’s finest modern country and blues legends.Tennessee is a sunshine state and you’ll catch plenty of outdoor music and entertainment here. In Nashville you’ve got the weekly Bluebird on the Mountain, Music in the Vines at Arrington Vineyards, and Live on the Green at Public Square Park – all fantastic outdoor festivals suitable for the whole family. If that’s not enough soul for you, there’s Memphis, the home of The King. Sat on the banks of the Mississippi River, Memphis is famous for its rock ‘n’ roll roots and Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and B.B. King all recorded albums here at the legendary Sun Studio.
There’s also Elvis Presley’s Graceland home – open to the public and one of the south’s top attractions, as well as the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Blues Hall of Fame. In Chatanooga there’s the magnificent Mount Lookout with its fun railway weaving in and out of the Appalachian Mountain Range. There’s plenty of fascinating Civil War landmarks here as well as the incredible Tennessee Aquarium which makes a great afternoon out for the whole family.
For outdoors lovers there’s the gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains National Park where you can hike past waterfalls and wildlife along part of the famous Appalachian Trail. Or you’ve got Fall Creek Falls State Park, the largest in Tennessee, where many people head for hiking, or camping in log cabins. A holiday to Tennessee is one filled with warmth and charm. As the home of country music and rock ‘n’ roll, but with plenty of gorgeous nature and fun activities, this is one of America’s most welcoming states
Things to do in Tennessee
Party on the Streets of Tennessee
On top of the famous Honky Tonk Highway in Nashville, you’ve got Beale Street in Memphis, where you can listen to the sweet sounds of live blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll, grab a plate of Memphis-style barbecue or see the world’s best guitars created at the Gibson Beale Street Showcase.
Hike the Appalachian Trail
In the gorgeous Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll find miles upon miles of hiking routes that lead you past waterfalls, rivers, forests and wildlife. Hike up to Clingmans Dome, the highest peak in the area, where you’ll get incredible views of the mysterious, mist-topped mountain range.
Indulge in some ‘soul food’
Tennessee is known far and wild for its finger-licking good barbeque and trying some should be high on your list of things to do here. Indulge in BBQ beef brisket, sticky ribs, pulled pork, corn on the cob and coleslaw at Jack’s in Nashville, said to be one of the best BBQ joints around.
Go white water rafting
In the Smoky Mountain National Park, you’ll also find plenty of places to take to the waters of Tennessee. Pigeon River is a great place to try white-water rafting for all ages, but there’s also the Ocoee, Chattooga and Nantahala Rivers if you fancy something a little more wet and wild!
Visit the home of Elvis
The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s colonial-style mansion is open to the public and is one of Memphis’ biggest tourist attractions. Visit to see Elvis’ former home in all its original glory, plus trophies, memorabilia and even the final resting place of the King himself.
10 facts about Tennessee
Tennesseeans are sometimes nicknamed ‘Butternuts’, which dates back to the American Civil War when the state’s soldiers would wear a tan coloured uniform.
Eat like the King at Kooky Canuck of Memphis, where you can partake in the challenge of finishing a 4lb, 12,000 calorie burger in under an hour.
Shelby County has more horses per person than any other county in Northern America – plenty of places to go riding then!
In Nashville's Centennial Park is the world’s only full-scale replica of the Athens Parthenon.
The Tennessee Aquarium has over 7,000 animals and is the biggest aquarium to focus entirely on fresh water marine creatures.
The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville is the longest running live radio show in the world. It’s been going since 1925.
The Ocoee River is one of the finest white-water rafting spots in America and was the host of the 1996 Olympic white water canoe/kayak competition.
Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley is the second most visited house in the entire country.
Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated at The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Today you can learn the history of the American Civil Rights Movement.
Reelfoot Lake is said to be the "Turtle Capital of the World" due to its thousands of types of turtle including stinkpots, sliders, mud and map turtles.