According to acronymmonster, the southern state has so much to discover for its guests that you don’t really know where to start. Maybe the most visited national park in the USA, the Great Smoky National Park, the famous Appalachian Trail or would you prefer the Dollywood theme park? Or the musical history of Tennessee with the legendary Graceland in Memphis, home of the unforgettable King of Rock’n Roll, Elvis Presley? Or a lesser-known gem like the beautiful small town of Chattanooga?
Questions that are not that easy to answer. Maybe you just travel to Tennessee several times and see everything one by one. We have put together some of the state’s most famous attractions in the southern United States for you.
A trip into the musical history of Tennessee
From blues and bluegrass to country and rock’n roll. The Tennessee music scene is legendary and has a long history. If you visit the southern state, you should definitely pay a visit to at least one or more of the following music-related attractions:
- Sun Studio: The Sun Studio is one of the best known, if not the best known recording studios in the world. Because none other than the legends Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley held an improvised jam session there on December 4, 1956. The accompanying album went down in state, US and world music history as the “Million Dollar Quartet”. The studio is located in Memphis.
- Beale Street: Also in Memphis is Beale Street, known as the “home of the blues”. Here you can immerse yourself in the state’s music scene. Because there are not only numerous restaurants and clubs there, but also regular events. The street with its many neon signs is also an unforgettable sight and a popular photo opportunity, especially after dark.
- Graceland: In the south of Memphis is the former residence of Elvis Presley, where he lived from 1957 until his death on August 16, 1977. In 1982, Priscilla Presley opened the 3.5-acre estate to the public and now serves as a museum that can be visited on an audio tour. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 2006, approximately 600,000 people visit the site each year. That makes Graceland the second most visited home in the United States after the White House in Washington DC
- Grand Ole Opry: The music show is legendary and definitely has cult status. After all, it is the longest-running radio show in US broadcasting history. If you want, you can also attend the country music concerts in Nashville live on site.
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: This museum is also in Nashville. It deserves its nickname “Smithsonian of Country Music”. After all, the Country Music Hall houses the world’s largest collection of exhibits from the world of country music. The most significant pieces in the collection include Elvis Presley’s golden Cadillac and handwritten lyrics, costumes and other clothing by stars like Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift.
Well-known cultural landmarks and museums in Tennessee
Numerous cultural monuments and museums in the southern state commemorate the time of the American Civil War and the civil rights movement of the 60s and 70s of the 20th century. Among other things, the Civil Rights Trail, which is reminiscent of the stations of the US civil rights movement, leads to Nashville, among other places.
- Carnton Plantation: This historic plantation is located in Franklin and is now a museum. She played an essential role during the Battle of Franklin in the American Civil War.
- Stones River National Battlefield: Another Civil War battlefield can be found in Murfreesboro. It was the scene of one of the bloodiest battles in the war.
- Lotz House Museum: If you want to learn more about the American Civil War, you should definitely pay a visit to this museum in Franklin.
- The Hermitage: Nashville is home to the historic plantation of the seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson. The remarkable property can be visited.
- National Civil Rights Museum: The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis is made up of several museums and historical buildings. Here, the history of the US civil rights movement comes to life in historical exhibits, multimedia and interactive exhibitions. The heart of the museum is the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King was murdered in 1968.
National parks and natural landmarks to see in Tennessee
Nature lovers get their money’s worth in the state. After all, there are numerous attractions here that can be experienced and enjoyed in the great outdoors. We have compiled the most popular ones for you here. Many of them allow you to walk in the footsteps of the Indians.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park: It is the most visited national park in the USA and the one with the largest jungle area. 113 kilometers of the famous Appalachian Trail run through the park, which promises a breathtaking experience, especially in autumn.
- Natchez Trace: The Natchez Trace runs from Natchez to shortly before Nashville, a former Indian trade route that is over 8,000 years old and extends over a length of 714 kilometers.
- Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park: The Old Stone Fort is an Indian structure that was built between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago. It is believed that the construct was once used for ceremonial purposes. The park itself has some hiking trails, a small museum, and a river that you can kayak for example.
- Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park: The military park was the first park to commemorate the civil war. Today you can see not only the extensive park itself, but also a visitor center with an interesting exhibition and a film about the battle of Chickamauga. By the way, Chattanooga has often been named the small town with the highest quality of life in the USA.
- Obed Wild and Scenic River: The river still looks the same today as it did when the first white settlers walked along its banks. Today it is not only a popular destination for getting to know the USA of trappers and pioneers, but also offers numerous recreational opportunities for its visitors.
- Ijams Nature Center: This is a beautifully preserved wildlife sanctuary located just minutes from central Knoxville.