As the land of spectacular music and stunning natural geography, Tennessee offers a wealth of entertainment for both the musically inclined and the outdoor oriented. Tennessee is punctuated by three very different regions differentiated by the three stars on its flag. The pinnacle peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains, the expansive grass valleys along its central plateau and the humid lowlands in bordering Memphis make the state a versatile playground for the adventurer. The first European explorers came to the reaches of Tennessee in the mid-16th century. Taking its name from the Cherokee village of Tanasi, Tennessee was the sixteenth state to join the Union. Tennessee was the last state to secede during the Civil War, but maintained a battleground throughout most of its course.
Once the home of Elvis, Memphis still attracts Elvis aficionados and music lovers alike. Guests flock to the city to explore his mansion, Graceland, which showcases his personal belongings, mementos, stage costumes and more paraphernalia. Guests can tour the star’s most loved belongings by stopping by the Elvis Presley Car Museum, which showcases his vast array of cars. Visitors can head to downtown Memphis to choose from 18 spectacular museums that showcase everything from music to civil rights to local heroes. Couples can take a scenic carriage ride downtown, while families looking to sport some entertainment can catch a Memphis Redbirds AAA Ballclub, the only not-for-profit sports team in the country. Visitors looking for a scenic afternoon stroll in the park can head over to the 96-acre Memphis Botanic Garden or stop by the Lichterman Nature Center. Visitors with families in tow can find a number of family-fun attractions to enjoy such as the Children’s Museum of Memphis, Shelby Farms park and the famous march of the Peabody ducks.
Visitors who are interested in music can head over to the aptly-named ‘Music City,’ Nashville. Guests can begin their trip by stopping off at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Music-lovers can peruse through country music legends’ paraphernalia including a landmark exhibit on Hank Williams and his world renowned family. Visitors can’t leave Nashville without stopping in at the iconic grand Old Opry, which presents several live shows each week. Thrill-seekers can enjoy a show at nearby Lebanon, Tennessee’s Nashville Superspeedway. This concrete track hosts everything from NASCAR to IRL Racing to Craftsman Truck Series. Sports fans can stop by the Coliseum, perched along the edge of the picturesque Cumberland River, to catch a NFL Titans football game. While whiskey lovers can enjoy tasting and touring the infamous Jack Daniel and George Dickel distilleries, families will love a scenic ride along the Cumberland River in the famed General Jackson Showboat.
Tennessee travelers who are interested in getting some outside time can head over to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This national park contains the beauty of the famous mountains, preserving the Southern Appalachian Mountains’ wild diversity of flora and fauna. Hikes can choose from more than 800 miles of well-maintained trails in both Tennessee and bordering North Carolina. Visitors looking for unique glimpses of wildlife don’t even have to leave their car as scenic drives offer glimpses of bear, elk and deer. History buffs can enjoy the bounty of historical buildings the park contains. More than 90 historic houses, churches, mills and outbuildings make Great Smoky Mountains National Park their home. Those who are interested in natural attractions more than historical remains can enjoy a plethora of scenic waterfalls that are accessible by foot, horse or mountain bike.
The Raveable guide to Tennessee Hotels was created by analyzing the millions of traveler reviews found all over the internet.
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