Planning a trip to Tennessee and need help figuring out what to do? How about a Tennessee Travel Guide to help you? Tennessee has some of the most beautiful scenery and has been where many talented musicians have gotten their start. Tennessee is also located perfectly in the middle of the United States which makes it a great destination for many. Sandwiched right between 8 neighboring states.
Travel is for making memories while visiting landmarks or hot attractions. This Tennessee Travel Guide should help you make the most of your Tennessee Travels.
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Best Attractions – Tennessee Travel Guide
While Tennessee is filled with all sorts of attractions this post is only going to cover a handful. The reason for this is to not overwhelm travelers. Travel should be relaxing and fun, not stressful trying to fit in every single attraction into one vacation.
Personally, I’ve been to or through Tennessee about 6 times and still haven’t seen all I want to see. Pick a couple and make the most of your time at the attractions.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Gatlinburg
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located right outside of Gatlinburg and spanning both Tennessee and North Carolina. The most visited and one of the most beloved National Parks in the United States. The jagged mountain peaks and lush forests give way to tumbling waterfalls in this park. A national park that is brimming with adventure for all who visit. Here you can enjoy hiking, history, and the true beauty of the Tennessee mountains.
This attraction is one that is on my bucket list. We’ve driven through but never stopped to enjoy the beauty. Soon, very soon.
Graceland – Memphis – Tennessee Travel Guide Attraction
It really doesn’t matter if you are young or old. Graceland is a timeless icon in history. At Graceland you can see where the King Of Rock’N’Roll lived. The mansion is so dated but yet you can feel what it would have been like to live there with Elvis. Funky decorations in loud colors and patterns.
For an even more in-depth look at the life of Elvis you can tour the huge museum. Immerse yourself in Elvis’ incredible career through hundreds of artifacts including stage costumes and cars. The museum is something you should give yourself at least 4 hours to get thru. Especially if you are an Elvis fan as there are many things to read that will give you a deeper insight into Elvis.
Click here to save on tickets for Graceland, that include his home and museum.
Read more about my Tour of Elvis Presley’s Graceland to see all the inside and outside pics and info.
Love airplanes? Here’s a look inside the Lisa Marie Airplane.
The Grand Ole Opry House and Museum – Nashville
Located at 2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214, is The Grand Ole Opry House and Museum.
A country music institution that showcases the past, present and future of country music. Even today, the Opry remains the platform that connects artists and fans to the music that they love. You can tour the Opry House and feel like you are walking amongst the stars and legends that have regaled their stories on this hallowed stage.
Beale Street – Memphis – Tennessee Travel Guide
Coined as the Home of the Blues, Beale Street is the very heart of entertainment in Memphis. And to blues fans it’s the most important street in America. More than 150 years ago Beale Street gained popularity and it remains the heart of the city of Memphis today. Known for music ringing out from open doors and as a place to stroll with a drink in hand, it’s a fun place to hang out. Grab some amazing southern food, check out record shops, or hear live music at almost every venue on the street.
The best time to hit Beale Street is a Friday or Saturday night. This is when the street comes alive.
Dollywood – Pigeon Forge
Not only does Dolly Parton have a big personality, this park has a big personality as well. With plenty of live music, lavish stage shows, and epic coasters the park also highlights the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. The line up of thrill rides at this amusement park is impressive and it includes the famous Lightning Rod. When the coaster made its debut in 2016, it took the title of the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster.
But that’s not all Dollywood has to offer. Dolly Parton’s influence is really felt in the entertainment aspect of the park. The shows are reason enough to go to Dollywood and the sheer number of shows and entertainment is staggering. It’s fun for the whole family!
Dollywood happens to be on my bucket list and hopefully I will be doing a blog post soon about my experience there.
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage – Hermitag
Located at 4580 Rachels Ln, Hermitage, TN 37076 is the Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage.
Just a few miles from Nashville you’ll find Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. This is the plantation home of the seventh President of the United States. Spend some time exploring the beautiful gardens and forest surrounding the plantation. The museum contains artifacts and documents from Jackson’s presidency.
If you are a history buff the Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is a must see for you.
Chattanooga and Tennessee Valley Railroads – Chattanooga
The Chattanooga and Tennessee Valley Railroads are located at 4119 Cromwell Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37421.
Are you just like Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory and have a love of Railroads? Railways have always been of vital importance to Tennessee. The railroads were used to ship lumber and cotton during times of peace and military supplies during the unrest of the Civil War.
The Tennessee Valley Railroad features a museum and offers an hour-long steam trip, as well as main line excursions and dinner packages. It’s a fun experience that takes you on a trip back in time to a slower-paced era when railroad travel was a way of life. Great afternoon for the whole family.
Knoxville – Tennessee Travel Guide Attraction
The first capital of the state of Tennessee is Knoxville. The charm of this city will have you captivated as soon as you arrive. You’ll notice the Sunsphere Tower, its observation deck offers unparalleled views of the downtown area. Nestled downtown you’ll find Market Square where the people of Knoxville have gathered since 1854. Today you can find a great farmers market and different art fairs throughout the year.
There are a lot of attractions in Knoxville so plan to spend a day or two there.
Lookout Mountain – Chattanooga
Offering some of the best views in Tennessee is Lookout Mountain. You can see seven states from this vantage point including Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and of course Tennessee. Lookout Mountain is a great way to spend an afternoon. Find a Lookout Mountain tour that fits your schedule.
Add more excitement to your visit and take the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, a mile long journey on a trolley style car at an incline of 73%. Check out Rock City for dramatic views or Ruby Falls to view the largest underground waterfall in the United States. Parking is free but there is a fee of $19.95 per adult and $11.95 for children 3-12 for entrance to Rock City.
Titanic Museum – Pigeon Forge
Located at 2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 is the Titanic Museum.
If you happened to be a fan of the movie, or just enjoy the history of the real Titanic, this is a must for you. The building itself is spectacularly built in the shape of the ship and about half the scale of the original.
While touring the museum you will see more than 400 authentic Titanic artifacts in over 20 unique galleries that are designed to create the feeling of being on the ship. More of an experience than a typical museum setting, if you have a chance this is a can’t miss gallery.
Take some time and tour the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Museum of Appalachia – Clinton
2819 Andersonville Hwy, Clinton, TN 37716 is where you will find the museum of Appalachia.
The Museum Of Appalachia is a Smithsonian Affiliate museum that brings history to life and enables visitors to explore a pioneer mountain farm village. This living history museum allows you to explore the voice of the people of southern Appalachia through both artifacts and stories. You can wander through 35 log cabins, barns, churches and schools as you discover what it was like to live in a pioneer village. There are tens of thousands of artifacts to take in as you stroll through the village.
Loretta Lynn’s Ranch – Hurricane Mills
Take a drive to 8000 Highway 13 South, Hurricane Mills, TN 37078 and you will find the home of Loretta Lynn, the coal miner’s daughter.
About an hour west of Nashville, you’ll find the over 3,000 acre Loretta Lynn’s Ranch filled with nature in the beautiful hills of Tennessee. You can stay at the Ranch in one of 3 campgrounds in your own RV or in one of the adorable cabins they offer. The RV part of Loretta’s Ranch is so cozy and inviting. I know this because I’ve stayed a night at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in a cabin, and in our RV there.
Take a tour of the ranch or explore at your own pace by strolling through the Western Town. Make sure to take in some of the amazing artifacts from Loretta Lynn’s decades as a top country music performer. Or enjoy a concert or festival at the Ranch for some good old fashioned southern fun!
Loretta Lynn Tour – Hurricane Mills
Being a Loretta fan as I am I have now been there 3 times. If you get the chance make sure to take the tour of her home and the museum.
The home is set up as it was when she and Mooney moved out into their new home which sits right behind the old one. Why did Loretta move? Well she said the house wasn’t big enough for her and all the ghosts that live there. Yes, the Coal Miner’s home where she raised her own family is in fact haunted.
Tour the home and her museum to learn all about Loretta Lynn’s life. May she rest in peace. She will be forever in my heart. Here are some pictures from my tour of Loretta Lynn’s Home.
Here is a soothing video I took the last time I was there.
Country Music Hall of Fame – Nashville
If you want to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame take a drive to 225 5th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203.
This museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the ever evolving country music industry. Discover everything from the roots of country music in the 19th century to the vibrant music scene today. Check out the thrilling exhibits, many public programs, and educational initiatives that the Country Music Hall Of Fame has to offer.
For anyone who is a music buff, you really shouldn’t visit Tennessee without visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Jack Daniels Distillery – Lynchburg
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere and if you visit the Jack Daniels Distillery at 280 Lynchburg Hwy, Lynchburg, TN 37352 you can sample some Jack Daniels.
Tennessee is famous for its whiskey and moonshine production, so you’ve got to visit at least one distillery while you are in the Volunteer State. This is both a historical and tasty experience that you can’t pass up.
Even if you don’t take part in the tasting of Jack Daniels products, the distilleries lead fascinating and educational tours on the process of whiskey and moonshine making. There are dozens of distilleries throughout the state. Jack Daniels is one of the most famous and one of the best to visit for tours and tastings. Cheers!
Sun Studio – Memphis – Tennessee Travel Guide Attraction
A visit to Tennessee is not complete until you visit Sun Studio in Memphis. Literally the birthplace of Rock n Roll and filled with so much history. Had it not been for Sun Studio the world might never have heard of legends like B.B King, Elvis, Johnny Cash, or Jerry Lee Lewis. Turning out sounds like Gospel, the Blues, Country and Rock n Roll.
While on your tour you will learn the real history of Sun Studio and see the priceless memorabilia from legends who stood where you will stand when on the tour. For anyone who loves music and the history of it you must add this to your Tennessee travel guide list.
There is so much history in this building and standing in the room where Elvis once stood and sang, actually gives one chills. This microphone I am holding is the VERY ONE that Elvis and many others used to record number one hits.
There is also a drum kit in the recording room that was brought there by U2 when they did the recording of When Love Comes to Town with B.B. King. Nobody gets to play this kit, but after the rest of the people on the tour left, my hubby (Tony) asked about it. Being that Tony is a drummer and the tour guide was being super nice, Tony got to play the beat that is known in that song. Take a look.
Final Thoughts on the Tennessee Travel Guide
While there are many many attractions one can see in Tennessee there are the top ones I recommend. I have fallen in love with Tennessee and it’s a place that we always try to hit on our road trips south from our home in Minnesota.
Do you love Tennessee? What is your favorite attraction? Have you done any of the ones I mentioned above? If so, tell me what ones and what you thought.