From the famous to the surprising, from the serious to the sensational, Tennessee will find a way to pique your interest, catch your eye and take your breath away.
The beauty of Tennessee's landscape from the mountains to the Mississippi and the uplifting beat of our music from the blues to bluegrass are only part of the story. The options for seeing, doing and learning are as broad as our state. Grab fun and run with it!
Pick a city to explore or a theme to pursue. Indoors or out, rowdy or romantic, world-famous or hidden gem, Tennessee attractions have fun written all over them.
Bring Out the Big Guns
Visitors from around the world come to Tennessee to enjoy the scenic beauty, the music, the history, the hospitality and the fun. Beale Street, Graceland and Sun Studios, the Grand Ole Opry and RCA's Historic Studio B are among the icons that represent our famous musical heritage, while Civil War sites like Shiloh, Carnton and Chattanooga speak to the desperate years of division in the state.
We have breathtaking scenery, legendary whiskey, larger-than-life heroes and even some famous marching ducks. But, most of all, we have a way of life that people love to come home to--for the first time or the 50th.
Every region of Tennessee is different in landscape, history and musical heritage. Take some time to explore our cities and countryside to see what makes Tennessee tick.
Memphis and West Tennessee
Explore the Mississippi and visit the dramatic landscape of Reelfoot, a lake formed by an earthquake. Follow the rhythms of Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Tina Turner and Isaac Hayes. Farm for pearls, cheer for Grizzlies, and learn about a writer, a railroad man and statesman. West Tennessee is a land driven by the rhythm of the Big River. It's cotton country, the land of the blues, a place of movement, music and social change.
Taste the good times, right here in River City or travel through the countryside to see what's happening in the small towns and farms of West Tennessee. From the famous Beale Street Historic District to the Stax Museum to American Soul to the famed Sun Studio, to Elvis Presley's Graceland, Memphis is all about the blues and what it built in American music.
The beautiful Orpheum Theatre, numerous art museums, the Rock-A-Billy Hall of Fame in Jackson and Dixon Gallery and Gardens--West Tennessee is filled with treats for the eye. If family fun is on your list, visit the famous marching ducks at the Peabody Hotel, play around at Mud Island, see who's wandering around at the Memphis Zoo, or check out the gems at the Freshwater Pearl Farm in Camden. For world-class educational exhibits for the whole family, check out Discovery Park of America in Union City. The 50-acre complex allows guests to blast off into space, ride a giant human slide, feel an earthquake, stroll through four gardens, Freedom Square, The Chapel, The Barn, Mill Ridge and so much more.
Beautiful state parks, the meandering Wolf River, dramatic Reelfoot Lake and professional sports venues like FedEx Forum call to the adventurous.
Want to learn about our history? Visit the National Civil Rights Museum or Shiloh, where both Indian Mounds and a massive Civil War battle site reflect life in previous eras. Learn about agritourism at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville. See how the Mighty Mississippi and the railroads shaped our world. Visit the homes of famous writers like Alex Haley in Henning, great singers like Aretha Franklin from Memphis and musicians and folk heroes like Casey Jones.
Nashville and Middle Tennessee
Nashville is synonymous with music the world over. The sounds of country, rock, jazz, blues and gospel provide the soundtrack to this vibrant city. But music is only the beginning of the attractions that draw millions of visitors to Middle Tennessee. Museums, sports, full-on family fun and a natural wonders make Middle Tennessee a vacation dream.
Add bold pioneers, shrewd business dealings, the beautiful work of artisans’ hands and the dark history of bloody Civil War battles. Middle Tennessee offers endless opportunities for exploration, adventure, education and entertainment.
The Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman, "mother church of country music," and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum are all part of the story. RCA's Historic Studio B, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and the Blue Bird Cafe all add shades to our musical color. Visual arts are showcased at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, The Copper Fox and Leiper's Creek Galery in Leiper's Fork.
For the outdoorsman/woman, check out Cumberland Caverns, zoos and endless wilderness like Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. Float along Dale Hollow Lake and Obey River. Enjoy waterfalls on hikes through state parks like Frozen Head in Wartburg and Pickett State Park in Jamestown , fish or ski on one of our lakes, or take in some professional sports excitement as the Tennessee Titans clash, Nashville Predators bash and Nashville Sounds crack the bat.
See the scars left by some ofthe Civil Wars bloodiest battles at Franklin and Stones River National Battlefield. See beautiful historic homes sprinkled throughout the region that celebrate local heroes. Meander historic small-town squares and take it easy while browsing a festival or shops for art created by local talent.
East Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains
East Tennessee is the land of misty blue mountains, rushing streams and placid lakes. The hills and hollows echo with the sounds of old-time string music gleaned from a Celtic heritage. Stone arches, river gorges and sweeping meadows of wildflowers are all part of the eastern landscape. The land still bears its battle scars the extensive fauna tread lightly in the early morning hours.
It’s also a place where crowds are loud, orange is a common favorite color and fall means football and foliage. Sports, bustling cities with a laid-back lifestyle, high-end tourist attractions and historic towns all contribute to the variety of life in East Tennessee. A deep respect for the arts and a love of lazy days on the water call to both residents and guests alike.
Welcome to East Tennessee, where relaxation is an art form and love of place runs deep.
From the Tri-Cities in the Northeast, where mountain music first broke into the mainstream and the Revolutionary War left its mark, to the Knoxville area with its Appalachian lore and scientific sites, to historic Chattanooga's vibrant riverfront, East Tennessee is full of fun.
For a look at some of the attractions Tennessee has to offer, including the arts, sports, family fun, nature and history, visit: