NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 21, 2022) – Walking among the blooms or a firefly forest, enjoying hot slaw and art, nostalgic burger joints, Meet the Makers classes, train excursions, a brewstillery and live music among the vines. Here’s what’s new, trending and blooming this spring across Tennessee.
Trending Places this Spring
Nashville – Get ready for a family-friendly escape to Gaylord Opryland for Once Upon a Spring events and activities, all-new interactive show Paint Me a Fairytale, scavenger hunts, cookie decorating & more.
Eagleville – Lucky Ladd Farms opens for the season April 15, with special events like Nashville Bunny & Brew, the Spring Festival and pick your own strawberries.
Knoxville – The 1982 World’s Fair 40th Anniversary Celebration May 21 kicks off with international food, festivities, technology and entertainment offerings, history walks with Jack Neely, Knoxville’s Maker Community, a Children’s Festival of Reading and other fun activities.
Cleveland – An art festival with a unique culinary twist, Hot Slaw and Art Y’all April 9 in the historic downtown features local artists and dishes to enjoy this delicious and unique condiment concoction.
Chattanooga – The Tennessee Aquarium celebrates its 30th anniversary May 1 with outdoor art installations and special exhibits like Washed Ashore – Art to Save the Sea and popular spots like Penguins’ Rock and Stingray Bay.
Delano – Climb aboard for an adventure through the mountains on a 5-hour roundtrip train ride through the famous, beautiful Hiwassee River Loop. Snacks and drinks are sold onboard. Trips start April 2.
Gatlinburg - Anakeesta ushers in the season with “Blooms and Tunes” (April 15-June 4) featuring spring-themed art installations, live music, a chef-inspired seasonal menu and thousands of blooms at Vista Gardens. The Treetop Skywalk transforms into a Firefly Forest.
Pigeon Forge – Stroll the colorful umbrella sky, 500,000 blooms, plant sculptures, live music and amazing events like the Flower & Food Festival (April 22-June 5) during Dollywood’s 37th season.
Brownsville – Open Spring 2022, Rockin’ Roll Hatchie Trails, designed for mountain biking, hiking or running located along Sugar Creek, highlights the music heritage with trails and features named for icons such as Tina Turner and Sleepy John Estes.
Nashville - GEODIS Park, the 30,000-set home for the Nashville’s Major League Soccer located at the city’s fairgrounds in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood, will be Music City’s newest venue for MLS matches, live music and more, set to open in May.
Granville – The Historic Granville Artisans Gallery is now open with handmade items by local artisans, including brooms, blacksmith items, quilts and more. Meet the Makers classes include basket making, broom making, quilting and dutch oven cooking.
Clarksville – Explorer’s Landing, the children’s wing of the Customs House Museum, reopened in Jan. 2022 with a new look and feel. Check out the interactive, engaging, education and localized exhibits.
Chattanooga – The Read House celebrates its 150th anniversary with the new “Throughout the Decades Dinner Series,” featuring era-inspired dinner events inspired by historic menus and cookbooks.
Southeast Tennessee – The perfect pampered vacation with a private chef, ride-along guide and scenic adventure with Bike the South: Wine and Bike in the Tennessee Overhill – a treasure trove of rivers, waterfalls, quiet backgrounds and rolling hills set against the backdrop of Cherokee National Forest.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Visitors are invited to the help preserve park species by recording sightings of animals, plants and other organisms from their smartphones using the iNaturalist app while hiking or enjoying the outdoors, as part of the Smokies Most Wanted program.
New Restaurants, Bars, Breweries and Distilleries
Nashville – Opening late spring 2022, June is the second experience restaurant from Chef Sean Brock, located above its sister restaurant, Audrey, in East Nashville. June will focus on a unique tasting menu-only format that explores ingredients indigenous to the American South.
Franklin – Burger Dandy downtown brings back retro nostalgia in its dining room and patio and menu items like burgers & dogs, Kool-Aid pickles, apple fried pies, old-fashioned and spiked milkshakes.
Knoxville - Ebony & Ivory Brewing is Knoxville’s 23rd craft brewery opening spring 2022 in North Knoxville and the first with a Black co-owner. Their mission is to create a safe, comfortable, inclusive atmosphere where all can find common ground through their beer.
Pigeon Forge – Guy Fieri’s Downtown Flavortown, opened March 2022, showcases unique culinary combinations, Duck Pin bowling alley, arcade games, Tiki bar, and photo opp in front of an iconic 1968 Chevy Camaro.
Townsend – The second Company Distilling location, set to open May 2022, will feature a tasting room and restaurant, with access to nearby cycling, mountain biking and hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains. The original location is in the picturesque town of Thompson’s Station in Middle Tennessee.
Bristol - Located in the heart of Bristol’s historic downtown district, Pins & Friends Duckpin Bowling will feature multiple duckpin bowling lanes, a restaurant, vintage arcade games and more.
Johnson City - Tennessee Hills Brewstillery is the first of its kind in the state combining the best of both worlds. The brewstillery buys locally grown malts and aims to serve a 100% Tennessee made product from grain to glass.
Wartburg - The veteran-owned and family-friendly MoCo Brewing Project features live music, food trucks, hot chocolate and coffee. MoCo partners with local businesses and artists to bring activities downtown including Pints & Paints, Foams and Facials and parties for kids.
New Hotels & Places to Stay
Memphis – On world famous Beale Street, The Hyatt Centric offers sweeping views of the Mississippi River, along with a rooftop bar to relax with cocktails and sunsets. In Midtown, The Memphian rises above restaurants, shops, live music venues and theatres of Overton Square.
Benton – Guests at Ocoee Riverside Farm can book a stay in the loft of the new Exotics Barn, offering camel rides, petting zoo, custom parties including unicorn, pony, and cowboy themes.
Nashville – Opening mid-2022, the five-star, full-service Four Seasons will house more than 200 rooms, a world-class spa and private residences.
Knoxville - Marriott Knoxville Downtown features 302 guest rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness center, restaurant and bar, walk-up coffee bistro, valet and self-parking and event space.
Spencer – Relax and unwind with a stay at The Lodge at Fall Creek Falls State Park, with surrounding activities like waterfalls, breathtaking overlooks, hiding, paddling, treetop adventures, golfing and fishing.
Kingsport - Stay under the stars at Cedar Ridge Hammock Campground at Warriors’ Path State Park which allows up to 72 hammocks at five sites next to each other.
Pigeon Forge - Guests will enjoy a stargazing roof to relax under the stars along with the all the comforts of a luxury stay in the cabin-themed My Smoky Mountain Rental Yurts.
Gatlinburg – The childhood getaway of your dreams. Relax, reconnect and recharge hidden among the Smoky Mountains at cabin-like, luxury treehouses at Treehouse Grove.
Sevierville - Set to open in April, SkyLand Ranch will transport guests via a scenic chairlift to the top of SkyLand Ranch, where hours of fun await, including a mountain coaster, suspended bridge, canopy walks and a variety of miniature animals like cows and donkeys, which are all rescues.
New Attractions and Exhibits
Memphis (April 9-July 31) - The Museum of Science & History and Stax Museum of American Soul Music team up for a new exhibit, Black Moses Gives Back, celebrating Isaac Hayes, his Afrocentrism, dashikis and philanthropic efforts in Ghana.
Knoxville – Dogwood Arts will unveil the new West Hills Dogwood Trail April 1 during Knoxville’s favorite springtime celebration, with over 8 miles of blooming landscapes to enjoy.
Bristol (Now-Aug. 7)– "It'll Tickle Yore Innards!" at Birthplace of Country Music Museum explores Mountain Dew’s storied history, which began in the hills of Appalachia, and examines the region’s moonshining history.
Pigeon Forge – Alcatraz East Crime Museum’s new exhibit focuses on the anniversary of one of the most infamous prison escapes in American History. The Beginning of the End: John Dillinger’s Final Jail Break will be on display through March 3, 2023.
Nashville (March 24-June 19) - The Immersive Van Gogh Experience, produced by Lighthouse Immersive, is over 500,000+ cubic feet of stunning productions that animate and illuminate the masterpieces of Vincent Van Gogh at the Lighthouse ArtSpace Nashville.
Spring Festivals & Events
Arrington – Music in the Vines is the perfect place to spend a spring afternoon. Listen to free live jazz and bluegrass bands while sampling award-winning wines and enjoying delicious food and scenic views at Arrington Vineyards. Parking is free.
Polk County (March 19-May 31) – Check thrilling Whitewater Rafting off your bucket list on the nation’s number one whitewater river destination, along the Ocoee River, with 23 outfitters to choose from.
Gatlinburg (March 21-23) – The unforgettable and thrilling Skywalk Event Returns to Gatlinburg’s SkyLift Park, as daring performers walk 150 feet above ground in the Smoky Mountains.
Murfreesboro (March 30-April 1) – Get creative and messy with free outdoor activities making oobleck, elephant toothpaste and more fun activities during Mess Fest at Discovery Center.
Nashville (Now-April 10)– Celebrate warm weather by walking among 250,000 colorful blooms at Cheekwood in Bloom, which features live concerts, workshops, programming for all ages and outdoor wellness classes.
Nashville (Now-July 31)– Journey on a pre-historic adventure along a hidden path at Dino Trek. Watch as these life-sized animatronic dinosaurs roar at The Nashville Zoo.
Linden (March 25-26) – Kick off spring with more than 150 artists, musicians and food vendors during the 14th annual Blooming Arts Festival in the charming town.
Nashville (March 29-April 2) – Listen to live music at venues across the city during the 30th Annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival. Browse the full list of performances or download a printable schedule.
Memphis (April 4) – The National Civil Rights Museum will host “Remembering MLK: The Man. The Movement. The Moment” to honor Dr. King’s life and legacy on the 54th anniversary of his death and will feature a keynote speaker, musical tribute, changing of the balcony wreath and moment of silence.
Shiloh (April 6-10) – Shiloh National Military Park will commemorate its 160th anniversary by offering real-time hikes, interpretive programs and cannon firing demonstrations by living historians.
Saltillo (April 8-10) - Living history reenactors, cannon firings, Native American flute demonstrations, local artwork and the region’s history will be on display during the Tennessee River History, Heritage & Weaponry Festival.
Reliance (April 22-23) – The Polk County Ramp Tramp Festival features live bluegrass, folk and rock-and-roll music, a traditional Ramp Meal which includes ramps in eggs, white beans, cornbread, fried potatoes and streaked meat bacon.
Franklin (April 23-24) – More than 120,000 visitors enjoy arts and crafts vendors, superb entertainment, great food, drink, fun and tradition during the Main Street Festival in the historic downtown.
Memphis (April 29-May 1) – The Foo Fighters, Lil Wayne, Three 6 Mafia and more take the stage during Beale Street Music Festival, as part of many special events happening during Memphis in May.
Union City (May-June) – Bring a blanket, lawn chairs or grab a seat at the Train Depot to listen to local entertainers and bands perform overlooking the lake during Rhythm on the Rails Friday nights at Discovery Park of America.
Lebanon (May 7) - Enjoy walking among the trees and gardens while shopping for handcrafted items, antique/vintage items, plants, home décor and more, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. during Spring Fest in the Grove at Fiddlers Grove Historical Village. Admission and parking are free.
Nashville (May 14) – A rite of spring since 1941, Iroquis Steeplechase attracts spectators to watch the best horses and riders in the world race, celebrate time-honored tradition, hospitality & Southern fashions.
Hurricane Mills (May 19-22) – Rock legend Billy F. Gibbons will headline the 5th annual Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival at Loretta Lynn’s historic ranch at Hurricane Mills.
Sevierville – Calling all Dolly fans, contestants can enter the Mountain Soul Vocal Competition by April 15 by singing one of more than 3,000 songs Parton penned – in their own vocal style. Thirty finalists will be invited to perform during the Bloomin’ BBQ Music & Food Festival May 21. Winning competitors can earn prizes like a recording session in Nashville and a Dolly Parton autographed guitar.
For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee, visit tnvacation.com/calendar.
ABOUT TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT
Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “TNVacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube and “Tennessee” on Snapchat.
Jill Kilgore, Jill.Kilgore@tn.gov