50 Best Things to Do in Tennessee
by J Rogers
Tennessee is an underrated travel destination offering something for every visitor. Enjoy music? Visit Graceland or the Country Music Hall of Fame. Want something educational? Learn about the state’s rich Civil War history at Shiloh National Military Park or its firefighting history at the Fire Museum. Love nature? Visit the Great Smoky Mountains, the most popular national park in the country. Just want a drink after a long day? Tennessee can provide that as well.
1. Graceland [Memphis]
Graceland is second only to the white house as the world’s most visited home. It contains a plethora of quirky rooms that were once home to the King himself, Elvis Presley. He is buried in the Meditation Gardens. Graceland offers multiple tours, including an iPod course through the mansion guided by John Stamos and a larger package that includes visits to numerous exhibits. For an added fee, one can also see Elvis’ private jet, the Lisa Marie. Spend 3 or 4 hours here and don’t leave without signing the Graceland wall!
2. Ryman Auditorium [Nashville]
Founded in 1892, Ryman Auditorium has hosted music legends like Elvis and Johnny Cash. Take a look through the 2,362-seat auditorium, check out the museum, or enjoy a live show. If soaking up the culture stirs up an appetite, come into Café Luna, the on-site restaurant. Spend at least a few hours enjoying this historical site. Before visiting, plan the trip using Ryman Auditorium’s show calendar.
3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park [Gatlinburg]
Yellowstone may get all the fame, but Great Smoky Mountains National Park attracts the most visitors. Its diversity and beauty make it a must-see attraction. Explore the trails (including the famous Appalachian) or check out the historical buildings at Cades Cove. Use this map to plan a visit to this beautiful landmark, Spend at least an afternoon enjoying this essential part of any trip to Tennessee.
4. Dollywood [Pigeon Forge]
Dollywood is the most popular attraction in Tennessee, with over 3 million annual visitors. This fascinating theme park has over 40 rides and 10 themed areas. It also hosts live concerts and unique events. For a special ride around the park, try the Dollywood Express. Spend at least a few hours to ride and see everything and visit the official site for more information.
5. Memphis National Civil Rights Museum [Memphis]
The historic Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. lost his life is now a museum honoring the efforts of Civil Rights pioneers like him. Photography is allowed, so take home a memory of all this place teaches. Be sure to spare at least 2 to 3 hours to see everything.
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