Tennessee

United States of America
Grand Ole Opry featuring a garden and autumn leaves

Encounter the soul of America in Tennessee, a state that is justly famed for its musical legends, fiery liquors and alluring Great Smoky Mountains.

There is something special about the atmosphere of Tennessee. Explore its storied cities and its mountains to discover a land that has inspired some of the nation’s greatest musical heroes. Here is the birthplace of bluegrass, country, pop, blues, soul and rock’n’roll. Feast on delicious Southern food, drink whisky and enjoy a classic Tennessee welcome, all to the “Soundtrack of America.”

Follow one of the Cherokee Heritage Trails to learn about the early history of the state and the Native American nations who lived here before Europeans arrived. Visit Fort Loudoun to learn about British settlers on the frontier in the 1700s or go to Shiloh National Military Park to learn about Tennessee’s role in the Civil War, when loyalties were divided within the state.

Go on a musical pilgrimage to Memphis, in the western reaches of the state. Follow in the footsteps of Elvis, Johnny Cash and more in Sun Studio. Learn about their achievements in the Memphis Rock ’n’ Soul Museum. The King’s home, Graceland, features multiple museums dedicated to Presley and his work. Elsewhere in the city, visit the National Civil Rights Museum and the Mississippi River Museum, picking up some quick barbecued bites along the way.

Nashville, in the center of the state, is equally musical. Watch country and western concerts in the famous Grand Ole Opry or seek out one of hundreds of smaller music venues across the city. This cultural hub also offers the Cheekwood Museum of Art and the Bicentennial Mall State Park. Head to nearby Lynchburg to visit the headquarters of Jack Daniels.

Eastern Tennessee offers the atmospheric wilderness of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Towns in the region such as Sevierville and Townsend offer scenic and welcoming points of entry into this stunning region. Hike up Clingmans Dome for views of the landscape shrouded in blue mist.

Board a flight to Memphis, Nashville or Alcoa to land in different regions of the state. Tennessee is a year-round destination, although it is busiest in summer. Come in fall for milder temperatures and colorful scenery.

Popular cities in Tennessee

Nashville
Nashville
Known for Live music, Sports and Entertainment
Between the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and live shows every night of the week, see and hear why Music City earns its nickname.

Reasons to visit

  • Cumberland Park
  • Ryman Auditorium
  • Music City Center
Gatlinburg featuring forests and a small town or village
Gatlinburg
Known for River view, Mountains and Shopping
This picturesque town bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers miles of wilderness, breathtaking scenery and lots of options for adventurers.

Reasons to visit

  • Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
  • Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
  • Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery
Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
Pigeon Forge
Known for Excursions, Shopping and Mountains
On the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this Tennessee town beckons with thrill-seeking adventure, family activities, live entertainment and history.

Reasons to visit

  • Island at Pigeon Forge
  • Titanic Museum
  • LeConte Center At Pigeon Forge
Memphis which includes a river or creek and a bridge
Memphis
Known for River view, Sports and Museums
A mecca for music lovers and the barbecue-obsessed, this soulful Southern city manages to preserve tradition while maintaining a forward-looking spirit.

Reasons to visit

  • Pink Palace Museum
  • Sun Studio
Chattanooga which includes modern architecture, a fountain and a river or creek
Chattanooga
Known for Mountains, Aquariums and River view
This city in Tennessee offers outdoor adventure, historic landmarks and family fun. Visit mountain tops and riverside parks to find out why they call this the Scenic City.

Reasons to visit

  • Chattanooga Riverfront
Knoxville which includes modern architecture and a city
Knoxville
Known for Sports, Universities and Football
Against the backdrop of the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee’s third-largest city honors its World’s Fair past and buzzes with a cool café culture and lively nightlife.