Tennessee Travel Guide


Music, Mountains, and so Much More…

If you’re a fan of music, Tennessee is a destination you don’t want to miss. But more than its musical heritage, Tennessee is home to so much more from Southern Charm to historic and cultural sites, to offering a taste of the gorgeous countryside and Smoky Mountains.

Eastern Tennessee is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Central Tennessee features Nashville, famously known as “Music City,” where visitors can explore the Country Music Hall of Fame, catch live performances on Broadway, and tour the historic Ryman Auditorium along with nearby Franklin, which is also famous for its music scene.

Speaking of music, you can’t mention music and history without talking about Memphis. This is the birthplace of blues and home to Graceland, Elvis Presley’s estate. Beale Street offers a glimpse into the city’s musical legacy along with amazing barbeque.

Beyond the music centric cities, Tennessee’s rolling hills, valleys, and rivers offer endless opportunities for outdoor adventures like hiking, kayaking, and exploring charming small villages and towns.

Not to mention, the Natchez Trace Parkway, the historic 444-mile route that follows ancient Native American paths and historic trading routes, ends in Pasquo, Tennessee.

Quick Tips for Visiting Tennessee

When is the best time to visit Tennessee?

When is the best time to visit Tennessee? It all depends on what you want to do as it’s a year-round destination, each season offering something different.

Spring (March to May) offers mild temperatures and blooming dogwoods, making it a great time for visiting places like the Great Smoky Mountains.

Summer (June to August) brings warm weather, perfect for music festivals, and is a popular time for any outdoor adventures.

Fall (September to November) offers stunning foliage, especially in the Smoky Mountains and along scenic drives, drawing leaf-peepers and hikers.

Winter (December to February) ranges from mild to cold; Nashville sees rain and occasional frost, while the Smoky Mountains experience chilly temperatures and snowfall.

Megan and Scott at Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge near Franklin Tennessee

How Much Time Do I need in Tennessee?

How much time you need for a visit to Tennessee depends on what you’re trying to pack into your trip. For a focused city trip, such as Nashville or Memphis, 3 to 4 days are sufficient to enjoy the main attractions.

To experience Tennessee fully, plan to spend 7-10 days. This allows enough time to visit a city or two while also allowing time to visit places ike the Great Smoky Mountains.

What is Tennessee most famous for?

Tennessee is most famous for its musical history and heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and historical significance.

Nashville, known as “Music City,” is the heart of country music, home to the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame.

Memphis is the birthplace of blues and rock ‘n’ roll. It’s home to Beale Street, Sun Studio, and Graceland, Elvis Presley’s estate.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited national park.

Tennessee is also known for its pivotal role in American history, including its role in the Civil War and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s contributions to rural electrification.

Butch Walker performing at open mic night at Pucketts of Leipers Fork in Tennessee
cows grazing in a pasture during golden hour near Leipers Fork Tennessee

What’s the best way to get around Tennessee?

The best way to get around Tennessee is by car, this state has a lot of countryside and is a driving destination. Plus, this gives you the most freedom and flexibility on your trip.

Major routes in Tennessee include Interstate 40 and scenic byways like the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Must Try Food in Tennessee

There are some absolute must try foods in Tennessee like hot chicken, a spicy fried chicken dish that originated in Nashville and is known for its fiery kick.

Another must-try is Memphis-style barbecue, featuring slow-cooked ribs or pulled pork with a tangy, sweet barbecue sauce.

For sides, sample some Southern classics like collard greens, cornbread, and creamy macaroni and cheese. The best way to do this is called a “meat and three”. This is when a customer picks a meat and three sides for a set price!

In East Tennessee, around the Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll find specialties like biscuits and gravy.

For dessert, try a slice of chess pie, a traditional Southern staple with a custard-like filling and flaky crust.

Or try banana pudding, a rich and creamy dessert layered with bananas, vanilla wafers, and pudding.

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