There is never a dull moment in The Volunteer State. Tennessee holidays are some of the most popular amongst travellers from around the world. Oozing with historical relevance and promising to quench your thirst for adventure, it’s a top destination for thrill seeking singles and couples looking to let their hair down.
When you think of Tennessee, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘whiskey’. Tourists have the chance to tour through the incredible Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg for a hands on education into the production process behind the locals’ favourite beverage. Don’t forget to conclude the experience with a bite to eat at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House and Restaurant, just like Mr. Daniel’s himself did many years ago.
If you’re still thirsty for more, you can also book the Tennessee Whiskey Trail. This trail takes you to 26 different distilleries, which can all be toured within a 10 day period. While the main focus is obviously on the whiskey, you’ll also have the opportunity to sample some of the state’s finest moonshine, bourbon, vodka and gin.
Tennessee holidays: nature and history
Once you’ve thoroughly quenched your thirst, you will definitely want to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here you’ll find a wide array of wondrous wildlife and miles upon miles of untouched natural beauty. Set your sights on the remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, and if the boisterous black bears don’t frighten you, there will be the chance to spend the night camping at one of the park’s many campsites, too.
Finally, you don’t want to finish your holiday in Tennessee without visiting the history rich city of Franklin and its well known Carter House and Carnton Plantation.
Great sample itineraries
Tennessee holidays are full of fun and adventure. If you are in the process of planning yours, here are some creative sample itineraries for inspiration.
Multi Holiday Nashville Memphis New Orleans
New Orleans To Memphis Road Trip
Our favorite hotels
Wondering where to stay when on holiday in Tennessee? Here are some favourites to keep in mind.
The Peabody Memphis
From the renowned live entertainment districts in Nashville and Memphis to the untamed wilderness of the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee is brimming with attractions to suit every mood. Whether you choose to get your country on in Nashville where you can dance the night away in the lively Honky-tonks along Broadway, enjoy the live radio show at the Grand Ole Opry and explore the fantastic downtown museums such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and RCA Studio B or want to explore the delicious southern flavours from delicious pit barbequed ribs to the fresh produce at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant in Franklin, there is lots to uncover in Tennessee. Head to Memphis to discover the rich musical heritage of this vibrant city. Stop by Stax Museum of American Soul Music housed on the sight of the legendary studio and discover the history and legacy of soul music or make your way to Sun Studios where Elvis recorded and make a record of your own.
Tennessee Music Pathway
Connecting over 1,200 miles of Tennessee’s music sites and events; from iconic attractions such as Graceland and the Grand Old Opry to some of the state’s hidden gems like Songbird’s Guitar Museum in Chattanooga, the Tennessee Music Pathway tells the story of Tennessee’s musical heritage and worldwide influence. Whether you choose to tour the whole trail of combine a couple of Tennessee’s musical cities such as Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville you’ll be sure to find a legacy of live music and lifelong memories.
Great Smoky Mountains
A mystical blue haze enshrouds the peaks of Great Smoky Mountains. Beneath this mist the national park straddles the ridgeline of the mountains. This is the most visited national park in the USA. Whether you want to hike 800 miles of scenic trails, horseback ride the equestrian trails to see rushing mountain streams and waterfalls, or view as much of the 240 species of birds, black bears, elk, and deer as possible, your holiday in Tennessee should include a trip to these magnificent mountains.
The beautiful city of Knoxville is nestled between the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and the banks of the Tennessee River. This charming city has a perfect blend of southern hospitality and modern development
Surrounded by spectacular natural attractions such as Ruby Falls, Lookout Mountain and Rocky City this city has received national recognition for the renaissance of its scenic downtown and expansion of its riverfront. Famous for its namesake song by Glen Miller the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel is housed on the site of the historic train station and is a definite Chattanooga must-visit.
Grand Ole Opry
This is the birthplace and the spiritual home of country music. Self-proclaimed as the ‘show that made country music famous’ the Grand Ole Opry is a weekly concert and radio broadcast. It has made numerous artists into start, including Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. The show has presented country music’s biggest stars since 1925, making it the oldest continuous radio programme in the USA.
One of Memphis' most famous attractions, Graceland is the home of Elvis Presley, taking you from his humble beginning to his rise to fame. Walk in the footsteps of The King and visit his grave, see his epic record collection and the many gifts that fans sent him. You'll even get to see his beloved collection of cars and airplanes, bringing you closer to Elvis than ever before. Be in awe of the Trophy Building, home to an amazing collection of gold and platinum records, before venturing to the Jungle Room with its green shaggy carpets and Polynesian decor. The Racquetball Building displays some of Elvis' most iconic jumpsuits and his posthumous awards, while the Meditation Garden is the final resting place for Elvis himself as well as members of his family.
Best time to visit Tennessee
The best time to plan holidays in Tennessee will depend on what sort of holiday you are looking forward to. If you would like to attend the state’s best loved festivals, then summertime is when you should go – between June and August. However, the summer months are known to be quite hot and humid, so if you prefer more temperate climates, autumn (September – November) is the perfect time to make your way over.
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“From spring to fall, there are free events and festivals happening almost every weekend. Ranging from beer festivals to concerts to cultural celebrations, there really is something for everyone.”
“I just loved visiting Franklin and immersing myself in the area’s history.”
CMA Music Festival
What better way in which to immerse yourself in Tennessee’s country music heritage than at the CMA Music Festival? The festival takes place in Nashville over a period of four days in the summer (usually in June) and boasts a line up of some of the USA’s most famous country bands and singers, such as Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and Honey County.
Beale Street Music Festival
The Beale Street Music Festival takes place in spring (May) in Memphis. It is one of the USA’s premier heritage music festivals and has been in existence for well over 40 years. The festival spans over a three day period and features over 60 bands and artists playing on four different stages.
Our Tennessee destinations
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