Whiskey, banjo e Rock’n’Roll: welcome to Tennessee, where the history of music merges with that of the United States itself. Here was born Jack Daniel's, Elvis there he established his home in Graceland and recorded his first hits to Sun Studios. Here is also the capital of the Country, N, as well as the field of some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
For these and many other reasons, if you are preparing for an on the road in the southern states you cannot fail to consider Tennessee. This article was born as a list of suggestions of things not to be missed and, like all Check these top 10, obviously does not claim to be exhaustive. Are you ready to find out what awaits you in this fascinating state?
- Shiloh National Military Park
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Jack Daniel's Distillery
- Burgess Falls State Park
- Pigeon Forge
Together with Memphis it is certainly a symbolic city not only of Tennessee but also of the United States. Considered for its history a real capital of music, let's see what are the main attractions on the subject that you can find.
To begin with, you cannot say that you have truly paid tribute to the musical history of the city without having at least been to theRCA Studio B, Country Music Hall of Fame, The Grand Ole Opry and Johnny Cash Museum, just to mention the most important attractions that you can find.
But to reduce the city of Nashville to its musical history alone would be doing this great city a disservice. Take a stroll along the Centennial Park will allow you to observe and touch a faithful full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens or, always keeping to the historical theme, moving to the outskirts you can visit Andrew Jackson Hermitage, the plantation of the famous American president.
If you want to find out in detail everything that awaits you while visiting the city you can read our article entirely dedicated to what to see in Nashville.
The name of the city is inextricably linked to that of Elvis Presley. Here in fact you can do a Graceland tower and mythical gods Sun Studios, where the King of Rock'n'Roll recorded his first hits. Also don't miss a long walk Beale Street accompanied by a dinner in one of its typical places where live music is played practically all day.
A visit to the National Civil Rights Museum, which stands on what was once the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King was assassinated. Memphis is also one of the main points from which to embark on a fascinating cruise on the Mississippi, the river that more than any other has shaped the history of the United States.
To find out all that this city has in store for you, I suggest you read our in-depth information on what to see in Memphis.
Shiloh National Military Park
This place was the scene of one of the most bloody battles of the American Civil War; more than 23.000 were in fact the soldiers who lost their lives in the field. To better contextualize this number, it is enough to know that these figures were not reached in any of the wars previously fought by the United States. Shiloh National Military Park is also known to be one of the best preserved battlefields from the time of the American Civil War.
Inside the visitor center there is a well-organized museum that traces the salient facts of the battle and collects a good collection of uniforms and material from the war period. Along the perimeter of the park there are numerous memorials and monuments, as well as cannons of the period and the usual cemetery where the tombstones of more than 4.000 soldiers who lost their lives are found. You can travel around the park comfortably even with a rental car, stopping from time to time along the most important points.Entrance to the park is free. The Shiloh Battlefield Visitor Center address is 1055 Pittsburg Landing Rd, Shiloh, TN 38376
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Although it is perhaps one of the least known parks by Italian tourists who go to America, know that in reality the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the park with more visitors from all over the United States. Given its size, there are two entrances to the park, one in Tennessee (more popular) and one in North Carolina (less crowded). So take into account that, especially in high season, you have to deal with a significant concentration of tourists.
A town to undoubtedly be taken into consideration as a privileged base for exploring the national park is that of Gatlinburg, which closely resembles a typical Bavarian town, and is considered the prime access point to the park from the Tennessee side.
The most popular place on this side of the park is certainly Cades Cove, once home to the settlers who settled in this area, today a center of attraction for thousands of tourists eager to see with their own eyes the picturesque meadows, the characteristic farms and the mountain views of this place where time seems to have stopped.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the few National Park Service-operated American parks that has an entrance totally free. As suggested, the recommended entrance is through the city of Gatlinburg.
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Jack Daniel's Distillery
Tennessee, in addition to being the home of music, is also the home of perhaps the most famous whiskey produced in the United States, namely the Jack Daniel's. Visiting the distillery of the well-known spirits is therefore a must, both for lovers of the genre and for the simple curious who want to find out more about a brand that has made history anyway.
Visits are daily from 9 to 16:30. In order to participate in the tours, you must be over 21 years of age. There is not just one tour but 5 different ones to choose from according to your time and your needs:
- Dry County Tour: (about an hour, cost $ 14) only tour without tasting.
- Jack Daniel's il tour completo: (1 hours, cost 17 $) tour with tasting of the famous whiskey.
- The Angle’s Share: (1 hour and a half, cost $ 22) tour of the distillery with tasting of the sought-after type of Single Barrel whiskey.
- The Taste of Lynchburg: (3 hours, cost $ 75) tour of the distillery with lunch in a typical restaurant of the city.
- Tour of the Source with toast: (30 minutes, cost $ 13) ideal tour for those with limited time, all done outdoors by bus and tasting included.
If your home base is N it is possible to rely on a organized tour you can take a look at this one day package including round trip transfers.
From Nashville to the Jack Daniel's DistilleryAs mentioned the price changes depending on the tour you want to do. The distillery is located in Lynchburg, the address is 280 Lynchburg Hwy, TN 37352.
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Burgess Falls State Park
Here we are at the most scenic waterfalls in the state. The most interesting activity in the park is obviously the named scenic route River Trail which runs along the river up to the viewpoint Big Falls Overlook, a lookout from which to observe the fascinating waterfalls from above.
Note: for safety reasons the park is closed when the river water exceeds the guard level. For this I suggest you to consult the official website to check the actual practicability of the park.This park is located near the city of Sparta, the address is 4000 Burgess Falls Drive, Sparta, TN 38583.
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One of the major natural attractions of the city is certainly Lookout mountain, which it shares with the state of Georgia, where we find Rock city, which we have already talked about in the article dedicated to the top 10 of Georgia. On the Tennessee side, however, you can visit one of the most impressive attractions in the state, the Ruby Falls, or the spectacular underground waterfalls that are also the highest in America.
Train lovers do not miss the opportunity to visit the historian Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (in which you will find many historical artifacts) and the characteristic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, which takes its name from the famous song by Glenn Miller and is located in what was the old train station (yes, you can even sleep in an old railway carriage). Today, in addition to the hotel, in the old station complex, you can also find bars and restaurants where you can refresh yourself during your stay.
In addition to these attractions, it is also worth taking a stroll around the city, especially along the Riverpark and the historian Walnut Street Bridge.
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A city deeply linked to the events of American Civil War whose historic buildings still bear witness to the fighting that marked the time.
One of the historic houses to visit is certainly the Carnton Plantation. Built in 1826, over time it became one of the best known and most important plantations in the state, so much so that it was also visited by the American President Andrew Jackson. In 1864 during the Battle of Franklin, in which more than 9.500 soldiers died on both fronts, the plantation was transformed into a real field hospital. The land near the plantation thus became a cemetery for more than 1.500 Confederate soldiers which today takes the name of McGavock Confederate Cemetery.
La Lotz House (now a museum) is the house around which the defenses of the Union soldiers were erected, and where the fiercest fighting of the battle was concentrated. This house also temporarily became a hospital that housed many wounded. A few meters away stands the Carter House which shares a similar history (it became the headquarters of the Union army) and where the signs of the battle can still be seen today in the bullet holes on the walls and in the bloodstains on the floor of some rooms.
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This small town is home to three of the state's most curious attractions. The first is Dollywood, an amusement park created by the famous country singer Dolly Parton. Here you will find more than 40 different types of rides divided into 10 large thematic areas (in short, everyone can find something that's right for you). Don't miss a ride on the Dollywood Express, a train that circumnavigates the entire park or one of the many concerts that are performed in the area.
The other curious attraction is certainly the Titanic Museum which, in addition to hosting a large exhibition with more than 400 artifacts, also includes the giant replica of the Titanic same that dominates the whole structure.
The third attraction that you can't miss is the local wax museum Hollywood Wax Museum, which on the outside houses a giant representation of King Kong climbing the Empire State Building and a Hollywood reinterpretation of the famous Mount Rushmore, in which, instead of the American presidents, the profiles of John Wayne, Elvis, Marilyn are reproduced Monroe and Charlie Chaplin.
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In this city, which was the first capital of Tennessee, the World Fair del 1982, nowadays also known as Expo. Today the World’s Fair Park, which we can define as the beating heart of the town. The most famous attraction in the area is undoubtedly the Sunsphere, a golden observation tower with a hexagonal shape, which with its 81 meters in height is impossible not to notice from anywhere in the city. Obviously you can go up inside and enjoy the 360 ° panorama from above over the whole surrounding area and see the silhouette of the Smoky Mountains.
Also in Knoxville it is possible to observe some excellent examples of historic houses. Let's start with Mabry-Hazen House Museum, whose construction dates back to 1858, once home to the most important family in the city. Today it is a museum where you can see more than 2.000 original artifacts that will open a window on how people lived in the 800th century. The other historic house of considerable importance is the Blount Mansion, formerly owned by William Blount, known for being one of the signatories of the American Constitution as well as governor of the Southwest Territory which later became the state of Tennessee.
For those who do not want to miss a relaxing walk immersed in the tranquility of nature, do not miss a visit to Ijams Nature Center a few minutes drive from the city center, this park is known for its very scenic walkway along the river.
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