Tennessee for music, mountains and more
Tennessee, in the south of the United States, is renowned for its long-standing and thriving music scene, particularly when it comes to blues, soul, bluegrass and country. There are more strings to the Tennessee bow, however, from its great lakes and magical mountains to being the home of bourbon. Discover these things and more when you embark on one of our Tennessee holidays.
The state of Tennessee is synonymous with music. Its best known venue is the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, which opened its doors in 1925 and is still going strong. It continues to provide music lovers with some of the biggest country, folk and gospel acts around.
The capital of Tennessee is also home to the Bluebird Café which has been thriving for over 30 years and has seen artists like Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift begin their careers. It’s an intimate venue with great acoustics. Give it a try, who knows which future star you may see?
Downtown Mississippi is where Beale Street runs for almost two miles from the Mississippi River to East Street. It’s the place to be for its blues and jazz clubs, outdoor concerts and festivals.
The National Civil Rights Museum charts the history of the Civil Rights Movement over the last four centuries. It was opened in 1991 and was, in fact, constructed around the scene of Martin Luther King’s assassination, namely the Lorraine Motel. You can learn about this important movement through films, oral histories and a range of interactive displays that depict the times of slavery, the Black Power movement and much, much more.
Based in the heart of America’s Bible Belt, Tennessee has a very religious history, exemplified by the distinctive architecture that can be found all over the state in its churches and chapels. There are plenty of houses of prayer to visit, most of them Baptist. Why not sit in on a service? You’ll find the congregation friendly and welcoming.
Covering more than 500 miles of shoreline and consisting of more than 30,000 acres, Douglas Lake has plenty to occupy its visitors. There are lots of opportunities for fishing, either from the shores of the lake or on a boat. The lake is serpentine and has many fascinating little inlets to explore. It lies in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains, which are a part of the sprawling National Park of the same name. Enjoy long treks that take in verdant forests, winding rivers and streams, and spectacular waterfalls before trekking to its highest peak, Clingmans Dome, where you’ll find spectacular panoramic views.
Tennessee is also home to several great rivers. Ocoee River is perfect for white water rafting. In fact, it’s one of the very best of its kind in the whole of the United States.
Dollywood, a fun park run by Dolly Parton, and Graceland, the one-time home of rock ‘n’ roll’s finest practitioner, Elvis Presley, are just two music-inspired attractions to enjoy in Tennessee. Sun Records is an independent label that launched the careers of Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and others. Located in Memphis, it makes for a fascinating visit for enthusiasts and even casual music fans.
One of the most famous whiskeys in the world and probably the most renowned of all bourbons is Jack Daniels. The location of its distillery is Lynchburg, Tennessee. You can find out what goes into making the unique taste of this liquor, the history of the company and even sample some of the finished product.