1. Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers visitors various activities and attractions. Here are some of the best things to do:
Hiking – The park has over 800 hiking trails ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes.
Wildlife Viewing – The park is home to black bears, elk, deer, and many other animals. Visitors can spot wildlife throughout the park, especially in the early morning and late evening.
Waterfalls – The park has over 100 waterfalls, including the famous Laurel Falls, accessible via a paved trail.
Scenic Drives – The park has several scenic drives, including the Cades Cove Loop Road and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
Camping – The park has several campgrounds that offer a variety of camping experiences, including backcountry camping and RV camping.
Fishing – The park has over 2,100 miles of streams, making it a popular destination for anglers.
Picnicking – The park has several picnic areas with tables and grills for visitors to enjoy a meal in a scenic setting.
Auto Tours – Visitors can take self-guided auto tours through the park, including the Newfound Gap Road and the Little River Road.
Horseback Riding – The park offers guided horseback rides through the mountains, allowing visitors to explore the park from a different perspective.
Fall Foliage – The park is known for its stunning fall foliage, with peak colors typically occurring in late October and early November. Visitors can take scenic drives or hike to enjoy the season’s colors.
2. Take a tour of Graceland.
Graceland is the former home of legendary musician Elvis Presley, located in Memphis, Tennessee. Here’s a closer look at Graceland and what visitors can expect to see:
History: Elvis purchased Graceland in 1957 when he was just 22 years old. He lived there for the rest of his life until his death in 1977. Graceland is now a National Historic Landmark and one of the most visited homes in the United States.
Tours: Visitors can take a self-guided audio tour of Graceland, which includes an interactive iPad experience. The time takes visitors through the mansion’s many rooms, including the famous Jungle Room, where Elvis recorded some of his music. Visitors can also see Elvis’s cars and planes, including the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II.
Museum Exhibits: Graceland features several museums exhibits showcasing Elvis’s life and career, including his iconic jumpsuits and stage costumes. Visitors can also see his extensive collection of awards, gold records, and other memorabilia.
Elvis’ Grave: Elvis and several of his family members are buried on the grounds of Graceland. Visitors can pay their respects at the Meditation Garden, where a memorial to Elvis is also located.
Other Attractions: Besides the mansion and museum exhibits, Graceland features several other attractions, including restaurants, shops, and a concert venue. The complex also includes the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum, which features over 20 of Elvis’s cars, and a soundstage where Elvis recorded some of his music.
Events: Graceland hosts several events throughout the year, including Elvis Week in August and the Birthday Celebration in January. These events feature live music, special exhibits, and other activities.
Overall, Graceland offers visitors a unique glimpse into the life and career of one of the most iconic musicians of all time and a chance to see his famous home and personal belongings up close.
3. Explore the Nashville Zoo
The Nashville Zoo is a popular attraction in Nashville, Tennessee. Here’s a closer look at what visitors can expect to see at the zoo:
Animals: The Nashville Zoo is home to over 2,700 animals worldwide, including lions, tigers, giraffes, kangaroos, and more. Visitors can also see endangered species like red pandas, clouded leopards, and various reptiles, birds, and other animals.
Exhibits: The Nashville Zoo has several exhibits that showcase the animals and their habitats, including Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear, where visitors can see South American animals like spectacled bears and giant otters. The Zoo also has an African Savannah exhibit, where visitors can see zebras, ostriches, and other animals.
Activities: The Nashville Zoo offers a variety of activities for visitors, including animal encounters where visitors can get up close with certain animals, as well as a zip line and a ropes course. There is also a playground and a splash pad for children.
Conservation: The Nashville Zoo is committed to conservation efforts, including breeding programs for endangered species like clouded leopards and red pandas. Visitors can learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts and how they can help protect wildlife.
Events: The Nashville Zoo hosts several events throughout the year, including Boo at the Zoo for Halloween and Zoolumination for the winter holidays. These events feature unique attractions, food, and entertainment.
The Nashville Zoo allows visitors to see various animals worldwide, learn about conservation efforts, and enjoy multiple activities and events.
4. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Nashville, Tennessee, and is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history and heritage of country music. Here’s a closer look at what visitors can expect to see at the museum:
Exhibits: The museum features a variety of shows that showcase the history and evolution of country music. Exhibitions include artifacts such as stage costumes, instruments, recordings, and personal items of famous musicians. The museum also has interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience different aspects of country music, such as recording a song in a studio or designing a country album cover.
Rotating Exhibits: The museum has rotating exhibits that showcase specific artists, periods, or themes related to country music. These exhibits change regularly, offering visitors a fresh perspective and new things to see with each visit.
Hall of Fame: The Country Music Hall of Fame honors the most influential and vital figures in country music history. The Hall of Fame features plaques with the names of inductees and displays that highlight their contributions to the genre. Here are some of the artists who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame:
- Hank Williams
- Patsy Cline
- Johnny Cash
- Dolly Parton
- George Jones
- Loretta Lynn
- Merle Haggard
- Willie Nelson
- Reba McEntire
- Garth Brooks
There are over 140 members in the Country Music Hall of Fame, including musicians, songwriters, producers, and industry executives.
Performances: The museum has a state-of-the-art performance space where visitors can attend live music events, such as concerts, songwriter sessions, and film screenings.
Education: The museum offers a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages, including workshops, classes, and camps that teach visitors about the history and cultural significance of country music.
Gift Shop: The museum has a large gift shop that sells a wide range of country music-related merchandise, including music, books, clothing, and souvenirs.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum offers visitors a chance to explore country music’s rich history and cultural significance through engaging exhibits, live performances, and educational programs.
5. Walk the pedestrian-only bridge at John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.
The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, also known as the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge, is a landmark in Nashville, Tennessee. Here’s what you should know about this iconic structure:
History: The bridge was built in 1909 as a railroad bridge and was later converted to a pedestrian bridge in 2003. It was renamed in honor of John Seigenthaler, a prominent journalist, and civil rights advocate who was instrumental in the desegregation of Nashville.
Location: The bridge spans the Cumberland River and connects downtown Nashville to the East Bank area, where the Nissan Stadium and other attractions are located.
Design: The bridge is a truss-style bridge made of steel and concrete, with a distinctive green color that stands out against the Nashville skyline. It is 3,150 feet long and 65 feet wide and features two levels: a lower level for pedestrians and a higher level for bicycles.
Views: The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge offers spectacular views of the Nashville skyline and the Cumberland River. It is a popular spot for tourists and locals and is frequently used for photo shoots and events.
Activities: The bridge is open to pedestrians and cyclists and popular for jogging, walking, and biking. It is also a popular location for outdoor events and festivals, such as the Music City July 4th celebration.
The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge is a beloved Nashville landmark that offers beautiful views and a unique way to experience the city.
6. Tour the Jack Daniel Distillery
Touring the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, is an experience that offers visitors a glimpse into the history and production process of one of America’s most iconic spirits. Here’s what you can expect from a tour of the Jack Daniel Distillery:
Tour Options: The distillery offers several tour options, ranging from an introductory guided tour to more immersive experiences, including whiskey tastings and behind-the-scenes access. The most popular tour is the “Angel’s Share Distillery Tour,” which includes a guided tour of the distillery and a tasting of five different whiskeys.
History: The distillery was founded in 1866 and is one of the oldest registered distilleries in the United States. Visitors can learn about the brand’s history and its founder, Jack Daniel, and the process of making whiskey from start to finish.
Production Process: The tour includes visiting the production facilities, where visitors can see the mash vats, the copper stills, and the charcoal mellowing process that gives Jack Daniel’s whiskey its distinctive flavor. Visitors can also see the barrel-making process and learn about the importance of aging in whiskey production.
Tasting: Depending on the tour, visitors may have the opportunity to taste several different types of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, including the classic Old No. 7, as well as exclusive limited-edition releases. Tastings are conducted in a dedicated tasting room and are led by knowledgeable guides who can answer questions and offer insights into the flavors and aromas of the different whiskeys.
Gift Shop: The distillery has a large gift shop where visitors can purchase bottles of whiskey, as well as a wide range of branded merchandise, such as glassware, apparel, and accessories.
Touring the Jack Daniel Distillery is an educational and enjoyable experience for whiskey enthusiasts and anyone interested in the history and production of this iconic American spirit.
7. Go on a ghost tour of downtown Nashville
Several ghost tours in downtown Nashville allow visitors to explore the city’s haunted history. Here are some options to consider:
Nashville Ghost Tours: This company offers a variety of walking tours that explore the spooky side of Nashville’s history, including the “Haunted Downtown” tour, which takes visitors on a journey through the city’s most haunted sites.
Haunted Nashville: This tour company offers a range of ghost tours, including a “Downtown Haunted Pub Crawl” that combines ghost stories with visits to local bars and breweries.
Old Town Trolley Ghost Tours: This trolley tour takes visitors through the streets of downtown Nashville, with stops at some of the city’s most haunted locations, including the Tennessee State Capitol and the Ryman Auditorium.
Ghosts of Nashville: This company offers a “Ghosts of Music City” tour that explores the haunted history of Nashville’s music scene, with stops at the Country Music Hall of Fame and other iconic venues.
Each tour offers a unique perspective on Nashville’s haunted history, so it’s worth researching and selecting the time that best matches your interests and schedule. Remember that some tours may not be appropriate for young children or those who are easily frightened.
8. Visit the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel
Visiting the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel is a unique experience that offers visitors the chance to stay in a historic hotel that is also a beloved local landmark. Here’s what you can expect from a visit to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel:
History: The hotel is located in the former Terminal Station, a train station built in 1909 and served as a transportation hub for the city for many years. The station was converted into a hotel in 1973, becoming one of Chattanooga’s most recognizable landmarks.
Accommodations: The hotel offers a variety of rooms and suites, ranging from cozy standard rooms to spacious suites with separate living areas. Many rooms are in train cars converted into hotel rooms, providing a unique and memorable lodging experience.
Amenities: The hotel offers a range of amenities, including a fitness center, a pool, and several restaurants and bars. Guests can also ride on the historic “Chattanooga Choo Choo” train, which runs on a loop around the hotel grounds.
Attractions: The hotel is located in the Southside Historic District, which offers a variety of restaurants, shops, and attractions within walking distance. The Tennessee Aquarium, the Creative Discovery Museum, and the Riverwalk are all nearby.
Events: The hotel hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and holiday celebrations. The property also has several event spaces for weddings, meetings, and other gatherings.
Overall, visiting the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel is a unique and memorable experience that offers a glimpse into the history and culture of Chattanooga. Whether you’re staying overnight or just stopping by for a meal or a ride on the train, the hotel is a must-see attraction for visitors to the city.
9. Take a riverboat tour of the Tennessee River.
Taking a riverboat tour of the Tennessee River is a popular activity for visitors, offering a unique way to explore the beauty of the river and the surrounding landscape. Here’s what you can expect from a typical riverboat tour:
Scenic views: The Tennessee River is known for its stunning scenery, and a riverboat tour is an excellent way to take pictures. You’ll see the river and its banks from a new perspective and the wildlife and vegetation that make the area so unique.
Relaxation: A riverboat tour is a leisurely and relaxing way to explore the Tennessee River. You can sit back and enjoy the scenery, breathe the fresh air, and unwind while someone else drives.
Educational opportunities: Many riverboat tours offer educational opportunities, such as commentary on the history and ecology of the area. You may learn about the river’s role in the Civil War or the plant and animal life that call the river home.
Variety of tours: Several riverboat tours range from short sightseeing cruises to more extended dinner and sunset cruises. Some times even offer live music or other entertainment.
Group events: Riverboat tours can also be a fun and unique option for weddings, corporate events, or family gatherings.
Overall, taking a riverboat tour of the Tennessee River is a fun and relaxing way to experience the natural beauty and history of the area. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, a riverboat tour is a great way to see the river from a new perspective and make lasting memories.
10. Hike to Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains
Hiking to Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains is a popular and rewarding experience that offers stunning views of a picturesque waterfall. Here’s what you can expect from the hike:
Trail: The trail to Laurel Falls is a moderate 2.6-mile round-trip hike suitable for most hikers. The course is well-maintained and features a paved path for the first half-mile, making it accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. However, the trail does include some steep inclines and rocky areas, so hikers should wear appropriate footwear and be prepared for a workout.
Scenery: The trail offers beautiful views of the surrounding forest and mountain landscape, and the hike’s highlight is the picturesque Laurel Falls. The falls are 80 feet tall and cascade into a pool at the base, offering a tranquil and scenic spot to rest and take in the scenery.
Crowds: Because Laurel Falls is a popular destination, the trail can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. Visitors should plan to arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the busiest times.
Safety: Visitors should take care when hiking to Laurel Falls and stay on the designated trail. The rocks around the waterfall can be slippery, and accidents occur when visitors attempt to climb on or around the falls.
Overall, hiking to Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains is a beautiful and rewarding experience that offers stunning views of one of the most iconic waterfalls. Visitors should be prepared for a moderate hike and plan to arrive early to avoid crowds, but the fall’s scenic beauty and tranquil atmosphere make the hike well worth the effort.
11. Visit the Tennessee Aquarium
Visiting the Tennessee Aquarium is a fun and educational experience that offers a chance to see various animals and fish. Here’s what you can expect from a visit to the aquarium:
Exhibits: The Tennessee Aquarium is split into two buildings, River Journey and Ocean Journey, each with displays. River Journey focuses on freshwater habitats like rivers, streams, and swamps, while Ocean Journey highlights ocean ecosystems. Both buildings have a mix of live animal exhibits and interactive displays.
Animals: The aquarium is home to many animals, including river otters, alligators, turtles, snakes, birds, and many fish species. Visitors can see giant catfish, freshwater stingrays, sharks, and sea turtles, among other creatures.
Interactive exhibits: In addition to the live animal exhibits, the aquarium also has several interactive displays, including a butterfly garden, a touch tank where visitors can touch and feed stingrays and small sharks, and a virtual reality experience that allows visitors to swim with whales.
Educational opportunities: The aquarium offers several educational programs and opportunities, including behind-the-scenes tours, animal encounters, and various classes and camps for kids.
Overall, visiting the Tennessee Aquarium is a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. With a diverse collection of animals and fish, interactive exhibits, and educational opportunities, the aquarium offers a chance to learn about and appreciate the natural world uniquely and engagingly.
12. Go on a hot air balloon ride over Nashville.
Several companies offer hot air balloon rides over Nashville. Here are a few options:
Nashville Balloon Rides: This company offers hot air balloon rides with stunning views of Nashville’s skyline, countryside, and historical landmarks. The rides typically last about an hour, and the company offers private and group flights.
Middle Tennessee Hot Air Adventures: This company offers hot air balloon rides over Middle Tennessee, including Nashville, Franklin, and the surrounding countryside. The flights typically last about an hour and include a champagne toast and a commemorative flight certificate.
Above the Clouds Balloon Company: This company offers hot air balloon rides over the Nashville area, including views of the city’s skyline, the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee, and local landmarks. The flights typically last about an hour, and the company offers private and group getaways.
All these companies offer a unique and unforgettable way to experience the beauty of Nashville and the surrounding area from above. Remember that hot air balloon rides are weather-dependent, and companies may have specific requirements or restrictions, so be sure to check with the company directly for more information.
13. Explore the Belle Meade Plantation
The Belle Meade Plantation is a historic plantation in Nashville, Tennessee, dating back to the early 19th century. Here are some key features and things to expect when visiting:
History: The Belle Meade Plantation was initially established in 1807 as a small farm, but it grew over time to become one of the country’s largest and most successful thoroughbred horse farms. The plantation was owned and operated by several generations of the Harding and Jackson families, who were prominent figures in the local community.
Tours: Visitors to the Belle Meade Plantation can take guided tours of the historic buildings and grounds, including the main mansion, the carriage house, and several other outbuildings. The grounds offer a glimpse into life on the plantation and the history of the Harding and Jackson families, and their impact on the region.
Gardens and grounds: The Belle Meade Plantation is set on 30 acres of beautiful parks and feet, which offer a tranquil and scenic setting for a stroll or picnic. The grounds also include several historic structures, including a log cabin and a slave cabin, which provide insight into the lives of the enslaved people who lived and worked on the plantation.
Wine tasting: The Belle Meade Plantation is also home to a winery that offers wine tastings and tours of the winemaking process. The winery produces wines using grapes grown on-site and from other local vineyards.
Overall, visiting the Belle Meade Plantation is a fascinating and educational experience that offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the Nashville area. With guided tours, beautiful gardens, and a winery, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
14. Attend a Tennessee Titans football game.
Attending a Tennessee Titans football game is an exciting and memorable experience for fans of all ages. Here are some things you can expect:
The Stadium: The Tennessee Titans play at Nissan Stadium, a modern, state-of-the-art facility located in downtown Nashville. The stadium can accommodate up to 69,143 fans and offers a variety of seating options, including premium club seats and suites.
The Atmosphere: Game day at Nissan Stadium is a positive and energetic experience, with fans tailgating in the parking lots before the game and enjoying pre-game entertainment and activities. Inside the stadium, fans cheer on the Titans and participate in various traditions, such as the “Titan Up” chant and the waving of the rally towel.
The Game: The Tennessee Titans play in the National Football League (NFL), and the games are fast-paced and action-packed. The Titans have a passionate fan base, and the energy in the stadium is electric when the team is on the field. Whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just looking for a fun outing with family or friends, a Titans game will surely be an exciting experience.
Concessions: Nissan Stadium offers a variety of food and beverage options, including classic stadium fare like hot dogs and nachos, as well as local specialties like hot chicken and barbecue. Several full-service bars are also throughout the stadium, beer gardens, and other specialty areas.
Overall, attending a Tennessee Titans football game is a thrilling and unforgettable experience that offers a chance to be a part of the excitement and energy of professional football. With a great stadium, passionate fans, and exciting games, it’s no wonder that Titans games are a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
15. See a show at the Grand Ole Opry.
Seeing a show at the Grand Ole Opry is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. Here’s what you can expect:
History: The Grand Ole Opry is a legendary country music radio show broadcasting live from Nashville, Tennessee, since 1925. The show has played a significant role in developing country music and has helped launch many famous musicians’ careers.
The Venue: The Grand Ole Opry is now performed at the Grand Ole Opry House, a beautiful and modern venue accommodating up to 4,400 fans. The venue is located in the heart of Nashville and must-see for music fans.
The Show: The Grand Ole Opry features a rotating cast of country music stars, both established and up-and-coming. The show is typically divided into segments, with each artist performing several songs. The performances are often accompanied by stories and anecdotes, providing insight into the history and culture of country music.
Special Guests: The Grand Ole Opry also features special guests from other genres, celebrities, and dignitaries. Over the years, the Opry has hosted various famous performers, including Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, and many others.
Overall, seeing a show at the Grand Ole Opry is a must-do for any music fan. With a rich history, a beautiful venue, and a rotating cast of talented performers, the Opry offers an authentic and unforgettable glimpse into the world of country music.
16. Take a scenic drive through the Natchez Trace Parkway
Taking a scenic drive through the Natchez Trace Parkway is a beautiful and serene experience that offers breathtaking views of the natural beauty of Tennessee. Here’s what you can expect:
The Road: The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile scenic drive from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. The road is well-maintained and is considered one of the most beautiful drives in the United States. Along the way, you’ll pass through rolling hills, forests, and open fields and see stunning vistas and views of the Tennessee River.
The History: The Natchez Trace Parkway has many historical sites and landmarks. The parkway follows the path of an ancient Native American trade route, and places sites and markers provide insight into the region’s history. You can also visit the Meriwether Lewis National Monument, which honors the famous explorer who died on the Natchez Trace in 1809.
The Wildlife: The Natchez Trace Parkway is home to various wildlife, including deer, turkey, and bald eagles. You can also see many species of birds and other animals, making it an excellent destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
The Stops: Along the way, there are many stops and attractions that you can visit, including hiking trails, picnic areas, and historic sites. Some popular finishes include Jackson Falls, the Duck River, and the Gordon House Historic Site.
Overall, taking a scenic drive through the Natchez Trace Parkway is a beautiful and relaxing experience that offers a unique glimpse into Tennessee’s natural beauty and history. Whether a nature lover or just looking for a peaceful and scenic drive, the Natchez Trace Parkway is a must-see destination.
17. Visit the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.
Visiting the Memphis Rock ‘n,’ Soul Museum is a fascinating and immersive experience that explores the history of rock and soul music in Memphis, Tennessee. Here’s what you can expect:
The Exhibits: The museum features seven interactive exhibits showcasing the history of rock and soul music in Memphis. From blues and gospel music to rock ‘n’ roll and beyond, the exhibits provide a comprehensive look at the music that made Memphis famous.
The Artifacts: The exhibits feature a variety of artifacts and memorabilia, including musical instruments, clothing, photographs, and recordings. Some highlights include B.B. King’s guitar, Ike Turner’s piano, and an original jukebox from the famous Stax Records studio.
The Audio Tour: The museum offers an audio tour that guides you through the exhibits and provides in-depth commentary and background information on the music and artists featured in the exhibitions.
The Location: The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is located in the heart of downtown Memphis, just a short walk from other famous Memphis landmarks like Beale Street and the National Civil Rights Museum.
Overall, visiting the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is a must-do activity for music lovers and anyone interested in the history of rock and soul music. The well-curated exhibits provide a fascinating glimpse into the music, making Memphis a mecca.
18. Go ziplining at AdventureWorks.
Going ziplining at AdventureWorks in Nashville is an exhilarating experience that allows you to soar through the treetops and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding forests. Here’s what you can expect:
The Course: AdventureWorks offers zipline courses ranging from easy and beginner-friendly to challenging and advanced. The courses include multiple ziplines of varying lengths and sky bridges, rappels, and other aerial obstacles.
The Guides: AdventureWorks employs experienced and knowledgeable guides trained to ensure your safety and provide a fun and enjoyable experience. They will provide all the necessary equipment and give you a safety briefing before you begin the course.
The Views: One of the highlights of ziplining at AdventureWorks is the stunning views of the surrounding forests and landscapes. You’ll soar through the treetops and enjoy breathtaking vistas of the surrounding hills and valleys.
The Location: AdventureWorks is just outside Nashville, in Kingston Springs. The course is in a beautiful natural setting that provides a peaceful and serene escape from the city.
Overall, going ziplining at AdventureWorks is a thrilling and unforgettable experience perfect for adventurers of all ages and skill levels. With multiple courses and stunning views, it’s a great way to experience the beauty of Tennessee’s natural landscapes uniquely and excitingly.
19. Visit the Frist Art Museum
Visiting the Frist Art Museum is an excellent experience for art lovers and anyone looking for a cultural excursion in Nashville. Here’s what you can expect:
The Exhibitions: The Frist Art Museum hosts a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, featuring a wide range of art styles and mediums. Exhibitions have included everything from paintings and sculptures to photographs and installations, showcasing the work of both local and internationally renowned artists.
The Architecture: The Frist Art Museum is housed in a beautiful historic building that was initially built as a post office in the 1930s. The building has been renovated and updated to create a modern and welcoming space for art exhibitions and events. The grand Art Deco style of the building is a stunning backdrop for the art displays.
The Programs: Besides exhibitions, the Frist Art Museum offers a range of programs and events, including lectures, performances, and workshops. These programs provide opportunities to engage with art on a deeper level and learn more about the artists and their work.
The Location: The Frist Art Museum is in downtown Nashville, within walking distance of popular attractions like the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Tennessee State Capitol. Its central location makes it easy to incorporate into a day of sightseeing in the city.
Overall, visiting the Frist Art Museum is a great experience that offers the opportunity to appreciate and explore a wide range of art in a beautiful and historic setting. Whether you are a lifelong art enthusiast or just looking for a fun and exciting activity in Nashville, the Frist Art Museum is worth a visit.
20. Explore the Civil War history at Shiloh National Military Park.
Exploring the Civil War history at Shiloh National Military Park can be a fascinating and educational experience. Here’s what you can expect:
The Battlefield: Shiloh National Military Park is located in southwest Tennessee and encompasses where the Battle of Shiloh was fought in 1862. Visitors can explore the battlefield and see many original landmarks and monuments commemorating the battle’s events.
The Visitor Center: The park’s visitor center offers a variety of exhibits and displays that provide historical context and background information about the battle. Visitors can also watch a short film about the struggle and tour the museum exhibits, which include artifacts and personal items from soldiers who fought in the battle.
The Ranger-led Tours: The park offers a variety of ranger-led tours and programs that can provide deeper insights into the history and significance of the battle. These tours can be a great way to learn more about the battle’s events and gain a greater appreciation for the sacrifice and bravery of the soldiers who fought there.
The Natural Setting: Besides its historical significance, Shiloh National Military Park is also a beautiful and tranquil natural setting. The park includes miles of hiking trails and offers opportunities for birdwatching and other outdoor activities.
Overall, exploring the Civil War history at Shiloh National Military Park can be a rewarding and educational experience. Whether you are a history buff or just interested in learning more about this critical period in American history, Shiloh National Military Park is worth a visit.
21. Take a sunset sail on Percy Priest Lake.
Taking a sunset sail on Percy Priest Lake is a great way to enjoy the lake’s beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere. Here’s what you need to know:
Choose a Tour: Several companies offer sunset sails on Percy Priest Lake. Research and choose a tour that suits your preferences.
Make a Reservation: Once you’ve selected a tour, you must make a reservation. Most companies require reservations in advance, so be sure to plan.
Arrive at the Marina: On the day of your tour, arrive at the marina at least 30 minutes before departure time. This will give you ample time to check in and settle on the boat.
Enjoy the Sail: Once on the boat, relax as you sail around the lake. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and take in the peaceful atmosphere as the sun sets over the water.
Bring Snacks and Drinks: Some tours may offer snacks and drinks, but bringing your own is always a good idea. Consider packing a cooler with drinks and light snacks to enjoy during the sail.
Dress Appropriately: Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. It can get chilly on the water, so consider bringing a light jacket or sweater.
Taking a sunset sail on Percy Priest Lake can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. The serene setting and beautiful scenery make it a perfect way to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of Tennessee.
22. Visit the Tennessee State Capitol
Visiting the Tennessee State Capitol can be a fun and educational experience. The Tennessee State Capitol is in Nashville and is open for public tours. Here are some things you can expect to see and do during a visit:
Learn about Tennessee’s History: The Tennessee State Capitol is rich in history and has played an essential role in shaping the state’s government and politics. During your visit, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about Tennessee’s history and its impact on the nation.
Take a Guided Tour: Guided tours are available and are led by knowledgeable and friendly staff. The time will take you through the historic building and provide insights into its architecture, artwork, and history.
Visit the Governor’s Office: Visitors can also peek into the Governor’s office, which is inside the Capitol. The Governor’s office is usually open during regular business hours and provides a unique glimpse into the workings of Tennessee’s government.
See the House and Senate Chambers: Visitors can also see the House and Senate chambers, where lawmakers meet to discuss and pass legislation. The rooms are decorated with beautiful artwork designed to reflect the history and values of the state.
Enjoy the Grounds: The Tennessee State Capitol is located on beautiful grounds open to the public. Visitors can stroll through the gardens and enjoy the scenic views of downtown Nashville.
Overall, visiting the Tennessee State Capitol can be a fun and educational experience. It’s a great way to learn about Tennessee’s history and government while enjoying the beautiful architecture and scenery of the Capitol building and grounds.
23. Go on a brewery tour in Nashville.
Nashville has a thriving craft beer scene, and several breweries offer tours. Here are some popular options:
Yazoo Brewing Company: Yazoo Brewing Company is located in the Gulch neighborhood of Nashville and offers tours on Saturdays and Sundays. The time includes a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process, tasting their beers, and a souvenir glass.
Jackalope Brewing Company: Jackalope Brewing Company is in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood of Nashville and offers tours on Saturdays and Sundays. The time includes a tasting of their beers and a souvenir glass.
Tennessee Brew Works: Tennessee Brew Works is in downtown Nashville and offers tours on Saturdays and Sundays. The time includes tasting their beers, a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process, and a souvenir glass.
Black Abbey Brewing Company: Black Abbey Brewing Company is located in the Sylvan Park neighborhood of Nashville and offers Saturday tours. The time includes tasting their beers, a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process, and a souvenir glass.
Bearded Iris Brewing: Bearded Iris Brewing is located in the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville and offers tours on Saturdays and Sundays. The time includes tasting their beers, a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process, and a souvenir glass.
These are just a few of the many breweries in Nashville that offer tours. It’s always a good idea to check the brewery’s website or call ahead to confirm tour times and availability.
24. Go on a caving adventure at Cumberland Caverns.
When you go on a caving adventure at Cumberland Caverns, you can expect to explore the depths of one of Tennessee’s most extensive cave systems. Here’s what you can expect:
Safety briefing: Before your tour begins, you’ll receive a safety briefing and be provided with equipment such as helmets, headlamps, and gloves.
Hiking and crawling: You’ll hike through narrow passages, climb over rocks, and squeeze through tight spaces as you explore the cave system. Some tours require moderate physical activity, so it’s a good idea to check with the tour operator beforehand if you have any concerns.
Underground water features: You’ll see underground water features such as streams, pools, and waterfalls. The temperature inside the cave is typically more incredible than the outside temperature, so it’s a good idea to dress in layers.
Historical and geological information: Your guide will provide information about the cave system’s history and geology, including its formation and role during the Civil War.
Duration and difficulty: The length and difficulty of the tour will vary depending on the time you choose. Some times may last for just a few hours, while others may last for several hours or even a whole day.
It’s important to note that caving can be physically demanding and requires a certain fitness level. It’s always a good idea to check with the tour operator to ensure that the tour suits your fitness and experience.
25. Attend the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Attending the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is an experience unlike any other. Here’s what you can expect:
Music: Bonnaroo is primarily a music festival, so you can expect to see various artists and genres, from well-known headliners to up-and-coming acts. There are multiple stages throughout the festival grounds, and the music lasts for nearly 24 hours a day.
Art: Besides the music, there are numerous art installations and exhibits throughout the festival grounds, including live art demonstrations and interactive art experiences.
Camping: Most festival-goers camp on-site for the festival, creating a vibrant and communal atmosphere. Various camping options are available, from basic tent camping to luxury glamping.
Food and drink: Bonnaroo has an extensive selection of food and glass vendors, serving everything from classic festival fare to gourmet cuisine. Multiple bars throughout the festival grounds also serve various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Community: Bonnaroo is known for its friendly and inclusive community. Many festival-goers return year after year with a strong sense of camaraderie and shared experience among attendees.
It’s important to note that Bonnaroo is a large and crowded festival with tens of thousands of attendees. It can be overwhelming at times, especially for first-time festival-goers. However, many consider Bonnaroo a transformative and life-changing experience, making it well worth the effort.
26. Take a cooking class at the Nashville Farmers’ Market.
Taking a cooking class at the Nashville Farmers’ Market is a great way to learn new culinary skills and explore local food culture. Here’s how you can do it:
Check the schedule: The Nashville Farmers’ Market offers a variety of cooking classes throughout the year, ranging from basic techniques to specific cuisines. Check the market’s website or social media pages for the current schedule.
Register for a class: Once you’ve found a style you’re interested in, you must register in advance. This can be done online, by phone, or at the market’s information desk.
Show up and cook: On the day of the class, arrive at the market’s community kitchen at least 10-15 minutes early to get settled and meet your instructor. The kitchen has everything you’ll need to prepare the dishes, so bring yourself and your appetite!
Enjoy your meal: After cooking, sit down with your fellow students and enjoy the fruits of your labor. This is an excellent opportunity to socialize, ask questions, and learn more about the local food scene.
Cooking classes at the Nashville Farmers’ Market typically range from $30-$60 per person, depending on the length and complexity of the course. Private and group lessons are also available upon request.
27. Visit the George Jones Museum
The George Jones Museum in Nashville is a popular attraction for country music fans and anyone interested in the genre’s history. Here’s what you can expect when visiting the museum:
The exhibits: The museum features a variety of shows that showcase George Jones’ life and career, as well as the history of country music. You can see memorabilia such as guitars, stage outfits, awards, photos, and interactive exhibits that let you learn more about Jones’ music and legacy.
One of the highlights of the George Jones Museum is the rooftop bar, which offers a panoramic view of downtown Nashville. You can enjoy a drink and live music while taking in the city skyline.
The gift shop: Like many museums, the George Jones Museum has a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and memorabilia related to the exhibits. You’ll find everything from t-shirts and hats to CDs and vinyl records.
Admission: Admission to the museum is typically around $15 per person, and children under five are free. The museum is open daily, except for certain holidays, and guided tours are available upon request.
Overall, the George Jones Museum is a great place to learn more about country music’s legends and the genre’s history and cultural impact. It’s also a fun spot to grab a drink and enjoy live music in Music City’s heart.
28. Go on a historical walking tour of downtown Knoxville.
Going on a historical walking tour of downtown Knoxville is a great way to explore the city’s rich history and architecture. Here’s what you can expect:
The tour guide: A knowledgeable and friendly tour guide will lead you through the city, providing insights and exciting stories about Knoxville’s past and present.
The landmarks: Knoxville has many historic landmarks and buildings, and a walking tour is a perfect way to see them up close. You can expect to see sites like the Tennessee Theatre, the Old City Hall, and the Bijou Theatre.
The stories: Knoxville has a fascinating history, and a walking tour will introduce you to some of the city’s most interesting characters and events. You’ll hear stories about figures like Admiral David Farragut, Civil War soldiers, and bootleggers.
The scenery: Knoxville is a beautiful city, and a walking tour will allow you to appreciate its architecture and natural surroundings. You’ll stroll past charming buildings, leafy parks, and the sparkling Tennessee River.
The duration: Walking tours of downtown Knoxville typically last around two hours, although this can vary depending on the time and the pace of the group.
A historical walking tour of downtown Knoxville is a great way to learn more about the city and appreciate its unique blend of history and modernity.
There you have it – our favorite activities in the great state of Tennessee. Now get out there and go explore :)