Destination of the Month: Tennessee
If you are looking for an affordable getaway where you can experience great music, cultural history, majestic mountains, and fine whiskey… look no further than Tennessee!
Memphis — City of Kings
A trip to Memphis is an adventure in history. By the 20th Century, the city was the largest inland Cotton Market in the world. Today you can visit museums documenting the storied industry and the anti-slavery and civil rights movements that were born here. The Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum is a 19th-century home full of secret passages and trap doors. The Civil Rights Museum is housed in the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The King of Rock and Roll grew up here and “Elvis Week” in August is a perfect time for a pilgrimage to Graceland. The King of the Blues, B.B. King, is still celebrated on Beale Street where you can find live music and street performers. And no family vacation would be complete without a visit to the Peabody Hotel where the world-famous ducks have been swimming in the lobby fountain since the 1930s.
Nashville — The Music City
It has this nickname for a reason and Nashville has become one of the nation’s most popular destinations. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Grand Ole Opry and step back in time at the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum. Looking for the stars of today, try the Honky Tonk Highway, Blue Bird Cafe, or Wildhorse Saloon where they give free line-dancing lessons. There’s even a bus tour where you can see the homes of stars like Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon. Nashville is known for its food (Hot Chicken is a must) and festivals. The Musician’s Corner live music series starts again this spring and it’s free! If you have kids, the Hop-On-Hop-Off double-decker bus is a blast and for a real blast from the past check out the Parthenon… a replica of the real thing from Ancient Greece.
Knoxville — Waterfalls and Whiskey
Get your Tennessee Whiskey Trail Passport and hit the road. The trail offers more than 35 destinations throughout the state but Knoxville is a great home base if you want to take in the Great Smoky Mountains and other outdoor family fun. Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness has become one of the top mountain biking destinations in the country and it’s Ijams Craig offers 33 different rock climbing routes. The fishing in the Tennessee River is so good that the Bassmaster Classic has been held there. Take in the scenery of the Smokies aboard Dollywood’s Express Train at the theme park in Pigeon Forge. A little further south, a beautiful two-hour drive to Chattanooga will lead you to the Lover’s Leap waterfall on top of Lookout Mountain in Rock City. From there the views are so breathtaking you can see 7 states!