Tennessee Travel Guide

Surrounded by eight other states—Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Arizona and Mississippi—Tennessee boasts some of the most amazing natural landscape in the US. For a relatively small state, Tennessee boasts an incredible number of state parks, historic sites and trails. Tennessee is also the home of country music, southern hospitality and soul-warming cooking.

Although mostly a rural state, Tennessee has plenty of urban pleasures on offer. The state capital is Nashville, but the largest city of the state is Memphis. Other major cities include Chattanooga, Clarksville and Knoxville.

Nashville is considered to be the home of country music and the main attraction is the Country Music Hall of Fame while the annual CMA Music Festival attracts thousands of visitors to Nashville. Other than music, Nashville is also home to several Civil War memorials such as the Battle of Franklin and Battle of Stone River. The Tennessee Performing Arts Center and First Center for the Visual Arts are the main cultural attractions in the city.

Everyone knows Memphis, one-time home to Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and many more famous musicians. Memphis in May is what draws many visitors to this city, an annual month-long event with arts, music and more. Music buffs should not miss the Memphis Walk of Fame. Besides music, Memphis offers historical attractions such as the National Civil Rights Museum, Victorian Village and the Cotton Museum.

Perhaps less well known than Memphis, Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in Tennessee. Probably most famous for the Chattanooga ‘choo choo’ song, the city has attractions for all members of the family. The Tennessee Aquarium, Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga Zoo and IMAX theater are perfect family attractions. The Hunter Museum of American Art and the Tennessee Valley Railroad are considered to be the two best museums in Chattanooga.

Outside the urban areas, visitors can enjoy the numerous recreation areas, parks, forests and lakes in Tennessee. The state is home to a part of the Appalachian mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. The numerous state parks offer a range of activities including biking, fishing, boating, camping and horseback riding. The most popular destinations are the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Obed Wild and Scenic River.

Tennessee has excellent transportation networks and boasts no less than two international airports and three major regional airports. International visitors can use either the Nashville International Airport or Memphis International Airport as their gateway into Tennessee. The state is also well-connected to the rail and interstate highway networks.