From the Great Smoky Mountains in the east to the beautiful cities of Nashville and Memphis in the west, Tennessee is a state that offers quite a variety for the avid road tripper. The state has many attractions with historical significance as well as large, modern cities. With such a wonderful assortment of activities, drive through Tennessee and take in the local food, culture, and delightful Southern accents.
The Country Music Capital
Steeped in 75 years of country music history, Nashville is also the cultural center of Tennessee. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, if you’re into the honky-tonk. Otherwise, explore the other sites the city has to offer. Walk down Broadway and soak in the live music or go to a Tennessee Titans or Nashville Predators game downtown. Be sure not to forget a visit to Centennial Park, just west of downtown, that features a full-scale replica of the Parthenon. If you already live in Nashville, visit a dealership like your local DriveTime and make the trip to some of these other locations in the article.
BBQ and Blues
Just a 3 hour drive west of Nashville on I-40, Memphis is a unique city worth the trek. If you love BBQ, look no further; Memphis has some of the best in the country. Get some ribs, brisket, or pulled pork at one of the local joints such as the Blues City Cafe. The cafÃ© is on Beale Street, which is definitely worth a stroll to take in some live music or a cocktail. Don’t neglect a trip to the famous Sun Studios either, where rock and roll got its start.
Home of the Vols and the Sunsphere
No trip to Tennessee would be complete without a visit to Knoxville, home to the University of Tennessee. If possible, attend a Tennessee Volunteers football game. The tailgate is amazing and the atmosphere of the games is unmatched. In downtown Knoxville, go to World’s Fair Park, which features regular music and art festivals. Take a trip to the top of the Sunsphere, the iconic 280 foot tower in Knoxville to take in the spectacular view.
4. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg
The Entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains
Right before you enter Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg sit nestled in the foothills. While it is a bit gaudy with flashing lights and casinos, unless you love Las Vegas, the towns offer awesome attractions for visitors. In 2010, a half-size replica of the Titanic opened, which is a must see for movie and history fans. And you absolutely cannot go here without seeing Dollywood, the Dolly Parton themed amusement park. You’ll be singing “Jolene” in no time.
5. The Great Smoky Mountains
The Outdoorsman’s Paradise
The Great Smoky Mountains, on the eastern border of Tennessee and Georgia, offers all the outdoor activities you can handle. Hiking, fishing, and mountain biking are the most popular. If you can plan your trip correctly, arrive here in fall and see the breathtaking views of the leaves changing color. There’s really nothing else like it.
Road tripping in Tennessee is great for families and solo travelers alike. Nothing in the state is more than a half-a-day drive, making travel a breeze. From there, it’s up to you not to gorge yourself with too much barbecue.