Encounter the soul of America in Tennessee, a state that is justly famed for its musical legends, fiery liquors and alluring Great Smoky Mountains.
Appreciate Tennessee for itsdiversity: lowlands and highlands, fun-filled theme parks and sedate antebellumplantations, country music and one of the nation’s most popular rock festivals.
Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry. Attend performances tosee and hear popular country and western stars, rising talent and unknownslooking for big breaks. The city also has an excellent symphony hall and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Visitmusic-focused museums: the Johnny CashMuseum and the Country Music Hall ofFame and Museum. Come to Bonnaroo near Manchesterfor a “really good time” at the four-day music and arts festival.
Make a pilgrimage to ElvisPresley’s home, Graceland, when youvisit Memphis. Other popular musicspots include Sun Studio, Stax Museum ofAmerican Soul Music, Belz Museum and Orpheum Theater. For a more somber, but important stop, see the National Civil Rights Museum – LorraineMotel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
When you meander down the streetsof Gatlinburg you’ll have an almostoverwhelming number of choices of tourist activities. Visit an aquarium, a waxmuseum, a Space Needle, a Sky Lift, a 3-D movie theater andnumerous ice cream and candy shops, restaurants and bars, including whiskeytasting rooms.
Gatlinburg is also the Tennessee gatewayto Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Asyou hike along some of the park’s 800 miles (1,280 kilometers) of trails, lookfor tiny salamanders of 31 different species climbing up hemlock trees. Morethan 10,000 species of plants and animals reside in the park’s diverseenvironment. Drive to Clingmans Dome, the tallest point in the Smokies, walk upa short trail and then climb an elevated spiral walkway to enjoy 360-degreeviews from the observation platform.
Visit Tennessee’s Dollywood, the giant Pigeon Forge theme park owned by DollyParton. Enjoy water slides, roller coasters, live music shows and crafts.Travel around the central village on the Dollywood Express steam train. Pick afestival to attend featuring barbeque and bluegrass, international culture,summer fireworks, gospel and harvest, and the much-loved Smoky MountainChristmas event.