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Things To Do In Western Tennessee

Attractions Along The Great River Roadin Western Tennessee

10 Things You Must Do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

The Western Tennessee counties of Lake, Obion, Dyer, Lauderdale, and Tipton offers it visitors a variety of historical, natural, and cultural activities. History can be found everywhere in Western Tennessee at such places as Fort Pillow State Historic Park, the Alex Haley Home and Interpretive Center, and many county museums. Nature can be explored at Reelfoot Lake, Tennessees largest natural lake, and at Fort Pillow State Historic Park as well as the Tipton County Museum, Veterans Memorial & Nature Center. Unique architecture can be seen at the Tipton and Lauderdale County courthouses and their surrounding downtown districts and Confederate soldier monuments dot the landscape. Theater lovers will delight in the atmosphere of the Ruffin Theater in Covington.

Reelfoot Lake State Park

What To Do In Tennessee: The Parthenon Nashville

The Parthenon in Nashville is a full-scale replica of the original Greek Parthenon in Athens. It is the centerpiece of Centennial Park and was built as a part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897. The Parthenon is listed on the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places.

This impressive monument is complete with a full-scale replica model of the Athena statue, which is the focus of the Parthenon. The Parthenon also houses Nashville’s art museum. The museum features 19th and 20th century American art on permanent display as well as a variety of temporary art exhibits. Things to do in Nashville TN

2500 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203, Phone: 615-862-8431

Discovery Park Of America: Museum And Heritage Park

A natural world of wonder is ready for discovery in Northwest Tennessee.

Discovery Park of America is surrounded by great places to visit with your family.

From eagles and white squirrels to Eiffel towers and honkey-tonks, our region is filled with unique attractions that are both educational and fun and authentically southern experiences you wont find anywhere else in the world. All just waiting to be explored by you and your family.

This area has long been a mecca for hunters, birdwatchers and outdoor water sports enthusiasts because of nearby Reelfoot Lake, a 15,000 biodiverse ecosystem created by a series of earthquakes in 1811 and 1812. Also nearby is the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area with over 170,000 acres of forests, wetlands and open lands on a peninsula between Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Western Kentucky and Tennessee. Today, with the opening of Discovery Park of America, a 100-million-dollar museum and heritage park in Union City, and three conveniently located brand new hotels connected to the park, the area is seeing a revitalization resulting from a dramatic increase in tourism.

Northwest Tennessee is home to a variety of wineries and distilleries that add a unique experience to your visit to Discovery Park. Visit our online itinerary of the wineries and distilleries in the region.

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Smoky Mountain Deer Farm & Exotic Petting Zoo

The Smoky Mountain Deer Farm & Exotic Petting Zoo is a 140-acre family friendly attraction with multiple animal centered activities. The deer farm provides the opportunity to interact not only with species from the deer family, but also some exciting exotic animals.

The petting zoo has camels, kangaroos, zebra, reindeer, emu, donkeys, zonkeys, and much more. Visitors get the opportunity to pet and feed many of the animals. For equestrian lovers, the Deer Farm Riding Stables provide horse-riding experiences for visitors of all ages and experience levels. The trails are shaded for a comfortable ride and offer fantastic views of the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

478 Happy Hollow Lane, Seveirville, TN 37876, Phone: 865-428-3337

Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area

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Everywhere you turn at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is breathtaking! This inspiring location can be found in Oneida, Tennessee. It contains 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau. There are many things to do in Tennessee and at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area you can find more than gorgeous forests.

Along with bike riding, hiking, and horseback riding, there are events that you wont want to miss! You can be led by rangers who share knowledge of the area or join the annual Haunting in the Hills Storytelling Festival. Along with bike riding, hiking, and horseback riding, there are events that you wont want to miss at Big South Fork!

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The National Civil Rights Museum At The Lorraine Motel

And when I get done at Rusty’s, I’m gonna turn around and head back down to Memphis and explore the National Civil Rights Museum. I’ve always been fascinated by where this amazing catalogue of American history is located–it’s AT the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.

Exhibits trace the history of civil rights in America from resistance in the days of slavery through the Civil War and Reconstruction and into the Jim Crow with a additional commemorations of events into the late 20th century.

It feels like Memphis covers so many angles in American history and should really be a part of any getaway focused on western Tennessee. Look at the wide variety of things to do. Hopefully, this has been helpful.

And maybe we’ll see you on the road.

National Civil Rights Museum

The National Civil Rights Museum is made up of several museums and historic buildings in Memphis. The exhibits display artifacts related to the history of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, which include numerous multi-media and interactive exhibits.

The centerpiece of the museum is the Lorraine Motel, which was the location of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination. During the tour, visitors will spend approximately two hours traveling through the various exhibits and buildings as they experience the history of civil rights in the United States. The museum is available to rent for corporate functions, holiday parties, and other events.

450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 901-521-9699

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Ripley’s Aquarium Of The Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee is among the top rated aquariums in the country. The aquarium’s tanks hold 1.4 million gallons of water and are home to more than 100 thousand marine animals.

The underwater tunnel at Ripley’s is 340 feet long, making it one of the longest in the world. The tunnel allows visitors to get a close-up look at exotic sea creatures such as sharks, stingrays, and giant sea turtles. The Gatlinburg aquarium is a great option for families with children, as there are activities and exhibits throughout to engage visitors of all ages. Things to Do in Gatlinburg

88 River Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, Phone: 865-430-8808

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Reelfoot Lake State Park

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I’ve heard of Reelfoot Lake in Tiptonville, Tennessee my whole life and have never been. Silly, silly me. The beautiful lake was created more than 200 years ago when, in 1811 and 1812, a series of violent earthquakes caused the Mississippi River to flow BACKWARD, creating Reelfoot Lake as we know it today.

The state park is unique in that the forest is a FLOODED forest with large cypress trees stretching out the water toward the sky and large cypress stumps submerged beneath the surface.

There are plenty of camping opportunities, and cabins are available, as well. Reelfoot Lake State Park keeps a busy schedule, with events planned throughout the season.

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Ripleys Aquarium Of The Smokies

In downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a marvel awaits.

Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies is one of the best places to go if you like aquatic animals at all.

With more than a hundred thousand individual animals and nearly one and a half million gallons of water, Ripleys is one of the largest aquariums in America, and the highest-rated of all.

Ripleys has many fascinating species, and visitors can observe them clearly from one of the worlds longest underground tunnels, which provides a spectacular view of the sharks and rays, amongst many other fascinating fish that live at Ripleys Aquarium.

This marvelous aquarium also hosts special events such as the famous Painting with Penguins, ensuring that visitors of all ages are entertained by the plethora of events and intriguing animals resident to Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Address: 88 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States

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Stones River National Battlefield

The Stones River National Battlefield is a Civil War battlefield in Murfreesboro and was the location of one of the bloodiest battles in the war. The 570-acre park memorializes the Battle of Stones and educates visitors about the significance of this specific battle and the Civil War as a whole.

The park includes the Stones River National Cemetery, which has almost 7,000 gravesites, as well as the oldest surviving American Civil War monument to still be standing in its original location Hazen’s Brigade Monument. Park Service rangers and volunteers provide the public with a number of talks, interpreted walks, tours, and history programs. Things to Do in Murfreesboro

3501 Old Nashville Highway, Murfreesboro, TN 37129, Phone: 615-893-9501

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Prentice Cooper State Forest

Just 10 miles west of Chattanooga, the Marion County state forest of Prentice Cooper State Forest is one for the scrapbook! Prentice Cooper State Forest is planted by the grand Tennessee River Gorge and the views are astonishing.

Additionally, the Cumberland Trail State Park is included in the 35 miles of hiking trails and 2 designated camping areas. Hunting is also a tradition amongst seasonal guests. The Prentice Cooper State Forest has options for everyone, whether it be rock climbing, biking, horseback riding, and bird watching!

Tennessee is chock-full of entertaining, relaxing, and intriguing things to do! If you have added to your bucket list then the next step is planning the trip there! Checking off your list is just as satisfying as visiting any of these Tennessee gems!

Tennessee Attractions: Sun Studio

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Quite possibly the most famous recording studio anywhere in the world and one of the best things to do in TN, Sun Studio is a mainstay attraction in Memphis. Founded in 1950 by rock and roll pioneer Sam Phillips, Sun Studio is said to have been the place where the first rock and roll single Rocket 88 was recorded. Because of this, the location has been called the birthplace of rock and roll.

Nowadays the studio is still recording, and it also offers tours that include a free shuttle to and from Graceland or the Rock N’ Soul Museum, making it easy to combine a visit to Sun Studio with other Memphis attractions. In addition to tours, the studio’s Rock Shop has a selection of gifts and apparel available for purchase.

706 Union Ave., Memphis, TN 38103, Phone: 800-441-6249

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Parrot Mountain & Gardens

Parrot Mountain and Gardens is a bird park and garden attraction in Pigeon Forge. It is composed of four acres of gardens and numerous aviaries. The gardens incorporate European elements and the style of artist Thomas Kincade.

There are uniquely designed parrot cottages lining the paths and beautiful tropical birds sitting on open perches and flying overhead. The bird garden gives visitors the opportunity to feed birds from their hands, take photographs with them or just stroll through and enjoy the variety of different species. Parrot Mountain and Gardens also has a baby bird nursery on-site, and you can purchase a bird to take home.

1471 McCarter Hollow Road, Pigeon Forge, TN 37862, Phone: 865-428-7798

The Tennessee State Capitol Building

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The Tennessee State Capitol Building opened in 1859 in Nashville as a form of tribute to locals living in the state.

The imposing building is designated a US Historic Landmark and is on the countrys Register of Historic Places, making it among the best of the places to visit in Tennessee.

The building was designed by William Strickland, who died during construction.

The building is his final resting place, as well as that of President James Polk and his life.

There are also other monuments to those passed away, with statues for Sergeant Alvin York, President Andrew Johnson, President Andrew Jackson, and Sam Davis on the premises.

Guided tours are offered every week.

Address: 600 Dr. M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Nashville, TN 37243, United States

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National Museum Of Civil Rights Memphis

The National Museum of Civil Rights in Memphis is a national treasure and one of the most compelling attractions in Tennessee. The museum features hundreds of artifacts spread over two buildings, including the Lorraine Motelthe designated historic site where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in April 1968.

Stand in the room where assassin James Earl Ray pulled the trigger that ended King’s life. The history of these dramatic days, including motivational theories, will rivet your attention. View artifacts on display, and watch 40 short videos, oral histories, and interactive media. Plan to spend a minimum of two to three hours at this attraction.

Your self-guided tour of the museum covers five centuries of civil rights history, including slavery, reconstruction after the Civil War, Jim Crow segregation, 1950s Birmingham bus boycott and Rosa Parks protest, and 1960s marches and sit-ins. The museum is educational, inspirational, and an enduring challenge to achieve racial equality.

Address: 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, Tennessee

West Tennessee Area Attractions

10 Things You Must Do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

History:

Lane College Historic District: 545 Lane Ave., Jackson. An historic African-American college supported by the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The J.K. Daniels Library boasts an excellent African American Heritage Collection.

Salem Cemetery: Cotton Grove Road, Jackson.

Parkers Crossroads Battlefield: Parkers Crossroads Battlefield is located at the intersection of I-40 and Tenn. 22 at exit 108. The Parkers Crossroads Visitors Center is located a half-mile south of I-40 and is open seven days a aweek from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is closed on Christmas.

Britton Lane Battlefield: Take Exit 76 off I-40. Follow Hwy 223 through Denmark. Turn left on Britton Lane. From Hwy 18 in Medon, turn west on Bowman-Collins Road between the Medon Post Office and Uptons Grocery. At first stop sign at the bottom of the hill, turn right on Collins Road and continue to the roads end. Make a right turn on Steam Mill Ferry road and then turn left at the next road onto Britton Lane. Call 989-7944 for more information.

Riverside Cemetery: Corner of River Drive and Sycamore Street, Jackson, 424-1279. Resting place for Confederate officers.

Salem Cemetery Battlefield: 58 Cotton Grove Road, Jackson, 424-1279. Self-guided tour of monuments honoring soldiers killed in battle.

Museums:

Bemis Mill Village Museum: 2 North Missouri St., Bemis, 424-0739. Open by appointment, bemishistory.org.

Nature:

Bars and clubs and nightlife:

Mulligans: For more information, call 660-6595.

Arts:

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited of America’s National Parks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Great Smoky Mountains are part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a part of the Appalachian Mountain Range.

The park is on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee and is well known for its beautiful natural scenery and biodiversity. It is not uncommon to encounter wild black bear in the park, and elk sightings have been increasingly more frequent. Hiking trails abound, and with 850 miles of trails, hikers will never get bored. Appalachian historic buildings are preserved at Cades Cove, which is the most frequently visited location in the park.

107 Park Headquarters Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, Phone: 865-436-1200

Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville is the world’s largest collection of country music artifacts. Conveniently located at the center of Nashville’s art and entertainment district, the Hall of Fame and Museum tells the history of country music through various historical artifacts and photos as well as several technologically enhanced exhibits. The museum also houses the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Members of the Hall of Fame are memorialized with plaques in the rotunda. In addition to the exhibit halls, the museum also has a 776-seat theater, an education center and a multi-purpose event space.

222 Fifth Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203, Phone: 615-416-2001

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What To Do In Tennessee: Dollywood

Dollywood is a theme park in Pigeon Forge that is partly owned by entertainer Dolly Parton, the namesake of the park. With thrilling rides such as Lightening Rod, the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster, stage shows, seasonal festivals, and a water park, Dollywood has something for any visitor.

The theme park is just minutes from Dollywood’s beautiful DreamMore resort, which is a full-service resort hotel. Dollywood is a fantastic attraction year round, but it really lights up during the Christmas season when businesses in the Pigeon Forge area celebrate the Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival.

2525 DreamMore Way, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, Phone: 865-365-1900

Tennessee’s Civil War Heritage

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Tennessee, the last state to join the Confederacy, was divided in its Civil War loyalties. The west and middle part of the state were allied with Confederate forces, while the east sided with Union soldiers. As one of the most northerly of the Confederate states, Tennessee witnessed numerous battles during the four-year conflict, many of which are commemorated by visitor centers, museums, cemeteries, and memorials.

Fort Donelson National Battlefield is the site of the first major Union victory and home to a cemetery, fort, and visitor center. Shiloh National Military Park comprises 5,000 acres on the site of the two-day battle that took place in 1862. The first significant Civil War battle in the west happened at Shiloh, which includes a cemetery with more than 3,500 Union graves.

Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, the country’s largest military park, is historically significant in the Civil War. The 9,500-acre park was where the battle took place that signaled the end of the Confederacy.

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