Things to Do in Tennessee

From music festivals and sporting events to cultural arts and outdoor attractions, you’ll find a wealth of things to do and new things to experience around Tennessee. Spend some time exploring the food and entertainment districts around the western and eastern regions or head to the smokey region to enjoy the great outdoors at its finest.

Music festivals and other annual events attract millions of travelers to Tennessee every year. From the Disckson Stampede Days Rodeo lineup to the CMA Music Festival, you can enjoy some of the best performances, music, and family friendly activities around Tennessee in any given season. The spring and summer months are ideal for waterfront festivals and other outdoor events. Still, the holiday season brings plenty of good cheer and festivities to the major cities so you can enjoy light shows and other holiday-themed events during your visit.

Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the wealth of stadiums, sports fields, and other sporting venues around the state. You can watch a race at the Bristol Motor Speedway, attend sporting events at FedEX Park or watch football at the Johnny Red Floyd Stadium. You’ll also find some golf courses around the area offering beautiful views of the mountains and scenic landscapes.

Opportunities to explore the cultural arts district abound throughout the region. Enjoy live performances at the Franklin Theatre or Tennessee Theatre throughout the year. Head to Music Row and Music City Center to soak up some real country music in a legendary setting. Several art galleries and art centers host workshops and other special events throughout the year. Make your way to the Fly Arts Center or the Rose Center for the Arts to see the works of local and regional artists.

You’ll need a few days just to explore the museums around Tennessee. Learn about the history of the railroads at several history centers and sites including the Clement Railroad Hotel Museum and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Make time in your schedule to visit some offbeat locations, like the Dukes of Hazzard Museum or the Johnny Cash Museum.

The entertainment districts in all the major cities are teeming with activity year round and you’ll find plenty of destinations where you can enjoy live music and other special events. Head to Opry Mills for the day or explore the Sevierville Commercial District. Beale Street is a haven for music lovers and is a prime destination for great country music, food, and fun.

No trip to Memphis is complete without a trip to Graceland. Learn about Elvis’s history and listen to some classics as you explore the legendary mansion.

Tennessee boasts hundreds of unique attractions and historic sites, including plantations, heritage museums, aquariums, and forts. Spend an afternoon exploring the Loretta Lynn Ranch or head to the Tennessee Aquarium for a tour. Tennessee is home to several historic sites and Civil War attractions, including the Blue Ridge Historic Sites and the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center. Head to the caves and caverns of Tennessee or visit one of the historic battlefields open to the public.

If you’re in the mood for some outdoor adventures, head to one of the many state parks and natural attractions across the state. From Big Ridge State Park to the Blue Ridge Recreation sites, you’ll find many opportunities to go hiking, boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Plan your trip around prestigious lakes and rivers, including Ruby Falls, Cherokee Lake and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

You’ll have plenty of excuses to shop around Tennessee, including outlet shopping in Franklin and boutique shopping in Nashville and Chattanooga. Make your way to the Factory at Franklin or Tanger Outlets to find some great bargains.

If you’re traveling with kids, make sure to plan your trip around Dollywood, a music-themed theme park, or the Nashville Shores Waterpark. These parks are just a couple of venues to enjoy some unique rides and thrills.