One thing that attracts people to Tennessee is the Southern hospitality. Tennesseans have a way of turning any experience into one that makes you feel welcomed and loved. Whether it’s recommending a great local restaurant, offering to help you find your way to a popular attraction or simply striking up a conversation, you’ll feel like a Tennessean yourself whenever you visit.
Both Memphis and Nashville have thriving music communities. With blues and country music leading the industry in the two cities, you’ll find local, regional and national talent gracing the stages of live music venues on any given night. And while blues and country dominate, other musical genres have just as much to offer visitors. There are also several music museums, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis.
You really can’t complain about the food in Tennessee. From mouthwatering BBQ to fried hot chicken, Southern meals are meant to satisfy. And while most of the restaurants are known for their meats and Southern sides, there are a few places to grab vegetarian or vegan foods as well. The bottom line is that Tennessee food is all about delicious flavors, homemade recipes, and to-die-for dishes.
From the colorful leaves in the fall to the green rolling hills in the spring, Tennessee’s natural landscape is stunning. With four seasons and some of the most breathtaking views, the state is a sight for sore eyes. And it isn’t just the backdrop that’s impressive. Wildlife roams the land, often stopping to pose or standing in the perfect photographic spot, proving that Mother Nature is just incredible.
Whether it’s hiking, camping, cycling or zip lining, Tennessee has an abundance of places to soak up nature. One of the most popular spots to do almost all of these things is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you enjoy wildlife-watching or viewing the sunset, the great outdoors is part of what makes Tennessee so great.
Not only is Tennessee an affordable place to live, but visitors don’t have to empty their retirement accounts to enjoy their stay. Most Airbnbs and hotels are reasonably priced, as are the attractions and meals; this means that you’ll have money leftover for souvenirs to take home to loved ones.
Even if you’re just spending a few days in Tennessee, you’re bound to make at least one new friend. Whether it’s the front desk agent at the hotel, the waitress at your restaurant, your Uber driver or an emerging singer-songwriter, you won’t leave the state without promising to come back and visit your new friends.
With a church or place of worship on almost every street corner in Tennessee, it’s hard to feel angry, lost or sad. Even if you aren’t religious, the essence of the state’s spirituality will resonate within you. Don’t be surprised if you hear “God bless you” or “I’ll pray for you” at least once during your stay.
When you’re in a place where music dominates the lifestyle, it should come as no surprise that dancing is also an art form popular among residents. In Nashville, you can learn how to line dance like a pro by taking free lessons at the Wildhorse Saloon downtown. There are also plenty of other dance clubs and places to get your groove on throughout Tennessee.
With many old buildings, some of which have undergone restoration over the years, Tennessee has some impressive architecture—mostly Greek Revival and Victorian Gothic style—to show off. Places such as the Belle Meade Plantation, the Ryman Auditorium, Graceland, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, the Parthenon, and the Tennessee State Capitol all boast incredible details.
Tennessee captures some of the most historic events that occurred in the state through exhibits, events, and displays at several museums. The National Civil Rights Museum, the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, the Memphis Rock ‘N’ Soul Museum, and Fort Donelson National Battlefield are a few that showcase major happenings that are forever engrained in the state’s history.
Part of what makes Tennessee such a desirable place to live is the laid-back vibe. Nobody is in a hurry, rushing through the day. People don’t let stress get them down. There’s no reason to fret over the small stuff because people learn to take a deep breath and take each day as it comes. If you want to stop and smell the roses, you’ll probably have a chance to do that in Tennessee.
Whether you’re staying in Tennessee for a day or a week, there is more than enough to see and do. No matter which part of the state you spend time in, you’ll find a great restaurant, a popular attraction or a place to hang out. Since there is so much available to visitors and most of the hot spots are close to each other, you can easily hit several places in a short amount of time, helping to make the most of your trip.