Must-Visit Tennessee Attractions

Legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, ground zero rock music 1950's
Legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, ground zero rock music 1950's | © Philip Scalia / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Frank Lopez
Writer6 August 2020

The State of Tennessee has a rich history that goes back centuries and an abundance of rugged nature, with attractions at every turn. As famous for alcohol as it is for music, Tennessee is the epitome of good times, while its National State Parks are some of the most visited in the United States. Here at Culture Trip we have put together a few choices to help you get the most out of this wonderful state.

Titanic Museum

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Titanic museum, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA
© BirchTree / Alamy Stock Photo
In Pigeon Forge – and more than 500 miles away from the North Atlantic ocean – is the Titanic Museum. A 30,000 square foot recreation of the famously doomed ocean ship liner of the 1910s. Using the original blueprints, rooms from the ship have been meticulously recreated for you to admire their extravagant luxury. You get to experience the Titanic as a real passenger with an original boarding ticket and then later find out that person’s fate. You also get to touch an iceberg, and not many people can say they’ve done that.

Tuckaleechee Caverns

Natural Feature
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The Tuckaleechee Caverns lie under the Great Smoky Mountains, near the town of Gatlinburg. They run 150ft into the ground and were used by Native Americans to evade white settlers in the 1800s. Inside the caves you get to marvel at the pure water stream and the abstract geological formations such as the towering stalagmites. The main room is enormous but the tallest subterranean waterfall in the United States is just as impressive. It’s definitely worth travelling to the oldest mountain range on the planet for.

Sun Studio

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Elvis Presley, Memphis’s golden boy, rocked up to Sun Studio near Downtown Memphis in summer 1954 and recorded ‘That’s Alright Mama’. From then, his life and the future of American rock’n’roll as a global force was stamped into modern culture forever. Sun Studios still manages to capture the atmosphere of this era. You can stand at the microphone where such legends as Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry and Johnny Cash have stood before. The tour guides are also brilliant and really hammer home that you are visiting a place of true historic and cultural importance

Al Green's Church

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The soul man, Al Green, known all across the world for his yearning love songs such as ‘Tired of Being Alone’ quit music to follow a religious calling. His church is situated not far from Graceland. When he vowed to leave his lucrative career in music behind so that he could preach in his own church he transformed his world. Fans of his music still go to visit him preaching today – and he’s a stirring and passionate front man with a no less than electric backing band.

Sound Waves

Amusement Park
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Sound Waves in Gaylord exclaim that they are not a waterpark. Let’s just say this is one of the best kinds of upscale water resorts for splashing around with friends and family, with more than 200,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor water activities that go from relaxing to extremely exhilarating. Whether it be state-of-the-art slides or poolsides to lounge in. There is even an adults-only bar for you to sip cocktails and really unwind in after a hard day of having fun.

The Lost Sea Adventure

Natural Feature
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Travel to the town of Sweetwater to have a unique experience of visiting The Lost Sea Adventure, witnessing America’s largest underground lake by boat. It begins with a guided walking tour of the caverns that slope down into the depths. The lake itself is lit in such a way as to really highlight the fantastical formations, making the vivid saturated colours of the water and the cave walls seem to come alive. It all feels quite unearthly with a good lesson in history and geology to boot. Those who really love the cave even have the option of staying overnight.

These recommendations were updated on August 6, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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