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Things to Do in Tennessee

From mountain music in the east to Beale Street’s blues in Memphis to country music in Nashville, here everyone has a song in their hearts. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, is tops in the nation. In Chattanooga, celebrate the Tennessee River at the aquarium and learn about the city’s railroad past. Nearby, the Ocoee River is a whitewater rafter’s dream. Natchez Trace Parkway runs south from Nashville, where there are plenty of attractions and things to do. Throughout the state, Civil War battles raged, leaving stories to be told. Memphis boasts its BBQ restaurants and Graceland, the home of Elvis, king of rock ‘n roll. Spend some time here…hotels, cabins, condos and B&Bs available.
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Ramsey House Plantation and Gardens

2614 Thorngrove Pike
Knoxville, Tennessee
865-546-0745
This historic home, built in 1797 by Thomas Hope for Francis Alexander Ramsey and his sons, is set on 100-acres of rolling Tennessee hillside in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.

The house is a Georgian-style design and is significant for its original interior and exterior architectural features. The exterior is made from local pink marble and blue limestone and the interior contains elaborate wood detailing, as well as early furnishings and decorative arts. The house was unusual...
Hours & Admission
Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. Admission.

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

4564 Leatherwood Road
Oneida, Tennessee
423-286-7275
Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. Straddling the states of Kentucky and Tennessee, it boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs.

The park is rich with natural and historic features and provides visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities: hiking on numerous trails and loops, whitewater rafting,...
Hours & Admission
Bandy Creek Visitor Center: May to September, Sunday to Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., October to April, daily 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed December 25. Hours Bandy Creek swimming pool: late May to early September. Free. Stearns Depot Visitor Center: May to October, daily 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., November to April, Friday and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed December 25. Free.

Cherokee National Forest

2800 North Ocoee Street
Cleveland, Tennessee
423-476-9700
The Cherokee National Forest (CNF) with more than 640,000 acres in 10 Tennessee counties along the state's eastern border, is split by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is home to 30 developed campgrounds, 30 picnic sites, and over 600 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. There are also a number of beaches/swimming areas and boat ramps for water enthusiasts.

Two National Forest Service Scenic Byways, the Ocoee (Ocoee/Hiwassee Ranger District) and...
Hours & Admission
24/7. Admission.

Knoxville Botanical Gardens and Arboretum

2743 Wimpole Avenue
Knoxville, Tennessee
865-862-8717
This is the former site of Howell Nursery. According to the gardens, it was the oldest continually operated business in Knoxville until it closed in 2003, having been in existence for 217 years.

Discover the former site of Bruce Howell’s vegetable garden, the Martha Ashe garden, a 100-year old Japanese maple, a mule and plot barn, cedars of Lebanon, a Kentucky coffee tree, the viburnum cottage, the Mary Nell Johnson garden, and stone terraces and...
Hours & Admission
Grounds: daily dawn to dusk. Free.

Mud Island River Park

125 North Front Street
Memphis, Tennessee
901-576-7241
This 52-acre park is home to the Mississippi River Museum, a 5,000-seat amphitheater and the Riverwalk area - a one-half mile-long scaled model of the Mississippi River from its upper reaches all the way to the Mississippi Delta to the south.

Visitors enter the park via monorail (fee) from downtown, allowing plenty of energy for exploring the island’s attractions, browsing through shops or sampling the offerings of various restaurants....
Hours & Admission
Early April to October, Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission.

Obed Wild and Scenic River

208 North Maiden Street
Wartburg, Tennessee
423-346-6294
The park consists of nearly 5,000 acres of federal and state lands stretched along 45 miles of rivers and streams. At the visitor center, learn about the river and area activities.

View several displays at the visitor center including recreational equipment since the 1960s, a salt-curing box, and learn about wildlife in the park.

Experienced paddlers enjoy...
Hours & Admission
Visitor center: daily 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed major holidays. Free.

Parrot Mountain and Garden of Eden

1471 McCarter Hollow Road
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
865-774-1749
This lush mountain garden, connected by paved paths, is filled with colorful tropical birds - some that like to sing, talk or have their photos taken. In the secret garden, find parrot cottages and birds flying freely, while residents of the bird garden sit openly on perches. In the lorry aviary, guests can feed the parrots and in the nursery see baby birds being handfed.
Hours & Admission
March to May and August to October, daily 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., June and July, daily 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., November, daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission.

Shiloh National Military Park

1055 Pittsburg Landing Road
Shiloh, Tennessee
731-689-5696
The Shiloh National Military Park, along the west bank of the Tennessee River, is home to Shiloh Battlefield in Tennessee and nearby Corinth Battlefield in northeast Mississippi, the site of a later siege and battle to control pivotal railroad crossroads. The park commemorates the April 6-7, 1862 battle at Shiloh, the largest Civil War engagement in the Mississippi Valley campaign. More that 110,000 soldiers fought here, of which 23,746 became casualties.

Established in 1894, Shiloh...
Hours & Admission
Park: daily dawn to dusk. Shiloh Battlefield visitor center (admission): daily 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed December 25. Corinth Civil War interpretive center (free): daily 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed December 25. Admission./Free.

Sycamore Shoals State Park

1651 West Elk Avenue
Elizabethton, Tennessee
423-543-5808
Located on the east bank of the Watauga River, the park features a reconstructed fort, museum, a picnic area and a two-mile recreational trail that follows the river and takes in views of Sycamore Shoals.

Watauga, one of the first permanent America settlements outside the original colonies, existed alongside the Cherokee Indians during the 18th century until the British Army began supplying Native Americans with arms during the American Revolution. The original fort, built...
Hours & Admission
Park: daily dawn to dusk. Visitor center and museum: Monday to Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed major winter holidays. Free.

The Hermitage

4580 Rachel's Lane
Nashville, Tennessee
615-889-2941
The Hermitage is the home of Andrew Jackson - the seventh president of the United States and a general in the War of 1812 - and his family. This is one of the largest and most visited presidential homes in the United States. Jackson built it for his beloved wife Rachel.

Today the 1,120-acre national historic landmark showcases more than 30 historic buildings, including restored slave cabins. The antebellum plantation is situated on the same tract of land that belonged to Jackson 200...
Hours & Admission
April to mid-October, daily 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., mid-October to mid-January and late January to March, daily 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed major winter holidays. Admission._
Information subject to change without notice.
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