During our recent trip to Tennessee we started in Nashville and ended in the Smoky Mountains. One thing I realized about Tennessee travel is that there is a wide variety of things to do. We took in the music scene, ate way too much, wine-tasted, hiked, and so much more. There are heaps of posts out there about the food, music, art and more about Nashville. Therefore, when I was thinking about what I’d share with all of you lovely people, I realized I wanted to show all the ways that Tennessee is perfect for everyone.
Perfect For Everyone
Tennessee travel has something for everyone. Maybe you’ve never traveled to Nashville because you’re not into country music, but there’s so much more than that. My husband doesn’t listen to country music but I knew he would still love Nashville and Tennessee because of the range of things to do. So whether you are a music-lover, art-love, foodie, shop-a-holic or more, I really believe you’ll find something below that’s in Tennessee.
First up, I can’t talk about Tennessee travel without first mentioning the music scene. You can walk into any bar on Broadway any time of day, any day of the week and hear live music. Plus, there’s no cover charge! Beyond Broadway, there’s the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and more. You should also check out Music Row. While it may appear to be simply cute suburban houses, but it’s not. It’s where so many musicians record their albums. It’s pretty cool when you think about it.
If you’ve done any research about Nashville before reading this, then you’ve probably seen a lot of street art and instagram-able places around town. We spent an entire morning just driving around finding different places to snap photos of. If you’re looking to do the same, then check out this blog post by Camels and Chocolate. I followed it to basically all the places we went and she’s great at giving tips on where to park and how to get there.
I love food. It’s really great, isn’t it?! Southern food is probably my favorite of all time and it’s delicious in Tennessee. You have to try the hot chicken (the most famous is Hattie B’s), have mac and cheese with every meal, hit up the Pancake Pantry, get some BBQ, nachos, biscuits and gravy, and pretty much anything else. Yes, there are places around Nashville that will get a line because they are that popular. We waited at the Pancake Pantry and it took only about 15 min to get us in, well worth it. Some will say it’s over-hyped, but I think it’s perfect. Don’t worry, I’ll get to the desserts next.
If southern food isn’t your thing, then you should change your thing. I’m joking, sort of. But, if it’s not your thing, then go for the desserts. Get a spiked or crazy milkshake, a delicious donut, goo clusters, and more.
Clearly, when traveling in Tennessee, you will be able to buy cowboy boots. Never thought I would buy them, but I actually found a pair that I loved, so keep an open mind. Beyond that, there are loads of adorable shops in Nashville, Franklin, and even out by the Smoky Mountains. You can even hit up Reese Witherspoon’s shop in the 12 South Area of Nashville if you’re into celebrities.
If you do love to shop, and especially love antiques, then you’ll feel right at home in Tennessee as well. You can even visit the shop Antique Archaeology from the show American Pickers at the Marathon Village.
Beer Drinker, Wino, and Whiskey or Moonshine Drinker
Now another obvious thing to do in Tennessee is drink. They boast wine, craft breweries, the Jack Daniels Distillery and Moonshine. You can try all of these from Nashville to the Smoky Mountains and beyond. There is no shortage of craft beer, wine, whiskey, and moonshine. Several places also give free or very reasonable tastings. I’m mostly a wine drinker and the wine in Tennessee was not my favorite as it’s mostly sweet. However, if you’re into sweet wine, you’re into the right place. The whiskey is also fantastic with loads of different flavors. Be sure to try it at least once.
I didn’t really know much about the sports teams in Tennessee before going there, but I found it awesome that there’s two major sports venues right in the city of Nashville. You can check out the Tennessee Titans football team or a Nashville Predators Hockey match. Beyond that, if you do head to the Smoky Mountains, you’ll go through Knoxville which has collegiate sports as well.
Unless you live under a rock, then you know that Tennessee has a lot of history. Visit Franklin for an adorable town steeped in quaintness and civil war history. Or, right outside of Nashville, you can visit the home of Andrew Jackson. If you travel out to the Smoky Mountains, you’ll learn about the Elkmont Ghost Town.
We spend a day in the Smoky Mountains which was clearly not enough, but well worth it regardless. The beautiful mountain ranges, stunning waterfalls, and clear air is perfect for the nature-lover. You can also see black bears, elk, wild turkeys, deer, and many species of birds. We didn’t get to see any bears as it was winter but I’d love to go back when they’re more out and about. We did do a 5 mile hike to a gorgeous waterfall that was perfect for families and relatively flat.
Young & Young-at-Heart
Finally if you’re doing your Tennessee Travel with kids, then this is for you. If you travel to the Smoky Mountains, you’ll find Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg full of Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Putt-Putt Courses, bowling, ski lifts, and more. It’s honestly not my thing, but there’s plenty there to spend money on.
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