Tennessee’s wide breadth offers a bounty of geographical wealth, making it especially great for outdoor lovers, like hikers and climbers. The Western part of the state, around Memphis, was formed by the Mississippi River, while the east, around Knoxville, is lined by the Appalachian Mountains. The Great Smoky Mountains, a sub-range of the Appalachians, are the most visited mountains in America.
Travel to Tennessee is also rich for history buffs. The state was the 16th to join the Union. During the War of 1812, the Volunteer State earned its nickname thanks to its men who offered their services and played a prominent role in the war. Later, during the Civil War, the state’s men made up the largest group of soldiers in the Confederate Army and helped defend their state. Some of the war's most important and strategic battles were fought in Tennessee.
No Tennessee travel guide is complete without mentioning the important music that came out of the state. Blues and rock ’n roll were born in Memphis, and museums and live music venues pay tribute to these traditions.
Things Not to Miss in Tennessee
Tennessee travel offers lots of pleasures. Nashville, the state’s capital, is America’s home of country music but also offers some of the best cocktails and experimental food in the South. Memphis is a wonderful destination for music lovers who want to explore rock ‘n roll’s roots at Elvis’s houses or along Beale Street, or just grab a perfect plate of barbecue. Chattanooga is great for travelers looking for history lovers. The city was considered the gateway to the South during the Civil War and has some of the most important and extensive battle memorials. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the hiking and climbing options around Chattanooga or just north in Knoxville and Gatlinburg.
When to Go to Tennessee
Thanks to its varied climate, you can plan to visit Tennessee year-round depending on your destination. If you’re traveling to Memphis and the southwestern areas, which lie along the Mississippi River, plan on traveling in the spring or fall. These regions get very humid in the summer and can be cold and wet in the winter. The mountain regions, however, are very pleasant almost year-round; while humid days can creep in during the summer, they are typically peppered with pleasant breezes. Even winter sports lovers will find outdoor activities to enjoy in the northeastern areas, like Gatlinburg, during the colder months.