Tennessee is a great state with alot of variety. You are able to spend your days in Nashville listening to some of the best local country music around. You can also head to Memphis for some classic blues music, Graceland and the world famous Beale Street. If you are a Dolly Parton fan then you can head to Dollywood to listen to some live music and go on some roller coasters. If you are a nature person then you can head to Gatlinburg which is the gateway from Tennessee’s side to the Great Smokey Mountains.
Gatlinburg (Great Smokey Mountains):
Gatlinburg is the gateway for The Great Smokey Mountains. Located right at the edge of the National Park you are able to see the mountains rising above you. It has one main street where there are shops, restaurants, moonshine tastings, etc. I spend my day walking around and exploring. I did take the tram up to see if I could get a view of the mountains and if the fog disappeared. It was still there but not as bad. I was not able ot get off of the tram since they are still fixing up the area due to a fire which happened a couple of years ago. I then had to try the infamous Tennessee moonshine where I was so enamored that I bought a case of moonshine! After a day of moonshine tasting I decided to have dinner at the Melting Pot. Can you believe I have never been to one before? I figured why not and I enjoyed it throughly.
I was in Memphis once before but only for a short time and I very excited to come back here. If you haven’t been here before there are a few things you should definitely. Head over to Graceland where you can see how Elvis Presley lived like a king! I didn’t come here this time around but I did come the last time. There are rooms just filled with his awards which are mind blowing.
Lorraine Motel and The National Civil Rights Museum
I would head to the Lorraine Motel where it’s famously known as the place for MLK was shot. You are not allowed to step on the balcony but you are allowed inside of the room. The National Civl Right museum is attached to it as well as across the street and you are able to see how someone could have shot him. It’s pretty eye opening and it’s very sad how much a young man who was filled with love and peace could have been murder and whose life was cut short.
Sun Studios is a famous studio where people such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis have recorded. The list of legendary artists is endless! Studio is a museum by day and a recording studio by night. See where so many artists got their break and where some of the most famous records to date were recorded.
Stax Museum of American Soul Music
This is a museum that is dedicated to soul music. There is nowhere else in the US like it. It’s the former location of Stax Records and gives you that sense of history when you walk inside. There are alot of musicians and artists that you will know here. You will find yourself dancing as you are walking along to the exhibits.
Beale Street is one of the most famous streets in the world. It’s known where it’s bars and live music. There are a ton of cops here so don’t feel discouraged or worried. I did not feel unsafe at all and if a panhandler talks to you just ignore them and keep on walking. The original BB Kings is located here so make sure you check it out if you want to hear some amazing blues music.
Central BBQ is always at the top of any BBQ list so it’s a must try if you are a bbq lover. It will not disappoint by any means! It’s also located right by the The National Civil Rights Museum. So you can easily make a stop for lunch here at the world famous Central BBQ.
This is also my second time coming to Nashville. The first time I came with a friend on a whim for NYE. We loved it and had a wonderful time. I always knew I would be back and thankfully it was much warmer this time around.
Country Music Hall of Fame
This is a must doe for anyone heading to Nashville. It’s a ginormous museum featuring America’s best country musicians from the beginning of the genre. It’s informative and laid out well. You will have a blast walking through here and trust me you will also learn alot!
Take a walk through one of the famous Music areas in the world. You will walk by publishing house after publishing house. Some of the building even have signs outside in their lawn showing what artists that they represent have won recent awards. There’s alot of history here so take a few minutes and walk down Music Row.
Musicians Hall of Fame and Music
This is a museum that was dedicated to the musicians. Alot of time you will only know about the lead singer but what about the band who played behind them? What about all those people who played the instruments and helped the artists to find the beat. This is a wonderful museum if you are into music.
The Bluebird Cafe
This place has been on my list from the first time I came to Nashville. It’s known for it’s country, blues, and open mic nights. It’s the home to where many famous musicians got their start such as Taylor Swift. It became even more popular since it’s appeared on the television series Nashville. People usually wait 3-4 hours to see if they can score a seat in this local joint. Since I went off season I decided to just show up and wing it and I got in! I couldn’t believe it. I spend nearly 5 hours here!! I went for the open mic and stayed for the blues band. It’s not every day where Grammy Award winning Artist’s are 3 feet in front of you. It was the highlight of the Nashville portion and I will remember this night forever. There is a lot of talent here and this is a place to see some of them.
Dollywood is an amusement park that is owned and operated by Dolly Parton. It has a southern feel and also offers live music throughout the park as well as shows. You purchase one ticket and it gets you into the shows and on the rides. It’s a family friendly environment and has a veery homey feel about it. That’s what makes it stand out over some of the amusement parks which you may have gone to in the past. Since I went during Christmas they had the entire park decorated with lights. As down south always goes big with Christmas and Dollywood was no exception. Every building was lit form the bathroom to the fences. There was over 5 million lights!!! Can you believe that??? I mean who can top Dollywood with their Christmas decorations. They also had shows such as Christmas in the Smokies and It’s a Wonderful Life which you can watch. The talent here is wonderful and you will enjoy every minute. So grab your kids and head to Dollywood during Christmas. The entire family will love it!! It’s the perfect winter wonderland.