Tennessee

Discover scenic beauty, musical heritage and Southern hospitality

The volunteer state

Whether you're a music lover, history buff, outdoor enthusiast or a foodie looking for a genuine taste of the South - Tennessee has something for you!
Start your adventure in Nashville - "Music City," with its legendary country music scene, including the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Visitors can explore the iconic honky-tonks on Broadway and soak in the city's musical heritage.

Memphis is another must-visit destination - the birthplace of blues and the home of rock 'n' roll. Feel the beat at the famous Sun Studio, pay homage to the King at Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley, and groove through the vibrant sounds of Beale Street, where live music mingles with Southern culinary delights.

Beyond the two major cities, Tennessee offers the great outdoors. Visit Pigeon Forge, the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, an outdoor escape, with stunning views, hiking trails and diverse wildlife. Or head to Chattanooga, nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, where you can explore Lookout Mountain, with its panoramic views and marvel at Ruby Falls and Rock City Gardens.

Visit Tennessee not only to explore its legendary music scene but also to embrace the great outdoors and to experience the warm embrace of Southern charm and hospitality.
Tennessee_Chattanooga in fall looking over the city

Things to see & do

Browse through our recommended selection of things to see and do in Tennessee. Many of these are included in our suggested itineraries, however, if there is
anything you see that particularly takes your interest, please let us know and we will include it in your holiday package or put you in touch with the right people.

Cumberland Caverns

McMinnville, Tennessee

Unleash your inner explorer at Cumberland Caverns, one of the longest ‘show’ caves in the world with over 40 kilometres of explored passages to choose from. This geological marvel offers several guided cave tours, presenting stunning formations, underground waterfalls, and an ethereal glowworm display in the Volcano Room - which also doubles as the unique host of live music events renowned for its remarkable acoustics. 

Jack Daniel's Distillery

Lynchburg, Tennessee

Tour the legendary Jack Daniel's Distillery and delight in the behind-the-scenes magic of this historic place. Witness the unique charcoal mellowing process, wander through barrel houses ageing the distinct whiskey, and cap off your visit with a tantalising taste of this legendary spirit. Cheers to a whiskey adventure like no other!

Grand Ole Opry

Nashville, Tennessee

Experience country music tradition at the Grand Ole Opry, the epicentre of country music tradition and a live radio show since 1925. This iconic stage reverberates with the echoes of country music's past, present, and future, hosting a diverse lineup spanning generations and genres. Go backstage on a tour or catch a regular multi-artist show to witness the magic firsthand. Check with Travel USA for more details.

Incline Railway

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Ride the Incline Railway, one of the steepest passenger railways in the world, that ascends Lookout Mountain on a funicular railway - think of the Wellington Cable-Car on a much grander scale! Known as ‘America’s Most Amazing Mile’ it is a ride like none other - a scenic journey that combines historic charm with breathtaking views. Disembark at the summit for unparalleled views of Chattanooga and the Appalachian Mountains.

Graceland

Memphis, Tennessee

A rock ‘n’ roll odyssey awaits at Graceland, the legendary home of Elvis Presley. Guided tours unveil the lavish mansion, adorned with Elvis’s personal touch and memorabilia. Explore the extravagant Jungle Room and pay your respects at the serene Meditation Garden, where the King himself eternally rests.

Ruby Falls

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Unique experience where you actually travel underground to view Ruby Falls. This breathtaking natural wonder is situated deep within Lookout Mountain and features a stunning underground series of waterfalls that cascade 44 metres down. Guided tours take visitors through captivating caves, unveiling the beauty of Ruby Falls - testament to nature's artistry and an unforgettable journey beneath the surface. 

Beale Street

Memphis, Tennessee

Unleash the vibrant spirit of Memphis on Beale Street - an electrifying haven of music and culture. From historic clubs to contemporary entertainment venues, it's the ultimate hub for immersing yourself in live music and the soulful rhythms that define the city's rich musical heritage.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Tennessee

Explore the most visited National Park in America, straddling the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. Renowned for its plant and animal life and an abundance of hiking trails it is a fantastic place for outdoor lovers to explore. With more than 600 km of road to choose from it is also a popular destination for a scenic road-trip encountering panoramic views, tumbling mountain streams, and weathered historic buildings along the way.

National Civil Rights Museum

Memphis, Tennessee

Delve into history at the National Civil Rights Museum, a poignant tribute to the fight for equality and justice. It stands on the grounds of the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was tragically assassinated, and eloquently chronicles the powerful history of the civil rights movement in America. 

Dollywood

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Channel your inner Dolly Parton at this iconic theme park co-owned by the legend herself. Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains it celebrates the region's heritage featuring thrilling rides, family-themed attractions, water slides, live entertainment, and that unmistakable Southern charm. Don’t miss Dolly’s Chasing Rainbows Museum, reopening in 2024!

Discovery Park of America

Union City, Tennessee

The Discovery Park of America is not your ordinary educational playground - it's a 50-acre extravaganza of wonder! Explore themes ranging from natural history to space exploration, featuring an earthquake simulator, a vintage airplane, and a 20,000-gallon aquarium. With its iconic glass tower and diverse attractions, Discovery Park offers a nice blend of entertainment and knowledge for visitors of all ages.

Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

Nashville, Tennessee

Check out all the legends in the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum - a must-visit for country music lovers. This immersive experience narrates the evolution of country music through artifacts, memorabilia, and interactive displays. Gain insights into the lives and careers of the iconic artists who have indelibly shaped the soul of this musical genre

Broadway Street

Nashville, Tennessee

Party on Broadway Street - the pulsating heart of Music City and a neon-lit playground for country music lovers lined with honky-tonks, live music venues, and bustling restaurants. Feel the energy as vibrant performances echo through the streets, making it a must-visit hotspot for anyone craving the true spirit of Nashville's musical scene.

Gatlinburg SkyPark

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Embark on a breathtaking adventure in the Smoky Mountains. Home to the iconic SkyBridge, the longest suspension bridge in North America, and the SkyLift and its stunning mountain views, SkyPark is a haven for thrill-seekers. Explore the natural beauty of the Gatlinburg region, step into the SkyTrail, and embrace the thrill of glass-floor panels. Whether traversing tree top canopies or witnessing the magic of twilight, Gatlinburg SkyPark is a soaring escape waiting to be discovered. 

Tennessee Whiskey Trail

Tennessee

One of the most popular things to do in Tennessee is to take a Tennessee Whiskey Trail adventure. With over 30 possible stops spanning across more than 1,200 kms there is no shortage of options available to you. Travel USA can help create your very own Tennessee Whiskey trail adventure, tailored to your liking - short or long, guided, or self-led. Savour the essence of Tennessee's finest spirits and let the journey unfold, one sip at a time. Cheers! 

Sun Studio

Memphis, Tennessee

Step into the soulful echoes of musical history at the hallowed Sun Studio where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis left their indelible mark. Guided tours unveil the magic of this quaint, historic studio, showcasing vintage equipment and memorabilia that defined the very essence of the genre.

Ryman Auditorium

Nashville, Tennessee

Check out who’s playing at the Ryman Auditorium - a historic music venue affectionately known as the ‘Mother Church of Country Music’ and one of the most celebrated venues in music. Before you hit town, check out the lineup or hit up Travel USA for ticket info. Don't miss the chance to catch the vibe in this legendary spot where melodies echo through history!

Rock City Gardens

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Prepare to be captivated at Rock City Gardens, high atop the iconic Lookout Mountain. Take an unforgettable journey along the Enchanted Trail, where each step unveils natural wonders. From Lover's Leap to the Swing-A-Long Bridge and the self-explanatory 'See Seven States' lookout point, Rock City promises iconic spots that will leave you in awe of the breathtaking beauty.

Johnny Cash Museum

Nashville, Tennessee,

Walk the line at the Johnny Cash Museum, a tribute to the life, music, and legacy of the ‘Man in Black’. This intimate museum boasts the world's largest collection of his artifacts and memorabilia, inviting you to walk the line and immerse yourself in the iconic journey of a legendary music icon.

Anakeesta Mountaintop Adventure Park

Gatlinburg, Tennessee,

Soar high at this award winning family themed mountaintop adventure park located in Gatlinburg, the gateway city of the Great Smoky Mountains. Reach new heights with a scenic gondola ride, take in the breathtaking views, and unleash your adventurous spirit with treetop escapades, exhilarating zip-lining, and captivating elevated walkways. 

Blues Hall of Fame Museum

Memphis, Tennessee

Slide into the Blues Hall of Fame Museum, a tribute to the genre's profound influence on American music. It is home to a wonderful collection of artifacts and memorabilia, alongside exhibits that vividly chronicle the history and evolution of this musical style. A must-visit destination for the true aficionados of the blues.

Experience live sport

Tennessee 

Experience live sport - the American way! Catch the adrenaline, the cheers, and the thrill of a live game - because experiencing sports the American way is an absolute must! Tennessee is home to 4 professional sporting franchises spread across Memphis and Nashville. Chat with Travel USA to score your tickets and we'll look to lock in your seats before you even pack your bags!

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Gatlinburg, Tennessee,

Embark on an aquatic adventure at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, home to over 10,000 exotic sea creatures spread across 10 themed galleries including the Penguin Playhouse and Shark Lagoon. Glide through the underwater tunnel for a 360-degree view of marine life or venture into Shark Lagoon on the indoor Glass Bottom Boat Adventure for an even closer perspective.

Bluebird Café

Nashville, Tennessee

See if you can spot new talent at the Bluebird Café, an intimate and iconic music venue celebrated for featuring both emerging and established songwriters. It's the very spot where the world first discovered the talents of none other than Taylor Swift. Join the ranks of those who've witnessed the magic where stars are born! 

Shiloh National Military Park

Shiloh, Tennessee 

Step onto the sacred turf of Shiloh National Military Park, one of the best preserved Civil War battlefields in the US that bears witness to the pivotal 1862 battle. Roam among historic landmarks, cannons, and poignant memorials as you unravel the stories etched into this hallowed ground, a testament to the sacrifices of the past. 

The Parthenon

Nashville, Tennessee

A surprise awaits visitors to Nashville with a full-scale replica of the ancient Greek monument taking centre stage in Centennial Park, the city’s premier urban oasis. It's not Athens; it's Music City - where ancient charm meets Southern flair. Inside, marvel at a stunning statue of Athena, the goddess of wisdom.

Lost Sea Adventure

Sweetwater, Tennessee

Travel underground on a Lost Sea Adventure, a hidden gem that boasts the United States' largest underground lake. Guided tours lead you through captivating caverns, culminating with a boat ride on the crystal-clear waters of this extraordinary underground lake. Discover the secrets hidden beneath the surface on a Lost Sea Adventure! 

Explore Nashville with the Total Access Pass

Nashville, Tennessee

With Travel USA and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. sightseeing couldn’t be easier. One pass, one price, your choice of sights - save money on the best attractions, tours, or activities and experience Music City the way you want to!

N.B. The Total Access Pass is included in Travel USA’s packages giving you the choice of any 3 attractions from more than 25 attractions, tours, and activities included on the Pass.

Tennessee_Great Smoky Mountains with waterfall in fall

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Graceland outside view of Elvis Presley's home

Not quite what you're looking for?

Our packages and featured 'things to see and do' have been created to excite, inspire and inform Kiwi travellers about what we recommend they do when travelling to the USA. All of these can be personalised to your individual needs and preferences. Contact us to discuss your requirements so we can work together to create the perfect adventure for you.
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