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Living in Tennessee: Travel Guide

Sep 04, 2023|

From hiking trails and campgrounds to unforgettable music landmarks, Tennessee has something to offer for everyone. In the heart of Tennessee is Nashville, which serves as the state's capital as well as the center of the country music scene. To the southwest is Memphis, which plays host to Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley.

Even if you've lived in Tennessee for many years, there are many attractions, museums and parks you should consider visiting. And regardless of where you live in the state, there's something exciting to do right around the corner.

Aerial view downtown of Nashville Tennessee

Restaurants in Tennessee

From Italian to New American, Tennessee provides residents with a vast selection of restaurants to choose from. Below are a few popular spots to put on your list.

The Old Mill Restaurant

The Old Mill Restaurant is a country food restaurant in Pigeon Forge that houses two country cooking eateries as well as toy, pottery, and candy shops. You can get all the Southern classics you expect from this type of restaurant, which include everything from Southern fried chicken breasts to pot roast and gravy. They're open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The building that the restaurant resides in is an 18th-century grist mill, which makes the experience of eating there a memorable one.

J.C. Holdway

J.C. Holdway is a full-service eatery in Knoxville that focuses on farm-fresh regional dishes. You'll also have access to a full bar, which offers classic cocktails, seasonal signatures, and numerous draft beers. They make many of their dishes over a wood-fired grill for added authenticity. Their signature dishes include options like grilled prime rib-eye with smoked potatoes and roasted chicken with squash pavé.

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The Café at Thistle Farms

The Café at Thistle Farms is a highly popular volunteer-built café in Nashville that provides a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere to anyone who visits. Along with light breakfast and lunch menus, they offer coffee and tea service. If you opt for one of their teas, you'll also gain access to six bites of the chef's choice of savories and sweets. There are many varieties of green, herbal, and black tea for you to select from.

Thrilling attractions

Tennessee has a strong reputation for offering fun and exciting attractions that include everything from Dollywood to the Titanic Museum. The state is home to many amusement parks, which extend to mountainside roller coasters and water parks.


Dollywood is an historic family amusement park that's partially owned by country singer-songwriter Dolly Parton. You'll discover this park in Pigeon Forge, which is just near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From rides and slides to food and music, there is plenty to do and see in Dollywood. Along with sparkling pools and spacious lodging, you're able to spend time on over 50 rides. This is a great destination for the entire family.

Fireworks over Dollywood in Pigeon Forge Tennessee

Titanic Museum Attraction

The Titanic Museum Attraction is a sprawling two-story museum in Pigeon Forge that's shaped just like the RMS Titanic. As you tour the museum, you'll notice that the interiors have the same kind of opulence and luxury present on the Titanic when it took to the waters over a century ago. With more than 400 pre-discovery artifacts across 20 distinct galleries, this museum is one of the largest collections of Titanic memorabilia and artifacts.


If you or anyone in your family is a fan of Elvis Presley music, Graceland is the place for you. This 200,000 square-foot mansion is now home to multiple museums, gift shops, and restaurants that might interest you. As you tour the museum, you'll see many of Presley's legendary costumes, personal mementos from different moments in his life, and historic artifacts. If you love cars, don't miss the Presley Motors Automobile Museum, which houses some of Presley's favorite vehicles. Along with his pink Cadillac, you'll also see a Dino Ferrari, Rolls-Royce sedan, and Cadillac Eldorado.

State and national parks to visit

Tennessee is home to the Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, which means that there are dozens of parks that might interest you when you wish to go hiking or mountain biking. There are also 13 national park sites in the state, which include the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a popular park on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. If you enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, you'll discover dozens of hiking trails and waterfalls in this national park. No matter which part of the park you visit, you should have easy access to picturesque views, bubbling streams, and colorful wildflowers. Many of the park's hiking trails extend along the Appalachian Trail. Consider visiting the observation tower at Clingmans Dome, which is the highest peak in the entire mountain range.

People hiking in the Smokey Mountains

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Fall Creek Falls State Park is another sprawling park in Tennessee. It consists of nearly 30,000 acres of cascades, streams, forests, waterfalls, and gorges. You can find this park at the eastern portion of the Cumberland Plateau. The heart of this park is Fall Creek Falls, which is a 256-foot waterfall. At this height, the Fall Creek Falls waterfall is among the highest in the eastern U.S. You'll also discover amazing views at Cane Creek Cascades and Piney Falls.

Entertainment options

From country music destinations to theaters and sports stadiums, Tennessee provides you with many entertainment options.

Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium is a spacious venue that serves as a music hall for concerts and other musical events. It's a national historic landmark, and it was once home to the Grand Ole Opry. This 2,362-seat venue often books musicians like Ringo Starr, Janelle Monae, and Nick Cave.

Grand Ole Opry

The Grand Ole Opry is the home of country music and is a must-see destination if you live in Nashville or decide to visit the city. Performances occur at this venue several times each week. It also serves as a weekly live country music radio broadcast.

Check in while you're away from home in Tennessee

Whether you're visiting Dollywood or stopping by one of the many delicious eateries in Tennessee, check in on your home while you're away from home with Vivint's home automation and security system. With the Vivint app, you can control your entire home security system from your smartphone, even if you’re away visiting travel hubs in Nashville or Memphis. You're able to receive notifications, lock doors, control your thermostat, and view security camera footage.

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