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Things to do in Tennessee, USA

Things to do in  Tennessee

Welcome to Tennessee

Tennessee is a road-tripper's dream: Visitors can wind their way down from the Appalachian mountains to the rivers and corn fields below, stopping at cities spaced just far enough apart for a rest, refuel, and repeat. Along the way, nature enthusiasts will fall in love with hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, river rafting on Pigeon River, and opportunities for adventure amid the rivers and foothills of the eastern part of the state, punctuated by the cities of Knoxville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Chattanooga. Views of the blue-hued mountains from the many stopping points along the roads near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are not to be missed—or for something special, see the landscape from above by helicopter.

Top 15 things to do in Tennessee

#1
Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium

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Known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” Ryman Auditorium helped transform Nashville into a legendary music destination. Since 1892, the venue has hosted notable stars such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Van Morrison, and Minnie Pearl. Today, visitors can tour the 2,362-seat auditorium, visit the museum, or catch a live show.More
#2
Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville

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Music City’s lively downtown doesn’t disappoint. Nashville’s entertainment hub is home to a who’s who of restaurants, hotels, and cultural hot spots, including the Frist Art Museum, Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. After dark, live music takes over the bars of Honky Tonk Highway.More
#3
Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

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From Elvis Presley to Dolly Parton, Nashville's stars have earned the place its title as “Music City,” and you can dive into that history and culture at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Learn about the best of this classic American music genre with historic video clips, recorded music, and a menu of live performances and public programs.More
#4
Titanic Pigeon Forge

Titanic Pigeon Forge

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Have you ever wondered what it was like aboard the RMS Titanic? Wonder no longer. At the Titanic museum, a two-story museum built half-scale (in a pool, to create the illusion of the big ship at sea), you can take a 2-hour self-guided tour designed to give you the sensation of being an original passenger on the ship’s 1912 maiden voyage. As you enter, you’ll be given a boarding ticket. Your ticket has the name and travelling class of one of the ill-fated ship’s actual passengers, whose story you will learn as you pass through the museum.At the end of the tour in the Titanic Memorial Room you’ll have a chance to check if your boarding pass belonged to a shipwreck survivor, or to one of the less-fortunate passengers. Because more than half of the Titanic’s two-thousand-plus survivors perished, the likelihood of ‘your’ survival is fairly low. (Young children are issued boarding passes that belonged to survivors, as to not totally bum them out.) The museum, which is the largest permanent Titanic museum in the world, holds 400 pre-discovery artefacts (a.k.a. belongings that were recovered floating in the water) in twenty galleries. The personal natures of the items on display closely tie into the individual stories represented at the museum. In the interactive exhibits you’ll get a real feeling for what it might have been like as a passenger on that ship.More
#5
Grand Ole Opry House

Grand Ole Opry House

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From radio broadcast to world-renowned stage show, the Grand Ole Opry showcases genres from country and bluegrass to folk, comedy, and gospel both live and on the radio. Unlike a typical concert, the Grand Ole Opry presents six or more artists during each show, giving the audience a variety of great music at each event. Superstars who have performed here include Patsy Cline, Blake Shelton, Willie Nelson, and Carrie Underwood.More
#6
Nashville Riverfront Park

Nashville Riverfront Park

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Nashville’s Riverfront Park was built in the early 1980s on the site where the area’s first settlers founded the city back in 1780. Today the sprawling green enclave on the banks of the Cumberland River is home to several attractions, including Fort Nashborough, Bicentennial Park, and the Ascend Amphitheater.More
#7
Graceland

Graceland

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The second most-visited home in the United States (behind only the White House), Graceland was home to Elvis Presley during the height of his career. Although the rock ’n’ roll singer and pop culture icon died in the white-columned mansion in 1977 at the age of 42, touring the wacky rooms of this 17,552-square-foot (1,630-square-meter) estate offers insight into the mind of The King, who is buried in the estate's Meditation Gardens.More
#8
Music Row

Music Row

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No trip to Nashville is complete without a visit to Music Row. This is the home of the country music industry, with a slew of record labels, radio stations, and recording studios working side-by-side. There are also live venues on or near Music Row, to check out established artists as well as up-and-comers looking to break through.More
#9
Frist Art Museum

Frist Art Museum

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Lavish cream and green marble floors and wall paneling, high ceilings with and cast iron doors surround guests with the art deco charm of the Nashville’s original post office completed in 1934. The historically significant building kept its original charm through a public/private partnership-driven revamp into the non-profit Frist Art Museum in 2001. The space now holds art exhibitions, interactive art workshops as well as a gift shop and café.The Frist is a different kind of museum that does not have permanent collections. Instead, it sources a host of themed exhibits that roll through every six to eight weeks. Traveling national and international shows including classical pieces by Michelangelo and Monet have hung on Frist walls, as have collections of American folk art, modern photography, European classical works from the age of exploration and even an exhibit deconstructing Italian sports car design. The building’s 24,000 square feet of gallery space includes 30 interactive stations on the upper level for kids and families to get creative and make their own stop motion animation, printmaking, watercolor painting, etching, sculpture creation and more—some of these stations also rotate to match visiting exhibits. In the summer, Frist Fridays bring bands—also often tied to exhibit themes—to jam at the museum, and live music features year-round on Thursdays and Fridays in the Grand Lobby or café. Be sure to check what’s on before stopping by—it’s a new experience every time.More
#10
Centennial Park

Centennial Park

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Like New York’s Central Park and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the lush green landscape of Nashville’s Centennial Park provides welcome refuge from congestion, crowds, and bustling city life. The most notable, and possibly most out-of-place, feature of Centennial Park is its impressive Parthenon replica.More
#11
Sun Studio

Sun Studio

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A veritable icon of music and a Memphis landmark, Sun Studio is known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. In fact, the very first rock single (Rocket 88) was recorded here in 1951, when it was called the Memphis Recording Service. The former recording studio’s musical heritage—made famous thanks to the superstardom of artists such as Elvis and Johnny Cash—and collection of one-of-a-kind memorabilia make it an unforgettable stop in Memphis.More
#12
Beale Street

Beale Street

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From 1920 to 1940, artists descended on Beale Street to collaborate, creating a new music style that blended smooth jazz with hard-charging rock 'n' roll. This mix eventually gave birth to the blues, a new and distinctly American genre of music that gradually made its way into the United States' pop culture mainstream. A visit to today's Beale Street, now a U.S. National Historic Landmark District, allows travelers to check out the blues clubs that served as the launching sites for some of the most famous American blues musicians of all time.More
#13
Tennessee State Capitol

Tennessee State Capitol

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The Tennessee State Capitol stands tall on Nashville’s highest hill as a symbol of its time, virtually unchanged since its construction in 1859. The structure is the masterpiece of notable architect William Strickland, who passed away during construction and was laid to rest in the building. The National Historic Landmark was built in Greek Revival style and is one of few state capitols without a dome. It was modeled after an Ionic Greek temple. Though classic in design, at the time it was considered innovative in construction.The capitol building is beautiful to see and historic to visit, with statues of many important political figures as well as the graves of President James K. Polk and his wife. Its walls are lined with beautiful murals, frescoes, and paintings, while its halls are lit by ornate chandeliers. It is still in use by the Tennessee state government today. It is the oldest operating state capitol in the country.More
#14
Belmont Mansion

Belmont Mansion

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Belmont Mansion offers Nashville visitors the chance to experience an antebellum-era home, complete with antique furnishings and period details. Uncover Belmont’s history and learn about its owner, Adelicia Acklen—one of the wealthiest and most successful women in 19th-century Tennessee.More
#15
Peabody Hotel Ducks

Peabody Hotel Ducks

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Peabody Hotel has some unique permanent guests in the famous "Peabody Ducks," who live on the hotel’s rooftop and perform a march toward the Grand Lobby twice daily. The tradition dates to 1933 when the general manager returned from a hunting trip and placed several live duck decoys in the hotel’s fountain. The guests’ positive response prompted their stay.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Nashville

How to Spend 2 Days in Nashville

How to Spend 3 Days in Memphis

How to Spend 3 Days in Memphis

Music History in Memphis

Music History in Memphis

Top activities in Tennessee

Grand Ole Opry Show Admission Ticket in Nashville
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Nashville’s Biggest & Wildest Party Public Tractor Tour (Ages 21+)
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General Jackson Showboat Lunch or Dinner Cruise in Nashville
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Nashville Evening Trolley Tour
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Nashville Evening Trolley Tour

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Taste of Nashville Food & Sightseeing Tour
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Grand Ole Opry Admission with Post-Show Guided Backstage Tour
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Tennessee

star-5
Great and worth the money!
Ronnie_W, Aug 2022
Guided Segway Tour of Downtown Nashville
The Tennessee WWII memorials were the attractions I liked the most.
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Nicely done Nashville!!
Louis_F, May 2022
Nashville Combo Tour: Sightseeing, Murals, and Brewery
Nashville is great city to visit!
star-5
The best small group tour!
Cynthia_T, May 2022
Guided Sightseeing Tour of Nashville
The sights we got to see really painted a great picture of Tennessee.
star-5
Great tour! Must do!
tmkeene, Apr 2022
Mural Art Tour of Nashville by Golf Cart
Great way to see the murals and the unexpected stop where we got to try some Tennessee Moonshine!!
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Interesting to learn...
Pamela_G, Feb 2022
Nashville's Premier Distillery & Craft Brewery Bus Tour with Tastings
Well worth the time spent to visit.
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Make time for both Mansion tours and walking the grounds after
Andrea_S, Feb 2022
Belle Meade Guided Mansion Tour with Complimentary Wine Tasting
We were also fascinated by the walk around the plantation grounds and reading about the different out buildings on the land; learning about what type of activities occurred other than horse breeding.
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Amazing
Jeff_N, Aug 2021
Ridge Runner Smoky Mountain Helicopter Tour
already making plans to return when family members come to visit me in Tennessee.
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GOOD TIMES!
Rob_B, May 2021
Nashville Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour
Sam did an amazing job explaining all the different attractions.
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Very knowledgeable guide and Kurt offered the history of Nashville
Nancy, Mar 2020
Germantown Food and Sightseeing Walking Tour in Nashville
Very friendly and offered tips of various restaurants and sites to visit while in Nashville.
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Superb day
VICKI_L, Sep 2018
Nashville to Jack Daniel's Distillery Bus Tour with Whiskey Tastings
This was one of our main reasons for taking the trip and get us out of the city to see the other side of living.
star-5
One of the best tours we had in...
Diane B, May 2017
Ryman Auditorium "Mother Church of Country Music" Self-Guided Tour in Nashville
Such a historical place to visit and I can understand how important as an artist it is to be allowed to perform there.
star-5
we had the best time on the bus...
Ben M, May 2013
Memphis City Tour with Optional Riverboat Cruise & Sun Studio Add-On Options
Yolanda made it a lot of fun we got to see the Elvis mansion and just all different kinds of facts about Memphis Tennessee it was great I recommend it to everybody.
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Relaxing and Informative Kayak Tour
Miriam_P, Jul 2021
Chattanooga Stand-Up Paddleboarding & Kayak Tour
He shared local history, places to see and great food options.
star-5
Great experience!!
Emily_R, May 2021
Nashville to Jack Daniel's Distillery Bus Tour with Whiskey Tastings
The bus ride there was cool because we got to see a different part of Tennessee that we could not experience staying in Nashville.
star-5
Great way to start!!
Angela_J, Aug 2019
Taste of Nashville Food & Sightseeing Tour
It was a great start to our trip and I would highly recommend this event if you want to visit Nashville!!
star-5
Favorite part of my day!
Alexandra_S, Jul 2018
General Jackson Showboat Lunch or Dinner Cruise in Nashville
My mother and I decided to go to Tennessee for vacation this summer and we found this attraction online, and am very glad we went.
star-5
One of the best tours I have taken...
J Toby, Aug 2017
Famous Moonshine Tour From Pigeon Forge
He had several suggestions on great places to eat and things to do in town and places to visit.
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All about Tennessee

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
CDT (UTC -6)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English
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