If you are planning to visit Tennessee this spring, you are picking a good time. While Gatlinburg might be the first place that comes to mind, this southern state is home to many places worth a visit! The blooming flowers and lush, vibrant green forests are worth the trip. There is a lot to The Volunteer State that will make you glad you chose to visit. (And, by the way, it’s called the Volunteer State because of the volunteer soldiers from Tennessee that fought in the War of 1812.)
You’re especially in luck if you are a music fan - Tennessee has a fantastic music scene that brings visitors from all over the country. We put together our top four recommendations for your upcoming trip, and we couldn’t leave music out of it.
Where to Visit in Tennessee
Listen to Music in Music City
Listen to Music in Music City (Nashville)The lights and sounds of Lower Broadway might be the first thing to take you in, but you’ll be hooked on Nashville’s incredible foodie scene and creative, artistic music scene. You have over 100 music venues that you can go to, but be sure to check out The Bluebird Cafe, Mercy Lounge, The Basement, and Marathon Music Works. You will love the food at Flyte World Dining & Wine (the wine isn’t bad, either!), Whiskey Kitchen, Loveless Cafe and Burger Up, just to name a few.
2. Pigeon Forge, Chattanooga, Knoxville or Columbia
Go to a Spring Festival
Tennessee has festivals happening all over the state in the springtime! Spend time in the sunshine, try great soul food, and listen to inspiring music as you celebrate the end of winter. Chattanooga hosts Road to Nightfall, a local battle of the bands, during two weekends in March. The finals are held in the popular Revelry Room on March 26th, so try to make it! In Pigeon Forge, you can go to the Dollywood Festival of Nations. Between mid-March and mid-April, acrobats, artists and performers from all over the world come to Pigeon Forge to showcase their work. An added bonus: you can also try food from all over the world at this event! In Knoxville, you can check out the Big Ears Festival, which features filmmakers and film screenings, lectures and symposiums, and - of course - live music performances. Finally, Mule Day in Columbia, Tennessee celebrates Columbia as the “Mule Capital of the World” (yes, really.) This is a great festival to bring your kids to - pet the mules, dance, listen to music and try great food!There are always more events going on in each city you visit, so chances are you’ll run into something that you didn’t even expect. Keep your ears open during your stay!
Participate in the Memphis in May International Festival
A citywide staple since the late 1970s, Memphis in May is an exciting time for the city! From the Beale Street Music Festival to the Great American River Run, locals and visitors alike will be celebrating the city from the end of April to the end of May. The weather at this time of year is fantastic, and it is an especially good time to walk around the city and enjoy warm evenings. Be sure to buy your tickets before you attend.
Hike to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga
Get a view of Tennessee from up high with this beautiful and invigorating hike to Lookout Mountain! Bring a picnic and enjoy the vista. There is even a waterfall! This is a great hike to do with kids, and many people swear that it is the high point of their visit to the Chattanooga area.
When in doubt, make sure to look up music festivals happening this spring all across Tennessee - there are so many activities that it will be hard for you to choose.
This article was written by Cathy Trainor.