#16 best destination in the world

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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  • A division of the Appalachian Mountain chain
  • Chartered in 1934
  • The park is 522,419 acres
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Dollywood

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  • Theme park owned by entertainer Dolly Parton
  • Located in the Knoxville-Smoky Mountains
  • #13 of the top 25 amusement parks in the world

 

Grand Ole Opry

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  • Country music stage concert in Nashville
  • The longest running radio broadcast in US history
  • Showcases contemporary chart toppers in country, bluegrass, Americana, folk, gospel and comedic performance and skits
  • Founded in 1925

 

Sugarlands Distilling Company

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  • Rustic, industrial-chic moonshine maker offering tours, tastings, and live music

 

Ryman Auditorium

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  • Best known as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974, it played a pivotal role in the popularization of country music
  • The venue hosts alternative rock, bluegrass, blues, country, classical, folk, gospel, jazz, pop, rap, and rock concerts, as well as musical theater and stand-up comedy

 

Graceland

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  • Mansion on a 13.8 acre estate in Memphis, once owned by the singer and actor Elvis Presley
  • His daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, has been the owner of Graceland since the passing of her father
  • Graceland is the second most-visited house in the U.S. after the White House

 

Synchronized Fireflies of the Great Smoky Mountains

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  • Synchronous fireflies are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • The fireflies are the only species in America whose individuals can synchronize their flashing light patterns with each other
  • During the second week of June, trolley is the only transportation in and out unless you are a registered camper at Elkmont. To take the shuttle, you must register for the lottery. There are only 1,800 parking spaces, and over 20,000 people enter

 

Lost Sea

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  • Massive lake at the bottom of a cave system
  • Unique because it contains an abundance of cave flowers
  • The lake is also stocked with some of the largest trout anywhere in North America
  • Divers mapped 13 total acres of the cave system and the visible portion is only 800 feet long and 220 feet wide

 

The Bell Witch Cave

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  • Cave which is the home of a famous witch in Southern folklore
  • In Southern folklore, Kate, the Bell Witch, is the name children dare each other to say three times into a mirror at slumber parties
  • As one version of the tale goes, late in the summer of 1817, an evil witch began to terrorize the Bell family on their Tennessee farm
  • The Bell Witch kept them up late at night with strange, eerie noises
  • She violently beat members of the family and eventually poisoned and killed its patriarch, John Bell
  • The disturbed spirit had a particular vengeance for Betsy Bell, John Bell’s daughter, and tormented the girl in the most heinous ways until she agreed to end her engagement

 

Forbidden Caverns

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  • Caverns that stretch for a half mile and feature mineral formations, echoing grottoes, silent reflecting pools, and a clear cool streams
  • The caves have been hospitable to human activity for centuries, from the indigenous peoples who frequently sought shelter here from mountain winters, to moonshiners who operated stills here from the early 1920s to the early 1940s
  • The temperature is always 58 degrees

 

Ruby Falls

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  • Ruby Falls Cave has such geological features as stalactites, stalagmites, with one addition, an underground waterfall
  • Until humans tunneled into the cave in the 19th century, the water had been trickling undiscovered beneath Tennessee for roughly 200 million years
  • Now it is electrically lit up in a colorful display

 

The Island in Pigeon Forge

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  • #9 of the top 25 theme parks in the world
  • Playful destination featuring unique shops, live music, casual restaurants & amusement rides, plus a hotel

 

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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  • One of the world’s largest museums and research centers dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American vernacular music
  • Chartered in 1964
  • The museum has amassed one of the world’s most extensive musical collections

 


 

Costs

Number of Days: 15 days

Best Time To Fly: March-May, Oct-Nov

Airline tickets: $287

Seattle -> Nashville (round trip) = $287

Food: $44/day x 15 days = $660

Rental car: $684

$46/day x 15 days = $684

Gas: $67

Entertainment: $382

Airbnb: $223 x 14 days = $3,127

TOTAL: $5,207