#75 best destination in the world

 

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville

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  • One of the world’s largest museums and research centers dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American vernacular music
  • Since it was established in 1967, the museum has amassed one of the world’s most extensive musical collections

National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis

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  • Complex of museums and historic buildings in Memphis, its exhibits trace the history of the civil rights movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present
  • The museum is built around the former Lorraine Motel, which was the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968

Graceland, Memphis

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  • Mansion on an estate in Memphis, once owned by singer and actor Elvis Presley
  • Opened to the public as a museum in 1982
  • Graceland is the most-visited privately owned home in America, rivaling publicly owned houses such as Biltmore Estate, Hearst Castle and the White House

Titanic Museum, Pigeon Forge

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  • Museum shaped like the RMS Titanic, opened in 2010, and built half-scale to the original ship
  • As guests enter, they are given a passenger boarding ticket
  • On this ticket is the name of an actual Titanic passenger and the class they were traveling
  • Guests will learn the individual stories of several passengers
  • In the Titanic Memorial Room, they will find out whether their ticketed passenger survived

Dollywood, Pigeon Forge

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  • Theme park owned by entertainer Dolly Parton
  • Located in the Knoxville-Smoky Mountains

Ober Gatlinburg

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  • Amusement park and ski area, located in the mountains overlooking Gatlinburg
  • Contains an indoor ice skating rink, and ice bumper cars
  • Outside there is an alpine slide, a ski mountain coaster, a chair swing, a maze, mini golf, and water raft rides
  • An aerial tram connects Ober Gatlinburg to downtown Gatlinburg, about 3 miles

Elkmont Area Synchronous Fireflies, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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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
  • A lottery to view the fireflies opens in April or May, and the viewing season for the fireflies is in June
  • During the viewing period, access to the Elkmont viewing area is restricted to vehicles with parking passes, registered campers, or background campers with a permit
  • There are only 800 vehicle passes, 100 passes per night, issued through the lottery process

Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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  • As of 2019, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States
  • The park also preserves multiple historical structures that were part of communities occupied by early European-American settlers of the area
  • The Appalachian Trail passes through the center of the park on its route from Georgia to Maine
  • Clingmans Dome, built in 1959, is a concrete observation tower featuring a circular observation platform accessed by a spiral ramp

Craighead Caverns, Sweetwater

  • Extensive cave system located in between Sweetwater and Madisonville, best known for containing the United States’ largest and the world’s second largest non-subglacial underground lake, The Lost Sea
  • In addition to the lake, the caverns contain an abundance of crystal clusters called anthodites, stalactites, stalagmites, and a waterfall

Sun Studio, Memphis

  • Recording studio opened by rock-and-roll pioneer Sam Phillips, in Memphis, in 1950
  • Reputedly the first rock and roll single, Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats’ “Rocket 88” was recorded there in 1951 with song composer Ike Turner on keyboards, leading the studio to claim status as the birthplace of rock & roll
  • Blues and R&B artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Parker, Little Milton, B.B. King, James Cotton, Rufus Thomas, and Rosco Gordon recorded there in the early 1950s
  • Rock and roll, country music, and rockabilly artists, including Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Feathers, Ray Harris, Warren Smith, Charlie Rich, and Jerry Lee Lewis, recorded there throughout the mid-to-late 1950s until the studio outgrew its Union Avenue location

Tennessee State Museum, Nashville

  • Large museum in Nashville depicting the history of Tennessee, opened in 2018
  • The building includes a Tennessee Time Tunnel chronicling the state’s history by leading visitors though the museum’s permanent collection, a hands-on children’s gallery, six rotating galleries, a digital learning center, and a two-story Grand Hall
  • Exhibitions include significant artifacts related to the state’s history, along with displays of art, furniture, textiles, and photographs produced by Tennesseans
  • The museum’s Civil War holdings consists of uniforms, battle flags, and weapons