#23 best destination 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

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

Sun Studio

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  • Recording studio opened by rock-and-roll pioneer Sam Phillips in 1950, sharing the same building with the Sun Records label
  • Reputedly the first rock and roll single, Jackie Brenton 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
  • Rock and roll, country music, and rockabilly artists, including Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis, recorded there throughout the mid-to-late 1950s

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

American Museum of Science and Energy

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  • Science museum in Oak Ridge, designed to teach about energy, especially nuclear power, and to document the role Oak Ridge played in the Manhattan Project

Lost Sea (Sweetwater)

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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

Titanic Museum

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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

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
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Sugarlands Distilling Company

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

Dollywood

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

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

Costs

Number of Days: 18 days

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

Airline tickets: $296

Seattle -> Nashville (round trip) = $296

Food: $45/day x 18 days = $810

Rental car: $67/day x 18 days = $1,206

Gas: $109

Entertainment: $453

Airbnb: $357/day x 17 days = $6,069

TOTAL: $8,943