Posts tagged with "Tennessee Department of Tourist Development"

Attractions of Tennessee’s Native American heritage via 360 MAGAZINE

Attractions of Tennessee’s Native American heritage

Seven Attractions That Tell The Story Of Native Americans In Tennessee

You don’t have to look far to see the lasting legacy of Native Americans in Tennessee — in fact, the name “Tennessee” is derived from “Tanasi,” a Cherokee village in what is now Monroe County. Today, the state is home to more than 20,000 Native Americans and a rich culture and history waiting to be experienced by travelers. Below, check out seven attractions that tell the story of Tennessee’s Native American heritage. 

Travel Tip: The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail runs east to west across Tennessee, carving a tragic story of the removal of Cherokee Indians from their ancestral homelands.

Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park

Listed on the National Register of Historic PlacesPinson Mounds State Archaeological Park covers more than 1,200 acres and contains at least 15 Native American mounds, which were both burial and ceremonial in purpose. The park’s archaeological features and wildlife can be viewed along six miles of interconnecting trails, including paved trails, which are wheelchair/bicycle accessible. The park’s Pinson Mounds museum offers further insight into these fascinating structures; it is designed to replicate a Native American mound, offering 4,500 square feet of exhibit space, an archaeological library, an 80-seat theater and a “Discovery Room”’ for historical exploration. 

Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area (only accessible to the public through hikes led by Harpeth River State Park rangers)

Head to the seven-acre Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area in Kingston Springs (just west of Nashville), where you’ll find the largest number of Native American ceremonial mounds in Tennessee — more than a dozen. Researchers believe the area was occupied between approximately 1000 and 1300 AD and was an important civic and ceremonial center connected to the Mississippian site of Cahokia, which was located across the river in what is now St. Louis. The Mound Bottom site is only accessible to the public through hikes led by Harpeth River State Park rangers — check the park’s events calendar for upcoming experiences.

Audubon Acres

Chattanooga’s oldest wildlife sanctuary, Audubon Acres, offers more than five miles of hiking trails over 130 acres on South Chickamauga Creek, along with abundant opportunities for picnicking, wildlife viewing, and photography. It’s also a spot steeped in Native American history. The visitor center houses an archeological museum showcasing one of the largest publicly viewable Native artifact collections in Chattanooga, while the Spring Frog Cabin, a Trail of Tears site, is a wonderfully preserved example of Cherokee architecture from the mid-1700s. Going back even further, Little Owl Village at Audubon Acres is believed to be the site of a 16th century Napochie village that the Spanish Tristan DeLuna expedition encountered during their travels north from Florida. 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

As the first great gateway to the American west, Cumberland National Historic Park is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in Tennessee’s Native American history. Located an hour north of Knoxville where the borders of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia converge, the 24,000-acre park features miles of game trails that were originally used by Native Americans, allowing visitors to literally walk in the footsteps of the original stewards of the land. Later, those same trails became the footpaths for more than 300,000 settlers heading west over the Appalachian Mountains.

The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum

With the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation at the helm, the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum is Tennessee’s only tribally operated historical attraction. The East Tennessee museum telling the amazing story of Sequoyah, creator of the Cherokee writing system. Never before, or since, in the history of the world has one man, not literate in any language, perfected a system for reading and writing a language until Sequoyah. Located in the Great Smoky Mountains on the shores of beautiful Tellico Lake, the museum recently added the Max D. Ramsey Shoreline Trail, with 1.5 miles of walking trail, along the shoreline, bridges and boardwalks through the marshy areas.

Red Clay State Historic Park 

The tragic Trail of Tears begins at Red Clay State Historic Park. Encompassing 263-acres of narrow valleys formerly used as cotton and pastureland, the park site was the last seat of Cherokee national government before the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in most of the Cherokee people in the area being forced to emigrate west in the 1830s. It was here that the Cherokee learned that they had lost their mountains, streams and valleys forever. On the 263-acre property, you’ll find hiking trails, reconstructed sleeping huts, homesteads, council houses, the Blue Hole Spring, which served as a water supply during council meetings and the Eternal Flame, a memorial for the Cherokee people and those who were lost on the Trail of Tears.

Cherokee Removal Memorial Park and Museum

Cherokee Indian Removal Memorial, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Birchwood, was one of the main staging areas for the Trail of Tears. Thousands of Cherokee Indians camped here before their infamous trip to the west. Lying near the center of the ancestral land of the Cherokee Nation, this area had nine encampments of thousands of Cherokees that waited weeks to be sent across the river here at Blythe Ferry. Today, a History Wall feature offers visitors a detailed visual re-telling of not only the Trail of Tears, but also the centuries-long saga of the literate and highly civilized Cherokee culture in Tennessee. A Memorial Wall, meanwhile, pays tribute to the people who died during the Trail of Tears — a necessary reminder of this tragic episode in our nation’s history. 

ABOUT TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT

Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history, and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” Explore more at TNvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “TNVacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, and “Tennessee” on Snapchat.

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TENNESSEE MUSIC PATHWAYS via 360 MAGAZINE

Six new markers on “TENNESSEE MUSIC PATHWAYS”

FOLLOW THE MUSIC: TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT UNVEILS SIX NEW MARKERS ON “TENNESSEE MUSIC PATHWAYS” 

Howard Armstrong, G.B. Grayson, Jo Walker-Meador, Craig Morgan and Little David Wilkins Honored for Their Significant Contributions That Shaped Music History 

Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD) honored music icons Howard Armstrong, G.B. Grayson, Jo Walker-Meador, Craig Morgan and Little David Wilkins with the unveiling of six new markers on the “Tennessee Music Pathways” at locations across the state. Local and state leaders, family and friends and music industry executives gathered to celebrate their significant contributions to music history in Tennessee. 

A keeper of African American string tradition, Howard Armstrong was a multi-instrumentalist with an extensive repertoire. He was also a multilinguist, painter and a teller of folk tales and anecdotes drawn from his long life and career. Armstrong was honored on Oct. 18 with a marker in downtown LaFollette. His son, Ralphe Armstrong, and Mayor Jack Lunch were in attendance.

TDTD and Johnson County Center of the Arts honored G.B. Grayson with a marker on Oct. 18 in downtown Mountain City with special performances by Kody Norris and Kenny Price. The new marker is the latest addition to the “Musical Heritage Mural Mile” walking tour through downtown Mountain City. The self-guided mural tour connects Johnson County residents and visitors alike to a storied history of authentic Appalachian music, including Clarence “Tom” Ashley, Blind Fiddler, G.B. Grayson, who first recorded the Ballad of Tom Dooley, plus Fred Price and Clint Howard, who introduced the young Doc Watson to the world.

Alongside the City of Orlinda and Robertson County, Tennessee Tourism honored country music industry pioneer Jo Walker-Meador on Oct. 21 with a new marker on the Tennessee Music Pathways. As executive director of the Country Music Association (CMA) from 1962 until 1991, Jo Walker-Meador’s career mirrored the growth of the industry she led. She became a tireless proselytizer for country music. Under her leadership, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the CMA Awards, and Fan Fair (later CMA Music Festival, now known as CMA Fest) were established, in addition to many industry initiatives. 

On Oct. 18, TDTD and Dickson County honored country music star Craig Morgan with the unveiling of a “Tennessee Music Pathways” marker next door to the Clement Museum Hotel. Craig Morgan, a longtime resident of Dickson, attended the unveiling and held a book signing for his new memoir, “God, Family, Country.” A multi-faceted entertainer, Morgan has made a name for himself as a country music icon, TV personality, celebrated outdoorsman and patriotic Army veteran. With over 25 charted Billboard songs, Morgan is widely known for massive hits “This Ole Boy,” ”Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” “Little Bit of Life,” “Wake Up Lovin’ You,” “International Harvester” and “Bonfire.” A proud member of the Grand Ole Opry since 2008, he has made over 250 appearances on the hallowed stage.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Little David Wilkins was honored in Parsons with a new marker. As a country singer, songwriter and entertainer, Wilkins scored 17 country hits. His composition, “Coming On Strong,” was a No. 11 pop hit for Brenda Lee in 1966, and he wrote songs for artists as diverse as soul singer Percy Sledge; country star Conway Twitty; and folk-pop group, the Serendipity Singers. Wilkins was also a nightclub performer and worked as a supporting artist to several major country stars. 

Nearly every town in Tennessee has a story when it comes to music. Tennessee Music Pathways is a guide that connects visitors to the rich musical heritage of our state. From the largest cities to the smallest communities, the Pathways stretches across all 95 counties and features hundreds of landmarks and attractions from the seven genres of music that call Tennessee home: blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll. Everyone knows about Elvis Presley in Memphis, the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and Dolly Parton’s East-Tennessee roots; but there is a deeper story to be told. From rockabilly to sacred music – our musical history is statewide, diverse and deserves to be heard. This is what makes Tennessee the “Soundtrack of America.” 

Tennessee Music Pathways: 

Launched by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development in 2018, Tennessee Music Pathways is an online planning guide that connects visitors to the state’s rich musical heritage at tnmusicpathways.com. From the largest cities to the smallest communities, Tennessee Music Pathways stretches across all 95 counties and features hundreds of landmarks from the seven genres of music that call Tennessee home.

TN CIVIL RIGHTS TRAIL PODCAST

Recently, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD) and Travel South launched the trailer for the new Tennessee Civil Rights Trail Podcast, a three-episode series where historians and experts explore the most significant events of the Movement that happened in the state during the 1950s and 1960s. The series also features real stories from Civil Rights veterans who were there and who made a difference, and it explains why what took place then is still so relevant today. The first episode is slated to debut on all streaming platforms beginning Wednesday, June 20.

The podcast features lesser-known stories, including that of the Lorraine Motel co-owner, Mrs. Lori Bailey, who fell into a coma after a cerebral hemorrhage the night Dr. King was assassinated. She died five days later, the same day Dr. King was laid to rest in Atlanta; how Nashville’s nickname “The Music City,” originated because of the 19th century African American Jubilee Singers from Fisk University, not from country music; and hear the relatively unknown story of Clinton 12 member Bobby Cain, the first African American to graduate from a formally segregated high school in the south.

“This podcast dives into difficult conversations directly from the brave men and women who stood up for equal rights,” said Mark Ezell, Commissioner of the Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development and Secretary/Treasurer of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail Marketing Alliance. “We’re proud to partner with Travel South and help shine a light on the on the triumphant and impactful stories at these Tennessee destinations that helped change the world.”

Travel illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 Magazine

Celebrate National Book Lovers Day in Tennessee

Celebrate National Book Lovers Day with These 15 Tennessee Must Reads

Today marks National Book Lovers Day, a day to celebrate reading. Find your favorite reading nook and cozy up with these unforgettable stories about Tennessee. 

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O’Brien

Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma has the complete collection of the accomplished Aviatrix, Louise Thadden, including her pilot’s license signed by Orville Wright and original racing trophies.

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan

Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Oak Ridge tells the story of the Secret City, known for its role in developing the technology that ended World War II. Learn about the fascinating history, and past and modern scientific achievements.

Respect Yourself: Stax Records & The Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon

Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis tells the legacy of one of the most popular soul music record labels of all time that spans more than half a century through interactive exhibits and galleries.

The Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick

Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis takes fans on an unforgettable journey through the revolutionary life and legacy of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Tina Turner: My Love Story by Tina Turner

West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville houses the one-room schoolhouse Tina Turner once attended. The Tina Turner Museum includes memorabilia and costumes and lets fans explore what life was like for the icon.

Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley

The Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center in Henning is a restored home on the National Register of Historic Places features Haley’s work, with childhood memorabilia and references to the people who inspired his characters in Roots.

March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

Civil Rights Room in the Nashville Public Library features oral histories, firsthand photographs and provides a current voice for open dialogue and discovery. Witness Walls is public artwork inspired by the events and people who made history in Nashville during the Civil Rights Movement.

The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks

Carnton in Franklin. The book tells the brave story of Carrie McGavock, whose home became a field hospital as the Battle of Franklin in 1864 raged across fields.

Sgt. York: His Life, Legend & Legacy by John Perry

Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park in Pall Mall includes a visitor center modeled after York’s general store, his home, a grist mill, York Bible School and York Farm.

Historic Knoxville: The Curious Visitor’s Guide to its Stories and Places by Jack Neely.

Stop by Visit Knoxville at WDVX to pick up a guide, which encompasses old brick buildings of Knoxville’s core, Market Square, historic neighborhoods, parks and cemeteries, as well as suggested literary walks.

The Last Night on the Titanic by Veronica Hinke

Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge. Discover stories of passengers and crew who sailed the Titanic as tour guides and interactive galleries bring them to life.

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton and Robert K. Oermann

Dolly Parton Statue in Sevierville is a tribute to the legend in her hometown. Explore family fun at the Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. In Nashville, learn the stories of icons with exhibits and programs at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Then, grab cocktails under a pink umbrella next to a Dolly Parton statue made from pink chicken wire at the rooftop bar White Limozeen at the Graduate Hotel.

Country Music: An Illustrated History by Dayton Duncan based on Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol tells the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings and the rich musical heritage of artists like the Carter Family. Learn stories like theirs as you walk-in the footsteps of legends and discover songwriters along the Tennessee Music Pathways statewide.

Bluff City: The Secret Life of Photographer Ernest Withers by Preston Lauterbach

The Withers Collection Museum & Gallery, Dr. Withers’ last working studio on 333 Beale Street, houses 7,000 square feet of history, powerful images of key figures in the Civil Rights Movement, music, sports and African American life in Memphis.

Old Glory, From Salem to Nashville: The Life and Times of Patriot Captain William Driver

Historic Mansker’s Station in Goodlettsville is nationally recognized as a top living history site. Learn about the life of Captain Driver and his impact in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. The Bowen Plantation House and Kasper Mansker’s log station serve as a backdrop for daily presentations and special events.

Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history, and family adventure, infused with music, that creates a vacation that is the Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee. Explore more at their website and join other Tennessee travelers by following TNVacation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, and Snapchat.

Get Loud! illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Get Loud!

GET LOUD! SUMMER CONCERT SERIES TO BRING LIVE MUSIC EVENTS BACK TO W.C. HANDY PARK ON WORLD FAMOUS BEALE STREET IN MEMPHIS

PJ Morton to Headline FREE Concert Series Kickoff on Saturday, June 5


Get Loud! Get Live! Get Here! Marketing Campaign to Feature Summer Anthem from Memphis Artists & GRAMMY-Winning Producer Boo Mitchell

Memphis Tourism, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist DevelopmentDowntown Memphis Commission and Beale Street, will launch a 10-week outdoor music series “Get Loud!” on Beale Street’s biggest stage in downtown Memphis. The LIVE music series kicks off Saturday, June 5 with GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter PJ Morton at the newly renovated W.C. Handy Park outdoor performance space. GET LOUD! will follow with 10 Thursday night concerts starting June 10th and culminating August 12th, 2021. Additional headliners include St. Paul & The Broken BonesDavid Ryan HarrisRebirth Brass BandPaul ThornSon Little and Marc Broussard. The performances will be free and open to the public, pairing a touring headline act with a Memphis based band as opening act.

The GET LOUD! initiative helps ensure the Memphis destination delivers on the brand promise of live and local music for visitors. It also allows Memphis artists, musicians and event production personnel to get back to work all over our city. Memphis Tourism is partnering with existing live music events to designate them as additional Get Loud! activations throughout the year.

“Our goal is to create a unique opportunity to showcase Memphis music by putting silenced artists and musicians back to work and delivering the core motivator that drives visitors to the Memphis destination, and that is music,” said Kevin Kane, President & CEO of Memphis Tourism. “This activation of the Beale Street entertainment district will not only create activity on the street, but in turn, increase overall hotel occupancy, fill our restaurants and venues and extend the length of stay.”

Made possible by Tennessee Department of Tourist Development funding, Memphis Tourism and the State worked together to develop strategic initiatives that will motivate travel and bring visitors back to a state known around the world for multiple genres of music.

“The Soundtrack of America is made in Tennessee, and we’re excited to see our stages and venues filled with fans again and artists back to doing what they love,” said Commissioner Mark Ezell, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “Tourism is vital to our state’s economy. Bringing music back to historic Beale Street every day is an important step in restoring our industry, as well as celebrating the identity and culture that make Memphis so special. We’re grateful to Memphis Tourism and all who helped bring the ‘Get Loud!’ summer concert series to life.”

The lineup for the GET LOUD! concert series features a variety of headline acts, many with connections to Memphis, along with local bands serving as opening acts in the concert series set for Beale Street’s W.C. Handy Park. The thoughtful approach to booking acts has produced a soulful lineup sure to entertain both visitors and locals who visit Beale Street for the concert series. Additional headline, and a full slate of opening acts, will be announced in the coming days. For the most up to date schedule as acts are announced, visit Memphis Travel.

GET LOUD! CONCERT SERIES CALENDAR

Saturday, June 5th

PJ Morton
Marcella & Her Lovers

Thursday, June 10th

St. Paul & The Broken Bones

The MD’s

Thursday, June 17th

David Ryan Harris

Thursday, June 24th

Rebirth Brass Band
Chinese Connection Dub Embassy

Thursday, July 1st

Victor Wooten

Joseph Wooten

Roy “Futureman” Wooten

Regi Wooten

The Wooten Brothers

Dottie

Thursday, July 8th

Paul Thorn

Amy LaVere & Will Sexton

Thursday, July 22nd

Son Little

Thursday, August 12th

Marc Broussard
Turnstyles

“EVERY STORY IS A SONG” MARKETING CAMPAIGN: GET LOUD. GET LIVE. GET HERE

The live music showcase on Beale Street will work in tandem with and be promoted via Memphis Tourism’s planned “Every Story is a Song” digital media campaign, targeting visitors in key drive markets within a 600-mile radius of the Home of the Blues, Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll.  The soundtrack to the advertising campaign is a summer anthem penned and performed by Memphis artists at world famous Royal Studios, with Grammy award winning producer Boo

Mitchell as producer on the track. The GET LOUD! campaign anthem will be released via digital platforms in early Summer 2021.

“Our community is rooted in music, and the pandemic has made it hard for many of Memphis’ most creative voices to be heard over the last year, whether performing in venues or even creating new music in the studio,” said Boo Mitchell, a Grammy award winning record producer, musician, songwriter, audio engineer, and owner of the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis. “I have a tremendous amount of civic pride in Memphis. When I was approached about getting involved with this project to produce a song that was a musical invitation to visit our amazing city, I didn’t just say yes, I asked, when can we get started.”

Storytelling within the marketing campaign will be inclusive of all audiences through a variety of channels, emphasizing the current Memphis sound, while giving a nod to the legacy sound that made Memphis a world-famous music city.

“Through this music series and marketing campaign, Memphis Tourism is inviting all visitors, the uninitiated and the indoctrinated, to come be a part of our extended family, to share in our city’s stories and our songs,” said Regena Bearden, Chief Marketing Officer for Memphis Tourism. “We’ve all relished anecdotes from visitors who describe feeling a deep connection to the Memphis sound. It touches your soul, creating a familial feeling, echoing who we are as a city and a destination. When you visit, you become a part of our extended musical family, and you may want to dance too.”

The multi-channel digital campaign will focus on the 600-mile radius key drive markets that, driven by data and research, have demonstrated a solid return by generating hotel room night sales, attraction tickets, restaurant and retail sales. In 2019 Memphis & Shelby County welcomed 12.4 million visitors, accounting for a $3.65 billion economic impact in spending from domestic visitors alone. This spend generated $179.5 million in state tax receipts and $101 million in local tax receipts. The leisure and hospitality industry in Shelby County includes over 2-thousand businesses and supports 49-thousand jobs.

Anywhere you go in Memphis, there’s a story waiting to be told, a song that connects to your heart and stays with your soul. Visitors can make a long weekend of it and celebrate that spirit with live music citywide every day this summer, kicking off with the GET LOUD free concert series in Handy Park. With live music, legendary attractions and Beale Street – plus food that’ll feed your soul – planning a visit to Memphis for an unforgettable music experience is effortless with resources available at Memphis Travel, log on today and feel the Memphis beat.

Traveling illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Sustainable Travel in Tennessee

Be Clean, Go Green and Travel Sustainably in Tennessee

Celebrate Earth Day by Going Green with these Sustainable Attractions, Restaurants and Accommodations

Known for its natural beauty, unique culture and southern hospitality, Tennessee strives to be at the forefront of sustainability efforts to preserve its wonder and charm for future generations to come. This Earth Day, be clean and go green with Tennessee Department of Tourist Development by sustainably eating, exploring and lodging across the state.

Where to Stay

Eco-friendly lodging options help play a significant part in reducing water, plastic and energy waste every day. Below are a few lodging options that will have guests snoozing smart and more carefree all night long:

The Crash Pad – Chattanooga 

Located in Chattanooga, this eco-friendly, LEED-certified glamping spot is unlike any other. Offering 24 bunk beds or five private rooms, complimentary DIY breakfast and walking distance to some of the area’s restaurants and bars, this classic, yet charming hostel provides visitors with a blend of reclaimed and renewable resources to ensure the best of energy efficiency while supporting local sustainable businesses.

Hutton Hotel – Nashville

Known for its four-star, four-diamond service, the Hutton Hotel goes above and beyond to provide its guests with an eco-friendly stay. From the time guests arrive, they are greeted by bamboo floors and furniture made from reclaimed wood. The rooms are equipped with automatic, motion detection lights, and to cut back on the use of plastic guests can find soap, shampoo and conditioner all in dispensers. To reduce the use of carbon-emissions and air pollution, the hotel is within walking distance to several popular attractions, restaurants and bars.

David Crockett State Park Cabins – Lawrenceburg

The David Crockett State Park Cabins are the perfect, family weekend getaway. Equipped with geothermal-powered HVAC units and gas fireplaces, these LEED-certified vacation homes are ahead of the curve on energy conservation. The state park also has the Tennessee Naturalist Program which serves as an educational training program to provide service and outreach efforts to help preserve Tennessee’s natural beauty and resources.

For other eco-friendly lodging options, look for the Tennessee Green Hospitality certification on business’ websites.

Where to Eat & Drink

People come to Tennessee from all over to try its award-wining restaurants and signature dishes whether it’s a southern comfort dish or a night out at one of the many farm-to-table establishments across the state. Dive into these local, sustainable-friendly restaurants, bars and wineries that play a part in reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

Husk – Nashville

Known for their ever-changing menu of fresh ingredients all from the south, Husk takes Southern cuisine to the next level. This farm-to-table approach provides a menu full of seasonal food and drinks all while saving the environment and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Local Goat – Pigeon Forge

Located in Pigeon Forge, the Local Goat specializes in locally sourced and sustainable foods. Customers can enjoy a selection of craft food and drinks such as “bhaahhbu” back ribs, ahi tuna steak, a buckberry old fashioned and much more.

Belly Acres – Memphis

With two locations at Overton Square and Regalia, Belly Acres prides itself on bringing their customers the best food “from our acres to your belly.” They have a wide selection of signature burgers, salads and beef-less burgers. They are so passionate about inspiring others and future generations to eat clean that on Wednesdays kids eat free.

2021 New Harvest Farmers’ Market – Knoxville

Opening April 22, the 2021 New Harvest Farmers’ Market offers a wide range of seasonal products including fruits, vegetables, plants, meats and much more. Open every Thursday until Sept. 30, guests cannot only shop for fresh produce but also enjoy the park’s children’s play area, covered pavilion and walking trails.

Winery at Seven Springs Farm – Maynardville

Wander down the historic “Thunder Road” to the charming Winery at Seven Springs Farm. This winery like many others across the state makes its wine on-site which helps to cut back on long-haul delivery and greenhouse gas emissions. They offer tours across the vineyard for their visitors to learn about how they make their wine and take in the picturesque views.

East Nashville Beer Works – Nashville

Make a toast to Earth Day with friends and family at East Nashville Beer Works by sipping away on its locally brewed beer. A member of the Tennessee Sustainable Spirits program, the brewery aims to reduce their environmental impact and energy footprint through practices such as using tankless water heaters and implementing temperature controls.

To read more about Tennessee’s Sustainable Spirits program and its members, click here.

Where to Explore

Whether you are looking to explore Tennessee’s great outdoors or wander down the cities charming neighborhoods, these unique attractions offer environmentally friendly fun all while stressing the importance of being sustainably responsible.

Mirimichi Lakes Golf – Millington

Bring your “A-game” this Earth Day at Mirimichi Lakes Golf. This award-winning course of more than 7,400 yards provides its visitors with an eco-friendly experience. From integrated pest management and water conservation, Mirimichi offers championship-worthy views and environmentally friendly practices for both amateur and professional level players.

Tennessee Aquarium – Chattanooga 

Make a splash by visiting the Tennessee Aquarium to learn more about the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, their scientific studies and what they are doing to restore and conserve the earth’s ecosystems. Through their Global Passport Program, guests can learn more about different species from around the world and the role they play in their environment.

Able – Nashville

While in Nashville, stop by Able, an ethical fashion brand dedicated to sustainability. The company strives to make a positive impact on the environment by using recycled packaging and mailers, repurposing discarded hides for their leather products, creating all their jewelry by hand without the harsh chemicals needed from a manufacturer and picking clothes that are made from all-natural fibers.

Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park – Johnson City

Guests can cycle their way through Earth Day at the Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park. With over 40 acres of terrain and trails, bicyclists and hikers of all ages can spend the day in the great outdoors enjoying the beauty of Johnson City.

Hike MoCo – Wartburg

Established in 2017, Hike Morgan County is a network designed to encourage hikes on Morgan County trails and promote a healthy lifestyle. Throughout the network’s organized hikes, hikers are encouraged to pick up trash along the way to help preserve the beauty of Morgan County’s trails and surrounding areas,

Check out these Earth Day celebrations happening across the state:

April 17-18, 24-25

EarthDayz at Rock City Gardens – Lookout Mountain

Celebrate all weekend long with Rock City’s 12th annual EarthDayz. The event will host four animal shows in partnership with the Chattanooga Zoo, live music, living ground walker character and much more.

April 22:

Earth Day Hike at Sycamore Shoals State Park – Elizabethton

Kick-off Earth Day 2021 with a guided hike around Sycamore Shoals. Throughout the guided tour, learn about the different trees in the area, how our ancestors used them and the best tips and tricks for a hiking trip.

April 23:

Family Nights at the Museum: Exploring the Arboretum! – Smyrna

Join the historic Sam Davis Home as they commemorate Earth Day with the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council to learn about the site’s arboretum and its many collections of trees.

April 24:

Nashville Earth Day at Centennial Park – Nashville

Connect with the Nashville community and discover ways to make a positive impact on our environment with local sustainable small businesses, government agencies and nonprofits. The event will take place in Centennial Park where attendees can learn and engage with a wide range of activities and exhibits.

Spread the Mulch Volunteer Work Day at Shelby Farms Park – Memphis

Shelby Farms Park will host multiple volunteer workdays to spread the love this Earth Day. During this socially distanced event, volunteers will help lay mulch throughout the park to help trees retain water, prevent future erosion and provide the proper nutrients needed for them to continue to grow.

ABOUT TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT

Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history, and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.”   Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “TNVacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, and “Tennessee” on Snapchat.

Gaylord Opryland Country Christmas Nashville

Winter Happenings in Tennessee

Although traveling may look different this year, Tennessee has great activities to offer for the upcoming winter. This list is new, trendy and sure to please everyone.

Nolensville – Artist Kim Radford painted the “This Girl Can” mural on the side of Mama Java’s Café as part of the statewide Walls for Women project to celebrate Tennessee’s role in the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Clarksville – Start a new holiday tradition with a mini-glass blowing workshop like designing your own ornament at Erin’s Farm. Afterward, stop by the gift gallery for goods, crafts and artworks produced by local artisans.

LafayetteThe Barn on Church Street is a magical place for a wedding or event. Steeped in history, the 100-year-old barn has been lovingly renovated to maintain the charm of a barn while providing modern conveniences.

Knoxville –Stroll the Downtown Peppermint Trail among more than 100,000 lights and garlands which create a winter wonderland and restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, bars and boutiques feature peppermint specials.

Chattanooga – Delight in a million sparkling lights, decorate a gingerbread cookie, experience the icy borealis lights, visit Santa in his North Pole Workshop and indulge in holiday treats during Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights.

Southeast Tennessee – The new Tennessee Gravel website showcases ways to enjoy beautiful backroads around the Blue Ridge Mountains and Cherokee National Forest, including day trips, overnight backpacking adventures, bike races and events.

Johnson City – The Windsor Speakeasy is known for its unique craft cocktails, seasonal cocktail menus, inconspicuous exterior, low lighting, leather and velvet pieces. The speakeasy is in downtown Johnson City, but you may have to hunt to find it.

Dover – Learn a new hobby and handwork skills with the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm Old Time Skills Workshops, including traditional Christmas decorations. Safety protocols will be observed. Masks and social distancing will be required.

New Restaurant, Attraction & Shop Openings

Nashville49 new restaurants, bars and cafés have opened this year, including Yolan (directed by James Beard Award winner and Michelin-starred chef, Tony Mantuano), and three new concepts by James Beard Award-winning chef, Sean Brock: The Continental at the Grand Hyatt, Joyland and Audrey.

Nashville – The National Museum of African American Music will showcase the roles African Americans have played in shaping and creating all genres of music. The museum will integrate history and interactive technology to share the story of more than 50 music genres and subgenres. Stay tuned here for information on the grand opening.

Pelham – Explore an underground room three football fields long. Hear about geology, lore and Grundy County’s unique history. Take a daily tour behind-the-scenes of The Caverns’ world-famous music venue and end with a photo op on the iconic stage.

Knoxville Live from the Bijou is a reduced capacity, in-venue experience and live streaming series of concerts every Friday night. Safety measures are in place inside the venue. Proceeds support the artist and sustain the venue.

Pigeon Forge – The new REI Co-op store offers top-quality outdoor gear, rentals, expertise and experiences in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Johnson City – The Women’s Suffrage Mural by Artist Ellen Elmes is depicted in three stages. The design honors the history of the Women’s Suffrage Movement with a focus on Tennessee stories, including a historic 1916 march in Johnson City.

New Breweries and Distilleries 

Clarksville – The locally-owned Strawberry Alley Ale Works in historic downtown combines chef-inspired food and expertly made craft beer.

Franklin – Curio Brewing Company on the Franklin’s Masters & Makers Trail brews coffee and beer. The kid-friendly atmosphere offers the family a spot to gather safely while still enjoying experimental brews. 

Johnson City Watauga Brewing Company is a three-story brewery, rooftop bar and restaurant featuring upscale New American cuisine with Appalachian southern roots. Little Animals Brewery on Main Street offers barrel-aged sours, Saison beers, IPAS, lagers and vintage British beers.

Kingsport – Gypsy Circus Cider, Tennessee’s first cidery, takes pride in using locally-sourced, fresh-pressed apples. With a newly renovated outdoor cider-garden, there’s room to socially distance while enjoying a drink. 

New & Reimagined Hotels

Memphis Canopy by Hilton pays homage to the soulful spirit of downtown while infusing a hip, modern feel. Chef Fabio Viviani showcases American cuisine with Spanish and Italian fare at the hotel’s restaurant, Curfew.

Nashville – New hotels dot Nashville’s skyline including the 262-room Virgin Hotel, 591-room Grand Hyatt, 297-room The Joseph Luxury Collection, and the 346-room W Hotel.

Knoxville – The new Graduate Knoxville is just steps Neyland Stadium with Rocky Top lore and bursting with Big Orange pride, including Saloon 16, a high-end watering hole opening in partnership with Peyton Manning. The new Cumberland House Knoxville, Tapestry Hotel by Hilton is ideal for families, leisure and business travelers alike. 

Sevierville – The new boutique Historic Central Hotel downtown features two-and-three bedroom suites, located in an old, renovated bank building.

Winter In-Person & Virtual Events Across Tennessee

Memphis – (Nov. 19-Dec. 12) Nearly 50 artists offer online booths for holiday shopping at the Pink Palace Virtual Crafts Fair.

Obion Co. – (Nov. 19-Dec. 18) Collect stamps with the Happy & Healthy Holiday Passport for a chance to win a Northwest Tennessee getaway. Visit stops like Discovery Park of America, Blue Bank Resort and Higher Ground Coffee Company.

Nashville – (Nov. 19-Dec. 23) Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Store and Hatch Show Print online this holiday season to find clothing, accessories, home décor and historic prints from one of America’s oldest letterpress print shops.

Union City – (Nov. 19-Dec. 30) Put on your cheeriest holiday pajamas and explore one million twinkling lights without ever leaving your car during Discovery Park of America’s Let It Go Light Show. The cost is $10 per car. Be sure to ask about the North Pole Milk, Cookie Kit and 3D glasses.

Nashville – (Nov. 19-Jan. 3) Twinkling lights, Christmas trees, shimmering ornaments, holiday movies, selfie spots, letters to Santa, gingerbread decorating, carolers, carriage rides and more abound during Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas.

Pigeon Forge – (Nov. 19-Jan. 3) Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas features 5-million glistening lights, award-winning shows, culinary delights, seasonal shopping and holiday do-it-yourself kits to take home, including gingerbread houses.

Sevierville – (Nov. 19-Jan. 3) Immerse yourself in custom-built light displays synchronized with festive music, Santa’s Beach Party display and Santa’s Village during Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland. Tickets start at $25.

Memphis – (Nov. 19-Jan 8) Christmas at Graceland kicks off the holiday season with a virtual holiday lighting, special Christmas tours, an overnight package at The Guest House at Graceland, Nativity scene, Santa and his sleigh and other fun activities.

Sevierville – (Nov. 19-Jan. 10) Glide across the rink with outdoor ice skating at Wilderness of the Smokies. Skates are available to rent at the rink. Guest admission is $10 for the entire stay and public admission is $17.99.

Gatlinburg – (Nov. 19-Jan. 31) Gatlinburg SkyLift Park transforms North America’s longest pedestrian bridge into a dazzling winter wonderland with a tunnel of 40,000 synchronized lights and dancing trees during “Lights Over Gatlinburg.”

Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville – (Nov. 19-Feb. 15) Many of the region’s entertainment and tourist attractions transform for the holidays with light displays, unique shopping and award-winning shows during Smoky Mountain Winterfest.

Nashville – (Nov. 20-22) Nashville Ballet will open its 2020-21 performance season with a virtual production of Community. Community celebrates the spirit of the city with works by three artists whose careers blossomed at Nashville Ballet.

Clarksville – (Nov. 20-Dec. 18) Enjoy vintage and modern holiday classics at Roxy Regional Theatre in the heart of downtown. Admission is $5, refreshments are available in sealed packaging and the theatre limits seating for social distancing.

Chattanooga – (Nov. 20-Dec. 31) Holiday under the Peaks at Tennessee Aquarium features festive decorations, holiday music, a seasonally-themed scavenger hunt and a trip on The Polar Express in the aquarium’s IMAX 3D Theater.

Nashville – (Nov. 20-Jan. 10) Over a million lights adorn the gardens during Cheekwood’s Holiday Lights. Enjoy seasonal favorites like real reindeer, a Poinsettia tree, trains lit up for the holidays and a unique story of the Nutcracker exhibit. 

Gallatin – (Nov. 21) Bledsoe Creek State Park celebrates Native American Heritage Month with a lunch and learn. Bring a picnic and learn about Native Americans who lived and hunted in the area 11 a.m. at the Visitor’s Center back porch.

Columbia – (Nov. 21) A Very Maury Christmas features over 30 vendors and boutiques 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Memorial Building downtown. A $5 entry fee will be accepted at the door benefiting aMuse’um Children’s Museum.

Gatlinburg – (Nov. 23-Jan. 3) Twinkling lights, visits from Santa, special events, fire pits and a whimsical stroll through the Treetop Skywalk make for an Enchanted Winter at Anakeesta.

Clarksville – (Nov. 24-Jan.1) Stroll and be captivated by light displays with over two million lights and a popular light tunnel during the half-mile Cumberland Riverwalk during Christmas on the Cumberland open nightly, weather permitting.

Clarksville – (Nov. 26-Jan. 2) Stay in the safety of your car to experience the Clarksville Speedway’s Drive-Thru Christmas Lights. Load up the car and cruise the one-mile track to take in the glow and sounds of the season. The cost is $25 per car.

Livingston – (Nov. 27, Dec. 4 & 11) Christmas in the Country 5-8 p.m. on the historic downtown square includes local merchants, carriage rides, performances by local dance students, a live nativity scene and pictures with Santa.

Castalian Springs – (Nov. 28) Journey through Christmas through the Ages: A Victorian Holiday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Historic Wynnewood. Learn about Christmas traditions, tour the home and enjoy hot cider.

Collierville – (Nov. 28-Dec. 19) Take horse-drawn carriage rides around the Town Square, snap pictures along the Holiday Photo Stroll and experience a quarter of a million holiday lights during Christmas in Colliervilleevery Saturday.

Townsend – (Nov. 28, Dec. 4, 12 & 19) The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center’s Christmas in the Village features a pioneer celebration, living history interpreters and an Appalachian Village full of handcrafting demonstrations, lights and décor.

Franklin – (Nov. 28-Dec. 26) Holiday Magic on Main downtown features downtown merchants along Main Street offering special discounts and promotions, pop-up appearances by Dickens characters, period dancers, live music and holiday décor.

Cookeville – (Nov. 30-Dec. 24) Take a night drive to see Cookeville’s decorated homes during the Christmas Tour of Lights. A free map is available at Cookeville City Hall. Find and print it here. New this year with the map is a Christmas scavenger hunt.

Savannah –(Dec. 1-31) Downtown businesses deck out in starry lights during December for Christmas on Main. The Savannah Christmas Parade 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14 is unique with a “reverse” parade with floats stationary and viewers drive through to view. 

Hornbeak – (Dec. 1-31) Soak in the season with more than 400,000 Christmas lights, enjoy s’mores by the fire, visit with Santa, listen to Christmas music and enjoy the enchanted Winter Wonderland at Blue Bank Resort. The resort also teams up with Discovery Park of America each year to offer a “getaway package” through the holidays.

Kingsport – (Dec. 3) Grab Christmas gifts & support small businesses while shopping safely during Jingle & Mingle 5-8 p.m. downtown.

Columbia – (Dec. 4-5) Tour homes festively dressed for the season while benefiting the Athenaeum Rectoryduring the Maury Christmas Historic Home Tour. For ticket information contact The Athenaeum at 931-797-3316.

Bell Buckle – (Dec. 4, 5, 12, 19) The Bell Buckle Night Market 4-8 p.m. Dec. 4 kicks off Bell Buckle’s Olde Fashioned Christmas with local artisans, a fire pit, outdoor games and a scavenger hunt. The fun continues each Saturday with sleigh rides.

Jonesborough – (Dec. 4-26) Gingerbread houses, replicas of historic buildings and more will be on display in store windows during Main Street Jonesborough’s new walkable holiday contest and display, Jonesborough’s Gingerbread Village

Kingsport – (Dec. 5) Kick off the holiday season at 6 p.m. with Kingsport’s Virtual Tree Lighting. Due to COVID-19, the annual Christmas parade has been canceled.

Columbia – (Dec. 5) Get ready for the Christmas in Columbia “Night of Light” Christmas tree lighting and Columbia Main Street Christmas Parade in the Historic Downtown Square. Festivities kick off at 5 p.m.

Columbia – (Dec. 5-6, 12-13) Enjoy a fun-filled day of holiday vendors, food trucks, pancakes with yummy toppings, Christmas cookies, crafts, letters to Santa and more during A Blue Barn Christmas Market and Winter Festival.

Johnson City – (Dec. 6) Scott Miller and special guests perform at a drive-in concert at 4 p.m. at The Mall at Johnson City. Tennessee Hills Distillery craft cocktails will be available for purchase. The suggested donation is $100 per vehicle.

Cookeville – (Dec. 6-Jan. 3) Christmas in the Park kicks off with a live-streamed tree-lighting at 6 p.m. at Dogwood Park. The Christmas Tree Lightshow synchronized to holiday music begins at the top of every hour every night 5-9 p.m. 

Winchester – (Dec. 11-12) Step into a Hallmark movie during Santa Claus is Coming to Town downtown with carriage rides, pancake breakfast, live music, special guests and all merchants will be open late for holiday shopping.

Knoxville – (Dec. 11-Jan. 3) Holidays on Ice moves to the Civic Coliseum for the season on the same ice where the Ice Bears play hockey. Enjoy skating on a 180-foot rink while listening to music. There may even be a “Peppermint Panda” sighting. 

Gallatin – (Dec. 12) Join Grammy Award-winning country star John Berry for his 24th annual Christmas Songs & Stories at 8 p.m. at the Palace Theatre. The show will practice social distancing and follow CDC guidelines for safety.

Shiloh – (Dec. 27) Shiloh National Military Park celebrates its 126th anniversary with a birthday party at 2 p.m. at the visitor’s center with cookies and a time of fellowship. Learn stories with a tour of the battlefield which covers 4,200 acres.

Columbia – (Dec. 31) The Mule Drop benefitting Center of Hope held on Historic Public Square will ring in the New Year. Rubik’s Groove will keep the party going until the Mule Drops. Fireworks and confetti cannons will ring in 2021.

Birchwood (Jan. 11) The 2021 Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival is canceled due to COVID-19, but online events start Jan. 11. The viewing area at the Hiwassee Refuge is still open to guests. Please follow all CDC recommendations.

Knoxville – (Jan. 30) Indulge in amazing treats from area chocolatiers, restaurants & bakeries 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. during Chocolatefest at World’s Fair Park. Tasting tickets are $25 and benefit Knoxville’s Ronald McDonald House.

Gallatin – (Jan. 24) Meet incredible vendors who make any wedding day a dream day, taste yummy samples of sweets and savories from area caterers and make planning a breeze at the Sumner County Bridal Show.

For a complete list of what’s happening in Tennessee, visit tnvacation.com/calendar.  

Memphis, Tennessee, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Memphis × West Tennessee

By Shelby Barbour × Vaughn Lowery

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development held the Memphis and West Tennessee Media tour March 19th-23rd. This trip was filled with amazing food, noteworthy experiences and monumental moments.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 journalists arrived bright and early at the Memphis International Airport and were met by Geiger & Associate staff, and were shortly off to lunch. Lunch was held at The Beauty Shop, which is a hip spot located at the center of the Cooper-Young Entertainment District. The name of the restaurant is the theme. 1940’s beauty dryers are scattered around the salon. Along with this old-fashioned décor, the trendy restaurant also serves amazing, American cuisine. Grilled peaches with blue cheese and balsamic vinegar, herb-crusted trout, cheese grits, and succotash are just a few of the delicious bites they have. After breakfast, the groups split for afternoon activities. The journalists were able to choose between three different activities.

First day activities include taking a tour of Graceland – Home of Elvis Presley, visiting Cooper-Young Entertainment District and Overton Square, and taking a tour of the Memphis Botanic Garden.

Dinner was held at Blues City Café, located on Beale Street. Their ribs have been featured on many food channels and in Bon Appetit’s barbeque issue. Then after, having the options to go out for the night.

The following days were very similar to this one. Starting the day with a delicious breakfast, then continuing to do some fun activity. A lot of the activities include touring Memphis’ popular attractions like The Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame, Shelby Farms Park, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Peabody Hotel; just to name a few.

Beale street is known for its music, and soul so it’s no doubt that was a must-see on this trip.

This trip was full of opportunity. Tennessee has so much culture, soul, and influence that it’s a no brainer why people fall in love with it. Although the trip mainly focused on food and sight-seeing, some history was thrown in there as well. Tours of the National Civil Rights Museum were given. The museum was established in 1991 and is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. This museum offered the visitors a full immersion experience through the American civil rights movement.

When exploring Tennessee, it’s hard to not eat everything that comes into view. Luckily on this trip, it offered multiple foods. This trip was all about the food and travel destinations, so without a doubt, there was going to be some great food options. Food varied from fried chicken sandwiches to impossible burgers which are made from plant-based meats and even deep-fried oysters.

What’s a good trip, without good alcohol? Wine tasting, beer tasting, any alcohol tasting you can think of, Tennessee has it. Century Farm Winery is a family-owned and operated winery that is located right on a working farm. Journalists were able to tour the winery and enjoy a selection of handcrafted and award-winning wines. The wine wasn’t the only alcohol being tasted, good olé’ moonshine was available for taste as well. Samuel T. Bryant Distillery was a hot stop on this tour as well. Just like with the Winery, the journalist was able to have a tasting and tour at the Distillery. Samuel T Bryant Distillery tries its hardest to use locally grown produce in their products. The berries in the Blueberry Moonshine and the Blackberry Moonshine come from local farms and the corn they use comes from Madison County farms. They even use local Sorghum Molasses to make a very unique rum product.

The Memphis and West Tennessee Media Tour was filled with so much culture, inspiration, passion, and warmth. Journalists were able to put their creative skills to the test; write and visit places they’ve never been before. When traveling it’s important to try new things and always think outside the box. New foods, drinks, experiences, and great times are what make a trip unforgettable.

Memphis is definitely a place that needs to be on everyone’s travel list. It’s full of so much culture, experiences and food. Memphis is the definition of an affordable visit, foodie town with tons of music history.