Posts tagged with "Tennessee"

Slatt Zy - East Lake Projects

Slatt Zy – East Lake Projects

Rising Chattanooga, Tennessee, rapper Slatt Zy introduces the world to the neighborhood that shaped him to be the 18-year-old man he is today through his new project, East Lake Projects, out today on 100k Management. The release is named after the housing development he was raised in alongside his musically inclined family of 11 brothers and sisters. Fans of Slatt Zy will quickly recognize his effortless flow, which moves from melodic, growled bars to more mournful, introspective lines. Listen HERE. Watch the new video directed by Jordan Spencer for  “First Year (feat. Pooh Shiesty) HERE.

“East Lake Projects is where I became a man. It was tough to value life there, and getting over that made me a man. To me it ‘s more than projects – it ‘s my family, and we got through together. 17 people in 2 rooms, 12 people sleeping on one floor ߝ granny, 11 siblings, auntie. We been through struggles together.” Says Slatt Zy.  “We been through everything -shoot outs, hungriness, shoeless, people dying. East Lake Projects is where all my problems came from and made me grown early, but my happy times came from there too. I couldn ‘t imagine any other way to be. The projects may have given me scars and bruises, but also motivated me to be the nigga I am today. “

While Zy ‘s April debut, Zy Story, introduced audiences to his unique vocal approach and innate ear for melody, East Lake Projects showcases a more vulnerable, personal side of the rapper. On the first track,  “Straight Out Them Projects, “Zy immediately establishes the tone of the record. Over melancholic piano chords, he sings,  “We come from poverty / We had to find a way / Straight out them projects, ain ‘t had shit, I had to find a way. “East Lake Projects is deeply indebted to Zy ‘s childhood, and on the project, he aims to shine a light on the community he grew up in and the violence that still plagues it.

Zy offered a preview of East Lake Projects back in October when he released the video for  “How It Go (feat. Hotboii),” which is at nearly a million views. On the track, Zy takes on the vivacious hook while Hotboii delivers smooth melodic verses. The song is one of the more playful, freewheeling cuts on the project, showing that even when Slatt Zy is excavating his emotions, he ‘s able to turn up too.

Zy prides himself on his incredible work ethic and desire to provide his family a better life. In less than a year, he has released over 10 music videos, in addition to Zy Story. With early support from HotNewHipHop, WorldStarHipHop, SAY CHEESE!, Lyrical Lemonade, and ELEVATOR MAGAZINE, it ‘s clear Slatt Zy is on the way up. Zy has come a long way from sleeping on the living room floor with 11 other people and having to attend school with no shoes to now trading in his braces for his first set of diamond grillz. 

EAST LAKE PROJECTS TRACKLIST: 

  1. Straight Out Them Projects
  2. 3 K’s (We on That Same Shit)
  3. Heart Right
  4. Last Dance
  5. How It Go (feat. Hotboii)
  6. Loved in Awhile
  7. No Hoe
  8. First Year (feat. Pooh Shiesty)
  9. How I Get Here
  10. Salute Me
  11. Hard Times
  12. Sleepless Nights
  13. Left Out

Follow Slatt Zy 

Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | SoundCloud

About Slatt Zy:

At only 18-years-old and having only recorded for less than a year now, the Chattanooga, TN native delivers raw-unfiltered melodic street verses with southern swag. Despite his young age, Slatt Zy has experienced more than most evident in his street anthem  “Drama. “The 100K management affiliate has already amassed over 10 million streams on his own. His self-released debut mixtape Zy Storycharted on Apple Music too. Slatt Zy was touring with Rod Wave right before the pandemic hit and cites most of his musical influences stem from country and R&B.

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.  

relationship, love, hands, holding hands, purple, red, heart

Naomi Judd × Looped × NAMI

Naomi Judd partners with Looped for one-on-one meet & greet event to benefit National Alliance on Mental Illness

Country music icon, Naomi Judd, has partnered with Looped, a new platform that enables fans to video chat live with their favorite celebrities, for a one-on-one meet and greet event on July 6 at 2:00 p.m. CDT. Proceeds from the event benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness Tennessee (NAMI) which provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. Tickets for the event, which benefit National Alliance on Mental Illness Tennessee (NAMI), are available now here.

“Thank you for joining me on Looped! I can’t wait to talk to each and every one of you. The proceeds from this event will be donated to NAMI Tennessee which is an organization very dear to my heart,” expressed Naomi.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame recently announced that The Judds, Naomi and daughter Wynonna, will receive a star on the world’s most famous walkway. The five-time GRAMMY®, nine-time CMA and seven-time ACM Award-winning duo join Kelly Clarkson, Missy Elliott, Trisha Yearwood, Nick Cannon, Courteney Cox, Zac Efron and 28 other entertainers as part of the landmark’s newest class of 2021 inductees.

Wynonna and Naomi Judd brought a fresh acoustic sound to country music, with unmistakable harmonies surrounding Wynonna’s powerful lead vocals. The Judds are often celebrated for a rarely-interrupted stretch of 14 No. 1 hits when every single of theirs released by RCA landed in the Billboard Top 10; and a career that defined what it means to be individualists in the music business. The Judds dominated touring in the 80s with 20 Top 10 hits, have sold more than 20 million albums and blazed a trail for duos and women who have followed them.

Hailing from the Appalachian foothills of Ashland, Ky., mother and daughter duo The Judds were discovered by RCA Nashville label head Joe Galante in 1983, after they landed a guest spot on WSM-TV’s Ralph Emery Show. The Judds made their Billboard country chart debut at the end of that year, with “Had a Dream (for the Heart),” and they were on their way to a history-making career.

In 1991 when Naomi’s diagnosis of hepatitis C forced her to retire from the road, The Judds embarked on a historic farewell tour with Garth Brooks as an opening act. The following year, Wynonna launched her solo career with a self-titled album that went 5x platinum. Wynonna’s first three singles reached No. 1 on the country charts and has become a country icon in her own right. Naomi focused on her health, beating the disease and wrote several New York Times Best Sellers and became a popular motivational speaker and actress.

About Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd is a GRAMMY® award-winning artist, New York Times best-selling author, philanthropist, motivational speaker and acclaimed actress. Hailing from the Appalachian foothills of Ashland, Ky., Naomi and her daughter Wynonna were first discovered by RCA label head Joe Galante in 1983 after landing a spot on WSM-TV’s “The Ralph Emery Show.” The Judds made their chart debut by the end of the year with “Had A Dream (For The Heart),” and country music’s sonic landscape changed after that. A fresh, crisp acoustic sound with undeniable harmonies surged across country radio stations throughout the 80s and early 90s. The Judds are often celebrated for their rarely-interrupted stretch of 14 No. 1 hits when every single of theirs released by RCA landed in the Billboard Top 10; and a career that defined what it means to be individualists in the music business. Throughout her illustrious career, Naomi has been honored with six GRAMMY®, nine CMA and seven ACM Awards. The Judds dominated touring in the 80s and early 90s, have sold more than 20 million albums and continue to give back to countless organizations. In 2021, The Judds will receive a star on the world’s most famous walkway, The Hollywood Walk of Fame. Be sure to follow The Judds.

Follow Naomi Judd: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website

Rita Azar, 360 MAGAZINE, travel, illustration

Restoring Tennessee Tourism

Travel & Tourism are Vital to Restoring Tennessee’s Economy So Tennessee Tourism Launches New Campaign to Inspire Traveling Safely Statewide Amid Coronavirus

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD) launched a multi-phase campaign today with a mission to raise awareness about traveling safely amid COVID-19 as travel picks up in communities across the state. The COVID-19 virus is the largest crisis to hit the travel, leisure and hospitality industries in history, shutting down almost all travel activities and threatening the security of businesses and employees the industry supports. Research shows travelers are getting out into their own communities, reconnecting with family and friends, taking road trips close to home and exploring outdoor scenic beauty where they can safely socially distance.

The department, along with its agency of record, VMLY&R, created a series of videos featuring Tennessee-produced songs like “Tired of Being Alone” by Al Gree, “My Tennessee Mountain Home” by Dolly Parton and “I Can’t Wait” by Memphis band Star & Micey.

Each video showcases outdoor scenic beauty, “outdoor venues” with music provided by the sounds of nature, road trips, and the diverse music, history and culture in Tennessee. “As we’ve seen now more than ever, tourism and hospitality are vital to Tennessee’s economic recovery and helps create jobs and fuel revenues,” said Commissioner Mark Ezell, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “I’ve seen the devastation of this pandemic firsthand. We are ready. Our businesses and attractions are ready. I encourage travelers to safely explore, support local businesses and attractions, create family memories, discover outdoor scenic beauty, take road trips, explore rural destinations and hidden gems that make Tennessee a world-renowned destination.”

A special webpage on tnvacation.com features traveler safety information and health guidance, trip planning resources, travel updates (including attraction and restaurant re-openings), how to support local businesses, interactive and virtual experiences, a Tennessee playlist and safe trip ideas like: Spend Time Outdoors in Tennessee, Explore and Enjoy Tennessee’s Abundant Waterways, Tennessee State Parks You Should Experience, and Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails in Tennessee.

This campaign is critical because travel in Tennessee has been suffering since the Coronavirus pandemic broke out globally. Research indicates:

The Tennessee Department of Revenue saw sales tax revenues for the leisure and hospitality industry decline nearly 36% in April 2020; including hotel and lodging, amusement services, bars and restaurants.

The Tennessee Department of Labor saw filings for record unemployment claims, including leisure and hospitality employees. Between March 1 and May 30, 128,465 employees filed for unemployment. This represents 37% of all leisure and hospitality employees statewide.

Travel Spending in Tennessee declined 87% in the first four weeks of April according to U.S. Travel.

U.S. Travel Association predicts the travel economy in Tennessee could see a 35%-45% decline in 2020 from 2019. Total travel expenditures in Tennessee could fall from $23.27 billion in 2019 to between $12.8 billion and $15.127 billion.

The Coronavirus pandemic is the largest crisis to hit the travel, leisure and hospitality industries in history. In the U.S., an analysis by Oxford Economics predicts a $519 billion decline in travel spending in the U.S. in 2020 will result in a total economic loss of $1.2 trillion, more than 9 times the impact of 9/11 on travel sector revenue. New analysis reveals while the economy is in the midst of a recession, the travel industry is in a depression. Overall travel industry unemployment is 51%-twice the unemployment of the worst year of the Great Depression.

View the full fact sheet here. Tourism is the state’s second largest industry, which historically broke visitation records domestically and internationally and exceeded economic impact numbers year over year. For the full report on “The Economic Impact of Travel in Tennessee” in 2018 click here.

About the 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.” In 2018, Tennessee’s tourism industry generated $22.02 billion in economic impact, more than $1.81 billion in state and local tax revenue and more than 189,757 tourism-related jobs. Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “tnvacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube or “Tennessee” on Snapchat.

360 MAGAZINE, sara sandman, illustration, travel

NASHVILLE VIRTUAL TOUR

Experience Music City from home with virtual cooking classes, tours of historical sites, bedtime stories by Dolly Parton, and more

As Music City continues to follow the guidance of government and health officials, attractions have closed their doors to visitors and shifted to offering online experiences. As a follow up to the initial list, new virtual Nashville experiences include cooking classes from local chefs, read-aloud bedtime stories, and shared playlists can all help you feel connected to Nashville.

New offerings include online cooking classes from some of Nashville’s most beloved chefs, including James Beard Award-winner Sean Brock (Audrey, Joyland, and previously Husk), Tony Galzin (Nicky’s Coal Fired), Matthew Bell (Gray & Dudley), and more. While most are free of charge, Sean Brock is offering his classes for a fee, with every penny earned going to support his team’s wages.

See more under Virtual Classes & Sessions: www.visitmusiccity.com/virtual-attractions

Nashville is doing the best to support the tireless medical professionals who are working on the front lines to combat COVID-19. In true Music City fashion, one way the city is showing its’ support is through Gratitunes, a shared playlist individuals add to and is shared with Vanderbilt University Medical Center staff and streamed to clinics. Musicians including Brad Paisley, Amy Grant, Sara Evans, Dustin Lynch, and more have all joined in by dedicating a tune on their social media channels. Learn more and add your favorite uplifting song: www.visitmusiccity.com/upcoming-concerts

One of country music’s most recognized and loved artists, Dolly Parton, has started “Goodnight with Dolly,” a weekly YouTube series in which she will read aloud a children’s book from her Imagination Library project. She hopes to give parents and children “a welcome distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books.” This will be a 10-week series, with the first episode having aired on Thursday, April 3.

For art lovers, Frist Art Museum is offering Art History Courses throughout the month of April. Art historian Jim Womack will host 3 classes, available on Zoom for a small fee, covering a variety of topics. Learn more and register here. Nashville’s creativity and foundation in music still shines in partnerships between restaurants and breweries and vinyl shops. Among others, Tennessee Brew Works is pairing with Third Man Records to locally deliver craft beer with a side of vinyl. See more: www.visitmusiccity.com/VinylPairings

As previously mentioned, The Grand Ole Opry is available for live streaming on Saturday evenings, two Nashville documentaries are online for viewing (It All Begins With A Song: The Story of the Nashville Songwriter and For The Love of Music: The Story of Nashville), and many major attractions are offering unique virtual experiences. Interact with Music City: www.visitmusiccity.com/virtual-attractions.

Nashville Plays On: New Documentary Film, Live Streams, Virtual Experiences

Nashville Keeps the Music Playing with Online Concerts, Digital Archives, and more.

NASHVILLE – As Music City follows the guidance of government and health officials, attractions have closed their doors to visitors and shifted to offer online experiences. The Grand Ole Opry is available for live streaming on Saturday evening, and two Nashville documentaries are online for viewing. Music City favorites can still be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.

For those missing the sound of Music City, Nashville’s newest documentary, It All Begins With a Song: The Story of the Nashville Songwriter, is now available for purchase and streaming on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and more. The film tells the story of the Nashville Songwriter, from heartbreak to triumph and all the steps in between. Enjoy an inside look into Music Row, and the daily life of a songwriter.

If you missed Nashville’s first documentary, For the Love of Music: The Story of Nashville now is a great time to catch up. Telling the story of Nashville became Music City, the full film is available for viewing online now:

On March 16, the Grand Ole Opry paused all shows with a live audience,

but vowed to continue its nearly 95-year radio broadcast history with

acoustic performances from some Opry favorites and minimal crew. Almost

half a million fans streamed or listened to the show, helping the Opry

continue its streak as the world’s longest running radio show. That

will continue this Saturday, March 21, when Circle, Opry’s television

network, will again bring the Opry show to country music fans in their

own homes. Check your local listings, Facebook, and YouTube for more information and help keep the tradition alive by tuning in.

The music never stops in Nashville, and that is still the case. Many Nashville artists are sharing their talents with the world via social media and live streaming apps. Tune in to an upcoming show, or catch one you might have missed. Hear the music here.

Looking for more of Nashville? The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has an archived database of photos, sound recordings, printed materials, and objects of their collection available for online browsing 24/7, free of charge. Viewers can also enjoy pre-recorded live performances, interviews, and songwriter sessions from Bill Anderson,Rodney Clawson, Eric Paslay, and more. Find out more here.

Additionally, the Tennessee State Museum has an online database enabling visitors to search for and read about artifacts in the Museum’s Collection, along with an extensive blog featuring topics on Tennessee history and more. Video archives of lectures, panel discussions, and lunch & learns are also available. Find out more:http://www.tnmuseum.org

Adventure Science Center, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Frist Art Museum, Nashville Zoo, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, and more local attractions are all offering virtual experiences via their website and social media channels. Refer to this page, which will continually be updated:

www.visitmusiccity.com/virtualattractions.
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVC’s website at www.visitmusiccity.com and follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.  

GRAMMY®, Lil Nas X, Old Town Road, Barack Obama, RIAA, Derrek Kupish, 10,000,000 units sold, diamond, MTV VMA Moonmen, BET, 360 MAGAZINE, Billy Ray Cyrus

President Obama Lists Old Town Road

Former President Barack Obama ranked Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road (Billy Ray Cyrus Remix),” a song also included on his Summer Playlist, as one of his favorite songs of the year.

“I stand here with the most humble heart that Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ featuring BRC is still on Former President Barack Obama’s official playlist of 2019. What a way to cap off the year,” said Billy Ray Cyrus.

Old Town Road (Billy Ray Cyrus Remix)” continues touching audiences and all ages worldwide as the pair are up for 3 nominations at the 62nd Annual GRAMMY®Awards in the all genre Record Of The Year and Best Music Video categories, as well as Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, which air January 26 on CBS. These latest nominations brings Cyrus’ total GRAMMY® nods to 7 over the course of his impressive career. 

The GRAMMY® nominations follow Cyrus and Lil Nas X’s win at the American Music Awards for Favorite Song Hip-Hop/Rap and the Country Music Association Awards for Musical Event of the Year. In addition, Cyrus and Lil Nas X took home two MTV VMA Moonmen for Song of the Year and Best Direction, as well as two trophies at the BET Hip Hop Awards for Best Collab, Duo or Group and Single of the Year.

This is all on the on the heels of the song being certified diamond by the RIAA. Not only is “Old Town Road (Billy Ray Cyrus remix)” the first song of 2019 to gain the diamond recognition, it is the first in the RIAA’s history to meet the minimum requirement of 10,000,000 units sold so quickly.

About Billy Ray Cyrus:
Billy Ray Cyrus became a household name over the course of his unprecedented career which spans across music, television and theater. Throughout his nearly three decade career, Cyrus has achieved worldwide success as a singer, songwriter, actor and producer. The Flatwoods, KY native exploded onto the music scene when his first album, Some Gave All, debuted on the all-genre Billboard album chart at No. 1 and stayed there for a record-breaking 17 weeks in 1992. The lead single, “Achy Breaky Heart,” became a phenomenon as the single went multi-platinum. After “Achy Breaky Heart,” Cyrus followed up with back to back hits “It Could’ve Been Me,” “She’s Not Crying Anymore,” “Wher’m I Gonna Live When I Get Home?” and the anthemic “Some Gave All.” Cyrus knocked himself out of the top Billboard position with the his second No. 1 album, It Won’t Be The Last, featuring smash hits “In the Heart of a Woman,” “Words By Heart” and “Somebody New.” Cyrus followed up with dozens more that defined country music. “To me, my most defining moment in country was being joined by George Jones and Loretta Lynn on my self-penned ‘Country Music Has the Blues,’” said Cyrus. He also enjoyed a successful career as an actor in “Doc” and “Still The King,” as well as the Disney series “Hannah Montana” with his daughter Miley. Recently, Cyrus has shattered records with Lil Nas X with the global smash, “Old Town Road,” which remained No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 19 consecutive weeks.

*Photo credit: Derrek Kupish

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Tennessee, 360 MAGAZINE

What’s New in TN

New & Trending

Bledsoe County Geocaching Tour, Pikeville – Discover fascinating stories, spectacular views and great food as your GPS guides you on an adventure. As part of this new geocaching tour, 44 geocaches are hidden at sites across Bledsoe County, the Sequatchie Valley and at Fall Creek Falls State Park.

Go West Young Man: Western Frontier Couture of Manuel Exhibit at Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center, Hendersonville – Known as the “Stylist to the Stars,” Manuel’s signature designs are known for their elaborate, rhinestone embellishments which have covered Salvador Dali, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam and more. Manuel’s styles have awed audiences and fans around the world.

The Walls Art Park, Waverly – This art park is a one-of-a-kind park where artists can express themselves with their art by painting on the walls. Artists are invited to come out, pick a wall, and create whatever is in their soul.

New Restaurant, Attraction & Shop Openings

Portland Pizza and Pub, Portland – This restaurant serves delicious, creative pizzeria and local brews.

Back Dō/Mi Yard, Memphis – Inspired by many trips to Jamaica, local restauranteur Karen Carrier adds another concept to her brand. This restaurant is behind her other restaurant, The Beauty Shop, and highlights elevated takes on classic Caribbean food.

Coastal Fish Company, Memphis – This restaurant is making great seafood selections even more accessible to the Mid-South area. From the owners of local, fine-dining restaurants Flight and Southern Social, this venture’s menu features items like oysters with wasabi apple or passionfruit chili sorbets as opposed to the typical garnishes.

Marcy Jo’s Muletown, Downtown Columbia – Open November 2019, Marcy Jo’s Muletown, sister restaurant of iconic Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse & Bakery, serves up home-cooked breakfast and lunch daily, and features monthly songwriters’ nights.

The Ice Cream Social, Gallatin – Unique ice cream parlor located inside Filly’s Game and Grill on the downtown Gallatin Square.

Cooking 101 Restaurant and Cooking Classes, Hendersonville – Enjoy a prepared meal or learn to make your own yummy dishes at this eatery.

Simpl, Knoxville – Owner and Executive Chef Kendall Ball serves up southern small plates made with locally-sourced ingredients, upscale takes on classic bar snacks and Instagram-worthy brunch fare.

Perk City, Knoxville – This coffee shop offers a bottomless cup and baked goods including lavender blackberry cornbread. Inside, there are historic pictures of the area and a space for local artists and other “makers” to display their work. Each month, the shop offers a specialty drink to benefit a local charity.

Mountain Monster, Pigeon Forge – A 200-foot-tall drop tower featuring three rides in one, anchors the Tower Shops at Mountain Mile. The Tower Lawns at Mountain Mile are also open.

Monster Mash Burgers, Sevierville – The themed restaurant inspired by classic horror movies, serves up house-ground burgers, hotdogs, and out-of-this-world milkshakes.

Ogle Brothers General Store, Sevierville – Step back in time and shop for Christmas gifts. Local honey, jams and more line the shelves at this “farmer’s market” concept store.

New Distilleries and Breweries

Gutter Bound Distillery, Hurricane Mills – American spirits crafted in the spirit of the American Craftsman. Each bottle produced at the first legal distillery in Hurricane Mills contains locally-produced, small-batch, handcrafted spirits.

Elst Brewing Company, Knoxville – Elst was created by four Knoxville neighbors that shared an appreciation for great tasting beer and the process of creating a recipe, sourcing the finest ingredients and combining them with precision and science.

Junction 35 Spirits, Pigeon Forge – Straight from the hills of The Smoky Mountains, Junction 35 Spirits is bringing a long-time family tradition to the public. The rich local history of making and running spirits diverging with the Master Distillery brings together a taste like no other.

New Hotels

Arrive Hotel (Nov. 2019), Memphis –This boutique hotel will sit in the middle of the South Main Arts District, across the street from the National Civil Rights Museum. With 62 rooms, an onsite bakery (Hustle and Dough), bar (Longshot), and cocktail spot, this new hotel will mesh right into the neighborhood’s eclectic, Memphis vibe.

Central Station, Memphis – One of the city’s newest hotels stands in the 105-year-old Amtrak station in the heart of the South Main Historic Arts District. With 123 rooms, this property, which is also part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, combines historic and artistic elements to create an experience that is uniquely Memphis.

The Harpeth Hotel, Franklin – Opening in winter 2019, The Harpeth Hotel, a Curio by Hilton property, will become downtown Franklin’s most luxurious hotel featuring 119 rooms. With a nod to the local flavor, 1799 Kitchen inside The Harpeth Hotel will feature mouthwatering dishes and distinct cocktails.

The Historic Central Hotel(Feb. 2020), Sevierville – The boutique hotel is slated to open in historic downtown Sevierville. The luxurious two-bedroom units feature full kitchens, a fireplace, a private balcony and more. On the ground floor, find The Honeybee Coffee Co. as well as Prawns, a new seafood restaurant.

The Ridge Outdoor Resort, Sevierville – With 50 RV campsites, tiny home glamping and luxury tent camping, this truly is a unique place to stay. Look for more additions coming soon to The Ridge including a dog park, pickleball court and gaga ball courts.

Winter Events Across Tennessee (November-February)

Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas”  (Nov. 8-Jan. 1), Nashville – Marvel and celebrate the season at Gaylord Opryland’s “A Country Christmas” featuring more than 3 million lights, nine acres of stunning décor, a Build-A-Bear Workshop, gingerbread decorating corner and ICE! featuring “A Christmas Story” in 2 million pounds of colorful, hand-carved ice sculptures and slides.

Zoolumination (Nov. 15-Jan. Dec. 30), Nashville – See the Nashville Zoo in a whole new light at the country’s largest Chinese lantern festival. Zoolumination features over 500 custom-made silk lanterns, elaborate displays with animals, holiday-themed scenes and even a 200-foot-long dragon.

Outdoor Ice Skating at Wilderness at the Smokies (Nov. 15, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020), Sevierville – Families can enjoy the tradition of ice skating during the holidays and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa at the 3,200 square-foot ice rink. Indoors, a variety of fun festivities take place, including visits with Santa, story time with Mrs. Claus, cookie decorating, crafts, games and shopping in specialty gift shops.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland (Nov. 15, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020), Sevierville – Drive through LED lights, experience live music and fun activities for the kids, including crafts and photos with Santa at Smokies Stadium.

The Dancing Lights of Christmas(Nov 16, 2019-Jan. 4, 2020), Lebanon – Load up the car and see over 2 million lights dancing to the music on the radio at the Wilson County and the James E. Ward Agricultural Center.

Candy Christmas at Crave Golf Club (Nov. 20-Jan. 5, 2020) Pigeon Forge – The interactive mini-golf course transforms into a candy-themed winter wonderland with garland, wreaths, candy canes, Christmas trees and more lights than Willy Wonka would have ever approved.

Holidays Under the Peaks (Nov. 22-Dec. 24) Chattanooga – Nothing says “holidays” quite like wearing your PJs in public or seeing Santa Claus decked out in a wetsuit and fins. At the Tennessee Aquarium, underwater appearances by SCUBA Claus and the chance to sip hot cocoa and cuddle up in your coziest jammies while watching The Polar Express 3D are the most jingle-worthy of seasonal traditions.

Let It Glow Christmas Light Show (Nov. 22-Dec. 30), Union City – Drive through 50 acres of thousands of twinkling lights synced to classic songs at Discovery Park of America. The cost is $10 per car. Be sure to purchase a pair of 3D glasses to see dazzling displays.

GLOW Nashville(Nov. 22-Dec. 31) – Witness one of the country’s tallest Christmas trees, millions of lights, and a life-size Santa’s Workshop, ice skating, tubing experiences and plenty of holiday activities at First Tennessee Park.

Enchanted Garden of Lights (Nov. 22-Jan. 4, 2020), Rock City in Chattanooga – Immerse in this award-winning holiday lighting spectacular with live music, holiday treats like gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa, and delight in magical decorations.

Smoky Mountain Winterfest(Nov. 22, 2019-Feb. 17, 2020), in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville – Smoky Mountain Winterfest offers a spectacular display of lights and events to celebrate the season with light displays, shopping, award-winning shows and attractions — all while showcasing the winter beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“Night of Light,” Christmas Tree Lighting on the Town Square(Nov. 23), Columbia – The much-anticipated tree-lighting ceremony features a majestic, 40-foot Christmas tree on the Courthouse Square. It’s a magical night of holiday music and entertainment sure to usher in the joy and splendor of the holidays. The special guest emcee is nationally-syndicated country radio personality Blair Garner who has captivated the airwaves for 30 years. Admission is free.

A Very Maury Christmas Holiday Market(Nov. 23), Columbia – This regional holiday market features over 30 quality vendors in downtown Columbia. A $5 donation is accepted at the door.

Colonial Coffee: A Revolutionary Drink(Nov. 23), Elizabethton – Roast up beans, use a hand mill to grind coffee, brew a pot over the open hearth, and enjoy a hot cup of history 11 a.m. at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.

Holiday Lights at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens (Nov. 23-Jan. 5), Nashville – Celebrate the season with 1 million lights, holiday concerts, cookie decorating, gingerbread workshops, s’mores stations, art and live reindeer.

 “A Christmas Carol” at the Roxy Regional Theatre (Nov. 28-Dec. 21), Clarksville –  Ebenezer and his ghostly encounters come to life in this lavish and thrilling musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ most well-known story.

Drive-Thru Christmas Lights at the Clarksville Speedway (Nov. 28-Dec. 31), Clarksville – Enjoy over one mile, and over 1 million lights from the comfort of your car.

Holiday Tea and Thanksgiving Marketplace(Nov. 29-30), Rugby – Relax from the hustle and bustle of the season 1-3 p.m. at Uffington House in Historic Rugby.  Tickets are $22 and $16 for children under age 12.

Downtown Peppermint Trail(Nov. 29, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020), Knoxville – Stroll downtown to see trees, windows, doors, and patios dripping in lights and dipped in peppermint. More than 100,000 lights and garlands throughout downtown create a winter wonderland; and restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, bars and boutiques offer peppermint specials.

Elf on the Shelf(Nov. 29, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020), Knoxville – Scout elves will land in Knoxville to begin the scavenger hunt. Children of all ages are invited to pick up a North Pole Pass at any of the participating businesses to help guide them through the adventure. There will be treats and prizes along the way until adopted scout elves return to the North Pole.

Christmas with the Annie Moses Band (Nov. 30), The Caverns in Pelham – On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, escape to the Cumberland Mountains to hear the Annie Moses Band, a classical-crossover string and vocal band made up of six virtuosic siblings. 

Festival of Lights at Drakes Creek Park (Dec. 1-15), Hendersonville – For the first time, the City of Hendersonville will host a drive-thru of Christmas light displays through Drakes Creek Park.

Christmas on the Cumberland (Nov. 26-Jan. 1, 2020), Clarksville – One million lights illuminate the half-mile Cumberland Riverwalk with captivating displays. Special crafts, dances, choirs and other activities will take plan on select Saturdays. This free event is a treasured tradition open 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Christmas in Olde Jonesborough (Nov. 30-Dec. 21), Jonesborough – Tennessee’s oldest town features a month-long series of events and activities for the holiday season along with music, storytelling, visits from Santa and a Christmas Market. The series kicks off with Whoville and Small Business Saturday Nov. 30.

Christmas Carriage & Wagon Rides (Dec. 6-8, 13-15, 20), Cookeville – Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage or wagon ride in Dogwood Park down the grand sidewalk around the Christmas Tree while the music and light show plays.

Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes (Dec. 7), Murfreesboro – Usher in the holiday season with an enchanting tour of historic homes, distinctive churches the Oaklands Mansion while listening to the music of carolers from local schools and churches.

Candlelight Christmas (Dec. 14), Collinsville – Docents will take guests on guided tours of the pioneer settlement 4-8 p.m. See 16 structures from mid-19th Century adorned with primitive period holiday décor along with music, hot chocolate, food vendors and crafts for the kids.

Dickens of a Christmas(Dec. 14-15), Franklin – Middle Tennessee’s largest outdoor Christmas festival returns for its 35th year of filling Main Street with over 200 musicians, dancers and characters from Charles Dickens’ famed stories along with southern artisans and makers from across the South.

Elvis Presley Birthday (Jan. 8- 11, 2020), Memphis – Graceland gears up to celebrate what would have been Elvis Presley’s 85th birthday. With four event-filled days and appearances by Priscilla Presley, there’s no better way to celebrate The King!

Chocolatefest – (Jan. 25, 2020), Knoxville – Enjoy chocolate from area chocolatiers, restaurants & bakeries at World’s Fair Exhibition Hall.

“Home, Heart, Heritage: Black History Month Historical Art Workshops & Quilt Program” (Feb.2-23, 2020), Hendersonville – Celebrate and honor Black History Month at Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center and help create a quilt that tells the story of momentous African American figures and moments in history.

Rose Glen Literary Festival (Feb. 22, 2020), Sevierville – This festival at Sevierville Convention Center features premier southeastern authors, speakers and a book fair. The Keynote Speaker is Therese Anne Fowler (ZThe Well-Behaved Woman, A Good Neighborhood). Additional speakers include:Walter Ziffer (Confronting the Silence), Dr. Bill Bass (The Body Farm novels), Michael Knight (The Briarwood School for Girls), S.J. Dalhman (A Familiar Wilderness: Searching for home on Daniel Boone’s Road), and Paul Brown (Rufus: James Agee in Tennessee).

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.

Why Knoxville Rocks

360 Magazine Culture Editor, Tom Wilmer explores Knoxville—the third largest city in Tennessee.

When people think of Tennessee, Nashville and Memphis get the prime spotlight, and they most often make the top of the to-do list for travelers. But Knoxville has an abundance of attractions that are alluringly unique.

Knoxville’s first iteration as a world-class travel destination happened with a bang when the town hosted the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair. Today the two remaining iconic vestiges are the Sunsphere tower, and a stunningly beautiful riverside performance amphitheater.

Knoxville is graced with historic architecture, both in the urban core, and surrounding residential neighborhoods, but its the friendliness of the people is an essential ingredient that makes the town so attractive.

Most of the businesses are locally owned. There’s been a recent explosion of new upscale eateries (more than 80 in the urban core) and trendy brew pubs that keep the downtown core hopping in to the wee hours of the night. Festivals like the annual Rhythm and Blooms Blues Festival in May is just a sampler of the live events that take place downtown throughout the year.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW KNOXVILLE VIDEO SLIDE SHOW

Outdoor hiking, biking and kayaking are viral endeavors for locals and visitors alike. Knoxville rightfully touts its super popular Urban Wilderness with more than 1,000 unspoiled acres right in the heart of the city.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE NPR One/KCBX PODCAST INTERVIEW with Angie Wilson at Visit Knoxville to hear the backstory on just why this vibrant town bustles with new, locally-owned businesses.

Carol Evans shares insights about the city’s Urban Wilderness adventures for hikers, bikers. and kayakers. Sam Carlton at the four-star The TENNESSEAN Hotel talks about the Knoxville World’s Fair back in 1982, and how the momentum instilled by the fair continues today.

Tom Bugg, general manager at the city’s two historic theaters—the Tennessee and the Bijou Theatre—paints a vivid picture of Knoxville’s past and present, and how the renovation of the theaters served as an economic stimulus for other downtown revitalization projects.

David Butler, executive director at the Knoxville Museum of Art talks about community engagement through showcasing regional art, educational outreach and gratis admission.

The 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair “Sunsphere”still graces the skyline in the heart of town