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Memphis is a music-lovers paradise on the banks of the Mississippi River, the birthplace of rock’n’roll and blues. The largest city in Tennessee, Memphis is the home of Sun Records, which launched the careers of iconic music greats Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison. Sun Record Studio is still the best place to pick up CDs today, the truest kind of souvenir to do this city justice. If it’s Elvis that you love, catch a glimpse of his private world at Graceland, decorated personally by this iconic legend in the 70s. If you’ve got the blues, head to the cobblestones of Beale Street, the soul of Old Memphis which is still lined with blues clubs to this day.
The musical theme continues at Tennessee’s second-largest city and the nation’s capital, Nashville. Full of honky-tonks hosting both famous and wannabe country singers alike, this is one big country club. The ultimate pilgrimage for any country music fan, Nashville is home to heaps of music bars, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the revered Grand Ole Opry House. It’s also the place to get in on some big-name sports action, like pro football, hockey and baseball games.
Once your ears are ringing and you’re longing for respite, head to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which will bring you back down to earth. The most popular park in Tennessee, this UNESCO World Heritage site is full of natural and cultural history that’s just so pretty! Explore the forests by car or on foot, and watch out for salamanders and even black bears (eek!). You’ll totally love the old-growth forests and magnificent spring wildflowers. Gatlinburg is a great town to base yourself in, at the northern edge of the park which extends across the border into North Carolina.
Tennessee is an amazing destination to pay homage to the greats of blues, country and rock’n’roll, as well as a beautiful spot to linger in some unique pieces of the USA’s natural landscape. Your flight to Tennessee and accommodation won’t book itself! So check out our Tennessee hotels below and crank up some records to get yourself in the mood to start planning.
Need insider tips on must-see attractions in Tennessee? Check out our Tennessee travel guide!
Hotels in Tennessee start at AU$101 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.