Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips

Fun Travels Across the United States


Loudon County
Old Hickory
Pigeon Forge

NEWS (Cities & towns follow after the News)

Fall in Chattanooga’s Naturehood is filled with spectacular color displays, wondrous natural assets, entertainment, overflowing fall produce, neighborhoods bursting with safe outdoor fun and thrilling Halloween experiences.

Memphis’ Beale Street Historic District and WDIA Radio Station Added to U.S. Civil Rights Trail

National Museum of African American Music Announces Collective Gift of $1 Million from Regions Foundation and Mike Curb Foundation

Tennessee Tourism Invites Visitors to take a Ken Burns-Inspired "Country Music" Pilgrimage


Baxter Seminary Park

Baxter Seminary Park will include a new live music amphitheater and walking trails, set to open in 2019.


The exhibit “American Ballads: The Photographs of Marty Stuart” through Jan. 2020 features photos of the people and places captured by the country music star since he first went on tour with Lester Flatt at age 13.

Lost State Distilling

The new distillery produces small batch gin, rum and Tennessee whiskey. Lost State has a tasting room, production area, retail area and event space.


40 Solar Farm Information and Welcome Center

The new welcome center and solar farm greets visitors traveling on I-40.

An interactive exhibit, designed by the University of Tennessee, highlights the state’s advancements in renewable energy.


Hiwassee River Heritage Center

The interpretive center and National Park Service-certified site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail will expand with new exhibits and an education room.


Where to Stay

Edwin Hotel

The new upscale, five-story boutique hotel includes 90 rooms, meeting space, upscale décor, rooftop bar, local art and a restaurant.

Moxy Hotel

The new boutique hotel includes 102 rooms, free Wi-Fi, cushy beds, stylish design, vibrant community spaces, in-room storage (enough to fit a bicycle) and a bar.

Read House Historic Hotel

Undergoing $20 million in renovations, the hotel will upgrade the 242 guest rooms with new technology and bathroom furnishings, as well as redesign the lobby, ballroom and restaurant.

Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls unveiled a $20 million expansion with upgrades like an outdoor observation area, improved ticketing experience, expanded retail, LED lights and additional parking.

What to See & Do

Fall in Chattanooga’s Naturehood – the urban core surrounded by easily accessible mountains, rivers and scenic beauty – is filled with spectacular color displays, wondrous natural assets, entertainment, overflowing fall produce, neighborhoods bursting with safe outdoor fun and thrilling Halloween experiences.

Chattanooga is a top fall destination with TripAdvisor naming it one of 14 Idyllic Fall Family Vacations in the U.S. in 2019, while Orbitz selected the Scenic City as one of five Best Leaf-peeping RV Trips for Fall. A destination for outdoor activity, Chattanooga is the first city voted Best Town Ever twice in Outside Magazine.

Visitors will see why when visiting Chattanooga this season. Fall in Chattanooga is ideal for walks on the Tennessee Riverwalk and Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge; hikes on one of 50 trails located within a 30-minute drive of downtown; mountain, gravel and road biking; floating, paddling or surfing the Tennessee River; hang-gliding or flying over acres of brilliant foliage; and outdoor dining on fall’s best harvest at local restaurants.

The compact, vibrant downtown is easily navigable by foot, free electric shuttle or on two wheels via Bike Chattanooga. The wondrous attractions on Lookout Mountain like Rock City, Ruby Falls and the Incline Railway as well as dreamy fall forests are less than 15 minutes from downtown.

Chattanooga makes it easy for people to plan their fall getaway with all experiences listed in one place.


The 2020 Fall Color Outlook will be published in early October, providing a comprehensive forecast week by week of different tree varieties. As the trees change, Chattanooga offers many options for local, fresh outdoor feasts as well as ways to see the fall colors by foot, boat, train, bike or air:

BY FOOT – Book a fall colors or culinary tour with Experience Chattanooga, Chatt Taste or ChattaBrew Tour.

BY BOAT – Cruise the Tennessee River with Chattanooga Riverboat Co.’s Southern Belle, the Chattanooga Ducks or the new River Gorge Excursions. Float or paddle a SUP or kayak from L2 Outside.

BY TRAIN – Roll through acres of fall foliage with the Tennessee Valley Railroad or Lookout Mountain Incline Railway. New incline cars provide A/C and heat as well as full wheelchair accessibility.

BY BIKE, SEGWAY, SCOOTER OR SWINCAR – Rent a standard or ebike from Bike Chattanooga to view fall foliage while pedaling along the 13-mile paved Riverwalk and through the scenic Bluff View Art District. For something a little different, try ChattaScooter, Chattanooga Segway & Bicycle Tours or an electric Swincar from Adventure Sports Innovation.

BY AIR - Fly high with Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding, Chattanooga Skydiving Company or a Rock Creek Aviation helicopter tour to view Chattanooga’s kaleidoscope of fall colors from above. Sail through the tree canopy at Ruby Falls' High Point ZIP Adventure on Lookout Mountain.

For more fall experiences, places to stay and info on the city’s Halloween frights and delights known as ChattaBOOga!, go to


The Chattanooga Tourism Co. promotes and develops visitor experiences for our community’s economic and social prosperity. Chattanooga has been named one of 10 Best Small Cities in the U.S. in Conde Nast Traveler, a 2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live by Livability and one of 7 Rising U.S. Cities that Should be on Your 2019 Bucket List by TripAdvisor. Start exploring at or follow @VisitChatt on social media.

The Signal

The Signal is Chattanooga’s newest live music venue. The 1,300-capacity warehouse plans to host all genres of music, receptions, fundraisers, corporate events and conferences.


Ridley Sports Complex Expansion

The sports complex expands with seven new soccer fields including a championship field complete with bleachers, a press box, a new concession facility, restrooms and parking.


The Broastery · Tennessee Coffee Roasters

Cookeville’s only craft coffee roaster’s new storefront pairs with brands such as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey to create locally roasted flavors and blends.

Saltbox Inn & Stables Expansion

Saltbox Inn & Stables now includes hosting areas at The Loft, Three Trees Ceremony Site, and The Greenhouse. The new lodging, Pumphouse Cabin, is directly on the property’s waterfall.

The Shoppes at Eagle Pointe

The new 25,000 square feet of retail space on 42 acres features 1,200 parking spaces with Publix, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Ulta, Michael’s and more.

Tennessee Legend Distillery at Maddux Place

A staple in East Tennessee, Tennessee Legend Distillery expands with a new sipping shop and free tastings at the historic Putnam County Courthouse.


Rhea Heritage and Scopes Trial Museum

The historic museum in the basement of the Rhea County Courthouse is now open after upgrades and renovations.  It’s the site of the 1925 Scopes Trial over the teaching of evolution.


The Harpeth Hotel

The Harpeth Hotel will be located along Franklin’s iconic Main Street. The four-diamond, 119-room luxury hotel will feature a gourmet chef-led restaurant, spa, whiskey-focused bar, and walkability to Main Street. Franklin will open an additional six hotels in 2019, totally over 1,000 rooms.

Carter House Visitor Center

The Carter House, one of three historic museums on the battlefield of the Civil War’s Battle of Franklin, will open a new visitor center with a museum and orientation center, similar to its sister property, Carnton.

Leiper’s Fork Winery

Eric and Samantha Coghlan, who began their winemaking in California at the Coghlan Vineyard in 2008, now bring their award-winning wines and minimalist farming approach to Leiper’s Fork Winery.

231 Public Square & Ruby Sunshine

The newly renovated mixed-use development on the square on Franklin’s iconic Main Street downtown will feature Ruby Sunshine - a new concept from New Orleans’ famed The Ruby Slipper Cafe, along with locally-owned boutique shops and a rooftop restaurant and bar.


more soon


Ole Red Gatlinburg

Opening Spring 2019, Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Gatlinburg features a two-story bar and restaurant, retail area, performance space, dance floor, outdoor terrace and Southern fare like hot chicken and waffles.


Hands On! Discovery Center

The brand new all-ages science center offers fun interactive programs and exhibits including a musical Tesla coil, giant building blocks and a maker studio inviting guests to engineer a rocket, create a masterpiece and uncover something new.


Hardin County Bicentennial 2019

Hardin County marks its rich heritage – history, museums, natural beauty, recreation opportunities, downtown music and southern cuisine - with a year-long celebration through Nov. 13, 2019.


150th Anniversary

The city, to celebrate its 150th anniversary on December 1, 2019, held special events, launch a restaurant week, announce a new project in King Common’s Park, a New Year’s Eve Kick-Off  party and birthday party.

Tannery Knobs Mountain Bike Park

The new bike park is a skills park for all ages on 40 acres of wooded terrain. Riders can experience the thrill of off-roading on biking trails, hiking and running opportunities. The park is within riding distance from downtown Johnson City’s shops, breweries and restaurants.


Historic District Openings

Twelve new businesses are now open in the historic district:

Mill Spring Makers Market, Pink Whale Boutique, Angela’s Vintage Boutique, Bewitched Boutique, Gabriel’s Christmas and East Tennessee Hemp Company.

New restaurants include Texas Burritos and More, Fork and Barrel, Eureka Bites and Icing on the Cake. The Roots Studio Art Gallery is now open also.

Jackson Theatre

A new preservation project is underway to fully renovate the 1940s Jackson Theatre. The facility will serve as a music venue, theater and independent film house. The first phase will be completed in 2019.


Baker Creek Bottoms

Baker Creek Bottoms is now open with access to Knoxville Urban Wilderness, more than 50 miles of trails and four historic Civil War sites.

Bassmaster Classic

Knoxville will host the Bassmaster Classic for the first time March 15-17, 2019. At “the Super Bowl of bass fishing,” 50 anglers will compete for $1 million in prizes.

Bijou Theatre 110th Anniversary

The historic Bijou Theatre will mark its 110-year anniversary on March 15, 2019 with programming and special celebrations leading up to the milestone.

Tennessee Valley Fair 100th Anniversary

The Tennessee Valley Fair marks its centennial, dedicated to showcasing East Tennessee heritage, agriculture and the arts with contests, crafts, food and music Sept. 6-15, 2019.


Chapman Hills Winery

Located just outside the Greens at Deerfield, Tennessee’s newest winery, Chapman Hill Winery is a perfect finish to a fun-filled day of golf or lake life.


Historic Loudon Theatre

The Historic Loudon Theatre has opened its new stage in the courtyard, highlighting the major renovations to the stage, lobby and seating area.


25th Anniversary of the TN Soybean Festival
The 25th Silver Anniversary Soybean Festival held in September 2019 paid tribute to soybean farmers with events like a tractor rodeo and toy pedal tractor pull show.


What to See & Do

Memphis’ Beale Street Historic District and WDIA Radio Station Added to U.S. Civil Rights Trail

WDIA Radio and the Beale Street Historic District are now stops on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail as announced by Gov. Bill Lee; Commissioner Mark Ezell, Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development and Secretary/Treasurer of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail Marketing Alliance; Memphis Mayor Strickland; Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris; and President and CEO of Memphis Tourism Kevin Kane.

“Today is a special day as Tennessee shines a brighter light on the brave men and women who stood up for equal rights,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “I am proud that with the addition of these two sites, travelers from around the world will have the opportunity to learn more about Memphis’ deep civil rights history.” This acceptance is in large part due to Memphis Tourism’s efforts alongside Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s continued leadership and their sustaining membership of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail Marketing Alliance.

WDIA Radio was the first radio station in the country programmed entirely for African Americans. Efforts to break down racial boundaries pushed WDIA Radio to the top of the charts, both on the air and in the Memphis community.

The Beale Street Historic District is a National Historic Landmark. The 15-block area was a hotbed for several African American businesses, a Freedman’s Bank, the headquarters of Ida B. Wells’ anti-segregationist newspaper, “Free Speech,” and churches after the Civil War. African Americans came to work, entertain and be entertained, shop and strategize during the Civil Rights Movement.

"The addition of Beale Street and WDIA to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail will help spread the word of the historical significance of this community to our country’s long journey to equality and human rights,” said Mayor Lee Harris, Shelby County Mayor. “Both these sites will be invaluable additions to the trail and these additions will lead to countless conversations and learning opportunities for visitors and our residents."

WDIA Radio and the Beale Street Historic District join original stops in Memphis which include Clayborn Temple, Mason Temple Church of God in Christ and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.

The U.S. Civil Rights Trail is a collection of churches, courthouses, schools, museums and other landmarks in the Southern states and beyond that played a pivotal role in advancing social justice in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, shifting the course of history. With the newly-added stops, Tennessee now has 12 stops on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail including Fisk University and Woolworth’s on 5th in Nashville and Green McAdoo Cultural Center in Clinton. Visitors from around the world travel to Tennessee to explore where history was made.

For more information on Tennessee’s trail sites, visit
To learn about other states’ sites on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail, visit

About Memphis

Memphis is a world-class sports destination that is complemented by the legendary food and music the city is known for around the world. The city is headlined by live music and full of one-of-a-kind experiences that include Beale Street, National Civil Rights Museum, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studio, Elvis Presley’s Graceland and Memphis Zoo, home to two giant pandas. Stunning Mississippi River views, mouthwatering barbecue, lively festivals, and intriguing galleries and museums round out the many attractions and activities for visitors to experience in Memphis. These only begin the list of what’s so great about the Home of the Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll. For more information, visit

For more information please contact the Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development, 312 Rosa L Parks Avenue 13th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243 United States

Bicentennial Celebration

Downtown Memphis is getting a fresh jolt with five new hotels:

Arrive Memphis (with a donut shop & basement bar), Hotel Indigo, Curio by Hilton, Moxy Hotel (steps from Beale St.) and Hilton Garden Inn.

Elvis Presley’s Memphis at Graceland

The entertainment complex will feature new exhibits, including “Elvis through His Daughter’s Eyes,” “Hillbilly Rock,” “Elvis Gospel,” and the “50th Anniversary Exhibit Celebrating Elvis’ Historic 1968 Comeback Special.”

Explore Bike Share

The company now brings 60 stations and 600 bike share systems to downtown, South Memphis, Cooper Young, Orange Mound, Overton Square and Crosstown.

Liberty Bowl

One of the longest-running college football bowl games in the U.S. turns 60 Dec. 31, 2019.

Peabody Hotel 150th Anniversary

Where blues musicians created influential recordings, Elvis Presley signed his first major record contract and five resident ducks march daily through the lobby. To celebrate the anniversary, the Peabody will have special offers and events year-round.

United Soccer League

Memphis welcomes the United Soccer League’s inaugural season at AutoZone Park in March 2019. The pro soccer team name, 901 FC, pays homage to historic Beale Street.


Belle Ridge Retreat

The retreat now offers miles of ATV and hiking trails and ample camping options.


Fountains at Gateway

The Fountains at Gateway has a new conference center with a walkable retail district including a variety of restaurants and shops, as well as corporate putting greens and pocket parks for relaxation.

Hop Springs

Opened in late Dec. 2018, the new craft brewery spans more than 80 acres with a taproom, concert venue, wet & dry dog park and 18-hole disc golf course.


National Museum of African American Music Announces Collective Gift of $1 Million from Regions Foundation and Mike Curb Foundation

The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) has announced a joint gift of $1 million from the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation, a major step forward for the trailblazing and interactive new museum, slated to open in downtown Nashville later this year. Each organization is contributing $500,000 toward the museum’s construction – which will feature ambitious and evolving displays in tribute to America’s most dynamic and transformative A frican American artists and movements. Representatives from NMAAM, the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation were joined by elected officials and community leaders, including Senator Marsha Blackburn, state Sen. Brenda Gilmore and Nashville Mayor David Briley, to announce the significant gifts and unveil new details of what the expansive, 56,000 square foot museum will share with its guests.

The donations made by the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation put the museum in closer reach of its nearly $50 million fundraising goal prior to opening in early 2020. Currently, fundraising has reached nearly 75 percent of the target.In appreciation of the commitment by Regions, the grand foyer of the Museum will be named in honor of the Regions Foundation.

NMAAM is under construction in the heart of downtown Nashville in the Fifth + Broadway development. The project’s construction is being overseen by Skanska. After the exterior shell is completed this summer, NMAAM will move in and begin exhibit installation and design for the interior of museum, that will have entrances along Broadway as well as Fifth Avenue near the historic Ryman Auditorium.

The museum will be home to traveling exhibits and five permanent galleries featuring 25 interactive displays that chronicle the history of African American music from the 1800s to the present day. More than 1,400 artifacts have already been collected to be showcased in the space.

About The National Museum of African American Music

The National Museum of African American Music, set to complete construction in late 2019, will be the only museum dedicated solely to preserving African American music traditions and celebrating the influence African Americans have had on music. Based in Nashville, Tenn., the museum will share the story of the American soundtrack by integrating history and interactive technology to bring musical heroes of the past into the present. For more information, please visit and

Tennessee Tourism Invites Visitors to take a Ken Burns-Inspired "Country Music" Pilgrimage

For Limited Time, Visitors can Earn Commemorative Souveni Including Custom Tennessee Music Pathways Guitar 

Ken Burns tells the story of “Country Music” in his latest PBS documentary, but nothing compares to standing in the places where history was made. The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development created a special “Country Music” Passport to help visitors discover 22 Tennessee destinations featured in the 16.5-hour documentary. The passport will be part of a special insert in the 2020 Tennessee Vacation Guide being released Jan. 8 and is now available at any of the 16 Tennessee Welcome Centers.

Visitors can use the passport to guide their own country music pilgrimage along the newly-launched Tennessee Music Pathways route, the Ken Burns Country Music Pathway. Stops include the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Memphis’ Sun Studios and more. Walk in the footsteps of legends, visit iconic places, get stamps and earn discounts and souvenirs along the way. Tennessee Tourism offers special commemorative prizes to travelers who visit five, 15 or all 22 sites included in the Passport. Prizing is limited and includes a custom Hatch Show Print, the “Ken Burns Country Music: An Illustrated History” book (first 100 will be signed by Ken Burns and author Dayton Duncan) and a branded Tennessee Music Pathways guitar. Passports expire Oct. 18, 2022.

Millions watched Ken Burns’ “Country Music,” which aired nationally Sept. 15-23 on PBS; introducing viewers to the traditions, history, stories and icons that changed the course of music forever and solidified Tennessee as the home of this uniquely American art form. The airing coincided with the first anniversary of the Tennessee Music Pathways, a program created to showcase the state’s rich musical legacy across all 95 counties with hundreds of landmarks and attractions.

For the full list of Passport locations and FAQs about the program, visit: Pick up a passport at any starred location or one of the 16 Tennessee Welcome Centers. To see even more Tennessee places as featured in “Country Music,” be sure to check out the Ken Burns Country Music Pathway. Join the conversation on social media using #TNmusicpathways and tag @tnvacation.

Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row

Country star Dierks Bentley welcomes visitors to Whiskey Row. Located on Nashville’s historic Broadway, the restaurant serves live music and American gastropub cuisine with a modern twist.

Hatch Show Print 140th Anniversary

Hatch Show Print marks its 140th anniversary. In operation since 1879, the historic letterpress shop designs and prints 500-600 different posters a year and provides artwork for diverse projects.

Heaven’s Door Distillery

Legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan plans to open the Heaven’s Door Whiskey Distillery in 2019 in a church building constructed in 1871 south of Broadway.

Margaritaville Hotel

Visitors staying in Nashville’s SoBro neighborhood have a playful new option in Margaritaville Hotel, set to open in fall 2019. The hotel will feature 217 rooms, event space and two dining concepts.

Merle Haggard Museum

The Merle Haggard Museum and restaurant will open in 2019 featuring instruments, clothing, memorabilia, awards and other artifacts belonging to the legend.

NFL Draft

Nashville hosts the NFL Draft for the first time April 25-27, 2019 with events in venues across downtown.


The new art-centric hotel melds a 1930s foundation with a 21st century attitude, resulting in a luxury hotel surrounded by downtown’s skyline. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and coffee shop.

Ole Red Nashville

Country singer Blake Shelton’s new two-story bar on lower Broadway features a performance space, dance floor, and rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of the city.

SoundWaves at Gaylord Opryland Resort

The newly-opened luxury indoor/outdoor water park showcases a slide tower, rapid and lazy river, activity pool with rock climbing and basketball and wave pool with a giant LED movie screen.

Tennessee State Museum

The new museum tells the state’s story through the “Tennessee Time Tunnel,” combining artifacts, exhibits, personal stories, thought-provoking interactive experiences and a 250-seat Digital Learning and Outreach Center.


Appalachian Outdoor Center

The Center now offers guided fly-fishing and kayaking excursions on the Clinch River.

Cherokee Lake

Two new striper guides service the lake, including Jay’s Striper Service, now offering fishing packages and Captain Bobby at Striper Xtreme.

Clinch River Brewery

The new Clinch River Brewery is the only craft brewery in Anderson County. It features a beer garden and restaurant on site at the Appalachian Outdoor Center.


Historic Brushy Mountain Penitentiary

Travelers now have the chance to take self-guided or guided tours within the walls of the infamous former maximum security prison, once known as “the end of the line” for the state’s most dangerous criminals, including James Earl Ray. Other experiences include moonshine, live music and a restaurant.


Sweetwater Valley Farm

In 2019, Sweetwater Valley Farm will be Tennessee’s first Lely XL dairy farm, milking 500 cows with robotic technology. Renovations are now underway with a new tour for guests in 2019.



Dollywood’s new $37 million expansion includes Wildwood Grove, set to open in 2019. The expansion includes 11 guest experiences, including a suspended family roller coaster called the Dragonflier – the 55 ft. tall Wildwood Tree, live entertainment, indoor and outdoor play areas, a new restaurant and more.

The National Enquirer Museum

Plans are underway for the new National Enquirer Museum, which would contain one interactive exhibit that would give visitors the option to create their own tabloid headlines to share online.

Tower Shops at Mountain Mile

Anchored by the 200-foot-tall Mountain Monster coaster, the new Tower Shops at Mountain Mile features 180,000 square feet of retail and family entertainment.

Yee-Haw Brewing Company

Yee-Haw Brewing Company now offers guests an immersive experience into its one-of-a-kind, locally-brewed craft beer options.


In a new customizing experience, guests can build Ridez (the size of a football) with 649 million possible combinations between body styles and colors, rims and tires, lights and sounds, accessories and decals.


Rocky Mount State Historic Site

The historic site and living history museum unveiled $2 million of upgrades visitors can enjoy, including re-roofing the museum/interpretive center, ADA accessibility and parking areas and new fencing. Rocky Mount hosts special events, such as Wooly Day, Spirit of the Harvest and Candlelight Christmas Tours.


Big Hill Pond State Park

The Walking Tall 50K/25k will have 15.5 miles made up almost entirely of single track trail. It will feature a fire tower to climb and a swamp boardwalk almost a half-mile across.


Hwy 109 at Main Street Project

A pavilion project with the design of a strawberry crate, including large strawberries for children to climb on is set to be completed in early 2019.


Norris Dam State Park

The state park now has additional biking trails on the east and west sides of the dam, linking the Norris Watershed and bike trails at Norris Dam.


River City Farmers Market

A new structure is slated for October 2019 on Court Square downtown with products homegrown or handmade within 100 miles.


McNairy Planetarium

The McNairy Planetarium is a new updated astronomical machine, which exhibits the most remarkable phenomena, motions and revolutions of the universe for public entertainment or education.

McNairy County Courthouse Jail Experience Center

Visitors will be able to freely move around the space once occupied by the Legendary Sheriff Buford Pusser.


Tennessee’s First Hero” Exhibit

The newexhibit at Sevierville Visitor Center honors John Sevier, the man who reshaped the U.S. with westward expansion, gave Sevierville its name and served as Tennessee’s first governor.

The Lodge at Five Oaks

This newly-opened, 88-room farm-inspired hotel features hardwood flooring in every room and luxurious linens.


Captain Jeff Kuss USMC Memorial

A new memorial with a Blue Angel F/A-18c Hornet honors the legacy of Marine Captain Jeff Kuss, who, at 32 years-old, tragically lost his life when his jet crashed before the Great Tennessee Air Show.

Historic Train Depot

There are new upgrades to the stage, sound and lighting at the depot that hosts events like the Simply Smyrna Celebration, farmer’s market and Depot Days.


Reelfoot Lake State Park

Upgrades at Reelfoot Lake State Park include seven new cabins at the Spillway on the lakefront, new playground & exercise equipment, new walking track and lakefront park.


Discovery Park of America

The adventure park and museum will get new trams to take visitors to outside exhibits. There will also be two new hotels built next door with a pavilion for picnics and plans for a farmer’s market.


Sequoyah Birthplace Museum

The interior of the museum is undergoing a complete renovation with new displays, high-tech audio-visual presentations and artifacts to present the life stories of the famous Cherokee, Sequoyah.

Tennessee Whiskey Trail

The Tennessee Whiskey Trail is made up of approximately 30 distilleries across the state, ranging from small, boutique operations to well-known distilleries crafting legendary Tennessee whiskey for generations. Be sure to get your passport stamped at each stop to receive a commemorative gift.

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.” Tennessee’s tourism industry generates $20.7 billion in economic impact, more than $1.8 billion in state and local tax revenue and more than 184,300 tourism-related jobs.

EarthCam Launches Live Webcam Views of Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee

Conquering the Con: How Seniors Can Avoid Being Swindled and Scammed

The Birthplace of Country Music Celebrates the 90th Anniversary of the 1927 Bristol Sessions

The O.J. Bronco Displayed at Alcatraz East- 22 Years Later -- New Pigeon Forge attraction offers a rare glimpse at the vehicle O.J. Simpson made famous in June 1994

The Ugly Truth of Wildlife Poaching: Alcatraz East Temporary Exhibit Opening Soon --- New Pigeon Forge attraction will host a special temporary exhibit on the wildlife trafficking trade

Tennessee Aquarium Gives Guests Some Adorable Reasons to Look Up -- Opening of Lemur Forest Taps Vertical Space, Tells An Important Conservation Story

For details and more information, contact the Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development, 312 Rosa L Parks Avenue 13th Floor, Nashville, TN 37243 United States

Take A Trip to America's Most Visited Distillery - Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery Offers a True Moonshine Experience!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ranked As One of the Top Places for Wildlife Viewing

Like Fudge? Then don't miss stopping at Forbus General Store   

Tennessee Civil War Trails Map-Guide Now Available

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development announced that the Tennessee Civil War Trails map-guides are now available, marking the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The map-guides chart nearly 200 Civil War sites throughout the state and serve as a tool to reach and inspire users to discover Tennessee’s rich Civil War history.

Tennessee’s Civil War Trails program, part of a multi-state Civil War Trails initiative, interprets and creates driving tours of both the great campaigns and the lesser-known Civil War sites. Tennessee, second only to Virginia in Civil War sites, joins North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia in this important project. The entire program has been identified by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of the most successful and sustainable heritage tourism programs in the nation.

Visitors can request the map-guides via, or by calling (615) 741-2159.

Tennessee, the only entire state designated as a Civil War National Heritage area, currently has 150 newly interpreted trail markers as part of this program, with an additional 150 sites currently in the works. Each newly interpreted site encourages visitors to explore the markers along the trail at one’s own pace. In addition, Tennessee’s Civil War Trail offers many additional historical and recreational opportunities including preserved battlefields, hundreds of antique and specialty shops, taverns and restaurants, and much more.

The five-state Civil War Trails program creates a cross promotion marketing effort that places 2.5 million map-guides in the hands of travelers. The entire program identifies more than 1,000 places that tell the stories of civilians and soldiers during the Civil War in Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.


more soon


Window Cliffs

The new state natural area adjacent to Burgess Falls State Park, Window Cliffs is a 275-acre escape.


What to See & Do

Steele Creek Splash Pad

This safe “zero-depth” water play area is filled with interactive features such as sprinklers, ground nozzles and dumping water buckets.

The Nature Center at Steele Creek

The $1.5 million upgrade at this 2,600-square foot facility includes new exhibits like an island of aquariums and forest displays, giving visitors a new way to see the vast biodiversity.

Bass Pro Shops

Bass Pro Shops, America’s most popular outdoor store, has reached a binding agreement to be a part of the new Pinnacle mixed use development located at the northeast quadrant of the Exit 74 intersection of Interstate 81 and Highway 11 W in Bristol, Tennessee. This new Bass Pro Shops® mega outdoors store will serve the Tri-Cities area and greater region of Bristol VA/TN, Kingsport and Johnson City, TN with over 3 million people in a 100-mile radius.

Bass Pro Shops’ unique, award-winning, mega-sized outdoor stores are known for combining retail with entertainment, conservation and outdoor education.
More than just a fishing and hunting store, the new over 100,000 square foot Bass Pro Shops will also offer equipment and clothing for hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, camping, outdoor cooking and more. A gift and nature center will also serve up a wide variety of outdoor-related items from lamps and dishes to bird feeders and furniture.

The expansive boat showroom will feature Tracker, Nitro, SunTracker, Tahoe, Grizzly and Mako boats built by Tracker Marine Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of fishing boats.


Chattanooga is a safe and walkable city. Park your car and navigate the Riverfront, Southside and NorthShore Districts aboard the free electric shuttle that connects the downtown hotels, attractions, restaurants and shopping venues, all within a very close proximity of each other. But downtown is just the springboard for everything else you will do in the city. Go to Chattanooga's web site to find new features making it more interactive; choose to "like" the attraction, restaurant, hotel, etc. Under each category on the summer site, you can add your own suggestions, travel tips or comments.
For more Summer fun, check out

What to See & Do

Yule Want to Visit the Tennessee Aquarium During Holidays Under the Peaks -- Special Programming Offered Nov. 22 – Dec. 24

Nothing says “holidays” quite like wearing your PJs in public or seeing Santa Claus decked out in a wetsuit and fins, right? No? Well, perhaps not in most houses. But 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. During this year’s Holidays Under the Peaks celebration —Nov. 22 to Dec. 24 — the Aquarium is pulling out all the stops to ensure trips through the River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings are at their merriest and brightest for visitors of all ages.

From the winter chill of the Appalachian Cove Forest where the river otters frolic, to the orchid-filled Tropical Cove where silver and gold reef fish reside, each tour will be an experience bottom-to-top packed with seasonal fun, all free with regular admission.
In addition to the return of traditional favorites like PJs and The Polar Express 3D pajama parties at IMAX and SCUBA Claus at the Aquarium, guests will experience new seasonal programming as well that embraces, even celebrates, the chill in the air.

Special Programming

While visiting during Holidays Under the Peaks, guests can enjoy special seasonal additions to the usual slate of free Daily Animal Programs. He’s already an Internet c-eel-ebrity, but this year, the Aquarium’s snarky, Twitter-famous Electric Eel, Miguel Wattson, will be the focus of an electrifying new holiday program. Guests can learn what all the buzz is about when it comes to these Amazonian extraordinaires and why they’re not really eels at all. (Daily at 11:15 a.m. in the Rivers of the World gallery.)

The Aquarium’s massive school of Flashlight Fish — one of the largest ever exhibited — have been glowing in Ocean Journey since the Island Life gallery opened in March. During Holidays Under the Peaks, guests will gain illuminating insights into these living, breathing Christmas lights and how their twinkling helps them to hunt and communicate in their deep ocean homes. (Daily at 1:15 p.m. in Island Life.)

Practically brushing needles with the Aquarium’s Christmas tree in the River Journey lobby, educators will offer guests an up-close encounter with Sea Stars, pointing out just a few of the varied, astounding adaptations that make them such curiosities of the marine world. (Daily at 2 p.m. in the River Journey lobby.)

Who doesn’t like presents? Giving gifts is as much in the spirit of the season as receiving them. During Holidays Under the Peaks, guests can watch the Aquarium’s colony of Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins enjoy presents purchased for them off the Aquarium’s engagement wish list on Amazon. Visitors who want to contribute to the birds’ enrichment can choose to buy a gift for them by selecting from tags hung on a tree placed outside the Penguins’ Rock gallery. (Daily at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. in Penguins’ Rock.)

During Holidays Under the Peaks, guests will continue to enjoy the usual slate of Daily Animal Programs featuring keeper-led discussions about American Alligators, River Otters, Malagasy chameleons and dive presentations. A full schedule of these programs is available at


It’s a bit of a holiday secret, but when he’s not busily slaving away making toys for billions of children, Old Saint Nick is actually a pretty avid scubaphile. In what has become a beloved tradition for visitors during the holiday season, the Jolly Old Elf can be seen each weekend during Holidays Under the Peaks dipping below the surface of the massive Tennessee River and River Giants exhibits. This year’s dive schedule runs Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 23 to Dec. 22.

Nov. 23 — Tennessee River (11 a.m.)
Nov. 24 — River Giants (2 p.m.)
Nov. 30 — River Giants (11 a.m.)
Dec. 1 — Tennessee River (2 p.m.)
Dec. 7 — Tennessee River (11 a.m.)
Dec. 8 — River Giants (2 p.m.)
Dec. 14 — River Giants (11 a.m.)
Dec. 15 — Tennessee River (2 p.m.)
Dec. 21 — Tennessee River (11 a.m.)
Dec. 22 — River Giants (2 p.m.)

Holidays at IMAX

In addition to the incredible connection with the natural world brought about by witnessing — and even coming into contact with — the amazing animals exhibited in the River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings, the experience of seeing animals on a six-story screen can be almost as impactful. During Holidays Under the Peaks, guests can enjoy a variety of giant-screen films on Chattanooga’s biggest screen, including a certain steam-pendous holiday classic.

[Note: A full schedule of IMAX screenings is available at]

It may be edging closer to winter every day in Chattanooga, but for those seeking an escape from the cold, a trip to the land down under may be just the ticket. In Great Barrier Reef 3D, audiences are whisked thousands of miles away to the eastern shores of Australia, where they’ll learn more about the majestic, all-too-fragile beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. From Dwarf Minke Whales to a Maori Wrasse named “Wally,” they’ll meet many of the animals that call the reef home, guided along by reef native, conservationist and underwater cinematographer Jemma Craig.

Santa is well-known for keeping a meticulous list of the world’s naughty and nice children, but in Superpower Dogs 3D, his job is pretty easy. This film’s extraordinarily talented pups are all good girls and boys. From ski and water rescue to emotional healing and endangered animal protection, the stars of this film (and their human partners) have more than earned their toys this year, chew or otherwise.

What would the holidays be in Chattanooga without the return of The Polar Express 3D? Fans flock to see this Tom Hanks-led yuletide favorite every year, cheering along as the selfsame locomotive carries its load of children on a harrowing trek to the North Pole. Showing Nov. 29 through Dec. 26.

Polar Express screenings are always a treat, but there’s something extra special about attending a PJs and Polar party. These weekend showtimes at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 14 and 15 have a pajamas-encouraged dress code (flannel or silk, footed or otherwise) and include free hot cocoa and pre-showing pastries. Register in advance at

The Gift That Gives Back All Year

The holiday season is an undeniably special time to visit the Aquarium, but the sensation of wonder that comes from being close to amazing animals above and below the water is available year-round to Aquarium members. With more than 10,000 animals to see, from leaping lemurs to romping otters, toothy American Alligators to North America’s largest collection of turtles, the Aquarium is best experienced during repeat visits.

By giving a gift membership to a loved one, they’ll have unlimited access to both buildings, special discounts in the gift shops and access to members-only events. Memberships are available for individuals or families. Aquarium members also receive discounted admission to various regional attractions, including the Creative Discovery Museum, Dollywood and the Nashville Zoo. Each gift membership, individual or family, purchased online or at the Aquarium ticketing center between Nov. 18 and Dec. 18 will include a free Panther Chameleon plush while supplies last.

Learn more about the benefits of gift memberships and purchase one of your own at

The mission of the Tennessee Aquarium is to connect people with nature and inspire them to make informed decisions about water and wildlife. Admission is $34.95 per adult and $21.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $11.95 per adult and $9.95 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $42.95 for adults and $29.95 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities.

Chattanooga’s Holiday Trail of Lights celebrates with family and friends by exploring all of the city’s wondrous experiences.

Chattanooga’s Holiday Trail of Lights points guests to 13 major points of interest featuring millions of twinkling lights at some of the Scenic City’s top holiday experiences. Along the way, guests will enjoy a varied array of festivals, holiday events, delicious holiday meals, Santa sightings and shopping as well as live, festive music and entertainment scattered throughout Chattanooga.

The Chattanooga Holiday Trail of Lights features 13 major points of interest and numerous events, music and outings:

1. Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights

2. Ruby Falls Christmas Underground, A Journey to the North Pole

3. Tennessee Aquarium’s Holidays Under the Peaks & Polar Express 3D in IMAX

4. Ice on the Landing at the Chattanooga Choo Choo

5. Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s North Pole Limited & Holiday Train Excursions

6. Twinkling Snowflakes along the Scenic Walnut Street Bridge in Downtown Chattanooga

7. EPB’s Holiday Windows

8. Chattanooga Riverboat Company’s Southern Belle & Holiday Season of Cheer

9. Holiday Lights at the Chattanooga Zoo

10. Wonder Wall at High Point Climbing & Fitness/Downtown

11. Holiday Magic at the Chattanooga Choo Choo

12. Christmas Experience on the Bluff/Bluff View Arts District

13. Create Your Own Lights at the Creative Discovery Museum

Chattanooga is conveniently located less than two hours from Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville, Birmingham and Huntsville. Once in the city, visitors can park their car and take the free electric shuttle throughout downtown, use the bike share system with more than 300 bicycles placed around downtown or hop on the free ChattyWagon.

With so much to do along the Holiday Trail of Lights, visitors will need at least a weekend to be immersed in the magic. Several accommodations offer special holiday packages that include overnight accommodations, tickets to holiday attractions and events, restaurant vouchers and even some champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries.

The holidays will come and go quickly, and then it’s time to ring in 2020. Chattanooga invites visitors and the community to celebrate the New Year in Chattanooga with a variety of family-friendly and adult options including train rides, boat rides and partying with zoo animals.

Coming soon! The official Holiday Trail of Lights Guide will be available online and in print at Visitors Centers and locations throughout Chattanooga.

Get the full details at Chattanooga’s Holiday Trail of Lights. Everyone is invited to use #TrailofLightsCHA on social media for a chance to be featured by @ChattanoogaFun on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

For more information contact the Chattanooga Area CVB, 2 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402 United States

Tennessee Aquarium

The mission of the Tennessee Aquarium is to connect people with nature and empower them to make informed decisions about water and wildlife. Admission is $29.95 per adult and $18.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $11.95 per adult and $9.95 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $37.95 for adults and $26.95 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities.

Location: Tennessee Aquarium, Tennessee Aquarium One Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402

Did you know that Horseshoe Crabs have blue blood, ten eyes and the ability to swim upside down by flapping their gills? Have you ever wondered what Corals eat or how Flying Squirrels manage to stay aloft? During the month of October, the Tennessee Aquarium will be the place to find answers to these and other questions about some of nature’s most eccentric oddballs and extraordinary specialists.

The month-long ODDtober celebration will offer guests plenty of opportunities to find out more about some of the Aquarium’s strangest and most fascinating residents. Every week, a pair of special daily programs will let visitors get up close with weirdly wonderful animals, many of which have unusual abilities and unexpected adaptations. These Otober programs are offered in addition to the normal slate of free Daily Animal Programs, which include staff-led presentations about species such as Ring-tailed Lemurs, American Alligators and Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins. During October, guests will get up close and personal with a new cast of special guests, including some they wouldn’t normally encounter such as brilliantly patterned Panther Chameleons, critically endangered Axolotl salamanders and a glow-in-the-dark Emperor Scorpion.

Songbirds Guitar Museum

Featuring an unparalleled collection of more than 400 rare vintage instruments. Exhibits will be refreshed periodically inviting guests back time and again to enjoy new chapters in guitar history.

Chattanooga Hop Trolley Tour

Hop aboard the Chattanooga Hop Trolley Tour, which takes visitors on a 75-minute tour and stops at 12 iconic attractions and points of interest throughout the city.

Ruby Falls Expansion

America’s deepest commercial cave and largest underground waterfall is amid a multi-year expansion including upgraded operations (lobby, ticketing, parking) and an outdoor observation area.

The MLK/Big 9 District

The historic Martin Luther King Jr. district features the Levitt AMP free concert series, music venues, restaurants, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and public art, including the 40,000-square-foot MLK mural by world-renowned artist Meg Salignman.

Chattanooga Opened $16 Million, 3-Mile Riverpark Extension

Since opening, Chattanooga’s linear park has been recognized as one of the best in the nation. CNN Travel named the Riverpark among the “World’s 10 Best City Running Trails” and named it one of “10 of America’s Coolest Urban Running Trails.”

The new expansion picks up at Riverfront Parkway near the SpringHill Suites-Cameron Harbor and extends along the river to the base of Lookout Mountain, near the International Towing and Recovery Museum (Broad Street).

Unlike the openness of the first 10 miles, which leads trekkers through wetlands and wooded stretches, the newest tract traverses a big chunk of the city’s industrial heritage. Winding through and around the borders of still-active industries, as well as a few that are closed, the new 12-foot wide stretch goes where muscle and steel long meshed to produce hard-earned prosperity.

The freshly landscaped Riverpark defines an industrial experience on one side, and on the other, vibrant green spaces and more. The expansion includes:

Riverpark Amphitheater at Blue Goose Hollow – site of  Bessie Smith’s first home and where she began singing for coins as a young girl
Chattanooga Bike Share station
Landscaped trail and green spaces
New vistas of the Tennessee River

Public art: Two large, significant pieces by internationally renowned sculptor Albert Paley and three other art pieces will be installed later this year

It’s no surprise that the popular Riverpark continues to be an economic driver for the city. Since its inception 30 years ago, total investment in the Riverpark has amounted to $150 million, mostly through federal, state and private grants. Since local leaders committed in 2012 to build this Riverpark segment, builders have invested more than $220 million in new residential units, sprouting waves of condos, apartments and new businesses.

The next phase includes a Broad-Street crossing and a short half-mile connector to the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway station. When this last short segment is finished, it also will lead to a trailhead with access to the fabulous network of trails — some 93 miles — along the flanks of Lookout Mountain’s Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park lands.

The new Tennessee Riverpark App is now available for iTunes and Android. It utilizes modern technology to enhance the historic and educational interpretative opportunities along the Tennessee Riverpark. Users can experience interactive maps, videos and augmented reality. And, they’ll enjoy learning more about Chattanooga’s industrial history, the civil war and the birthplace of Bessie Smith.

For more information please contact the Chattanooga Area CVB, 2 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402 United States

Cherokee History Is New Focus in Southeast Tennessee

Local tourism professionals are working alongside scholars, citizens and history buffs in a movement that is uncovering new stories and raising awareness of Southeast Tennessee’s extremely significant Cherokee history, a part of America’s most important Native American past.

Representatives from Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association and the Convention & Visitors Bureau of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce are unveiling new driving trail brochures highlighting the rich Cherokee history and encouraging visitation to the area. The Bradley County brochure is titled “Your Passport to Explore Cherokee Heritage.” The SETTA brochure is “Southeast Tennessee Cherokee Native American Guide.”

A remarkable convergence of events prompted this focused attention and cooperative effort, including the opening of the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park; this year’s 30th anniversary of Red Clay State Park; the 25th anniversary of the Joint Council Reunion with the lighting of the eternal flame, and the PBS series “We Shall Remain,” which focused one entire episode on the Trail of Tears and the Cherokee experience in and around Southeast Tennessee. Portions of the film were shot at Red Clay, the last eastern capital of the Cherokee Nation.

The brochures offer more than a crash course of Cherokee history. One guide takes visitors from early Cherokee years to in-depth removal routes of some 15,000 Cherokees. The other outlines the precise location of the Cherokee Agency where passports were required to enter into Cherokee territory. This same area later became the largest emigrating depot with federal troops holding Cherokee and other tribes for departure on the Trail of Tears. Some of the highlights include Ross’s Landing in downtown Chattanooga, The Brainerd Mission Cemetery, The James Brown Cherokee Plantation, and Red Clay State Park, the last capital of the Cherokee Nation in the east. The Red Clay Council Grounds also became the center of the Cherokee Nation’s diplomatic efforts to avoid removal

SETTA created their driving trail brochure with the help of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Dr. Duane King, research specialist and noted scholar of the American Indian, and a committee of regional representatives. According to Woody, the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU is currently conducting a heritage plan for Bradley County especially focused on Charleston. Under the direction of Dr. West, the team will present the plan in August. West has said that Bradley County is an understudied area and this study should help organize sites and stories. The CVB and Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society will use that plan to gain support for future project development and interpretation.

Woody recalls that many of the residents were reluctant to pass down such a tragic story through the generations. The recent national efforts to tell the Cherokee story have helped residents realize this is an important story to tell, especially during this national movement toward awareness of Native American history and culture.

Both guides are currently available at area Welcome Centers throughout Tennessee in addition to various tourism sites, museums, history centers and chamber offices. Brochures may also be found by visiting; www/docs/26/native-american-trail or

Lookout Mountain

Visible from nearly any spot in Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain offers visitors the unique opportunity to explore nature and history. Located deep within the mountain is Ruby Falls, a 145-foot underground waterfall, accessed by a cave filled with stunning geological formations. Above ground, there is Rock City, a 4,100-foot-long walking trail that takes you on a journey through lush gardens and provides breathtaking views of the Chattanooga Valley. Lookout Mountain is also part of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, which memorializes one of the most decisive battles of the Civil War.

Bluff View Art District

As the name indicates, the Bluff View Art District sits high above the Tennessee River. The neighborhood is filled with restaurants, an art gallery and an outdoor sculpture garden. It is also home to one of Chattanooga’s most popular coffee shops, Rembrandt's. Adjacent to the Art District is the Hunter Museum of American Art and the historic Walnut Street Bridge, which is now a pedestrian-only bridge connecting Chattanooga's downtown with the North Shore district.

Mysterious Creatures & Breathtaking Art Coming to Chattanooga
Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum Present Jellies: Living Art

A new wave of excitement is coming to downtown Chattanooga as the Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum of American Art team up to bring “Jellies: Living Art” to Chattanooga. This special exhibit showcases jellyfish, some of the most mysterious creatures on Earth, alongside breathtaking glass sculptures inspired by nature and embodies the spirit of the award-winning, highly rated gallery at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Visitors to the Aquarium’s Ocean Journey building will find themselves immersed in a glimmering world of animals and art. Six species of jellyfish will capture the imagination as they pulse in specially designed exhibits beside striking studio glass. The exhibit is designed to illustrate how the jellyfish and the art share common characteristics of color, pattern, movement and rhythm.

In one portion of the gallery, jellyfish displays will be paired with mirrors which will produce a visual feast for the eyes surrounding guests with an endless swarm of moon jellies. In other areas, slowly pulsing sea nettles will dance a watery ballet. Blubber jellies will strike a chord with those who imagine what it’s like to venture to another world - the ocean realm.

These delicate and mysterious creatures of the deep have intrigued people and fueled artistic expression for centuries. Guests will marvel at the way artists, like world-renowned Dale Chihuly, infuse glass with striking colors and patterns while creating works that appear to flow with a graceful motion and rhythm. Works from Chihuly’s “Macchia” series will be on display at the Aquarium along with other stunning works from artists Stephen Powell, Cork Marcheschi and Thomas Spake.

This collaborative effort promises to draw visitors to downtown Chattanooga who will be encouraged to relax and enjoy all that the pedestrian-friendly “Scenic-City” has to offer. The Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum are located on the Chattanooga riverfront and linked by a short walking corridor which leads guests through an outdoor sculpture garden and across a unique glass bridge.

Visitors wishing to complete their Jellies: Living Art experience may choose to purchase discount combination tickets for the Tennessee Aquarium, Hunter Museum and IMAX 3D Theater. “Under the Sea 3D” features stunning images of several jellyfish species as well as playful sea lions, fierce-looking great white sharks and graceful leafy sea dragons.

The Hunter Museum of American Art inspires and excites imaginations through the visual arts. The Hunter Museum is located at 10 Bluff View in Chattanooga and is open every day except Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The Hunter Museum is open until 5 p.m. and on Thursdays until 8 p.m.

For more information call the Hunter at (423) 267-0968, or visit the Web site at

Civil War Trails Program

with 13 interpretive signs and maps – making it even easier to visit the area’s historic sites. Discover seldom-seen Civil War photographs in the exhibition, “Between the States”, at the Hunter Museum of American

Free electric shuttle.

You’ll find dining, attractions, parks, festivals, live music and shopping. Park your car and visit the Tennessee Aquarium and their IMAX 3D Theater; take a lunch, dinner or sightseeing cruise aboard the Southern Belle Riverboat or Civil War or eco cruises on other boating options; stroll through the Bluff View Arts District and Hunter Museum of American Art, through the gardens at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, along the 13-mile paved Riverwalk, or over the Walnut Street Bridge; have a picnic, play in the water fountain or ride an antique carousel in Coolidge Park; take the kids to the Chattanooga Zoo and to one of the country’s top children’s museums, the Creative Discovery Museum; or check out the AT&T field for a Lookouts baseball game. You won’t want to miss the open-air Chattanooga Market each Sunday from May-Dec. where you’ll find locally grown and made goods, great food, artisans selling their works and plenty of live entertainment.

Lookout Mountain and Around Town Fun

Only a few miles from downtown, explore scenic Lookout Mountain where you’ll see seven states at Rock City Gardens; plunge deep underground to the majestic Ruby Falls; ride up and down the mountain on the nation’s steepest passenger railway, the Incline Railway or check out the nation’s largest and oldest military park, Chattanooga-Chickamauga National Military Park. Within 15 minutes from downtown, you can be riding aboard the Tennessee Valley Railroad or dropping 14 stories on the OH-Zone! freefall ride at Lake Winnepesaukah amusement park.

Extreme Adventures

Teens and anyone young at heart will find that Chattanooga’s wild rivers and ample natural resources make us a top destination for extreme adventures. Whitewater raft or kayak the Ocoee River; boulder or rock climb on the mountainous terrain; dodge paint during an intense game of paint ball or test your limits on a tandem hang gliding flight over 2,000 feet in the air off of Lookout Mountain. For adventures a little less extreme, enjoy a walk or bike ride on the downtown Riverwalk, a game of golf or rock climbing at one of our indoor facilities or Walnut Wall in Coolidge Park. No matter your passion, you’ll want to get out and play.

Where to Eat

You can’t come to Chattanooga without visiting some of the local hot spots – where the food is the attraction. Savor the local flavor in restaurants downtown that use seasonal fresh produce, breads, pastries and more produced in the Chattanooga area. There are numerous fine-dining restaurants that offer the Farm to Table practices including Table 2, Alleia, Public House. But don’t forget the tried-and-true favorites like Tennessee’s first Green-Certified restaurant, 212 Market; Blue Plate; Back Inn Café; St. John’s where Nathan Lindley has been nominated for a James Beard Award; and Hennen’s to name a few. Don’t miss out on some locally brewed beer made at Big River Grille and Brewing Works or the Terminal Brewhouse.

Sugar's Ribs

While the restaurant might close at night, the kitchen at Sugar’s is humming 24/7 as mouthwatering ribs, brisket, pulled pork and chicken are prepared fresh daily. You can have lots of fun here sampling the various barbecue sauces. The restaurant has a downtown location and one southeast of downtown on Missionary Ridge. There is live music every night at the downtown location.

Urban Stack Burger Lounge

As you savor your tasty burger at Urban Stack, you can also feel good about your carbon footprint. The restaurant is located in one of the oldest buildings in Chattanooga, the Southern Railway Baggage Building from the 1870s, which was refurbished into a LEED-certified establishment. In addition, all of the meats are all-natural, organic, grass-fed or free-range, from sustainable and humane farms.

Easy Bistro & Bar

Owner and chef Erik Niel describes his menu as “French-inspired Southern cooking.” Niel believes strongly in fresh ingredients -- be they from a nearby farm or flown in the same day from a New England fishery -- which is why new menus are printed daily. In addition to the delicious cuisine, the white-tablecloth Easy Bistro has an extensive wine list and takes great pride in its creative cocktails.

Where to Stay

The Chattanoogan

The Chattanoogan makes a big deal of its AAA Four Diamond rating -- and it should. The downtown hotel features 199 exquisite guestrooms with contemporary decor; a full-service spa; and Broad Street Grille, one of 3 on-site restaurants, where the chef posts the names of the local farms that supplied the food for that day’s menu. At sunset, guests often gather around the large fire pit in the hotel’s finely manicured courtyard.

Read House Hotel

Opened in 1926, Read House Hotel maintains its original charm while being fully updated with modern amenities. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is now part of Sheraton Hotels and has 241 guestrooms. Even if you don’t stay at the hotel, you should consider a meal at the restaurant, Porter's Steakhouse, or stop by the lobby to see its 2 stories of black walnut paneling, marble flooring and a detailed plaster ceiling with 2 bronze chandeliers.

Bluff View Inn

The Bluff View Inn is a collection of 3 bed-and-breakfasts: an 1889 English Tudor, a 1908 Victorian and a 1927 Colonial Revival. While each property is unique, they all offer the same level of personal service. Guests have some of the best views of the snaking Tennessee River and easy access to the surrounding Bluff View Art District, a creative haven within walking distance from downtown Chattanooga.


The City Forum

The City Forum, with more than 100,000 square feet of warehouse space, brings the ultimate family experience with high-speed karting, a boutique bowling lounge, and a full-service restaurant called The Loading Dock.

Frank Sutton Statue

Visit a life-size bronze statue of Clarksville native Frank Sutton, sculpted by Clarksville artist Scott Wise. Sutton is best known for his role of Sgt. Vince Carter on TV’s Gomer Pyle. He is buried in the city’s historic Greenwood Cemetery.

Pat Head Summitt Legacy Plaza

Located at Clarksville’s Freedom Point, the plaza honors this sports icon and Montgomery County native. A larger-than-life sized bronze statue of Pat Head Summitt in a classic coaching moment is the highlight.


What to See & Do Launch

The Cookeville-Putnam County Convention & Visitors Bureau launched, designed to serve as the bureau’s No. 1 marketing tool.

CrossFit Mayhem 3.0 Expansion

Four-time “Fittest Man on Earth” Rich Froning unveiled CrossFit Mayhem 3.0, a fitness/sports destination. Owned by four-time “Fittest Man on Earth” Rich Froning, has expanded to offer more space for visitors and retail. The new facility is a true fitness/sports destination. In addition to incredible CrossFit workout opportunities in the home gym of “Fittest Man in History,” it has a wellness center with a chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapists, and a nutritionist. A business lounge, education space, and retail are also included.

Red Silo Brewing Company

Red Silo Brewing Company has opened the first micro-brewery in Cookeville-Putnam County. Specializing in small batch craft brews, the new downtown destination offers tastings, tours, and partners with DelMonaco Winery as a signature stop on their popular Wine & Stein tours.

Mountain Bike Trail

is now open at Cane Creek Park. Built for all riders in mind, from novice to expert, it's a first for the area. Currently at 1.3 miles, it is built for laps and designed for expansion.

Rail WITH Trail

is now open. Walk, run, jog, bike, and explore more than four miles of outdoor pathways adjacent to the Tennessee Central Railway (LIVE RAIL). Trailheads are located at the Cookeville Depot Museum and the Algood Community Center.


What to See & Do


A 72-acre outdoor aerial adventure park with a Chondola ride, dining, shopping, racing zip line, mountain coaster, tree canopy walk, and children’s playground.

Rowdy Bear Mountain Coaster

The coaster along the hillside at traffic light No. 3 will thrill riders as they glide down the track.

Anakeesta Aerial Adventure Park

Gatlinburg’s newest family-friendly vacation destination with a more than 70-acre mountainside adventure park that include aerial trekking, zip lines, canopy walks, and scenic overlooks.

Take A Trip to America's Most Visited Distillery - Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery Offers a True Moonshine Experience!

Located in Gatlinburg at 903 Parkway, traffic light #8 (approx. one hour from Knoxville) in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Distillery offers a true Appalachian moonshine experience with free tours that include an authentic working moonshine still! Meet the distiller and makers of moonshine while learning the science of the distilling process and the history of moonshine before enjoying free samples of shine (for those 21 and older, of course!). Enjoy live bluegrass music and don’t forget to stock up on hooch at the Ole Smoky gift shop! The Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery is open 7 days a week from 10 AM – 10 PM.

Sold in a traditional 750 ml Mason-style jar, the moonshine is a century old family recipe that shines in many varieties including Original Moonshine (100 proof), White Lightnin’™ (100 proof), Lightnin’ Line (80 proof): Strawberry Lightnin’, Lemon Drop Lightnin’ and Hunch Punch Lightnin’TM, and the 40 proof line including: Moonshine Cherries™, Peach Moonshine™, Apple Pie Moonshine™, Blackberry Moonshine™, Strawberry Moonshine™, Lemon Drop Moonshine™, Pineapple Moonshine, Watermelon Moonshine, Sweet Tea Moonshine and Charred Moonshine™, in addition to seasonal flavors and a selection of other food products.

For more info on Ole Smoky Moonshine and distillery visits, call (865) 436-6995 or go to their website

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Honored with Quarter Launch in Gatlinburg

The United States Mint launched the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coin honoring Great Smoky Mountains National Park Jan. 29, 2014. Hundreds of people were in attendance at the event that took place at the Gatlinburg Convention Center, in Gatlinburg, Tenn., one of the gateway cities to the 520,000-acre park. Participants included Great Smoky Mountains National Park Acting Superintendent Pedro Ramos, and local radio co-host Jay Adams, who served as master of ceremonies. Following the event, members of the public exchanged their currency for $10 rolls of newly minted Great Smoky Mountains National Park quarters.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world-renowned for its diverse flora and fauna. The reverse design on the quarter shows an historic log cabin found within the park. Lush green forest and a hawk circling above are also featured. “Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee,” “2014,” and “E Pluribus Unum” are inscribed.

The America the Beautiful Quarters Program is a multi-year initiative that honors the 56 national parks and other national sites in each state, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. Started in 2010, the final coin will be produced in 2021. The quarter-dollar replica coins for sale are made of 0.999 fine silver and weigh five ounces.

The bureau is accepting orders for these products at its online catalog,, and at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468).

For more information on the program and the schedule of events, visit

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Ranked As One of the Top Places for Wildlife Viewing

Budget Travel recently ranked Great Smoky Mountains National Park among the Top 13 best places in the United States for wildlife viewing. The forest-filled national park is cited as the best place in the U.S. to view black bears. According to the article, Great Smoky Mountains National park houses the largest protected American black bear habitat in the eastern part of the country with an estimated 1,500 bears currently living there. The best places to catch a glimpse of the furry mammals are in Cades Cove and the Cataloochee Valley.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is more than 800 square miles of hiking trails and offers a diverse area teeming with wildlife, including elk and deer, and more than 1,600 flowering plants. The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


What to See & Do

Knoxville Visitor Center

Run by Visit Knoxville, it's a one-stop shop for Knoxville information. Here you'll find locally-made lovely crafts in the gift section, plus the free WDVX Blue Plate Special - a daily, live, noon-time performance of Americana music.

Open Mon-Fri from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday - Noon to 4 p.m.

Tiger Forest at Zoo Knoxville

A new habitat for critically endangered Malayan tigers and white-naped cranes, immerses guests in the exotic Orient.

Everly Brothers Memorial Park

Everly Brothers Memorial Park is a tribute to the duo whose storied musical career has deep roots in Knoxville.

20th Anniversary of WDVX Radio

Knoxville’s listener-supported radio show celebrates 20 years on the air with vintage recordings, interviews with artists, and special concerts.

Knoxville Zoo (now Zoo Knoxville)

emphasizing its commitment to animals first and foremost.

The Mill & Mine

is Knoxville’s new, 20,000 square-foot music hall that can accommodate a crowd of more than 1,200 in the heart of the historic downtown district.

Maple Hall

-- is the new underground boutique bowling alley with a full bar of a few featured cocktails and six taps, and restaurant.

Devil’s Racetrack

-- along with two other Urban Wilderness Gravity Trails have opened in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. Beginner to double black diamond trails were created with IMBA and Bell Built Helmets after winning a nationwide grant.


This a must-see. Built in 1992 for the World's Fair, it stands 266 feet tall land has 26 stories. The actual ball itself houses only five levels, and the panoramic views are outstanding. Located at 810 Clinch Avenue or World's Fair Park Drive, this attraction is free and very safe for all ages, plus an elevator will speed you up to the viewing level where signs and maps point to structures in all directions. I also loved the many trees and flowers. There are numerous benches to relax on and watch passserby.

Market Square

Market Street is located in the center of Downtown Knoxville and offers an eclectic blend of culinary delights, a variety of stores for all kinds of shopping, and the location for all kinds of free entertainment. I loved the Water Play Foundtain and spent an hour there watching tiny toddlers run in and out of the sprays and couldn't s;top taking photos of them playing beneath the water jets.

This area runs from Wall Avenue to Union Avenue.

Fair Grounds

We were surprised at how pleasant it was walking around the Fair Grounds where we could watch all kinds of events going on. At this time, children - and adults - were escaping the 95 degree heat wave by walking beneath lovely sprays from a wide waterfall.

Fair Grounds Hours: From 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Hours may vary during special events.

Chilhowee Park

You'll enjoy the setting here by a lagoon with a picnic area and lake for fishing. Admission is free. It's open daily from April through September, and is located at Beaman and Magnolia Avenue adjacent to the knoxville Zoo.

For more information call 865-637-5840.

Concord Park

Situated on a lake with a marina restaurant, launching ramps, picnic areas, shelters, overnight camping, a children's play area, tennis court and two swimming pools, this is a great place to be on a hot day.

Located at 10901 Northsho9re Drive. For more information call 865-521-2346.

Knoxville Zoological Park

Here you'll find over 1000 animals in native environs. It's known for its African Elephant exhibit, large cats, and a children's petting zoo area.

Located at 3333 Woodbine Avenue. For more information call 865-657-5331.

World's Fair Park

This is the site of the 1982 World's Fair and includes the Knoxville Museum of Art, Tennesee Amphitheater, Candy Factory and the Sunsphere. It cost $63 million dolars to park and features country flags, fountains, seating, park atmosphere, festival and performance lawns, jogging trail, sidewalks, and is lighted and security patrolled.

Knoxville Museum of Art

The museum serves the region by providig a variety of art programs to expose children and adults to the living world of arts. Workshops are offered to develop artistic skills, and special tours are available for groups.

Located at the World's Fair Park. For more information contact 865-525-6101.

Knoxville's Historic Old City

Ghosts of cowboys and confederates walk the streets of the Old City; Knoxville's most unique and vib rant collection of rstaurants, shops, nightclubs and antique stores.

Location: Surrounding the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Central Stret at the north end of Downtown. For more information call 800-727-8045.

Women's Basketball Hall of Fame

Exploring the Women's Basketball of Fame is lots of fun with ineractive things to do. Open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon-Sat, and noon-6 p.m. on Sunday. Admissiion charge.

Location: 700 Hall of Fame Drive. For details call 865-633-9000.

Where to Stay

MainStay Suites

located in north Knoxville at 144 Merchant Dr. right off of Interstate 75, has 86 guest rooms that feature fully equipped kitchens in all rooms, weekly housekeeping services, free continental breakfast and coffee, free premium cable television, free high-speed wireless Internet access, plus an exercise room, among other amenities.

Hampton Inn & Suites

also in north Knoxville off of Interstate 75, is located at 5411 Pratt Rd. The hotel features 102 guest rooms, including 32 suites. Amenities include a smoke-free environment, complimentary On the House hot breakfast, indoor pool, business and fitness center, complimentary high-speed Internet access and complimentary USA Today newspaper Monday through Friday, among other items.

Holiday Inn Express West

is a brand-new hotel in west Knoxville, located at 816 N. Campbell Station Rd., right off of Interstates 40 and 75. With 79 guest rooms, this hotel features free high speed Internet access, microwave and refrigerator, free local calls, an indoor heated swimming pool and a business center and fitness facility.

West Knoxville's Country Inn & Suites

is located at 9137 Cross Park Drive. The hotelís spacious rooms feature non-smoking rooms and amenities such as granite-appointed bathrooms, 37î flat-panel LCD/HD televisions, an indoor pool, free hot breakfast, guest laundry facility, business center and fitness center, among other things.

Holiday Inn Knoxville Downtown

I stayed here and enjoyed the hotel, the room and the view from the window where I could see the Sunsphere - a golden glass ball that was built as the signature structure for the 1982 World's Fair. (See more about the Sunsphere above in What to See & Do), plus the hotel is close to the water. Found the room very comfortable, received a free newsapaper each day, and the staff was excellent.

Location: 525 Henley Street, Knoxville, Tenn. 37902. Phone: 865-522-2800; Fax 865-971-1492.

The Tennessean Hotel

-- is Knoxville’s first personal luxury hotel with 82 rooms overlooking World’s Fair Park and Knoxville Convention Center opened April 2017 in downtown Knoxville.

For more information on these hotels or to book a reservation, visit

Where to Eat

The Hill

Good food and fun is what Knoxville does best. The Hill, Knoxville's newest restaurant in the border region of the Fort Sanders neighborhood, is committed to doing both.
The restaurant's entire upper level is devoted to the bar scene. The downstairs dining area, which also has its own bar as well as a corner for video gaming, offers a delicious menu filled with plenty of sandwiches, burgers and deep-fried goodies, but there ís also a handful of lip-smacking entrees, such as fajita quesadillas, grilled sirloin steak and chicken Alfredo. The Hill has a great selection of appetizers such as nachos, potato skins, chicken fingers, cheese sticks and Southwest egg rolls that really help start out a great meal.

The Hill is located at 1105 Forest Avenue and the staff can be reached by phone at (865) 540-1011.

Kaizen Izakaya

Chef Jesse Newmister has created Kaizen Izakaya, with a lunch selection of Dan Dan noodles and Thai glass noodle salad, in downtown Knoxville. Izakaya is a place where Japanese men would go after work for sake and drinks before going home for dinner.


Lenoir City Events Center

Featuring 19,000 sq. ft. of event space, the large ballroom can accommodate up to 700 guests and approx. 1,000 guests for reception-style events. State of the art audiovisual systems, eco-friendly features, a covered outdoor patio and garden area complete the space.

The Stimpson Seashell Museum

-- anticipated to be the world’s largest publicly viewable seashell collection, will showcase thousands of rare and hard-to-find shells from across the globe and is scheduled to open in 2017.


Jack Daniel Distillery

turns 150. America’s oldest registered distillery and the world’s best-selling whiskey is one of Tennessee’s most iconic destinations. The milestone anniversary celebration kicked off on New Year’s Eve and continues throughout the year in Lynchburg and around the world.


Where to Stay

Guest House at Graceland

Located just a few steps from the gates of Elvis’ Graceland, the 450-room resort features a Southern colonial exterior with specialty suites designed by Priscilla Presley, two restaurants, meeting space, and a 464-seat theater for live performances and movies.

What to See & Do

“Elvis Presley’s Memphis”

-- at Graceland®’s a 200,000-square-foot, $45 million entertainment complex across the street from Elvis’™ iconic Graceland Mansion opened in Spring 2017. It is five times the size of the current visitor center, and presents the life, career and legacy of the greatest entertainer with interactive and immersive pop culture experiences that connect to Elvis’ personal interests and activities throughout his life, including his passion for automobiles and new technology.

50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Death

The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s assassination in Memphis continues at the National Civil Rights Museum.

Crosstown Concourse

Take a dance class, stock up on locally-sourced produce, explore an art gallery, grab a craft beer from an on-site brewery and do some retail therapy in the former Sears distribution center.

Big River Crossing at Harahan Bridge

Walk, ride or run the 5,000-foot longest public pedestrian bridge spanning the Mississippi River.

Grand Carousel

The Children’s Museum of Memphis is restoring the 1909 Dentzel Memphis Grand Carousel. Artisans hand-crafted all the wooden elements for future generations to enjoy and learn about historic preservation.

Heart of the Park at Shelby Farms

Recently expanded to 80 acres, enjoy new trails, wetlands, decks, picnic pavilions, boat rentals, and much more.

Old Dominick Distillery

Get a taste of new spirits in town: vodka, whiskey and bourbon with distillery tours and tasting rooms built into the old Tennessee Brewery.

Interactive kiosk

-- about activities related to the natural, recreational and cultural/historic amenities located along the Mississippi River in Memphis and the region of the Great River Road – National Scenic Byway and Trail is be installed at the TDOT Visitors Center (I-40 & Riverside Dr.) 2017 in downtown Memphis.

Heart of the Park at Shelby Farms Park

-- features a larger variety of native trees, shrubs, and other vegetation, making way for new trails, wetlands, an 80-acre Patriot Lake, decks, and boat rentals and a pavilion for events and music.


the only store in the Mid-South region has opened.

Harahan Bridge / Big River Crossing

is open and is a 5,000-ft. trail path with spectacular views of the Mississippi River, connecting Downtown Memphis and Arkansas.

Memphis Cook Convention Center

will get a fresh look on the outside and state-of-the-art upgrades on the inside courtesy of a $55-60 million renovation.

Old Dominick Distillery

-- a 150-year-old brand, will provide Memphis with vodka, whiskey and bourbon and will offer tours, tasting rooms and an event space.


What to See & Do

Tennessee State Museum

The new museum opening in Fall 2018 will feature advances in technology and interactive displays, a Tennessee Time Tunnel with a chronological overview of the state’s milestones and 250-seat Digital Learning and Outreach Center.

August Moon Drive-In

Nashville’s 40,000-square-foot dome recreates a 1960s drive-in theater via classic cars, simulated starry sky, burgers and shakes, and the largest non-iMax movie screen in the U.S.

Ole Red Nashville

Country singer Blake Shelton’s two-story bar on lower Broadway features a performance space, dance floor, and rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of the city.

SoundWaves at Gaylord Opryland Resort

The $90 million luxury indoor/outdoor water park for guests features a slide tower, rapid and lazy river, activity pool with rock climbing and pool basketball, waterfalls and wave pool with a giant LED movie screen.

Madame Tussauds

-- came to Music City at Opry Mills. “Madame Tussauds Soundtrack of America” celebrates Nashville’s large influence on today’s music and culture with lifelike figures like Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Minnie Pearl.

Andrew Jackson's Hermitage

the #1 historic attraction commemorated President Jackson's 250th birthday in 2017.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

began operating Studio B in 1977 and in 1996 restoredthe primary studio area to its original look.  Beginning in the fall of 2003, facilitated by the philanthropy of the Mike Curb Family Foundation, Belmont University students began using Studio B as a workshop for completing recording projects, a partnership that also supports the Museum’s educational programs.  Educational tours and recording opportunities, staffed by both organizations, are offered through the Museum to arts organizations, students, educational institutions and visitors.

Nashville’s Musicians Hall of Fame at Municipal Auditorium will soon house an 8,500 square foot Grammy Museum gallery and historic landmark designation.

Where to Stay

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

Nestled in the heart of Nashville’s trendy West End corridor, the 340-room Loews Vanderbilt Hotel is within walking distance of Vanderbilt University, one mile from Music Row and a short 15-minute drive from Nashville International Airport (BNA). The hotel offers the ultimate Music City experience, complete with southern hospitality, indulgent comforts and on-cue services. The property is one of only 73 hotels nationwide to achieve the AAA Four-Diamond designation for 25 consecutive years.

From its lobby jukebox stocked with tunes of VIP guests to its impressive collection of autographed records and musical memorabilia, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel is a “home away from home” that reflects Nashville’s heritage and local music culture. Live music nightly and wake up calls recorded by Nashville entertainers Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Brenda Lee give guests a glimpse of the authentic sights and sounds that make Music City famous.


What to See & Do

Nudie’s Honky Tonk

-- an ode to rhinestone cowboy couture founded by Nudie Cohn has opened. New honky tonks like Almost Famous and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row.


Forbus General Store

Don't miss the Forbus General Store, established in 1892. The fudge that I tasted was as the owner says, "The freshness is our most important ingredient. Our fudge stays fresh 10-10-14 days at room temperature. Do not refrigerate as dehydration occurs, but it can be frozen indefinitely." Try any one of many flavors, including chocolate, maple nut, amaretto chocolate swirl, peanut butter, vanilla nut, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate nut and rocky road. Even if you don't want fudge, there are countless other goodies to try and an amazing array of merchandise - and in the middle of the store, you can watch locals playing checkers or another game.

Located at 3902 North york Highway, Pall Mall, Tenn. 38577; 1-931-879-5427.


What to See & Do

VR Pigeon Forge

A revolutionary virtual reality arcade allows visitors the chance to walk, crawl and dodge their way through endless worlds of fun and adventure.

Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner & Show

This high-energy dinner theater production tells a tale of Dolly Parton’s family history.

Pigeon Forge Snow

The indoor facility uses state-of-the-art patented technology to provide real snow all year long, highlighted by 15 lanes for snow tubing.

Summit Tower and Cascades Waterpark

The 98 suites were designed to combine modern resort amenities with Smoky Mountain charm and a 30,000-square-foot waterpark.

Margaritaville Island Inn

Beach perfection in a sea of mountains featuring 104 cozy, coastal-inspired rooms.

Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge

Alcatraz East, a new crime museum opened in East Tennessee on December 16, 2016. The museum, which gives visitors the behind-the-scenes story to our nation’s crime history is a must-see for all ages. Crime and investigation has always been a popular topic; from books, to television shows, and movies, people are intrigued with how crime happens and cases are solved. Now, these enthusiasts are in luck, with our nation’s history of crime, justice and the law enforcement coming together at Alcatraz East.

The new crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island, featuring Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, and is adjacent to Stages West and The Comedy Barn. The exterior façade, a 19th century prison, was inspired by the historic Alcatraz Penitentiary in San Francisco. Within the 25,000 square feet, two-story museum, there are over 100 interactive exhibits that can be enjoyed by all ages. The self-guided tour covers the history of American crime, the consequences of crime, crime scene investigation, crime fighting, and pop culture.

Some of the highlights of the many crime related artifacts on display include John Dillinger’s death mask, Al Capone’s rosary, a Bonnie & Clyde collection, the Bronco from the OJ chase, an FBI polygraph machine, Al Pacino’s submachine gun from the movie Scarface, items related to the 2012 Benghazi attack, and the latest in law enforcement technology. The interactive features of the museum will include a CSI lab, a simulated shooting range, safe cracking, digital fingerprinting, and DUI safety training.  The museum’s mission is to provide guests of all ages with a memorable journey into the history of American crime and its consequences through a captivating, interactive and educational experience.

The museum is something that its owner, John Morgan, had always envisioned. No stranger to running successful attractions, he also owns WonderWorks located a mile away from Alcatraz East. The museum also has a star-studded board of advisors who help contribute to its mission of education. The experts range from historians to law enforcement. The board includes a Navy Seal, warden, medical examiner, law enforcement and, notably, Judge Belvin Perry, best known for presiding over Casey Anthony trial.

General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum will be open 365 days a year, from 10 am to 9 pm, with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

For more information, visit

Conquering the Con: How Seniors Can Avoid Being Swindled and Scammed

Anyone, at any age, can fall victim to a scam. However, con artists most often set their sights on older adults. Seniors in the U.S. are swindled out of an estimated $37 billion per year, according to a report by True Link Financial, mainly through financial exploitation, criminal fraud and caregiver abuse. In an effort to call attention to fraud that particularly targets older adults, Alcatraz East Crime Museum has collaborated with AARP Foundation on a temporary exhibit to help seniors recognize, refuse and report scams.

“We all want to protect our aging parents and loved ones,” said Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East. “The more people understand how victims are targeted, the more we can do to protect ourselves from these crimes.”

Created by AARP Foundation’s fraud experts and hosted by Alcatraz East, the year-long exhibit, “Scamalot: Conquering the Con,” opens September 21, 2017. Visitors will encounter fraud in its various forms, including impostor scams, investment fraud and lottery scams. The exhibit will also feature stories of notable fraudsters, such as Charles Ponzi, and information on how the public can protect themselves from scams.

“Scamalot” will explore common scams and how to avoid them, including:

IRS scams, in which a caller posing as an Internal Revenue Service agent threatens the victim with arrest if they don’t pay.

Tech support scams, in which fraudsters gain access to personal information by offering to “fix” a nonexistent computer virus.

Sweepstakes scams, which promise a large cash prize in return for a “claim fee.”

“Con artists have their sights set on older adults,” said Emily Allen, senior vice president of programs for AARP Foundation. “Seniors are likely to have accumulated savings, own their home and have good credit — making them attractive targets. We developed ‘Scamalot: Conquering the Con’ to build awareness and understanding of the different types of fraud.”

Among the exhibit’s features will be objects related to infamous fraudsters Bernie Madoff, Lou Pearlman and David Hampton. Visitors will also be able to test their scam spotting skills through interactive displays.

Alcatraz East officially opened December 16, 2016. The new crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, near the Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. The museum offers a wide array of exhibits on notorious crimes, law enforcement, and CSI, with historic artifacts and interactives. The Bronco from the famous OJ Simpson chase is currently on display at the museum, along with displays on the Unabomber, Ted Bundy, and Whitey Bulger.

The museum is open 365 days a year, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages — so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
AARP Foundation works to increase economic opportunity and social connections that help prevent and reduce senior poverty. We collaborate with individuals and organizations who share our commitment to innovation and our passion for problem-solving. Supported by vigorous legal advocacy, we create and advance effective solutions that help struggling older adults transform their lives. AARP Foundation is the affiliated charity of AARP. Learn more at

The Ugly Truth of Wildlife Poaching: Alcatraz East Temporary Exhibit --- New Pigeon Forge attraction hosting a special temporary exhibit on the wildlife trafficking trade

When a Minnesota-based dentist paid $54,000 to trophy hunt in Zimbabwe in 2015 with a professional guide, he unknowingly was about to kill the beloved and iconic lion- Cecil. The images from that hunt went viral and although the dentist’s actions were not deemed illegal, the event sparked a worldwide outcry and raised awareness about the plight of wildlife, including lions, tigers, and elephants. Since that incident, the public is increasingly committed to protect wildlife and to put a stop to the trade of illegal wildlife poaching.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the illegal wildlife trade is a multibillion-dollar business, that involves the illegal trade of live animals and objects made from their parts. Many of the animals involved are endangered, making the practice an international crisis. Poachers either capture animals to sell, or kill them for their fur, bones, shells, and other body parts to be used in everything from traditional medicines, to clothing and jewelry. Even locally, effecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, bears are poached for their gallbladders and bile, which are used in traditional medicines. Only thirty-four states explicitly ban the trade, and these parts can go for $5,000 in Asia. Those interested in learning more about the wildlife trade can attend the temporary exhibit “Ivory, Tortoise Shell & Fur: The Ugly Truth of Wildlife Trafficking” at Alcatraz East Crime Museum, which opened on May 15, 2017.

The exhibit was first displayed at the Crime Museum in Washington, DC in 2015 by the Center for Conservation Impact, in partnership with the Freeland Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare, INTERPOL, Kashmir World Foundation, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, WildAid, and Wildlife Trust of India.

Many people are unaware of how critical the poaching situation has become around the world, yet the statistics are alarming. It’s estimated that 97 percent of the world’s tigers have been lost in the last century, 76 percent of elephants have been lost during the last 13 years, and over 1,200 rhinoceros were killed last year alone. These animal populations have been depleted to supply black market demand for worthless natural medicines, jewelry and other souvenirs, and are considered status symbols, as the case with shark fin soup.

International travelers normally take home souvenirs from their trips, but what they may not realize is that the materials used to make those trinkets may have been illegally harvested from endangered and protected wildlife. These include items made from ivory and tortoise shell, so when shopping for souvenirs, it is best to ask questions about what products are made of, where it came from, as it may not be legal to bring back to the U.S. This exhibit will include items confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other border agencies.

“Wildlife trafficking is a serious epidemic that is plaguing our world due to Asia's sensational demand for Rhino Horn, which is made from nothing more than keratin, the same as our finger nails along with Elephant Ivory made from dentine, the same as the human tooth.” explains Katie Cleary, model, film producer and writer of “Give Me Shelter” available on Netflix, and founder of World Animal News which brings you the latest breaking animal welfare news from around the world. “The more that we are educated about wildlife crimes and trafficking of endangered species and the ways to stop it, the better equipped we are to bring it to an end and protect these innocent species before it's too late.”

Recent news headlines show this problem is ongoing, with 18 rhino horns being seized in Mozambique in April, and news being shared about the illegal animal smuggling coming across the Mexican border, including of birds and lizards to be sold as pets in the U.S.

Alcatraz East officially opened December 16, 2016. The new crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, near the Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.

The 25,000 square foot museum is designed with a jail façade, has a star-studded board of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial.

General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum will be open 365 days per year, from 10 am to 9 pm, with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

The O.J. Bronco Displayed at Alcatraz East- 22 Years Later -- New Pigeon Forge attraction offers a rare glimpse at the vehicle O.J. Simpson made famous in June 1994

The anniversary of the scene made famous when 95 million people tuned in to watch O.J. Simpson flee the police in a white Bronco is quickly approaching. June 17, 1994 is a date many recall because of the news he made that day, having been accused of killing his ex-wife and her friend. Rather than turn himself in, as ordered by police, the former football star fled with cameras rolling and millions watching. Today, that infamous white 1993 Ford Bronco is on display Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Although the vehicle has been largely out of the public eye for two decades, it came back into the public eye in 2016 with the popularity of the shows “O.J.: Made in America” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

“We are fortunate to have this piece of history in our collection,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East, “It’s something that many of us watched and remember, as it sparked so many conversations that influenced our views. This case was important for so many aspects of law enforcement from police procedures to DNA.”

It is estimated that 150 million people tuned into the verdict in the Simpson trial in 1995 where he was acquitted. In 2008, Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison for armed robbery, where he remains, but is eligible for parole later this year.

The Bronco was kept hidden in a garage between Las Vegas and California for years but was always kept in running condition and preserved in the same condition as it was in 1994. Simpson’s previous sports manager, Mike Gilbert, worked directly with the museum to handle the preservation of this important piece of crime history.

Alcatraz East officially opened December 16, 2016. The new crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, near the Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.

The 25,000 square foot museum is designed with a jail façade, has a star-studded board of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial.

General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum will be open 365 days per year, from 10 am to 9 pm, with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Where to Stay

Margaritaville Island Hotel

The new Margaritaville Island Hotel located in Pigeon Forge on The Island, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex, has opened phase one of the hotel with 55 guestrooms and suites in 2015. The vacation destination hotel is in the heart of everything the area has to offer and minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park known for its extraordinary beauty, breathtaking views, and abundance of outdoor activities.

The perfect blend of mountain latitude and island attitude, Margaritaville Island Hotel brings a new perspective to the Smoky Mountains experience with its contemporary surroundings, high level of service and attention to detail. Inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and author Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville Island Hotel is the perfect setting for vacationers to escape the everyday, discover a new outlook and just chill. The laid-back, welcoming approach of the islands combined with genuine Southern Appalachian hospitality, creates an exceptional hotel experience where the comfort and pleasure of guests come first.

The guestrooms and suites at Margaritaville Island Hotel are contemporary mountain-luxe style perfect for unwinding and recharging. Colors of the mountains and the ocean are the backdrop for stacked stone fireplaces, driftwood-finished furnishings and luxurious bedding. Spacious baths designed with walk-in rain showers, granite-topped rustic wood vanities, vessel sinks and wood grain-effect tile create a serene bath experience with the feel of a mountain stream. Every guestroom comes complete with a wet bar, microwave and Margaritaville "Frozen Concoction Maker," so guests can create their own blended beverages to enjoy by the fire or on the balcony.

Onsite dining at Margaritaville Island Hotel includes the "Changes In Latitude" Lobby Bar for cocktails and lite bites, the Chill Bar at the Rooftop Pool and the Margaritaville Coffee Shop serving everything from lattes to pastries. The Compass Rose banquet room will soon offer meeting and event space for up to 200 including a riverfront terrace. Adjacent to the hotel, Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville serves coastal-inspired comfort food and handcrafted beverages. The two-story Margaritaville restaurant has multiple bars and an exterior patio overlooking the Little Pigeon River complete with fire pit and live performance stage. The Island entertainment complex offers a great selection of dining, entertainment and shopping options within steps of the hotel, providing plenty of choices for guests without leaving the property.

For more information on the Margaritaville Island Hotel including room rates, availability and more, please visit: or call toll-free: (844) 434-6787

About Margaritaville:
Margaritaville is inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, whose evocative songs inspire a cross-generational yearning for an island adventure. Comprised of retail shops, restaurants, consumer products, hotels, casinos, resorts, vacation ownership and even a national radio station on Sirius/XM, Margaritaville delivers a tropical experience where guests can enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of their favorite destination regardless of their current latitude.

Since launching its first location in Key West, Margaritaville has expanded to some of the most popular US tourist destinations, including: Atlantic City, Chicago, Destin, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, and Panama City Beach. International locations can be found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Mexico, Republic of Panama and Turks & Caicos. Margaritaville Resorts are located in Pensacola Beach, Bossier City and Pigeon Forge. Visit for more information. Find Margaritaville on Facebook


What to See & Do

Sunglass Hut, Aerie and ASICS outlets along with Smith Creek Moonshine Distillery are open at Tanger Outlets Sevierville.

Apple Barn & Cider Mill, a working apple orchard that features bakers, candy makers, an ice cream shop and a winery, plans began offering their own blend of hard cider in 2017.

Tennessee Legend Distillery

Visit the retail store on Highway 66 in Sevierville for delicious moonshine and gifts.

Sevier Distilling Company

Schedule a behind-the-scenes tour and watch as every drop is fermented, distilled and bottled by master craftsmen at Sevierville’s newest distillery.


more soon


more soon


EarthCam Launches Live Webcam Views of Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee

EarthCam is transporting viewers to East Tennessee, where they can enjoy the incredible scenery from Blackberry Mountain with its new live streaming webcam. Discover the beauty of the 5,200 acres surrounding this adventure and wellness resort, including sweeping views of the Great Smoky Mountains. Rising above Miller’s Cove in Walland, Tennessee, Blackberry Mountain has dedicated 2,800 acres of land to conservation. This effort to preserve the natural wonder of the mountains offers breathtaking views and a serene escape from the stresses of modern life in a private national park setting. EarthCam is proud to support Blackberry Mountain’s commitment to land conservation by sharing live webcam views of this beautiful location.

“From the smallest details to the expansive views, the Mountain is an incredible place. Having a live stream allows us to share the adventure, discovery and wonder of this land,” said Nick DiBartolomeo, Vice President - Finance, Blackberry Mountain. “Whether you are here to explore the land in person, or at home enjoying the view from the camera, you get to experience a place that is so meaningful. We hope that it will encourage exploration and heighten appreciation for the beauty of East Tennessee.”

Explore the beauty of East Tennessee, including spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains, with EarthCam’s new

EarthCam is the global leader in delivering webcam content, technology and services. Founded in 1996, EarthCam provides live streaming video and time-lapse construction cameras for corporate, tourism and government clients in major cities around the world. EarthCam's revolutionary gigapixel camera systems deliver superior billion pixel clarity for monitoring and archiving the world's most important projects and events. EarthCam's all-weather webcams, innovative software and mobile applications enable users to showcase unique views, increase exposure and generate positive public relations.

The Webby Award winning company hosts many highly trafficked tourism cams, with views of popular locations and landmarks such as Times Square, World Trade Center, Las Vegas Strip, Bourbon Street, Eiffel Tower, Andy Warhol’s gravesite, Hollywood Boulevard, Miami Beach, Atlantis the Palm Dubai, Petra in Jordan and Abbey Road Crossing in London.

To experience more of EarthCam, visit
EarthCam Inc., 650 East Crescent Avenue, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 United States

Home | Biography | Books by Arline Zatz | Outdoor Tips |Travels | Product Reviews | Book Reviews | Features | Contact Me |

© 2010-2019 Arline Zatz
Please note: All information is copyrighted and may not be used without permission