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Travel Series: Tennessee, The Soundtrack to America

Back again with another addition to KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series and this week, we are focusing on Tennessee, aka the Volunteer State.

Did you know Tennessee is home to the one and only Dollywood? Dollywood is named after American songwriter, Dolly Parton, and is a world-class theme park nestled in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains with award-winning shows and fun times for all ages.

We are proud to offer Travel Nursing assignments throughout Tennessee, so continue reading about some of the many awesome cities of Tennessee!

Otherwise known as the capital of country music, Nashville offers visitors once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Nashville

Nashville boasts an incredible music scene from country to jazz, bluegrass to rock, and everything in between, a killer culinary scene (did someone say hot chicken??), and so many great attractions to check out like the Music City Center or the National Museum of African American Music.

Although COVID-19 has closed the majority of businesses, during the summer Nashville is the place to be for music events like the Americana Music Awards and FestivalCMA Festival], and the Tomato Art Fest, just to name a few. If food is more your vibe, some food festivals occur in Nashville like the Food Truck FeastNashville Wine and Food FestivalThe Wizards Beer Festival and so much more. Check out this list of food festivals!

Nashville is more than just food and music events, head over to Cheekwood Estate & Gardens for beautiful gardens and even greater trails for exploration. Cheekwood currently has the Chihuly Exhibits until January 2021, which is comprised of two massive glass art sculptures. If gardens aren’t your thing, there is still plenty to do within the city limits like museums, a wild nightlife scene and art galleries for the creatives. Wherever you go in Nashville, you will find something awesome to do.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Nashville: Free ThingsCOVID-19 ThingsFarmer’s Market ListTravel + Leisure Free Things20 Best Things to Do

Memphis, home to the Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll, is the perfect destination.

Memphis

Home of the Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll, Memphis is a perfect destination for delicious food (we are talking BBQ galore and more), a glowing nightlife, a rich history of music and plenty of great outdoor activities.

Memphis has an incredible food scene that fuels the soul, but the star of the show is none other than Memphis Barbecue. Did you know Memphis is home to over 100 barbecue restaurants?? Yes, you read that correctly. While every state and region of the United States has its own special take on barbecue, but here in Memphis, they tend to focus more on the pig, more specifically pulled pork and a rack of ribs. In fact, BBQ is so big in Memphis they host a World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest during the city’s Memphis in May festival. Make sure to check out some of these great BBQ joints: Central BBQThe Bar-B-Q ShopCorky’s BBQJim’n Nick’s Bar-B-Q

Memphis has a rich Civil Rights history being home to The National Civil Rights Museum and several memorials including the I Am a Man Plaza. If you’re more into music history, you can head over to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, or one of the many great music museums like the Rock n Soul MuseumMemphis Music Hall of Fame Museum, or the Blues Hall of Fame Museum.

One of the great services the Memphis Travel and Tourism website offers is a quiz to help determine what you should experience during your stay in Memphis. It’s a great way to help get anyone started on their journey through this great city.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Memphis: Free ThingsCool Things to DoBest Things to DoSummertime ActivitiesUnusual Things

The gateway into the Smoky Mountains and Dollywood.

Knoxville

Nestled along the Tennessee River, Knoxville is the gateway into the Smoky Mountains. Strange enough, Knoxville is known as the “Streaking Capital” for its numerous streaking events that occurred during the 1970s.

If there’s anything to check out while in Knoxville it will have to Gay Street or Historic Old City. Gay Street played a pivotal in the cultural and economic development of Knoxville. Gay Street runs through the vibrant downtown that’s lined with historic theatres, museums, parks, shops, rooftop bars and restaurants all within one square mile. Historic Old City also has a vibrant nightlife scene with over 23 bars & nightclubs, 2 distilleries, a concert hall, retail shops, coffee houses and plenty of restaurants to choose from for those 2am “drunchies”. Did we mention parking in Old Town is always FREE?

If there’s one thing anyone should consider visiting while in Knoxville is the one and only Dollywood! Dollywood is located about an hour southeast of Knoxville and is nestled in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. As we mentioned in the intro, Dollywood is a world-class amusement parkwater park, and entertainment hub for visitors. Since its creation in 1986, Dollywood has had visitors from all over the globe and remains a must-see in Tennessee.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Knoxville: US News Best Things to DoForbes 9 Things to DoFree ThingsUnusual Things to DoOutdoor List

A city shared by two states, Bristol is for outdoor enthusiasts.

Bristol

“A Tale of Two Cities” is the perfect summation of this city as its historic downtown sits between Tennessee and Virginia. Besides being a city in two states, Bristol also offers visitors an incredible outdoor recreation scene, a booming music scene with the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and an awesome downtown district full of shops, food and attractions.

Are you a NASCAR fan? You’re in luck because Bristol is home to the Bristol Motor Speedway, one of the main attractions here in this small but big city. The speedway also offers the option to camp when big races occur, including events like Street Car Takeover, Pinty’s US Short Track Nationals, and more. This speedway also offers a Dragway for those who are into drag racing.  

While in Bristol, visitors should take a trip to State Street, which runs through downtown and is split between Tennessee and Virginia, to find plenty of restaurants, a walking tour, plenty of shops and the historic Bristol sign. The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is also hosted on State Street and is one of the largest music festivals in the Southeast.

Choose Bristol if you’re looking for a unique city with small-town vibes and an abundance of activities to partake in.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Bristol: 5 Best Things to DoFree ThingsTripAdvisor List

Nestled along the Tennessee River, Chattanooga has attractions and activities for people of all ages.

Chattanooga

Best known for its beautiful natural surroundings, Chattanooga offers visitors an array of activities to partake in. The city offers great outdoor recreation, a 13-mile Riverwalk along the Tennessee River that is scattered with attractions, food, shops and parks, and a thriving nightlife and entertainment scene.

As we said, Chattanooga is great for outdoor recreation with activities like rock climbingparaglidingrope courseskayakingglidingriver rafting, and so much more. If you can think it, Chattanooga will offer it. Lonely Planet names this city the Best in the US for outdoor recreation in 2018. Did you know Chattanooga is also home to the tallest and deepest underground waterfall? Ruby Falls is located deep inside Lookout Mountain and has become of the most popular destinations in the Southeast with cave adventures and ziplining.

Besides a killer outdoor recreation lifestyle, Chattanooga’s nightlife and entertainment scene is growing and glowing with plenty of bars, clubs, distilleries and shows to choose from. If you’re into whiskey, Chattanooga Whiskey is the first distillery to craft whiskey in over 100 years and offers visitors an experience to see the process and, of course, a whiskey flight to sample some of the award-winning whiskey. Don’t worry, there Chattanooga also offers a handful of breweries for those craft enthusiasts like Terminal BrewhouseTap House, and Chattanooga Brewing Co.

Chattanooga is an outdoor enthusiasts dream mixed with good food, a growing nightlife, and plenty of memories to be made.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Chattanooga: US News Best 7 Things to DoTime Out’s 19 Things to DoUnusual Things to DoFree & Cheap ThingsThings to Do

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Tennessee sounds like an adventure of a lifetime with so many great cities and activities to partake in. We only scratched the surface of what the great state of Tennessee has to offer visitors and there is so much more to see, eat, hear and experience. Travel Nurses, you should definitely take one of the travel assignments we offer to fully experience the Volunteer State!