Don't waste your next long weekend at home. Get out and have some fun in Tennessee.
The Southern Appalachian Mountains are home to the 600-acre Cherokee National Forest, which is has miles of mountain biking trails coursing through it. The trails are also accessible to hikers and horseback riders. Giddy up!
Beale Street in Memphis gained a lot of notoriety in the roaring '20s for its lively nightlife. Today Memphis' most famous street is still lined with blues clubs, restaurants, and bars. It's also home to great music festivals, such as the Beale Street Music Festival. There are barbecue joints all over Memphis, but few have stood the test of time as well as Charlie Vergos Rendezvous (just a few blocks from Beale Street). Its alley basement entrance transports you back to 1948, when Rendezvous first opened. The dry rub ribs define Memphis-style ribs.
Nashville is nicknamed Music City for a reason. The soul of the city is deeply rooted in American music history. In 2015, the Grand Ole Opry celebrated 90 years of live music magic. What started as a simple radio show has become the launch pad for hundreds of country music artists. Today, country music superstars, pop chart toppers, and up-and-comers still perform live.
Civil War history buffs can get a glimpse of life in the 1800s at the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville. Tours of this Greek Revival home are led by knowledgeable guides. After the formal tour, you're free to discover the other historic buildings, such as the dairy, horse stable, gardens, and log cabin. Included with the tour is a complimentary wine tasting at the Belle Meade Winery.
Pigeon Forge is a family-friendly destination. There are entertainment options for all ages, including the Dollywood theme park and Dollywood's Splash Country water park.
Call up your whiskey-loving, bootlegging buddies and go on a Tennessee Whiskey Tour. Hidden stills filled the hills of Tennessee during Prohibition, giving the state a notorious reputation for distilling. On this tour you'll be treated to the best whiskey in the area. Enjoy, and let them do the driving!
Photos courtesy of tnvacations.com.