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Tennesse mapTENNESSEE FUN FACT: Following the American Revolution, the area now known as Tennessee separated from North Carolina in 1784 after citizens revolted for lack of proper legislative representation. They formed their own state named "Franklin" for patriot Ben Franklin. Following a decade of political squabbling -- with no bloodshed -- Tennessee (an old Indian name for "river bend") finally joined the Union as a separate state in 1796.

Like a number of Southern states, Tennessee was split in its loyalties during the Civil War but joined the Confederacy and was the scene of extensive and decisive battles including those at Shiloh and Nashville. Today, other historical points of interest include the boyhood home of frontier explorer Davy Crockett, and the Andrew Jackson home near Nashville.

Of course, one of Tennessee's most popular attractions remains the incredibly scenic views and recreation to be found in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park,

Major spots for summer fun vacations also include the amusement park at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, first-rate country music shows at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, family fun at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, and Elvis Presley's Graceland Mansion in Memphis.

tennessee tourist attractions
Top attractions in Tennessee include scenic tours around the Great Smokey Mountains (left); trips
to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge (middle); and paying homage to Elvis at Graceland in Memphis (right).

Kid-friendly Tennessee

From east to west, family-friendly fun in Tennessee naturally begins in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with stops at world famous Dollywood as well as the spectacularly beautiful Cade's Cove driving loop in Pigeon Forge.

In central Tennessee, major must-see's in Chattanooga include the nationally top-rated Tennessee Aquarium, home to more than 10,000 denizens of both land and sea in state-of-the-art exhibits, as well as the aquarium-sponsored 2-hour tour aboard the River Gorge Explorer.

For toddlers and younger kids, the very popular Creative Discovery Museum also offers exhibits, hands-on activities and other fun stuff for children 1-8.

Meanwhile, fun for the whole family awaits at Lookout Mountain offering great views of Chattanooga and the entire river valley, visits to awesome waterfalls, and special events scheduled throughout the year.

Of course, moms and dads visiting Nashville will also find it to be Tennessee's entertainment capitol for kids as well, with a visit to the Nashville Zoo offering a menagerie of animals from all over the world in natural-looking habitats along with activities, shows and events going on throughout the year.

With toddlers in tow, more Nashville hot spots for family fun await at Imaginarium Children's Adventure Museum providing interactive fun and games; while older kids will enjoy a trip to the Adventure Science Center with interesting exhibits as well as awesome laser and planetarium shows.

Ending our tour in Memphis, there is pop history galore on exhibit for Elvis fans young and old at world famous Graceland, with an entire day of family-friendly attractions at Memphis Pink Palace Museum and Planetarium including an IMAX theater, the Sharpe Planetarium, and The Lichterman Nature Center. And no visit to Memphis would be complete without a visit to the Memphis Zoo to see thousands of different mammals ranging from panda bears to spider monkeys including a tropical bird house, an aquarium and butterfly garden.

Sorry. No liquor served.

DID YOU KNOW? Tennessee Travel Fun Facts

. • There is no sampling the merchandize during a tour of the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, TN. It lies in the middle of a completely dry county with the sale and consumption of liquor strictly prohibited.

• Sweet! Tennessee is the original home of Mountain Dew, Moonpies, and cotton candy.

The Lost Sea in Sweetwater is the largest underground lake in the United States.


also see -> Thunderhead at Dollywood | Tennessee Campgrounds

Tennessee Beaches | TN Outlets | TN Fall Foliage

Christmas in Tennessee


More information about Tennessee travel & tourism around the Web:

Explore Tennessee - The State's Offiical Travel Planning Web Site - Fun, easy-to-use travel guide with a "top tenn" list of things to see throughout the state all searchable by keyword, region, or area of interest - including nature & outdoors, music & art, sports & recreation, history & heritage, with pictures and video presentations.

Upper Cumberland Tourism Association - Nature in all its glory for a Tennessee mountain getaway, including where to go and what to see, festivals & special events, photo gallery, maps & directions.

Visit Chattanooga - A virtual tour of the city with photos & information on major attractions, hotels, dining, shopping, current weather, vacation packages.

Memphis Travel Information - Insider feature stories, detailed guides on what to do and see (besides Graceland), tips on hotels & restaurants, picture gallery and event calendar, from Lonely

Nashville Key Magazine, the Nashville Visitors Guide - The digital edition of the magazine covering entertainment in depth with a current event roster, kid-friendly fun, local restaurants & attractions, photo gallery, related links.

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