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Roan Mountain State Park, Bild: anthony heflin / shutterstock

Tennessee – The Volunteer State

According to their own statement, Tennessee is not only the home of RockNRoll, but also the home of bourbon. The latter would probably be objected to at least by Kentucky. Either way, a visit to Tennessee is a dive into an absolute heartland of American culture. With a long history, a variety of historical sites and exciting metropolises like Nashville , Tennessee offers a remarkably varied vacation. If you’re looking for the roots of country music, you’ll find it here, as well as if you’re looking for some of the best food in the United States.

The Volunteer State – between nature and culture

Tennessee has the nickname Volunteer State from the times of the British-American War, when a large part of the population voluntarily went to war against the British. As one of the cradles of the American population – Native Americans probably settled here around 12,000 years ago – Tennessee is proud of the long history of the state and knows how to celebrate this in a variety of ways. As one of the core southern states, it is also closely linked to the history around the Civil War and even today the state is considered rather conservative, but that doesn’t stop people from being known for lavish parties in Nashville.

Tennessee is also a bit of a state of contradictions. Although they are proud to be a rather conservative southern state, Tennessee has also been one of the nuclei of the American civil rights movement. From here, some of the most important currents in the struggle for equality solved. So it’s quite fitting that the American Civil Rights Museum is a place where you can experience the remarkable history for yourself through presentations and reports from contemporary witnesses and perhaps understand it better.

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Vacationers who decide to take a trip to Tennessee usually not only want to see Nashville, but also enjoy the great nature in the state. With national parks and some beautiful landscapes, the state also invites you to discover nature off the beaten track.

The most beautiful natural spectacles in Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Image: Sean Pavone / shutterstock

The shared heritage of Americans and Native Americans can be seen on every corner in Tennessee. So it’s quite fitting that one of the most impressive places in the state is without question the Appalachian Trail. The long-distance hiking trail, which runs 3,500 kilometers through the United States, has a good part of it here in the state and offers great nature, interesting experiences and, last but not least, a deep impression of how diverse the landscape in the USA can actually be.

Together with North Carolina , it shares the Great Smoky Mountains. The most visited national park in the USA is not only known for its many opportunities for activities, but also for many small villages and attractions that lie in the area. Here you can not only go mountain biking or explore the mountains by bike, but of course also hike, climb or canoe through one of the streams. There is certainly no shortage of opportunities and the places that have adapted to tourism offer corresponding opportunities for easy access to these attractions.

The many forests and rivers, meadows and valleys are often home to their own small towns, which, unlike Nashville, do not enjoy worldwide fame. On the other hand, you will find the hospitality of the South, which is known throughout the country, and often the best barbecue you could wish for in the USA. It is not for nothing that Tennessee is considered one of the birthplaces of this national cuisine among the foodies of the USA.

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Discover the impressive cities of Tennessee

Nashville skyline on the Cumberland River
Skyline of Nashville on the Cumberland River, Image: Sean Pavone / shutterstock

With Nashville and Memphis , there are two cities in Tennessee that you should definitely have seen during a visit. The advantage, however, is clearly the capital of the state, Nashville, which is considered a highlight of culture in the USA and is also often visited by the inhabitants of the country for a short vacation. While the metropolis has developed into a Mecca for party tourism in recent years, many origins of American culture can be found here. Apart from a large number of the finest and best restaurants with a wide variety of dishes, the Country Music Hall of Fame can be found here – a must visit for anyone who can get something out of this music genre.

However, the “Music City” is often the place for many other concerts and especially rock is of course lived here. Fittingly, you can quickly get to Graceland from Tennessee and visit the home of Elvis, who has probably shaped this music genre like no other artist. The city’s live stages feature well-known and unknown artists who want to start their own careers with the spirit of Nashville and give the city’s bars their very own flair.

In addition, Nashville is home to many museums that deal with the upheavals of the history of the USA. So if you are looking for a bit of culture in addition to the party, you will certainly find it in the city.