Thursday, January 24, 2019

22 Reasons Why I Love Tennessee

I have a deep love for Tennessee. I have been going there since I was two years old for vacations. I grew up wishing and waiting for our trips to the Smokey mountains and to Nashville to go to the once great theme park Opryland, to get a glimpse of the Dolly Parton and to soak in all of their southern charm. I’ve been everyone from East Tennessee all the way to the opposite end of Memphis. I love this state and I love all the things in it. Trust me I count down till the day I either get offered an amazing job there or can retire to there! Follow along as I take you through just 23 reasons why I love Tennessee.

I clearly have a deep love for Elvis considering we named our son Presley. I have visited Graceland several times and always notice something new during each visit. A recent expansion and upgrades to the complex across from his elegant home which features memorabilia, gold records and jumpsuits is sure to push you into the obsessed category. Top off your trip with a stay at the recent build of the new hotel - The Guest house at Graceland.

Fall foliage
If you've been to Tennessee that's one thing but coming there in the height of the fall foliage is a whole different experience. The vast trees show their full glory in all colors of the rainbow. The prime time to come for the best foliage is usually anytime in October but depending on the weather it can fluctuate so keep an eye out on the local temps!

Smokey Mountains
An early morning riser can catch the best view of the Smokey mountains. These mountains earn their name every day by showing off their smoke.

Rock City
You can see seven states from Rock City! Located in the eastern part of Tennessee, Rock City has something for everyone in the family. I can remember crossing the suspended bridge as a child and thinking it was the greatest thing on earth.

Beale Street
If you go to Memphis then Beale Street is a must! The food, the culture, the shops. It's all right there on Beale street. The street performers and the people watching is enough entertainment to last the entire night!

Ober Gatlinburg
No matter what season, this Gatlinburg attraction will keep you coming back for more. Taking the scenic sky tram to the top of the mountain leaves you with endless activities. They have a wildlife exhibit that features live bears that you can watch relaxing and feeding. Depending on the season you can ride a rollercoaster or go snow tubing.

Grand Olé Opry
Taking in a show at the Grand Ole Opry is the best experience but learning about the history of the Opry and taking the tour is another fun feature. Thousands of legends have graced the stage and now you can too!


If this was 1995, I would tell you that the theme park was my favorite thing about Opryland. Sadly they closed their doors but I still remember the ride- Screamin Delta Demon! Now it's the Gaylord Opryland Resort.

Dyer's Burgers

Located in Memphis on Beale Street. This is one of the best burgers you will eat in your life. Just thinking about the juiciest meat makes me want to jump on a plane and get to Memphis. The bun was soft, the cheese was perfect. Do not miss out.


The best bbq in Memphis if you ask me! The ribs are amazing and so is the pork. I also can’t go without mentioning the sides as well. Best baked potatoe I have had in the south! You can’t go wrong with going to Marlowe’s. Need a ride? They’ll even pick you up in their giant pink limo!

Dolly’s “Dixie” Stampede
We have been going there for years. I personally don't think the name should have changed from Dixie Stampede to Dolly's Stampede but to each their own. I still love the show and the food. Those to-go bags are no joke. Take it home, there is so much food!

Stages West
How do you know you are in the south? See a Stages West? You are in the south. You can find everything in this store from a giant belt buckle to the perfect pair of cowboy boots. I personally have a pink and white ostrich pair from Stages. The boots last forever and you can even get a free t-shirt with a 50 dollar purchase. Trust me... those boots will get you that free t-shirt.


If you love Dolly Parton or just theme parks in general then this is the place for you. They’ve got rides, they’ve got great food, they have shows and best of all they have things like quilt making, candle dipping and all kinds of other crafts that you can take part in. What other theme park has that? The best part about Dollywood is that you can tour Dolly’s museum and see all of her movie memorabilia and afterwards you may even see her around the park as she goes there frequently. I’ve seen her several times in the park and it’s amazing!

Big Daddy’s Pizzeria

Located in Pigeon Forge, this pizzeria serves up some great slices. We started eating there every visit once my husband started going to PF. It's become our little tradition and we love their pizza!

Ole Smokey Moonshine

Over the last few years, tons of moonshine places have been popping up all over the area but Smokey Mountain Moonshine was the original place! I might say something you never thought of but they make the best JAM! My mom swears by their apple butter jam.


Some of the best vintage finds can be found at Nostalgia. You can find everything there from vintage Christmas ornaments, to clothing, to a three piece sectional couch. Trust me! I've bought a couch and chairs from there and then moved them all the way to California. If you are in the Knoxville area swing by and get your vintage groove on.

Stax Records

I'm sure you've heard of Sun Records located in Memphis but maybe you've never heard of Stax. Located in Memphis, this recording studio was once home to soul music. Some of the artists to record there included- Otis Redding, Booker T & The MGs, Wilson Pickett and Isaac Hayes. The studio is closed today to recording but you can go and take the tour of the once great record company.

The Christmas Place
The largest Christmas store in the south is worth stopping for! I could spend my entire mortgage at this store but I show some restraint. They have everything from ornaments, to nutcrackers, to décor, to personalized stockings. They have an entire room dedicated to Christmas villages and even a little Halloween! If you love the holidays then this store has it all. Can't make it to Tennessee? You can even shop online (trust me... I do).

The Inn at Christmas Place
Did you shop till you drop at the Christmas Place? Well if you did you can walk across the street at sleep in at the Inn at Christmas Place. They celebrate Christmas 365 days of the year here. Each room comes with a Christmas tree and décor. They also serve up an amazing breakfast bar that is included in the price of your stay. They have an omelet station, an entire dessert bar, hot plates and much more! I personally loved their fried bologna.

Country Candy Kitchen

Be still my heart! The Country Candy Kitchen. If I lived in Pigeon Forge, I would weight at least 300 lbs. The best candies can be found here. I can't decide which is best... the double dipped chocolate peanuts, the chocolate covered cashew clusters or the peanut butter peanuts. Oh well, I don't have to decide, I just buy them all.

Sky Lift
I've been going on this sky lift since I was a small child. You ride it to the top of the mountain and get off to take in the views. When the fires occurred it ripped this sky lift to pieces and the top of the mountain was destroyed by the fire. I was so happy when they reopened. They have also expanded to include the longest suspended bridge.

Pigeon Forge Dinner Shows
There are so many dinner shows in town! What's better than watching your show and eating at the same time! My favorites include Hatfield and McCoy, Dolly's Stampede and Comedy Barn.