Tennessee is known for its stunning natural beauty and historical landmarks. From the majestic Great Smoky Mountains to the iconic Graceland, there’s so much to explore in this state.
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a history buff, you’ll find something to love in Tennessee. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most famous landmarks in Tennessee so you can plan your next trip and get to know this beautiful region.
Famous Landmarks in Tennessee
1. The Parthenon
The Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee is one of the most iconic landmarks in the state. Located in Centennial Park, it stands as a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece.
Built to commemorate Tennessee’s centennial celebration, The Parthenon was completed in 1897 and has been open to the public ever since.
The building is constructed from local materials such as limestone and stucco, and the 42-foot-tall statue of Athena that stands inside is made of plaster.
Visitors to The Parthenon can take guided tours to learn more about the history of the building, as well as view exhibitions of classical art.
Additionally, The Parthenon hosts annual events like outdoor concerts and theatrical performances that celebrate the culture of Tennessee.
2. Ryman Auditorium
Ryman Auditorium is located in Nashville. The building has been a mainstay of music and entertainment since 1892.
The auditorium has hosted some of the most famous musicians in history, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Patsy Cline. During the early part of its life, the building was used for religious services and operas.
Eventually, it became a popular music venue, hosting a variety of musical genres from country to gospel. The Ryman Auditorium is also known as the Mother Church of Country Music due to its historical importance in the development of this genre of music.
Today, the auditorium is still one of the premier music venues in the country and has recently undergone extensive renovations. If you’re looking for an authentic experience of Tennessee’s rich music culture, be sure to check out the Ryman Auditorium.
3. Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee is a must-see for any fan of country music.
Located in downtown Nashville, the museum chronicles the history and legacy of country music and its many stars, from Hank Williams to Patsy Cline and beyond.
The museum houses thousands of artifacts including instruments, song lyrics, photos, costumes, and more.
Visitors can explore the museum’s interactive galleries that focus on different facets of country music, learn more about its stars in the Hall of Fame Room, watch videos and live performances at The Ford Theatre, or take a tour of Nashville’s legendary recording studios.
With something for everyone, no visit to Nashville is complete without a stop at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee is a must-visit for fans of Elvis Presley. The sprawling estate was the former home of “The King” and has been preserved to look as it did during his lifetime.
Today, visitors can take a tour of the mansion and its famous Jungle Room, see the rare car collection in the private garage or explore Elvis’ memorabilia in the on-site museum.
For an extra special experience, visitors can take part in one of Graceland’s exclusive VIP tours that include access to places like Elvis’ racquetball court, his private meditation garden, and more.
No Elvis fan should miss the chance to tour Graceland, the place where it all began.
5. Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee is one of the most iconic music venues in America. It has been a center for country music since 1925 and continues to be home to some of the biggest names in the genre.
It’s not just a performance venue; it’s also a museum that chronicles the evolution and history of country music.
The Grand Ole Opry House is a 2,362-seat auditorium with a large stage and full production facilities. Every year, the Grand Ole Opry hosts over 600 music events, including concerts, festivals, workshops, educational programs, and more.
In addition to being one of the most famous landmarks in Tennessee, it’s also an important part of the state’s rich musical heritage. Visiting the Grand Ole Opry is a must-do when touring Tennessee!
6. TITANIC Museum Attraction
Located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the TITANIC Museum Attraction is a must-see landmark for history lovers. This museum features over 400 artifacts from the famous ill-fated ocean liner and tells the story of passengers who sailed on the Titanic during its fateful voyage.
With interactive exhibits, such as an iceberg climb and life-size replicas of the ship, visitors will be taken to the time and place of this infamous event.
The museum also has a special Memorial Room with photos of all those lost in the tragedy. The experience is truly breathtaking and unforgettable for both adults and children alike.
A visit to the TITANIC Museum Attraction provides a unique look into one of the world’s most tragic maritime disasters.
Additionally, visitors can take part in a variety of educational programs, such as presentations and lectures by experts on the Titanic’s history.
Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something exciting to do in Tennessee, the TITANIC Museum Attraction is definitely worth checking out.
7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of Tennessee’s most treasured landmarks. Located on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, this park is America’s most visited national park, drawing in over 11 million visitors each year.
Spanning over 800 square miles of rugged mountain terrain, Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers breathtaking views of lush forests, vibrant wildflowers, and tranquil rivers.
Visitors can explore the park’s many trails, where they’ll find a variety of wildlife, including black bears and an array of songbirds. The best part? All of these attractions are completely free to experience!
Whether you’re an avid hiker or looking for a peaceful escape from city life, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a top destination in Tennessee.
8. Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage
The Hermitage, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is the former home of President Andrew Jackson. The site encompasses 1,120 acres of the rolling hills of the beautiful countryside and includes Jackson’s historic mansion as well as a museum, church, and several outbuildings.
Visitors can explore the grounds and discover newly restored buildings such as the historic smokehouse, kitchen, and dairy.
At The Hermitage, visitors can explore the life and legacy of one of our nation’s most influential presidents. With a variety of activities, programs, and displays, including re-enactments, living history demonstrations, and interactive exhibits, visitors can learn more about a man who shaped our country.
Visitors will also have the chance to explore the site’s surrounding grounds, including gardens, a blacksmith shop, and a cotton gin building.
The Hermitage also features an impressive collection of artifacts from Jackson’s life and presidency. Artifacts range from gunpowder horns and swords used during the War of 1812 to letters written by Jackson himself.
9. Tennessee State Capitol
Located in Nashville, the Tennessee State Capitol is one of the most iconic landmarks in the state. It was built between 1845 and 1859 and is renowned for its Greek Revival architecture, with a soaring central dome and four smaller domes flanking it on each corner.
The building houses many important artifacts from Tennessee’s history, including some items from the Battle of Nashville in 1864.
The grounds are also home to a War Memorial Plaza, which honors fallen Tennessee soldiers from various wars, and a large fountain surrounded by statues depicting famous Tennesseans.
Visitors can tour the building or stroll through the grounds for free, making it an ideal place to explore Tennessee’s history and culture.
10. Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery
Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery is a historic landmark located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was founded by John Harding in 1807 and served as a thoroughbred horse farm for many generations of Hardings.
Today, the site includes 42 acres of beautiful grounds and gardens, including numerous buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Visitors can learn about the history of horse racing and breeding at the site, take a guided tour of the grounds, and sample local wines at the winery.
Visitors may also explore interactive exhibits that highlight Belle Meade’s role in Nashville’s development from a rural area to an urban center.
In addition to its historic significance, Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery also serves as an event center; visitors can attend weddings, corporate gatherings, and other events at the site.
Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery is a must-visit landmark for those looking to explore Nashville’s rich history.