Rocky Top and the Blues in Tennessee - My Family Travels

  From the Smoky Mountains in the east, to the Mississippi River in the west, Tennessee is a must visit vacation hotbed. East Tennessee, despite no large cities, is filled with attractions ranging from amazing hiking at Great Smoky Mountain National Park, to Saturday gamedays in the fall for the University of Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium (which holds over 100,000 screaming fans!) along with some of the best food in the country. A personal favorite lays within the city of Knoxville on a very small lake and serves some of the best barbecue in the country. From brisket to banana pudding, Sweet P's serves some of the best barbecue food in the country along with the best banana pudding I've ever tasted. Across the state lies Nashville and Memphis, both are hotbeds for music. Nashville, being the king of country music has both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the famous Grand Ole Opry, both are exciting places to visit. What makes Nashvile special and unique is the live music. Everywhere. Seriously. Restaurants, cafes, stores, and everywhere else it seems that aspiring musicians (almost all country artists) are trying to make it big. Sports fans can also enjoy games at "The Bridge" to watch the Nashville Predators compete for a Stanley Cup in hockey, or see the Tennessee Titans play on the football field. West of Nashville, on the banks of the Mississippi River, lies the land of the King, Elvis Presley. Just outside the city lies Graceland, the home of Elvis. The area becomes packed around Elvis week, which marks the anniversary of the death of Elvis, as fans flock to visit his grave. Even with his own collection of planes and cars avaliable to see (and admire), his house provides the most entertainment, especially the "jungle room" that has not only a carpeted roof, but a small waterfall too. Just a few minutes away from Elvis' playground is the city of Memphis, home of the blues and the famous Beale Street. The famous street is home to many amazing restaurants where one can catch live blues performances along with many bars. A local giant of dry rub ribs is Rendezvous, which from personal experience is a favorite of mine. Memphis is also home to Gus' Fried Chicken, a top spot for some fried goodness. Nights out on Beale Street are always fun and full of excitement, except for Wednesday nights which is motorcycle night and it gets very loud. Memphis and Nashville are the urban hotbeds of Tennessee and are must visits on a Tennessee vacation. The Volunteer State is also home to many Civil War battlegrounds for history buffs, the most notable of which is Shiloh in the southwestern part of the state. Tennessee offers all types of entertainment for an amazing vacation from hiking the eastern mountains, to the music hotbeds of Nashville and Memphis, and the great and rich history of the state. Tennessee is a must visit state during a vacation.     

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