20 Things Tennessee is Known and Famous For

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When most people think of Tennessee, they think of country music and fried food. But there’s so much more to this unique southern state than that. From its history and culture to its stunning natural beauty, there are many other things that Tennessee is known for available for discover

What Is Tennessee Known For?

Tennessee is known for its music scene, high-quality whiskey, and home to the Great Smokies. Country music artists and singers such as Dolly Parton hail from Tennessee, and the state has been home to many other popular musicians over the years. The southern state is also famous for some great-tasting food like barbecue and hot chicken.

Tennessee is a great place to visit, with plenty of things to see and do. And what better way to do that than by discovering some of the things that Tennessee is famous for?

Famous Food In Tennessee


Hot Chicken

You can’t come to Tennessee and not try the hot chicken; it’s a staple in the Nashville food scene. This dish originated in the city and has since spread all over the world, but there’s nothing quite like the real thing.

The chicken is usually marinated in a spicy paste or rub, then fried until it’s perfectly crispy. It’s then served on a piece of white bread with pickles. The level of spice can vary depending on where you go, but be warned, it’s always going to be pretty hot.

For the spice lovers, you can try the “atomic” level of spiciness. But if you’re not into spice, don’t worry, there are plenty of places that will make it to your level. There are many restaurants you can visit such as Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, which is known for serving one of the best hot chickens in Nashville.

You can always join a Nashville food tour to sample this classic at some of the favorite local haunts, as well as other iconic dishes.


Tennessee is also known for its amazing barbecue. Memphis is the epicenter of this culinary tradition, and there are many great places to get your fix.

The city is famous for its dry-rubbed ribs, which are slow-cooked over hickory wood and rubbed with a blend of spices. This style of cooking produces incredibly flavorful and tender meat that falls right off the bone.

Nashville is also home to some great barbecue joints. You can try the wet-rubbed ribs, which are coated in a vinegar and spice mixture before being cooked. This gives the meat a slightly tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with the smoky taste of the hickory wood.


Tennessee Whiskey

Tennessee is well-known for its whiskey, and there are many distilleries that you can visit to learn about this iconic spirit. It is one of the top exports of the state. Tennesse whiskey goes through a maple charcoal filtering process that makes it unique. They are also known for having a smooth texture.

Jack Daniel’s is the most famous of these, and their distillery in Lynchburg is a popular tourist attraction. Here, you can take a tour of the facility and see how the world-famous whiskey is made.

You can also sample some of the different whiskeys that are produced here, including the flagship Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7. There are also many other small distilleries that you can visit and try.

If you’re not a fan of whiskey, don’t worry, there are plenty of other spirits that are produced in Tennessee, such as vodka and gin.


Brands In Tennessee



If you have not heard of MoonPies, they’re a delicious treat that Tennessee is known for. It is the place of origin when Chattanooga Bakery started making this yummy snack in 1917.

These cookies are made of two graham cracker biscuits with a marshmallow filling and then dipped in chocolate. They’re the perfect snack for when you’re on the go, and they’re popular all over the state.

MoonPies are so iconic in Tennessee that they even have their own festival, which is held every year in Bell Buckle. At the RC-MoonPie Festival, there are many fun activities to take part in each year. You can enjoy live music, participate in a mass run, join in the dancefloor, and even take watch a parade.

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew was actually created in Tennessee in the 1940s. It was originally made as a mixer for whiskey, and back then it looked and tasted vastly different from the soda we see today.

The brand was acquired by Pepsi-Cola company in 1964, and subsequently, the recipe was changed to create the soda we are familiar with. The tangy soda with the iconic luminous green branding quickly became popular on its own.

Today, Mountain Dew is one of the most popular sodas in the world and it’s still made in Knoxville, Tennessee.

History, Culture, And Traditions


“The Volunteer State”

Tennessee is nicknamed “The Volunteer State” because of the large number of people who volunteered to fight in the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the Civil War.

Thousands of Tennesseans contributed to the War of 1812, while a whopping 30,000 answered the call for volunteers in the Mexican American War. That solidified Tennessee’s nickname of “The Volunteer State”.

The state has a long history of military service, and today, over 8% of the population living in Tennessee are veterans.


Tennessee is home to over 10,000 caves, making it one of the most cave-dense states in the country. The state’s caves are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bats, salamanders, and crayfish.

Many of Tennessee’s caves are open to the public for tours and exploration. Caving is a popular activity in the state, and there are a number of organizations that offer tours and classes. Some of the popular caves include the Cumberland Caverns and Craighead Caverns.


Birthplace of Country Music

Bristol is a small town in the northeast corner of Tennessee, right on the border of Virginia. It’s most famous for being the birthplace of country music.

Some historic country music recordings were made here in 1927, and since then, the town has been cemented in musical history. Nashville is also often touted as a center for country music, and there are many ways to indulge in this musical heritage.

Tennessee has many museums and exhibits dedicated to the genre, as well as live music venues where you can see some of today’s top country acts. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville is a must-visit for any music fan.

Here, you can learn about the history of country music and see some of the most iconic artifacts from the genre. If you’re a country music lover, this is definitely one of the fun facts about Tennessee to note.

Trail of Tears

In 1835, the Treaty of New Echota was signed, which resulted in the forced removal of the Cherokee people from their homeland.

The Cherokees were forcibly moved west to Oklahoma on what is now known as the Trail of Tears. This tragic event is commemorated at the New Echota Historic Site in Calhoun, Georgia. The site includes a replica of the Cherokee capital, as well as a museum with exhibits about the history of the Cherokee people.

The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail also runs through Tennessee, and there are many opportunities to learn about the forced removal of the Cherokee people along the trail.

Cities And Travel Destinations


Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is the capital of Tennessee and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state. The city is known for its music scene, with many live music venues and annual events.

Nashville is also home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as the Grand Ole Opry, one of the most iconic country music venues in the world.

In addition to its musical heritage, Nashville is also known for its food. The city has plenty of incredible restaurants, ranging from casual to fine dining. There is something for everyone in Nashville, making it a great place to visit for any traveler.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Gatlinburg is a small town in Tennessee that is located near the Great Smoky Mountains. This town is a popular tourist destination for those who want to experience the beauty of the mountains.

Gatlinburg is home to other fun attractions, including Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Ober Gatlinburg, and the Gatlinburg Space Needle. There are also many great shops and restaurants in Gatlinburg, as well as live music venues.

If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature, Gatlinburg is the place to go in Tennessee.


Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tennessee. This city is famous for several things, including being the home of Elvis Presley, as well as the birthplace of rock and roll.

There are many ways to experience Memphis’s music history. You can visit Elvis Presley’s Graceland, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. You can also tour Sun Studio, where many famous musicians got their start, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

There are also many great live music venues in Memphis, where you can see both local and touring acts. Don’t forget to also try the famous Barbecue in Memphis.

Famous People From Tennessee

Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett is a famous American frontiersman, politician, and folk hero. He was born in Tennessee in 1786 and later moved to Texas, where he became a prominent figure in the fight for independence from Mexico.

Crockett is best known for his role in the Battle of the Alamo, where he defended the fort against a Mexican army. He was killed during the battle, but his legend lives on.

Today, Crockett is remembered as a brave and courageous figure, and his story continues to inspire people all over the world. There is even a national forest named after him.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake is a singer, songwriter, and actor from Memphis, Tennessee. He first rose to fame as a member of the boy band NSYNC, and he has since gone on to have a successful solo career.oon

Timberlake has won numerous awards, including Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards. He is also a member of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.

In addition to his musical career, Timberlake has also appeared in several films, including The Social Network and Friends with Benefits. He is one of the most popular celebrities from Tennessee.

Architecture And Landmarks


The Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains spanning Tennessee and North Carolina are one of the most popular nature destinations in the United States. The mountains offer incredible views, hiking trails, waterfalls, and much more.

The Smokies hosts the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is one of the most visited national parks in the country. This is one of the few parks in the U.S. that doesn’t charge an entrance fee.

There are also over 800 miles of hiking trails in the park, as well as opportunities for camping, fishing, and picnicking. The park is home to many species of animals, including black bears, elk, deer, and a large population of salamanders.

If you’re looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, this natural landmark in Tennessee is the perfect place.

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a must-visit for anyone who loves trains. It’s located in Chattanooga, and it’s one of the prominent operating historic railroads in the United States.

This museum offers a variety of different tours and experiences, including the chance to ride on a real steam train. This is a unique and relaxing experience to check out the beautiful Tennessee Valley. Visitors can also explore the many exhibits in the museum, which showcase the history of the railroad.

If you’re a fan of trains, then this is the perfect place for you to visit. You’re sure to have a memorable time at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

Photo Credit: Quasarphotos

Presley’s Graceland Mansion

No trip to Tennessee would be complete without a visit to Elvis Presley’s Graceland. The 13-acre mansion and grounds are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the state and for good reason.

Graceland was Elvis’s home from 1957 until his death in 1977, and it has since been turned into a museum dedicated to his life and career. Here, you can tour the house and see where Elvis lived, as well as learn about his incredible career.

There is also a museum on the grounds with exhibits on Elvis’s music, movies, and impact on pop culture. Graceland is a must-visit for any Elvis fan or anyone interested in musical history.


Dollywood is a theme park in Pigeon Forge that is owned by country music legend Dolly Parton. The park is filled with rides, shows, and attractions that are sure to please any visitor. It is one of the most known theme parks in the United States.

You can imagine this is a popular place for both locals and tourists. There are also many opportunities to see live performances by some of your favorite country music stars. Dollywood is the perfect place to enjoy some good old-fashioned fun with family and friends.

Travel Insurance

The Lost Sea

The Lost Sea is the largest underground lake in the United States, and it is located in Sweetwater, Tennessee. The lake is part of Craighead Caverns, an extensive cave system that is home to many different species of animals.

You can take a boat tour of the lake, which is a fascinating experience. The tour takes you through some of the smaller caves that are connected to the lake.

You’ll also get to see some of the animals that live in the caves, such as bats and cave fish. The Lost Sea is a great place to learn about Tennessee’s unique geology and wildlife.


Many More Things Tennessee Is Known And Famous For

These are just some of the things Tennessee is known for. With its rich culture and diverse attractions, Tennessee can be a fun and unique place to visit.

From tasting delicious whiskey to rocking live music and thrill rides at theme parks, there is much to do in this Southern state. Whether you’re looking to explore Tennessee’s musical history or experience its natural beauty, Tennessee certainly has something to offer.



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Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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