Tennessee’s music, scenic beauty, and history are top reasons the state continues to attract, entertain, and charm the masses. Several genres of American music have their roots and branches here: bluegrass and Appalachian music in the eastern parts of the state; country, Americana, and pop in Nashville; and blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll in Memphis. Elvis Presley recorded his early hits at Sun Studio in Memphis and most of his No. 1 records at Studio B in Nashville. Popular recording artists Sheryl Crow, Jack White, Taylor Swift, and the Black Keys, who all live in Nashville now, thrive on its reputation as "Music City," as do world-famous music attractions that include the Grand Ole Opry, Honky Tonk Row, and Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Enduring entertainment attractions like Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and the newly opened Discovery Park of America in Union City demonstrate Tennessee’s popularity with diverse audiences.
In East Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a world biosphere and Eden for nature lovers, attracting more visitors than any other park in the federal system. Long before there was a park, however, Tennessee was part of the American frontier, where Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, and U.S. presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson lived.
The Civil War is commemorated at Shiloh National Military Park, the geographical setting for one of the war’s bloodiest battles. An additional 270 Civil War sites are marked along Tennessee’s Civil War Trail, one of 16 self-driving trails in the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways system, comprising all 95 counties in the state.