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Tennessee Announces What

June 1, 2017 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Tourism in Tennessee continues to expand with new attractions, impressive state-of-the-art developments, and milestone anniversary celebrations of iconic attractions and events that helped shape “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.”

This year, Tennessee celebrates the 40th anniversary of Elvis Week, the 50th of The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, the 90th anniversary of the Bristol Sessions (also known as the “Big Bang of Country Music”), and the 125th anniversary of Ryman Auditorium. And for foodies, Chattanooga’s MoonPie turns 100.  Tennessee’s new attractions and expansions at popular international destinations follow below:


“Elvis Presley’s Memphis” at Graceland®’s a 200,000-square-foot, $45 million entertainment complex across the street from Elvis’™ iconic Graceland Mansion is open. It’s five times the size of the current visitor center, and presents the life, career and legacy of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll with interactive and immersive pop culture experiences that connect to Elvis’ personal interests and activities throughout his life, including his passion for automobiles and new technology.

The Guest House at Graceland has officially opened, where guests can experience the style of Elvis himself to enjoy the 450-room hotel that includes two restaurants, meeting and special event spaces and a 464-seat theater for live performances and movies.

Elvis Week celebrates its 40th Anniversary and welcomes fans from around the world August 11-19, 2017 with a full schedule of events including the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, music and conferences. The highlight will be the Candlelight Vigil where guests can pay respects to the “King” at the Meditation Garden.

Harahan Bridge / Big River Crossing, the longest public pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi River, has opened and is a 5,000-ft. trail path with spectacular views of the Mississippi River, connecting Downtown Memphis, Tennessee and Arkansas.


Several musical landmarks in Nashville are celebrating major anniversaries in 2017 including Ryman Auditorium’s 125th; Country Music Hall of Fame’s 50th; Bluebird Cafe’s 35th; and Historic RCA Studio B’s 60th.

For the first time ever, Nissan Stadium will host the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer matches between the United States vs. Panama and Martinique vs. Haiti/Nicaragua July 8, 2017.

The iconic Madame Tussauds is now open in Music City at Opry Mills. Madame Tussauds Nashville celebrates Nashville’s large influence on today’s music and culture with lifelike figures including Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Keith Urban.

Tennessee’s No. 1 historic attraction, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, commemorates President Jackson’s 250th birthday in 2017. Festivities are taking place throughout the year with events at The Hermitage and across the nation.

The new Patsy Cline Museum is now open, paying tribute to one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed vocalists of the 20th century. Patsy Cline was voted Number One on CMT’s “Greatest Women of Country Music” and ranked 46th in the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Artifacts from Cline’s private life and career are on display in the museum, which adjoins the Johnny Cash Museum in downtown Nashville.

Great Smoky Mountains’ Region


Anakeesta Aerial Adventure Park is scheduled to open in the late summer of 2017 and is Gatlinburg’s newest family-friendly vacation destination with a more than 70-acre mountainside adventure park that includes aerial trekking, zip lines, canopy walks, scenic overlooks, restaurants and shopping.


Alcatraz East Crime Museum opened Fall 2016 and gives guests the behind-the-scenes story of U.S. crime history with items like John Dillinger’s death mask, Al Capone’s rosary, O.J. Simpson’s Bronco, an FBI polygraph machine, Al Pacino’s submachine gun from the movie Scarface, and the latest law enforcement technology on display.

Three new rides have opened at Dolly Parton’s Dollywood. Drop Line is a 200-foot tall free-fall experience that provides aerial views of the park before the exhilarating descent. Whistle Punk Chaser is a new junior coaster with twists and turns. Finally, TailSpin Racer  is a six-lane racing slide that’s longer than a football field and five stories tall. In October 2017, the GREAT Pumpkin LumiNights is a new nighttime event, displaying fall pumpkin illuminations presented alongside the Southern Gospel Jubilee during the Harvest Festival.


Apple Barn & Cider Mill, a working apple orchard that features bakers, candy makers, an ice cream shop and a winery, now offers their own blend of hard cider.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the unveiling of the bronze Dolly Parton Statue in historic downtown Sevierville. A special exhibit is now open at the Sevierville Visitor’s Center about Jim Gray, the artist who created the statue. In the past 30 years, millions of visitors from all over the world have made the pilgrimage to the Sevier County Courthouse to see the famous statue.



Songbirds Guitar Museum opens early 2017 with a never-before-seen collection of nearly 300 rare vintage guitars on the campus of the world-famous Chattanooga Choo Choo.

April 29, 2017 marks 100 years since the invention of the MoonPie, first created by the Chattanooga Bakery as a snack “as big as the moon” for coalminers.

Chattanooga is the first city to host four IRONMAN events: the 2017 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championships of professional and age-group women Sept. 9, 2017 and the professional and age-group men Sept. 10, 2017. Hosting this event makes Chattanooga: 1 of 5 cities in North America to host both a full-distance IRONMAN and a 70.3 IRONMAN; 1 of 10 cities in the world to host both a full-distance IRONMAN and a 70.3 IRONMAN; and the only city in the world to host a full-distance IRONMAN, a 70.3 IRONMAN and the 70.3 IRONMAN World Championships (two events, two days)


The Tennessean Hotel is Knoxville’s first personal luxury hotel with 82 rooms overlooking World’s Fair Park and Knoxville Convention Center is now open.


The 90th Anniversary of the Bristol Sessions, regarded as the “Big Bang of Country Music” and, according to Johnny Cash, “the single most important event in the history of country music,” will be celebrated during 2017, culminating with the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, a mega-music festival in downtown Historic Downtown Bristol where streets are shut down and filled with music all weekend long, Sept. 15-17, 2017.


Old Glory Distillery, a locally-owned, small batch, artisan distillery will spill its first barrel Nov. 1, 2017. Jumper’s Stash White Rum (named for the brave men and women stationed at Fort Campbell), Tennessee Vodka, Smooth Shine TN Moonshine, and bourbon are available.


CrossFit Mayhem, owned by four-time “Fittest Man on Earth” Rich Froning, has expanded to offer more space for visitors and retail. The new facility is a true fitness/sports destination. In addition to incredible CrossFit workout opportunities in the home gym of “Fittest Man in History,” it has a wellness center with a chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapists, and a nutritionist. A business lounge, education space, and retail are also included.


Tennessee State Parks celebrates 80 years of preserving Tennessee’s most precious natural areas including waterfalls, forests, rivers and streams.

Tennessee is a premier destination to view the Aug. 21, 2017 solar eclipse as the state is in the eclipse’s direct path. Top locations to view the eclipse are areas like Clarksville, Cleveland, Clingman’s Dome, Crossville, Dayton, Gallatin, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Sparta, and Sweetwater to name a few.

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