The state, which is so diverse in terms of landscape, ranges from the western lowlands on the Mississippi with Memphis, through the central highlands with the capital Nashville to the Appalachians. In addition to the diverse landscape, the 16th state of America scores as the birthplace of numerous American music trends – from bluegrass to country, gospel and blues to rock ‘n’ roll and soul. Music has always been Tennessee’s ambassador – country and bluegrass tunes from the Appalachian Mountains, earthy-melancholic blues songs from the “Old Man River” Mississippi to Glen Miller’s railroad tune “Chattanooga Choo Choo”. Not to be forgotten, of course, are the diverse musical impressions of Memphis and Nashville. You can also tell that you are in the south by the beautiful antebellum homes. Lovers of fine spirits come to the homeland of Jack Daniels Whiskey and George Dickel’s Whiskey No. 8 and No.12, by the way, fully on their account. As a German immigrant, Dickels refined his distillates to such an extent that he retained the Scottish spelling “whisky”.
According to agooddir, the name Tennessee goes back to the Native American village of Tanasqui, which the Spanish explorer Juan Pardo first entered in 1567 while exploring from South Carolina. In the early 17th century, British traders stumbled across the Cherokee settlement of Tanasi. However, this was abandoned in the 19th century.
Location and Size
With an area of 109,247 square kilometers, Tennessee is the 36th largest state. The elongated state, which stretches 450 miles east to west, is bordered by Missouri to the northwest, Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, and Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri to the south. In the north-south extension, the state measures only 195 km.
With a population of 6.9 million, Tennessee ranks 16th among US states. 77% of the residents are white, almost 17% African American. The remainder is made up of Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic and other ethnic groups. In 2008, a US Census Bureau survey found that 20% of Tennessee’s population was born outside the southern states. Many of the immigrants came from California, Florida, and New York, as well as from New England because of the lower cost of living. For this reason, the metropolitan area of Nashville is one of the fastest growing regions in the USA.
The largest airport in the country is Memphis International Airport MEM. However, there are no international arrivals. There are regular flights to Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago. Delta and Southwest fly to MEM. The road network is well developed. Several interstates run through Tennessee – including I 75, which connects Atlanta with Chattanooga.
Tennessee has a temperate continental climate. Summers are warm and humid, winters are cool. In Nashville and Knoxville, the average annual temperature is about 15.6 °C.
|Average temperatures in Nashville in °C|
One of the most popular national parks in the USA, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in the states of Tennessee and North Carolina.
The former outpost of the Cherokee, on the bend of the Tennessee River, on the border with Georgia, is the fourth largest city in the state with almost 180,000 inhabitants. In 1815 the town was founded as a ferry station by Cherokee Chief John Ross. When the natives were deported to Oklahoma in the “Trail Of Tears”, the white settlers took over the city, which quickly developed into an important transport hub. The Atlanta rail line was a key target for the Union Army during the Civil War. Many battles were indeed fought in the hotly contested terrain. Incidentally, this is where the first Coca-Cola filling station was located and it is also said that mini golf was invented here.
Downtown Chattanooga – around the first ferry dock “Ross’s Landing” – is now the tourist hotspot of the city. It is also home to attractions such as the Chattanooga Regional History Museum , which provides a wealth of information about the region’s history. (400 Chestnut St, Chattanooga, TN 37402, museu.ms/chattanooga-regional-history-museum and the website for a historian’s perspective on the city’s history: chattanoogahistory.com )
Another highlight is the Tennessee Aquarium on the Chattanooga Riverfront (One Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN. 37402 tnaqua.org ). The concept of the aquarium is based on the journey of a drop of water from the Smoky Mountains through rivers, reservoirs to the Gulf of Mexico. All ecosystems are modeled in a natural way. More than 9,000 fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals represent the respective habitats.
The scenic Riverwalk and the Walnut Street Footbridge to Coolidge Park and the Carousel are also worth seeing.
Harry Warren (and lyricist Mack Gordon) wrote a piece of city history with the song “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” Glen Miller’s version of the song, about a locomotive traveling from New York to Chattanooga in 1941, spent nine weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and 23 weeks in the top ten. You can see these trains at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel , the former terminal station that was saved from demolition. Some hotel rooms are located in renovated luxury carriages. The historic hotel with concert venues and restaurants as well as the Glenn Miller Park was opened in 1973. (1400 Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402, www.choochoo.com and www.choochoohotel.com
Incidentally, railway enthusiasts will also get their money’s worth here at the railway junction: In the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, you can not only learn a lot about the history of the railway, but also travel on historic trains. (4119 Cromwell Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37421 www.tvrail.com )
The Bessie Smith Cultural Center is dedicated to the legendary blues singer Bessie Smith, who was born in Chattanooga in 1894 and who made more than 150 records by the time of her sudden death in 1937. She was also hailed as the “Empress of the Blues” for her passionate voice and huge popularity in the 1920s and 1930s. The museum also draws attention to the role played by black people in the southern states. (Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. Martin Luther King Blvd, Chattanooga, TN 37403 www.bessiesmithcc.org )
South of downtown on East Brow Road is the Battles for Chattanooga Electric Map & Museum . In this museum, the story of three battles is recreated with thousands of miniature soldiers. Recommended only for those with a deep interest in American Civil War history. (1110 E Brow Rd, Lookout Mountain, TN 37350 www.battlesforchattanooga.com )
At the foot of Lookout Mountain, on St. Elmo Ave., is the base station of the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway , which is one of the steepest funiculars in the world with a gradient of 72.7 percent. The 1.6 km long railway, which was built in 1895, served as a feeder to the 730m high mountain. (3917 St. Elmo Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37409, www.ridetheincline.com )
The theme of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is once again the American Civil War with its two famous battlefields: one at Point Park and the other at Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia. ( 110 Point Park Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37409 and 3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 www.nps.gov/chch )
Ruby Falls-Lookout Mountain Caverns : One of the highlights, located just a few miles south of Chattanooga, is the lift to the bottom of a stalactite cave. Here you can see a 44m high waterfall at a depth of 350m. A light show dazzles the natural surroundings of the falls. 720 S Scenic Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37409, rubyfalls.com
Hometown of the legendary Dolly Parton. The city of almost 20,000 inhabitants north of the Great Smoky Mountains is very popular because of some antebellum homes but above all because of its natural beauty. Once a year, in May, the “Bloomin’, Barbeque and Bluegrass” festival takes place here. ( www.bloominbbq.com )
For more information, visit the local tourist office visitsevierville.com
The town of 6,000 inhabitants – around 120 km south of Nashville – is famous primarily because of a company that has been producing schnapps since 1864: Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey . Various “distillery tours” are offered here. (Jack Daniels, 133 Lynchburg Highway, TN 37352, Tel. (931) 759 6357, www.jackdaniels.com )
The fact that not only whiskey is produced in Lynchburg will surprise some. But there is also an excellent wine-growing region here. In addition to Chardonnay and American Pinot Grigio, the Lynchburg Winery also produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and the local grape variety Chambourcin (an American hybrid of Seyve Villard 12-417 and Chancellor). 34 Hiles Street, Lynchburg, TN 37352, www.lynchburgwinery.com, Tel (931) 632-5031)
The Miss Mary Bobos Restaurant has existed since 1900 and enchants guests with traditional southern specialties such as fried okra or Jack Daniel’s whipped cream. Miss Mary Bobos Restaurant, 295 Main St, Lynchburg, TN 37352, jackdaniels.com/Miss-Mary-Bobos-Restaurant , Tel. (931) 759-7394.
For souvenirs in a historic setting, head to the Lynchburg Hardware General Store at 51 Mechanic Street.
Tullahoma/Cascade Hollow Less well known than Jack Daniels is the
Cascade Hollow Distilling Company in Tullahoma, just 25 km away , where, among other things, George Dickel’s whiskey is produced. Georg Adam Dickel, who was born in Hesse in 1818, was a merchant who emigrated to the USA in 1844 and started his liquor business there. Eventually he acquired the rights to bottle his own whiskey at Cascade Hollow Distillery. The whiskey, which unlike all US distillates is spelled without an “e”, has been produced here since 1870. According to the legend spread by corporate marketing, this was because Dickel believed his product to be of the same quality as the finest whiskeys in Scotland.
Whiskey tastings are offered. (1950 Cascade Hollow Rd, Tullahoma, TN 37388 www.georgedickel.com )
The Tennessee Tourist Board has comprehensive information on its website at www.tnvacation.com
State of Tennessee’s Department of Tourist Development
Wm. Snodgrass/Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave. 13th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243