For many communities tourism means jobs. Jobs mean economic stability. Therefore, tourism is an important aspect of livability for the local residents. Tourism is also a great opportunity to increase physical activity. Many tourism activities involve a lot of walking. Some people even seek out opportunities for physical activity in their travels. People will travel great distances to participate in city marathons, cross county bike rides or wilderness hiking. Places designed for tourists seem to be liked more which leads to those tourists returning again in the future.
The stories of how places in Tennessee came to be have created historical sites and local culture. People enjoy visiting these places. The cultural and historic heritage defines a place as it captures the local design, festivities and themes. These characteristics are often displayed in hospitality, signage, public art and even music. Civic buildings such as libraries, schools, auditoriums and government offices are public places that can benefit people through healthy design and their communities through shared use. Cultural and historical sites give a place a sense of identity while creating opportunities for community pride and tourism.
Tennessee is regarded for is natural beauty from the mighty Mississippi in the west to the Great Smoky Mountains in the east. Tennessee is lucky to have many local, state and national parks. Parks offer diverse and varied natural landscapes, family-friendly recreational activities, affordable and varied lodging accommodations, volunteer opportunities and hundreds of interpretive programs and events. Parks allow people to relax, reconnect with Nature and move toward their physical activity goals.
Greenways and trails are linear open spaces. Greenways and trails often follow either a natural corridor, such as a riverfront, stream valley, ridge line or overland corridor along a converted railroad, canal, scenic road or other route. Greenways can be any natural or landscaped area that allows for pedestrian or bicycle passage. Trails tend to be more rough and rustic. Greenways and trails are a great way to link to parks, nature preserves, historic or cultural features, schools and neighborhoods with each other. Greenway and trails can be used for active transportation, recreation and fitness activities.
Water is a wondrous and critical natural resource. Tennessee has bountiful lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams. Playing in water seems to have universal appeal. People enjoy water sports such as boating, hunting, fishing and swimming which provide opportunities for recreation and physical activity. Waterfront cottages, lake cabins and marinas are popular places to live and visit. Water recreation gives some communities their identity while supporting steady tourism.