What's New This Summer in Tennessee:A Yurt Village, Sunset Kayak Tours, Farm-to-Table Adventures and Milestone Festivals
(Nickajack Bat Cave Sunset Kayak Tour in Chattanooga, courtesy Chattanooga Guilded Adventures)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 14, 2023) – Sun’s out! Fun’s Out! Soak in the sun while taking a kayak or outdoor adventure tour, farm-to-table experience, rooftop party, live music, milestone festival or a unique stay. Here’s what’s new and sizzling this summer in Tennessee. Photos for media use only here.
Memphis – Elvis Presley’s Graceland’s newly reimagined ’68 exhibit with artifacts like tickets to the legendary 1968 NBC television special, a replica stage and ELVIS in red lights, Elvis’ made-for-TV outfits and more. Check out 15 reasons to visit Graceland this summer, including Elvis Week.
Nashville – Enjoy an amazing experience of luminary exhibits by a British installation artist during LIGHT: Bruce Munro at Cheekwood, also featuring special events like live music and food trucks on Thursdays.
Clarksville – The newly opened Ford Ice Center, the third location in Tennessee, will offer public skates, figure skating, ice hockey tournaments and more for the community.
Monterey – Summer is perfect for soaking in scenic beauty. Outdoor Experience has a new satellite location at Meadow Creek Park offering kayaking, mountain bike rentals and hiking.
South Cumberland – Plan your farm-to-table adventure with Tennessee’s South Cumberland Mountains of Adventure with farm visits, farmer’s markets, local farm products and handmade items.
Chattanooga – Enjoy a 3-mile guided kayak tour, soak in scenic views and potentially spot otter, osprey, bald eagles and bats leaving a cave at dusk during the Nickajack Bat Cave Sunset Kayak Tour.
South Pittsburg – Lodge Museum of Cast Iron takes visitors on a journey of how cast iron is made, celebrates food, culture and stories and features the World’s Largest Cast Iron Skillet. Don’t miss the new Big Bad Breakfast inside, serving up custom-created meals, fresh biscuits and preserves.
Pigeon Forge – Big Bear Mountain is the longest roller coaster at Dollywood, taking guests on an unforgettable family-friendly expedition in search of Big Bear.
Bristol – The Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s new exhibit, “I’ve Endured: Women in Old-Time Music” honors the hidden heroines, activities and success stories of women who’ve impacted the roots of old-time music, from Mother Maybelle Carter to Rhiannon Giddens.
Kingsport – Kingsport is the home of the Original Long Island Iced Tea. To celebrate the history, there’s a new Long Island Ice Tea Trail with a mural, local restaurants and specialty stores offering their own creations.
Johnson City – Enjoy mini golf under the stars. Glow Golf at Paradise Acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains features lighted golf balls, glowing holes and colored landscaping lights.
Sevierville – Cool off this summer at Soaky Mountain Waterpark’s two new water coasters, new double decker cabanas and regional musicians performing on Mondays and Wednesdays.
NEW BARS, BREWERIES, DISTILLERIES, WINERIES & SPIRITS
Hendersonville – Half Batch Brewing will triple in size as part of an expansion set to open by end of August. Be sure to try The Fulkin, which won a gold medal in the 2023 World Beer Cup.
Clarksville – Opening June 2023, Three Rifles Distilling Co. is an artisanal craft distillery on the bottom floor of Star-Spangled Brewing Co. downtown, marking the third distillery in Clarksville.
Pigeon Forge – Experience Mountain Valley Winery’s new Grape Escape Lounge with tastings, behind-the-scenes winery tours and locally sourced charcuterie boards.
NEW HOTELS & PLACES TO STAY
Memphis - Marriott’s Aloft Hotel downtown uses tech-savvy robotic bellhops and mobile room keys, to provide guests with a seamless stay. Sip & spin at the WXYZ bar with specialty cocktails, snack-attack menu and tunes ranging from acoustic sets to DJ mashups.
Nashville – Fueled by technology, social spaces, curious culture and positive vibes, Aloft Nashville Airport is steps away from downtown, the Grand Ole Opry and more.
Pelham – Experience a live show underground and stay in unique style at The Caverns’ new yurt village in an enchanting glade inside the campground.
NEW RESTAURANTS & SHOPS
Nashville – St. Vito Focacceria is now open in the Gulch, celebrating Sicilian cuisine, culture and community with delicious pizza and rotating dishes.
Monterey – Find the perfect gift at The French Market featuring home décor, gifts and gourmet pantry.
Clarksville - Amsterdam Local Café offers coffee, fresh baked goods, healthy options made with locally sourced ingredients and marketplace with locally produced milk, eggs, cheese and breads.
Chattanooga - EROS Hat Company is a boutique located on Main Street offering the unique experiences of custom hats, custom permanent jewelry and vintage denim.
Johnson City - Downtown Johnson City's newest late-night Mexican eatery, Diablo's Mexican Bar & Grill, features extravagant brunches and nightlife with exotic cocktails and delectable bites.
Sevierville – The world’s largest Buc-ee’s opens June 26 on Interstate 40 at exit 407 with 120 gas pumps, EV charging stations, 250-foot-long car wash and snacks like world-famous Texas BBQ, kolache pastries and Beaver Nuggets.
Memphis (June 16)– Guests can boogie down to 70s music, sip creative cocktails and create a beaded hanging planter or pet rock at Memphis Botanic Garden’s Groovy Garden Party, in honor of its 70th anniversary. Dress to impress in your best 70s threads.
Knoxville (Aug. 26) - Celebrating its 10th year, the exciting outdoor Knox Asian Festival involves exhibits of culture, food, performances and more from China, Japan, Korea, India, Thailand and other countries. Enjoy authentic Asian cuisine from vendors throughout the day. Admission is free.
SUMMER FESTIVALS & EVENTS
McMinnville (Now-July) – Bring a lawn chair, blanket and friend, try some local food truck fair and listen to live music all summer long at Main Street LIVE downtown.
Rugby (Now-July 29) – Join Historic Rugby for the quirky sport of Irish Road Bowling, as teams roll an iron ball down Rugby Parkway. The event is free. Check the full schedule.
Hendersonville (Now-August)- The Summer Concert Series is each Thursday night with a variety of live music at The Streets of Indian Lake. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy snacks from food vendors.
Nashville (Now-Sept. 4) – Gaylord Opryland Resort’s “Summer of More” features a variety of seasonal activities, including fantasy-filled Pirates and Princesses themed experiences, enchanting indoor gardens, water adventures and culinary cuisine through Sept. 4.
Leiper’s Fork (Now-Oct. 7) – Farmstead Roots Creek Dinner Series at Wines in the Fork are multi-course meals prepared by local chefs paired with wine under the stars, live music, cocktails and cigar-rolling.
Manchester (June 15-18) – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival is a magical weekend of music, fun and friendship on the farm featuring performances by Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, Tyler Childers and more.
Bell Buckle (June 17) – Visitors from all over the world stream into the historic downtown to find music, cloggers, MoonPie games and a parade during the RC Cola-MoonPie Festival.
Smithville (June 30-July 1) – The Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree and Crafts Festival features live music, dance competitions, streets full of handmade crafts and food booths.
Knoxville (July 1-31) – Put on your striped shirt and black-rimmed specs for a good old-fashioned Waldo Scavenger Hunt in dozens of locations downtown with photo ops and chances for prizes.
Nashville (July 4) – Brad Paisley, Langhorne Slim and Tiera Kennedy are among performances at Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th, with one of the largest July 4th fireworks shows in the country synchronized to a live performance by the GRAMMY-winning Nashville Symphony.
Clinton (July 4) – The Independence Day Anvil Shoot at Museum of Appalachia includes the anvil shoot, national bell-ringing ceremony, flag procession, live music, southern food, demonstrations from blacksmiths, beekeepers, dulcimer makers, spinners, weavers, rail splitters and more.
Clarksville (July 22) – Immerse yourself in stories at the Storytelling Festival at Historic Collinsville with story activities and stations, book sale featuring books written by local authors
LaFollette (July 29) – Little Italy comes to Tennessee. The Tally Town Festival celebrates Italian heritage from over 100 years in Campbell County.
Nashville (Aug. 3) – Raise a glass to the past. History Uncorked at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage is a night of whiskey, wisdom and words featuring Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery’s head distiller Andy Nelson.
Johnson City (Aug. 18-19) - Meet the Mountains is a free, family-friendly festival to experience all of the region’s outdoor activities including live music, zipline, bike course, demo pool, air dog shows, yoga, rock wall and more!
Memphis – How about a rooftop dance party to jumpstart your weekend. Peabody Rooftop Parties each Thursday at the iconic hotel hosts a live DJ, bars, dance floor and scenic views of downtown.
Chattanooga – Rock City’s Summer Music Weekends features live country, folk and bluegrass music every weekend, delicious southern cuisine, Rock City raptors’ shows and beautiful views.
Jonesborough – Enjoy local music, craft beer, cider and good eats during Brews & Tunes on the plaza in front of the International Storytelling Center every Sunday 4-7 p.m. June through September.
For a full list of events happening this summer in Tennessee, visit tnvacation.com/calendar.
ABOUT TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF TOURIST DEVELOPMENT
Tennessee is the home of the blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, soul, rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll— delivering an unparalleled experience of beauty, history and family adventure, infused with music that creates a vacation that is the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” Explore more at tnvacation.com and join other Tennessee travelers by following “TNVacation” on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube and “Tennessee” on Snapchat.