Deep South USA Blog

Tennessee is having a big year in 2019 including new venues and entertainment complexes, expansions of attractions and celebrations of beloved festivals and places. Find out what you can experience this coming year on a trip to Tennessee.

Belle Ridge Retreat, Monterey, TN

Tennessee Music Pathways

You can follow the Tennessee Music Pathway to music sites throughout the state. The state is bursting with music history as several genres of music call Tennessee home. Tennessee Music Pathways connect you to the people, places and genres that make Tennessee the Soundtrack of America. From the big cities to the small communities, this statewide program explains and preserves the legacy of music throughout Tennessee. Whether it's stories of the past, stars of the present or up-and-coming artists Tennessee Music Pathways help you to follow the music by connecting you to more than 300 points of interest including historic markers, birthplaces, resting places, hometowns and attractions.

What's New in East Tennessee

Brushy Mountain Penitentiary, Petros

Brushy Mountain, once known as “the end of the line” for the state’s most dangerous criminals is now a museum, restaurant and distillery.

Self-guided tours of the former historic prison are available with former prison guards on hand to answer questions and share stories. Each of the stations contains a story about what happened in that particular spot, from violent histories to moments family members came to visit and glimpses inside the troubled minds of criminals who served time here.

The facility also includes the Warden’s Table Restaurant, which serves barbecue and other favourites on metal trays and butcher paper...just for authernticity! You can also hear live music on the newly-built stage located in the former “back yard”.

The Signal, Chattanooga

Chattanooga’s newest live music venue is The Signal now now open to accommodate 1,300 individuals for live music performances and events. Located in the growing Southside neighbourhood it's quickly becoming known for its undeniable art, culture, cuisine and entertainment. Their concerts are known for a memorable night of music.

Dollywood’s Wildwood Grove, Pigeon Forge, Great Smoky Mountains

This year Dollywood will introduce Wildwood Grove, the newest addition to the award-winning theme park, in the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s the largest park expansion in Dollywood's history. There will be 11 new experiences with six rides including a suspended family roller coaster called the Dragonflier, a 55 foot tall Wildwood Tree where live entertainment will take place, outdoor play areas plus a restaurant called Till & Harvest.

American Museum of Science and Energy, Oak Ridge

The newly-opened American Museum of Science and Energy explores Oak Ridge’s legacy in scientific and technical innovation. The new location includes an exhibit gallery, state-of-the-art interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, a lecture hall and classrooms. You can explore a life-sized 3D printed vehicle and learn about robotics technology by constructing your own mini-robot.

What's New in Middle Tennessee

Heaven’s Door Distillery, Nashville

In an old church built in 1871 in downtown Nashville, legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan will open Heaven’s Door Distillery in 2019. The historic church is on the National Register of Historic Places and will be the site of Dylan’s whiskey brand. Currently, Heaven’s Door includes a Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey that has been aged for approximately seven years, a double barrel whiskey and a straight rye whiskey and the Heaven’s Door bottles will feature Bob Dylan’s iron gates which he created in his studio, Black Buffalo Ironworks.

Belle Ridge Retreat, Monterey

Belle Ridge Retreat (pictured above) is now open in Monterey and features 12 cabins with four different styles, 30 tent sites and 50 RV hookups then you can explore the miles of hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, caves and scenic wonder. You can rent Polaris Rangers for your day of exploration for $100-$140 with two 2-seaters, a 4-seater plus a 6-seater available. Hookups range from $44 to $49, cabins are $59-$149 to reserve and tent sites range from $19 to $99.

Saltbox Inn & Stables Expansion, Cookeville

The Loft, Three Trees Ceremony Site and The Greenhouse are three major projects that Saltbox Inn & Stables are planning for their 2019 expansion. The bed & breakfast, wedding space and romantic getaway will add these venue options as well as an additional overnight option called the Pumphouse Cabin which will be located directly on the property’s waterfall.

25th annual RC MoonPie Festival, Bell Buckle

Celebrate one of the best combinations in the South: a delicious MoonPie with a refreshing RC Cola at the 25th annual RC MoonPie Festival in downtown Bell Buckle. Visitors from around the world can visit the small Tennessee town for the fun festival held 15th June, 2019 that includes MoonPie games, a parade, cloggers, music and the cutting of the world’s largest MoonPie.

What's New in West Tennessee

Bicentennial Celebration, Memphis

Memphis, the home of blues, soul and rock n’ roll, will celebrate its 200th birthday as a city that made some of music’s biggest stars like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin and B.B. King. The bicentennial isn’t just a celebration of the past 200 years, but a celebration of the future as the city has its sights set on new developments including the recently-opened Crosstown Concourse – a mixed-use building of art, shopping and restaurants in a former Sears, Roebuck & Co. retail and distribution center; Central Station which is currently being renovated into a 135-room boutique hotel; and One Beale a mixed-use development project that will include a hotel, shopping and office spaces with construction beginning early 2019.

The “South’s Grand Hotel” Peabody Hotel celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019 with special offers and events throughout the year. Just in time for the anniversary, the hotel will wrap up its renovation of all 464 rooms and suites. The new decor is a mix of elegance with modern touches and upgraded lighting, wall art, new bathrooms and luxurious bedding.

Reelfoot Lake State Park, Tiptonville

New cabins have now been opened for you to enjoy on your visit to Reelfoot Lake State Park. Patio furniture is made from recycled soda bottles and other furniture pieces purchased from Tennessee-based manufacturers. Enjoy a spacious living, dining and kitchen area with an electric fireplace, lakeside views and comfortable beds. Cabins can accommodate up to 10 people.

When you get comfortable in your new digs, enjoy the great outdoors by boating and fisihing on Reelfoot Lake  – Tennessee’s only natural lake, hiking the five miles of trails and birding as the state park is home to eagles, white pelicans, wood ducks and warblers.

25th annual TN Soybean Festival, Martin

Book your 2019 travel around the Tennessee Soybean Festival, celebrating its 25th anniversary. The spirit of agriculture is embodied in this festival from 31st August-7th September, 2019 in Martin. Soybean and soybean farmers are celebrated and the crop’s economic impact on Martin and Tennessee are commemorated each year. The festival draws 35,000-40,000 people from around the U.S. Music fills the air every day of the festival with an array of performers that can vary from Gretchen Wilson to Lynyrd Skynyrd.

For more information on any of these events or a Tennessee information pack email

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