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Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee

Tennessee's Historical Top 10

Tennessee's rich history is abundant; it's in the state's great battle sites, in its architecture, its state parks, and its many museums. For those of you on a tight schedule, here's our round-up of the very best historical things to so and see in Tennessee.

  • The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis is unmissable for anyone with an interest in social history. This is actually a collection of museums and historical buildings which trace the history of the Civil Rights movement in the US from the 17th century to the present day.
  • One of the most popular attractions in Tennessee, perhaps not surprisingly, is Graceland. Whether you're an avid Elvis Presley fan or not, this most spectacular of homes is sure to impress. 
  • Established in 1894, the Shiloh National Military Park commemorates, and preserves the site of, the 2 day Civil War battle that took place here. The Shiloh National Cemetery is also on the site, as are a number of prehistoric Indian mounds.
  • Music fans are well-catered for in Tennessee. Nashville is almost synonymous with country music, so a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame is pretty essential, whether you are a country music enthusiast or not. The vast museum is home to a colossal 200,000 sound recordings, 500,000 photographs, and more than 30,000 moving images. It also houses a collection of iconic cars, including Elvis Presley's 1960 'solid gold' Cadillac limousine.
  • Another key draw for music fans is the STAX Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis. This charts the rise of American soul music and showcases the many infamous soul artists who recorded with the STAX record label - artists such as Otis Redding, Ike & Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, etc.
  • If you want to combine a love of the outdoors with a love of history, then Cumberland Gap National Park is a great choice. For early settlers, this was the first great gateway to the west. Stunning scenery combines with its prominent historical significance to deliver a first-rate place to visit and explore.
  • Tennessee State Capitol draws many visitors with an interest in political history. This is the oldest working Capitol in the US, and it houses some intriguing and informative exhibits - including the 'Tennessee Time Tunnel', 'Forging A Nation', and 'The Civil War & Reconstruction'.
  • There are plenty of iconic American historical figures, but perhaps one of the most legendary of all is David 'Davy' Crockett, so a visit to the David Crockett Birthplace State Park is worth adding to your Tennessee itinerary. On site are a replica birthplace cabin, and an 18th century farmstead, as well as over 80 campsites for those wanting to stay longer than a day!
  • Another attraction for those with political history leanings is the Abraham Lincoln Library & Museum in Harrogate. This is one of the more immersive political museums, featuring many recreated dramatised scenes from Lincoln's life.
  • The Andrew Jackson National Historic Site preserves the former president's two homes, tailor shop, and grave site. It is a commemoration of a most extraordinary ground-breaking president whose presidential policies still impact the modern-day US.

If you have any questions, or just want to find out more, do get in touch with our Tennessee experts; we are always happy to hear from you!

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