Take a musical journey through Tennessee, the home of country music. Tennessee is best known for its musical significance and contributions from the many songwriters, legendary artists, and talented musicians that called the state home. You can experience the revered sites that birthed the Volunteer State sounds that changed the musical world. This guide to Tennessee music attractions will help you to figure out the best musical places for you to explore.
Tennessee Music Pathway
Tennessee is home to seven genres of music including blues, bluegrass, country, gospel, rock’n’roll, rockabilly and soul. The Tennessee Music Pathway helps to connect you to the places and events that helped to make TN the music mecca that it is today. The pathway winds through the entire state of Tennessee, yes to all 95 counties. You can see legendary artists’ hometowns, music venues and museums specifically dedicated to music. Everywhere from east to west Tennessee is littered with musical landmarks and historical sites worth the musical pilgrimage.
Try A Music Walking Tour
Historic Music Row Walking Tour – Nashville
On this walking tour you’ll spend some time strolling historic Music Row on a one-mile tour that includes 15 sites of music history. See the famous RCA Studio A & B. Experience all the sites, sounds and places that made Nashville the Music City on this fun walking tour. Find more information here.
Cradle Of Country Music Walking Tour – Knoxville
You may not realize that Knoxville played an integral role in the development of country, blues, and jazz music, but it did! On this walking tour you will explore the city’s ties to Dolly Parton, Roy Acuff and Hank Williams. This is a self guided walking tour with 15 markers around Knoxville. Find more information here.
Tennessee Music Attractions
Tina Turner Museum
121 Sunny Hill Cove, Brownsville, TN 38012
Did you know that Tina Turner grew up in rural Tennessee? That’s right the Queen of Rock’N’Roll is from Nutbush, Tennessee. The Tina Turner Museum is housed in a one room schoolhouse that Turner attended as a young girl. It is chock full of stage costumes, awards and mementos from childhood and throughout her life.
Loretta Lynn’s Ranch
800 Highway 13 South, Hurricane Mills, TN 37078
Loretta Lynn’s Ranch explores the decades of country music performed by the Queen Of Country herself. You’ll find the 3,000 acre Ranch filled with natural beauty and so many things to do. Camp or stay in one of the on-site cabins, take a tour of the ranch, or walk through the charming Western Town. Don’t miss the Grist Mill Museum, Loretta’s Frontier Homestead, or shopping at Loretta’s Shop.
Legends Of Tennessee Music Museum
305 E College Street, Jackson, TN 38301
The first Hard Rock Cafe was built in Jackson, Tennessee making it the perfect home for the Legends Of Tennessee Music Museum. This museum is home to the largest collection of Carl Perkin’s memorabilia. Carl Perkins famously recorded at Sun Studios and you’ve probably heard his song, “Blue Suede Shoes.” Visit the Legends Museum to see Perkins’ first electric guitar, albums, signed records and costumes. Other notable musical legends featured in the museum are Tina Turner, Sonny Boy Williamson, and W.S. Holland.
Elvis Presley’s Graceland
Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38116
Visiting Graceland is a must if you want to explore more about the most famous musical legend from Tennessee, Elvis Presley. Here you can see where the King Of Rock’N’Roll resided. As you tour Presley’s lavish mansion you’ll get the chance to view the famous Jungle Room and the other glamorous rooms. Head to Elvis Presley’s Memphis Experience for an even more in-depth look at the singer’s life. Explore the entertainers career museum where you can immerse yourself in Elvis’ incredible career through hundreds of artifacts including stage costumes, cars, and military uniforms.
Memphis Music Hall Of Fame
126 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103
Memphis is known as the Home Of The Blues and at this museum you will be introduced to some of the best and most notable blues musicians. These artists shaped both the blues and modern music. Explore interactive exhibits, see legendary instruments, and never before seen memorabilia.
Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum
222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203
As soon as you cross the threshold at the Country Music Hall Of Fame you’ll embark on a musical journey through interactive exhibits that house a staggering 2 million artifacts. You’ll see 500 musical instruments and almost 2,000 clothing pieces, accessories and stage wear.
National African American Music Museum
510 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
This museum showcases the musical genres inspired, created and heavily influenced by African Americans. When you step inside the interactive exhibits, you’ll experience videos, photos and much more. From B.B. King to Beyonce and Aretha Franklin these artists’ vast contributions are celebrated at the National African American Music Museum.
116 5th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219
The hallowed ground of the Ryman Auditorium is one of the most celebrated music venues in history. Known as the exact spot where bluegrass was born the Ryman Auditorium is so much more than a tourist spot. The Grand Ole Opry put down its roots here in 1943 and brought the likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Minnie Pearl and Patsy Cline to the Ryman. When the Opry changed venues in the 1970’s the Ryman Auditorium continued on as a premier music venue that attracts people from all corners of the globe.
The Grand Ole Opry House & Museum
2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214
You can’t talk about music attractions in Tennessee without adding the Grand Ole Opry to the list. This country music institution showcases the past, present and future of country music. The Opry remains the platform that connects artists and fans to the music that they love. You can tour the Opry House and feel like you are walking amongst the stars and legends that have told their stories on this hallowed stage. Or take in an epic show at the Opry, a true bucket list item for country music fans.
The Johnny Cash Museum
119 3rd Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201
You don’t want to miss the Johnny Cash Museum. Ranked the #1 music museum by Forbes and Conde Nast this is a must visit if you are a fan of The Man In Black. This museum features the largest and most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world.
Dolly’s Chasing Rainbows Museum
2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Chasing Rainbows is a museum at Dollywood based on the country music singer Dolly Parton’s life. The museum has interactive and behind-the-scenes collections, stories and memorabilia of Dolly’s amazing life and career. The museum is part of the Dollywood amusement park and spending a day in the park is a great way to get the full Dolly experience.
Tennessee is the home of some of the most famous musical attractions in the United States. These places will help to introduce you to the legends and sounds that changed the musical world forever.