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Recommended Tent Camping Locations - TN
Tennessee Tent Camping Trip
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Tennessee offers something special and exciting for everyone. It’s the home of Elvis Presley and the center of production of the cultured pearl industry in the U.S. The “Volunteer State” houses country music’s historic headquarters, Dolly Parton’s signature style of Smoky Mountain magic, and one of NASCAR’s most popular speedways.
Start your Tennessee tent camping tour on the western side of the state. Memphis is the site of Elvis Presley’s Graceland. No other place affords a better insight into Elvis’ private life and musical career than his home at Graceland. The official tour takes guests into several rooms of Elvis’ mansion, as well as the trophy building which houses his vast collection of awards and gold records. You’ll also see an assortment of stage costumes, jewelry, photographs, and the Meditation Garden where Elvis and other Presley family members are buried.
Another Memphis institution is the A. Schwab Dry Goods Store, a multi-purpose store operated by three generations of the same family since 1876. Classics such as derby hats, bow ties, spats, and tambourines are on the shelves at the oldest family-owned general store in the region.
Near the town of Camden, off Hwy. 70, the Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Farm tells the fascinating story of the years-long process of culturing pearls inside mussel shells in the freshwaters of Camden’s Kentucky Lake. Guests can watch a descriptive video about pearl aquaculture, take a guided tour (by reservation only), browse through the farm’s museum, and visit a jewelry showroom where finished pieces showcasing Tennessee’s official state gem – the freshwater pearl - are sold. There’s even a catered BBQ luncheon available at the end of the tour.
In middle Tennessee’s music country, the nationally acclaimed Ryman Auditorium is in Nashville, off Hwy 70 South. Constructed as a place of worship before the turn of the century, the “Mother Church of Country Music” was the home base of the Grand Ole Opry until the 70’s and is now a designated National Historic Landmark. Top-name musical acts are on Ryman’s concert line-up, and guided tours of the auditorium’s museum and backstage areas are offered. Nashville's Jellystone Park is one of the great Tennessee tent campgrounds to check out in this area.
Nashville’s landmark Country Music Hall of Fame first opened in 1967, and today it qualifies as the world’s largest popular music museum. Noteworthy instruments and costumes, videos, interactive exhibits, and fabulous live performances are all part of a visit to the Hall of Fame.
Also in Nashville, Purity Dairy is on the creamy, cool side of Music City’s action. Purity’s 79-year-old ice cream outlet teaches guests about ice cream production and packaging, and offers tasty samples of the company’s premium hand-packed flavors. Moose Tracks, White Chocolate Raspberry, and Nutty Buddy are just three of many delights. If you like ice cream, don’t miss the chance to pop into Purity Dairy.
Over in eastern Tennessee’s Smoky Mountain region in Knoxville near US-70, candy and shopping enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the gourmet confections, galleries, stores, and Victorian homes at the site of the South’s Finest Chocolate Factory, a company originally established back in 1889. While in Knoxville, take in a concert, evening of ballet or theater production at the historic Tennessee Theater. It’s a recently renovated 1928 movie palace that’s emerged as a center for the city’s performing arts.
Southeast of Knoxville in Pigeon Forge, off US-441, Dollywood theme park has wowed visitors for 20 years with thrill rides like the Thunderhead coaster, authentic Craftman’s Valley exhibits, top-notch entertainment, and the down-home appeal of life and times in the Smoky Mountains.
Located near the border with Virginia, Bristol delights racing buffs who flock to Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway, the wildly popular motorsports complex that hosted its first NASCAR contest more than 45 years ago. The Cherokee National Forest is host to another great Tennessee tent camping site.
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