Tennessee Tourism

amazing museum on a side street in downtown Gatlingburg, Tennessee--the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum
Salt & Pepper Museum Gatlinburg, Tennessee

America’s only Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee is the culmination of a lifelong passion of owner and curator Andrea Ludden. Join Andrea’s son, Alex for a tour of the amazing little museum and its collection of more than 20,000 salt & pepper shakers, including 15,000 pepper mills that are visual metaphors for cultural trends in America’s past and around the world.

The Village Shops at Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Thomas Wilmer

Dan Booth is Chairman of the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau and owner of the Hayloft at The Village Shops. Booth share's a local’s eye-view of life in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and how the mountain town missed out on the Great Depression. 

National Park Ranger Jennifer Hale on the trail near Sugarlands Visitors Center
Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the Sugarlands Visitors Center, just 11 miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Ranger, Jennifer Hale talks about the park’s astounding biodiversity, activities and history.

Entrance to Dancing Bear Lodge
Dancing Bear Lodge

A conversation with Sharon and Mark Oldham, owners of Dancing Bear Lodge situated in the Great Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. Dancing Bear features 26 rustic but elegant lodge-style accommodations, an event center where live musical performances feature regional artists, and the award-winning Appalachian Bistro. We’ll also visit with the Bistro’s star-chef Shelly Cooper.

6th generation Danny Ray Carver's family has been growing apples in Eastern Tennessee since the late 1700's
Thomas Wilmer

Danny Ray Carver’s dad started Carver’s Orchard in Cosby, Tennessee back in 1942, but the Carver clan has been growing apples in Appalachia for six generations, arriving in Eastern Tennessee in the late 1700’s. 

Sugarland Cellars in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Thomas Wilmer

Jonathan Ball with the Rocky Top Wine Trail in Eastern Tennessee talks about the trail that includes wineries in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg

Sugarlands Distillery

Sugarlands Distilling Company in Gatlinburg, Tennessee uses traditional corn and rye, but infuses their “Shine” with an array of flavors, including dark chocolate, butter pecan, and apple bacon. A conversation with Kris “Tugboat”  Killingsworth, Tastings Manager at Sugarlands about the trendy new world of Shine.

Tennessee Whiskey Trail

The new Tennessee Whiskey Trail is made up of approximately 30 distilleries across the state. Tennessee distilleries range from small, boutique operations such as Corsair and Greenbrier in Nashville to legendary distilleries like Jack Daniels.

Correspondent Tom Wilmer accompanies Robin Tierney onstage at the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Ryman Auditorium

The Ryman Auditorium, revered as the “Mother Church” of country music, has been an anchor of the Nashville music scene for more than a century. The Country Music Hall of Fame in NashvilleTennessee is the Mother Ship where the entire history of country music is showcased in the 360,000 square-foot multi-story facility.

The Outpost at Pickwick Dam, Tennessee
Thomas Wilmer

From a tiny, run down bait shop when Jay Harrison and his family purchased the business five years ago, the Outpost at Pickwick Dam, Tennessee has grown from zero employees to more than 30 today. The Outpost now includes a general store, a super popular restaurant, and an adjacent inn. Central to Harrison’s business model is to serve as a faith-based enterprise where his core mission is to hire and help employees seeking a fresh start in life.

Casey Jones Village in Jackson, Tennessee
Casey Jones Village

Casey Jones Village in Jackson, Tennessee, tucked in the heart of the fabled Music Highway, is actually an historic village with everything from an old-fashioned country store to an Antebellum mansion. There’s a museum showcasing the story of legendary train engineer Casey Jones, but the anchor of the village is the restaurant that specializes in traditional Southern comfort food—with a twist.

Karen Bentz surveys finishing touches on the new Anakeesta mountaintop experience in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Thomas Wilmer

Anakeesta marks a new dimension in Gatlinburg, Tennessee-- a popular base camp for vacationers who have come to these parts to experience the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since the 1930s. The Anakeesta adventure begins with a high-tech combination gondola, chairlift base station in the heart of town. Atop the mountain is Firefly Village, a zip line course, and treetop canopy walk 40 to 60 feet above the forest floor. Join visionary partners Karen and Bob Bentz.

Sun Studio Memphis, Tennessee
Thomas Wilmer

Known fondly as the birthplace of Rock & Roll, Sun Studio opened its doors as Memphis Recording Service in 1950.

It was Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats’ “Rocket 88” Sun Records recording in 1951 that goes down in history as the first Rock & Roll single. A litany of legends came to Sun Studio to record and make music history—cats like Howlin’ Wolf, James Cotton, B.B. King and Johnny Cash.

This is the place where Elvis recorded his first single “That’s All Right” in 1954. And Sun is still recording music, in the same location today, in the same studio, using lots of the original tube-technology equipment.

Tennessee Safari Park

Tennessee Safari Park receives 200,000 visitors annually. It’s a family affair in more ways than one, as owner John Conley’s grandfather birthed the park in 1958. What started with a monkey ordered from Sears has grown to include a lexicon of wild, exotic animals from African warthogs to Giraffe, Bison, and White Bearded Wildebeests. Join John Conley as he shares his passion for the family run Safari Park, located on the Music Highway route between Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee.

Elvis at Graceland
Thomas Wilmer

A journey of discovery at the brand new Elvis Presley’s Memphis Entertainment Complex and 400-room Guest House with Gary Hahn, Vice President of Marketing and Media for Elvis Presley Enterprises in Memphis, Tennessee.

Carnegie Center for Arts and History in Jackson, Tennessee
Thomas Wilmer

Judy Ranne says that Music is the soul of the South. West Tennessee produced an abundance of legendary iconic musicians, and tunes such as Carl Perkin’s “Blue Suede Shoes”. Ranne shares the region's musical tradition that was long intertwined with gospel, and of course the Grand Ole Opry radio show. Come along and join Ms. Ranne as she talks about life as a farmer’s daughter back in the 1950s and how sharecroppers and spiritual music helped to propel the evolution of Tennessee’s heartland music.

Memphis Music Hall of Fames shines in the night
Tom Wilmer

A visit at the Memphis Music Hall of Fame Museum with Executive Director John Doyle in downtown  Memphis, Tennessee. The museum showcases the story of Memphis Music and its century long legacy as a multicultural birthplace of American Music.

 

Mention the name Nashville, Tennessee, and the first things that comes to mind are invariable music, musicians, and songwriters.   Nashville is known far and wide as Music City, but it’s also the home to a full-size exact replica of the Parthenon in Athen
Nashville Parks & Recreation

Nashville is known far and wide as Music City, but it’s also the home to a full-size exact replica of the Parthenon in Athens. How this incredible architectural gem came to be dates back to the pioneer days when Nashville was dubbed the Athens of the South due to its passion for education and the arts.

Native American sculpture, Cleveland TN
Thomas Wilmer

Southeastern Tennessee Cherokees share their passion for Cherokee culture. Join Jamie Russell a ranger at Red Clay State Park on the outskirts of Cleveland TN. Afterwards we’ll visit with Cherokee artists Stone Wolf and Walking Bear.

Thomas Wilmer

 Dunlap, Tennessee is just a half hour drive from Chattanooga, but it’s a world apart.

For close to a century, coal mining was the driver here in the rural community of Dunlap, Tennessee, but by the early 1990's the coal industry was history. The old coke ovens, built in 1902 remain as decaying relics of a time when more than 400 locals were employed in the mines.

Thomas Wilmer

  The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) in Chattanooga, Tennessee offers daily excursions along an historic route that first opened to rail traffic back in 1858.

It was the railroad’s strategic importance that led to the Civil War Battle of Chickamauga that was fought here back in the fall of 1863. 

Thomas Wilmer

  The International Towing and Recovery Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee features famous tow trucks, including the world’s largest wrecker, a WWII tank recovery tow truck, and the world’s oldest tow truck. 

Thomas Wilmer

Christopher Young, National Park Service Resource Education Specialist at Chickamauga National Military Park at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia talks about the Civil War battle in the fall of 1863 at Chickamauga on the outskirts of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

212 Market

Sisters, Sally and Susan Moses and their mom, Maggie had a vision to open a trend-setting restaurant in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee

The family envisioned a farm-to-table model, about two-decades before the concept became a nationwide trend.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Tennessee with Cindy Dupree, Director of Communications for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

Ms. Dupree and Tom visit the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greenville, the Bristol Motor Speedway, and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Tennessee. 

Thomas Wilmer

 A short drive from Chattanooga, Tennessee is the town of Cleveland. A drive down the main drag reveals a sleepy, slow-paced community with old brick buildings and enchanting homes right out of a Jimmy Stewart, Frank Capra flick.