History & Heritage
A green, rugged land produced bold men and women unafraid to change the world. Wilderness roads became interstates, pioneers became politicians and Tennessee’s past gave richness to its present.
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Ancient cultures and larger-than-life heroes, architectural gems and scientific advancements, Utopian societies and bloody battles are all part of the complex story of Tennessee.

Travel the paths of pioneers along the Natchez Trace, or see what the byways have to offer on Tennessee Trails & Byways. Explore native culture along the Cherokee Heritage Trails. Immerse yourself in Civil War drama as you travel the Civil War Trails through small towns and at ShilohChattanooga and other large battlefields.

Big personalities shaped our stateand left a memorable legacyin battlefields, frontier cabins and statesmens homes. Visit Belmont, the home of the remarkable Adelicia Acklen, in Nashville. Tour the homes of Tennessee’s three Presidents: Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville, the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville or the James K. Polk home in picturesque Columbia. Wherever you go in Tennessee from the prehistoric to the nearly new, you’ll find evidence of the changes wrought by innovative Tennesseans.

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East Tennessee

Gray Fossil Site and Natural History Museum

Get into the dig pit. Touch interactive exhibits. Learn the unlikely tale of a highway project that revealed prehistoric East Tennessee through the remains of shovel-tusked elephants and saber-toothed cats at the Gray Fossil Site.

Start Digging
Middle Tennessee

Downtown Franklin

This beautifully restored downtown near Nashville is a treasure for history buffs as well as lovers of good food and shopping. Take in a show at the Franklin Theatre. Visit Civil War landmarks Carnton Plantation, Lotz House and Carter House.

Tour Historic Franklin
West Tennessee

National Civil Rights Museum

Visit the Memphis site of the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and learn the history of the American Civil Rights Movement, from the colonization of America to the present day.

Learn the Story

Experience History & Heritage

Follow our history through heritage towns and down historic roads; explore the changes brought by rivers, rail and wars; learn the legends of pioneers, soldiers and statesmen. Visit mansions, farms, museums and parks that tell the Tennessee story.


History & Heritage Apr 17 - 26 Nashville Film Festival Nashville, TN Click here for more information about Nashville Film Festival. learn more History & Heritage Apr 18 - 20 EarthDayz Lookout Mountain, TN Rock City partners with Orange Grove for the 6th year of this naturally fun outdoor event as Rock City grows greener! Learn how to use recycled materials to make-and-take a fun project and go on a RockQuest Adventure through the park! See raptors soar above the crowd at our Birds of Prey Raptors Show! learn more History & Heritage Apr 18 - 20 Little Women the Musical Manchester, TN A musical based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott. It follows the lives of the four March sisters and their adventures. learn more History & Heritage Apr 18 Ledisi Memphis, TN Grammy-nominated powerhouse Ledisi will hit the Orpheum stage with her exciting spring tour! learn more History & Heritage Apr 18 3rd Friday Night Concert Series Murfreesboro, TN 3rd Friday Night Concert Series 7-9p.m. learn more