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 22 - 27 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Memphis, TN Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's Biblical saga of Joseph and his coat of many colors comes to vibrant life in this delightful musical parable. learn more History & Heritage Apr 23 Atoms in Appalachia: Secret City and Super Science Farragut, TN The Farragut Folklife Museum will host a free historical presentation on the Manhattan Project – “Atoms in Appalachia: Secret City and Super Science” – on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. at the Farragut Town Hall. “The Manhattan Project – Secrets Revisited” exhibit is on display in the museum through Friday, May 2. learn more History & Heritage Apr 24 - 26 Rivers and Spires Festival Clarksville, TN This internationally award winning event features over 100 entertainers, art, children’s events, a teen area, international exhibits and community talent shows, all throughout Historic Downtown Clarksville. The Festival has FREE admission to all concerts, shows, and most activities. Rivers and Spires Festival started in 2003 as a tribute to the returning soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Since then, it has continued to follow this heritage, with special tributes for the many soldiers from nearby Fort Campbell deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. learn more History & Heritage Apr 24 - May 11 Monty Python's Spamalot Knoxville, TN Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical and voted Outstanding Musical of 973 AD, The New York Times called Spamalot, “resplendently silly.” A musical comedy “lovingly ripped off” from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This Broadway smash features flying cows, killer rabbits, taunting Frenchmen and show-stopping musical numbers! Recommended for high school and up. learn more History & Heritage Apr 24 Gatlinburg Earth Day Festival Gatlinburg, TN Families are encouraged to come and celebrate in the Earth Day Festival. Enjoy music, free crafts, activities, face painting, demonstrations and more at Mynatt Park from 3:00-7:00pm! learn more