9/1/10 MEMPHIS Tourism

Tennessee’s the Ticket for College Fall Break Getaways

Attention all college students: Now that school is in full swing, it’s time to plan upcoming fall break trips. The best place to get away from the thought of theses, professors and looming finals is Tennessee. The Volunteer State has recreation in the East, culture in Middle Tennessee and some of the best, rockin’ nightlife in the West. Check out these vacation suggestions and for even more ideas, be sure to check out www.tnvacation.com.

East – Rocks and Recreation       

Get your dose of excitement by rafting the Ocoee River, Tennessee’s White Water River and America’s Favorite. The Middle Ocoee River is the nation’s most popular white water rafting adventure with fast waters and big waves. The Upper Ocoee has Class IV whitewater which holds 1996 Olympic fame. By the end of the exhilarating ride, you’ll be soaked and smiling.

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Hundreds of acres filled with outdoor opportunities await you in Knoxville, Tenn. Parks, forests, lakes, rivers, bluffs and more are just a few minutes from downtown as Outdoor Knoxville outlines great ways to get active while on vacation. In the Southeastern region, climbing is abundant as Knoxville is a hub of more than 5,000 different climbing routes within a 3-hour drive. The Cumberland Plateau is home to some of the best bouldering, a sport where you climb no higher than you are willing to fall. There are no ropes and can be achieved on large boulders, cliffs, caves and more.

Middle – Culture Shock

Music, ballet and theatre overflow in Middle Tennessee. Whether you’re in the heart of Music City or in the Upper Cumberland region, you’ll find art galleries, concerts and performances to fill your fall break calendar. Nashville may be known for its booming Broadway strip, but the city is also known for its culture and arts performances. Mostly known as one of television’s most famous doctors, “House,” Hugh Laurie will dance his fingers across the piano keys 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. He’ll perform songs from his debut “Let Them Talk” and his recently released “Didn’t It Rain.” Fly to Neverland with Peter and Wendy as they encounter adventure with ruthless Captain Hook, a ticking crocodile and the mischievous Lost Boys, who will never grow up. The Nashville Ballet will perform this classic tale Oct. 18-20 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall. Tickets range from $35-$82.

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Crossville is home to some of the best theatrical performances at the Cumberland County Playhouse. Be sure to see “Ring of Fire,” a musical story of Johnny Cash told through his songs. The story weaves through his Arkansas roots to international stardom as the “Man in Black.” The play runs until Oct. 18 in the Adventure Theater. Student tickets are $24. “To Kill A Mockingbird,” the classic story by Harper Lee about a black man framed for a crime he didn’t commit, opens Sept. 6 and runs until Nov. 3. Student tickets are $23.

Travel 333 ft. below ground to experience one of the most unique music shows at Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, Tenn. Bluegrass Underground is a radio show recorded live every month in the Volcano Room, which is at a constant 56 degrees and is home to an elegant chandelier. Pass underground pools and waterfalls until you get to the Volcano Chamber and hear some of the best music. Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper will play at 1 p.m. Oct. 26. Tickets are $20 for the show and $33 for a cave tour and show.

West – Take Back the Nightlife

9/1/10 MEMPHIS Tourism

Beale Street is always jamming the night away with jazz, blues and soul music coming from clubs and music centers. Tantalize your senses along the strip as smoked barbecue wafts through the air. You’ll find the original B.B. King’s Blues Club, always upbeat as it remains a favorite for locals. The first B.B. King’s opened in 1994 and everyone still dances to the music of the B.B. King All Stars and other guest bands. Go to the upper deck to overlook the stage area and find additional seating. Southern comfort food and talented musicians will keep your night rocking all night long. Other places to scope out are the Blind Bear Speakeasy, Blue Monkey, Black Diamond and Alfred’s.

Head to The Levitt Shell in Overton Park as the park presents 50 free concerts every year. The Levitt Shell was the site of Elvis Presley’s first professional rock-n-roll show and has been an outdoor amphitheater since the 1930s. The state-of-the-art space can accommodate up to 3,000 people. Check out artists like John Paul Keith, Mountain Heart, Shannon McNally, Lisa Marie Presley and more playing at The Levitt Shell in the coming months.

What are your Tennessee fall break vacation ideas? Let me know in the comments below!

Hey! I’m Amanda Stravinsky, a born-and-raised Jersey girl who now makes her home in the awesome, musically-inclined city of...Read on

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