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Memphis Chess Club in Memphis TN
Photo Credit: Holly Whitfield

New Tennessee Experiences Coming in 2021

Check out the new unique restaurant, attraction, craft brewery and museum openings .

New attractions, expansions, restaurants, hotels and more are slated to make 2021 a bright year in Tennessee. As you plan to travel safely in the state, check out the new music museum opening in Nashville, the new restaurants in Chattanooga and the expansions of one of the oldest chess clubs in the U.S. in Memphis. Here's a sampling of what's new in Tennessee in 2021.

East Tennessee

NIC & NORMAN’S - Chattanooga

Director Greg Nicotero and actor Norman Reedus from “The Walking Dead” opened their second restaurant in the Chattanooga Choo Choo complex - Nic & Norman's. The classic, historic architecture of the Choo Choo is given an edgy vibe as the décor tells the stories of both restaurant and train station throughout the space. Laidback entrees like brisket mac and cheese, ribeye steak and chicken pot pie can be ordered as well as an array of burgers with buns branded with the Nic & Norman’s logo.

Songbirds Foundation - Chattanooga 

Songbirds Foundation is creating a new interactive learning experience and performance hall inside the former Songbirds Guitar Museum with an expected opening of Fall 2021. The guitar-centric educational space will feature hands-on STEAM based exhibits for all ages, exhibits on Chattanooga music history, and rotating exhibits featuring stories from pickers, producers, and players. The space will also serve as a music venue, featuring big-name artists in an intimate setting. 


The Sports Mill in downtown Kingsport has more than 20 simulator sports for you to enjoy in Kingsport. Swing, shoot and kick with customized play-action scenarios and difficulty settings for a fun, active afternoon. Family-friendly games include baseball, golf, soccer, basketball, football and cornhole. Quench your thirst with beer, seltzers and Mountain Dew slushies. Enjoy the patio space and the weekly food trucks. 


Once you explore the eight miles of hiking trails that lead you to scenic vistas at David Crockett State Park, pitch a tent at one of the newly renovated campsites or LEED-certified cabins. The seven cabins are near Lindsey Lake and are completely furnished with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, full kitchen and covered patio. The park has two campgrounds with 107 sites with some equipped with a table, fire ring and grill and 30 amp electrical and water hookups. Have a meal at Crockett’s Mill Restaurant, opening Jan. 22, 2021, including ribeye, chicken and pasta. 

Middle Tennessee 


Opening in Spring 2021, The Mulehouse will keep Columbia, Tennessee rocking all night long. The new music and event venue will be 55,500 square feet located a few blocks from the downtown square. Established by country radio personality and broadcaster, Blair Garner, The Mulehouse will play host to today’s top artists and upcoming stars. 


Red Silo Brewing, Cookeville’s first microbrewery, has expanded with an outdoor seating location inside an actual silo, a second stage for music performances and additional indoor seating. Hang out and enjoy Open Mic Night and Jazz Night while sampling an array of beers like the red ale The Handyman and the 7th Century IPA or the spiced/herbed Dutch Boy beer. 


Now open in the new Fifth + Broadway development in downtown Nashville, the National Museum of African American Music will be a 56,000-square foot facility dedicated to preserving and celebrating music genres created, influenced, and inspired by African Americans. Exhibits with interactive technology will cover more than 50 genres and subgenres including jazz, songs and sounds written from the Civil Rights Movement, hip hop, blues and more. 

The Gallatin Hotel

Another East Nashville church has been renovated into a boutique hotel, The Gallatin Hotel, slated to open in May 2021. Renewed by Anchor Rentals, The Gallatin Hotel will give away a portion of each night's stay to local homeless ministries through the Rooms for Rooms program that is already in place at sister properties The Russell and 506 Lofts. Built-in 1925, the exterior of the building has been preserved while giving it a modern flair including 25 vibrant guest rooms and suites, filled with color block walls, ceilings and floors. The hotel courtyard is conveniently connected to Fat Bottom Brewery's newest taproom, opening summer 2021.

West Tennessee 


Watch, learn and play chess in Memphis
Photo Credit Holly Whitfield

The Memphis Chess Club, founded in 1877, is one of the oldest chess clubs in the U.S. Recently, it’s undergone a reinvention to include a full service café which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Order loaded croissants with bacon, cheddar and egg, acai bowls and pastries, espresso and teas for breakfast, sandwiches, salads and pizza throughout the day. You can watch chess games or play chess by taking a class. Learn how you can participate in casual chess play or enter tournaments. 

Southwest Tennessee region

The Rosemark-Kerrville Rural Heritage Trail is a 24-mile tour route for cars or bicycles connecting Rosemark, Kerrville, Barretville, Mudville and Stewartville. The tour covers world-famous blues singer Bobby Blue Bland, a Civil War raid, an early rural telephone company with a bicycle-riding repairman and other incredible stories.


Learn something new exploring exhibits at Discovery Park of America. “Agriculture: Innovating for our Survival” is now open featuring stories, artifacts and high-tech exhibits of farmers and how we get our food from field to table. The “Faces of Farming” section has more than 250 portraits of farmers and a social media wall that shows real-time photos and videos farmers are sharing online. Throughout the year, new exhibits “Southern Artist Showcase, “40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World” and “The Fascinating World of Murry Hudson’s Globes and Maps” will also open.

Plan your 2021 Tennessee vacation to see these and more new developments across the state.

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