Tennessee is having a big year in 2019, which includes new venues and entertainment complexes, expansions of world-class attractions and commemorations of beloved festivals and places. Read more to find out what you can experience this coming year in Tennessee.
“Tennessee Songwriters Week” celebrates the foundation of the craft for which Tennessee is known, music. Music, arguably Tennessee’s largest export to the world, is a vital part of the state’s culture and heritage, being home to seven genres of music either born or raised here. This annual week seeks to recognize the contributions both past and present songwriters have made to Tennessee and their underlying impact on "The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee."
Law designates the last full week of February each year as “Tennessee Songwriters Week” to promote Tennessee’s musical heritage by recognizing the contributions of past and present songwriters to this state.
Brushy Mountain Penitentiary – Petros
Brushy Mountain, once known as “the end of the line” for the state’s most dangerous criminals is now a museum, restaurant and distillery.
Tours of the former historic prison are self-guided, with former prison guards nearby to answer questions or share brief stories. Each of the 14 stations contains a story about what happened in the particular spot, from violent histories to moments family members came to visit. Other stories shared give you a glimpse inside the troubled minds of criminals who served time at Brushy.
The facility also includes the Warden’s Table Restaurant, which serves barbecue and other favorites on metal trays and butcher paper. Nearby is a gift shop for you to take home End of the Line Tennessee moonshine (distilled onsite), tee-shirts and other memorabilia. You can also hear live music on the newly-built stage located in the former “back yard” of the venue.
The Signal - Chattanooga
Chattanooga’s newest live music venue, The Signal is now open and can accommodate 1,300 individuals for live music performances and events. It’s located in the growing Southside neighborhood, quickly becoming known for its undeniable art, culture, cuisine and entertainment offerings. You can attend concerts featuring bands like Here Come the Mummies, Young the Giant, Lord Huron and Travis Greene & Mosaic MSC for a memorable night of music.
Dollywood’s Wildwood Grove - Pigeon Forge
Dollywood will introduce Wildwood Grove, the newest addition to the award-winning theme park, in 2019. It’s the largest park expansion in Dollywood history and will be a true celebration of the Great Smoky Mountains. You can take part in 11 experiences with six rides including a suspended family roller coaster called the Dragonflier, a 55 ft. tall Wildwood Tree where live entertainment will take place, outdoor play areas, a restaurant called Till & Harvest and more.
American Museum of Science and Energy - Oak Ridge
The newly-opened American Museum of Science and Energy explores Oak Ridge’s legacy in scientific and technical innovation, national security and environmental restoration from the Manhattan Project through today. The new 18,000-square-foot location has a new exhibit gallery, state-of-the-art interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, a lecture hall and classrooms. You can explore a life-sized 3-D printed vehicle, learn about robotics technology by constructing your own mini-robot and more.
Heaven’s Door Distillery - Nashville
In an old church built in 1871 in downtown Nashville, legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan will open Heaven’s Door Distillery in 2019. The historic church is on the National Register of Historic Places and will be the site of Dylan’s whiskey brand. Currently, Heaven’s Door includes a Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey that has been aged for approximately seven years, a double barrel whiskey and a straight rye whiskey. Heaven’s Door bottles feature Bob Dylan’s iron gates he created in his studio, Black Buffalo Ironworks.
Belle Ridge Retreat - Monterey
Belle Ridge Retreat is now open in Monterey and features 12 cabins with four different layout styles, 30 tent sites and 50 RV hookups for those wanting to explore the miles of UTV and hiking trails that lead to waterfalls, caves and scenic overlooks. You can rent Polaris Rangers for your day of exploration for $100-$140. Two 2-seaters, a 4-seater and a 6-seater are available. Hookups range from $44 to $49, cabins are $59-$149 to reserve and tent sites range from $19 to $99.
Saltbox Inn & Stables Expansion - Cookeville
The Loft, Three Trees Ceremony Site and The Greenhouse are three major projects Saltbox Inn & Stables are planning for their 2019 expansion. The bed & breakfast and wedding venue/event space will add these venue options for their clients as well as an additional overnight option called the Pumphouse Cabin which will be located directly on the property’s waterfall.
25th annual RC MoonPie Festival - Bell Buckle
Celebrate one of the best combinations in the South: a delicious MoonPie with a refreshing RC Cola at the 25th annual RC MoonPie Festival in downtown Bell Buckle. Guests from around the world come to the small Tennessee town for the fun festival held June 15, 2019 that includes MoonPie games, a parade, cloggers, music and the cutting of the world’s largest MoonPie. For the 25th annual celebration, a large reunion will take place of the past 25 years of MoonPie Kings and Queens.
Bicentennial Celebration - Memphis
Memphis, the home of blues, soul and rock n’ roll, will celebrate its 200th birthday as a city that made some of music’s biggest stars like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin and B.B. King. The bicentennial isn’t just a celebration of the past 200 years, but a celebration of the future as the city has its sights set on new developments including the newly-opened Crosstown Concourse – a mixed-use building of art, shopping and restaurants in a former Sears, Roebuck & Co. retail and distribution center; Central Station which is currently being renovated into a 135-room boutique hotel; and One Beale a mixed-use development project that will include a hotel, retail and office spaces with construction beginning in early 2019.
The “South’s Grand Hotel” Peabody Hotel celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019 with special offers and events throughout the year. Just in time for the anniversary, the hotel will wrap up its renovation of all 464 rooms and suites. The new decor is a mix of elegance and modern conveniences with upgraded lighting, paint colors, wall art, new bathrooms and luxurious bedding. Book your stay for all the fun next year.
Reelfoot Lake State Park - Tiptonville
New cabins have been opened for you to enjoy on your visit to Reelfoot Lake State Park. The cabins have energy efficient lighting, appliances and low-flow fixtures. Patio furniture was made from recycled soda bottles and other furniture pieces were purchased from Tennessee-based manufacturers. Enjoy a spacious living, dining and kitchen area with a dishwasher, an electric fireplace, lakeside views and comfortable beds. Cabins can accommodate up to 10 people.
When you get comfortable in your new digs, enjoy the great outdoors by boating and fisihing on Reelfoot Lake – Tennessee’s only natural lake, hiking the five miles of trails and birding as the state park is home to eagles, white pelicans, wood ducks, warblers and more.
25th annual TN Soybean Festival - Martin
Book your 2019 travel around the Tennessee Soybean Festival, celebrating its 25th anniversary. The spirit of agriculture is embodied in this festival Aug. 31-Sept. 7, 2019 in Martin. Soybean and soybean farmers are celebrated and the crop’s economic impact on Martin and Tennessee are commemorated each year. The festival draws 35,000-40,000 people from around the U.S. Music fills the air every day of the festival with an array of performers that can vary from Gretchen Wilson to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Arts, crafts and kids activities also take place.
Find out what’s new in Tennessee in 2018, featuring new attractions, commemorative events and cultural experiences.