TENNESSEE’S NEW ADDITIONS, EXPANSIONS AND ANNIVERSARIES YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT IN 2017

06 January, 2017

With a new year come big plans to expand iconic attractions, celebrate milestones and create memories at newly opened Tennessee destinations. As you make your plans for your 2017 adventures, keep these places at the top of your list so you can experience the exciting things happening in the Volunteer State.

STATEWIDE

Frozen Head State Park, one of the many parks maintained by Tennessee State Parks

Hike, bike and appreciate Tennessee nature that’s been preserved thanks to the Tennessee State Parks, celebrating 80 years  of preserving Tennessee’s most precious natural areas including waterfalls, forests, rivers and streams.

Tennessee is a premier destination to see the Aug. 21, 2017 solar eclipse as the state is in the eclipse’s direct path. Top locations to view the eclipse are areas like Clarksville, Cleveland, Clingman’s Dome, Crossville, Dayton, Gallatin, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Sparta, and Sweetwater to name a few.

CHATTANOOGA

Exterior of Songbirds Guitar Museum to open early 2017

Songbirds Guitar Museum opens early 2017 with a never-before-seen collection of nearly 300 rare vintage guitars on the campus of the world-famous Chattanooga Choo Choo.

IRONMAN events to be hosted once again in 2017 in Chattanooga

Chattanooga is the first city worldwide to host four IRONMAN events: the 2017 IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championships of professional and age-group women Sept. 9, 2017 and the professional and age-group men Sept. 10, 2017. Hosting this event makes Chattanooga: 1 of 5 cities in North America to host both a full-distance IRONMAN and a 70.3 IRONMAN; 1 of 10 cities in the world to host both a full-distance IRONMAN and a 70.3 IRONMAN; and the only city in the world to host a full-distance IRONMAN, a 70.3 IRONMAN and the 70.3 IRONMAN World Championships (two events, two days).

COOKEVILLE

Motorcycle rides along roades like these in the Upper Cumberland are being planned for the first Southern Backroads H.O.G. Rally

Cookeville will join the Harley-Davidson Motor Company July 11-15, 2017 to host the first Southern Backroads H.O.G. Rally, a regional motorcycle rally drawing thousands of riders from across the globe. Live music and entertainment, food, and motorcycle rides along some of Tennessee’s most gorgeous roads are being planned.

"Fittest Man on Earth," Rich Froning to open CrossFit Mayhem

CrossFit Mayhem, owned by four-time “Fittest Man on Earth” Rich Froning, has expanded to offer more space for visitors and retail. The new facility is a true fitness/sports destination. Get in on the incredible CrossFit workout opportunities in the home gym of “Fittest Man in History,” and take some time to visit the new wellness center that’s made complete with a chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapists, and a nutritionist. A business lounge, education space, and retail full of CrossFit merch are also included.

KNOXVILLE

Book your spring 2017 stay at the Tennessean Hotel, Knoxville’s first personal luxury hotel with 82 rooms overlooking World’s Fair Park and Knoxville Convention Center. The hotel is set to open April 2017 in downtown Knoxville.

Mountain biking the many trails in Knoxville

Daredevils will love the new Devil’s Racetrack along with two other Urban Wilderness Gravity Trails that have opened in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. Tracks suitable for all skill-types, from beginner to double black diamond trails, were created with IMBA and Bell Built Helmets after winning a nationwide grant.

MEMPHIS

Rendering of new Elvis Presley's Memphis at Graceland

“Elvis Presley’s Memphis” at Graceland® is a 200,000-square-foot, $45 million entertainment complex across the street from Elvis’™ iconic Graceland Mansion which will open Spring 2017. It will be five times the size of the current visitor center, and will present the life, career and legacy of the greatest entertainer with interactive and immersive pop culture experiences that connect to Elvis’ personal interests and activities throughout his life, including his passion for automobiles and new technology.

Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest takes place during Elvis Week in Memphis

Elvis Week celebrates its 40th Anniversary and welcomes fans from around the world August 2017 with a full schedule of fun events including the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, music and conferences. The highlight of the week is the annual Candlelight Vigil where guests can pay respects to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll at the Meditation Garden.

NASHVILLE

Interior of Nudie's Honky Tonk on Nashville's Lower Broadway

Nudie’s Honky Tonk, an ode to rhinestone cowboy couture founded by Nudie Cohn has opened. Three live performance spaces, Southern style food, vintage suits (including some worn by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, Sr.) and a few surprises can be found at the new establishment. Other honky tonks like Almost Famous and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row will open in 2017 on Lower Broadway as well.

Rendering of Sumatran Tiger Exhibit at Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is slated to open the Spider Monkey Exhibit, which features an elevated boardwalk for guests to enter a treetop viewing platform where several spider monkeys can been seen and Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear where guests can discover South America's mysterious bears of the clouded forest and an array of other South American species in early 2017. The Sumatran Tiger Exhibit is slated to open Summer 2017.

Brad Paisley poses for a selfie with a wax figurine of Little Jimmie Dickens, photo credit: Madame Tussauds Nashville

The iconic Madame Tussauds comes to Music City in 2017 at Opry Mills. Madame Tussauds Nashville celebrates Nashville’s large influence on today’s music and culture with lifelike figures like Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Minnie Pearl.

SEVIERVILLE

Apple Barn & Cider Mill

Apple Barn & Cider Mill, a working apple orchard that features bakers, candy makers, an ice cream shop and a winery, plans to begin offering their own blend of hard cider in 2017.

Dolly Parton Statue in Sevierville

2017 will be the 30th anniversary of the unveiling of the Dolly Parton Statue in historic downtown Sevierville. A museum is being planned with exhibits on the artist and statue at the Sevierville Visitor Center.

UNION CITY

A fun slide in the Children's Discovery Garden currently under construction at Discovery Park of America

There will be even more fun to be had at Discovery Park of America as an expansion takes place that will include a unique “Children’s Discovery Garden” that will open early 2017. Currently under construction, the Children's Discovery Garden will have tunnels, towers, zip lines and musical instruments with a babbling brook, welcoming all children to learn and explore new things. Discovery Park is also planning to enhance the STEM Landing display Spring 2017 with the addition of the Titan 1 Missile, the largest structure at Discovery Park. 

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