From east to west, Tennessee is littered with musical landmarks and historical sites worth a pilgrimage. Many of them are also the state’s most famous music venues, which you can find a list of here.
Beyond the live music rooms, here are the Tennessee spots every music lover should seek out.
Sun Studio, Memphis
The “birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll” — where Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash all made early, crucial recordings — is still standing today. It’s open for tours (and recording sessions).
Tours are $14.
Among Tennessee’s most famous tourist spots, period. Elvis Presley’s Memphis estate has ballooned into a complex including the mansion, several museums and themed restaurants.
Standard ticket packages range from $38.75 to $159.
Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Nashville
Nashville’s most famous honky-tonk on Lower Broadway was the hang of choice for Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and countless other country greats.
Admission is free.
Tina Turner Museum, Brownsville
Before becoming a rock ‘n’ roll icon, Turner attended Flagg Grove School in Nutbush. The one-room schoolhouse was recently moved to nearby Brownsville, restored and turned into an intimate museum.
Admission is free.
Dollywood, Pigeon Forge
Dolly Parton’s theme park thrills guests with its roller coasters and stage shows, but another key component is the Chasing Rainbows Museum — a massive collection of the country icon’s keepsakes, stage outfits, handwritten lyrics and more.
Admission is $56-$69.
Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis
The former location of Stax Records has been transformed into a museum dedicated to the legendary soul music label, and the genre as a whole.
Admission is $10-$13.
Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol
Bristol is known as the “birthplace of country music,” thanks to record producer Ralph Peer, who in 1927 set up a temporary recording studio and captured the sounds of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family. Not far from that site is the new museum, which celebrates “the Bristol Sessions” and explores how their influence lives on.
Admission is $11.55-$13.65.
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