History & Heritage
A green, rugged land produced bold men and women unafraid to change the world. Wilderness roads became interstates, pioneers became politicians and Tennessee’s past gave richness to its present.
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Ancient cultures and larger-than-life heroes, architectural gems and scientific advancements, Utopian societies and bloody battles are all part of the complex story of Tennessee.

Travel the paths of pioneers along the Natchez Trace, or see what the byways have to offer on Tennessee Trails & Byways. Explore native culture along the Cherokee Heritage Trails. Immerse yourself in Civil War drama as you travel the Civil War Trails through small towns and at ShilohChattanooga and other large battlefields.

Big personalities shaped our stateand left a memorable legacyin battlefields, frontier cabins and statesmens homes. Visit Belmont, the home of the remarkable Adelicia Acklen, in Nashville. Tour the homes of Tennessee’s three Presidents: Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville, the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville or the James K. Polk home in picturesque Columbia. Wherever you go in Tennessee from the prehistoric to the nearly new, you’ll find evidence of the changes wrought by innovative Tennesseans.

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East Tennessee

Gray Fossil Site and Natural History Museum

Get into the dig pit. Touch interactive exhibits. Learn the unlikely tale of a highway project that revealed prehistoric East Tennessee through the remains of shovel-tusked elephants and saber-toothed cats at the Gray Fossil Site.

Start Digging
Middle Tennessee

Downtown Franklin

This beautifully restored downtown near Nashville is a treasure for history buffs as well as lovers of good food and shopping. Take in a show at the Franklin Theatre. Visit Civil War landmarks Carnton Plantation, Lotz House and Carter House.

Tour Historic Franklin
West Tennessee

National Civil Rights Museum

Visit the Memphis site of the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and learn the history of the American Civil Rights Movement, from the colonization of America to the present day.

Learn the Story

Experience History & Heritage

Follow our history through heritage towns and down historic roads; explore the changes brought by rivers, rail and wars; learn the legends of pioneers, soldiers and statesmen. Visit mansions, farms, museums and parks that tell the Tennessee story.


History & Heritage Apr 25 - 27 Outdoor KnoxFest Knoxville, TN Outdoor KnoxFest is a weekend packed with outdoor adventure! Something for everyone - all ages and skill levels can experience Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness through guided trail and road rides, runs, hikes, paddles and much more! Sign up for one of the many clinics offered and learn new skills or try out a new venue. learn more History & Heritage Apr 25 Gatlinburg Earth Day 5K Gatlinburg, TN Earth Day 5K Run/Walk in beautiful Gatlinburg. Funds raised will benefit the Chamber Foundation's initiatives in education and our green program. learn more History & Heritage Apr 25 Museum of Appalachia's Sheep Shearing Day Clinton, TN Celebrate a Springtime Rite with the Annual Shearing of the Sheep Sheep Shearing Day at the Museum of Appalachia, April 25th, 2014 learn more History & Heritage Apr 25 - 26 Middle Tennessee History Fair Spring Hill, TN Middle Tennessee History Fair learn more History & Heritage Apr 25 Concert: Music of the Mountains/Good Thymes Ceidigh Band Townsend, TN Celtic music kicks off a weekend of music in Townsend, Gatlinburg and Cosby as residents and visitors alike celebrate the mountains’ musical past. Presented by Great Smoky Mountains Association learn more