"Japanese Bridge" by H. Michael Miley via Flickr Creative Commons

The Volunteer State comes alive in the spring. Few places offer such a wide variety of options encompassing everything from scenic mountains and world famous music festivals to Dollywood. Whether traveling with your family or leaving the kids behind, Tennessee has something to offer everyone with scenic views from the Smoky Mountains to the Memphis cityscape.

From the Towns to the Countryside

Tennessee isn’t just Graceland and Nashville - it’s historic districts, small towns, rivers, mountains, and lakes. If you’re into city-sightseeing, check out the Beale Street Historic district, the music and entertainment pulse of downtown Memphis or the Cradle of Country Music Walking Tour in Knoxville. Stroll through country music history from pioneer ballads to rockabilly. If the simple life is more your speed, have a picnic in the woods or catch a catamaran on the Tennessee River Gorge.

Go Festival Crazy

Spring is so colorful in Tennessee that you can start off green—and end up blue. Go green in March at St. Patrick’s Day festivals, such as Gatlinburg’s Holly and Shamrock Parade, where St. Pat meets St. Nick. Finish out the season with a serious case of the Delta Blues, when you visit world-famous Memphis in May celebration of music, barbecue and heritage. If you yearn for some contemporary jazz under the springtime sun, take in Main Street’s Jazz Fest in Murfreesboro. For something quirky, blow your top at the Trenton Teapot Festival. Check out the Catfish Races in Paris (Tennessee, not France), or the Mule Day celebration in Columbia.

Stop to Smell the Roses

When you think “spring,” you usually think green, but in Tennessee, it’s so much more than that. Spring is yellow, red, and violet too, and the best place to catch the colors is at one of Tennessee’s many national parks, botanical gardens, and arboretums. Soak in a rainbow of blooms at Memphis’ Dixon Gallery & Gardens where you will be amazed by the 20,000 Tulip Exhibition, taste the character of the greenhouses, and admire the Victorian glass conservatory, as well as the gorgeous layout of the gardens. Floral phenomena at Big Cypress Tree State Park don’t just draw hummingbirds and butterflies, but nature lovers, too.

Channel Your Inner Country Star at Dollywood

Dollywood, The Smoky Mountain Family Adventure, is Tennessee’s number one attraction featuring 130 acres of incredible rides, spectacular shows, heritage crafts and fun for the whole family. Whether you’re into singing in your own music video or splashing down the log flume, Dollywood’s got it. And what better time of year to visit this entertainment hotspot than when the weather’s just right?