Touring Western Tennessee
Western Tennessee is a place where RVers can enjoy the best of all worlds: big city living and small town charm, rugged wilderness and gentle mountains. This region also offers an array of RV parks to choose from, including both secluded and family-friendly, old-fashioned and modern, and those with hookups or those without. Whether you’re looking for a remote getaway or want easy access to Nashville’s country music scene, Western Tennessee offers something for everyone! Below, we have listed some of the most popular Western Tennessee attractions, as well as our favorite Harvest Hosts locations in the area.
With so many great places available in Western Tennessee, it’s hard to choose exactly where to plan to visit on your vacation. However, the main attraction in the westernmost region of the state is the city of Memphis. With numerous museums and historical places to choose from, as well as the infamous Beale Street and an amazing zoo, you are sure to find tons to do, see and enjoy in this incredible city. If you are less interested in seeing the city, be sure to check out one of western Tennessee’s incredible state parks, also listed below.
Situated along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, Memphis is famous for being the birthplace of blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and soul music. However, those who are less into music can still find plenty to do here, including dining, shopping, and sightseeing. Be sure to check out the following attractions when planning your upcoming trip.
1. National Civil Rights Museum
The National Civil Rights Museum is a series of complex museums and historic buildings in Memphis, Tennessee. Its exhibits trace the history of the civil rights movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present, and the museum is built around the former Lorraine Motel, which was the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. Two other buildings and their adjacent property, which is also connected with the King assassination, have been acquired as part of the museum complex.
In recent decades, the museum has undergone several series of renovations, each increasing the number and depth of displays and information available to the public. Currently, the museum remains open with some limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Centered around the story of the origination of soul music, Stax Museum tells the story of Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton as they worked together to popularize their own form of soul music in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Over sixty years later, the Stax Museum pays special tribute to the artists who recorded there, as well as other American soul legends, with interactive exhibits, films, stage costumes, musical instruments, vintage recording equipment used at Stax, records, photographs, permanent and changing galleries, and a rare and amazing collection of more than 2,000 items of memorabilia and artifacts. Be sure to pay it a visit on your next trip to Memphis!
3. Sun Studio
Sun Studio is known worldwide as “The Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ roll”. It is the discovery location of musical legends and genres of the 1950s, from B.B. King and Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis, with genres from Blues and Gospel to Country and Rock’n’roll. Here, visitors can stand in the very first place that Elvis ever recorded, while also seeing the priceless memorabilia from the musical legends that blended blues and country music to explode into the true birth of rock ‘n’ roll.
Graceland was once the home of the King of Rock’n’Roll himself, Elvis Presley. Today, it serves as a state-of-the-art entertainment and exhibit complex of over 200,000-square-feet in size. Here, visitors are enabled to follow the life path that Elvis took, surround themselves with the things that he loved, and experiencing the events, sights and sounds of the city that inspired him. Graceland is complete with its very own RV park, as well as a guest house, allowing visitors to stay nearby and experience even more of the magic. This influential stop is not to be missed!
5. Beale Street
As you may know, Beale Street is one of the most iconic streets in America. It features three blocks of nightclubs, restaurants, and shops in the heart of downtown Memphis, all while offering incredible music that is a perfect blend of jazz, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, gospel and R&B. This National Historic Landmark district shares its rich history of legendary live music through museums, clubs, and photo opportunities, where you can still hear current musicians making music in Memphis today.
6. Memphis Zoo
Named as one of the best zoos in the country, the Memphis Zoo and Aquarium is an essential stop on any tour of Memphis. More than 3,500 animals call this zoo home, with over 500 individual species available for guests to see. Opened in 1906, the zoo spans over seventy acres and about two miles of distance. Here, tours are offered for a small fee, and the zoo is open every day of the year, with the exception of a few major holidays.
Reelfoot Lake State Park
Situated in the northwestern-most corner of Tennesee, Reelfoot Lake State Park is comprised of a 15,000-acre lake with cypress trees planted just below the surface of the lake. In addition to towering cypress trees, the lake’s waters are home to many other aquatic plants and flowers, in addition to many forms of wildlife and birds. This amazing park is a popular place for fishing and boating, and they have two different campgrounds available for RVers.
Chickasaw State Park
Chickasaw State Park was named for the Chickasaw Tribe who once inhabited western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. This area became a state park in 1955 when all parklands were returned to state control, and the park and forest lands were deeded to the state.
The park is situated on some of the highest terrain in west Tennessee. Of the area’s 14,384 acres of timberland, 1,280 acres are used for recreation. Chickasaw State Park offers many opportunities for recreation, including more than four miles of easy to moderate hiking trails and bicycle-friendly roads. Park guests can also utilize the rowboats and pedal boats available for rent on Lake Placid. RV camping is also available in a specific campground designated for RVers.
Natchez Trace State Park
Natchez Trace State Park was officially set aside during the era of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Civilian Conservation Corps. Today, this park is a prime recreation site in western Tennessee. Here, visitors enjoy over forty miles of hiking trails, as well as fishing and boating on any of the park’s four lakes. The park museum offers opportunities for learning about the area’s history, and two campgrounds offer excellent sites with hookups for RVers. In addition, there is even a designated Wrangler camp, as well. Be sure to make reservations, as this park stays busy in the prime seasons.
Harvest Hosts Locations
No list of sights in a specific area would be complete without Harvest Hosts locations! Luckily, Western Tennessee has plenty to choose from with options including farms, breweries, vineyards, golf clubs, and more. Ensure your Harvest Hosts membership is up-to-date, and let’s hit the road to explore these fantastic locations!
Sumner Crest Winery – Portland, TN
Sumner Crest Winery was first opened in the fall of 1997 by the two Hall brothers and continues to thrive to this day. The people and soil of northwestern Tennessee gave this love a foundation on which dreams were built. Today they continue to produce award-winning wines while staying true to their roots. recently, they’ve expanded to include The Grape Vine Café that serves flatbreads and deli offerings. For RVers, they offer one space with a 30 or 50-amp electrical hookup, as well as WiFi . This Harvest Hosts location has three pet-friendly spaces available for RVs of any size.
Marrowbone Creek Brewing Co. – Ashland City, TN
Owners Ryan Jensen, Chris Morris, and Julie Morris wanted to create a brewery that was more of an experience: someplace family-friendly that allowed locals and visitors alike to taste house-made brews, along with other national favorites from all over the United States. In mid-2020, they opened Marrowbone Creek Brewing Co, which happens to be the area’s first destination brewery. Here, they feature a variety of their own beers along with brews from Nashville, Oregon, Maine, Ohio, California, and more. This Harvest Hosts location offers one pet-friendly space for RVs under nineteen feet in length. In the near future, they will be able to accommodate larger RVs, so stay tuned!
South 40 Farm – Franklin, TN
Photographers Ann and Jeff Thoni chose their property for South 40 Farm with an artistic eye. Owners of their own photography business, Ann’s Forever Images, they welcome fellow photographers onto their property to enjoy the landscape. In addition to Harvest Hosts stay requests, they also accept reservations to photograph the property. This Harvest Hosts location offers two pet-friendly spaces for RVs of any size.
Mayday Brewery – Murfreesboro, TN
Mayday Brewery is the perfect funky pit stop for your western Tennessee adventure. As you will notice, they are kid and pet-friendly (be sure to ask about the goats if you visit!). When visiting, be sure to take Ozzy’s Brewery Tour and sample any of their sixteen regular beers. They also offer rotating beers from other breweries across the United States. This location offers one pet-friendly space for an RV under twenty-one feet in length.
Saddle Creek Golf Club – Lewisburg, TN
As one of the top must-play courses in all of western Tennessee, Saddle Creek continues to set the standard. Their course is challenging, yet scenic, and it can easily engage players of all abilities. They have an on-site pro shop fully stocked with name-brand gear, and they also perform on-site club repairs. Be sure to grab a drink or bite to eat at the Taproot Public House on-site. This Harvest Hosts location offers two pet-friendly spaces for RVs of any size.
Mesa Trail Alpacas – Jacks Creek, TN
Owners Marcus and Stacy currently house over seventy alpacas on their property, where guests will want to visit the on-site store ful, of handmade clothing, yarn, and other assorted alpaca products. Stacy considers herself to be a yarn snob, so guests should take note that only the best yarns are sold in her store! Please note that dogs must be kept on leash since alpacas view them as a threat and are easily frightened. This Harvest Hosts location offers three pet-friendly spaces for RVs under thirty-five feet in length.
Crown Winery & HRH Vineyards – Humboldt, TN
Situated on fifty acres of gorgeous vineyard, ponds, and trees, this winery is not to be missed! The combination of the scenic property with their Tuscan-style winery makes for such a beautiful place to spend the night. Here, they offer seventeen different wines and even began producing beers in 2018. Winemaker turned brewmaster, Barry, really does it all. This Harvest Hosts location offers four pet-friendly spaces for RVs of any size.
Tom’s Farm – Rossville, TN
Tom’s Farm, owned by Tom himself, specializes in hosting outdoor activities. Anyone RVing near here, especially in the fall, is in for a real treat! Each harvest season, the farm offers a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, bonfires, a playground, and more. These activities make Tom’s Farm such an idyllic location to visit at this time of year. Folks come from all over to pay Tom’s Farm a visit, so be sure to add this to your list if you’re ever in the area. This Harvest Hosts location offers five pet-friendly spaces for RVs of any size.
If you’re looking for a place to explore on your next vacation, then consider visiting western Tennessee. Here, the culture is unique, while the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. There are also plenty of cities to explore as well as places in nature, offering something for everyone. It’s an adventure just waiting to happen.
Have you visited western Tennessee in your RV? Where did you enjoy the most? What Harvest Hosts location on this list sounds like the most fun? Tell us about it in the comments!
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