Tours in Tennessee

Select Local Merchants

Elmwood Cemetery, established before the Civil War in 1852, stands firmly on the National Register of Historic Places. The land is not only a cemetery, but an arboretum and bird sanctuary, home to one of the major preserves of old forest growth left in the developed metropolis of modern Memphis. With today's deal, you'll get a guided 90-minute tour of Elmwood's numerous landmarks and spaces of beauty and peanut butter contemplation. Gander at Phillips Cottage, the visitor center that dates back to 1866, and pause before the graves of numerous veterans of the Revolutionary and Civil wars. Your friendly docent will regale you with tales of the city fathers, early majors, everyday citizens, and citizen bears of early Memphis as you pass beneath the shade of maples, ginkgos, crape myrtles, and bountiful fruit trees. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or an aspiring member of the Guild of Funerary Violinists, you'll find something to appreciate on a tour of Elmwood Cemetery.

824 S Dudley St
Memphis,
TN
US

Founded with the goal of transforming downtown Nashville into a compelling, culturally rich urban center, Nashville Downtown Partnership fosters a sense of community via fun-filled initiatives that showcase the city’s finest offerings, such as the 11th annual Downtown Home Tour. Participants on the tour get a chance to see a variety of chic private spaces, ogling unique floor plans with an emphasis on ultramodern design that whisk guests into the future without the disheveled hairdos inherent with leaps through the time-space continuum. The Partnership creates such interactive experiences to help introduce locals to the benefits of living in the center of Music City, such as having easy access to its hundreds of restaurants as well as sports and entertainment venues.

421 Church Street
Nashville,
TN
US

Knoxville Food Tours' squadron of knowledgeable guides pilots pedestrians through downtown Knoxville's eclectic cache of local eateries, introducing locals and visitors alike to a smattering of tasty cuisine during tours that have garnered press from outlets such as the Knoxville News Sentinel. Each 2.5-hour to 3-hour walking tour leads participants to a rotating lineup of local haunts, where they'll enjoy drinks and sample local fare such as pastries, pizza, sushi, vegetarian cuisine, and produce from nearby farmers. At each stop on the excursion, chefs and restaurateurs proffer friendly, insightful culinary conversation to bolster the enlightening nuggets of historical information dispensed by the well-informed guides or their sentient atlases.

301 S Gay St
Knoxville,
TN
US

Chattanooga resident Rufus Marye’s enthusiasm for his city is palpable. Fueled by a desire to transmit his immense love for the history and natural beauty of his hometown to others, he came up with the idea for a double-decker tour. Even as he was deployed to Iraq, he continued to forge his plan to create a fun and historically accurate tour. He began implementing his dream when he returned in 2010, eventually finding the vintage double-decker bus he dubbed “Eleanor,” a 1960s British vehicle whose horn honks with a Cockney accent. Determined to show tour-goers as much of the southern burg as possible, Marye mapped out a route that would whisk them over all three of the city’s bridges, through famous sites such as The Chattanooga Choo Choo and Underground Chattanooga, and along the south and north banks of the Tennessee River.

But Rufus didn't stop there. With Eleanor, he offered a family-friendly vessel on which passengers sit back and explore the city's scenic and historic sites. To create a more cost-effective, adult-oriented spin on the same theme of city exploration, he turned to the novel trend of the pedal pub. Named the Chattanooga Bew Choo, the vessel draws its power from pedaling passengers who, in turn, derive energy from the draft beers they can enjoy along the way.

503 Market Street
Chattanooga,
TN
US

The Discovery is an apt name for the Cumberland River Cruises pontoon boat, which explores the winding waters of Old Hickory Lake and the Cumberland River. Though available as a venue for on-water private parties and other events, the vessel's chief purpose is to provide scenic public tours. Every Thursday through Sunday, an experienced guide leads groups of 6 or more people on tours such as the nature tour, which showcases lakeside vistas of cliffs and creeks. Another variation on a basic trip includes the sunset tour, which passes a local cave just as the resident gray bats depart for their nighttime hunt.

661 Carolyn Ln
Gallatin,
TN
US

When surveyor Aaron Higgenbotham discovered Cumberland Caverns in 1810, he couldn't see its majestic pillars of dripping rock, its flowstone curtains, or its subterranean waterfalls. Stuck on a small ledge in the dark, Higgenbotham was as blind to the cave system's features—one of them a 2,000-foot-long cavern hall—as the eyeless crayfish that live there. His initial discovery nevertheless paved the way for nearly 200 years of speleological findings. Today, guides preserve this 32-mile National Landmark cavern by leading daily tours through its passages.

During tours, guides point out artifacts left by pre Civil War–era saltpeter mines, tunnels filled with rare gypsum deposits, and mysterious inscriptions reading "Shelah Waters - 1869" and "Millard Fillmore + Stacy." They lead guests among stalagmites and stalactites to a sound-and-light show that dramatically retells Bible stories, or into a domed hall that houses a hand-cut crystal chandelier rescued from a historic Brooklyn theater. It's in this last space that staffers organize banquets, weddings, and monthly live bluegrass concerts, or hold burial services for broken fax machines. They also lead visitors through the tight passageways of lesser-seen cavern segments during daytime or overnight spelunking trips.

1437 Cumberland Caverns Rd
McMinnville,
TN
US