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.
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.
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 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.
The retreating sun paints the waters of the Tennessee River with golden streaks of light, beckoning the _Southern Belle_’s passengers onto her breezy decks to take in the resplendent evening. Making daily jaunts along the Tennessee Valley, the three-story riverboat evokes the majesty of days gone by with her snowy white exterior and elegantly appointed interior that includes a dining room, dance floor, and a crew of old-timey ghost captains. Staffed by friendly crew members, the boat regularly pushes off from Pier 2 for a daily lineup of lunch, dinner, and sightseeing cruises. Along with everyday tours, the majestic vessel also plays host to a variety of special events, from festive Thanksgiving cruises to elegant weddings and exciting school trips. Back on the dock, Pier 2, a stationary boat that functions as the _Southern Belle_’s docking facility, bustles with events ranging from teas to high-school reunions, while chefs in the 3rd Deck Burger Bar grill up succulent patties for hungry visitors.
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.
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.