TN Travel Guide
Harry Potter and Mickey Mouse better watch their backs, as there’s a theme park planning quite a big expansion. Dollywood is preparing to go all in with their offerings, as it sounds like they’re looking to throw down around $300 million to improve, expand, and upgrade.
All the goodies aren’t happening all at once, as the big influx of cash will be spent somewhat slowly—like over the next ten years or so. Namesake Dolly Parton recently spilled the beans, as she revealed that the theme park would be finally expanding into a full-fledged resort. She expects that a 300-room hotel and more will be just part of the new look of Dollywood—something they’re calling Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort.
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Kristen Stewart isn't spending the summer moping around after her breakup with Robert Pattinson; instead the Twilight star took a road trip through the south with friends.
Last week Kristen was spotted at the Hooters in Amarillo, TX where she posed with fans and reportedly had the restaurant's Daytona chicken wings and a beer for dinner. And, based on the photos she took with fans on the way out, Kristen seemed to be in an uncharacteristically good mood.
Step off the plane at Memphis International Airport and, while you're still in the jetbridge, before even entering the terminal proper, the tangy sweet smell of BBQ sauce assaults your olfactory. There's no escaping the scent; Memphis' airport is home to no fewer than three barbecue restaurantstwo locations of Jim Neely's Interstate BBQ, and one Corky's BBQ.
Upon landing from our Delta flight in from Atlanta (another airport that smells of yummy eats), we made a bee-line for the Interstate BBQ and their BBQ pulled pork sandwich and then played the tourist with some browsing in the airport's dedicated Elvis souvenir shop. Oh, and what was playing over the airport's sound system? Elvis' greatest hits, naturally.
Wish you were here!
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Wizard World, which produces annual comic cons in Portland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Ohio, Austin and New Orleans, has added cons in Nashville and St Louis for 2013.
The St. Louis event is set for March 22-24 and the Nashville con will take place October 18-20. Stan Lee, Dean Cain, Billy Dee Williams, and James Marsters are among the confirmed guests for both.
Advance tickets are now on sale and range from $30 for one day passes to $499 for Platinum VIP passes. Visit www.wizardworld.com to purchase tickets.
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This weekend country music's biggest stars, including Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band, and Faith Hill, will return to Nashville for the city's annual signature event, the CMA Music Festival.
Taking place between June 7th and June 10th, the fest will feature around the clock live performances at various venues including Riverfront Park, the Nashville Convention Center, and LP Field.
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Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival returns to Manchester, Tennessee on June 7-10, 2012 and there is still one more chance to get tickets.
The four-day festival will feature performances by Radiohead, Bon Iver, The Shins, The Beach Boys, Fitz & the Tantrums, Feist, Ludacris, The Roots, Foster The People, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and dozens more.
And the bands aren't the only draw at Bonnaroo 2012. This year's fest will also bring back Bonnaroo Cinema, the Comedy Theater, Kidz Jam, the Broo'ers Festival, and the Food Truck Oasis.
If you’re looking for even more country on your next visit to Nashville—you’re in luck—as the city is about to start construction on a brand new country music museum. Unfortunately for Taylor Swift fans she’s not the focus of the new exhibits, as it’s scheduled to show off plenty about the life and times of the Man in Black.
A Johnny Cash museum is in the works for an old warehouse in Nashville within Third Avenue South. Curators and officials are still figuring out all the details and exhibits, but we do know that they plan to include parts from the musician’s former home in Henderson, Tennessee. Of course there will also be plenty of other memorabilia and memories, and it sounds like plenty of stuff will be handed over from the personal collection of one big fan and biographer. The Cash family seems to be supporting the effort, so it should be a pretty straight forward presentation without too much bickering over what can and can’t be included.
It’s time for Dollywood part deux, as Dolly Parton is ready to get to work—maybe even 9 to 5—on her second theme park. This time she’s got her sights on the greater Nashville area, and if all goes as planned the tourists and travelers will be filling up the parking lots starting in 2014.
The new place doesn’t sound to be another exact version of the original theme park, as this new establishment is going to only cost $50 million to build. Officials are billing it as some sort of water and snow park, and it’ll be located across from the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Apparently it’s just the first piece in a number of new entertainment offerings coming to the area as the city looks to get families and other visitors to stick around and spend a little cash.
Elvis is at the B Gates
Did you go to Memphis and not buy a caseload of Elvis memorabilia? A brave decision, and one that probably won't fly so well with the folks back home. Luckily, you have an escape clauseand you won’t even be charged for checking it into the hold.
Instead of the usual boring souvenir shops, see, Memphis airport has an Elvis shop. That’s right, a shop that stocks purely Elvis memorabilia, from magnets and t-shirts to clocks, Christmas ornaments and cookie jars.
The memorabilia is all official Elvis gear, so it’s the same stuff you can find at Graceland. And yes, there’s a mark-up, but it’s not as much as you’d think in all cases – about $1 more for Elvis emery boards and magnets, and about $5 more for anything bigger. We arrived three hours early for our flight and ended up taking home the Elvis clock – made out of pink glassthat we’d admired at Graceland but wondered how we’d fit it in our case. Simple, in the event: we just took it on the plane in addition to our already bulging hand luggage.
If you planned on checking out Bonnaroo this year, which will take place between June 9th and June 12th in Manchester, TN, you better hurry because tickets are going fast!
The annual music and arts fest has an awesome line-up for 2011, including Eminem, Arcade Fire, Widespread Panic, The Black Keys, Neil Young, My Morning Jacket, Lil Wayne, and The Strokes. The bad news is general admission tickets are already sold out. The only tickets left right now are the VIP packages which include two 4-day festival passes, camping fees, VIP parking, special shower and restroom facilities, access to VIP lounge areas, exclusive viewing areas, t-shirts and more for $1,349.50. There is also a payment plan available and an upgrade which includes meals. Tickets can be purchased at Bonnaroo.com.
Fresh off their Grammy wins, Eminem and Arcade Fire will make plans to head to a Tennessee farm, but not to celebrate their award with a rustic vacation. The guys, along with the Strokes, My Morning Jacket and Lil Wayne, will headline the 10th annual Bonnaroo Festival.
The music and arts fest runs from June 9 to 12 at a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. It'll feature the only fest appearance of Buffalo Springfield with original members Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay.
Even though there have been plenty of movies about country music, most of them never shot one scene in Nashville. But Country Strong, in theaters today, was not only filmed in Nashville, it also features local musicians who recorded most of the soundtrack on Nashville's famous Music Row.
The movie, which stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester, and Garrett Hedlund, is about an aging country singer (Paltrow) trying to rebound in her career and marriage. But it was McGraw who pushed for the movie to be shot in Nashville, while producers originally planned on filming in Austin. “I think Nashville played an important part. Nashville is a character unto itself," McGraw said. "There’s such a vibe in this city, and I think the soul of the city is country music, and if we didn’t have that sort of intangible thing there that sort of lingers on film … it would have been just one more obstacle.”