Tennessee Tourism Announces Statewide What's New List For 2013

Thursday, December 27, 2012 - by Melanie Beauchamp

New and exciting exhibits, attractions and events for 2013 are enhancing Tennessee’s thriving tourism industry, along with commemorative anniversaries that remember the past, celebrate the present and bring hopeful anticipation for the future.

Music City Center, Nashville’s new convention center, is slated to open in April 2013. The building features 1.2 million square feet, including a 350,000 square foot exhibit hall, a 57,000 grand ballroom, 90,000 square feet of meeting room space and 32 loading docks. Also, coming to Nashville, The Johnny Cash Museum, featuring the most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2013.

Dollywood’s Splash Country in Pigeon Forge opens RiverRush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster is scheduled to open May 2013.

Graceland in Memphis will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Elvis Presley’s “Aloha from Hawaii” and “Elvis: Viva Las Vegas” opening in March 2013, where visitors will experience Las Vegas through the eyes of Elvis Presley, from the first time he stepped foot on stage in Las Vegas through his triumphant return in 1969.

Milestones for 2013 include the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle at Chickamauga Chattanooga, with the official Civil War Sesquicentennial Signature event taking place in October 10-12. The Battle of Collierville and Stones River in Murfreesboro also commemorate the 150th. Johnson City’s Hands On! Museum is turning 25 and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music celebrates its 10th, with events beginning in early spring.

2013 marks the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears. Noteworthy Trail of Tears sites in Southeast Tenn. include Ross’ Landing in Chattanooga, Red Clay State Park in Cleveland along with others that are outlined at www.southeasttennessee.com. Tennessee has 12 national Trail of Tears sites throughout the state.

East Tennessee


Flagg Grove School, childhood school of Tina Turner, has been moved to The West Tennessee Delta Heritage. Restoration is underway with a tentative opening date of June 2013.


The Old Oak Festival, a community and regional fine arts festival, returns to Tusculum College after a 20-year hiatus. Also new this year, “Scholars then Soldiers: Tusculum College and the American Civil War,” is on display through 2015.

Johnson City

Hands On! Museum celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2013.

Johnson County

Doe Mountain, an 8,600 acre pristine mountain range, will soon open featuring over 22 miles of hiking, biking, horseback riding and OHV trails.

Pigeon Forge

The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster featuring 60 individual sleds that travel up the side of a mountain, then wind downhill for one mile at up to 25 miles an hour, anticipates opening early winter, 2012.

Middle Tennessee


GRAYs on Main, slated to open September 2013, will be a new restaurant and live music venue, taking inspiration from Southern Foodways, including the cuisine of the Carolinas and the Low Country.


Oaklands Historic House Museum in Murfreesboro was just marked by the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities.


Stones River National Battlefield will host its 150th Anniversary Programs Dec. 26, 2013 – Jan. 3, 2013. Join volunteers and rangers as they reenact and retell one of the bloodiest battles in Civil War history.


Music City Center, Nashville’s new convention center, is planned to open in April 2013.

The Johnny Cash Museum featuring the most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world is scheduled to open in March, 2013.

British artist Bruce Munro’s exhibit “Light,” a breathtaking display of tens of thousands of blown glass balls and fiber optic lights, will open at Cheekwood.

West Tennessee


The Morton Museum of Collierville History is now open.


The historic Denmark Church is now open after a complete renovation and features a Civil War exhibit.


Providence House, one of the oldest Antebellum homes in West Tennessee, is now open as an event venue as part of Casey Jones Village. The Village Chapel, the 100 year-old church from Haywood County will be open to the public daily while also hosting weddings and Gospel sings.

The Discovery Museum of West Tennessee features the “Road to Shiloh” exhibit.


Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World retail complex will open in the Pyramid late 2013. The Complex will feature a restaurant, aquarium and zip-lines, as well as a new 200-room hotel and marina on the banks of the Mississippi.

Memphis International Raceway’s new ownership and management brings a new vision to the versatile racing facility including the Hot Rod Power Tour in 2013.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music marks 10 years with events beginning in early spring 2013.

Obion County – Union City

Discovery Park of America, an entertainment and cultural complex, opens in 2013.

Land Between the Lakes

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area opened a new nine-mile bike/hike trail along US68/KY80 between the Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley bridges. The recreation area will celebrate its 50th anniversary June 2013.

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