What’s New, Trending And Blooming This Spring In Tennessee

Thursday, March 18, 2021 - by Jill Kilgore
Pictured, left to right: The Grove at GPAC in Memphis, Once Upon a Spring at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville and Tennessee Mountain Laurel Festival in Wartburg
Pictured, left to right: The Grove at GPAC in Memphis, Once Upon a Spring at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville and Tennessee Mountain Laurel Festival in Wartburg

What’s New

Memphis – Memphis Zoo’s all-new Kangazoo Experience lets you get face-to-face with kangaroos roaming free in the walk-through exhibit. Visitor favorites also include giraffe-feeding, the panda exhibit and Sting Ray Cove.

Jackson – Discover what makes Jackson a unique place for music lovers of all backgrounds whether you’re looking for new eclectic sounds, blues and gospel, country music or more with live performances of Jackson’s Hidden Tracks.

Nashville – Enjoy premiere shopping, world-class dining, live music and views of downtown at Fifth + Broadway. This 300,000 square foot multi-level mecca is a must-see and home to the National Museum of African American Music and Assembly Food Hall featuring two dozen restaurants on multiple levels.

Columbia - The Mulehouse is a 55,000 square feet new music and event venue located a few blocks from the downtown square, established by country radio personality and broadcaster, Blair Garner.

Manchester – A brand new concert series features live, in-person performances in a socially-distanced setting at the Bonnaroo Farm. Concerts on the Farm includes performances by Billy Strings, Jon Pardy, Jameson Rodgers, The Avett Brothers and more.

Chattanooga – Grab your thinking caps, maps and don’t forget your mask. Take adventure to the next level. Learn more about Chattanooga’s top attractions and neighborhoods during the Spring Break Safari Scavenger Hunt.

Knoxville – Three levels of magical crystal barrooms wait to be discovered in downtown Knoxville. Bernadette’s barrooms include the Knox County Quartz House, the Amethyst Lounge and a stunning rooftop of Crystal Gardens. 

Gatlinburg – Anakeesta will be in full bloom with the launch of Blooms and Tunes featuring colorful nature-themed art installations, live music and a new spring-themed menu at four restaurants in the park.

Townsend – The Smoky Mountain Bigfoot Festival Noon-10 p.m. May 22 includes live music, vendors, food trucks, bigfoot competitions, oral histories, 1-mile fun run and more at the Townsend Visitor’s Center.

Johnson City – Grab a scavenger hunt clue card online or from a downtown business to search for 15 bronze animal sculptures as part of Wildabout Walkabout Scavenger Hunt from the public library and King Commons Park to Main and Market Streets.

New Restaurants, Breweries and Distilleries

Memphis - Renowned chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman are at it again, this time with their Little Bettie pizza joint inside Wiseacre’s newly opened downtown taproom.

Clarksville - The Thirsty Goat is a newer gathering place outside of the city that features a beer garden, artisan coffee shop and oven-fired pizzas.

Murfreesboro – Biscuit-based meals made baked fresh daily are at the forefront of Maple Street Biscuit Co. Jams and jellies are also made in-store. Featured on Food Network, The Squawking Goat dish is an all-natural fried chicken breast, fried goat cheese medallion and house-made pepper jelly atop a flaky biscuit.

Columbia - Wolf and Scout Coffee Car is located in the Columbia Arts Building serving varieties of coffees and their signature drink, the Wolfhunter. 

Carthage – Cajun wings, honey bbq wings, onion rings, fries and delicious sides are on tap at Something 2 Wing About.

Farragut - 35 North, located in the heart of Farragut, features the area’s best food trucks, local brews, wine and spirits and features two patios, an outdoor fireplace and a place for gathering.

LaFollette - Twin Flame features amazing hot dogs, burgers, wings, catfish, specialty drinks and much more with carry-out and dining room seating available.

Wartburg – The MoCo Brewing Project is Morgan County’s latest brewery and coffee shop with signature beers named and influenced by local landmarks. The owners brew beer, coffee and offer flavored coffee and hot chocolate.

Sevierville – Tennessee Shine Co. uses family recipes and small-batch distilling, features a tasting bar and Moonshine Tour. 

Johnson City – Watauga Brewing Company is a three story brewery, restaurant and rooftop bar. Restaurant On 2 combines upscale New American cuisine with Appalachian and southern roots. The chef uses local, seasonal foods in her menu.  

New Attractions and Exhibits

Memphis –Visitors can enjoy movie nights and world-renowned musicians in an all-new outdoor setting at The Grove at GPAC.

Memphis – Graceland celebrates the 50th anniversary King of Rock ‘n’ Roll meeting then President Richard Nixon with a special pop-up exhibit and artifacts with Dear Mr. President: Elvis and Mr. Nixon.

Union City – The "Southern Artist Showcase: The Caldwell Collection, Works by Southern Self-taught Artists" includes artwork from various Southern artists including Ludie Amos, Jimmy Lee Sudduth and Burlon Craig. All artists featured were self-taught. This exhibit at Discovery Park of America is included with park admission.

Nashville – Once Upon a Spring at Gaylord Opryland includes a live story time show, art activities, cookie decorating, scavenger hunt, boat rides and other fun programming. 

Knoxville – Zoo Knoxville’s The ARC (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Campus), open spring 2021, will showcase the zoo’s pioneering conservation work with these species and feature revolutionary STEM education resources.

Johnson City – Paradise Acres is a family farm park with an 18-hole mini-golf course, outdoor laser tag, barn-side drive-in theater and U-Pick produce.
New Hotels & Places to Stay

Memphis - Walk the line between southern hospitality, offbeat and elevated cuisine to get a genuine taste of Midtown’s unconventional personality, storied art district and Overton Square at The Memphian, set to open April 2021.

Memphis – Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis is within walking distance of the city’s famed entertainment district, nestled in a vibrant neighborhood known for lauded music venues, historic landmarks, southern comfort and Memphis-style barbecue.

Nashville – W Hotel Nashville is set to take the stage in the heart of the Gulch. Opening spring 2021 with 346 rooms, the new hotel will welcome visitors with curated local tunes, garden-to-glass cocktails and welcoming communal spaces.

Sevierville – The Central Hotel, a boutique hotel inside a renovated bank building, also features Honeybee Coffee Co. on the ground floor. Nearby, visitors to downtown can enjoy shopping and restaurants, including the new Hickory Cabin BBQ & Grill, Graze Burgers and The Appalachian, a new fine dining restaurant.

Pigeon Forge –Pigeon Forge RV Resort along the Little Pigeon River includes 149 RV sites, camping, riverside fishing, illuminated river walk. On-property offerings include on-site concierge services, a pool and hot tub, playground, picnic pavilion, a dog park, golf cart rentals, a retail store, conference room and gym and laundry facilities. 

New Stores

Columbia – Columbia features several new stores including Cope (in the Columbia Arts Building with a variety of trendy plants), family-owned jewelry store Tillis Jewelry on the downtown square and Southern Clutter Boutique with a variety of clothing, accessories, home goods and crafts.

Farragut – Euphoric Cheese features cut-to-order cheeses from all around the world, a wide variety of charcuterie items, specialty groceries and a selection of local brews. Items such as chocolate-covered figs, blue cheese stuffed olives, creamed honey and rosemary crackers will make your grazing board memorable. 

Kingston – That Local Cheeseboard Co. features handcrafted charcuterie boards & boxes, grazing tables, customizable boxes, corporate catering and gifts and items for special occasions.

Sevierville – Explore home décor ideas and find something unique at Gardenia Cottage Home, Green Olde Deal Antique Mall or Violet Kingdom Boutique. Discover new flavors at Tennessee Homemade Wines like “White Knuckle Grape” and “Blueberry Bammer.” Cruze Farms Ice Cream scoops up farm-to-cone flavors at their new location beside Ogle Bros. General Store.
Hot/Trending Places for Spring

Hornbeak – Vacation while you dine at Blue Bank Fishhouse & Grill at Blue Bank Resort with delicious weekend specials, local craft beer, live music, fire pits, butterfly garden & front row seating to a beautiful sunset on Reelfoot Lake.

Alamo – Drive through the 5.5 miles of safari roads in your own car, interact and feed animals at Tennessee Safari Park.


Aquarium Virtual Fundraiser Begins Wednesday, Features Animal Encounters, Artwork And Unique Experiences

AccuWeather's 2021 Fall Foliage Forecast

Things For Southern Californians To Do 12: Honolulu


Have you longed to lounge with lemurs? Is it your passion to paint with a penguin? Do you seek to shake suckers with a cephalopod, or play chef for a shark? If the answer to any of these ... (click for more)

The days are growing shorter and pumpkins are popping up at supermarkets from coast to coast, precursors to a dramatic shift that is about to take place on hillsides and mountain ranges all across ... (click for more)

Hawaii has been at or near the top of the list of the best states for COVID deaths per 100,000 population from the start of the pandemic. As of August 25, 2021, it was No. 1 with 40 (compared ... (click for more)



Travel

Aquarium Virtual Fundraiser Begins Wednesday, Features Animal Encounters, Artwork And Unique Experiences

Have you longed to lounge with lemurs? Is it your passion to paint with a penguin? Do you seek to shake suckers with a cephalopod, or play chef for a shark? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you’ll want to check out the Tennessee Aquarium’s virtual fall fundraising event. The online auction will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22, and continue through 5 ... (click for more)

AccuWeather's 2021 Fall Foliage Forecast

The days are growing shorter and pumpkins are popping up at supermarkets from coast to coast, precursors to a dramatic shift that is about to take place on hillsides and mountain ranges all across the continent. One of the tell-tale signs that autumn has arrived is when forests transition to a palette of vibrant colors, a transformation so grand that it can be seen from space. ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Janet Hinds Found Guilty Of Vehicular Homicide In Death Of Officer Galinger; Faces 8-12 Years In Prison

A jury of 12 found Janet Hinds guilty of vehicular homicide by intoxication after spending part of Thursday, all of Friday, and Saturday morning deliberating. She is facing eight to 12 years in prison, and will be sentenced on November 1. “It was a tragedy for both families.” Nicholas Galinger’s father Barry Galinger said. “A long time ago, people told me it would get easier ... (click for more)

Jury Deliberates 13 Hours With No Verdict Yet In Janet Hinds Case; To Resume Saturday Morning

The Nashville jurors in the Janet Hinds case deliberated 13 hours on Friday before stopping for the night. The panel was to resume talks at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Jurors reported making good progress an hour before they were dismissed for the night by Judge Don Poole. But they returned an hour later still without a verdict. Ms. Hinds is charged in the February 2019 traffic ... (click for more)

Opinion

Why Is All The New Building Not Saving Us From A 40-Cent City Property Tax Increase? - And Response

With the number of homes, apartments and condos built downtown, why is a 40 percent property tax increase necessary? Are these new structures on the paying property tax role? I need to know what’s going on downtown and why isn’t that money benefiting the city? Georgia Vaughn * * * The answer is that tax exemptions for these projects have been given out freely and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sunday Funnies

NOTE: Glitches happen in life and due to “operator error, The Saturday Funnies have become The Sunday Funnies this week. I hope you will enjoy these … * * * ILLEGAL COCKFIGHTS IN LOUISIANA The Louisiana State Police had received numerous reports of illegal cockfights being held in the area around Abbeville and had sent their famous Detective Boudreaux from Thibodeaux to ... (click for more)