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.


Tennessee Aquarium Modifies Mask Requirement Outside Of Special Early-Bird Visitation Window

Smokies' Soaky Mountain Waterpark To Celebrate Grand Opening June 4

Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway To Reopen May 28


Starting today, vaccinated travelers planning to visit the Tennessee Aquarium can scratch one item off their packing checklist: a mask. In accordance with guidance from the U.S. Centers ... (click for more)

Soaky Mountain Waterpark officials, together with state and local tourism officials, will gather on June 4 at 9 a.m. to celebrate the official grand opening of the 50-acre waterpark, 175 Gists ... (click for more)

Ober Gatlinburg, Inc.’s iconic Aerial Tramway is set to reopen to the Public this Friday, with the first Tram scheduled to leave the Downtown Terminal at 9:45 a.m. This scheduled reopening comes ... (click for more)



Travel

Tennessee Aquarium Modifies Mask Requirement Outside Of Special Early-Bird Visitation Window

Starting today, vaccinated travelers planning to visit the Tennessee Aquarium can scratch one item off their packing checklist: a mask. In accordance with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fully vaccinated guests arriving at the Aquarium or IMAX 3D Theater after 11 a.m. will no longer be required to wear a mask. The Aquarium will not require ... (click for more)

Smokies' Soaky Mountain Waterpark To Celebrate Grand Opening June 4

Soaky Mountain Waterpark officials, together with state and local tourism officials, will gather on June 4 at 9 a.m. to celebrate the official grand opening of the 50-acre waterpark, 175 Gists Creek Road in Sevierville. According to Dave Andrews, general manager of Soaky Mountain Waterpark, “We are so thrilled to be finally celebrating our grand opening with our fellow tourism ... (click for more)

Breaking News

New Dodge Ram That Crashed And Burned On I-75 South Near Dalton Was Owned By Edd Kirby Adventureland

The Georgia State Patrol said a new Dodge Ram that crashed and burned on I-75 South near Dalton on Monday afternoon belonged to the Edd Kirby Adventureland car dealership in Dalton. Authorities have still not given an identity of the driver, who perished in the wreck six days ago. A number of people in the auto industry said they believe well-known car dealer Joe Kirby was ... (click for more)

34-Year-Old Man Killed In Shooting Early Saturday Morning Outside The Mapco On Brainerd Road

Billy Burson, 34, was shot and killed early Saturday morning outside the Mapco on Brainerd Road. Chattanooga Police were dispatched to a hold-up alarm at 4711 Brainerd Road at approximately 12:30 a.m. Officers located Burson suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and secured the scene. Hamilton County EMS responded and pronounced Burson deceased on the scene. Investigators ... (click for more)

Opinion

Marsha Blackburn Should Focus On Finding Compromise On The Infrastructure Bill - And Response (2)

Marsha seems obsessed with Dr. Fauci. Does it always have to be about her? I wish it was more about us. If it was more about us, instead of Marsha, she would be hard at work finding compromise on the federal infrastructure bill. No other city in the nation would benefit more from the infrastructure bill than Chattanooga. But Marsha has never read the bill and does not ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sunday Funnies

Hooray for the Sunday Funnies, which usually show up when technical difficulties take place just before midnight on Friday, snuffing out the customary Saturday Funnies. It should be known technical difficulties include “Operator Error” as the fault for delay but there is neither rhyme nor reason to what happened on Friday. Suffice it to say this version of the Sunday Funnies was ... (click for more)