From hiking the Great Smoky Mountains to getting down at the honky tonks on Broadway, here are things to hear and things to do in Tennessee.

You’re on a quest for barbecue, country music, and the perfect pair of cowboy boots. That can only mean one thing: You’re headed to Tennessee. 

Things to Do in Tennessee

  1. Ride the rides and see the shows at Dollywood Amusement Park.
  2. Hike at Smoky Mountains National Park.
  3. Eat at Edley’s Bar-B-Que.
  4. See some live music on Broadway.
  5. Catch a show at the Grand Ole Opry.

As soon as you land in Nashville, you hit the road. Your first stop? Gatlinburg. It’s a bit of a drive, but you want to make sure you hit two of the biggest attractions Tennessee has to offer: Smoky Mountains National Park and Dollywood (which, if you ask us, should be a national park). 

Day at Dollywood

After a good night’s sleep, you head to the crown jewel of the South, Dollywood Amusement Park. It’s a beautiful spring day and the air is alive with humming, buzzing insects and bird songs. As you make your way to the front gates, you hear kids laughing and chattering, excited for their first thrill ride of the day. 

Dollywood Amusement Park rollercoaster

Once you’re officially inside, you’re treated to the sounds of wooden roller coasters rushing overhead, shrieks from the Lightning Rod as riders are launched from 0 to 45 mph in the blink of an eye, and the splash of water rides at Dollywood Splash Country. You take in a few shows while you’re there and enjoy the mountain music and Southern gospel, letting the harmonies and bluegrass instruments wash over you. You marvel at how fast the banjo player can pick and worry the fiddle player might start a fire through the sheer speed of her bow. 

After a 9 to 5 day, you head back to your hotel to rest up for the Smoky Mountains tomorrow. You’ve had your fill of crowd noises. Now all you want is peace and quiet and the sounds of the great outdoors.  

Tennessee Trails

You wake up ready to hit the trails. There are thunderclouds far off in the distance as you drive into the park. You double check that you’ve brought plenty of supplies, and once you’re satisfied, you zip up your pack and head out. The trail is wet in places and your feet slurp in the mud. You’re halfway through your first hike when the sky opens up and you find yourself caught in a downpour. The trees provide shelter, so you huddle under the canopy of leaves and listen to the storm, punctuated by the occasional rumble of far-off thunder. Then just as quickly as it started, the storm passes, leaving the nearby stream full, birds chirping overhead, and the leaves drip-dropping water onto the trail. You decide to finish up the hike, clean up the best you can, and try to spot some wildlife from your car. 

Once you’re dry and (kind of) clean, you hop in the car and hit one of the scenic loops. You’re hoping to spot some wildlife. After a few minutes, you see a couple of cars pulled off to the side, cameras trained on something you can’t quite see. You roll down your window and listen to the crunch of the tires on the road as you park. And then you see them: a bear and two cubs, ambling toward you. As they get closer, you hear the excited murmur of people around you and the clicking of cameras. You snap a few photos as they cross the road and disappear into the trees on the other side. Then you edge back onto the road and continue the drive. 

After a full day exploring the wild, you head back to your room. You’re exhausted, and the only sound you want to hear right now is a nice, hot shower followed by the crinkle of crisp, clean sheets. Tomorrow? Nashville. (We’ve got your road trip playlist covered.)

Things to do in Nashville downtown

Music Marathon

Once you arrive in Nashville, you’re ready for all the barbecue you can eat. You inhale a platter of ribs, cole slaw, and mac n’ cheese at the famous Edley’s Bar-B-Que while country music plays over the speakers. After lunch, you take it to Broadway for some live country music.

Every bar you pass is rocking and full of folks singing along. First, you linger in Layla’s Honky Tonk for a while to listen to the excellent mandolin player. Next, you head over to Robert’s Western World down near the Ryman Auditorium, another bar with an amazing guitarist. And you can’t leave without popping into the vibrant Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. It’s the perfect place to take in all the sounds of Broadway from the rooftop right on the strip.

Things to do in Nashville on Broadway

And all of this is just a sweet appetizer for tonight’s main event: The Grand Ole Opry. It’s a great lineup and you can’t wait to hear the show that made country music famous. 

You get there early and as you wait for the doors to open, you overhear people making pleasant small talk with strangers. As soon as the doors open, you find your seat, sit back, and relax. You’re ready for the show. 

And what a show it is. The musicians are the cream of the crop. The singers are some of the best country music has to offer. The crowd is exuberant, singing along and cheering at every turn. It’s a wonderful night and you find yourself humming cheerfully on the car ride to your hotel. You can’t wait to see what tomorrow has to offer. 

Want to hear your next vacation to the fullest? Check out Eargo, the virtually invisible, rechargeable hearing aid that no one will know you’re wearing. Not sure if Eargo is right for you? Connect with one of our licensed hearing professionals by calling 1 (800) 734-7603 or booking a free consultation to learn more about hearing loss, hearing aids, and Eargo. 

Looking for more things to do in Tennessee? Come visit us at our first retail location! You’ll find us at:

716 Division Street
Nashville, TN 37203

Call 1 (615) 810-8480 to make an appointment with us in Nashville and experience Eargo in person alongside one of our licensed hearing professionals. You’ll even score an exclusive discount. So don’t be a stranger!


Amanda is Eargo's intrepid copywriter. She spends her days sipping coffee and brainstorming ear puns. So far, she's penned aurally good one or two.

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