The best things in life are free — including some of the best activities in Tennessee. Whether you’re looking to learn more about history, art or natural sciences, or simply seeking to relax, there’s something for everyone.
Ijams Nature Center
Enjoy a relaxing day in nature at the Ijams Nature Center. You never know what animals you’ll see at this 275-acre wildlife sanctuary. Hike, bike or canoe through the verdant scenery and visit Mead’s Quarry and the Ross Marble Natural Area. Make sure to stop by the Visitors Center where you’ll find nature and wildlife exhibits and learn about environmentally friendly sustainable living.
Address: 2915 Island Home Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee 37920
Shiloh National Military Park
One of the most well preserved historic battlefields is Shiloh National Military Park. Begin your visit at the Shiloh Battlefield Visitor Center and Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center housing artifacts and interpretive exhibits, as well as showing informative short films about the battle at Shiloh and Corinth. Throughout the year, observe living history events such as demonstrations and reenactments. Walk the grounds of the park including the Shiloh Cemetery and Shiloh Indian Mounds.
Address: 1055 Pittsburg Landing, Shiloh, Tennessee 38376
Tennessee State Museum
Learn about the history of Tennessee, from its first inhabitants and the state’s development through antebellum, Civil War and reconstruction to the new south, at the Tennessee State Museum. See how the Volunteer State took shape and how it is preparing for the future. Take a guided tour through the State Capitol or explore the Military Museum highlighting America’s military involvement overseas.
Address: 505 Deaderick Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Centennial Park located in the heart of Nashville plays host to a range of activities and monuments. In this 132-acre urban park you’ll find The Parthenon, a replica of the original Parthenon and statue of Athena in Athens, Greece. There are also walking trails, an arts activity center and the Centennial Art Center.
Stroll through the sunken garden and behold the gorgeous flowers and foliage or feed the ducks at Lake Watauga.
Address: 2500 West End Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee 37203
National Civil Rights Museum
Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Civil Rights Movement and its influence on human rights movements world wide at the National Civil Rights Museum, located at the site of the historic Lorraine Hotel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Exhibits and memorabilia create a timeline of the Civil Rights Movement from its inception to present day. There is also an exhibit dedicated to the investigation of the assassination of Dr. King.
Free Mondays from 3 pm until close for TN residents
Address: 450 Mulberry Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38103
Pink Palace Museum
Inside this expansive mansion made of pink Georgian marble are countless permanent exhibits showcasing the Mid South’s natural and cultural history, special featured exhibits, IMAX theatre and the Sharpe Planetarium. Take a seat in the planetarium and travel to faraway galaxies, explore the solar system and see star fields via the amazing laser light and sound show. Learn about science and history as you tour this sprawling mansion.
Free admission Tuesdays 1-5 pm
Address: 3050 Central Avenue Memphis, Tennessee 38111