Family Travel in Tennessee

playing-in-pigeon-forge-tn-courtesy-kamoteus-on-flickr-ccEvery Tuesday until we run out of states, I plan to post about family-friendly vacation ideas, attractions and events in each one of the US states, taking input mostly from Twitter and Facebook.

Yes, I know how to search for travel ideas on a destination or attraction Web site, but a tweet or a Facebook Wall recommendation is a much more engaging and public way to spread the word.

Please don’t email suggestions to me;  that’s nice but it is one-to-one communication. Tweet me and/or Facebook me, so that all of our networks can see what’s cool about your state.

We’re going in alphabetical order but started with the end, so our first state for the series was Wyoming, then we investigated Wisconsin , West Virginia , Washington, Virginia, Vermont, Utah, Texas and now we’re moving on to….Tennessee!

Their state tourism organization is on Twitter at @TNVacation, along with @EnjoyKnoxville, @ChattanoogaFun and @TNAquarium.

You can also find Tennessee tourism on Facebook.

When I asked for ideas, here’s what came in….

Twitter Travel Tips for Tennessee

***  From Cathleen Rittereiser via @CathleenRitt on Twitter – Memphis: Graceland, the National Civil Rights Museum and the ducks in the Peabody [Hotel.]

***  From Rebecca McCormick via @hotspringer on Twitter – For family fun in TN: [Ziplining – Yeah, Baby!]

***  From Jill Knouse via @jillknouse on Twitter – lots of fun things in Gatlinburg!

***  From Dave Jones via @TNDayTripper on Twitter – How many of TN’s family-friendly, non-commercial attractions can you name? National Geographic Traveler named these: Family Vacation Planner for Tennessee.

*** From the Tennessee tourism folks via @TNVacation on Twitter, a bunch of family-friendly festivals and events – June 12 through August 2 Dollywood KidsFest, July 10 – 18 Kingsport Fun Fest, Aug 8 Tomato Art Fest, Sept 6 Boomsday Festival, Sept 12 Nat’l Rolley Hole Marbles Championship & Fest, Oct 2-4 Nat’l Storytelling Fest and Oct 17-18 Aussie Fall Fest Chillin’ & Grillin’.

***  From Lanora Mueller via @WritingTravel on Twitter – Your kids will love eating at a “meat-and-three” in Tennessee: Nashville in Escapes.

***  From Antonia Malchik via @amalchik on Twitter – National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN, every October! About my favorite thing to do all year. [Read her post about the Festival on Perceptive Travel blog.]

***  From Elmer Boutin via @rehor on Twitter – Graceland is cool and kid-friendly though many kids might not want to go there. [My kid didn’t either but I took her anyway; now she’s an Elvis fan.]

***  From Mike Goheen via @vistavision on Twitter – It’s kinda goofy, but I always liked the Lookout Mountain attractions in Chattanooga when I was a kid. [On Twitter at @VisitLookoutMtn]

***  From Paul Brownell via @PaulbAustin on Twitter – Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge has a ton 4 kids. Dollywood, downtown sites and Cades Cove park not far away.

***  From Kayt Sukel via @TravelSavvyKayt on Twitter – I’m assuming you got Dollywood? It’s oh-so-kitsch but a lot of fun! [Yep, I’ve been there, it’s much better than many might think!]

***  From Kara S. Williams via @karasw on Twitter – In Nashville, look into Las Paletas – homemade gourmet popsicles!

***  From Dan Mosqueda via @DanCMos on Twitter – We had a terrific trip in Pigeon Forge. I highly recommend (Sugar Maple Cabins) – awesome views, clean. It is seriously stunning there in terms of beauty. The main drag is tacky, but the rest is nice. Gatlinburg is much improved too.

***  From Shannon Hurst Lane via @Cajun_Mama on Twitter – The and also A MUST is Big Ed’s Pizza in Oak Ridge TN. My kids loved watching the pizza makers.

Wow, Twitter tweeps sure came through for Tennessee;  I didn’t have any input on Facebook, though.

On the BootsnAll Travel Network, here’s the Boots Tennessee Travel Guide, and don’t forget our Family Travel guest post by Tim Leffel….A one-tank Tennessee and Alabama budget road trip.

Thanks so much for the contributions – the next state in the series is South Dakota.

Send your South Dakota highlights to @SheilaS on Twitter or write them on my Facebook Wall (tell me you’re a 50 state-er if you want to friend me.)

My purpose for this series is not only to highlight worthy kid-friendly vacation destinations in all 50 states, but by using Twitter and Facebook I want to also encourage tourism organizations to learn more about connecting with their visitors using social media and online networks.

Please add your own Tennessee suggestions in the comments below, if we’ve missed anything. Thanks!