MEMPHIS – Bring your lawn chairs and blankets during Get Loud, the 10-week free summer outdoor concert series in Handy Park on Beale Street 6 p.m. every Thursday night through Aug. 12. The new King of Karate exhibit at Graceland highlights Elvis Presley’s love of karate with rare artifacts like an original handwritten script for his 1974 Karate documentary, “New Gladiators.”
NASHVILLE – Try an acoustic or electric guitar, shop for new accessories, take a lesson, learn about Gibson Guitar’s history, or see a live show at Gibson Garage in historic Cummins Station. When you get hungry, Cross Eyed Critters (shown at right) at The Graduate Nashville is the first-ever animatronic karaoke bar with a backup band of robotic musicians. Bar offerings include nostalgic cocktails. Sean Keeney’s Nature POP! Made with Lego Bricks features 38 vibrant sculptures made from more than 800,000 LEGO Bricks, on display through Sept. 5 at Cheekwood Botanical Garden.
KNOXVILLE– Bernadette’s Crystal Gardens is three levels of Crystal Barrooms downtown. Guests will be surrounded by the good energy of friends, fabulous crystals, semi-precious stones and flowering plants.
PIGEON FORGE – Nearby, Pigeon Forge highlights several country music revues at dinner theaters like Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. It is also home of the Dollywood Theme Park. Toy Box Mini Golf, the world’s first toy-themed mini-golf course, is open and features an 18-hole course brought to life by 30-foot-tall recreations of popular toys from the past and present. Camp Margaritaville RV Resort includes nearly 180 RV sites with gorgeous mountain views. A 79-room lodge with a restaurant, bar, camp store, putting green and pool will open early fall. >MORE
BRISTOL – Bristol is known as the “birthplace” of country music. Appalachian mountain folk music has been popular for generations. Many of the fiddle tunes and song styles came over from the British Isles in the 1700sTake a self-guided Historic Downtown Walking Tour to see the Bristol Sign, Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the country music mural and Burger Bar where Hank Williams allegedly stopped the night he died, the NASCAR mural and sites that bring the history of the town to life.