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Tennessee River Road Trip – Scenic Views and Historic Sites

If you are visiting Tennessee and looking for a scenic spot and are a history buff, the Tennessee River is the perfect place to add to your itinerary. Stretching for more than 650 miles, the river’s breathtaking views are second to none. The Tennessee River is the largest of all the tributaries that flow throughout Tennessee. Not only is this long stretch of water home to one of the most gorgeous views out of anywhere throughout the state, but this specific river also holds great historical significance. A treat for all potential historians and anyone interested in the history of the great civil war, the Tennessee River played a great role in the Civil War, serving as an incredibly important historical site. From its ties to the history of bourbon and moonshine to it being ground zero for many battles fought throughout the civil war, there are many historic sites that you should visit when going on a road trip to the Tennessee River. Let us explore this in greater detail, highlighting some prominent sites near the Tennessee River that you should visit.

Places to Visit

·       Fort Donelson River Batteries

Speaking of the Civil War, this is one spot you should visit while on the Tennessee River because this fort has a very interesting origin story behind it. This is one of the two forts, the other one being Fort Henry, built by the Confederate Army in 1861 when the Civil War was raging on. When visiting Fort Donelson, you will notice that the entirety of the structure has been supported by incredibly thick and durable walls designed to act as defenses against the opposing Union forces, which used to charge with specially armored gunboats from this route. Furthermore, you can also look at the artilleries present throughout the Fort, which were used to make sure that the Union gunboats did not reach the shore to attack. This fort holds great historical significance in the Civil War as this was the spot that marked the Union Army victory, which was secured in 1862. Not only are the exterior structure and defenses placed throughout the fort, but you can also explore the interior structure when docking along the garrison, which serves as an entrance to the Fort Donelson National Battlefield Park.

·       National Quilt Museum

If you are a fan of history and quilting, then you should look at the national quilt museum, situated along the Tennessee River and known as one of the largest quilt exhibits in the world. This museum has been running for more than 30 years and is a great place to explore the history of quilts and how they progressed with time. Because of this museum, the town of Paducah was honored to be the UNESCO Creative City for the year 2013. The National Quilt Museum is home to more than 600 exhibits of modern quilts, which are incredibly artistic and beautiful to see. Furthermore, the museum showcases rotating exhibits as well, which feature quilts from around the world and is a great place to gather more knowledge on the history of quilting, and it gives you a chance to view some of the most beautiful quilts that are out there.

·       Tennessee Whiskey Tasting

As discussed earlier, Kentucky is the birthplace of Tennessee Whiskey, and you can taste years of history by signing up for a whiskey-tasting tour that takes you through many lesser-known parts of the Tennessee River. This serves as a great activity for exploring the Tennessee River in further depth and visiting one of the best distilleries situated throughout, most of which have won several awards for their whiskey. Not only that, but these will also offer you the opportunity to enjoy great Bourbon whiskey right from the source. These tours take you to breweries and distilleries for some of the best whiskey companies, such as Jack Daniels, showing you the entire process and how whiskey is made. These tasting tours are known to be one of the best ways to thoroughly explore the south side of the Tennessee River, along with being a great way to enjoy some award-winning whiskey and get some for your friends back home as well.

·       The Lloyd Tilghman House

If you are looking for sites of interest that pertain to the Civil War, then you should consider visiting the Lloyd Tilghman House, located in the town of Paducah along the Tennessee River. This landmark holds great historical significance in Civil War as it is home to Lloyd Tilghman, the General of the Confederate Army at the time. This home was built even before the Civil War and is a great place to learn about Kentucky’s role in the Civil War. Furthermore, this house holds a great amount of information regarding the conditions of the Western Kentuckians, both before and after the war.

·       Chattanooga Riverfront

As far as scenic views are concerned, it does not get more beautiful than the breathtaking views you can experience on the riverfront. Located around 16 miles on the southern bank of the Tennessee River, the riverfront is one of the best picnic spots throughout the river. You can spend the entire day on the riverfront, eating and indulging in the beautiful site of the Tennessee River the entire day, or visit the Hunter Museum of American Art to admire some great art exhibits featured in the museum.

Where to Spend the Night

After spending the day at the Tennessee River, finding a place to rest for the night can become quite a hassle. However, the hassle is a matter of the past with Ligia’s Fork Cabin Rentals, offering your spacious log cabins that are incredibly spacious and affordable. So, what are you waiting for? Visit us now!


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