Tennessee is a great state full of awesome music, food, and entertainment. The people of this state are just as incredible! Here are the most important things you should know about the locals, and a couple of tips on how to join in without looking like a tourist!
Tennessee is one of the most welcoming states, though! So don’t be afraid if you don’t fit in at first.
1. The Smokey Mountains are Everyone’s Vacation Spot
Whether you’re from Nashville or Knoxville: the Smokey Mountains are the place to be for vacationing Tennesseans. When school lets out or a holiday is coming up, Gatlinburg, TN, is immediately swamped with people. The main reason for this is the beautiful views, endless fresh air, and in the winter you can ski on what ice has stuck to the mountains.
Although for many, a vacation isn’t complete without a trip to the beach, those in Tennessee party differently!
2. Bickering About Barbecue is a Sport
Barbecue is a sore spot throughout most of the south. From the Carolinas to Texas, you’ll find thousands of arguments about which sauce is the best: but Tennessee has more than just one. Knoxville and Memphis are the two heavy hitters when it comes to this savory dish, and they’ll wage war over which city serves it the best. Luckily for those who aren’t so invested, that means they’ve perfected two unique types of barbecue for you to try! It is part of their tradition, and it is especially impressive on weekends when you can see many homes with their barbeques in the front, and groups of people enjoying their favorite burgers and steaks.
3. They Take the Music Scene Seriously
With Graceland and Dollywood calling Tennessee home, it’s easy to guess why Tennessee is so wild about music. Home to the music hall of fame and the birthplace of dozens of hit musicians, Tennessee can admit that its claim to fame is the music and musicians it produces. Visiting this state will make you want to look at apartments in Knoxville, TN at the websites such as rent.com, so that you can hang out in the heart of live performances and fantastic artists. Even though there are many other states in the US where most people prefer this genre, Tennesse is unique with a huge scene. Some of the biggest names who left their trace here are B.B. King and Elvis Presley. The King of Rock and Roll owned a Graceland mansion in this place. Another impressive fact about their love for music is that they have ten official state songs.
4. Graceland is More of a Tourist Trap Than a Local’s Spot
Although Graceland is world-renowned as Elvis’s home, it’s also mostly a tourist trap at this point. A Tennessean may visit it once or twice if they have family in an interesting town, but once you’ve been there once, it’s plenty. There’s a lot more to see and do in Tennessee, and although it’s great to honor the King, it’s also awesome to watch live shows elsewhere.
5. The State is Huge; They’re Not a Monolith
Although a lot of these hold for many Tennesseans, they’re not a monolith! This state is 440 miles long and 120 miles wide: you’ll probably even find locals who don’t want to be called Tennesseans. The best way to get to know the type of people who live in this creative and incredible state is to travel and get to know them. Spending time here will open your mind to why we should spend more time outside and enjoying the world and music around us and less time huddled behind our phones and computers.
6. Religion is Important
Another characteristic of most people who live in this place is that they are quite religious and active in this field. Therefore, going on a Sunday mass is an important part of their culture. You can find Catholic, Southern Baptist, Methodist, and other types of Christian churches. People love these occasions where the whole family is going to the church while listening to their favorite country tracks while heading there.
7. Home of Jack Daniels
Whiskey is the most common liquor in this state. The most interesting thing is that you will find around 30 companies that are producing this drink, with Jack Daniels being the most popular. The amazing fact is that each employee working for this brand gets a bottle of this booze with each paycheck. Besides the JD, other popular brands are George Dickel, Knox, Sugarlands, and more. Besides the whiskey, you might manage to find some small distilleries that are making moonshine as well. Another interesting fact is that popular pop-soda Mountain Dew is also from Tennessee.
8. They Are Friendly and Hospitable
One of the main attributes that are well known among the whole US is that people who live here will always offer help in any situation. The biggest proof of that is related to some recent situations, like the floods in Nashville or wildfires n Gatlinburg, with a lot of volunteers from this state. Also, they are known as very polite people as well. Besides being polite, it is common for them to have strict rules related to work ethics, and it is never a problem for them to give more effort to finish some job.
9. Love for Festivals
It is not a surprise that the state of country music is the place where you will find a lot of interesting festivals with all kinds of themes. The most popular events are Memphis Comedy Festival, International Biscuit Festival, Hot Wing, CMA, Wine Over Water, Riverbend Festival, Live on the Green, and many other amazing events where you can enjoy great music, delicious food, and being around great people.
The Bottom Line
There are many other great things about these people as well, like their amazing love for sports, especially college football, and the fact that they all share similar values related to respect and hospitality. Also, they pay attention to their appearance and outfit, and you can notice that both men and women are well-dressed most of the time.