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United States


When To Go

Tennessee's mild climate and special events make it a vacation destination for most of the year. The most popular times to visit are during the summer when kids are out of school and people take their vacations, and during the fall for foliage viewing. December, January, and February are the slowest tourism months. However, visitation picks up around the holidays when there are special festivities. Although less busy than summer, spring has pleasant weather and some major events, particularly the Memphis in May music festival that brings large crowds to the western region of the state.

high season: July to September
low season: January to March
shoulder season: April to June, October to December

Weather Information

Tennessee has a relatively mild climate year-round, although summer can get a little hot at times (up to the mid-90s in August) and winters can be icy and snowy in the central and eastern parts of the state. Summer temperatures tend to reach highs in the 80s and lows in the mid- to high 60s. Winter temperatures range from the low 30s to low 50s, but get colder, with considerable snowfall, in the mountain areas. Spring and fall bring pleasantly warm temperatures, with a higher chance of rain during April and May.

Crowd Information

Summer and fall are the busiest times. During the summer, there are numerous music festivals throughout the state, including the Country Music Association Music Festival (Fan Fair) in Nashville in June, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester in June, and Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga in June. Many visitors go to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park during the fall to see foliage. Also, Memphis draws big crowds during May, with a month-long music festival.

Closure Information

Many attractions close on Christmas Day.

When to Save

Prices remain relatively consistent throughout the year.

When to Book

For much of the state, flexible travel plans may make it possible to take advantage of low last-minute airfares. However, those with a set schedule should book at least three weeks in advance to obtain lower prices and ensure availability, especially for travel during the high season. Memphis and Nashville are large enough cities to accommodate most last-minute requests, but lodging can fill up quickly during large conventions and key sports weekends. Availability in Nashville can also be especially tight in April and June. Knoxville is packed during UT's football weekends, but remains fairly accessible the rest of the year. Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville (the Smokies) are popular destinations during the spring, summer, and fall, while the winter sees less visitation and lower prices.

Information provided by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development