A shallow rectangle, just one hundred miles from north to south, TENNESSEE stretches 450 miles from the Mississippi to the Appalachians. The marshy western third of the state occupies a low plateau edging down toward the Mississippi. Only in the far southwest corner do the bluffs rise high enough to permit a sizeable riverside settlement – the exhilarating port of Memphis, the birthplace of urban blues and longtime home of Elvis. The plantation homes and dull, tidy towns of middle Tennessee’s rolling farmland reflect the comfortable lifestyle of its pioneers; smack in the heart of it sprawls hip Nashville, synonymous with country music. The mountainous east shares its top attraction with North Carolina – the peaks, streams and meadows of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
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