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Introducing Tennessee

Most states have one official state song. Tennessee has seven.

Here, the folk music of the Scots-Irish mountain-dwellers in the east combined with the bluesy rhythms of the African Americans in the western Mississippi bottomlands to give birth to the modern country music that makes Nashville famous.

These three geographic regions, represented by the three stars on the Tennessee flag, have their own unique beauty: the heather-colored peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains descend into lush green valleys in the central plateau around ­Nashville and then onto the hot, sultry lowlands near Memphis.

In Tennessee, you can hike shady mountain trails in the morning, and by evening be stomping your feet in a Nashville honky- tonk or walking the streets of Memphis with Elvis’ ghost.

From country churches where snake handlers still speak in tongues to modern cities where record execs wear their sunglasses even at night, Tennesseans are a zesty lot.