7 Ways to Make the Most of Memorial Day

April 1, 2018  |  Permalink

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day is right around the corner. It’s a time to remember the fallen heroes of America’s armed forces and the price they paid for our freedom. It’s also the beginning of the summer season at our parks. It’s the perfect time to make some memories in the great outdoors. Here are seven ways to make the most out of your holiday weekend: 

1. Find an event near you

Kick off your summer vacationing with an adventure in the great outdoors. From hikes and kayak trips, to pontoon cruises and sunset yoga, our parks are hosting a wide variety of guided activities over Memorial Day weekend. Find the full list on the Memorial Day calendar:


Swimming pool at a state park

2. Head to the pool

Like wearing white after Labor Day, there’s an unwritten rule that pools open Memorial Day weekend. Now is your chance to enjoy the first swim of the summer! We have over a dozen swimming pools across the state. Many of them are Olympic-size and most provide bathhouses, snack areas, diving boards, children’s wading pools and lifeguards.


Grilling out at a park

3. Grill out with the family

Many of our cabins, campgrounds and picnic shelters provide grills that are perfect for enjoying your favorite summer foods. Think about the taste of a flame-kissed hamburger with thick lettuce and a ripe tomato on a toasted bun. We’re getting hungry just writing about it!


Marshmallow over a fire

4. Camp with the Kids

One of the greatest gifts you can give children is an outdoor adventure. Kids will always remember the stories told around the fire, gooey marshmallow treats, and the pride in setting up a tent for the first time. While we offer sites you can hike into, there are also simpler ways to camp. Some parks offer campsites you can pull your car right up next to. Some even have 20-amp power outlets for your electronic devices. Want some tips for camping? Here are links to other blogs to help with your planning. Ready to book your trip? Use the button below to start the reservation process.

Blog #1: Tips for Camping with Kids

Blog #2: Lesser Known Campgrounds between Memphis and Nashville

Blog #3: 5 Tent Camping Sites Within 50 Miles of Nashville


Golfers at Tennessee State Park

5. Play a round of golf

Longer days, a holiday weekend, and warm weather are the perfect combination for maximizing your time on the greens. We have nine courses that offer something for every player. From the Warriors' Path in upper East Tennessee to the three Jack Nicklaus-designed courses known as the “Bear Trace,” the beauty and scenery will captivate you.


6. Explore a new waterfall

Did you know there are more than 80 waterfalls in our parks? Chances are you haven’t seen them all. Come enjoy the cool mist of a new waterfall over Memorial Day weekend. Up for an even bigger adventure? Why not stay at a park and see how many waterfalls you can cross off your list? Click here to read our blog, “10 waterfalls within an hour of Cookeville” to get you started. If you’re looking for other waterfalls, check out our waterfall page.


Paddling at Fall Creek Falls

7. Paddle out on the water

Maybe your idea of holiday festivities is time spent on the water. Memorial Day is the first weekend that our boat rental operations open back up. Our parks offer a variety of paddle boats, kayaks and canoes. Whatever your preference, we have something that will “float your boat”.


Patio at Cumberland Mountain

BONUS: Eat at a park

Take a vacation from the cooking and the dishes. We have seven parks that actually provide on-site dining options. These restaurants offer buffet and menu items, and can even provide to-go meals. Just because you can cook food over a fire doesn’t mean you have to. Let us help you maximize your fun and minimize your mess.


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Tennessee State Parks