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What Is A Good Souvenir From Tennessee


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Hilde Drake



Tennessee, also known as the Volunteer State, is a captivating destination filled with rich history, vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and a thriving music scene. Whether you’re a native Tennessean or a visitor from afar, taking home a souvenir is a wonderful way to cherish your memories of this remarkable state.


When choosing a souvenir from Tennessee, it’s important to find something that not only represents the spirit of the state but also holds sentimental value for you. Whether you’re looking for traditional keepsakes, unique mementos, or items that showcase Tennessee’s culture, landmarks, or music scene, there’s something for everyone.


In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating world of Tennessee souvenirs. We’ll delve into the history behind these keepsakes, discuss important factors to consider when choosing a souvenir, and highlight some of the best options available. So, whether you’re planning a trip to Tennessee or simply want to learn more about the state’s iconic souvenirs, read on to discover the perfect memorabilia to bring a piece of Tennessee home with you.


History of Tennessee Souvenirs

Tennessee has a rich history when it comes to souvenirs. The tradition of bringing home mementos from travels dates back centuries, and Tennessee is no exception. In the early days, travelers would often collect small items such as feathers, shells, or stones from the places they visited as souvenirs.


As Tennessee grew and developed, the demand for more specific and representative souvenirs increased. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, souvenirs from Tennessee started to feature iconic symbols of the state, such as the state flag, the state bird (mockingbird), or the state flower (iris). These souvenirs were typically small trinkets, such as keychains, magnets, or postcards, that tourists could easily purchase and take home.


With the rise of tourism and a growing interest in regional specialties, Tennessee souvenirs expanded to include items that captured the unique culture and heritage of the state. Handcrafted items such as pottery, woodcarvings, and textiles became popular choices for tourists in search of authentic Tennessee keepsakes.


In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in vintage and retro souvenirs, reflecting the nostalgia for the past. These souvenirs often feature designs inspired by retro postcards, license plates, or iconic landmarks such as the Great Smoky Mountains or the Grand Ole Opry.


Today, Tennessee souvenirs are not only a way to preserve memories but also a form of self-expression. From apparel adorned with Tennessee-themed designs to locally made artisanal products, there is a wide range of options available for visitors looking to find a unique and meaningful souvenir.


The history of Tennessee souvenirs reflects the evolution of the souvenir industry as a whole, from simple trinkets to carefully curated symbols that capture the essence of a place. Whether you prefer a classic souvenir or something more contemporary, the rich history of Tennessee is sure to provide a souvenir that will leave you with lasting memories of your time in the Volunteer State.


Factors to Consider in Choosing a Good Souvenir from Tennessee

When selecting a souvenir from Tennessee, it’s essential to consider a few factors to ensure you choose the perfect memento that aligns with your preferences and keeps the memories of your trip alive. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Authenticity: Look for souvenirs that are made in Tennessee by local artisans or businesses. Authenticity adds value and ensures that you are supporting the local economy.
  2. Meaningful Connection: Choose a souvenir that holds a personal connection or represents a memorable experience from your visit to Tennessee. It could be an item related to a specific event, attraction, or aspect of the state that resonated with you.
  3. Durability: Select a souvenir that is well-made and will stand the test of time. This way, you can enjoy its presence for years to come, serving as a constant reminder of your trip.
  4. Portability: Consider the size and weight of the souvenir, especially if you’re traveling and have limited space. Opt for compact items that are easy to transport without sacrificing their significance.
  5. Reflecting Tennessee’s Culture and Heritage: Tennessee is known for its vibrant culture and rich heritage. Choose a souvenir that embodies the spirit of the state, whether it’s through traditional crafts, music, or the distinctive flavors of Tennessee cuisine.
  6. Practicality: Choose a souvenir that serves a functional purpose, such as a piece of locally made pottery that you can use in your daily life or a cookbook featuring Tennessee recipes. Practical souvenirs can bring joy and usefulness long after your trip.
  7. Budget: Consider your budget when selecting a souvenir. While there are plenty of options available at varying price points, it’s important to choose something that you value and won’t regret purchasing.

By taking these factors into account, you can make a thoughtful and informed decision when choosing a souvenir from Tennessee. Remember, the goal is to find a keepsake that brings you joy, holds meaning, and serves as a tangible reminder of your experiences in the Volunteer State.


Traditional Souvenirs from Tennessee

Tennessee is steeped in traditions, and its traditional souvenirs reflect the rich cultural heritage of the state. Here are some classic souvenirs that have long been associated with Tennessee:

  1. Moonshine jugs: Moonshine has a deep-rooted history in Tennessee, and miniature moonshine jugs make for popular and unique souvenirs. These jugs often feature intricate designs and serve as a reminder of Tennessee’s bootlegging past.
  2. Jack Daniel’s memorabilia: Jack Daniel’s, the famous Tennessee whiskey, has become a global brand. Souvenirs featuring the Jack Daniel’s logo, such as shot glasses, t-shirts, and bottle openers, are a favorite among whiskey enthusiasts and collectors alike.
  3. Civil War memorabilia: Given Tennessee’s significant role in the American Civil War, there is a wide range of Civil War-themed souvenirs available. These can include replica weaponry, books, and artwork that pay homage to this era of Tennessee’s history.
  4. Country music merchandise: As the birthplace of country music, Tennessee offers a plethora of souvenirs celebrating its rich musical heritage. From t-shirts featuring famous country artists to autographed albums and instruments, there’s something for every country music fan.
  5. Smoky Mountain crafts: The Great Smoky Mountains are an iconic part of Tennessee’s landscape, and the traditional crafts made by artisans in the region are cherished souvenirs. Look for handmade quilts, wooden carvings, pottery, and woven baskets as tokens of the Smokies.
  6. BBQ sauces and seasonings: Tennessee is known for its mouthwatering barbeque, and sampling its flavors is a must. Take home bottles of Tennessee-style BBQ sauces and seasonings to add a taste of the South to your meals long after your trip ends.

These traditional souvenirs capture the essence of Tennessee’s history, culture, and cuisine. They offer a timeless reminder of the state’s unique heritage and make for cherished keepsakes or gifts for friends and family.


Unique Souvenirs from Tennessee

For those seeking one-of-a-kind souvenirs, Tennessee offers a plethora of unique options that go beyond the traditional keepsakes. These souvenirs capture the essence of the state in distinctive and creative ways. Here are some unique souvenirs to consider:

  1. Custom-made guitars: Tennessee is renowned for its music scene, and what better souvenir than a custom-made guitar? Local guitar makers can create a personalized instrument that reflects your taste and captures the spirit of Tennessee’s musical heritage.
  2. Artisanal chocolates: Indulge your sweet tooth and take home some artisanal chocolates made by local Tennessee chocolatiers. These delectable treats often incorporate unique flavors inspired by the state, such as bourbon-infused truffles or pecan pralines.
  3. Handcrafted jewelry: Discover the talents of Tennessee’s jewelry artisans and bring home a stunning piece crafted with local gemstones, such as Tennessee pearls or agate. These unique jewelry pieces are not only beautiful but also serve as wearable reminders of your trip.
  4. Vintage vinyl records: Music lovers will appreciate the charm of browsing through the vast collection of vintage vinyl records available in Tennessee. Whether it’s classic country, blues, or rock ‘n’ roll, these records allow you to bring a piece of music history back home.
  5. Locally roasted coffee: Tennessee’s coffee scene has been booming, with numerous local roasters offering a wide variety of specialty beans. Purchase a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans to savor the flavors of Tennessee long after your visit.
  6. Tennessee-made hot sauces: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, Tennessee-made hot sauces are a fantastic choice. These sauces often incorporate local peppers and spices, providing a unique and fiery taste that embodies the flavors of the state.

These unique souvenirs highlight the creativity and craftsmanship found in Tennessee. By bringing home one of these exceptional items, you’ll have a truly distinctive memento that showcases the state’s artistry, culinary delights, and musical heritage.


Souvenirs Representing Tennessee’s Culture and Heritage

Tennessee is a state with a rich cultural tapestry and a deep sense of heritage. Souvenirs that represent the diverse culture and history of the region are not only meaningful keepsakes but also serve as a way to connect with the essence of Tennessee. Here are some souvenirs that capture the culture and heritage of the state:

  1. Native American crafts: Tennessee’s history is intertwined with that of Native American tribes, such as the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Creek. Look for handmade pottery, baskets, jewelry, or traditional dreamcatchers that showcase the artistry and traditions of these indigenous cultures.
  2. Memphis blues souvenirs: Memphis is known as the birthplace of the blues, and souvenirs that celebrate this iconic musical genre are widely available. Look for blues-themed t-shirts, posters, or even small replicas of famous blues musicians, paying homage to the deep musical roots of Tennessee.
  3. Appalachian crafts: The Appalachian region of Tennessee has a unique heritage and a long-standing tradition of craftsmanship. Look for handwoven textiles, wood-carved utensils, or traditional Appalachian musical instruments like the dulcimer or banjo.
  4. Tennessee-style barbecue tools: Barbecue is deeply ingrained in Tennessee’s culinary heritage, and specialty barbecue tools and accessories make for excellent souvenirs. Look for branded aprons, grilling utensils, or personalized cutting boards that reflect the state’s passion for delicious smoked meats.
  5. Civil rights memorabilia: Tennessee played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement, particularly in places like Nashville and Memphis. Souvenirs related to this pivotal period in history, such as books, photographs, or artwork, can help you explore and commemorate the struggles and progress made towards equality.
  6. Tennessee literature: Tennessee has been home to many celebrated writers, including literary giants like William Faulkner, Alex Haley, and Cormac McCarthy. Discover Tennessee’s literary heritage by purchasing books written by these distinguished authors or exploring works inspired by the state.

By selecting souvenirs that represent Tennessee’s culture and heritage, you have the opportunity to delve deeper into the soul of the state. These souvenirs celebrate the unique traditions, artistic expressions, and historical significance that make Tennessee a captivating destination worth remembering.


Souvenirs Depicting Tennessee’s Landmarks and Natural Beauty

Tennessee is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and iconic landmarks that draw millions of visitors each year. Souvenirs depicting these scenic wonders not only capture the essence of the state’s awe-inspiring landscapes but also serve as a reminder of the remarkable sights and experiences you encountered during your visit. Here are some souvenirs that beautifully depict Tennessee’s landmarks and natural beauty:

  1. Postcards and prints: A classic yet timeless souvenir option, postcards and prints featuring Tennessee’s landmarks offer a picturesque representation of the state’s natural beauty. From the majestic Great Smoky Mountains to the scenic waterfalls and vibrant fall foliage, these artistic portrayals provide a window into Tennessee’s stunning landscapes.
  2. Photography books: Explore Tennessee’s natural wonders through the lens of talented photographers. Photography books capturing the state’s landmarks, such as the Natchez Trace Parkway, the Blue Ridge Mountains, or the Great River Road, offer a visual journey into the breathtaking vistas that define Tennessee.
  3. Landmark replicas: Bring a piece of Tennessee’s iconic landmarks into your home with miniature replicas. From the grandeur of the Parthenon in Nashville to the iconic neon signs of Beale Street in Memphis, these replicas serve as charming reminders of the state’s unique architectural and cultural heritage.
  4. Nature-inspired jewelry: Adorn yourself with jewelry that reflects Tennessee’s natural beauty. Look for pieces that incorporate gemstones or charms inspired by Tennessee’s landmarks, such as the Dogwood flower or the hummingbird, allowing you to carry a piece of the state’s splendor wherever you go.
  5. National Park merchandise: If you visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, consider purchasing merchandise from the park’s visitor centers. Items like t-shirts, hats, or hiking gear adorned with the park’s logo or wildlife motifs offer a tangible connection to the park’s beauty and conservation efforts.
  6. Local landscape paintings: Support local artists and bring home a unique piece of Tennessee’s natural beauty with a landscape painting. Whether it’s a serene depiction of a river winding through the countryside or a vibrant representation of a sunset over the hills, these artworks capture the essence of the state’s scenic landscapes.

By choosing souvenirs that depict Tennessee’s landmarks and natural beauty, you can preserve and relive the captivating sights you witnessed. Whether displayed in your home or worn as jewelry, these souvenirs serve as a constant reminder of the remarkable landscapes that make Tennessee such a memorable destination.


Souvenirs showcasing Tennessee’s Famous Music Scene

Tennessee’s music scene is legendary, with the state being dubbed the “Music Capital of the World.” From country and blues to rock ‘n’ roll and soul, Tennessee has been the birthplace of many iconic musicians and genres. Souvenirs that pay homage to the state’s rich musical heritage not only serve as cherished mementos but also allow you to connect with the vibrant spirit of Tennessee’s famous music scene. Here are some souvenirs that showcase Tennessee’s musical legacy:

  1. Tennessee music festival merchandise: If you attended a music festival in Tennessee, consider purchasing merchandise with the festival’s logo. T-shirts, hats, or posters featuring popular festivals like Bonnaroo or the CMA Music Festival celebrate the diverse range of music that Tennessee offers.
  2. Famous musician merchandise: Show your appreciation for your favorite musicians with merchandise featuring their logos or album artwork. From t-shirts and hoodies to keychains and mugs, these souvenirs celebrate the artistry of Tennessee’s famed musicians.
  3. Instrument replicas: Musical instrument replicas, such as miniature guitars or harmonicas, provide a tangible connection to the state’s musical heritage. Whether inspired by Elvis Presley’s guitar or B.B. King’s signature Lucille, these replicas are ideal for music enthusiasts or collectors.
  4. Record store finds: Explore the vibrant record stores in Tennessee and hunt for vinyl records of legendary musicians who have graced the state’s stages. From Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash to Dolly Parton and Jack White, finding a rare or iconic record is a cherished souvenir for music lovers.
  5. Studio memorabilia: Many famous recording studios call Tennessee home, such as Sun Studio in Memphis and RCA Studio B in Nashville. Look for memorabilia, postcards, or books featuring these iconic studios, which played a significant role in shaping the history of music in Tennessee.
  6. Authentic instruments and accessories: If you play a musical instrument or have a passion for music, consider purchasing authentic instruments or accessories made by local Tennessee artisans. From handcrafted guitars and banjos to custom drumsticks or guitar picks, these items allow you to create your own musical journey.

By choosing souvenirs that showcase Tennessee’s famous music scene, you bring a piece of the state’s musical legacy into your everyday life. Whether it’s through merchandise, instruments, or records, these souvenirs serve as a tribute to the incredible musicians and genres that have made Tennessee a hub of musical creativity and innovation.


Where to Find Authentic Tennessee Souvenirs

If you’re looking to find authentic Tennessee souvenirs, there are numerous places to explore that offer a wide range of unique and meaningful keepsakes. Here are some top destinations to consider:

  1. Local Artisan Markets: Visit local artisan markets and craft fairs where you can directly support Tennessee artisans and find handcrafted souvenirs. These markets often showcase a variety of products, including pottery, jewelry, textiles, and artwork, created by talented local artists.
  2. Historic Downtown Districts: Explore the historic downtown districts, particularly in cities like Nashville, Memphis, and Chattanooga. These areas are home to boutique shops, galleries, and specialty stores that offer a curated selection of Tennessee-made souvenirs, including music-related merchandise, local artwork, and unique collectibles.
  3. Farmers Markets: Tennessee is known for its bountiful agriculture, and visiting farmers markets provides an opportunity to find souvenirs that celebrate the state’s culinary heritage. Look for locally made jams, jellies, sauces, and other artisanal food products that highlight the flavors of Tennessee.
  4. Museum Gift Shops: While exploring Tennessee’s museums, be sure to browse their gift shops. These shops often feature souvenirs that tie in with the museum’s exhibits, ranging from educational books and artwork to replicas of historical artifacts.
  5. Music Stores: For souvenirs that pay homage to Tennessee’s legendary music scene, check out music stores in Nashville, Memphis, and other cities. These stores offer an array of music-related merchandise, including vinyl records, instruments, t-shirts, and posters featuring Tennessee musicians.
  6. Distilleries and Wineries: Tennessee is renowned for its whiskey and winemaking. Visit distilleries and wineries across the state to sample and purchase their products directly. Many of these establishments also have gift shops where you can find unique bottles of Tennessee whiskey or wine as souvenirs.
  7. Online Marketplaces: If you’re unable to visit Tennessee in person, explore online marketplaces that specialize in Tennessee-made products. These platforms connect you with local artisans and businesses, allowing you to purchase authentic souvenirs from the comfort of your own home.

Remember, when searching for authentic Tennessee souvenirs, it’s important to look for locally made, handcrafted, or regionally sourced products. By supporting local businesses and artisans, you not only bring home meaningful souvenirs but also contribute to the preservation of Tennessee’s cultural heritage.



Tennessee is a state that offers a wealth of experiences and attractions, and bringing home a souvenir is a wonderful way to treasure the memories of your visit. Whether you’re drawn to traditional keepsakes, unique mementos, or items that showcase Tennessee’s culture, landmarks, or music scene, there is a wide range of options to choose from.


When selecting a souvenir from Tennessee, consider factors such as authenticity, meaningful connection, durability, portability, reflecting the state’s culture and heritage, practicality, and your budget. By keeping these factors in mind, you can make a thoughtful choice that aligns with your preferences and holds sentimental value to you.


From traditional souvenirs that celebrate Tennessee’s rich history to unique items that showcase the state’s natural beauty and famous music scene, there are countless options to suit every taste. Explore local artisan markets, historic downtown districts, museums, music stores, and online marketplaces to find authentic Tennessee souvenirs that resonate with you.


By choosing souvenirs that depict Tennessee’s landmarks, culture, and heritage, you can bring a piece of the state’s captivating spirit into your everyday life. These souvenirs serve as tangible reminders of the beauty, creativity, and vibrant energy that make Tennessee a truly remarkable destination.


So whether you’re returning home after a trip or simply wanting to commemorate your love for the Volunteer State, make sure to select a memorable souvenir that captures the essence of Tennessee and brings a smile to your face every time you see it.