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Last updated: July 6, 2022 • Traveling Around the World

Best Places to Visit in Tennessee

If you like adventures and don’t shy away from packing your backpacks at a moment’s notice but choose your trips based on the most visited national parks in the US, well, we have some destinations that deserve your attention as well. While the Grand Canyon, New York, Yellowstone, and Hollywood Boulevard are usually packed with international travelers that make it difficult to enjoy the little things, the following destinations will give the opportunity to see the state of Tennessee in a completely different light.

The aforementioned Grand Canyon and Yellowstone parks may be thought of as the most visited national parks in the US, but they aren’t. Actually, the Great Smoky Mountains are at the top and those can be found in the great state of Tennessee. Together with other amazing destinations in Tennessee, we’ll give you a list of destinations that you should not miss on your next trip to Tennessee. 

The following places in Tennessee are worth a spot on your itinerary. From the birthplace and country capital of the world to the nation’s most breathtaking natural delights, the following destinations are imbedded with culture, nature’s purity, and some of the most hospitable people in the country. Get ready to embark on an adventure suitable for those that like to step out of the norm and push the boundaries of the system that’s set in place. This state is for the rebels and the trendsetters, so get ready to be a trendsetter yourself if that description fits your personality.

Nashville

nashville tennessee july 7th

The city of Nashville isn’t only the state capital of Tennessee but also the country music capital of the world. Legends have walked these streets, and songs that are known around the globe have been brought to life on the stages of this city. The sheer power of music shaped the city of Nashville, Tennessee, and placed it on the map not only through the songs that we are all familiar with but also through the museums dedicated to the legends that gave the city its fame. The Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash museums are filled with everything you could possibly want to know about these country music legends, but besides the musical side of Nashville, also known as Music City, USA, there is more to Nashville than music. Just think of the whiskey history the city has. You would not want to miss the city’s nightlife with trendy bars or the Ryman Auditorium. And why not contact the local real estate agents in Nashville TN while you’re at it so you can enjoy the city’s lifestyle all the time?

Knoxville

knoxvillw tennessee usa downtown

As the third-largest city in Tennessee, the city of Knoxville was also the state’s first capital, and the fact that it flies under the radar doesn’t seem fair. Still, once you reach this destination, you can find out more about its rich history and the downtown area truly stands out with restaurants, boutiques, and breweries that sprung up in the last few years. The city’s tourist attractions will surely keep you busy and entertained as the Sunsphere Tower is located in the heart of the city. You won’t be able to miss it. As Knoxville used to be the state’s capital, a lot of Tennessee’s history is cherished at the Museum of East Tennessee History while the culture of the state is reenacted on the Tennessee Theatre stage. Just to name a few of the things the city has to offer to those that are considering moving to this beautiful location. Oh, and don’t forget that Knoxville is a stone’s throw away from the next place to visit in Tennessee. Realtors in Knoxville TN will help you find the perfect home if you want to enjoy the city for more than a few days.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

smoky mountain sunset landscape

While we already mentioned that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country, let’s see why is that? Well, firstly, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is colloquially also known as the Smokies and it stands out in Tennessee because it combines adventure with some of the world’s greatest landscapes. If you head towards the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Gatlinburg or Knoxville, you will be mesmerized by the views, but that scenery is nothing compared to what awaits you when you reach the national park. Take this scenic trip with your significant other with your car all the way to the top of Old Smoky reaches 6,643 feet at Clingmans Dome and take a stroll or hike to the Observation Tower where you’ll get an astounding 360-degree view of the world. As one of the most bewildering National Parks in the US, the Smokeys should not be missed by those who don’t shy away from the steep ascent between spring and fall.

Chattanooga

chattanooga aerial view downtown

When you consider Chattanooga as one of the best places to visit in Tennessee, don’t limit your itinerary to the city’s boundaries. Its location makes it an ideal destination for anyone that wants to combine the luxuries of a lively city with the fantastic range of outdoor activities that spread all around the city. From hiking, biking, and rock climbing, to a wide range of water-related activities despite its inland geography. The breathtaking ridges, gorgeous valleys, and natural wonders that surround this scenic city will increase your traveling experience, especially if you’re an adrenaline junky. Lookout Mountain gives spectacular views of both Tennessee and Georgia as the city is located close to the border between the two states and Ruby Falls is just around the corner for those that want to witness the largest accessible underground waterfall in the country. The Tennessee Valley Railroad gives visitors a glimpse at the country’s historical railways and their contribution to the history that built the United States of America.

Pigeon Forge

pigeon forge tennessee old mill

The city of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is one of the best places to visit in Tennessee with kids as it comes with a wide variety of family-friendly attractions. One of the reasons this destination is famous for is the Dollywood theme park with its impressive rollercoasters and shows. However, one of the best things to do in Tennessee with kids is the Splash Country water park, where your children will have around 35 acres of water park at their disposal, packed with rides and slides for all ages. It may surprise you, however, that there is so much more to discover in this charming small town in eastern Tennessee. 

Another reason this destination is one of the best places to visit in Tennessee with kids is the incredibly educational, family-friendly, and engaging museums that you can find here. The most interesting ones are the WonderWorks, Beyond the Lens! and the Titanic Museum Attraction, where you’ll feel like you are boarding the original vessel, one of the most unique things to do in Tennessee for couples. For a more adventurous trip, you can stop by the parks, enjoy the landscape via alpine coasters or zip lines, and take a breather from your hiking excursion on the park camping grounds nearby. Once the children are in bed, the wineries and breweries provide some romantic things to do for couples in Tennessee

Cummins Falls State Park

waterfall cummins falls state park

Located in the northwest of Cookeville in Jackson County, Cummins Falls State Park, with its unique features, is one of the best places to visit in the Tennessee mountains. The wide variety of trees that aren’t limited to beech, oaks, buckeye, hemlock, and sycamore can be seen as the forest borders the river. The park’s rich history is another of its unique features as the Cummins Falls State Park has stories that date as far back as the Natives that inhabited the region in order to track down buffalo herds that stopped by the shallow rivers to enjoy a refreshing sip of water.

Those that like to add some adventure to their trip should know that Cummins Falls is recognized as one of the best swimming holes in all of the United States. You can also go for a picnic, an interesting hike and plenty of fishing is ready to bite in the rivers of Cummins Falls. The beautiful scenery is encircled by large boulders, navigable streams, and heavy woodland paths that create a fantasy walk towards the waterfall and back. This rugged vibe provided by the wilderness makes one think that this area froze in time with its untouched aspect and pristine natural landscapes.

Gatlinburg

gatlinburg cityscape

As we already mentioned Gatlinburg as one of the places that can lead you to the Smokies, we can not overlook this mountainous town that is packed with adventures suitable for families like camping, but couples and retirees will also find plenty of activities in the city. For some light stroll you can head towards the infamous Parkway that offers plenty of fun activities to do among friends and family that are likely to take you all day to complete. If you’re looking for some marine life at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains, stop by the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and show your children some of the animals that can usually only be found at the bottom of the ocean. Golfers can enjoy a game at Gatlin’s Mini Golf where skills and age don’t matter as everyone will surely have fun. Some adrenaline rush can be attained at the Gatlinburg SkyBridge where the glass bottom will make you feel like your walking in the sky. 

There are plenty of museums you can visit for some additional educational time but the white water rafting opportunities might catch your eye faster on vacation. It depends on what you’re looking for from this trips. It’s up to you and real estate agents in Gatlinburg TN can help you find a home in the city if you want more time to enjoy the best things the city can offer.

Conclusion

As you can see, the variety of places to visit in Tennessee fit different ages, interests, and levels of education as toddlers, college graduates and professionals can all enjoy the most exciting things to do in Tennessee. Whether you’re an adventurous soul that likes to spend hours upon hours on hikes and test the limits of your physical capabilities or an insatiable student for knowledge that finds it incredibly exciting to study every stroke of a brush, line in a description, or wave in a sculpture, you will find something to love about these fun things to do in Tennessee. Don’t hesitate as you plan your next family trip to take a second look at the best of what Tennessee has to offer. We assure you that you won’t regret the journey. Couples and families alike will find the most fitting destination for their needs in The Volunteers State, so get packing!

Much of the popularity of these Tennessee destinations comes from their accessibility as eight other states surround the state in total. However, we can not overlook the glorious natural beauty that makes one wonder whether places such as the ones in Tennessee are actually real. The state’s rich history going back to the Native Americans and the first-rate attractions keep this state at the top of people’s must-see destinations and it’s easy to see why.

If we overlooked any special destinations in the state of Tennessee, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section below. Like & Share this article with other travelers that want to enjoy the beautiful tourist attractions in the state of Tennessee. Your friends and family will also appreciate finding out more about this state’s attractive destinations.

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