Tennessee is a destination that welcomes a diverse range of tourists, from those interested in history and wildlife to those enthusiastic about music. Because there are so many places to go and things to do in this area, it can be difficult to decide where to begin.
To select the top locations to visit in Tennessee, U.S. News took into consideration a wide range of aspects, such as the availability of a wide variety of attractions, ease of access, an affordable price range, and several dining alternatives. Do you want to have some input into the list for the following year? Place your vote for your preferred location down below.
Best Places in Tennessee to Visit
Even while the landscape and the music may be different from place to place in the South, you can still find that legendary Southern friendliness wherever you go.
In addition to the glamorous resort towns, fun-filled amusement parks, and of course, amazing live music venues, there are other lovely towns and cities to be discovered here.
The city of Knoxville, which is situated on the Tennessee River in the state’s eastern corner, has a wealth of attractions and activities available to tourists throughout the entire year.
The city of Knoxville is well-known for its mouthwatering cuisine from the South, its charming and historically restored downtown, and its fervent sports culture, which brings together fans of different sports from all over the United States.
In addition, if you are going to be in the area of Knoxville, you are in luck since the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is only an hour’s drive from the city. This means that you will have a wonderful opportunity to go on a day trip there.
Rock ‘n’ roll, blues, hip-hop, and soul music all have their roots in Memphis, Tennessee, which is located in the southwestern part of the state of Tennessee.
The city is home to the world-famous Sun Studio, where many iconic musicians, like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, BB King, and others, have recorded their masterpieces. Graceland is located in Memphis, and as a result, the city receives a large number of tourists each year.
Nashville is one of the most prominent places for country music in the United States. It was founded in 1779 and serves as the capital of the state of Tennessee.
It is in one of the most well-known districts of the city, which is known as Music Row, and it is where you will discover the renowned Country Music Hall of Fame. In addition to that, the world-famous Grand Ole Opry House may be found right here.
Chattanooga is the largest city in the state and can be found in the southeastern region of Tennessee, close to the state’s border with Georgia. It is situated on the Tennessee River and is near the gorgeous Appalachian Mountains.
Ruby Falls, located in the vicinity of Chattanooga, is the greatest underground waterfall not only in all of the United States but also in the entire world! In addition to this, it is also known for being the location of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, which is considered to be one of the most well-known and expansive military parks in the country.
Gatlinburg, which serves as the entry point to the breathtaking Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is widely regarded as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state of Tennessee.
In addition, Gatlinburg is well-known for its observation tower, which goes by the name Space Needle and stands at a height of 407 feet. This tower should be on the agenda for any trip over the weekend.
In addition, there is the Sky Lift, which is a cable car that travels through the air and has a length of 2.1 miles. It connects the downtown area of Gatlinburg to the Ober Gatlinburg ski resort as well as the amusement park.
6. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Pigeon Forge, located in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, is widely regarded as one of the state’s most popular tourist sites.
The town of Pigeon Forge is home to the Appalachian theme park known as Dollywood. At this park, guests may have a great time while riding roller coasters, enjoying water slides and playgrounds, and checking out the Museum of Dolly Parton, which displays her costumes.
Pigeon Forge is well known for its many other attractions, some of which include the Smoky Mountain Opry, which is a country music venue, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, which is a well-known dinner theater, and many more.
7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in the eastern portion of Tennessee and is also a popular tourist destination in the neighboring state of North Carolina. If you enjoy being outdoors, this is one of the top locations to visit in Tennessee.
With more than 12 million people each year, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not only the most visited national park in the United States but also rates higher than both Yellowstone National Park and Zion National Park.
One of the most well-known sights in the state of Tennessee is Graceland, which encompasses a total area of more than 13.8 acres.
Elvis Presley, the King of Rock ‘n Roll, was the original owner of this item; however, since 1977, it has been in the custody of Elvis Presley’s daughter.
9. The Cades Cove enclave
Cades Cove, which can be found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is distinguished by its location in a remote valley inside the park, is often regarded as one of the most stunning areas of the park and has garnered a lot of attention over the years from both early settlers and tourists.
Taking the Cades Cove Scenic Loop drive while you are in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an absolute must if you want to view some of the most magnificent scenery in the park. Along this drive, you will find mountain peaks and lush forests.
10. The Ruby Falls.
Leo Lambert discovered in 1928 what is now considered to be one of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the United States.
Ruby Falls is the highest and deepest subterranean waterfall in the country, and it is one of the top places to put on your bucket list if you are planning a trip to Tennessee. Visitors are welcome to stop by Ruby Falls, which may be found close to Chattanooga on Lookout Mountain.
Although Tennessee is most known for being the home and the birthplace of both blues and country music, the state is also home to a landscape that is just as diverse as its music scene.
The gorgeous, tree-covered Great Smoky Mountains are like being transported to another world when compared to the verdant valleys and sweltering lowlands that can be found in the rest of the state, and each diverse geographic region has its unique musical tradition to go along with it.