Tennessee is the land of hospitality, whiskey, and country music – but that’s not all; it is also a gateway to stunning natural landscapes.
It offers all kinds of exciting adventures, from foster falls to forbidden caverns and top-notch attractions such as Dollywood and Graceland.
If you seek the thrill of nature and want to feel enchanted by the breathtaking natural views and exhilarating outdoor activities, a trip to Tennessee is a must.
A trip to Tennessee is incomplete without trying out the local cuisine and enjoying live country music.
Continue reading to learn more about the must-visit places throughout the state that are bound to make your trip a memorable one.
1. Hiking in the great smoky mountains national park
Many national parks and mountains are ready for you to explore, but our choice is the obvious Great Smoky Mountain National Park if we had to name one.
The National Park encompasses the great smoky mountains and the blue ridge mountains, covering all of Tennessee and a part of North Carolina.
It covers acres of woodland, cascades, and wildlife – simply a haven for nature lovers.
When in Tennessee, take time to explore the national park and hike through beautiful trails in calm and serene yet full of life surroundings.
Gatlinburg, a little mountain town, serves as the primary entrance. Bring your camera to capture the beauty of valleys filled with well-preserved historic structures from bygone ages.
The best part? Free admissions.
2. Enjoy festivities in Pigeon Forge
At the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, you will find the quaint mountain town of Pigeon Forge. Although small, it still has a lot to offer in festivities and thrilling rides.
One of the main features are the famous pigeon forge shows, a family-friendly music fest that combines all the country classics with the latest country hits.
Even though Dollywood is the most well-known destination in town, it still offers many other things to do, sights to see, and food to try.
Check out Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show and Adventure Park, where you can ride the Flying Ox roller coaster.
At 15 mph, it lifts passengers 80 feet in the air before launching them around a looping circuit. Also in Pigeon Forge is The Island, a fun spot for the whole family that offers delicious food, riveting rides, and enjoyable shopping trips all in one location.
You should also not miss the new SkyFly: Soar America, which offers an exciting indoor adventure that flies you over iconic American landmarks such as the Grand Canyon and Alaska’s glaciers.
The Inn on the River Hotel is a great place to stay if you visit the area. Because of its proximity to restaurants, shops, and other must-see sights, this 3-acre riverfront property is popular among tourists.
3. Pilgrimage to Graceland
When it comes to the King of Rock’n’roll, Graceland is a must-see destination for fans from all over the globe.
Memphis’ thriving entertainment district is home to 120 acres of museums and mementos honoring the illustrious career of the great Elvis Presley.
If you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, consider getting the ultimate VIP tour, as it will surely be a memorable experience you can remember for years to come.
You can tour the Graceland Mansion and an appreciative self-led tour of all the Elvis-owned jets; the package also grants complete access to the Memphis Entertainment Complex (filled with the cars and jumpsuits used by the legendary performer).
Furthermore, you also get a lunch ticket and exclusive entry to a VIP-only exhibition.
Additionally, staying at The Guest House at Graceland is the best way to experience all the attractions, memorabilia, Elvis-themed activities, and live performances.
Rooms and suites at this Memphis hotel, one of the city’s biggest, are inspired by the glitter and glamour of Las Vegas and Elvis’s Palm Springs residence.
4. Explore the Lost Sea
Situated southwest of Knoxville, near Sweetwater, to visit the largest subterranean lake in the United States, you need to descend 140 feet underground.
Walking across broad, sloping paths is the first step of the 75-minute-long guided tour towards the appropriately dubbed Lost Sea.
It’s advisable to wear comfortable, non-slip shoes for this stroll. In addition to the cavern’s history, you’ll learn about the unique structures and subterranean chambers created by geological processes.
This 70-foot-deep lake spans many acres and is accessible by a short boat trip after the tour. Sweetwater, Tennessee, is only a short drive from Knoxville, but you may want to spend a few days exploring the area, so booking a vacation property can be a suitable choice.
In the historic neighborhood of Sweetwater, you can find antiques, collectibles, and artwork in various boutiques and stores.
You can visit the café located at Sweetwater Valley Farm to grab farm-fresh dairy delicacies, including cheesy grilled sandwiches and velvety milkshakes.
5. Sip the Tennessee Whiskey
Before the Civil War, Tennessee was famous for producing whiskey, and that reputation has only grown stronger.
The Tennessee whiskey trail includes over 30 distilleries and more than 800 miles of breathtaking scenery.
According to the trail’s official site, you’ll need 14 days to see everything. You can even get a whiskey passport and an app to immerse yourself in the experience fully.
The trail passes through and stops in Nashville, the Smoky Mountains in Knoxville, and Memphis. Visit historic battlefields and enjoy live music and foodie favorites in smaller towns, cute little shops, historic mansions and museums, and state parks with outdoor excursions in between your destinations.
Try the Big Cypress Lodge, an open-air pyramid-style hotel for lodging in Memphis. It features Bass Pro Shops, restaurants, entertainment, and breathtaking views of the Mississippi River.
Apart from that, Nashville’s historic Hermitage Hotel is a strong pick, while the Oliver Hotel in Knoxville is a top choice for visitors because of its vicinity to Market Square.
Tennessee is known as the country music capital of the world, but it also has a rich history and many other tourist attractions.
It’s bursting to the seams with must-see tourist sites and idyllic getaways. Tennessee is a great place to go on vacation, no matter what you’re searching for.
Thanks to a wide range of activities, you’ll never get bored on this vacation, from breathtaking vistas of the state’s natural beauty to vibrant mountain towns.