Explore the Best Places to Visit in Tennessee

by | Feb 5, 2023 | Americas, UNITED STATES

Tennessee is an incredible state full of music, culture, and adventure. From vibrant cities like Nashville and Memphis to the spectacular national parks in the Great Smoky Mountains—there are countless unique best places to visit in Tennessee.

Whether you’re looking for a taste of Southern cuisine or want to explore outdoor adventures, this article will guide you through all that Tennessee has to offer.

Look at our top picks for Music Scene in Tennessee, Southern Cuisine in Tennessee, Outdoor Adventures in Tennessee, Cultural Attractions in Tennessee, and Accommodations In Tennessee today.

Music Scene in Tennessee

Nashville is the undisputed music capital of Tennessee, and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re a fan of classic country or modern pop-country hits, there’s always something going on in Music City. Home to the iconic Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, and numerous live music venues like The Bluebird Cafe and Ryman Auditorium, Nashville has something for everyone.

Memphis is another popular destination for music lovers. Known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and blues, Memphis offers an unforgettable experience with iconic venues like Sun Studio and Graceland. Be sure to check out local clubs such as B.B. King’s Blues Club or Earnestine & Hazel’s Juke Joint for some authentic Southern soul food while listening to great live music from local artists.

Tennessee’s music scene is renowned for its iconic venues, diverse sounds, and talented artists. Get ready to experience the best Southern cuisine in Tennessee with delicious barbecue joints, local restaurants, and food festivals.

Music scene – Hari Nandakumar

Key Takeaway: Tennessee is a great destination for music lovers, offering iconic venues such as the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, Sun Studio, and Graceland. Enjoy live music from local artists in clubs like B.B. King’s Blues Club or Earnestine & Hazel’s Juke Joint while trying some authentic Southern soul food.

Southern Cuisine in Tennessee

Tennessee is a state that prides itself on its Southern cuisine. Barbecue joints are scattered throughout the state, serving up some of the best-pulled pork sandwiches and ribs smothered in tangy sauces you’ll ever taste. There are plenty of local restaurants for classic dishes like fried chicken and biscuits.

Barbecue Joints:

Whether it’s Memphis-style dry rub or Nashville hot chicken, Tennessee has something for everyone regarding barbecue. Some popular spots include Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nolensville and The Rendezvous downtown Memphis. Both serve up delicious smoked meats with their unique spin on traditional recipes.

Barbecue – Matt Benson

Local Restaurants:

If you’re looking for a more traditional Southern meal, head to one of Tennessee’s many local restaurants, such as Loveless Cafe near Nashville or Auntie M’s Kitchen in Jackson. Here you can find all your favorite comfort foods- fried chicken, mashed potatoes, collard greens, and cornbread – all made with love.

There are also plenty of food festivals throughout the year where locals come together to celebrate regional specialties like hot chicken and banana pudding. One popular event is Music City Food + Wine Festival, held annually at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in Nashville, which features celebrity chefs cooking up delectable dishes from around the world alongside live music performances by top artists from across the country.

Tennessee offers a wide variety of delicious and unique Southern cuisine that you can enjoy in restaurants, food festivals, and barbecue joints. From there, why not explore the great outdoors with hiking trails, camping sites, water sports, and more?

Loveless cafe – Gourneau via Creative Commons

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Outdoor Adventures in Tennessee

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the United States, offering breathtaking views of lush forests and majestic mountains. With over 800 miles of trails to explore, hikers can find a variety of terrain ranging from strolls to strenuous climbs. Popular destinations include Clingmans Dome, Cades Cove, and Mt. LeConte. Camping sites are available for those looking for a more rustic experience, with plenty of options for both primitive camping or RV hookups.

Hiking Trails and Camping Sites offer abundant opportunities to explore Tennessee’s great outdoors. From short day hikes to multi-day backpacking trips, there is something for everyone in this diverse landscape. For those wanting a more secluded experience, there are numerous remote campsites scattered throughout the park that provide stunning views without the crowds found at some busier locations like Cades Cove or Newfound Gap Overlook.

Water sports and boating activities abound on nearby lakes, such as Douglas Lake, Norris Lake, Tellico Lake, Cherokee Lake, and Watts Bar Reservoir. These offer excellent fishing spots and swimming areas for cooling off during hot summer days. Boaters will find plenty of places to launch their boats. At the same time, kayakers can take advantage of gentle currents along many rivers, including the Little Pigeon River near Gatlinburg or The Ocoee River near Cleveland, TN, where white water rafting is also a popular activity among thrill seekers.

Outdoor adventures in Tennessee offer an array of experiences, from breathtaking views to exciting activities, so why not explore the many cultural attractions that Tennessee has to offer?

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Ronnie Mayo

Cultural Attractions in Tennessee

Museums and Art Galleries:

Tennessee is home to various museums and art galleries that showcase the state’s history, culture, and art. The Frist Center for Visual Arts in Nashville features works from local, national, and international artists. At the same time, the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga displays paintings from some of America’s most famous painters. In Memphis, visitors can explore the National Civil Rights Museum, which chronicles key moments in civil rights history or take a tour through Graceland Mansion, where Elvis Presley lived.

Frist Center for the Visual Arts – Ed Utham via Creative Commons

Historic Sites and Monuments:

From battlefields to monuments honoring influential figures like Davy Crockett and Andrew Jackson, many historical sites throughout Tennessee are worth exploring. Visitors can learn about important events at places such as Shiloh National Military Park near Savannah or visit Fort Loudoun State Historic Area in Vonore to see an 18th-century British fortification. Other popular attractions include President James K Polk Home & Museum located in Columbia or Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park located near downtown Nashville which commemorates 200 years since Tennessee became a state.

Tennessee offers a wealth of cultural attractions, from world-class museums and art galleries to historic sites and monuments. With so many unique experiences available, you can easily explore Tennessee’s culture. Now let’s look at some great accommodation options for your trip.

Fort Loudoun State Historic Area – Brent Moore via Creative Commons

Key Takeaway: Tennessee is full of historic sites and museums to explore, from the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis to Shiloh National Military Park near Savannah. Key attractions include the Frist Center for Visual Arts, Hunter Museum of American Art, President James K Polk Home & Museum, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, Fort Loudoun State Historic Area, and Graceland Mansion.

Related: A Practical Travel Guide to Seattle Washington

Accommodations in Tennessee

Hotels and Resorts:

Tennessee offers various hotels and resorts for travelers looking to experience the state’s unique culture. From budget-friendly options near downtown areas to upscale resorts on picturesque lakefronts or mountain vistas, there is something for everyone. Many hotels offer amenities such as spas or golf courses and access to nearby attractions like museums or shopping centers. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay in Nashville or an outdoor adventure Gatlinburg, Tennessee, has plenty of hotel and resort options that will fit your needs.

Opryland Hotel – prayitnophotography via Creative Commons

Bed & Breakfasts:

For those seeking a more intimate atmosphere with personalized service, bed & breakfasts are the perfect option. These cozy inns provide guests with all the comforts of home while offering access to local attractions and activities. From historic homes nestled in small towns to modern establishments close to city centers, bed & breakfasts provide an authentic experience that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Vacation Rentals:

Whether you’re looking for a romantic retreat in Memphis or an action-packed weekend getaway near Chattanooga, vacation rentals have something for everyone. Vacation rentals offer privacy and convenience with fully equipped kitchens and living spaces perfect for extended stays or family getaways. With properties ranging from beachfront condos on the Gulf Coast to cabins tucked away in rural settings, vacation rentals allow visitors to explore different parts of Tennessee without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

Vacation rentals – Michael Chambers

FAQs about the Best Places to Visit in Tennessee

What is the number 1 attraction in Tennessee?

The number one attraction in Tennessee is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Spanning over 500,000 acres of lush forests and breathtaking mountain peaks, this park offers visitors a variety of activities to enjoy, such as hiking, camping, fishing, wildlife viewing, and more. With its stunning scenery and abundance of natural beauty, it’s no wonder why the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been named America’s most-visited national park for many years. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or just some peace and quiet away from it all – the Great Smoky Mountains are sure to provide a memorable experience that will last a lifetime.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Sean Foster

What is the most beautiful part of Tennessee?

Located in the eastern part of the state, it’s a breathtakingly stunning area with lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and majestic mountains. It’s home to abundant wildlife and wildflowers that make for truly spectacular views. The park also offers many activities like hiking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, and more. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or an adventurous getaway, this national park has something for everyone.

Tennessee – Rodney Truitt Jr

What is the prettiest city in Tennessee?

The most beautiful city in Tennessee is undoubtedly Chattanooga. Located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it boasts stunning views of Lookout Mountain and the Tennessee River. The downtown area has a vibrant atmosphere with plenty of restaurants, shops, galleries, and parks to explore. Many outdoor activities, such as hiking trails, kayaking spots, and biking paths, make this city an excellent destination for nature lovers. With its unique combination of natural beauty and urban amenities, Chattanooga is one of the prettiest cities in Tennessee.

Chattanooga – Chad Madden

What is the most visited town in Tennessee?

The most visited town in Tennessee is Gatlinburg. Located in the Great Smoky Mountains, this small mountain resort town offers various attractions for visitors. From outdoor activities like hiking and zip-lining to unique shops and restaurants, there’s something for everyone here. It also boasts some of the best views in the state with its stunning mountainside vistas. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or want to relax and take it all in, Gatlinburg has something unique that will make your trip memorable.

Gatlinburg – Rhand McCoy


Tennessee is a state full of wonders and experiences for all travelers. Whether you’re looking to explore the music scene, sample some Southern cuisine, go on an outdoor adventure, or learn about its culture, Tennessee has something for everyone. With so many great places to visit in Tennessee, it can be hard to decide where to start. But with careful planning and research into what each city offers, you can find the best places to visit in Tennessee that will make your trip unforgettable.

Are you ready to explore the great state of Tennessee? From bustling cities to picturesque mountain towns, this beautiful state has countless unique places to visit. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or unique cultural experiences, we have a wide range of options that will satisfy your travel needs.

Tennessee – Kortney Musselman


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