Tennessee offers a lot to both residents and visitors. You’ll find everything from incredible music talent and mouthwatering cuisine to theme parks and outdoor adventures. Whether you plan to stick around or enjoy a fun vacation, be sure to put some of these attractions on your must-experience list.
While I was an RV kid until I was 12, after that, I live in Tennessee until I was 30 (except for 1 1/2 years in Missouri) and hit the road RVing again. Tennesee is one of the places I continue to come back to again and again.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg
A ranking of the country’s most-visited national parks revealed that Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park was number one. It’s home to more than 800 miles of trails for exploring waterfalls, forests, streams, historic buildings, and abundant wildlife.
An 11-mile loop road brings fantastic sightseeing opportunities for animals like black bear, raccoon, wild turkey, coyote and more. The most popular destination hikes here include Rainbow Falls, Alum Cave Bluffs, and Charles Bunion, while horseback riding, fishing, and camping can all be enjoyed as well.
With Knoxville residents enjoying close proximity for day trips, just a little over an hour away, you might even find yourself searching through Knoxville real estate so you can experience it more often.
Grand Ole Opry, Nashville
The Grand Ole Opry is the radio show that put Nashville on the map, playing a big part in facilitating the world’s perception of it as the “Country Capital of the World.” It hosts stage entertainment based on an hour-long radio barn dance founded in 1925, and visitors can see photos of past performances, listen to stories about music legends and even walk across the stage in the footsteps of some of their favorites.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is another top attraction not to be missed while in Nashville, honoring legendary country music performers, songwriters and others who made a significant contribution to the genre. The unique building itself, shaped in a bass clef, is an iconic feature of the city’s skyline. Inside you’ll find a wide range of exhibits and programs that explore how country music has evolved over time.
Ruby Falls, Chattanooga
The highest underground waterfall in the world, Ruby Falls sits 1,120 feet under Lookout Mountain. The 145-foot-tall waterfall lies along the Tennessee River Gorge. The waterfall can be accessed by taking an elevator down into the cavern with a guide. The guide will point out geological formations like stalagmites, stalactites and more, and while you’re there you can even whiz across a zipline too.
Dollywood, Pigeon Forge
Dollywood has long-been a favorite attraction in Tennessee, a theme park owned by country music singer Dolly Parton. It’s jam-packed with thrill rides like roller coasters, a water park, attractions, and live entertainment. In fact, you could easily spend an entire day here taking advantage of the entertainment, with shows like Dreamland Drive-In, the My People Show starring Dolly’s family members, the Smoky Mountain String Band and more. There are seasonal music fests that bring big-name entertainers too.
Memphis has a strong association with Elvis Presley, home to Sun Studio, where, in 1953, he recorded the first of his two double-sided demos, “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.” Of course, it’s also home to Graceland, his former home. Today this extravagant landmark is open for public tours, with highlights that include his own record collection and pink Cadillac. You can also pay tribute to him in the Meditation Garden where he’s laid to rest with other family members.
Come On Out Ya’ll
As you can see, Tennessee is a fabulous place to visit no matter what you’re looking for. I may be a little partial but I’m okay with that. I hope to see you around soon. 🙂