Do you have Tennessee on your vacation itinerary? For the best things to do in Tennessee and the coolest places to visit in Tennessee. Scroll down for our top travel recommendations in Tennessee. As a Web 3.0 travel startup, Wondrous Drifter aspires to make a huge impact on the world.
Check out the groovy music scene in Tennessee while you’re in town.
This southern state is famed for its rock & roll and blues history and its country music roots. There’s no better place to go if you’re a music fan than this.
When it comes to must-visit attractions? No matter what you’re looking for, Tennessee has it all. From historic studios and dance halls to vast national parks.
It’s possible to find many exciting things to do in Tennessee because of the state’s different landscapes and urban areas.
As a result, you won’t be able to miss out on anything. This list includes some of the most popular places in Tennessee, regardless of whether you’re flying in or a local.
For everyone, there’s something to love here. Are you interested in a romantic getaway? Or perhaps you’d want to spend some quality time with your family in a cozy mountain hut.
Here, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for. Prepare to start thinking about your vacation to the top destinations in Tennessee to visit!
This is indeed a destination that has a great deal to offer! So pack your suitcase and get ready for your trip.
Read along with the list below of Tennessee’s best places to go:
Table of Contents
- The Great Smoky Mountains
- Collins Gulf
- The Parthenon
- Stones River National Battlefield
- The Titanic Museum
- Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
- Bell Witch Cave
- Storybook Cottage
- Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
- Pins Mechanical Co.
- Steele Creek Park
- Nashville Aquarium Restaurant
- Old Stone Fort Loop Trail
- Old Hickory Beach
- The Farmhouse Restaurant
- Barren Fork
- Taylor Hollow
- Beale Street
The Great Smoky Mountains
Need a cool getaway? We all sometimes do. Luckily, there are many choices for your next weekend adventure. We live in an incredible world filled with some of the most stunning natural beauty. There’s a lot to love and explore here in Tennessee, but consider the Great Smoky Mountains if looking beyond our borders.
While they might make a fine home for Forest Dragons and Fire-Breathing Mountain Trolls, the Great Smoky Mountains are one of the most famous vacation spots to visit in Tennessee. Who can blame you, though? With the dense greenery, waterfalls, and overall beauty of the place, it’s no wonder that people flock here every year.
The ancient peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are a sight to behold, as is the wide variety of fauna and plants that inhabit the park.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has many activities to choose from. Fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and waterfall spotting are among the most popular activities.
The rocky paths are perfect for mountain biking, and the park offers a variety of ranger-led programs for people of all ages. Over half a million acres of land in east Tennessee and western North Carolina make up the park.
You don’t want to go on a hike? There’s nothing to be concerned about! The trip through the Great Smoky Mountains is equally scenic as the hikes. We recommend checking out Gatlinburg or Sevierville’s colorful and tacky attractions to taste the city.
Rather than being surrounded by other tourists, consider staying in a private cabin in Townsend. As the “Peaceful Side of the Smokies,” it’s less popular with visitors from outside the state.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has natural beauty, from cascading waterfalls to hiking trails and wildflower walks.
It’s still the most popular tourist attraction in the country, in part because of its convenient location but also because of its breathtaking grandeur. Where else can you see mountains covered with dew on a misty morning like this?
Lace-up your hiking boots and travel to Collins Gulf if you’re searching for a hiking trail that isn’t overrun with locals and out-of-state visitors.
You’ll come upon Suter Falls, a lovely, secluded waterfall along the journey. The waterfall is stunning, but it’s also nestled away so far into the forest that you’ll almost certainly be alone.
With 12 miles and a significant elevation gain, the hike along Collins Gulf at South Cumberland State Park is one of the most strenuous in Grundy County. You’ll gain a remarkable 1,755 feet in elevation along the circular trail.
Collins Gulf is one of three mountainous gorges in South Cumberland State Park, and Suter Falls, a 40-foot waterfall along Rocky Mountain Creek, is one of the park’s most spectacular sights. You’ll also pass by Horsepound Falls and have the opportunity to admire the sinks on Fall Creek and the Collins River.
The journey along Collins Gulf is strenuous, but the numerous waterfalls and creeks make it a very magnificent experience.
Include this on your calendar, snap some shots of Suter Falls, and take a deep breath as you soak in Tennessee’s splendor in one of its most secluded locations.
As you explore Tennessee, the rest of USA is waiting for you to uncover. Check out USA’s top places to travel here, 50 states for you to discover, one state at a time.
You may be shocked to know that you can visit Greece without traveling. Sounds impossible, right? But that is possible.
Visit The Parthenon to get a taste of Greek culture.
The Parthenon is a structure that most people would associate with Athens, Greece, yet it’s one of Tennessee’s areas of attraction!
It could be one of the top ten spots in the state to see.
This sculpture, a full-scale reproduction of the authentic Greek Parthenon, was first created for the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition.
This structure was almost demolished, but plans were rescinded because of the Parthenon’s popularity.
It is now used as an art museum in Centennial Park, where it houses 63 works by American artists dating from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Throughout the year, there are a variety of rotating exhibits and shows.
It is lavishly embellished with copies of the statues that first called the Parthenon home.
Prepare to be amazed when you visit this beautiful structure.
Address: 2500 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203, United States
Stones River National Battlefield
Weekends are meant to be spent with loved ones and should be fun.
The Stones River National Battlefield in Tennessee is a great place to take the whole family to learn about the Civil War. There are cannons and trenches set up precisely as they were during the conflict, along with statues to commemorate the fallen troops in this park.
The Stones River runs through this 570-acre park in Murfreesboro, roughly 28 miles south of Nashville.
The deadliest three days of the Civil War were commemorated at Stones River National Battlefield. As of December 31, 1862, the Union had gained a strategic victory.
Throughout the area, there are numerous reproductions of cannons.
A period-appropriate fence surrounds the entire region.
Several combat hiding places will be visible as you proceed through the region.
Visiting the Stones River National Battlefield is a great way to immerse yourself in the history of the Civil War.
There’s also a cannonball pyramid in honor of Col. Peyton H. Oolquit.
Make plans to visit and learn about the Civil War there!
The Titanic Museum
If you think that the Titanic has sunk in the North Atlantic. No. It’s here, safe and sound in a museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee!
Not only does the Titanic Museum transport visitors back in time, but it also plays a role in the saga of the ill-fated liner. It is located in Pigeon Forge, which is adjacent to Dollywood, one of the attractions to see in Tennessee.
Passengers and crew members of the Titanic will each receive their own unique boarding pass when they visit the museum. Find out what treasures and mysteries await you inside this enormous building by climbing aboard.
You may recognize this staircase as the ship’s centerpiece in the Titanic movie. It cost over a million dollars to build, and it is very stunning, complete with cherub statues and intricate oak carvings.
As a result, the museum is more than just a repository for items; it recreates what it was like to be on the sinking ship. As the ship began to sink, you can see the sloping decks on which the people clung for dear life.
As a bonus, you may touch an “iceberg” and feel the 28-degree water of the North Atlantic Ocean in April.
Take this once-in-a-lifetime experience and visit the Titanic Museum.
Address: 2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, United States
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
If you’re a country music fan, you’ll be pleased to learn that Tennessee hosts the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the finest spot to visit.
More than 50 years have passed since its founding by a dedicated group of country music fans dedicated to preserving the genre’s rich history and continuing progress.
“Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music” was the name of the primary showcase of the museum at one point in time.
Using touchscreens, images, historical movies, and artifacts, it explains the music genre’s history and tells stories about its traditions and transformations.
One of the best things to do in Tennessee is just to go see that exhibit, so I highly recommend it.
To describe the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum as country music’s “Sherman” is an understatement: it’s a must-see.
Like Taylor Swift and Blak Shelton, many famous artists have had exhibits at the museum. Among them are Charlie Daniels and the Zac Brown Band.
Don’t miss out on this incredible place and plan your visit now!
Address: 222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203, United States
It’s not just for Elvis fans that Graceland, one of the top Tennessee attractions, will be a blast.
The White House is the most frequently visited and toured residence in the United States, with more than one million visitors per year.
Guests can take an iPad-guided tour of the estate, led by none other than John Stamos himself.
When you visit Graceland, you’ll be able to see many of the rooms there when Elvis died, including the living room, the kitchen, the office of Elvis’ father, the TV room, and even the Jungle Room.
Visit the planes that Elvis flew and the Meditation Garden, all of which are optional stops on tour.
Rock and roll royalty was laid to rest here, with his family.
In 1982, Presley’s family members who remained in the house converted it into a museum and made it available to the public.
Certainly, a place that is part of the National Register of Historic Places is a significant achievement for this Tennessee location.
Bell Witch Cave
As soon as we hear a ghost story, our hearts race, and our minds begin to whirl. It doesn’t matter if you believe in ghosts or not; it’s a fascinating way to spend your time.
The story of the Bell Witch is one of the most harrowing in Tennessee, which is steeped in history and invested in the nation’s uncanny depths. You may have heard of Adams, Tennessee’s little farm, and you aren’t alone if you have.
As a result of her alleged supernatural abilities, the Bell Witch was given the moniker “the most powerful witch in all of New York City.” The Bells were haunted is understandable; the Bell property is breathtakingly gorgeous.
You’re not alone if you’ve heard of the Bell Witch story; it’s a well-known one. Surely you’ve heard of the Blair Witch Project. The Bell Witch lore served as an inspiration for this piece.
But that’s not what we’re here for. The cave is what we’re here to discuss.
For its connection to the Bell Sisters and the witch who tormented them, the cave was also added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.1
However, if you like creepy stuff, the Bell Cave is one of the fascinating locations of interest to go to.
Forget about your problems and enjoy the peace in this secluded cottage in rural Tennessee.
Storybook Cottage in Tennessee is the ideal location for a peaceful country getaway.
There is a storybook cottage nestled in the rural village of Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. The masonry and towering trees on the façade add a special touch of beauty.
There are 800 square feet of living space, including a fully supplied kitchen, a bedroom, and a sleeping loft, decorated tastefully. Because the Storybook Cottage’s interior was meticulously crafted to maximize the enjoyment of its visitors, be sure to document your time there with photos!
It’s a terrific place to get some fresh air while being protected from the elements on the enclosed back porch. Take a nap, relax with a good book, or take natural scenery.
Inspiring the movie “Lord of the Rings” makes this location so unique.
Nothing short of a fairytale adventure awaits you at Storybook Cottage, and have a magical stay here!
Address: 5672 Pinewood Rd, Franklin, TN 37064, United States
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
In a world where airplane seats are shrinking and travel is becoming more regular but less luxurious, there’s something special about experiencing train travel as the 19th-century elite did.
Take a journey back to the opulent days of train travel in this 1920s-era dining car at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. You can dine on this train on rare occasions to learn about its history and have a memorable experience.
It was 1850 when the city of Chattanooga, where the museum is located, welcomed its first railroad through the city limits. A railroad hub grew out of the city’s growth. As automobiles and airlines began to take passengers’ places on passenger trains, they were eventually phased out in the 1960s.
That history is now preserved at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, where visitors may relive the railroad’s glory through its exhibits. When it comes to public transportation, the museum has a lot of interesting information to offer.
The train departs Grand Junction Station and heads down the track during dinner service before returning to the station. A four-course gourmet lunch will be served in the train’s elegant dining car, all while you ride.
When you visit the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, you’ll be transported back in time, just long enough to eat.
Address: 4119 Cromwell Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37421, United States
Pins Mechanical Co.
Get in touch with your inner kid at Pins Mechanical Co., a retro arcade where you can play gigantic Jenga and pinball while sipping on a craft beer. You can even play ping-pong or duckpin bowling.
Pins Mechanical Company is, above all, a place to have a good time. Bring a bunch of friends, play some old arcade games, or join the Duckpin Bowling League for a regular night out.
Pins do not serve food but serve cocktails, beer, and wine. Visitors are welcome to bring their meals or request food to be delivered to the location.
Live entertainment is frequently available at Pins and special events throughout the year. Pins has even hosted weddings! Guests are also welcome to schedule their private affairs.
First come, first served on all lanes and games. Up to 7 p.m., anyone 16 or older is welcome. Then it’s 21+ time, and the cocktails begin to flow.
Pins have evolved into a community of people who appreciate having a good time, not just a great place to drink and play a game.
Remember how simple it was to make friends on the playground? You’ll find that spirit here. At the start of a game, saddle up to any gang, and you’ll make a whole new set of friends.
Put on your bowling shoes and place your drink order to make your weekend plans at Pins Mechanical Co., whether you’re searching for an exciting new dating night or to meet new people.
Address: 1102 Grundy St, Nashville, TN 37203, United States
Steele Creek Park
Mountain lakes have a mystical quality about them. Or, perhaps the unexpected proximity to both summer and winter holiday destinations makes it feel like a shock to the system. One of the nicest places to take the whole family is Steele Creek Lake, located just outside of Bristol, Tennessee in Steele Creek Park.
Steele Creek Park, where Steele Creek Lake is located, is Tennessee’s largest municipal park. In fact, it’s the third-largest park in the country, covering more than 2,000 acres. You’ll see people wandering along the lakeside throughout the year because the water is full of fish and extremely cold.
As a state park in 1930s, Steele Creek Park was supposed to be part of the state park system, but that idea was scrapped in 1945. Plans to build a park have been unveiled by Mayor Stacy Grayson after nearly two decades of waiting. In 1964, Steel Creek Park became accessible to the people of Tennessee for the first time.
The Lake Ridge Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails around the lake. The strenuous hike, which covers 4.6 miles in total, takes about two hours to finish. Despite its popularity, the circular trail is relatively challenging. Wearing the incorrect footwear might lead to injury.
What a stunning location for a vacation!
Nashville Aquarium Restaurant
Many people enjoy dining out weekly, especially if there is a complimentary basket of salsa and chips or a menu that includes a variety of savory and sweet dishes. What if you got the opportunity to dine with a mermaid as well? Perhaps a school of fish?
The Aquarium restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee, is the only dining establishment in the state to share space with enormous tanks containing aquatic life. For people of any age, it’s a unique, wild experience that we can’t recommend enough.
Near Nashville, Tennessee, the Aquarium Restaurant is located in the Opry Mills Mall. Guests dine in a room with a 200,000-gallon aquarium, a cozy home for fish, rays, and sharks.
Aquatic creatures swim through this restaurant, attracting diners of all ages. It’s a terrific place for birthday parties and other celebrations, too.
If your children dream of dining among the mermaids, they’re in for a treat. The Mystic Mermaid Breakfast has an Under the Sea menu and a show by the restaurant’s resident mer-creatures and educational tours and activities.
Plan your visit and experience dining like no other.
Address: 516 Opry Mills Dr, Nashville, TN 37214, United States
Old Stone Fort Loop Trail
Surely you didn’t know that Tennessee has one loop trail ideal for a day hiking, no matter the season.
Coffee County, Tennessee, is home to Manchester, a small town between Nashville and Chattanooga. During the summer, the rural area is overgrown with vegetation, while the rocky cliffs are covered in ice in the winter.
There’s also the Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park near Manchester, which has hiking trails, seaside walks, and a bevy of cascades. Here you’ll find the Old Stone Fort Loop Trail, a short day trek ideal for families at slightly under 3 miles.
Archeological park Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park is called after what appears to be a pre-European settlement stone fort. There were some Native American occupants in the area initially, but they were soon driven out. The state of Tennessee didn’t buy the land that would become the park’s core until 1966.
The park’s stunning environment, including waterfront views and rocky waterfalls, attracts visitors worldwide, and the area’s rich history attracts history enthusiasts. The visitors center at Old Stone Fort is outstanding, with a tiny theater and numerous exhibits illuminating the area’s history.
You’re walking down the path of history as you hike the Old Stone Fort Loop Trail, which follows the major route taken by Native Americans in the past.
Old Hickory Beach
A day out on the town without your dog can challenge dog-lovers. When you see their sorrowful expression, your heart breaks when they realize they can’t get in the car with you.
There are plenty of dog-friendly excursions in Tennessee, so don’t be worried. Old Hickory Beach in Nashville is one option you’re likely to love. This dog-friendly beach in Tennessee is a dog’s paradise.
Old Hickory Lake, where the beach is located, is a 22,500-acre artificial body of water that bears Andrew Jackson’s name in honor of Tennessee’s third president. It became known as “Old Hickory.”
As a result, it’s one of the few places in Tennessee where dogs are allowed on the beach.
Dogs are not permitted in the swimming area, although allowed in the lake outside of that area. You’re lucky if your best friend enjoys being around or playing in the water.
You won’t have difficulty locating a dog-friendly restaurant to go out to afterward. With so much to see and do, Nashville is a great place for pet owners to vacation.
The Farmhouse Restaurant
With so many fast food options available, it might be challenging to find a satisfying meal these days. There’s something about sitting around a table with your loved ones and tucking into a hearty meal.
The Farmhouse Restaurant in Etowah, Tennessee, has captured the enchantment. The best comfort cuisine in Tennessee can be found at this unusual neighborhood eatery, which has been a local favorite for years. You’re not going to believe us, are you? Here’s your chance to see it for yourself!
Farmhouse Restaurant is a locally owned and operated restaurant in Etowah, TN. Several people swear that this is the best place in Tennessee to get country food, and it’s been open since 1997, serving both residents and visitors alike.
There’s a surprising amount of character to be discovered within the rustic setting. There is a tiny shop on-site if you seek a lovely and local decoration for your home.
For one simple reason: the best country food in Tennessee can be found at The Farmhouse, which has a near-perfect 5-star rating on the internet. Definitely the best. So don’t miss it!
Address: 9201 TN-111, Byrdstown, TN 38549, United States
Isn’t it wonderful to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, switch off your electronic devices, grab a moleskin notepad, and head for the hills? Wouldn’t it be great if you could trade your iPod shuffle for something as large as an arm or a leg?
The good news is kayaking is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal. Waiting till summer to enjoy Tennessee’s sights is a waste of time. To begin, all you need is a sense of adventure and a willingness to do some effort.
For those looking for a little bit of everything in McMinnville, Tennessee, the Barren Fork gives it everything at one location. The Middle Tennessee region is a one-stop shop for outdoor pleasure, offering everything from guided floats to outdoor concerts and even overnight tent camping.
The “Barrens” region of Middle Tennessee inspired the name Barren Fork. In the heart of a dense hardwood forest, a large bare area is mainly unforested. It’s possible that portion of the land actually does feel swampy!
It’s nearly impossible to keep track of all of the possibilities!
Imagine you’re in the South, and you want to attend the world’s most famous country music show. Where do you go? Nashville, Tennessee, of course! The Grand Ole Opry is one of those places always on everyone’s travel list when they visit the state.
Whether you’re an avid fan or just a traveler who wants to explore everything Nashville offers, there’s something for every type of person of all ages.
The Grand Ole Opry is one of the top locations to visit in Tennessee because it’s known worldwide.
A radio show named The WSM Barn Dance, which started airing in 1925, was the precursor to the Opry we know today.
The show began airing from the Ryman Auditorium before moving to the Grand Ole Opry House in 1974.
Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are just two of the huge names that have performed at the Grand Ole Opry in the past several years, along with a host of others.
The performances are streamed on numerous platforms, including Opry’s website.
There’s a good reason it’s called “the home of American music,” and it’s one of the must-see sights in Tennessee.
Address: 2804 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214, United States
A few privately owned nature preserves in Tennessee are devoted to preserving nature in its purest form. The global Nature Conservancy established the Taylor Hollow State Natural Area on land along the Highland Rim’s northeastern side.
As one of the first nature preserves purchased in Tennessee, the Westmoreland natural space has become one of the most beautiful, untouched areas in the state.
Taylor Hollow is regarded as an ecological treasure in the southern United States. Visitors will not be able to explore the area’s trails or delicate ecosystems because it is privately owned and maintained. On the other hand, the Nature Conservancy aims to preserve the mesophytic forest system, which is both attractive and historic.
Tennessee’s Taylor Hollow is regarded as one of the state’s few untouched regions. Small creatures and cave dwellers can be found in the hollow’s rocky outcroppings and the cave system beneath the forest floor in the old-growth forest.
So many breathtaking sights make this a must-see destination for the whole family.
From East to the Mississippi River, Beale Street is one of Tennessee’s best-known thoroughfares; it runs from East Street to the Mississippi River in Memphis.
There are numerous restaurants and clubs along the two-mile-long street, which is considered one of the top destinations for travelers in the neighborhood.
In addition, Beale Thoroughfare is a famous street with much historical significance.
It has played an essential role in the history of American blues music. It continues to do so now, with several outdoor performances and festivals.
Beale Street is a must-see when planning a trip to Tennessee, even if you’re not a genre lover.
Make plans this weekend to visit Memphis’ entertainment district, which is full of activity and a fantastic place to meet new people.
Do you need any more convincing that Tennessee is worth a visit? Visit why visit Tennessee at least once in your lifetime here.