Tennessee is one of the most beautiful states in the nation, but it’s these ELEVEN incredible places to visit that truly set us apart. Spanning from stunning state parks to the creepiest of haunted houses, we have a place to explore for everyone in the family. Have you knocked all of these off your list? We’re going to guess not…but it’s about time.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
11. Make a quick visit to Sewanee,
the most overlooked town in the state.
Most people turn their head when it comes to this tiny rural town, but the stunning architecture and deep vein of history that runs through Sewanee is more than enough to get you to visit. Wander the graveyard on the grounds, ponder the stunning school that hails back to the 19th century or hike the famed Sewanee Perimeter Trail.
10. Enjoy a stunning escape at the hidden
Watauga Lake in east Tennessee.
Tucked away in the mountains of east Tennessee is a small, tight knit community that surrounds the gorgeous banks of Watauga Lake. Famed for its isolation and beauty, the man-made lake also makes an appearance in Nashville, as a replica was built into Centennial Park. You can say we REALLY love this little spot.
9. Feel like a kid again at
this train themed restaurant
The Chattanooga Choo Choo is a historic hotel that originally opened in 1973, and has since gone through an intensive remodel and become a tourists dream in southern Tennessee. Who would turn down the chance to stay in a remodeled train car...? If you're planning a visit (or a night!), you'll want to head over to 1400 Market Street in Chattanooga.
8. Take the
Gatlinburg Sky Lift for a gorgeous view - if you can take the heights.
The Gatlinburg Sky Life is one of the most popular attractions in Gatlinburg, mainly for its stunning views of the mountain-hugged city. The lift will take you 1,800 feet in the air, which is, to us - more than satisfactory.
7. Bell Buckle is
the tiny Tennessee town you HAVE to visit.
Why, you may ask? Well. Why not? As host to the wildly popular RC Cola & Moon Pie Festival, Bell Buckle spends their time seeping southern hospitality and feeding you quite well at the aptly named Bell Buckle Cafe. A sweet spot with a touch of nostalgia, you'll feel as if you walked into a period flick.
This is probably the
scariest story to come out of Tennessee.
Frightmare Manor is known for the seasonal haunted house tours (they're terrifying!), but it's the history of this manor that truly gets those goosebumps up. Mental illness? Political cover-ups? Family murder?! This is the stuff of your favorite tv show, but it's true. Eerie...
5. Visit Jonesborough, the
oldest town in Tennessee
Although the award for oldest town in the state is hotly debated, Jonesborough lives up to its name with festivals and celebrations throughout the year. They also host a wildly popular storytelling festival, blending contemporary art with their extensive town history.
4. You should probably make plans to visit this
GORGEOUS Tennessee waterfall.
Cummins Falls is one of the most visited waterfalls in the state for a reason. You have a short, moderate hike then one of the most beautiful swimming holes in Tennessee at your disposal. It's here that you can let your inner-kid truly reign - you're bound to fall in love.
3. We're going to say this place is
the best state park in Tennessee.
One visit to Roan Mountain State Park and you're a goner. We share the stunning spot with North Carolina, which is all the better because a beautiful place like this can't be contained by state lines. Known for rhododendron season, the stunning mountains and forests that ring the park are just as stunning.
2. Don't miss out on a visit to
The Amish Hippie.
Photo By Author
This rural Monteagle based vintage shop is SO MUCH FUN to walk around. We speak from experience, and the jam purchased from their JAM WALL is homemade and delicious. The smell of incense may wander around with you for a few hours, but the Amish Hippie is the perfect blend of new and old for your soul.
Short Springs State Natural Park that will give you the best hike out there.
This stunning state natural park is preferable for older hikers, but the views throughout your tromp in the Tennessee wilderness makes the whole thing worth it. No complaining will be had here, just complete and utter awe.