Summertime means you have a whole lot of time on your hands, and with the weather as beautiful as it has been this year, you are probably ready to head on outside. We have 11 towns, some a solid size, others tiny as can be, that absolutely burst into a stunning season of beauty during the summertime. Here’s a miniature road trip across the state, if you’d care to take it.
11. Signal Mountain
Signal Mountain is just North of downtown Chattanooga, and the town has something for everyone in the summer. If you're looking for a hike, the Cumberland Trail goes through town. If you're into music, the Mountain Opry puts on weekly bluegrass concerts every Friday evening. This is definitely a hidden gem in Tennessee, so don't miss out!
Just outside of Knoxville in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dandridge might be best known for the Bush's Baked Beans headquarters, but the town is so much more. It's the second oldest town in the state, making it a beautiful trip back in time to the settling of the Appalachian mountains.
9. Union City
Located in the Northwestern corner of the state, Union City is definitely the place to be in the summer. Enjoy the cool waters of Reelfoot Lake, formed nearly 200 years ago by an earthquake, or check out the Discovery Park of America, a museum/garden/park which also features occasional free music concerts for the community.
8. Leipers Fork
Leiper's Fork is located along the historic and beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway south of Nashville. The antique stores and art galleries along the main strip are perfect to peruse on a warm summer day. The town is on the National Register of Historic Places, too, making any trip to Leiper's Fork feel like a trip back in time.
Columbia is about 45 minutes South of Nashville and hosts one of the most unique festivals in the state. "Mule Day" is held every year since the 1840s and celebrates, you guessed it, the humble Mule. The event attracts over 200,000 people each year!
Lynchburg's most famous attraction, the Jack Daniel's Whiskey Distillery, is open year-round, but warm weather always brings out more people to the town's downtown square, which is full of shops, bakeries, general stores, and even a winery! Don't miss the rest of the town when you go to take the distillery tour, which is, of course, mandatory for all true Tennesseans.
5. South Pittsburg
About a 40-minute drive down river from Chattanooga, South Pittsburg was started as a mining community on a branch of the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. Today, the town is most known for its annual National Cornbread Festival.
4. Tellico Plains
Tellico Plains is the perfect summer getaway for anyone looking for a small town mountain experience. The town is known for the surrounding Cherokee National Forest, which provides visitors with endless hiking opportunities and breathtaking scenery.
Butler is a small town in far Northeast Tennessee and is located on what is arguably the most underrated lake in the state, Watauga Lake. Butler is also located along the Cumberland Trail, making it perfect for anyone looking for a good summer hike or a cool down on the water.
Located 45 minutes South of Knoxville at one of the entrances to Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Townsend definitely comes alive in the Summer. Whether you're looking to swim in the famous Townsend Y swimming hole or drive through Cade's Cove at night to see the fireflies, Townsend makes for a great getaway in the hot summer months.
1. Bell Buckle
Bell Buckle is a cute little town about an hour Southeast of Nashville. It's hallmark even of the year is the annual RC Cola and Moonpie Festival, held every June. Be there to witness the crowning of Mr. RC Cola and Miss Moonpie!