13 Places You Must Visit When In Tennessee

If you are someone who loves the hustle and bustle of city life just as much as you crave to be in peaceful nature, Tennessee might be the ideal place for you to visit on your next vacation

From the naturally lush forest-covered peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains to Nashville, its capital, better known as the Music City, there is a lot for everyone to discover and revel in. 

Places You Must Visit When In Tennessee

So, without further ado, here are the 13 places you must visit in Tennessee:

The Music City

Tennessee introduced music greats such as Johnny Cash and the rock ‘n’ roll king Elvis Presley on to the world stage. Its rich musical heritage makes Tennessee unique among the other fifty states in America. 

If you are a music geek, Nashville has a whole district known as Music Row dedicated to the music scene. It lies at the heart of the city’s music industry. It is home to the historic RCA Studio B, where legends like Dolly Parton recorded their music. Along with this iconic music studio, Nashville is also home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

Despite all this, visitors can easily find sprawling riverfront parks and inviting sidewalks to leisurely spend evenings or afternoons, making it one of the most visitor-friendly cities in the world. 

The Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or the Smokies, is the most visited national park in the United States. The small town of Gatlinburg is the ideal place to start your adventure from. You can stay at the Gatlinburg hotels and from there you can drive to the park's most famous sites. 

Other than the scenic drive, the park has hiking trails and the Clingmans Dome. The Observation Tower located at the mountain's summit provides panoramic views of the beautiful, green expanse below.

The beautiful valley of Sugarlands is where you will want to spend your day after a long, tiring hike up in the Smokies. Another day trip destination is the Cades Cove with its meadows, wildlife, homesteads, and soulful views, this is a destination that will fulfill your love for nature.


Named after the famous country singer Dolly Parton, Dollywood is a family-friendly theme park located in the small town of Pigeon Forge. It has a mix of folksy traditional arts and crafts, more than 50 adventurous rides, and a whole lot of thrill and excitement. The Dollywood Express, an old steam railway, that circles the entire park is one of the popular attractions of the theme park. 

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The Titanic Museum

Located very close the Dollywood is the world's largest Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. It was built in the exact shape of the original ship and half the size of the original.

It has twenty galleries that exhibit some 400 titanic-related artifacts. The galleries are designed to give you the illusion that you are actually on the titanic.

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The Parthenon

No visit to Tennessee could be complete without visiting the impressive replica of the historical Parthenon of Athens. It is located at Centennial Park in Nashville. It houses an art gallery as well as a gold-coated statue of the Greek goddess Athena.

The Civil War Heritage 

Tennessee is known as the "Volunteer State," as it provided more troops than any other during the Civil War, and consequently, it was also home to a number of the battles fought during the course of that war. 

In memory of the deadly conflicts, numerous museums and memorials were erected. Among these is the Fort Donelson National Battlefield, the location of the first Union victory. It also houses a cemetery, a fort, and a visitor center. 

Another war heritage site is the Shiloh National Military Park. It was the site of the first of the Civil War battles out west. 

The Point Park Battlefield is also located in Tennessee. This is where the infamous "Battle Above the Clouds" was fought. 

The Tennessee Civil War Trails program covers all these sites as well as the Stones River National Cemetery and the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, the country's largest military park.

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Andrew Jackson's Hermitage

Andrew Jackson's Hermitage is the plantation home of the seventh US President. Located a few miles from Nashville, it has now been opened as a museum after a great deal of restoration work. The tour includes the gardens and the tomb where both Jackson and his wife are buried. 

Graceland and the Elvis Presley Memphis Complex

It will not be an exaggeration to say that the Graceland and the Elvis Presley Memphis Complex are considered to be as popular as the White House in Washington D.C.

Fans come to the Graceland Mansion to offer homage and to get a glimpse into Elvis Presley’s life. It is the most sought-after residence which has been maintained since his death in 1977.

The warehouse-like structure across the street is Elvis Presley's Memphis where his outfits and other personal items are exhibited.

It is worthwhile to book a tour of his living space, collection of cars, aircraft, and the family tomb.

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Home of the Blues

It is in the city of Memphis that you will find the famous Beale Street, where you can visit the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and WC Handy's House. Also, add the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Stax Museum of American Soul, and the Sun Studio to your Tennessee itinerary. These popular tourist sites are a must-visit, especially for the fans of the iconic musicians of the 1930s to the 1970s.

Oak Ridge

The American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge displays the history and development of nuclear energy and the Manhattan Project. The exhibition includes videos, artifacts, photographs, and official documents. 

Other than the display of nuclear bombs, there are exhibitions that focus on the latest model of weaponry, tools, and protective gear used for national defense, and an interactive display on static electricity and robotics.

Lookout Mountain

The Lookout mountains offer Tennessee's finest vistas of them all. But even better than the scenic views is the journey to the mountains on trolley-style cars via the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway.

Once at the top, you can either go to the Rock City with its picturesque cliffs or to the Ruby Falls, an underground waterfall, and the deepest cave in the US—definitely a difficult choice to make.

The Museum of Appalachia

One of the best heritage villages you will ever visit. This open-air museum exhibits more than 250,000 artifacts, all highlighting the history and culture of the people who settled on the Appalachian Mountains. It also offers hands-on, traditional activities such as farming and weaving.

The Lost Sea

This is a huge cave system with an underwater lake located in Sweetwater. There is a variety of fun activities available such as boat trips along the underground waterway where you will come across many large caverns and tunnels. 

It also has a historical significance; during the civil war, the Confederate soldiers mined the Lost Sea grottoes for an ingredient of gunpowder called saltpeter.


Tennessee is chock-full with all kinds of adventures and fun activities to do, which makes it the perfect place to visit with your family for your next vacation. For making your trip to Tennessee a memorable one, you will need at least two weeks to plan and prepare the itinerary, so you can have the best vacation experience of your life.


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