Tennessee is the perfect place to spend an eventful summer as the state has a lot to offer, from awe-inspiring natural landscapes to thrilling music festivals.
It is the best place to have fun for families and individual travelers as there is so much to do – you can enjoy a cozy weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains away from the hustle and bustle of the city or mingle with the crowds throng Memphis to enjoy the country blues.
To help you have the time of your life out here, we’ve compiled a list of must-see places around Tennessee. Read on to find out!
Six must-see places in Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of Tennessee and of country music in America. Major attractions in the city include the Tennessee State Capitol and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
You can spend time exploring the downtown area, admiring historic architecture, such as the Ryman Auditorium, and enjoying top-class country music live at the Grand Ole Opry.
You can also soak in the sights at the Nashville Parthenon, a recreation of the famous Parthenon in Athens.
Feeling adventurous? Take your family for an evening cruise, and enjoy a mesmerizing view of the Nashville skyline from the General Jackson Showboat.
In addition, you can visit the Adventure Science Center to enjoy various fun activities for children and adults. Finally, don’t forget to try the famous eateries in the city.
2. Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge, a quaint town nestled in the Smoky Mountains, is the best vacation spot in East Tennessee. There is a lot of fun things to do in pigeon forgefrom visiting Dollywood to enjoying farm-to-table meals to sightseeing in the Smoky Mountains – the fun never ends.
Whether you’re looking for a thrilling adventure in the Smoky Mountains or casual fun in the city – Pigeon Forge combines the best of both worlds.
It is bustling with tourists all year round and is home to everything from quirky museums to world famous theme parks.
You can take your family on a hike in the Smokies, get them a history lesson with a trip to the Island or take them for a thrilling ride on the alpine coaster.
Home to Graceland and the most famous streets in Tennessee, Memphis is known as the it-spot for fans of rock’n’roll, blues, soul and hip-hop music.
Memphis offers many sights to see and things to do, from a tour of the famous Beale Street to a visit to Graceland and the Sun studio.
You can take your children to the Rock’n’Soul Museum and Stax Museum of American Soul to immerse them in the musical history of the city.
Visit friends Shelby to experience the classic country life. It is a playground for the whole family; there is something for everyone, from ziplining to hiking and horseback riding to pedaling on Pine Lake.
Also, don’t forget to try the world famous Memphis BBQ, a taste you can’t get anywhere else.
Gatlinburg has three main entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is a popular tourist destination in Tennessee.
The city is home to all recreational activities, from golf to skiing. You can have a fun time with your family at the Ober Gatlinburg ski resort and amusement park, enjoy a ride on the Skylift and visit the Space Needle to get a mesmerizing 360-degree view of the Smoky Mountains.
The city is also home to strange museums that you can visit if you want something unusual and intriguing to do with your children.
The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum contains more than 20,000 salt and pepper shakers, each with a different charm.
On the other hand, the Hollywood Stars Cars, which features iconic cars from legendary movies such as the Batmobile from The Batman (1960s), is a must-see for all movie fans.
One of the best things about the city is that you can go any time and have a great time. Gatlinburg is magnificent in the winter, but it is equally stunning in any other season!
Known for its natural beauty and historic sites, Chattanooga is a popular destination for visitors from around the world.
It is home to the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, the steepest railway in the world. You can take your kids on an educational trip to help them learn more about the diverse marine ecosystem by visiting the Tennessee Aquarium.
In addition, you can also take them to see the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum for a history lesson on the go while experiencing an authentic steam train ride. Chattanooga is also known for the largest military parks in the country.
One of the most prominent tourist attractions of Chattanooga is Lookout Mountain, home to the famous Ruby Falls cavern and known for its breathtaking beauty and indescribably beautiful waterfalls.
It is one of Chattanooga’s most spectacular natural wonders and the largest underground waterfall in the world, Ruby Falls.
Located on the Tennessee River in East Tennessee, Knoxville it is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by a beautiful natural environment. It is full of tourists throughout the year.
In Knoxville, you’ll find some of the best southern cuisine, a beautifully renovated and historically accurate downtown area, and an ardent sports culture that unites sports fans from across the country.
Plus, since Knoxville is about an hour’s drive from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can take advantage of your trip to Knoxville to explore the natural park and spend a day enjoying the great Smokys.
Knoxville is known for its art galleries, museums, historic sites and unique cafes. You can spend your day exploring various attractions of the city.
You can take your children to the World Fair Park near the Sunsphere, which provides a stunning view of the city and its surroundings.
Other notable attractions include the Ijams nature center, the market square, the Tennessee Theater, the many cozy cafes and cute little boutiques, and much more!
It’s safe to say that the state of Tennessee offers something for everyone. It’s no secret that this city is the land of nature, food, and music.
Moreover, it also offers a rich heritage and many other attractions to explore. The people are welcoming, and the environment is pristine with a deep-rooted culture.
We hope some of these destinations in Tennessee are worthy of your consideration as you plan a trip to the state!