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15 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Tennessee

CEO Tinh Phung
Tennessee, known as The Volunteer State, is a treasure trove of captivating destinations. As I browsed through stunning pictures, I was amazed by the number of incredible sites I still need to explore in this...

Tennessee, known as The Volunteer State, is a treasure trove of captivating destinations. As I browsed through stunning pictures, I was amazed by the number of incredible sites I still need to explore in this state!

1. Lover’s Leap

Lover's Leap Lover’s Leap

Tennessee is home to breathtaking natural wonders, but the pinnacle of beauty can be found at Lover’s Leap. From this vantage point, you can spot seven different states! The Rock City attraction also offers the chance to see the rare white Fallow deer. However, crossing the Swing-A-Long bridge is a must for the best views of Lookout Mountain and its surroundings.

On a clear day at Lover’s Leap, you can see Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. If you squint, you might even catch a glimpse of Kentucky and Virginia. It's a true test for the eyes!

2. Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Straddling the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited national park in the United States. This vast park offers a plethora of outdoor activities, such as biking, hiking, fishing, and camping. Among its famous destinations, Cades Cove stands out as the most frequented spot.

The park's visitors' centers, Sugarlands Visitors' Center and Oconaluftee Visitor Center, provide a wealth of information. You can also enjoy horseback riding and picnicking in this stunning natural paradise.

3. Big South Fork National River

Big South Fork National River Big South Fork National River

Covering an expansive 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is a true gem in Tennessee. This park boasts scenic gorges and majestic sandstone bluffs, while its history dates back 10,000 years.

With five camping grounds, this park is a haven for happy campers. Don't miss the opportunity to take a dip in the Bandy Creek Swimming Pool during your visit to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

4. Rainbow Hall

Rock City Trail near Chattanooga Rock City Trail Near Chattanooga

No journey to experience Tennessee's natural beauty would be complete without witnessing the stunning Rainbow Hall at Rock City. Have you ever wondered what Chattanooga would look like with purple or green air? Rainbow Hall provides a one-of-a-kind answer.

By using colored gel on the windows, Rainbow Hall offers a completely unique perspective of Tennessee's breathtaking scenery.

5. Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park, Tennessee Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places to visit in Tennessee. The park's main attractions include the Great Falls Gorge and Twin Falls, a cascade waterfall tumbling down from an underground cavern into Caney Fork.

Nestled on the headwaters of Center Hill Lake, this 883-acre park offers some of the finest scenery on the Eastern Highland Rim.

6. Burgess Falls State Park

Burgess Falls State Park Burgess Falls State Park

The waterfalls at Burgess Falls State Park are among the most captivating sights in Tennessee. Located on the Falling Water River, this park offers fishing and picnicking opportunities galore.

To witness the most impressive waterfall within the park, follow the 1.5-mile round-trip River Trail/Service Road Loop, which offers moderate difficulty. The half-mile Ridge Top Trail also rewards hikers with stunning views down the Falling Water River.

7. Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg, Tennessee Gatlinburg

During winter in Tennessee, there is nowhere more enchanting than the mountain resort town of Gatlinburg. From November to February, the town dazzles with stunning environmentally-friendly displays. The unique LED lighting displays along Gatlinburg's famous Downtown Parkway and adjacent River Road are among the most impressive sights.

Gatlinburg's lighting displays feature animals from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, such as deer, foxes, squirrels, and rabbits. You can also spot a shiny rocking horse and dancing fountains.

Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee's only ski resort, and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies are popular attractions not to be missed.

8. Hurricane Mills

Hurricane Mills Hurricane Mills

Hurricane Mills, the home of Loretta Lynn's ranch, is one of Tennessee's most beloved tourist destinations. The Coal Miner's Daughter Museum, which tells Loretta Lynn's story, is a must-visit. The area also hosts concerts and motocross races, including the renowned AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship.

Loretta Lynn's ranch is arguably as beautiful, if not more so, than Graceland. It is also home to one of the most famous haunted houses in the region. Are you brave enough to check it out?

9. Signal Mountain

Signal Mountain, Tennessee Signal Mountain

Signal Mountain is not only one of Tennessee's most beautiful places to visit but also one of the state's most historic locations. Signal Point, originally used by Native Americans for messages, now offers unforgettable panoramic views of the Tennessee River Valley and the City of Chattanooga.

Nearby attractions include the Tennessee Riverfront and Aquarium, the Hunter Museum of Art, the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and the vibrant downtown area.

10. Dollywood Express Steam Train

Dollywood Express Steam Train Dollywood Express Steam Train

For breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains, embark on a journey aboard the Dollywood Express Steam Train. This 20-minute mountain excursion offers some of the most awe-inspiring vistas in the United States, let alone Tennessee.

The theme park connected to the railway was renamed Dollywood in the 1980s after singer Dolly Parton purchased a stake in the park. Dollywood attracts around three million visitors every season, making it one of Tennessee's most popular tourist destinations.

11. Cade's Cove

Cade's Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee Cade's Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

Among the most sought-after destinations in the Great Smokies, Cade's Cove is arguably the most beautiful spot in Tennessee. This isolated valley welcomes over two million visitors each year. A leisurely car trip around Cade's Cove takes between two to four hours, or you can choose to explore the area on a bike (rentals available).

Cade's Cove is home to a variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, skunks, and groundhogs. The Cades Cove Historic District is rightfully included on the National Register of Historic Places.

12. Cumberland Caverns

Cumberland Caverns Cumberland Caverns

One of the longest caves in the world, Cumberland Caverns offers a uniquely mesmerizing experience during your Tennessee visit. The Cumberland Caverns company provides year-round commercial tours, and adventurous visitors can even go spelunking or host a wedding party in the underground labyrinth. With over 30 miles of caves and passageways to explore, Cumberland Caverns is a true wonder.

13. Abandoned Tennessee State Penitentiary

Abandoned Tennessee State Penitentiary Abandoned Tennessee State Penitentiary

The old Tennessee State Prison is one of the most stunning and imposing buildings in the state. Although closed since 1992, it has become one of Tennessee's most peculiar tourist attractions. Movies like The Green Mile, Attica, and The Last Castle have featured scenes filmed at this historic prison.

A tour of the abandoned building offers a glimpse into the eerie world of the prison's old Death Row. Located a few miles west of Nashville, this prison guarantees a spooky and unforgettable experience.

14. Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hiking enthusiasts will find paradise in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With 850 miles of trails and unpaved roads to explore, this park offers endless opportunities for discovery.

Make sure to visit Alum Cave Bluffs and Arch Rock, and if you're an experienced hiker, tackle Mount Le Conte, the third-highest summit in the park. Mount Le Conte is famous for hosting the highest inn that offers lodging in the Eastern United States.

Plan your visit to Tennessee and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and wonder of these 15 exquisite destinations. Let the Volunteer State's charm captivate you and create unforgettable memories along the way.

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