If you’re one among the various travelers who believe the foremost visited of the United State’s national parks is either the Grand Canyon , Yellowstone, or Yosemite, you’ve probably not visited Tennessee. you’ll be surprised to find out that the amount one most visited US park is that the Great Smoky Mountains (or “Smokies”), a neighborhood of outstanding natural beauty, which attracts twice as many visitors annually than its nearest rival, the Grand Canyon . Much of the state’s popularity is thanks to its accessibility, sandwiched because it is between eight other states. It also has much to try to to with its astonishing natural beauty, rich history, and various first-rate attractions. Then, of course, there’s the music. From the rock ‘n’ roll of Elvis to country greats like Johnny Cash, Tennessee was the root for several of the country’s greatest artists and musical genres. Discover the simplest things to try to to within the state with our list of the top-rated tourist attractions in Tennessee.
1 The Smokes: the good Smoky Mountains park
There’s no better place to start your Great Smoky Mountains park adventure than within the village of Gatling with its many big-ticket attractions, like the superb Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokes. From here, you’ll easily drive to the park’s hottest areas, or just hop on the chairlift and head for the hills and therefore the fun Obed Gatling, a resort and funfair offering year-round activities. Park highlights include a spread of flora and fauna, quite 900 miles of hiking trails, and the 6,643-foot-high Cling mans Dome, with its lookout perched atop the mountain’s summit and offering 360-degree views. Popular day trips include Sugar lands, a gorgeous valley and favorite destination for hikers, and therefore the lovely Sades Cove, once home to settlers and now attracting tourists wanting to see its picturesque meadows, pioneer homesteads, mountain views, and wildlife. For the truly adventurous, check out an overnight camping trip or a fun stay during a rustic cabin deep within the woods.
2 Graceland and therefore the Presley Memphis Complex
As popular because the White House in Washington D.C., Graceland and therefore the Presley Memphis Complex is taken into account the highest attraction in Memphis. Undoubtedly the foremost famous rock ‘n’ roll residence within the world, Graceland Mansion remains an area of pilgrimage to fans from far and wide, and tours of this fine, mansion provide a singular glimpse into the King’s life (nothing has been changed since he gave up the ghost there in 1977). The complex is additionally home to Elvis Presley’s Memphis, a huge warehouse-like structure that has exhibits and displays of the star’s many outfits, his influences, and his rise to fame. Also worth finding out are the family tomb, a powerful collection of cars, aircraft, and memorabilia, and tours of his quarters , including the music room, TV room, and Jungle Den. a spread of tour packages are offered, including accommodations at the luxurious Guest House at Graceland
3 Birth of the Music Biz: Memphis and Nashville
No US state can claim the rich musical tapestry that’s evident everywhere in Tennessee. the middle of the nation’s country and western scene, Nashville is home to the country and western Hall of Fame within the city’s famous Music Row, also because the Grand Ole O pry, a reputation synonymous with the country-music-themed Gaylord Maryland Resort and therefore the radio shows of an equivalent name, broadcast from locations like the Roman Auditorium.
Then, of course, there’s Memphis, the house of gospel and blues, and famous for Beale Street, where the greats like Elvis got his big break. Highlights include: the Memphis Music Hall of Fame; WC Handy’s House, where the “Father of the Blues” lived and worked; the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, highlighting musical pioneers from the 1930s through to the 1970s; the STAX Museum of yank Soul, with its replica of the first S tax Records studio; and Sun Studio, where stars like Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, and Orbison began their careers.
4 Hello, Dolly wood
Named after country singer Dolly Patton, Dolly wood has long been Tennessee’s hottest ticketed attraction, luring quite three million visitors per annum . Located within the village of Pigeon Forge, this always busy amusement park provides family fun with its mixture of folksy Smoky Mountains traditions and crafts, thrilling rides, and entertainment. All told, the location boasts quite 40 rides – including the Tennessee Tornado roller coaster – spread across 10 themed areas like Timber Canyon and Jukebox Junction. Other highlights include live concerts and festivals, also as an old steam railway, the Dolly-wood Express, which circles the park. Other Dolly-related attractions during this 290-acre site include Splash Country water park and therefore the Dolly-wood Dream-more Resort.
5 Tennessee’s war Heritage
Tennessee, perhaps quite the other state, has been shaped by war. Not only did this state provide more soldiers for the Southern cause than the other , it also contributed more troops for the North than the other Confederate state. together of the foremost northerly of the Confederacy , Tennessee witnessed numerous battles during the deadly conflict, many of them commemorated by visitor centers, museums, and memorials. one among the simplest is Fort Do nelson National Battlefield, site of the primary major Union victory and residential to a cemetery, visitor center, fort, and a much-loved pair of breeding eagles. A visit to Shiloh National Military Park may be a sobering experience: it had been the situation of the primary significant war battle within the west and contains quite 3,500 Union graves. Chickasaw-Chattanooga National Military Park, the country’s largest military park, is additionally of great historical significance, as is nearby Point Park Battlefield, where the infamous “Battle Above the Clouds” happened . of these sites, also as Stones River National Cemetery, are a part of the Tennessee war Trails program.
6 The Hermitage: President Jackson’s Home
Just a couple of miles east of Nashville is that the Hermitage, the plantation home of the seventh US President, Jackson , from 1804-1845. the present home was inbuilt 1819, shortly after Jackson was elected president, and is well well worth the few hours needed to explore it. Highlights include the park-like gardens and woods, also because the tomb where both Jackson and his wife were laid to rest. The mansion opened as a museum in 1889, and after an excellent deal of restoration, looks exactly because it would have in Jackson’s time, complete with numerous artifacts and documents concerning his presidency.
7 The Parthenon
No visit to Nashville would be complete without visiting one among Tennessee’s most remarkable attractions, the large Parthenon. inbuilt Centennial Park, just a brief walk from the city’s downtown core, this life-size replica of the first Parthenon in Athens, Greece, was built to commemorate the state’s centenary in 1897. Made entirely of cement, the Parthenon doesn’t fail to impress with its vast dimensions, both inside and out. The building houses the city’s permanent gallery , a set of works by 19th- and 20th-century American painters, also as a spectacular 42-foot-high gold-covered statue of the goddess Athena Parthenon
8 Oak Ridge: American Museum of Science and Energy
The American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge offers a desirable insight into the history of atomic energy . Highlights include the story of Oak Ridge’s role within the development of the nuclear bomb and therefore the Manhattan Project, including videos, photos, artifacts, and documents that help paint an image of this once vast facility. Other displays specialise in national defense and include models of weaponry, tools, and therefore the protective clothing used at the location . There’s also useful information and exhibits delving into other energy sources, including fun hands-on displays of electricity and robotics.
9 Chattanooga and therefore the Tennessee Valley Railroad
Tennessee has had a lengthy romance with the railroad. along side the mighty Mississippi, railways were of important importance for the shipping of wood and cotton during peacetime and military supplies during war (the state was an important link within the Confederate supply chain during the Civil War). Fortunately, much of this rich heritage has been preserved, from the first terminal and an engine from the famous Chattanooga Coho Coho to heritage trolleys and fancy Pullman cars restored as luxury accommodation. Perhaps the foremost ambitious project has been the Tennessee Valley Railroad, which offers hour-long steam trips also as path excursions, dinner packages, and therefore the popular Tennessee Rail-fest. Finally, there’s even Jones Village in Jackson, a museum dedicated to the legendary engineer , John Luther “Casey” Jones.
10 Downtown Knoxville
Skyline of downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.
The seat of the University of Tennessee (founded 1794), Knoxville may be a good base from which to explore the good Smoky Mountains park. the primary capital of the state, its most noticeable landmark is that the Sun sphere Tower with its observation decks and views over the downtown core. the town also played a crucial role within the war, as evidenced within the Confederate Memorial Hall (also referred to as Bleak House after the Dickens novel), which recalls the siege of the town in 1863 and was used because of the headquarters of Confederate General James Longstreet. Other downtown highlights include the Museum of East Tennessee History with its displays that tell of the region’s history and culture through artifacts and documents. Nestled within the heart of downtown, the open-air market has been Knoxville’s favorite haunt since 1854. Today, it’s home to a busy farmers market and various events and festivals, also as unique shopping and dining opportunities.
11 Lookout Mountain
Overlooking Chattanooga and offering a number of Tennessee’s best views, Lookout Mountain makes for a superb day or half-day outing. Getting there’s half the fun, especially aboard the wonderful Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, a mile-long journey on trolley-style cars at an incline of 73 percent. Once at the highest , you’ve got variety of fantastic natural attractions to settle on from, including Rock City with its dramatic cliffs and great views, and Ruby Falls, the deepest cave and largest underground waterfall within the US. make certain to go to the superb Battles for Chattanooga Electric Map and Museum with its displays regarding the epic Battle Above The Clouds, fought in and around Chattanooga during the war , also as Point Park, a part of the Chickasaw-Chattanooga National Military Park.
12 The Titanic Museum
Despite the very fact that Tennessee’s connection to the RMS Titanic is probably a touch tenuous at the best, it shouldn’t stop you from visiting the world’s largest Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. Just a stone’s throw from Dolly wood, the building itself is spectacular, inbuilt the form of the ship and half the size of the first. Highlights include quite 400 Titanic-related artifacts in 20 unique galleries designed to make the illusion that you’re actually on the ship. Self-guided tours take approximately two hours, and it’s time well spent.
13 The Museum of Appalachia
This large open-air museum focuses on the people that settled the Appalachians , handling such important aspects as their culture, livelihoods, and customs. one among the simplest heritage villages within the US, it’s an excellent thanks to spend each day as you explore the past through hands-on activities like weaving and farming. The focus is that the museum itself with quite 250,000 artifacts in its collection. Also of interest is that the annual Tennessee Fall Homecoming, a equestrian sport held in October, also as events including antique shows.
14 The Lost Sea Adventure
The Lost Sea Adventure Share:
In Sweet-water, 46 miles from Knoxville, is the spectacular Lost Sea, a huge cave system with the largest underwater lake in the US. A variety of guided tour options are available, including fun boat trips along this wonderful underground waterway with its many large caverns and tunnels. The attraction has a Civil War history of its own: Confederate soldiers mined the Lost Sea caverns for saltpeter, an ingredient of gunpowder. After the war, locals created a party room, called the Cavern Tavern. When you’re done exploring the Lost Sea, be sure to wander around quaint Old Sweet-water Village with its shops and authentic log cabins.