Tennessee has a variety of unique attractions in each of its eastern, middle and western regions. You’re sure to have a great adventure visiting one or all of them. From Tennessee’s rolling hills to its majestic Smoky Mountains, there are plenty of stops to make while traveling through the beautiful Volunteer State.
Though there are probably some attractions we didn’t mention, we’ve included 15 of the best in the state. Are we missing any spots that you personally love? Let us know your favorites, and we’ll add them to our lists for the next time we go on a roadtrip through Tennessee.
There’s no theme park in America quite like Dollywood. Partially owned by the celebrity herself, occasionally, the “Coat of Many Colors” singer can be spotted visiting fans at this attraction. Some of the entertainment at Dollywood includes a five-mile steam engine train ride, roller coasters, food, crafts and music.
14. Nashville Parthenon
You may have seen this architecture in the history books, but in Tennessee you can actually stand next to it. A replica Parthenon located in the center of Nashville’s Centennial Park gives both locals and tourists a taste of Ancient Greece. The famed building has been used for weddings, movie scenes, commercials and more.
13. Jack Daniels Distillery
There’s only one brand of whiskey Tennessean’s drink, and it’s Jack. Made in Lynchburg, this might be the only spot in the county where visitors can drink, as the Jack Daniel’s Distillery resides in a dry county. As for the late maker of the drink, it has been said that he died at work from an infection after kicking his safe in frustration.
One of the most famous estates in America lies in Memphis. “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, Elvis Presley, took the Graceland Farm off the market when it was chosen by his parents after Elvis asked them to find a piece of land on which to settle. Graceland, which occupies more than 17,000 square feet of land, connects 23 rooms, an Alabama fieldstone wall, horses, two private jets, a recording studio, Elvis’ vintage pink car and a racquetball court.
11. Goo Goo Clusters Shop
Tennesseans love their Goo Goo Clusters, and if you haven’t tried one yet, you really should. Conveniently located on lower Broadway, this Goo Goo “birthplace” is the only place where you can actually watch your yummy treat get crafted by hand. Created in 1912, these delicious chocolate bars are a step up from the gooey s’more.
10. The Minister’s Tree House
Most people have probably heard the story of Noah’s Ark. Well, this is somewhat of a similar story, but instead of an ark, it was a treehouse. It’s been said that Minister Horace Burgess got a message from a higher power telling him these words: “If you build a treehouse, I’ll see that you never run out of material.” Burgess then took the message and delivered a nearly 100-foot-tall house supported by white oak trees. It’s possible that his tree house is indeed the largest in the world.
9. Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
Knoxville may bleed the color orange when it comes to representing college football, but don’t be fooled, because the city loves it’s women’s basketball too. Dedicated to acknowledging the history of women’s basketball on an international scale, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame showcases three courts, induction and award ceremonies.
8. The Grand Ole Opry
Anyone who wishes to sing or play country music has probably wished they could on the Grand Ole Opry stage. If you’re one of those wishful thinkers, you’re in luck. Located in Opry Mills, the Opry is open to tourists who are willing to purchase a $20.00 ticket, which will get you backstage and onstage right in front of a microphone.
7. The Lost Sea
Located near the Smoky Mountains are the Craighead Caverns, home to the largest underground lake in the United States. The old-age story has been told saying that a young boy originally found the lake while playing with rocks nearby. Unfortunately for him, nobody believed that there was such a lake. In recent years, the lake was discovered by explorers and now people can ride through it on boat tours.
6. Salt & Pepper Shakers Museum
Ever wonder where salt and pepper shakers first originated? Well, some of the oldest shakers can be found in Tennessee at the Salt & Pepper Museum. This nifty little store has shakers that’ve been collected for more than two decades and date back to the early 1500s. Don’t drive past this site unless you plan on visiting Spain, because it’s the only Salt & Pepper Museum in U.S.
5. Ryman Auditorium
Anyone who is anyone in country music has played at the Ryman. Built in 1892, this historic venue was once home to the Grand Ole Opry. Walking through the place might send a chill up your spine only because it’s considered the “Mother Church of Country Music”. With its beautiful setting for acoustics and sound, not going to at least one concert here would be a shame.
4. Arrington Vineyards
Brooks and Dunn may have split, but one thing that has stayed in Tennessee is Kix Brook’s own Arrington Vineyards. Located among the hills of Arrington, the quaint place is a breath of fresh air. Set upon a hill with a gorgeous view, families can enjoy a picnic and wine tasting.
3. President Andrew Jackson’s Home
If you’d like to take a trip back into the history of presidents, one such president that Tennessee is known for in the history books is President Andrew Jackson. On more than 300 acres of land lies his home, which has been preserved throughout the years. The home includes a museum, garden and a cotton farm. Tours can be taken in the daytime or at night.
2. Ruby Falls
One of the most scenic beauties in Tennessee can be found in Chattanooga. The plunging 145-foot waterfall known as Ruby Falls has been attracting visitors from all over for many years. Located within Lookout Mountain, this must-see will be a lasting memory. Be sure to wear comfy shoes and bring a sweater.
1. Country Music Hall of Fame
Country music has a deep-rooted history, so it only makes sense to preserve it in Music City. With its array of exhibits, yearly inductions amid a red carpet and state-of-the-art galleries, if you’re driving through Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is not to be missed.