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13 Best Things to Do in Tennessee

Suny Errot

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There is more to Tennessee than just music and breweries. Visit this Southern destination and discover why no state can beat the variety of things you can do.

Read on to find out the best things to do in Tennessee.

1. Have Fun at Dollywood

Try more than 40 world-class rides, be amazed as you watch award-winning shows, dine at the best restaurants, and unwind in a full-service salon and spa.

If you are looking for family fun, you only need to visit one place – Dollywood! You can also check out the different shops and look for the perfect crafts you’d want to give your family and friends as a souvenir.

There’s always a new reason to visit this place every season.

Tickets & Passes:

  • 1 Day Theme Park Tickets: Regular Adult Price $79
  • 2-Day Theme Park Tickets: Regular Adult Price &99
  • 3-Day Theme Park Tickets: Regular Adult Price: $109
  • Season Pass: Theme Park Pass: $139
    *for ages 10-61 years old

2. Take a Backstage Tour of the Grand Ole Opry

Grand Ole Opry

Source: Grand Ole Opry

Get ready to take your official initiation into the all-American phenomenon we all know today as country music. The Grand Ole Opry is said to be the home of American music as well as the country’s most famous stage.

The place is dedicated to honoring the country’s rich music history and present and providing superb entertainment experiences for audiences of all ages. If you’re visiting music city, you shouldn’t leave without first getting a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry House.

Call (615) 871-6779 to inquire about tickets.

3. Explore the Scenic Cavern Path of the Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls

Source: Ruby Falls | Jucktion

Why is exploring the world’s tallest and deepest underground waterfall one of the best things to do in Tennessee? Here are 3 good reasons:

  1. It’s simply breathtaking.
  2. Second, it’s fun to go to this destination because it is hidden deep within the 2,388 summit of the Lookout Mountain.
  3. You will be amazed by the cavern trail and ancient geological formations.

Did you know that you can also celebrate Valentine’s Day at Ruby Falls? The place offers a special date night Lantern Tour for $69.95 per couple.

4. View the Wildlife at Cades Cove

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is filled with wildlife. This way, you’d get the chance to see a wide variety of animals from mountain bears, squirrels and raccoons to birds, bobcats, coyotes, and so much more.

5. Discover ‘The Secret City,’ Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge The Secret City

Source: Oak Ridge The Secret City | DOE/Ed Westcott

The federal government led by Col. Leslie Groves oversaw the Manhattan Project in 1942 wherein they used a secret city to build an atomic bomb. They took over 60,000 acres of land in the ridges of East Tennessee and had the people work to help them with their war efforts.

The people there unknowingly helped build the world’s first atomic bomb. There were signs of “Don’t Talk” everywhere to remind the residents and newcomers not to share information – but it’s not like they knew what they were doing. It wasn’t until the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 that employees realized they had been building the most powerful and deadly weapon.

6. Eat the Iconic Foods Tennessee Has to Offer

Monnells Tennessee

Source: Monnells Tennessee

What foods should you sample when visiting Tennessee? Catfish? Fries? Don’t worry. Lucky for you, we’ve already compiled the iconic foods you need to try right now. Check out:

  • The Pharmacy (McFerrin Avenue, Nashville): burger and sweet potato fries combo
  • Monell’s (Bransford Avenue, Nashville): sweet and moist cornbread
  • Bleu Restaurant & Lounge (South B.B. King Boulevard, Memphis): Mac ‘n Cheese loaded with Monterey Jack, Colby Jack cheeses, bacon, and white cheddar
  • Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous (2nd St. Memphis): dry ribs
  • Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack (Nashville): original hot chicken

7. See Where Elvis Presley Launched His Career

The birthplace of rock ‘n roll, and original home to Elvis Presley is none other than the legendary recording studio, Sun Studio. This is where Presley recorded his breakout song “That’s All Right,” which is an up-tempo blues song.

Address: 706 Union Avenue Memphis, TN 38103 (corner of Marshall and Union)

8. Learn About the History of Spices at the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum

Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum

Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum

This interesting museum consisting of more than 20,000 Salt and Pepper Shakers from all over the world began as a labor of love.

Now, it has become the only museum of its kind (well, it has a sister museum in Spain). After visiting, you’re never going to see the regular table dispensers the same way ever again.

9. Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Source: Great Smoky Mountains National Park | Tripster

The Great Smoky Mountains is nestled between North Carolina and Tennessee inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park itself features a bio-diverse collection of valleys, mountains, and rivers.

You can also visit other famous attractions such as the Roaring Fork, Elkmont, and the Mountain Farm Museum. Finally, you need to spend time to see the Clingmans Dome. It is the highest point in Tennessee and the Smokies and will give you a breathtaking view of other states: Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgie.

10. Enjoy the View From the Sunsphere Observation Deck

The Sunsphere in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a 266-ft-high structure that served as the symbol of the 1982 World’s Fair or the Knoxville International Energy Exposition.

It houses the Observation Deck on the 4th floor which will give you a 360-degree view of the World’s Fair Park, Knoxville, Tennessee River, and the Smoky Mountains.

What you should know:

  • Admission to the Observation Deck is free.
  • Observation Deck Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

11. Go Fly Fishing for Hours

Townsend may be a small resort town and a mere entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But there’s more to the place than you might expect. It is a fly fishing paradise!

In addition to that, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is abundant in trout and smallmouth bass. Catch more fish with your family by spending a day here.

12. Check-in at a Fall Creek Falls State Park Cabin

Fall Creek Falls State Park Cabin

Source: Fall Creek Falls State Park | Tennessee State Parks

Enjoy the largest and most visited state park by spending a night or two in a beautiful cabin that lets you cook, sunbathe, and fish from your private porches situated out over the lake.

13. See the Preserved Tennessee Civil War Trails

Chickamauga National Battlefield

Source: Chickamauga National Battlefield | Waymarking

Civil enthusiasts would immediately agree on the fact that checking out the battlefields is one of the best things to do in Tennessee. The place allows you to follow the footsteps of Civil War soldiers.

Check out the Franklin Battlefield, Chickamauga Battlefield, and Lookout Mountain Battlefield.

 

Would you like to do the activities listed here?

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