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7 of the Most Beautiful Places to See in Tennessee

Jamie Delos Reyes

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Tennessee is known as the Volunteer State and the Energy Capital of the World. People come from all over to try the food, the whiskey, and to see the culture. On top of this, the state is teeming with unbelievable marvels. Included in this list are the most beautiful places to see in Tennessee!

1. Falls Mill

Falls Mill, Tennessee
Photo Credits: Trover

This historic textile factory in Belvidere, built in 1873. Nowadays, it is now a museum known as the Museum of Power and Industry.

The exhibits display antique machinery, historic photos, and a dog-powered butter churn. You may also visit the museum’s weaving exhibit, which features its collection of handlooms. You can also view the special collection of 19th-century power looms and wool carding machines.

On top of the amazing exhibits, the place also serves as a bed and breakfast with scenic views of the creek and picnic grounds. Although it is already 140 years old, its historic water wheel continues to turn on the grounds. Visitors to the mill enjoy picnicking beside the creek and taking walks in the woods surrounding it.

2. Tellico Plains

Tellico Plains, Tennessee
Photo Credits: Flickr | Alex Banakas

Located in Monroe County, Tellico Plains is a sleepy little town living beside the Tellico River. You can find the plains just where it emerges from the Appalachian Mountains and flows into the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians.

Established in 1911, visitors can find the Tellico Plains on the former site of the Cherokee town. Locals call the area “Great Tellico, ” which inspired its present name.

Today, the town is home to the Charles Hall Museum and has easy access to the Cherohala Skyway and the Cherokee National Forest. It has a scenic landscape of rolling fields and fantastic mountain views. Visitors hoping to spend a weekend busying themselves with outdoor activities may find that Tellico Plains makes a peaceful and relaxing home base.

3. Crystal Shrine Grotto

Crystal Shrine Grotto, Tennessee
Photo Credits: Nora Aoyagi

What makes this site unique is that it is the largest man-made crystal cavern in the world. Construction of the Crystal Shrine Grotto began in 1938, by Dionicio Rodriguez. Dionicio was a self-taught Mexican-born artist and architect, and you can find his work all over the country.

Back in the day, Dionicio became famous for his style of concrete construction imitating wood. For instance, the Grotto is a 60-foot hand-built cave in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis and was filled by Rodriguez with five tons of quartz crystal. Shrines inside the grotto depict several inspiring and beautiful retellings of scenes from the Bible.

Rodriguez used rock quartz crystal and semiprecious stones to build each shrine. Visitors who wish to have this unique experience for themselves will find themselves transported into an enchanting world.

4. Twin Falls, Rock Island

Twin Falls is found in a town called Rock Island, which is named after an island on the Caney Fork River. Rock Island was created when the Army Corps of Engineers created a dam on the Caney Fork River early on in the 20th century in order to divert hydroelectric power toward Nashville.

The town is a popular summer destination, known for scenic waterfalls and bluffs, with vacation homes that are generations old standing on the banks of the river. Visitors may take full advantage of the water and outdoor activities the town has to offer. Not to mention, it is also home to the Rock Island State Park, one of the most beautiful places to see in Tennessee.

However, Rock Island’s crowning glory is the Twin Falls. It is a striking waterfall near the powerhouse where water flowing out of an underground cave falls into a pool 80 ft below.

5. The Lost Sea

The Lost Sea, Tennessee
Photo Credits: Readers’ Digest

Found in the Smoky Mountains, The Lost Sea has been declared the country’s largest underground lake, measuring almost five acres. It was discovered in 1905 by a thirteen-year-old boy named Ben Sands, who found a small opening in the cave he often played in. He crawled through and found a room so large that he could not see the ends of it with his lantern.

He tried to persuade his father to come with him and explore it further, but by then the water level had risen so high that the cave entrance Ben had found was hidden. It was not found again until many years later.

Visitors to the lake may take advantage of the glass-floored boat tours offered, considered by many to be the highlight. Adventurous explorers may also take one of the wild cave tours on offer if they want to explore deeper into the cavern.

6. Reelfoot Lake

Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee
Photo Credits: RootsRated

Reelfoot Lake is the state’s only major natural lake, and of the most beautiful places to see in Tennessee. Earthquakes along the New Madrid Fault in 1812 caused the Mississippi River to flow backward and flooded the land left behind by the tremors.

Legend has it that a Chickasaw prince born with a deformed foot, named Reelfoot by settlers, was determined to marry a Choctaw princess. The Great Spirit forbade the union, but the prince went against his wishes and stole the princess. During the ceremony, the Great Spirit stamped his foot in anger and caused an earthquake that raised the river and flooded the land of Reelfoot’s people.

Nowadays the lake showcases beautiful bald cypress trees and is attractive to fish and duck hunters. It is also home to many nesting pairs of bald eagles. Come see it for yourself!

7. Cades Cove

Cades Cove, Tennessee
Photo Credits: Flickr | Lee Coursey

Cades Cove’s isolated valley is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in the Tennessee section of the park. Surrounding the valley is an 11-mile one-way road that allows visitors to enjoy the lush valley without leaving the comforts of their car. However, for those who wish to enjoy nature, Cades Cove offers several attractions.

It is a historic district, with several historic buildings on site such as the John Oliver Cabin, the Primitive Baptist Church, and the Elijah Oliver Place. Cades Cove also features several caves, the largest of which is Gregory’s Cave, which is open to the public. Most notable about Gregory’s Cave is that archaeologists found prehistoric fossils inside.

Tennessee is rich in history, hospitable people, good food and drink, and a lively music scene. But as you can see, there are many beautiful places in Tennessee worth visiting on their own. Drop by the most beautiful places to see in Tennessee now, and don’t miss the 13 Best Things to Do in the state!

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