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Top 10 Places to Visit in Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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#1 Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park located in Tennessee and North Carolina is the most visited national park in the United States. Mountain range of the park are part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and subrange of the Appalachian Mountains. The national park features highest mountains in eastern North America including Clingmans Dome, Mount Guyot, and Mount Le Conte. Great Smoky Mountains National Park has over 90 hitoric structures that include houses, barns, outbuilding, churches, schools, and grist mills. Popular places to see include Cataloochee, Deep Creek, Newfound Gap, Moutain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill, and Cades Cove. The park is home to several waterfalls including Grotto, Laurel, Abrams, Rainbow, and other popular waterfalls . Recreation activities in the park includes hiking, biking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, and picnicking.

Photograph Flickr by Official U.S. Navy, via Wikimedia Commons

#2 Nashville

Nashville, the capital city located on the Cumberland River is known as "Music City". Downtown area features many entertainment venues, night clubs, and cultural attractions. Nashville is home to many performing arts center including Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville Repertory Theatre, Nashville Opera, Music City Drum and Bugle Corps, and Nashville Ballet. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is major attraction known for country music. Nashville has many best art museums including Frist Center for the Visual Arts and Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art.
THINGS TO DO Nashville Hotels

Photograph by Thomas R Machnitzki, via Wikimedia Commons

#3 Memphis

Memphis located along the Mississippi River is the 2nd largest city of Tennessee. The city is home of American music genres including Memphis blues, Memphis soul, and rock n' roll. Beale Street in downtown is prime attraction known for history of blues music. The city played important role in Civil Rights Movement and African American history. Places to visit and family fun things to do include National Civil Rights Museum, Graceland, Memphis Zoo, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, and Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum.

Photograph by Brian Stansberry, via Wikimedia Commons

#4 Knoxville

Knoxville, the first capital of Tennessee is home of the University of Tennessee. It is one of the largest cities in the Appalachian region and gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The city offers many attractions close to downtown area. Places to visit and family fun things to do include Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville Museum of Art, Zoo Knoxville, Sunsphere Tower, World's Fair Park, Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, and Market Square.

Photograph by Don McCulley, via Wikimedia Commons

#5 Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is a popular mountain resort city located southeast of Knoxville. The city is a popular vacation resort known for bordering Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ober Gatlinburg ski resort offers winter amusement on the top of Crockett Mountain. The 407 feet Gatlinburg Space Needle observation tower offers 360 degree view of the Great Smoky Mountains and the city of Gatlinburg. Other family fun attractions include Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, Anakeesta, Hollywood Star Cars Museum, and Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster.

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#6 Chattanooga

Chattanooga is located on the border of Tennessee-Georgia along the Tennessee River. Known as Scenic City, Chattanooga is surrounded by mountains and ridges. The historical city is also known for the Cherokee-American wars and Civil War. Downtown is home to many family friendly attractions including Tennessee Aquarium, Creative Discovery Museum, and Tennessee Riverwalk. Chattanooga is the home to world class museums such as International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, and Hunter Museum of American Art. Other popular attraction of city include Chattanooga Zoo, Rock City Gardens, and Lookout Mountain.

Pigeon Forge
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#7 Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge is a mountain resort city located just 5 miles north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The city is popular tourist destination and include many attractions. Pigeon Forge Mill is the prime attraction of the small town. The historic old gristmill located on the Little Pigeon River consists of a millhouse, breastshot wheel, and milldam. Other family fun attractions include Dollywood amusement park, The Island in Pigeon Forge, Titanic Museum, WonderWorks Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster.

Cummins Falls State Park
Photograph by Brenton Rogers, via Wikimedia Commons

#8 Cummins Falls State Park

Cummins Falls State Park is located nine miles northwest of Cookeville. The park is known as scenic spot and swimming hole on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River. 75 feet high Cummins Falls is the main attraction of the park. Park activities include hiking, picnicking, and fishing in Blackburn Fork Scenic River. Permit is required to enter the gorge or access the base of the waterfall. The gorge area of the park is a natural feature in a rugged area. The gorge and waterfall can be accessed by trail. Scenic overlook, trailheads and picnic area are located above the falls.

Fort Donelson National Battlefield
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#9 Fort Donelson National Battlefield

Fort Donelson National Battlefield preserves two important sites of the American Civil War: Fort Donelson and Fort Heiman. The site includes much of the 1862 battlefield. Things to see include Fort Donelson National Cemetery, Confederate river batteries, Confederate Monument, and historic Dover Hotel.

Oak Ridge
Photograph by U.S. Department of Energy, via Wikimedia Commons

#10 Oak Ridge

Oak Ridge located west of Knoxville is the site of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex. The city was founded in 1942 as a production site for the Manhattan Project that produced the first nuclear weapons during World War II. Places to visit and things to do include American Museum of Science and Energy, Children's Museum of Oak Ridge, Little Ponderosa Zoo and Rescue, Haw Ridge Park, Melton Hill Dam, and Tellico Reservoir.

Best State Parks to Visit in Tennessee