Tennessee Vacation Spots: 8 places you need to visit in Tennessee

Tennessee River in Chattanooga, TN

Whether you're looking for family-friendly spots or romantic getaways, check out these eight Tennessee vacation spots that'll be sure to make your next trip the best one yet.

Tennessee is a beautiful state with so much to see and do. If you're looking for a vacation destination, look no further than Tennessee. Here are 8 spots in Tennessee that you need to visit. Whether you're into nature or history, there's something for everyone in this great state. So pack your bags and get ready for some fun!

Looking for something specific? Jump to a section below!

Smoky Mountain National Park

The Smoky Mountains are a must-see for any Tennessee vacation. This national park is home to stunning views, hiking trails, and wildlife. Be sure to stop by Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the park, for an unforgettable experience, as well as Cades Cove to catch a glimpse of what Appalachia life was like in years past.

If Smoky Mountains is on your list, we'd highly recommend renting a cabin in the mountains to fully understand why they call them the "Smokies."

Pro tip: While Smoky Mountain National Park is most popular during the fall for the colorful leaves (especially in Cades Cove!), we'd recommend visiting in the Spring for lighter crowds while still catching those cooler temperatures.

The Tennessee River running through Chattanooga, TN


Chattanooga is a beautiful city located in the southeastern part of Tennessee. It's home to the Tennessee Aquarium, Ruby Falls, and Rock City. If you're interested in outdoor activities, Chattanooga is the perfect place for you. The city offers world class kayaking, tubing, trail running, mountain biking, rock climbing, and more. If you're traveling with kids, be sure to visit the Creative Discovery Museum for a fun day of learning and play. Oh, and there’s are a lot of wonderful local food options in Chattanooga, too!

Bridge crossing the Mississippi River in Memphis, TN


No Tennessee vacation would be complete without a trip to Memphis. This city is known for its music, food, history, and culture. Be sure to visit Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, and Sun Studio, where many famous musicians got their start. You can also enjoy the city's nightlife on Beale Street and learn about the city's history at the National Civil Rights Museum.

Broadway in Nashville, TN


Nashville is the capital of Tennessee and also its largest city. It's known for its music scene, with country music being the most popular genre. But Nashville has so much more to offer than just music. There are countless museums, historical sites, and parks to explore. And no trip to Nashville would be complete without trying some of the delicious food that the city has to offer (especially the Hot Chicken!).


Knoxville is Tennessee's third largest city and is located in the eastern part of the state. It's home to the University of Tennessee and is known for its lively downtown area. Knoxville is also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. The city has over 50 parks and greenways, as well as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park nearby.

Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge is a small town located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It's best known as being home to Dollywood, an amusement park owned by country music legend Dolly Parton. But Pigeon Forge has much more to offer than just roller coasters and rides. There are also several museums, theaters, outlet malls (if that's your thing).


Franklin is a picture perfect small city located south of Nashville. It's known for its historic downtown area, which is full of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Franklin is also home to several Civil War sites, such as the Carter House and Carnton Plantation.

While Franklin, Tennessee is great to visit anytime of year, it's extra fun to experience during their annual Christmastime celebration: Dickens of a Christmas. For one weekend the town transforms into a village full of characters straight from a Charles Dickens novel. The event is held every year during the second weekend in December.

Ocoee Scenic Byway

Looking for a Tennessee road trip idea? The Ocoee Scenic Byway is a beautiful stretch of road that winds through the Tennessee mountains. It's full of scenic views, waterfalls, and hiking trails. The byway is also home to several historical sites, such as the Ocoee River battlefields from the Cherokee Wars, as well as the Olympic White Water Center from the 1996 Olympic Games that were held just sound in Atlanta, Georgia. The byway is open year round, but we recommend visiting during the fall for the beautiful foliage or in the spring for wildflowers.

Other Tennessee Vacation Spots…

Tennessee is full of wonderful vacation spots, it just depends what type of adventure you’re wanting! From delicious food to history and music, this state truly is a hidden gem and worth the visit. Have you been to Tennessee? What was your favorite place/thing you experienced while here? 

Like this post? Checkout these other related guides to help you plan your adventure!

You May Also Like

Hi! We're Chris and Sara a husband and wife video making, storytelling, travel loving duo with a passion for sharing travel tips, tricks, and inspiration with others.
Throughout our website you’ll find affiliate links for various products and services. Affiliate links are a way for us to earn a small commission when you purchase through our links at no additional cost to you. For more information about what affiliate links are or want to know why we use affiliate links, you can read more over at our affiliate page HERE.

We're Chris and Sara

A creative husband and wife duo from a small-town in Tennessee with passion for all things travel. Checkout the links below to join us on our past, present, and future adventures!
 © Chris and Sara 2022 | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED