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Things To Do In Tennessee : 34 Adventures

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Experience Tennessee through Culture and Adventure

Tennessee is indeed a very special place to visit with so many special tennessee attractions to see and experience, where the old laid back culture of the Midwest meets modern day mystery with the eclectic vibe of today. One interesting fact about Tennessee is that it has seven state songs where most states have only one official song. For music lovers this charming state is a welcome retreat where folk music of the people from the mountains in the east meets the African American of the western Mississippi lowlands singing the blues which eventually gave rise to the modern country music that we all love today, and took Nashville as its legendary home.

The Tennessee flag has three stars that represent the three geographic regions which feature all tennessee attractions in the East, Middle and West Tennessee. Heather covered peaks in the east of the Great Smoky Mountains descending to the evergreen valleys in the middle plateau in Nashville and then towards the sizzling lowlands close to Memphis in the west.

Tennessee Sightseeing ToursTennessee offers its many unforgettable attractions scattered around this beautiful state. Travelling from the west side of Memphis to the Great Smoky Mountains on the east and right into the middle to Nashville and Chattanooga, the so called Volunteer State has many places to discover, adventurous things to do in tennessee and great food to savor for any wandering visitor.

In Tennessee, be prepared to take a hike along the exhilarating mountain trails in the cool early morning breeze, and just when the sun sets, feel free to stomp your feet along with the beat in a honky-tonk Nashville dance party or walk along the streets of Memphis where Elvis once lived.

Expect the best laid-back lifestyle and the true southern charm country ambience when you travel around the Volunteer State and see the beauty of these tennessee attractions. You’ll get the warmest smiles among its friendly people with distinct country accents and great country cuisine- the usual scene across this great place that joined the nation in 1796 as the 16th state. Many beautiful places to see and experience in Tennessee, which distinctively combined historical values and enigmatic aura that will translate to a captivating and interesting vacation experience, and will probably be the most memorable vacation that you will ever have.

Best Time to Visit Tennessee

Tennessee is one of the best states in the U.S. that you can generally visit any time of the year according to your vacation objectives. The recent 2012 research conducted by Public Policy Polling on people’s opinion about the 50 different states, it was concluded that Tennessee ranked 3rd, appreciated for its natural beauty and charming people, making it one of the most popular destinations in the United States. See the best tennessee attractions depending on your what to do in tennessee list today.


Summertime in Tennessee is the busiest season for tourists. During summer, people flocked over to the west to Graceland in Memphis, Nashville in the middle to experience the best country music and in the east to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. During summer in the Volunteer State the temperature will soar high at around 90° to 100° Fahrenheit along the mid and western parts. Expect to have lower temperature in the eastern part especially during the evening in the Smoky Mountains where about ten million tourists flocked the area yearly. The best time to experience Graceland is in August, where the Elvis Week is yearly held or visit Nashville in June and attend the Country Music Festival. Make sure to reserve and book early to ensure your stay here since this is a peak season for these tennessee attractions.


This is the time when the countryside is teeming with colorful and exhilarating foliage especially in the eastern portion of Tennessee. Spectacular views of fall scenery at the Smoky Mountain Park are to behold and prices are often higher than usual. At this time of the year days can still be warm and arid, but with cooler nights. Expect to experience clear, crisp and nice air all throughout Tennessee where the summer’s heat is now tempered and finally over. Occasional autumnal rainfalls are also expected so better packed some rain gear since the Volunteer State’s weather is quite unpredictable. Around September temperature ranges from 61° to 83° Fahrenheit and by December it reaches to about 31° to 50°. The grand display of over 2 million Christmas lights can be truly mesmerizing at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville during mid-November where many people from all over the globe travelled some thousand miles just to marvel at this spectacular display. This is just one of the best things to do in tennessee during this season.


During this time there are lesser number of tourists, it often starts to increase around Christmas time when visitors arrive to partake in various what to do in tennessee activities for this season. Winter is a good time to visit the Smoky Mountain Park with less foliage giving a good visual impression of the spectacular mountain view. The Enchanted Garden of Lights located at the Rock City on top of the Lookout Mountain has been a favorite for over 20 years now among visitors. A train ride along the Chattanooga’s Tennessee Valley Railroad offers a unique trip to the North Pole where visitors are hauled in a steam engine old fashioned locomotive enjoying the sights and sounds from Santa’s visits to memorable Christmas carols. Colder nights with an average temperature of 28° are expected in January with typical range of 40 to 50 degrees cooler temperatures prevail all throughout the season. Expect to have some snow around the upper Cumberland range and in the Smoky Mountains.


This could be the most ideal season for any traveler to this beautiful state. During this season, temperatures are comfortably mild; nights are cooler while humidity is at its lowest. Amazing native trees are in full bloom in the entire state. People from over flocked the West Tennessee area to experience the Memphis in May, one of the many tennessee attractions, which is a month long celebration that begins with a Beale Street Music Festival and by mid-May the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest fills the air with delicious smoky aroma that captivates your senses. The Festival of Nations is also celebrated during this time of the year in Sevierville in the Smoky Mountains. You can experience a dazzling display of beautiful daffodils and buttercups lining up the main road all the way to the town during the Daffodil Festival of Tiny Bell Buckle, located in the southern part of Nashville around 55 miles away.

Things to do in Tennessee

  • Zip your way to the natural beauty of Tennessee’s forest
    For an adventured filled vacation for groups or families, the Eco-Adventure Canopy Zip Tour is highly recommended and is on top of the popular things to do in tennessee. This fun and safe activity in Nashville brings in a load of thrills and wonderful memories that will surely last a lifetime. Zipping through the lush forest with old tall trees is the best way to experience and see the natural beauty of Tennessee. Imagine soaring up above the ground from a height of 85 feet to 450 feet high in various zipping activities across the 40 acre forest in a 90-minute zip line ride. Great for group and family bonding activity that comes totally safe using the latest innovations via steel cables and secured harness in an attached zip pulley system that is available all year round. This zip tours has 9 thrilling zip lines that you can combine with other activities around the Adventure Park situated along the picturesque bend of the Harpeth River. Experiencing the natural forest beauty becomes even more thrilling and enchanting when the moon shines the fullest and this is available once a month via the Full Moon Zip Tour every Saturday evening.

  • Experience the thrill of white water rafting
    White water rafting is a fun activity for everyone who seeks fun things to do in tennessee and it is quite an exciting adventure. Enjoy this with family and friends, and get ready to tumble and frolic along the Big Pigeon River in Tennessee. Conveniently located near Sevierville and Gatlinburg areas enjoy the most thrilling ride that you can experience in just 4 hours. Featuring lively Class III-IV rapids that Pigeon River could offer, that flows along the grandiose Smoky Mountains National Park on the eastern border side. This is the Nantahala Outdoor Center most summarized whitewater experience available for families or groups. The quality of white water rafting action is ensured with the consistent controlled release of water coming from the dam from Tuesdays until Thursdays and all Saturdays including Labor and Memorial Days.

  • Have the best lake fishing experience only in Tennessee
    When it comes to fishing Tennessee offers the best spots around its many scenic lakes. The Volunteer State is teeming with natural state parks that are perfect for fishing and more fun outdoor activities. No need to run out of things to do in tennessee. The Big Ridge State Park is developed by the Tennessee Valley Authority that has a lush forest along the Norris Lake in Union City. Enjoy fishing along the lake in this 3,687 acre nature park and expect a good catch of variety of bass, crappie and bluegill. For an avid angler a visit at the Cove Lake State Park is truly rewarding with catches that range from bass to crappie. This 210 acre park offers panoramic views of the nearby Devil’s Race Track who has a very steep summit. You can also rent a rowboat to explore the tennessee attractions such as the beautiful lake and enjoy fishing activity which is available all year long.

  • Things to do in TennesseeCamp your way to nature in the exciting wilderness in Tennessee
    Nothing beats the fun and excitement of camping around nature in Tennessee. The Fall Creek Falls State Resort Park is now considered as one of the most exhilarating and scenic spots in America today. Enjoy a fun filled and relaxing vacation with family and friends, and never be bothered with what to do in tennessee in this nature park that features amazing cascades of waterfalls, gleaming streams, timberland, gorges with an exciting variety of activities and recreational facilities making this one of the best parks in the Southeast region. The Fall Creek Falls boost a majestic height of 256 feet and is the highest east waterfall in the Rocky Mountains. Other falls are also situated in this park like the Piney Cane Creek and the Cane Creek Cascades. The forest is covered in lush hickory and oak on its way to the gorge where tulip poplar and hemlock forest awaits any visitor. The protected gorges in this park have a unique flora and fauna that anyone can enjoy around the Cumberland Plateau.

    Get the best hiking and camping experience in the Frozen Head State Natural Area. Considered as one of the best tennessee attractions for backpacking and hiking around Tennessee, this park covers 50 miles of panoramic and challenging foot trails that have 10 available backcountry campsites. Situated just 5 miles of Wartburg northeast in the Morgan County, this vast 11,562 acre untouched scenic area is the second highest peak in the Cumberland Mountain region. The mountain top is usually covered in thick snow and ice. This park also has picturesque waterfalls, giant rock formations and over 14 mountain peaks elevated in over 3,000 feet. There is an abundance of wildlife and wild forest plants and trees that you can experience along its twenty major foot trails.

Enjoy Great Comfort Food in Tennessee

Tennessee has a vibrant array of restaurants that entices the senses and at the same treat the palate with a unique blend of taste from traditional way of southern style cooking. Here you can find the best tasting barbecues, best spicy chicken and the famous “meat and three”. Dining out here should be among your lists of things to do in tennessee and explore unique combinations of taste worthy of any appetite.

  • Barbecue grilled dishes in Tennessee
    Authentic southern styled barbecue can be sampled at the Big Boy's Barbeque. Whole hog barbecue dishes are smoked traditionally using coal for the best real firewood that can give off a distinct aroma. Meats are slowly smoked until moist and tender with usual barbecue sauce along the side. Big Boy’s is located in Crossville Tennessee, hailed by many as one of the cleanest and home to great tasting barbecues at very affordable prices. While in Memphis, you can check out and smell the enticing smoke coming out from the Cozy Corner’s kitchen. People around Tennessee will drive for hours just to sink their teeth and indulge in their famous barbecued Cornish hens and ribs which top the list of things to do in tennessee.

  • Southern styled home cooking and soul food in Tennessee
    For southern comfort and soul food you can head out to Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House located in Moore County. Famous for its fried Okra and carrot cake, Mary Bobo’s offers the best southern home-style cooking, great for family gatherings and any celebrations. Looking for a country styled food buffet? Why not travel to Ardmore and head your way to Fried Tomato Buffet where you can get a southern and soul food buffet treats that will satisfy your comfort food craving. Many have attested that Fried Tomato has the best tasting sweet tea along with their delectable collection of best southern foods in a unique buffet setting that will truly gratify you that comes in an affordable per plate fee.

  • Best fried hot chicken in the South
    Another Tennessee specialty that you should not miss is their hot and spicy chicken. Each chicken piece is dredged in authentic country spices and pan-fried in cast iron skillet to perfection. Many hot chicken eateries kept their recipes in top secrecy, but you don’t need to learn them since you can have your share of good ole hot fried chicken in Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, a roadside restaurant located in Mason or when in Nashville head out to Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack which is already an institution that serves the best hot chicken and one of the best tennessee attractions that needs no advertising.

  • Have a “meat and three” satisfying meals in Tennessee
    Probably you heard about “meat and three” which is a short name for a restaurant type serving of one meat dish and three sidings of vegetables, and other choices that also includes a hearty dessert. Cupboard Restaurant in Memphis offers the best variety of country styled food dishes that come with fresh green sidings. The Little Tea Shop is also worthy of your visit and their corn sticks are simply irresistible.

  • Unique dining experience for the whole family to enjoy in Tennessee
    For the whole family especially the kids will surely enjoy home-style cooked meals at the Peabody Ducks Restaurant in Memphis. This famous hotel restaurant is a must see for any Memphis travelers. Famous personalities such as Oprah Winfrey, Nicolas Cage, Wentworth Miller, Faith Hill and Larry King just to name a few, have paid pay their homage to the mighty ducks parading in the fountain area lobby. It is famous for its matching ducks that parade and march around the lobby at 11 AM and 5PM. So make sure to come early or better yet make advance reservations to have this unique dining experience and great food.

Best Places to Stay in Tennessee

  • Peabody Hotel in Memphis is itself a one-of-a-kind attraction
    The tradition of marching ducks around the fountain area at the hotel’s lobby started as a joke in 1932 and now had remained one of the most unique tennessee attractions that you truly find memorable. Built in 1925 and was a home for live radio broadcast during the 30’s until the 40’s. The hotel met a shutdown in the 70’s, but later resurrected around 1981, it reopened following a total renovation. It has 464 rooms that have modern day facilities but still retained its old country charm, an elegant reminiscent of the old hotel in common areas and as well as the world famous hotel lobby.

  • The Blackberry Farm Hotel gives you modern standards with traditional southern-styled hospitality
    Voted as one of the best new hotels in the United States for this year, Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee has lavish and ultra-modern accommodations from estate rooms to country style cottage suites. It boosts superb customer service from its well-mannered front desk staff and has a delectable fine cuisine in their now famous restaurant. The newly renovated Farmhouse Spa is totally impressive with first class hydrotherapy treatments that lets you relax and never have to worry about what to do in tennessee when you stay here. Staying in one of their Hill Cottages is highly recommended, wherein you will be delighted to have your own indoor and outdoor fireplaces with stylish vaulted ceilings.

  • Union Station Hotel lets you enjoy Tennessee’s great country music in this historical place
    Originally built as a train station that accommodates the Louisville and Nashville Railroad systems, this is now a highly rated hotel that ranked 3rd among the best hotels in Tennessee recently. Have a unique and historical travel experience that will surely wow music lovers and rail aficionados. This rail station was opened in 1900 and was forced to close down in the 70’s when a decline of train passengers was evident. But restorations took place in the 80’s, resurrecting the old station into a unique hotel with Tiffany glass dome still preserved and provides a natural lighting in the lobby that features two interesting alligator ponds. Union Station Hotel has world class 125 rooms that managed to preserve its old grandeur but with modern amenities such as a conveniently located walking access to Music Row where one can listen to great Nashville music; fine restaurants and to the historic Second Avenue district. This hotel is now considered as a historical landmark by The National Trust Historic Hotels of America and regarded as one of the most distinct tennessee attractions that you can visit and experience.
Other Tennessee Resources

Iconic Spots. Significant Savings. One Amazing Experience.

12 Iconic Locations
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Zipline Tours by Foxfire Mountain

Zipline Tours in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Our all-inclusive tour package includes rental of the best zip line gear in the industry, with padded full-body harnesses and our exclusive handlebar trolleys that allow you to control your orientation as you glide along our zip lines so you never spin or zip ...

Lake Kayak Adventures by Ocoee Adventure Center

Kayak Rentals in Copperhill, Tennessee
If whitewater kayaking isn't really your thing, join us for a beautiful exploration of Ocoee Lake #3 in our super stable touring kayaks. These boats allow even the most inexperienced kayakers to paddle and navigate a kayak on their own like a ...

Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Miracle Theater

Performing Arts in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
This colorful retelling of the biblical story about Joseph, his uncanny abilities and his designer coat sings out to young and old alike. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will have you laughing with the antics of the twelve brothers and will move ...

Smoky Mountain National Park by Smoky Mountain National Park

National Parks in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of ...

Golf Course by Bent Creek Golf Course

Golf Course in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Bent Creek Golf Course, designed by three time Masters and British Open Championship Winner Gary Player is a par 72 course that opened in 1972. The front nine hugs the valley floor while the back nine offers a challenging mountain course. A beautiful ...

Pigeon River by Rip Roaring Adventures

White Water Rafting in Tennessee, United States
Known as the spot for exhilarating whitewater rafting adventures, the Pigeon River treats you to incredible scenery as it gushes through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Cherokee National Forest, Martha Sundquist State Forest, and the Appalachian Trail.

Ocoee Full River Rafting by Ocoee Adventure Center

White Water Rafting in Copperhill, Tennessee
The Ocoee Full River rafting trip is lots of fun - 10 miles of whitewater excitement. We run the Upper and Middle Ocoee with a great river-side lunch in between. This rafting trip will NOT leave you wanting more! The water on the Upper Ocoee is planned to run ...

Cirque De Chine by The Smoky Mountain Palace

Performing Arts in Sevierville, Tennessee
Cirque de Chine has been electrifying audiences since 2007 at the Smoky Mountain Palace in Sevierville, Tennessee! This incredible show presents an extravagant exposition of skill, grace, romance and illusion featuring some of China's best acrobatic ...

Ocoee River Whitewater Rafting by Nantahala Outdoor Center

White Water Rafting in Cleveland, Tennessee
Raft America's Favorite Whitewater in Tennessee! Ocoee River white water means splashy waves and continuous action—that's why we call it the "Ocoee Coaster!" The Middle Ocoee is the nation's most popular whitewater rafting run, while the Upper Ocoee boasts ...

Wilderness Rampage Safari Tour by Foxfire Mountain

Off Road Tours in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Want something closer to the ground but just as adventuresome? Take a rugged and exciting one-hour safari tour over 150 acres of pristine wilderness, through creeks, up and over steep mountains in our all-terrain Safari Vehicle. This open-air vehicle is fun ...

White Water Rafting Tennessee by Big Creek Expeditiona

White Water Rafting in Hartford, Tennessee
Come enjoy the Appalachian Mountains by rafting the Pigeon River! This half-day whitewater rafting expedition will be the talk of your vacation. The Pigeon River is the closest whitewater rafting adventure to Knoxville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and ...

Golf Course by Baneberry Golf

Golf Course in Tennessee, United States
With over 6,700 yards of rolling, Bermuda fairways; large, bentgrass greens; four tee positions on every hole and amazingly affordable green fees and cart rental rates it’s no wonder so many consider Baneberry to be a golfer’s paradise. The par 71 layout ...

#1 Show In The Smokies by Country Tonite

Performing Arts in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Looking for Entertainment in Pigeon Forge? Look no further as we are celebrating our 15th Spectacular season in Pigeon Forge, Country Tonite launches a BRAND NEW SHOW - which means new production numbers, new choreography, new lighting effects, new ...

Pigeon River Combo by Smoky Mountain Rafting

White Water Rafting in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Smoky Mountain Outdoors Pigeon River Combo combines the best of both the Upper Pigeon and Lower Pigeon. A full 12 miles of adventure, the Pigeon River Combo trip Starts 6 1/2 miles upstream of our outpost at the Upper Pigeon launch area. Full of class 3 and 4 ...

Ocoee River by Wildwater Rafting

White Water Rafting in Ocoee, Tennessee
The Ocoee River with big, closely spaced rapids makes it one of the most popular whitewater rivers in the nation. No other river in the East offers the degree of challenge, variety and consistent water flow that is found here. In fact, the Ocoee has been ...

Discovery Zoo by Rainforest Adventures

Zoo in Sevierville, Tennessee
Located in the heart of the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, near both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, RainForest Adventures Zoo is open year round with lots of things to see and do! RainForest Zoo has been themed by one of the nations finest ...

Nascar Speed Park by Nascar Speed Park

Kart Racing in Sevierville, Tennessee
This quarter-mile D-oval shaped course is the premier track at NASCAR SpeedPark. Smoky Mountain Speedway provides guests with the opportunity to drive a 3/8 scale version of an actual Sprint Cup car – offering an exhilarating experience similar to racing like ...

Tubing The Great Smoky Mountains by River Rat

River Tubing in Townsend, Tennessee
The Smoky Mountain River Rat is only 15 miles from Pigeon Forge and 45 minutes from Gatlinburg. We have new picnic areas overlooking the Little River in Townsend, Tennessee at both outpost locations. Smoky Mountain River Rat's Little River Tubing, and Pigeon ...

Ocoee Rafting TN Whitewater Rafting Ocoee River Combo by Endless River Adventures

White Water Rafting in Ocoee, Tennessee
Located just over the North Carolina/Tennessee border is the world-famous Ocoee River. The Ocoee offers two exciting sections of Class III-IV rapids, making it one of the most popular river runs in the southeast. The Upper Ocoee is an action-packed run ...

Dinner Feud by Hatfield And Mccoy Dinner Show

Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Pigeon Forge's newest and most fun show, The Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show promises to be the best part of your vacation to the Great Smoky Mountains. Your family will be plum tickled with the action, excitement and comedy of our little shindig - not to ...

Family Fun Park by The Track

Theme Park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The Track is your family fun and recreation center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee!

Upper Pigeon by Outdoor Adventures

White Water Rafting in Hartford, Tennessee
Raft the Upper Pigeon River in Tennessee on this exciting 2-hour guided trip through the beautiful Smoky Mountains. A perfect trip for groups, families, and couples with no experience or wanting to add to their whitewater rafting stories! Expect to get ...

Soul Of Shaolin by Eastern Shanghai Theater

Performing Arts in Sevierville, Tennessee
To get a true understanding of Shaolin Kung Fu, some have climbed Mount Songshan in China’s Henan Province, others have visited the Shaolin Temple to meditate or simply to study the Chinese characters on the temple’s front gate. The two characters alone, ? ...

Mountian Biking by Ocoee Adventure Center

Mountain Bike Tours in Copperhill, Tennessee
Join the Ocoee Adventure Center for an exciting mountain biking adventure. The trails of the beautiful Cherokee National Forest provide the setting for our mountain bike riding excursions.biking on the Old Copper Trail Located on the edge of the Cherokee ...

Miniature Golf by Lost Treasure Golf

Miniature Golf in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
MINIATURE GOLF!! How about a ride on the mining train** through caves, ancient ruins and under waterfalls to begin the adventure? The family will enjoy an active day of putting their way thru our exotic mini-golf course.

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