15 Unique Attractions to See in Tennessee | Life in The RV (2024)

A treasure trove of unique attractions in Tennessee history is just waiting to be explored and an unforgettable destination. Check out our 3-Day Nashville itinerary and what we liked and didn’t like at Nashville KOA.

TheUltimateTennesseeBucketList

Tennessee is an amazing state. I actually lived in Clarksville for a while in my younger days. (about 57 years ago!)

However, so much has changed for the better and I’m so glad we got to explore a few of the following attractions while traveling cross-country in our RV.

You could spend a month in Tennessee and still not see all the unique attractions.

From the rolling hills of the Smoky Mountains to the nightlife in Nashville to the majestic waterfalls of Rock Island State Park, Tennessee boasts some of the most stunning scenery in the nation.

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But it’s not just the stunning landscapes that make the Volunteer State a must-visit destination.

Tennessee is also the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, home to the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, and has produced some of the world’s most influential musicians, from Elvis Presley to Dolly Parton.

And with its location sandwiched between 8 neighboring states, Tennessee is easily accessible and convenient for travelers from all over the country.

Get ready to explore the sights, sounds, and natural beauty of Tennessee, the ultimate destination for adventure, music, and unforgettable experiences.

Clingman’s Dome

Clingman’s Dome is renowned as one of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River.

With a breathtaking panorama that stretches over 100 miles, it’s located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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The highest point in Tennessee, standing at 6,643 feet in elevation, this breathtaking peak within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a world of adventure with gorgeous panoramic views and diverse wildlife.

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The drive up the mountain is seven miles long. Once you reach the parking lot, you will have a half-mile walk up the paved incline.

This is not including the ramp up the tower.

There are benches and rocks along the way to rest.

And while there are many times that you will want to give up…you made it that far so just keep going!

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Be sure to bring water and note that there is no bathroom at the top.

You have to wait until you reach the parking lot.

Make sure to bring along a camera to capture all that nature has on offer from this unrivaled mountaintop location.

Dollywood – Pigeon Forge

Dollywood has a big personality just like its namesake and offers a little something for everyone.

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From live music to lavish stage shows, Dollywood has it all.

But one of the biggest draws for thrill-seekers is the impressive lineup of coasters.

The famous Lightning Rod, which debuted in 2016, is the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster and is sure to get your heart racing.

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But don’t worry, there’s still plenty to do for those who aren’t adrenaline junkies.

You can feel Dolly Parton’s influence throughout the park, especially in the entertainment aspect.

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With a staggering number of shows and entertainment, it’s no wonder why Dollywood is fun for the whole family.

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Experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains and the excitement of Dollywood.

Lookout Mountain – Chattanooga

If you’re looking for a breathtaking view, Lookout Mountain in Tennessee is the place to be.

Standing at the summit, you can take in the majestic scenery of seven states at once.

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The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is a must-ride attraction that takes you on a thrilling one-mile journey up to the top of the mountain at an incline of 73%.

We chose to drive up the mountain but we did stop to take some pictures of the Railway.

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Once there, you can explore both Rock City and Ruby Falls.

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Rock City boasts amazing views of valleys and towering rock formations, and Ruby Falls is home to the largest underground waterfall in America.

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While there is a fee of $19.95 for adults and $11.95 for children aged 3-12, parking is free.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Gatlinburg

Nestled just outside of Gatlinburg, spanning across both Tennessee and North Carolina, lies the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of America’s most beloved destinations.

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Within its boundaries, you will be captivated by the majestic mountain peaks and dense forest, that gradually gives way to cascading waterfalls, offering an array of adventures for all to enjoy.

Whether you’re seeking an invigorating hike, an educational history lesson, or simply a quiet retreat to revel in the natural beauty of the Tennessee mountains, there is no shortage of activities to suit your fancy.

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Immerse yourself in the wonders and endless possibilities the Great Smoky Mountains have to offer.

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Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage – Hermitage

Discover a piece of American history and explore the home of Andrew Jackson, America’s seventh President.

Just a few miles outside of Nashville, you’ll be transported back in time to a stunningly preserved plantation home.

Walk amongst the beautiful gardens and forest that surround this historic house, and soak up the tranquil beauty that once inspired the former President.

Inside, you’ll find a museum full of interesting artifacts and documents, from his time as leader of the United States.

Take in the stunning views of this historical gem, right in the heart of Tennessee.

Graceland And Elvis Presley’s Memphis Complex – Memphis

Graceland stands as a testament to the lasting impact of Elvis Presley’s music and innovative style.

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The opulent mansion, with its famous Jungle Room and luxurious decor, transports visitors back to the heyday of rock’n’roll.

But it’s not just a place to marvel at the King’s lavish lifestyle.

At Elvis Presley’s Memphis Experience, you can dive deeper into his life and career.

From stage costumes to cars, the museum houses over a thousand artifacts that allow you to immerse yourself in the world of one of music’s most iconic figures.

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For anyone interested in rock’n’roll history, a visit to Graceland is a must.

Beale Street, Home Of The Blues – Memphis

If you’re looking for excitement and entertainment in Memphis, Beale Street should be your first stop.

This historic street has been a hub of musical activity for over 150 years and it’s still going strong today.

Step inside any of the numerous venues along Beale and you’ll hear live music drifting out from every corner.

And if you need a break from the tunes, you can always pop into a record shop to take a piece of the blues home with you.

But Beale Street is more than just music, it’s food, too.

You won’t find better Southern cuisine anywhere else in Memphis.

So what are you waiting for?

Grab a drink, stroll down Beale Street, and bask in the lively atmosphere of Memphis’ most famous street.

Chattanooga And Tennessee Valley Railroads

Tennessee’s railways are a testament to the state’s storied history.

From the transportation of goods during times of war to the industrialization of the South, railroads have played a crucial role in the state’s development.

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience this rich history firsthand.

Stunning scenery and charming décor make it easy to forget the hustle and bustle of modern life as you journey through the countryside aboard a steam train.

The museum’s main line excursion and dinner packages are perfect for those seeking a more luxurious and romantic experience.

Whether you’re a history buff or just enjoy a scenic train ride, the Tennessee Valley Railroad should be at the top of your to-do list.

Knoxville

As the first capital of Tennessee, Knoxville holds a special place in the history of the state.

And yet, it’s not just the past that makes this city so captivating.

From the moment you arrive, you’ll be enchanted by Knoxville’s charm.

Take in the unparalleled views of the downtown area from the top of the Sunsphere Tower, or immerse yourself in the bustling energy of Market Square.

Since 1854, this has been a gathering place for the people of Knoxville, and today you can sample fresh produce at the farmer’s market or take in the talent on display at one of the many art fairs held throughout the year.

Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an art lover, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Titanic Museum – Pigeon Forge

Not only is the building itself a work of art, being constructed in the shape of a ship and at about half the scale of the original.

But the Titanic museum is also home to a wealth of authentic artifacts and exhibits that bring the Titanic’s story to life.

Below is a picture of the Titanic Museum in Branson, MO.

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With more than 400 items on display across 20 galleries, you’ll feel as if you’re stepping back in time and walking the decks of the iconic ship.

An incredible experience that is equal parts educational and awe-inspiring.

Jack Daniels Distillery – Lynchburg

Tennessee is a state that is steeped in history and tradition, and no tradition is more famous than its whiskey and moonshine production.

If you’re visiting the Volunteer State, make sure to add a stop at Jack Daniels distillery to your itinerary.

Not only is it a delicious experience, but the tours are also fascinating and educational.

Even if you don’t indulge in a tasting, you’ll still get to learn about the process of whiskey and moonshine making, and the history behind the industry in the state.

There are dozens of distilleries throughout Tennessee, but one of the most famous is Jack Daniels.

Their tours and tastings are renowned, and it’s a great place to start your whiskey education.

So raise a glass and say cheers to the history and tradition of Tennessee’s whiskey and moonshine.

Loretta Lynn’s Ranch – Hurricane Mills

Nestled in the rolling hills of Tennessee, just an hour’s drive from Nashville, lies Loretta Lynn’s Ranch.

A sprawling 3,000-acre property that oozes charm and natural beauty.

Here, you can fully immerse yourself in the great outdoors with a stay at one of the Ranch’s three campgrounds, or one of the cozy cabins for a comfortable night’s rest.

Take a tour of the Ranch or meander through the Western Town at your own pace, exploring all that this picturesque spot has to offer.

And for the music lovers out there, be sure to check out the incredible artifacts from Loretta Lynn’s legendary career as a top country music performer.

Cap off your visit with a concert or festival and you’ll be sure to leave with memories that will last a lifetime.

Loretta Lynn’s Ranch is the perfect destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Tennessee’s southern charm and natural beauty in one unforgettable location.

The Grand Ole Opry House And Museum – Nashville

For country music enthusiasts, The Grand Ole Opry is simply a must-visit destination.

Located at the heart of Nashville, this iconic venue has established itself as a cultural institution, showcasing everything that is good about the genre.

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Whether you’re a lifelong fan or a newcomer to the sound of country, The Opry has something to offer everyone.

Take a tour of the historic venue and surround yourself with the rich history and tradition that have filled these walls for over a century.

And if you’re really lucky, you can catch one of the regular concerts held here and experience the magic of live country music for yourself.

Country Music Hall Of Fame – Nashville

Devoted to celebrating the history and ever-changing landscape of country music, it is an incredible museum.

From the roots of this beloved genre in the 19th century to the vibrant music scene that thrives today, this museum has it all.

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With exciting exhibits, engaging public programs, and educational initiatives, the Country Music Hall Of Fame offers something for everyone.

From the first recordings of the genre to the modern hits that we all love, the Country Music Hall Of Fame is dedicated to preserving the history of this uniquely American art form.

Museum Of Appalachia – Clinton

The Museum of Appalachia is more than just a place to view artifacts, it’s a chance to experience history firsthand.

As a Smithsonian Affiliate museum, it has been recognized as one of the most authentic and unique in the country.

Enter the pioneer mountain farm village and immerse yourself in the life of the Southern Appalachian people.

Wander through the 35 log cabins, barns, churches, and schools as you learn about the customs and traditions of this fascinating culture.

With tens of thousands of artifacts to discover, the Museum of Appalachia brings history to life in a way that will leave you feeling enlightened and amazed.

Final Thoughts

Tennessee is a treasure trove of breathtaking places that are just waiting to be explored.

From the rolling hills of the Great Smoky Mountains to the history, steeped cities of Memphis and Nashville, there is no shortage of awe-inspiring sights to see in the Volunteer State.

A must-visit attraction is the iconic Dollywood amusem*nt park, where you can immerse yourself in country music, food, and culture.

Complete with train cars and Victorian architecture, another thrilling stop is the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel.

It used to be a railroad station and is now a beautifully restored hotel.

For a taste of history, ought to visit the Graceland estate in Memphis, the legendary home of Elvis Presley.

These are just a few of the top sights that make Tennessee an unforgettable destination, get ready for an adventure!

We’ve also visited Gaylord Opryland and stayed at the Nashville KOA.

What Tennessee attractions have you visited?

Leave a comment below letting us know. And don’t forget to PIN IT for later!!

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15 Unique Attractions to See in Tennessee | Life in The RV (2024)

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