List of the Best Things to do in Tennessee, USA – Tips on Where to Eat & Where to Stay

Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor Destination, North America, Travel Blog 1 Comment

Tennessee boasts musical heritage, moderate weather and offers an extensive range of tourist attractions that have both the artistic and cultural values. Tennessee is titled after a Yuchi Indian word ‘Tana-see’ which means ‘The meeting place’. The Smoky Mountains continue to hold the fascination of many tourists, while many tourists visit Tennessee to appease their musical interests.

As a matter of fact, Tennessee has something to offer all type of tourists. Smokey Mountain Range and gorgeous caves will take your breath away. The cities including Gatlinburg, Franklin, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville are host to a wealth of cultural, music venues, great restaurants, and historical attractions.

So what should you do when it comes to taking your Tennessee vacation? Let me tell you about the 10 best things to do in Tennessee in details.

1. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Photo by Jody Claborn Public Domain Mark 1.0

It’s the most visited national park in the USA with more than a million visitors per year.  This UNESCO World Heritage Site expands from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Great Smoky Mountains. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best outdoor destinations in the country where you can do lots of creational activities like cycling, sightseeing, hiking, and camping. If you’re planning extended vacations you can also stay in a nearby city like Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg.

You can choose trail like Alum Cave Trail to explore the wildlife, geology and the history of the park. Cades Cove is an attraction you should never miss. It’s a valley of preserved historic buildings from a bygone age. Don’t forget to bring a camera because you’ll love to capture the mesmerizing exotic and historical scenes.

Price: Free
Hours: Open access

Location: Across North Carolina and Tennessee

Phone: 865-436-1200

2. Discovery Park of America

It hosts an extensive range of educational exhibitions. It is a museum park with garden, located in Union, Tennessee. If you want to learn about Tennessee history, science, army, nature art and culture, it’s the best place. It offers various attractions including a 60-foot replica of the human body complete with a slide, a 20,000-gallon aquarium, and a theater earthquake simulator.

Price: $14.95 

Hours: 10 AM to 5 PM

Location: Union City, Tennessee

Phone: 731-885-5455

3. IJAMS Nature Center

Photo by Charity Davenport CC0 1.0

This lovely property expands over a vast area of 300 acres. It is a perfect place to visit for all ages and you can do activities such as hiking, cycling, trail walking, paddling etc. Jo’s Grove is a natural play area for children, and for adult “kids,” Ijams Crag is an adult climbing location. You can also participate in river sports. In addition o that you can also buy locally made crafts at a very reasonable price. So, it is also a good spot for shopping.

Price: Free 

Hours: 11 AM to 5 PM

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Phone: 865-577-4717

4. Sun Studio

Photo by Sun Studio

If we will say that it is the most popular studio across the world, we will not be lying. As a matter of fact, it is known as a birthplace of ‘Rock N Roll music because the first song in Rock N Roll was recorded here. It was titled as Rocket 88. This famous studio was founded by famous start Sam Philips. Now a day, this studio is still busy in the recording. You can also visit the Rock N’ Soul Museum, where you’ll find more about the history of this genre of the music. In addition to tours, the studio’s Rock Shop has a selection of gifts and apparel available for purchase.

Price: $13

Hours: 10 AM to 6.15 PM

Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Phone: 901-521-0664

5. The Parthenon Nashville

Photo by Serge Melki CC BY 2.0

If you want to experience the Greek monument in the USA, you’re in the right place. It is a full-scale replica of the original Greek Parthenon in Athens. It was built in 1897. It is listed as a historical place in the USA National Registry. It also features Nashville’s art museum which hosts various pieces representing the US history in the 7th and 8th century. In addition to that, various exhibitions are shown at different times of the year.

Price: Free

Hours: 12.30 PM to 4.30 PM

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Phone: 615-862-8431

6. Beale Street

Photo by Anthony G. Reyes CC BY-ND 2.0

Despite being only two miles long, it is the most popular street in Tennessee. The Mississippi River runs to the east of the street. Actually, there are some famous restaurants, clubs, and bars that enhance its popularity. In fact, these bars have played a key role in the history of blues music in the USA. Large crowds flock to the festivals and outdoor concerts along Beale Street and the surrounding area.

Price: Free

Hours: Access hours

Location:  Memphis, Tennessee

Phone: 901-526-0115

7. Parrot Mountain and Gardens

Photo by Keith Allison CC BY-SA 2.0

It is a bird park. You can observe numerous aviaries in these four acres of different mesmerizing gardens. The style and look of these gardens got inspiration from the work of artist Thomas Kincade. The good thing is that you can see various birds and parrots flying freely in these gardens. You can take photos of these pretty birds and you can also feed them with your hands. It is a lifetime experience for anyone. Parrot Mountain and Gardens also has a baby bird nursery on-site, and you can purchase a bird to take home.

Price: $19.95

Hours:  4 to 4.01 AM

Location:  Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Phone: 865-774-1749

8. Memphis Zoo

Photo by David Sparks CC BY 2.0

This zoo hosts more than 500 species coming from all over the world. In total, it has more than 3500 wild animals ad it clearly shows that you can see any animal of the world. If you want to visit the whole zoo you’ll have to walk around two miles. The Giant Panda exhibit is one of the popular activities of this zoo. Ya Ya and Le Le are the two giant pandas from China that enhances the attractiveness of the zoo. In addition to that, it also hosts various activities including toddler birthday parties to weddings with a cocktail and anything in between. You’ll surely enjoy it so never miss it.

Price: $15

Hours:  9 AM to 5 PM

Location:  Memphis, Tennessee

Phone: 901-333-6500

9. Titanic Museum

Photo by Madison Berndt CC BY 2.0

This museum’s building is a replica of the famous Titanic ship. The two-story museum has more than 20 galleries and features more than 400 art crafts from all over the world. Another thing is that it is built in a pool of water. In fact, when you’ll enter, you’ll experience yourself passing through different eras of history ranging from the Titanic ship era to the modern world. The museum assigns a real passenger name to each ticket, and as visitors pass through, they will learn the individual story of that passenger including whether they survived the Titanic’s demise. 

Price: $3

Hours:  9 AM to 5 PM

Location:  Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Phone: 417-334-9500

10. Tennessee Aquarium

Photo by elineberry CC BY 2.0

It is a nonprofit aquarium situated in Chattanooga. It constitutes two buildings. The first and old building River Journey expands over a vast area of 130,000 square feet. Also, it is the world’s largest freshwater aquarium. It is devoted to the exhibitions of the river animals and fish. The other, newer building is called Ocean Journey and is devoted to sea creatures. You can also enjoy a boat tour. In fact, this aquarium has something to offer to all ages including both kids and adults. It is a must-see attraction which you should never miss.

Price: $29.95

Hours:  10 AM to 6 PM

Location:  Chattanooga, Tennessee

Phone: 423-265-0695

Where to dine in Tennessee – Some of the best

Bastion

Photo by Lou Stejskal CC BY 2.0

It is a small but very popular restaurant and you can expect various exotic, delicious and tasty foods. In addition to that, the environment of the restaurant is fabulous and mesmerizing.

Hours: 4.30 PM to 10 PM

Location:  Bessemer, Tennessee

Phone: 205-426-1861

Cootie Brown’s

Photo by Jason Riedy CC BY 2.0

It is famous for its environment and friendly staff. You can enjoy all types of class American dishes. It is a must-visit place if you’re planning to visit Tennessee.

Hours: 4.30 PM to 10 PM

Location:  Bessemer, Tennessee

Phone: 205-426-1861

The Public House

They treat all their customers like their family and are very famous for ingredients coming from local produce. You can check various items from their menu and they are economical too.

Hours: 4.30 PM to 10 PM

Location:  Bessemer, Tennessee

Phone: 205-426-1861

Where to stay in Tennessee

Hutton Hotel

It is a fabulous hotel for tourist and offers all types of modern facilities. Guest room interiors also feature refreshment centers, plush robes and granite bathrooms with rainfall showerheads.

Price: $375

Hours: Open access

Style: Traditional, Opulent

Star: 4.5 star

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Phone: 615-340-9333

Bookings: Booking.com, Agoda

Thompson Nashville

It is another luxurious hotel to stay. People usually count it as an expensive choice but when we consider the facilities, it is worth its room rate. If you want quick access to nearby shopping centers and attractions, it’s the perfect place to stay. For the best price, you can check Agoda which is a renowned hotel booking site.

Price: $409

Hours: Open access

Style: Traditional, Modern

Star: 4 star

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Phone: 615-262-6000

Bookings: Booking.com, Agoda

Madison Hotel

It is located at an ideal place so you can enjoy lots of activities nearby. All the essential facilities are provided in the hotel including flat screen TV, massage room, free coffee and much more. For idea deal, you can check the booking.com, the top site for hotel room booking.

Price: $296

Hours: Open access

Style: Traditional

Star: 4 star

Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Phone: 901-333-1200

Bookings: Booking.com

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Comments 1

  1. For the restaurants’ contact information – Bessemer (and area code 205) is in Alabama, not Tennessee. Great suggestions on places to visit but this needs correction so your readers can locate these establishments :-).

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