The Smoky Mountains in Tennessee are a beacon for travelers seeking the beauty and tranquility of nature. With the park drawing in close to 11.5 million visitors annually since 2012, it’s clear that this natural gem is a must-visit destination. The allure of the Smokies only grew stronger as 2021 marked a record-breaking year with over 14 million visits. We already covered a great Tennessee road trip itinerary. But If you’re planning to join the multitude of adventurers exploring the Smokies, knowing how to navigate the region is essential. From the best trails to cozy hideaways, having a few Tennessee travel tips up your sleeve can transform a good trip into a great one. Let’s delve into the key advice for making the most of your journey to Tennessee’s beloved Smoky Mountains.
1. Immerse Yourself in Tennessee’s Rich Historical Sites
If you’re interested in history, Tennessee has a lot to offer. You’ll find old homes from before the Civil War and events that help you learn about that period. There are also places like the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts that teach about traditional crafts. If you like theaters, the state has three historic ones worth visiting.
What’s more, every county in Tennessee has at least one place listed on the National Register of Historic Places, adding up to over 2,000 spots across the state. If you enjoy stories, don’t miss the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough. It’s a place dedicated to the art of storytelling, fitting for a state with so many stories to tell.
Watch this video to get a glimpse:
2. Opt for Outclass Accommodation
When figuring out where to stay in Tennessee, consider booking a Tennessee mountain cabin through Large Cabin Rentals. This service specializes in roomy and comfortable cabins that are perfect for both small and large groups. Located near key attractions like national parks and historical sites, these cabins offer the ideal mix of convenience and natural beauty.
Watch this video to get a glimpse of Tennessee’s national parks:
Opting for a cabin gives you a cozy home base for your adventures and places you right in the heart of Tennessee’s stunning landscapes. Places like Large Cabin Rentals, for example, provide options that suit various needs, whether you’re a couple seeking a secluded spot or a family needing space for everyone.
3. Don’t Miss Tennessee’s Music Hotspots for an Authentic Experience
Tennessee is the perfect place to immerse yourself in America’s musical roots. This state is so important to music history that you’ll find different styles depending on the city you visit. In the east, towns are known for Appalachian and bluegrass music. Nashville, often called “Music City,” is the go-to place for country, pop, and Americana tunes. And let’s not forget Memphis, the home of blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll.
Watch this video to learn more about Nashville:
But what makes Tennessee truly special is the accessibility of live music. From street musicians to grand stages like the Grand Ole Opry, music is everywhere. If you’re looking to go where the locals go, check out smaller venues or local festivals. Big names in music often started in small clubs and worked their way up. Whether you’re into mainstream hits or looking to discover new artists, Tennessee’s vibrant music scene won’t disappoint. To get the most authentic experience, don’t just stick to one city. Travel around and let Tennessee’s musical diversity entertain you.
4. Enjoy the Variety of Tennessee’s Food Scene, Seconds Are Encouraged
Delight in Tennessee’s diverse culinary landscape where indulging in seconds is not just acceptable, it’s actively encouraged! From the heartwarming Southern fare of crispy fried chicken and flaky biscuits to the exploration of farm-to-table dining experiences with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, the state offers an array of gastronomic delights. For instance, head to Hattie B’s Hot Chicken in Nashville for a fiery yet flavorsome hot chicken fix or visit Loveless Cafe, renowned for its melt-in-your-mouth biscuits that have stood the test of time.
However, Tennessee’s culinary repertoire extends beyond Southern classics. Restaurants like The Catbird Seat in Nashville present an elevated dining experience, showcasing innovative farm-to-table creations. Whether wandering the vibrant streets of Memphis or exploring the cozy corners of Knoxville, there’s a gastronomic adventure awaiting every palate.
Watch this video to learn more:
To enhance your culinary exploration, keep an eye out for local food festivals like the Music City Food + Wine Festival in Nashville or the International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville. These lively gatherings not only offer an abundance of delectable dishes but also serve as a window into Tennessee’s rich culinary heritage, blending flavors, traditions, and community in a single vibrant celebration. So, immerse yourself in Tennessee’s food culture, savor every bite, and don’t hesitate to ask for seconds!
5. Take a Hike to See Tennessee’s Best Natural Spots
If you like being outdoors, Tennessee is a great place for hiking. The weather is good most of the year, and there are lots of pretty places to see. Here are some hikes you shouldn’t miss:
- Appalachian Trail: About 70 miles of this famous long trail are in the Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a part of a much bigger trail that’s over 2,000 miles long.
- Rainbow Falls: This trail is also in the Smoky Mountains. If you go on a sunny day, you can see a rainbow in the mist from the waterfall.
- Fiery Gizzard Trail: This is a long hike that takes a full day. It’s really popular and was named one of the best hikes in the whole country.
- Point Trail at Lily Bluff: This hike is not too hard and has great views at the end. You’ll be looking out over the Obed river gorge.
- Fall Creek Falls Trail: This trail takes you to the tallest waterfall that falls freely in the eastern part of the U.S. It’s in the Fall Creek Falls State Park. Watch this video to get a glimpse:
These hikes show you some of the best nature spots in Tennessee. Whether you’re new to hiking or have lots of experience, there’s a trail here for you.
Final Tip: Make the Most of Your Tennessee Trip
So, that’s the rundown on some top Tennessee travel tips for a great trip. Whether you like music, food, history, or the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone here. Stay in a comfy cabin, eat some tasty food, listen to all kinds of music, and don’t forget to check out some awesome trails for a good hike. Remember, Tennessee is a place with lots of things to do and see, and it’s a place that people of all ages can enjoy. Have fun planning your trip, and make sure to take in all the good stuff Tennessee has to offer!