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Tennessee has been dubbed the Volunteer State. This nickname was given by General Andrew Jackson when he served as a major general in the United States Army during the War of 1812 against Britain. He referred to himself and his fellow soldiers as volunteers willing to give their lives for freedom. Tourists can now visit the state’s many historic sites, including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars battlefields, the Appalachian Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Cherokee Indian Reservation. 

There are also plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, skiing, bird watching, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, and more! The good thing about visiting Tennessee is you don’t have to go far from bustling cities like Nashville or Memphis to find beautiful natural parks and forests. You can easily enjoy fresh air and nature within minutes after landing at one of the airports in this great southern state. In addition, there is something for everyone in Tennessee, whether it’s an amusement park, historical attraction, or a lively nightlife scene. 

So read on and discover a few reasons why Tennessee should be on your travel bucket list!

1. The Ocoee River Whitewater Course

The Ocoee River is famous among whitewater rafters. It’s located less than 30 miles west of downtown Chattanooga and is considered one of the top rivers in the entire world for rafting and other adventures. The river is approximately 77 miles long, and its width varies between 1.5 and 2.5 miles.

People visiting Chattanooga can take advantage of the Ocoee River Whitewater Course, a 70-mile stretch of the river that offers expert guides for rafting and kayaking adventures. If you want to go white water rafting Tennessee style, this is the perfect place! The Ocoee River is rated Class IV/V, which means it’s easy to get started, but more experienced adventurers will quickly master the rapids.

2. Dollywood

Dolly Parton has made her name in the music, entertainment, and business industries in the South. She is known for being one of the most successful female country singers. If you’ve never heard of Dollywood, you’re not alone. It is one place that people know exists but don’t think about going to. But we would highly recommend adding it to your travel itinerary because it is genuinely a world-class theme park.

Located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Dollywood is a fun and family-friendly place where visitors enjoy taking in the mountains’ sights, sounds, and smells while having fun on the rides. Dolly Parton is often seen around the park greeting guests and posing for pictures. Roller coasters, log flumes, water slides, thrill rides, and children’s attractions. Plus, the park is decorated in typical mountain cabin décor, which adds to the overall ambiance.

3. The Biltmore Estate

This is one of America’s most luxurious and impressive estates. It’s located in Asheville, North Carolina, built by George Washington Vanderbilt II. A portion of the estate is open to the public and includes a winery, gardens, a farm, and the Antler Hill Village. There are also several inns and restaurants for visitors to enjoy.

The Biltmore House, in particular, has over 250 rooms, 43 bathrooms, and 45 fireplaces. There are also indoor pools, a bowling alley, squash courts, tennis courts, and a golf course. Visitors can tour the mansion and learn about its history through guided tours. They also have an exceptional wine tasting experience and explore the grounds on self-guided walking trails. The Biltmore Estate is a popular destination for families, weddings, and romantic getaways.

4. The Grand Ole Opry

If you love country music, you need to check out the Grand Ole Opry. It’s the longest-running radio show in America and is still broadcast live every week. Most shows begin at 8 PM EST on Monday evenings. They offer free admission to anyone who wants to watch and listen. The first show took place way back in 1925 and featured legendary country artists like Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Jimmie Rodgers, and others.

Today’s stars perform in the same building from which the Opry began broadcasting. Audiences can expect to see a mix of new and old country superstars. Some artists who have performed at the Grand Ole Opry include Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, Shania Twain, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and George Strait.

5. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest national parks in the United States. It’s located primarily in Tennessee but has portions in North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky. The park covers over 800 square miles and is home to beautiful scenery. Its name comes from the fact that it looks like “a great smoke” rising into the sky.

Visitors to the park can hike, bike, camp, fish, and canoe along the many trails. They can also visit various museums, galleries, historic sites, and historic cabins. There are also plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching and photography. The park is a popular destination for tourists, especially during the summer months, to enjoy the hiking trails.

6. The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

The Great Smoky Mountain Railway isn’t exactly an amusement park. It’s an outdoor railroad museum where visitors can ride trains and enjoy the surrounding nature. The tracks wind their way along the park’s scenic terrain and provide a relaxing and enjoyable train trip. You can choose from two routes: the Cades Cove Loop and the Sugarlands & Elkmont Loop. Both loops give visitors a chance to explore the lush greenery of the Smoky Mountains. Visitors can even hop off and take guided hikes along the trails if they’d like to explore the park more closely.

7. The Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center

The Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center is a beautiful attraction that’s well worth visiting. It’s located in Oklahoma City, but it’s also next door to the World War II Memorial. The center features four buildings with exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of the Native American population in the area. The center also gives visitors a glimpse of their culture through stories, costumes, and crafts. It’s a great place to learn more about the tribes’ history and treatment during the early 1900s. There are also interactive exhibits and a theater where visitors can watch videos and learn more about their history.

8. The Battle of Atlanta Commemorative Air Force Museum

If you’re looking for an exciting museum filled with aviation history, the Battle of Atlanta Commemorative Air Force Museum is a perfect choice. It was originally founded as the Confederate Air Force in the 1980s. Since then, it’s been transformed into a museum dedicated to preserving the rich history of both sides of the Civil War.

Visitors can stroll around the museum’s extensive grounds and explore the various planes and military vehicles. They can also participate in educational programs that focus on the war and its impact on the nation. The museum also hosts special events throughout the year. For example, they host the annual Battle of Atlanta Ball, including a gala dinner, dancing, and live entertainment.


Tennessee is a great state that offers a lot of different things to see and do. Whether you want to explore the outdoors or soak up the sun on the beach, you’ll be able to find it in Tennessee. There’s something for everyone in this beautiful southern state, from historical monuments to exciting museums to natural sceneries. So add it to your bucket list now!