Six Places for an Adventurous Trip in Tennessee

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Whether planning a family vacation or solo trip, Tennessee has some great places you can explore. Here are 6 places for a trip in Tennessee.

Summer is the best time for a vacation with family, friends, or even yourself. Tennessee should be on your bucket list if you want an adventurous trip. Whether planning a family vacation or solo trip, Tennessee has some great places you can explore and enjoy your time off. You will find indoor and outdoor recreational activities, historical spots, and the state’s natural beauty. All these places will make your trip a memorable and rewarding experience. The beautiful state of Tennessee will give you an adrenaline rush and make you want to explore further into the town. Below are our picks for the best six places for an adventurous trip in Tennessee.

Pigeon Forge

One of the many exciting and must-visit places in Tennessee is Pigeon Forge. It is a small yet famous town, known for its outdoor recreation and family-friendly activities. Pigeon Forge is also home to Dollywood, a popular theme park named after the renowned singer Dolly Parton. The park is one of the largest ticketed attractions in Tennessee. Festivals also occur annually, where Dolly Parton and other famous artists perform live. The park features rides, shows, and other entertainment options you can explore. You can also search for other Pigeon Forge attractions online, where you can enjoy different restaurants, parks, museums, or shops the town has to offer.

The FireChaser Express at Dollywood. Photo courtesy of Dollywood/ Steven Bridges

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the highlight of Tennessee. It is one of the most iconic and famous tourist attractions not just in Tennessee but in the United States as well. These mountains run along North Carolina and Tennessee and have several gates to enter the park. It is famous for its beautiful scenery and its various hiking trails.

A river flowing over boulders in the lush green forest of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. Photo courtesy AdobeStock

The park also has several historical sites, including the Cades Cove area, a popular spot for visitors to learn about the area’s history. The Smokies attract thousands of tourists annually and provide families with a fun experience where they have exciting adventures. You can opt for many activities, such as hiking mountain trails, camping in the foothills, or taking long walks to enjoy the mountains’ scenic beauty. The pathways are also great for enjoying beautiful drives or having a peaceful picnic with breathtaking views. The Smokies are a go-to tourist place and should be your highest priority when visiting Tennessee.

Ocoee River

If you are looking for a fun-filled adventure, white water rafting in The Ocoee River is your holy grail. The place has fast rapids perfect for rafting or experiencing the beautiful scenery. You can also zipline along the river as well as enjoy rafting. You can find various companies offering rafting tours that will give you all the required gear. Rafting is an exciting and safe activity for children and adults to enjoy. You can experience the beautiful outdoors, beat the summer heat, and have an adventurous activity with your family. Experiencing rafting in the rapids of the Ocoee River is something everyone should tick off their bucket lists.

Enjoy the thrill of white water rafting on Tennessee’s Ocoee River. Photo by jr4jesus via iStock by Getty Images


If you visit Tennessee and do not visit Memphis, you miss out! Memphis is famous for its music and culture. It was the home of the great legend Elvis Presley, and many music fans adore Memphis for that reason.

Sunset on Beale Street. Photo courtesy of Joshua Brown / Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau

Elvis’s home, Graceland, is an iconic tourist attraction that thousands of fans visit yearly. The mansion showcases Elvis Presley’s life and shows his fans the life he lived. There are different tour packages available to explore the museum.

You can also visit various historical sites like the National Civil Rights Museum. You can also explore the great outdoors in Memphis, with its funky vibe all around the city. Songs will be playing through the city’s streets, and you can enjoy the live music while eating from some of the best restaurants in town.


Gatlinburg is a small and adventurous town located in the Smoky Mountains. The city offers many exciting outdoor activities for you and your family. The most famous and visited area here is the Ober Gatlinburg amusement park. The park is also a ski resort, where you can enjoy plenty of different activities. You can explore their exciting rides, such as the rollercoaster and chair lift rides, or even shop and eat from the several choices the place offers.

Gatlinburg is also the most popular entrance to The Smokies. If you want to see the best views, you should opt for the Sky Lift Park, or if you want to be a bit more adventurous, you can walk the longest bridge, the Sky Bridge, in North America. No matter what you are looking for, Gatlinburg has something for everyone.

Check out the Skybridge Gatlinburg—North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge. Photo by Chansak Joe via iStock by Getty Images

Tennessee River

One of the largest tributaries of the Ohio River is the Tennessee River. It stretches around 652 miles across the Tennessee Valley in the southeastern United States. It cuts through Chattanooga and creates the historic North Shore neighborhood and the Bluff View Art District on its southern shore. Numerous outdoor activities and festivals are held annually on the river and its banks.

The historic North Shore neighborhood and the Bluff View Art District sit on the Tennessee River’s southern shore. Photo courtesy Visit Chattanooga

However, if you want a more exhilarating experience, you should opt for a kayaking trip on the Tennessee River. Paddling across the river is a fun way to enjoy the beautiful river scenery while enjoying the adventurous fun of kayaking. It is a great way to explore physical activity, work out, and get yourself connected with nature. Countless companies offer tour packages for kayaking adventures. With so many options throughout the state, ensure you do plenty of research to pick the package that best fits your needs.

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When You Plan an Adventurous Trip in Tennessee

Tennessee is an underrated state that many people do not usually visit on vacation. However, this state has a lot to offer in terms of adventure. Since many people do not know about these unique destinations, they miss out on adventurous tourist attractions. If you are looking for a new and fun destination, you should opt to visit Tennessee. It is the perfect destination for an adventurous summer or fall vacation. You will surely have a memorable and adventurous experience if you follow our list of places to visit in Tennessee. Check out Wander for more great ideas for adventurous travel and places to experience more outdoor adventures.


Six Places for an Adventurous Trip in Tennessee

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