Tennessee destinations, parks and attractions
Are you going on a road trip to Tennessee, looking for tips about the destinations so you and your party can enjoy it, be comfortable and not spend a fortune?
Here are some of the top destinations in Tennessee and tips about visiting them
National parks and monuments in Tennessee
- Andrew Johnson National Historic Site,
Andrew Johnson's complex presidency (1865-69) illustrates the Constitution at work following the Civil War. As the President and Congress disagreed on Reconstruction methods, the Constitution served as their guide on balance of powers, vetoes, and impeachment. In the end, it evolved as a living document with pivotal amendments on freedom, citizenship, and voting rights - topics still vital today.
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail,
Maine to Georgia, CT,GA,MA,MD,ME,NC,NH,NJ,NY,PA,TN,VA,VT,WV.
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long public footpath that traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, built by private citizens, and completed in 1937, today the trail is managed by the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, numerous state agencies and thousands of volunteers.
- Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area,
Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features and has been developed to provide visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities.
- Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Fort Oglethorpe, GA,TN.
In 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought for control of Chattanooga, known as the "Gateway to the Deep South." The Confederates were victorious at nearby Chickamauga in September. However, renewed fighting in Chattanooga that November provided Union troops victory and control of the city. After the fighting, a Confederate soldier ominously wrote, "This...is the death-knell of the Confederacy."
- Cumberland Gap National Historic Park,
At Cumberland Gap, the first great gateway to the west, follow the buffalo, the Native American, the longhunter, the pioneer... all traveled this route through the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky. Modern day explorers and travelers stand in awe at this great gateway and the many miles of trails and scenic features found in the park.
- Fort Donelson National Battlefield,
Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant was becoming quite famous as he wrote these words following the surrender of Confederate Fort Donelson on Sunday, February 16, 1862. The Union victory at Fort Donelson elated the North, and stunned the South. Within days of the surrender, Clarksville and Nashville would fall into Union hands. Grant and his troops had created a pathway to victory for the Union.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
the states of NC,TN.
Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park.
- Manhattan Project National Historic Park,
Manhattan Project National Historical Park, NM,WA,TN.
This site tells the story about the people, events, science, and engineering that led to the creation of the atomic bomb, which helped end World War II.
- Natchez Trace National Parkway,
the states of AL,MS,TN.
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile recreational road and scenic drive through three states. It roughly follows the "Old Natchez Trace" a historic travel corridor used by American Indians, "Kaintucks," European settlers, slave traders, soldiers, and future presidents. Today, people can enjoy not only a scenic drive but also hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping along the parkway.
- Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail,
The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail consists of five sections of hiking trail running roughly parallel to the 444-mile long Natchez Trace Parkway scenic motor road. The foot trails total more than 60 miles, and offer opportunities to explore wetlands, swamps, hardwood forest, rock outcroppings, overlooks, and the history of the area.
- Obed National Wild and Scenic River,
The Obed Wild and Scenic River looks much the same today as it did when the first white settlers strolled its banks in the late 1700s. While meagerly populated due to poor farming soil, the river was a hospitable fishing and hunting area for trappers and pioneers. Today, the Obed stretches along the Cumberland Plateau and offers visitors a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.
- Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail,
Stretching 330 miles through four states (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina) the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail traces the route used by patriot militia during the pivotal Kings Mountain campaign of 1780. Follow the campaign by utilizing a Commemorative Motor Route which uses existing state highways marked with the distinctive trail logo, or 87 miles of walkable pathways.
- Shiloh National Military Park,
Visit the sites of the most epic struggle in the Western Theater of the Civil War. Nearly 110,000 American troops clashed in a bloody contest that resulted in 23,746 casualties; more casualties than in all of America's previous wars combined. Explore both the Shiloh and Corinth battlefields to discover the impact of this struggle on the soldiers and on the nation.
- Stones River National Battlefield,
The Battle of Stones River began on the last day of 1862 and was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Civil War. The battle produced important military and political gains for the Union, and it changed forever the people who lived and fought here.
- Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail,
Remember and commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people, forcefully removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. They traveled by foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat in 1838-1839.
Tennessee State parks and historic sites
- BICENTENNIAL CAPITOL MALL
- BIG CYPRESS TREE
- BIG HILL POND
- BIG RIDGE
- BLEDSOE CREEK
- BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
- BURGESS FALLS
- CEDARS OF LEBANON
- CORDELL HULL BIRTHPLACE
- COVE LAKE
- CUMBERLAND MOUNTAIN
- CUMBERLAND TRAIL
- CUMMINS FALLS
- DAVID CROCKETT
- DAVID CROCKETT BIRTHPLACE
- DUNBAR CAVE
- EDGAR EVINS
- FALL CREEK FALLS
- FORT LOUDOUN
- FORT PILLOW
- FROZEN HEAD
- HARPETH RIVER
- HARRISON BAY
- HENRY HORTON
- INDIAN MOUNTAIN
- LONG HUNTER
- MEEMAN-SHELBY FOREST
- MONTGOMERY BELL
- MOUSETAIL LANDING
- NATCHEZ TRACE
- NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST
- NORRIS DAM
- OLD STONE FORT
- PANTHER CREEK
- PARIS LANDING
- PICKWICK LANDING
- PINSON MOUNDS
- PORT ROYAL
- RADNOR LAKE
- RED CLAY
- REELFOOT LAKE
- ROAN MOUNTAIN
- ROCK ISLAND
- ROCKY FORK
- SEVEN ISLANDS
- SGT. ALVIN C. YORK
- SOUTH CUMBERLAND
- STANDING STONE
- SYCAMORE SHOALS
- T.O. FULLER
- TIMS FORD
- WARRIORS' PATH
Tennessee Seasons, bugs, topography and climate
Tennessee is a southern state with rolling hills and a moderate climate. The winters are cool, but not cold and summers are hot. The state receives about 51 inches (1,300 mm) of rain per year.
Tennessee Camping tips
Reservations for Tennessee State Parks camping may be made online or by calling the park. For camping, the entire cost of the stay plus taxes and reservation fee must be paid at the time of the reservation. Reservations for campsites and picnic shelters may be made up to one year prior to check-in.
RV sites are developed sites available for vehicles ranging in length from 20 to 100 feet. Most campsites maintain soft gravel or paved pads and are easily leveled Sites are equipped with water and electricity and many have sewer hookups. Most RV sites also allow a tent.
Some parks offer tent-only sites. These sites may have electric hookups and many have campsite water or access to a nearby community water spigot.
These sites are for tent camping only and water and electrical hookups are not available. These sites are minimally developed.
Chickasaw and Natchez Trace offer Wrangler Campgrounds, ideal for bringing your horse. The campgrounds accommodate RVs and horse trailers. Campsites include electric and water hookups and hitching lines.
Group campsites are ideal for larger groups of campers. Amenities and campsite capacities vary at each park.