13 Amazing Things To Do In Tennessee


Looking for the perfect spot to plan your next adventure-packed vacation? Consider a trip to Tennessee. This southeastern state is packed with plenty of options for adventure lovers of all kinds, but outdoor lovers are especially in luck. And the best part? You can enjoy some of the best adventures the state has to offer from some of the state’s most well-loved and easy-to-reach cities.

Tennessee has something to offer for families, couples and the ultimate girls trip. The most frequently visited U.S. national park, Great Smoky Mountains, will take your breath away.  The cities, Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Gatlinburg, are home to a wealth of outdoor activities along with plenty of great restaurants.

Ready to plan your Tennessee adventure? Here are some ways to take advantage of opportunities for an adventure near some of Tennessee’s most popular destinations and here are some of my best things to do in Tennessee.

Amazing Tennessee Outdoor Adventures:

Things To Do In Chattanooga

Chattanooga is an outdoor lover’s dream. Visitors will find more than 75 parks, three nearby rivers, multiple mountains within easy access, and plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking. Staying in Chattanooga will give you a solid variety of hotels to choose from, as well as easy access to dining and nightlife when you’re done exploring for the day.

  • Whitewater raft along the Ocoee River. For a real adrenaline rush, sign up for a whitewater rafting adventure with Ocoee River Rafting. There are a number of companies that offer excursions along the Ocoee River, and most can be found roughly an hour away from Chattanooga. You’ll encounter Class III and IV rapids here, which aren’t for the faint of heart. Fortunately, you don’t need the experience to take on white water rafting – just a little confidence and bravery! This trip is 5 1/2 to 6 hours long (from outpost to outpost) and you will be on the water about 4 1/2 total hours and the cost is approximately $85.00.


  • Explore Rock City. This beautiful park is situated atop Lookout Mountain, only a short drive away from Chattanooga. Embrace your sense of adventure as you walk along the Enchanted Trail, exploring caves and admiring waterfalls along the way.


  • Stand-up paddleboard on the Tennessee River. Unlike the rapid waters of the Ocoee River, the Tennessee River offers a much stiller surface, making it a great spot to stand-up paddleboard. Sign up for a lesson or rent some equipment and strike out on your own. As long as you can find your balance, you’ll be fine!

Ruby Falls

Where To Stay In Chattanooga

The Westin In Chattanooga

801 Pine Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402

The Embassy Suites

2321 Lifestyle Way
Chattanooga, TN 37421

(423) 602-5100


Tennessee vacations for families

Photo Credit: TN Department of Tourism

Things To Do In Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is the perfect vacation destination for adventurers looking to hike and explore the Great Smoky Mountains, National Park. There are plenty of things to see and do here regardless of the season you choose to visit, and you can always take advantage of the city’s unique shops and eateries. Book a room at Margaritaville Gatlinburg Resort, or opt for a more intimate experience at a local bed and breakfast.

  • Book a helicopter tour over the Great Smoky Mountains. For a thrill unlike any other and a view of the majestic Smoky Mountains, you won’t soon forget, book a helicopter tour. One popular option, the aptly-named Scenic Helicopter Tours, departs from nearby Sevierville and offers custom tours over the park.


  • Check out a local zip line park. Choose from one of several companies that offer zip line tours near Gatlinburg and get ready for an hour or two of adventure. You’ll love soaring between the treetops, soaking up the incredible views – as long as you aren’t too afraid of heights! Some zip lines, like those at Legacy Mountain Premier Ziplines, send you soaring 450 feet off the ground!


  • Enjoy the snow at Ober Gatlinburg. Open during the winter months, Ober Gatlinburg is a fun ski resort that offers plenty of opportunities for adventure. Sign up for ski or snowboard lessons or hit the slopes if you already know what you’re doing. Prefer not to ski? You’ll have a blast snow tubing and taking advantage of the local shops and dining.

View in the Smoky Mountain National Park

Where To Stay In Gatlinburg

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort

2525 DreamMore Way
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

Christmas in the Smoky Mountains | Swing in the lobby of Margaritaville Gatlinburg

Things To Do In Memphis

Want to experience great BBQ and excellent access to outdoor adventure? Memphis is your place! As one of the most affordable cities in Tennessee, it’s a great spot for anyone looking for a good deal, as well as anyone looking for an authentic taste of southern hospitality.

  • Take advantage of great mountain biking areas. Memphis is near some of the state’s best mountain biking opportunities. Visit spots like Old Forest State Natural Area for some beautiful – and easy-to-navigate – mountain biking trails. Beginners and experts alike can find something to take advantage of near Memphis – including lessons, if you’re brand new.


  • Go up in a hot air balloon. Incorporate a little altitude into your trip with a hot air balloon experience. Reserve spots through a trusted local vendor like Bluff City Balloons, show up on time and be ready to appreciate the views from above.


  • Channel your inner cowboy (or cowgirl) on a trail ride. Shelby Park Stables offers horseback riding tours throughout its expansive property. Sign up for horseback riding lessons or set off on your own for a trail ride lasting anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours.

3 Days In Memphis | Beale Street

Where To Stay In Memphis

Big Cypress Lodge

1 Bass Pro Drive
Memphis, TN 38105

3 Days in Memphis | Hotel Napoleon

Things To Do In Nashville

Known for its rich musical history, Nashville doesn’t always come to mind as a great spot for adventure travel, but you might be surprised to see how many options you can find in the area. Add in the fact you’ll be able to visit some American institutions, like the Country Music Hall of Fame, and you’ll find plenty of reasons to plan a trip ASAP!

  • Explore Warner Parks. Situated southwest of Nashville, Warner Parks is comprised of Edwin Warner Park and Percy Warner Park. Here, you’ll find beautiful trails to hike, scenic overlooks to enjoy, and cycling trails to get your heart rate pumping.


  • Book a once-in-a-lifetime experience with Nashville FlyBoard. How would you like to fly above the water, propelled by a jetpack? Sounds fun, right? You can do precisely that with Nashville FlyBoard, a local company that offers FlyBoard experiences. It’s fun, it’s safe, and it’s easy to learn, with most catching on within five minutes.


  • Put your physical strength to the test at Treetop Adventure Park. Just east of Nashville, the Treetop Adventure Park isn’t for those afraid of heights. You’ll find obstacle courses of various difficulties high above the ground, and you’ll need to use both physical and mental strength to overcome each challenge. This venue requires 24-hour advance registration, so you’ll need to plan your visit in advance.

What To Do In Tennessee

Where To Stay In Nashville

The Noelle Hotel

200 4th Ave N
Nashville, TN 37219

Hotel Lungarno, Florence, Italy -

With so many museums, outdoor activities, restaurants to choose from and festivals to attend your family will be planning your return trip to Tennessee before you leave.

Whether you’re planning a family vacation in Pigeon Forge or a girls weekend in Nashville I want you to explore Tennessee with your friends and family.

Additional Articles For Traveling

5 Things To Do at Margaritaville Island Hotel In Pigeon Forge

11 Incredible Destinations To Visit In 2019

The Best BBQ Restaurants In Memphis

Ready to plan your trip, grab my FREE  Vacation Planner to help you plan your trip in the time it takes to watch your favorite TV show!

Travel Guide

Take advantage of some of the greatest adventures Tennessee has to offer with these prime vacation spots! If your favorite Tennessee adventure destination didn’t make my list, leave a comment and let me know what I missed!


Adventure in Tennessee

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