10 Hidden Treasures In Tennessee Worth Visiting
Let us help you plan for your next destination in Tennessee.
We all know that Tennessee has been ranked among some of the most beautiful states in the country. One of the most popular vacation destinations is the Great Smokey Mountains. We also have one of the most famous theme parks that folks travel from all over to visit, Dolly Wood. There's also Graceland, home of the music king Elvis Presley. While these places are great we wanted to introduce you to some hidden treasures in our state. Here are a few of our favorite less traveled but well worth visiting locations in the state of Tennessee.
Ruby Falls is a series of underground cascading waterfalls totaling 145-foot in Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga, Tennessee. The breathtaking falls were accidentally discovered by Leo Lambert in 1928 deep within Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Lambert named the falls after his wife, Ruby, and opened the Chattanooga attraction to the public in 1929.
We had a great time at Ruby Falls, with all the great view of the 7 states, flowers, drawbridge, birds, waterfalls, river rock decorations on walkways and paths, ziplines, platforms for great pictures and the light show with the waterfall, it's well worth the trip!
2.Raccoon Mountain Caverns
Raccoon Mountain Caverns is a cave located in Chattanooga, Tennessee in a band of Mississippian Period limestone, part of the Cumberland Plateau. On hot afternoons, it was said that the farmers would relax in front of several cracks in the rock at the base of the mountain and enjoy the cool air that was blowing out of cracks in limestone rock, at the time they was unaware of the large caves beyond the crack which supplied volumes of air.
We had the pleasure of experiencing Raccoon Mountain. My family and I had the best experience there and look forward to going back. Raccoon Mountain isn’t much to look at on the outside but it’s magical "whole other world" on the inside.
3.Carver Orchards & Farm Market
This is my favorite of all time apple orchard. They have all kinds of goodies, fried apple pies, parched peanuts, honey, all kinds of Apple's, ribbon cane syrup, jams and jellies, candy apples, home made apple pies and so much more. If you can't find it here you don't need it. There's also the produce market and candy shop where they sell home made candies and fried pies, still warm when you get it . I am 62 , been going for 30 years. Can't wait to go again.
4.Radnor Lake State Natural Area
Radnor Lake State Natural Area, also known as, Radnor Lake State Park, is a popular state natural area and state park in Oak Hill, Tennessee within Nashville. The 1,368 acres nature preserve lies just outside Nashville. Five miles of unpaved trails wander through the woods surrounding the lake. Otter Creek Road runs through the middle of the park and is now closed to traffic. Visitors to Radnor Lake enjoy wildlife native to Middle Tennessee, including river otters, beavers, mink, muskrat, bobcat, coyote and the white-tailed deer.
Love this park! Easy trail for all ages, even handicapped, with lots to see. Today we saw close to 30-40 turtles, deer and beautiful butterflies. On another day we even saw a blue heron nesting in a tree. Be sure to bring binoculars. The park is absolutely beautiful. One of the park ranger’s showed us a bald eagle. Majestic!
The Titanic Museum is a two-story museum shaped like the RMS Titanic. It is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and opened on April 8, 2010. It is built half-scale to the original ship. Similar to the one in Branson, Missouri, the museum holds 400 pre-discovery artifacts in twenty galleries. It is the largest permanent Titanic museum in the world.
It is no wonder that the Titanic, that doomed luxury liner of lore, can still capture the minds of the public years after it sank. The opulence of that tragic boat lives on at the Titanic Museum, which is a half-scale replica of the original and spans across 30,000 square feet (2787.09 square meters). The replica features parlors, cabins, hallways and a recreation of the Grand Staircase. 400 artifacts are displayed in its galleries. Enter the museum with a boarding pass bearing the name of a Titanic crew member or passenger and unravel their fate through the interactive displays scattered throughout the museum.
6.Cummins Falls State Park
Cummins Falls State Park is a 282-acre state park located northwest of Cookeville in Jackson County in the U.S. state of Tennessee. Its namesake, Cummins Falls, is a 75-foot waterfall, which is located on the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River. The park was purchased and created by the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation in 2011.
Cummins Falls are impressive; a lofty narrow cascade gives way to a series of broad but shallow terrace-like falls arriving at a large pool. A lookout area at the top, which is less than half a mile from the car park, means you can enjoy the majesty of this fall without much effort. However, if you want to get your toes wet and truly drink in the magnificence then prepare yourself for an adventure. The reward is worth it! The trail descends for a mile over mixed terrain which can be slippery. Make sure you have suitable footwear and take with you only what you need.
The Hermitage is a historical museum located in Davidson County, Tennessee, United States, 10 miles east of downtown Nashville. The 1,000+ acre site relied completely on the labor of enslaved African American men, women and children and was owned by Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, from 1804 until his death at the Hermitage in 1845. It also serves as his final resting place. Jackson only lived at the property occasionally until he retired from public life in 1837. It is a National Historic Landmark.
We love learning history in the place where it happened. They do a good job presenting Andrew Jackson’s life- the good, the bad and the ugly. We arrived at 3:00 and left at 5:30. We could have happily spent the entire day here. The downloadable audio tours are fantastic and free with the grounds pass tickets.
Carnton is a historic home and museum in Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee, United States. The sprawling farm and its buildings played an important role during and immediately after the Battle of Franklin during the American Civil War. It is managed by the non-profit organization The Battle of Franklin Trust.
This is a very interesting place to visit. Our tour guide was very well informed. He covered just about everything that was needed to know. Very little need for questions. The property is very well maintained and absolutely fascinating to see. My one regret is that we took a late afternoon tour, and didn't have time to tour the grounds. I would suggest going there in the morning, which will allow for time to visit the Carter house. They offer combo tickets for both tours.
9.Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a railroad museum and heritage railroad in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum was founded as a chapter of the National Railway Historical Society in 1960 by Paul H. Merriman and Robert M. Soule, Jr., along with a group of local railway preservationists. They wanted to save steam locomotives and railway equipment for future historical display and use. Today the museum offers various tourist excursions from stations in Chattanooga and Etowah, Tennessee.
We enjoyed our trip to the Tennessee Valley Railroad, it was educational and fun. All of the people we had contact with were friendly and helpful. When we boarded the train we were greeted with smiles and shown to our seats. At the stop where the engine was placed on the turntable and turned around we were able to spend some time looking around without being rushed. There is so beautiful scenery to see and enjoy. If you are looking for something to do in Chattanooga whether you have just a couple of hours or more there are several different train rides to choose from, all of which are fairly priced. We will definitely be back to try one of the longer trips when we return to Chattanooga.
10.The Lost Sea
Have you ever heard of the Lost Sea? It’s the largest underground body of water in the United States – and ranks worldwide – located right here in Tennessee. Visit old Sweetwater for a tour of one of the most mysterious and stunning places our southern state has to offer – including a glass-bottomed boat tour. In 1991 sonars were dropped into the underground river to measure it's depth. Many of the readings failed to yield results leaving archeologist and scientists to believe that the river was deeper than they had first thought. Just how deep is it? We're still trying to find out!
Once you show up to the Lost Sea, you'll want to purchase a ticket to one of their daily tours. There are group rates available for folks that number over fifteen, and you're looking at $19.95 per adult and $10.95 per child between the ages of four and twelve. If they're younger, they visit for free! The tour first begins with a guided walk through the caverns. At roughly three quarters of a mile, you'll enjoy the quirky beauty of the underground cave system, twisting and turning down sloping pathways. Once you reach the end of your land tour, you'll jump (well. maybe not 'jump'...) into one of their glass-bottomed boats and take a beautiful jaunt across the four-acre underground lake. Visit for yourself then report back to us and tell us how fun it was! You can't beat a glass-bottomed boat tour, y'all - you just can't.