If you’re planning your next vacation spot— Tennessee is the perfect holiday destination! With a state home to several national parks, museums, and beautiful landscapes, there’ll be something for everybody in the family to enjoy. You will explore multiple hidden gems in TN that most of us don’t know about!

Every year, millions of local and international tourists visit TN, USA. This popular destination isn’t just a coincidence but is a result of the hundreds of attractions the place has to offer. Although Tennessee is a medium-sized state in the United States, its geographically diverse map has many varying terrains with flat and fertile plains along the Mississippi river.

From colossal mountain ranges to waterfalls and plateaus, the natural topography provides a lot of attractions and activities. However, despite the large annual crowds it receives, there are still so many unexplored, hidden gems in TN that people don’t know about.

Activities in Tennessee
Activities in Tennessee

Activities and Hidden Gems in TN

For those who enjoy adventures, you can discover some of the best off-the-beaten-path activities and hidden gems in TN you won’t regret exploring. And to help you get started, here’s a list of seven things you shouldn’t miss out on; from where to stay to what to do—we’ve got you covered.

1. Rent a cozy cabin

When looking for a place to stay, renting a cabin for a vacation in Tennessee is the only way. Since this location offers a variety of landscapes and stunning views, experiencing its natural beauty is a must. You can unwind in a peaceful, secluded setting, away from large crowds and city life. Planning and booking your cabin in advance might be helpful to utilize this option best. 

If you are traveling with a large group, Timber Tops cabin rentals makes the perfect option. Offering multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, these cabin rentals are not only spacious but also come equipped with multiple amenities. The private hot tubs, outdoor grills, fireplaces, and other luxury features in these cabins make you have a more comfortable and relaxing vacation. Even when you don’t feel like doing anything, you can just lay back, relax in your cabin, and recharge for the next day.

Rent Cabin in TN
Rent Cabin in TN

2. Visit the Rock City Gardens

Rock City Gardens is a popular attraction located in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. It features a series of trails that lead to magnificent views and various rock formations and gardens. You can explore a massive network of trails that wind through the entire property while taking in breathtaking views of surrounding mountains, valleys, and forests. If you want to learn about the history and topography of the place, you can also book a guide or join any of the several tourist groups.

Some other activities at Rock City Gardens include seeing unique rock formations, walking through beautiful gardens, or dining in restaurants with scenic patios or cozy cafés.

3. Take a hot air balloon ride

A hot air balloon ride in Tennessee is a highly memorable and exciting experience that not many people are aware of. Several hot air balloon companies are operating in TN. You must search online for one near you and choose a package that fits your requirements and budget.

Generally, hot air balloon rides begin in the early mornings or late evenings when the weather and winds have calmed down. It’s best to check the weather forecast and dress appropriately to avoid discomfort. You must also wear comfortable shoes as you’ll likely be standing for a long time during the ride.

Hot Air Balloon Ride
Hot Air Balloon Ride

4. Go underground at Ruby Falls cave

Ruby Falls is a popular tourist attraction in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It features a 145-foot-tall waterfall situated deep underground in a cave system. Visitors can take guided tours of the cave and the waterfall, which provide an in-depth look at the natural beauty and history of the area. To visit the Falls, you must purchase tickets online or at the ticket booth when you’re there. Since the tours run throughout the day, you can pick a time most suitable for your schedule and plan the day accordingly.

When you arrive, you must first check in at the visitor center and receive a safety briefing before heading underground. It’s important to note that the cave and waterfall are deep underground, so you must be in good physical condition to take the tour. Although the path is well-lit, it can be slippery in places. You should also wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather, as the cave temperature is a constant 58 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Tour the Jack Daniels Distillery

Touring the Jack Daniel’s Distillery is another exciting activity for those visiting Tennessee. It’s home to the famous Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and offers tours that provide an in-depth look at whiskey-making. A guide takes you through the entire process, beginning with a short film on the history of Jack Daniels and concluding with a tasting of the distillery’s products.

As you make your way through the distillery, you’ll see the different equipment used in the process, such as the fermenters and the charcoal-mellowing vats. You will also learn about the role of the “charcoal mellowing” process in giving Jack Daniel’s its distinct flavor.

Jack Daniel’s Distillery
Jack Daniel’s Distillery

6. Go to the Lotz House Museum

For history fanatics, visiting the Lotz House Museum in Franklin, Tennessee, can be incredibly fun. Since the House was built in the 1850s, its unique design has attracted several tourists interested in art and architecture. Additionally, during the Civil War, the Lotz House had a prominent use as a hospital. It, therefore, has a rich history and hundreds of tales, as you’ll learn from any of the several guided tours it offers.

When your tour ends, you can relax in the Lotz House Museum’s beautiful garden or buy small trinkets and souvenirs from a nearby gift shop. This experience is not something you’ll forget anytime soon!

7. Visit the Lost Sea

The Lost Sea is a unique and exciting attraction in Sweetwater, Tennessee. It’s the largest underground lake in the United States, and to reach it, you must first go through a series of caves called Craighead Caverns. Visitors can tour the caves, see the underground lake, and learn about the area’s history and geology. You can also learn about the culture and traditions of the Native American tribes and how the caves played a significant role during the war.

Visit the Lost Sea
Visit the Lost Sea

Additionally, you can take a boat ride, explore the aquatic life, and hike through the caves—all in one trip.


With so many things to do in Tennessee, it comes as no surprise that it’s a popular holiday destination. However, there are still so many hidden and unexplored gems in TN people don’t know about. So, if you want to avoid crowds and plan a memorable trip, use these activities to help guide your vacation.

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