15 Best Small Towns to Visit in Tennessee

Tennessee is a small state in the southern United States. Landlocked but filled with lush valleys and rivers, the state is also home to Nashville, its centrally located state capital, which is also the heart of the country music scene. This down-home southern charm and lively music culture is continued even outside the city hubs. Get behind the wheel and head out to the smaller, rural charm that Tennessee can also offer you.

Check out our list of the best small towns to visit in Tennessee:

1. Townsend, Tennessee

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

Source: flickr

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

A tiny town in Blount County, Tennessee, Townsend is one of three access points to the famous Great Smoky Mountains National Park. First inhabited by Native Americans, the area around the town has been settled since 2000 B.C.! A bit more recently, the Cherokee claimed the land in the 1600s until moving to avoid European settlers in the later 18th century. A treasure trove of Smoke Mountains History, Townsend is the most peaceful gateway to the park – it sees the least amount of traffic.

Don’t discount the town on that, though! Townsend is home to the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center and the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum. Townsend recently has worked hard to preserve the nature around it after it was almost destroyed by the logging industry, and you can spend a few days here reconnecting with the preserved wild. Visit the national park and enjoy the spectacular views of the Smoky Mountains – don’t forget your camera. Visit the Tuckaleechee Caverns and camp out at the Cades Cove Campground.

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Tennessee (TN)
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List of Image Sources

15 Best Small Towns to Visit in Tennessee:

Jonesborough, Tennessee

  • Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center: flickr
  • Lynchburg, Tennessee: flickr
  • Tellico Plains, Tennessee: wikimedia
  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee: flickr
  • Jonesborough, Tennessee: flickr
  • Arlington, Tennessee: wikimedia
  • Nolensville, Tennessee: wikimedia
  • First Presbyterian Church of Greeneville Tennessee: flickr
  • Bell Buckle, Tennessee: flickr
  • Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee: flickr
  • Leipers Fork, Tennessee: flickr
  • Ripley, Tennessee: flickr
  • Rogersville, Tennessee: flickr
  • Paris, Tennessee: paristn
  • Pigeon Forge, Tennessee: flickr