We asked a panel of Tennessee travel writers and photographers to nominate their favorite state attractions, and for the past four weeks our readers have been voting for their favorites.


Visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga trace the journey of water from the mountains through the Appalachian Cove Forest, into the Ohio River where it joins with the Mississippi that flows into the Gulf of Mexico. A broad array of wildlife highlights ecosystems along the way, including alligators, otters, snapping turtles, catfish and sunfish. Featured habitats – delta swamp, tropical rain forest, spiny forest and reefs – provide homes for frogs, penguins, sharks, jellyfish, cuttlefish and lemurs, while professional keepers and divers happily share their expertise with visiting guests. Photo courtesy of Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau


Located just outside Chattanooga along the border with Georgia, Lookout Mountain’s northern Tennessee side is home to some of the state's star attractions – a 145-foot underground waterfall known as Ruby Falls and an incline railway that has been in operation since 1895. Photo courtesy of Rock City

The top 10 winners in the category Best Tennessee Attraction are as follows:

  1. Graceland - Memphis
  2. Dollywood - Pigeon Forge
  3. Grand Ole Opry - Nashville
  4. National Civil Rights Museum - Memphis
  5. Tennessee Aquarium - Chattanooga
  6. Sewanee: The University of the South - Sewanee
  7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  8. Birthplace of Country Music Museum - Bristol
  9. Andrew Jackson's Hermitage - Nashville
  10. Lookout Mountain – Chattanooga

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Tom Adkinson, Jason Frye, Katy Koontz, Cory Lee, Margaret Littman, Kristin Luna, and Jerry Park were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in Tennessee.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions.


Published online on Jan. 19, 2018