Every state in this country has something -- be it a park, a museum, a mountain, hell, an entire freaking city -- that's downright fantastic but just doesn't get the credit it's due. Sure, maybe it's known, loved, and revered by some people in the region (those who, no doubt, will roll their eyes at this list 'cause they're already in the know) but for the most part, these spots go unnoticed, or worse, play second fiddle to more popular destinations.

Where are these places? We wanted to know. So to find out, we asked the experts -- from our knowledgeable local writers and editors, to the state tourism boards and visitors bureaus, to our high school friends who never moved away. (OK, so maybe not all experts.) And while we got a lot of suggestions -- from vineyards in Rhode Island to space museums in Mississippi -- each of these 50 best fit the bill as the most underrated place in its US state.

Tennessee: Chattanooga
Why you need to go: Even though the town has been named the "Best Town EVER" by Outside Magazine twice, the indoor options here are becoming just as formidable as those out of doors. Plus, it doesn't really seem that people are getting the message about how great this place is. Not only is the Tennessee Aquarium home to baby penguins (!!), but the Tennessee Stillhouse literally got laws rewritten so it could become the first legal distillery in Chattanooga in over a century. And later this year, the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel will reopen (after a $20 million renovation) with two restaurants, a live-music venue, and even a comedy club.

Must-do: Walk the Walnut St Bridge. It is one of the world's longest pedestrian bridge that connects Downtown Chattanooga to the north shore. And... it's now dog-friendly!

Written by: Matt Meltzer
Published on: April 1, 2016

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