Tennessee's small towns aren't to be missed. With the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways program, it's easy to explore towns after big city fun has been experienced. If you're looking for laid back, authentic hospitality, these towns fit the bill:
"Tennessee's Oldest Town," Jonesborough is an eclectic blend of shopping and outdoor excursions while staying true to its historic roots. Appalachian culture is taken seriously, preserved in museums like the Chester Inn Museum, Washington County/Jonesborough History Museum and walking tours conducted by locals who have a passion for yesteryear. This history is also preserved through storytelling, as Jonesborough has become the Storytelling Capital of the World, hosting the acclaimed National Storytelling Festival each year.
Considered the "Peaceful Side of the Smokies," Townsend is every adventurer's dream as it's settled near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hike, bike or saddle up and ride along endless trails as you soak up the peace and quiet of the area. Travel underground in Tuckaleechee Caverns, carved over tens of thousands of years in one of the earth's oldest mountain chains.
Cast a line in Dandridge in Jefferson County which is close to two of Tennessee's largest lakes (Douglas Lake and Cherokee Lake). Take a leisurely stroll along the historic Main Street which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn the local history in the Jefferson County Courthouse, which was built in 1845 and serves as a courthouse but also houses a museum. Be sure to check out the Bush Brothers Visitors Center, across from the worldwide, Tennessee-made brand Bush Beans manufacturing facility.
Cookeville is home to countless restaurants, downtown festivals, depot museums, antiquing and boutiquing and is a world-renowned fitcation destination. Located among outdoor escapes like Cummins Falls, Fall Creek Falls and Burgess Falls State Parks, you have endless options for a walk through nature. Dine at restaurants with Southern flair at places like CHAR, 7 Senses Food & Cheer, and Father Tom’s Pub.
This come-as-you-are town is as laid back as you can get. If you want local art, antique shopping and homecooked meals with a side of sincere Tennessee hospitality, Leiper's Fork serves it up every time. Browse galleries like The Copper Fox and David Arms which draw visitors from around the world. You'll love perusing the boutique shops filled with unique items at West and Company and Serenite Maison. Take a long sip of whiskey courtesy of the new Leiper's Fork Distillery. Stay awhile. Rest your head. Pot N' Kettle Cottages and Red Horse Barn are just some of the quaint accommodations.
Travel to Pulaski, Tennessee in Giles County to tour the world-famous Milky Way Farm which boasts more than 1,000 acres of pastures filled with deer, wild turkey, barns, trails, and vistas. The farm has one of the largest magnolia plantations of the South and tours of the Manor House are available.
Did you know there's an Eiffel Tower replica in Paris, Tennessee? Great for a photo-op, the Eiffel Tower in Memorial Park is close to two walking tracks and recreation centers. Explore downtown Paris with its antique shops and dining areas. Sip 26 different varieties of wines and stroll the grounds of Paris Winery. Kick back and watch the sunset at Paris Landing State Park.
From museums to boutiques, Collierville's historic town square is a delightful mix of charming offerings. The Main Street is on the National Register of Historic Places and welcomes thousands to its award-winning events each year. Take a photo at the picturesque gazebo and Collierville mural, celebrating its charm and history.