We recently asked travelers like you to share their favorite #madeintn winter activities (you can still share them here). Out of those submissions, here are some of the popular places to explore in Tennessee. Add these spots to your travel itinerary the next time you’re in the state.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a treasure trove of winter fun. You can see views for miles thanks to the bare trees. Hikes to the Alum Cave Bluffs, Laurel Falls and Rainbow Falls among others are an enchanting way to spend a day. If Newfound Gap Road isn’t closed because of snowy or icy conditions, cross country skiing and hiking along Clingmans Dome Road is available as the road is closed to vehicles in the winter. Before visiting the park, please call (865) 436-1200 for road closure and weather information.
Hiking, fishing, nature viewing and even off-highway vehicle riding can be done in the Unaka Mountains, a mountain range on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. You can see expansive views on the Pinnacle Tower hike which leads to the Pinnacle Mountain Fire Tower, located atop Buffalo Mountain at 3,520 feet. The tower is one of four remaining in Cherokee National Forest.
Fishing on the French Broad River, hiking more than eight miles of trails and spotting many bird species are the popular activities at Seven Islands State Birding Park. If you’re hiking with your pet, there are a number of pet-friendly trails to enjoy. See how many species of bird you can spot while hiking with your leashed dog.
Looking for a cozy spot for dinner this winter? Step into the warm glow of Geist, a stylish, brick-clad restaurant in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood serving up European and American fare, cocktails, wine and a champagne garden. Start your meal with the burrata featuring mint salsa verde, pistachios, red grapes and sourdough bread, the market oysters, fried green tomatoes or crispy pork belly. Entrees include rich duck confit, grilled half chicken, comfort food like lamb gnocchi or soul-warming braised short rib and grits. Geist also serves Saturday and Sunday brunch.
For a classy winter stay, book one of the 224 rooms in the boutique hotel Noelle, conveniently located in downtown Nashville. Choose one of the hotel packages to enhance your stay. Be sure to explore all of Noelle’s restaurant and bar options. MakeReady L&L serves brunch every day, host a Happy Hour and dinner Tuesday-Saturday. Don’t forget to check out the rooftop bar, Rare Bird for beautiful views of Nashville and the speakeasy, Hidden Bar (21+).
If you want to hear a variety of music genres, pull up a chair at Railgarten in Memphis. Cover bands, hip hop, jazz, folk, gospel and Americana legends and national touring acts rock the stage. Hungry? Grab one of the sandwiches offered from Sloppy Joe’s to burgers, Banh Mi and grilled chicken sandwiches as well as brisket nachos, chicken tostada and chicken tenders.
Whether you’re starting the morning with your favorite latte or warming up after a day of exploring, The Coffee Shop in Humboldt is a local place to gather and enjoy coffee and conversation with locals. The local café serves espresso coffees, French press, Chemex pour over, hot tea, chai tea lattes, steamers, gourmet hot chocolate, iced coffee, cold brew and frappes. Milkshakes, ice cream sundaes, sandwiches and breakfast round out the menu. Spend some time resting and conversing with friends and family.
For more travel ideas, check out these articles:
Walk along town squares; slip into family-owned boutiques; and, enjoy a Made in Tennessee Christmas in our charming small towns.