Tennessee is a kaleidoscope of natural wonders, from underground seas to high mountain peaks, and a haven for wildlife, from the familiar to the exotic.
Take in the thundering 145-foot waterfall at Chattanooga’s Ruby Falls, or drift through a flooded cypress forest at Reelfoot Lake in West Tennessee. Once you’ve experienced the unforgettable vistas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, go beneath them and see the spectacular underground formations at Tuckaleechee Caverns.
Bring your camera and your binoculars because Tennessee is famous its wildlife. Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge is a birdwatcher’s paradise. At peak times the refuge is home to as many as 250,000 waterfowl, including black ducks, pintails and hooded mergansers. If you drive Gatlinburg’s stunning Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, be prepared to stop while black bears cross the road. Keep an eye out for the majestic elk that have been successfully reintroduced to the Smokies.
Tennessee’s world-famous zoos and aquariums bring you face-to-face with exotic animals from all over the globe. The renowned Memphis Zoo is home to more than 3,500 animals, including giant pandas. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies boasts state-of-the-art underwater viewing tunnels that wind through an incredible population of sharks, sea turtles and other creatures.