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4 Breathtaking Scenic Drives in Tennessee

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Fall Creek Falls
Photo: Michael Hicks via CC

Between the Great Smoky Mountains and the state’s lush forests, nearly every highway in Tennessee boasts spectacular views. But if you’re looking for a little more adventure, check out these four scenic drives.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cades Cove
Photo: Red Wolf via CC

When it comes to scenic Tennessee destinations, it’s hard to beat the Great Smoky Mountains. The area hosts a number of notable scenic routes. If you’re looking for wildlife, or want to explore the area’s primitive churches and cabins, check out the Cades Cove Loop. Upper Tremont Road offers a tree-lined drive with views of rivers and waterfalls. And if you’d like to explore preserved historic buildings like grist mills and log cabins, take a drive on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail.

Natchez Trace Parkway

Natchez Trace Parkway
Photo: Doug Kerr via CC

Looking for a way to spend a weekend? Check out the 444-mile-long Natchez Trace Parkway. Although it spans three states, Tennessee’s portion showcases the state’s natural beauty and historic significance. Since the Natchez Trace Parkway is a dedicated National Parkway, it’s free of billboards and advertisements that would mar the route’s gorgeous views. Along the route, you can explore an old-fashioned tobacco farm, plenty of hiking trails, preserved log cabins, and Birdsong Hollow, where you can view a massive double-arched bridge.

Middle Tennessee Waterfall Trail

Fall Creek Falls
Photo: Michael Hicks via CC

Tennessee’s mountains are teeming with streams, rivers, and waterfalls. You can explore a handful of the state’s finest falls by journeying from Tullahoma to Cummins Falls State Park. Along the way, you can hit the Short Springs Natural Area, Fall Creek Falls State Park, Twin Falls, and plenty of other Instagram-worthy scenic sites.

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The Snake

Cherokee State Forest
Photo: Chris M via CC

Looking for a journey full of twists and turns? Check out Highway 421 between Mountain City and Bristol, colloquially known as “The Snake.” Thanks to its scenic views and winding path, it’s a perennial favorite of motorists and motorcyclists alike. Part of this trail weaves through Cherokee National Forest, taking you past some of the most stunning cliffs, sweeping curves, and soaring mountains that the Volunteer State has to offer. If you want to remember your adventure, grab lunch and some souvenirs at the Shady Valley Country Store.

Tennessee is full of so many gorgeous routes, we couldn’t cover them all in one article. What are your favorite scenic routes in the Volunteer State? Tell us in the comments below!