If you love visiting places that have somehow managed to escape the public eye, look no further than Tennessee. There is so much more to Tennessee than just being the home to Graceland, Elvis Presley’s famous estate. Here are three places that you can go to avoid the crowds, yet still be entertained when you next visit Tennessee.
Virginia Falls Pocket Wilderness
Located in Spartan, Tennessee, this little oasis is 1,157 acres of natural waterfalls, caves, and sinkholes that have remained virtually untouched by human encroachment. You’ll want to lace up your hiking boots to see as much of the area’s unique geological features, the most famous of which is the Virgin Falls, a waterfall that emerges from a cave only to drop 110 feet into another cave. It’ll take some work for you to get to Virgin Falls, a 6 to 8 hour hike from the parking lot, but the payoff is that you’ll be able to pitch a tent within eyesight of the falls.
Great Smoky Mountains Fireflies
If you happen to be in or around Gatlinburg, Tennessee in June, you won’t want to miss out on this spectacular natural phenomenon, the brilliant synchronized light shows of the native firefly. What makes these Asian fireflies so unique is that they appear to synchronize their light displays in a way you won’t see anywhere else. As far back as 1680, visitors have commented about the regularity and exactness of their synchronization. Today, scientists say that synchronized flashing can be explained by a process they’ve called “coupled oscillation,” but regardless of the explanation, it’s a show you won’t want to miss.
If you’ve even wondered what it would be like to spend the night in a spaceship, this might be your chance. Located in Signal Mountain, Tennessee, the unique home was built in 1972. It was designed to perfectly resemble a landed UFO, and originally even included a drop-down staircase for access to the home. The three bedroom, two bath home features a full bar and entertainment area, and all the furnishings are rounded to keep with the extraterrestrial design of the home. It’s undergone several ownership changes over the years, and today it’s available as a vacation rental property.
Have fun exploring these off-the-beaten-path locations, but don’t forget that these are just a few of the many unique, fun places to visit in Tennessee.