Most popular Tennessee tourist spots, from Graceland to Dollywood

Planning a trip to Tennessee soon? Are you a local trying to explore more of what your home state has to offer? Lucky for you, there is no shortage of tourist destinations in Tennessee.

In a state rich in history, entertainment, art, culture and music, the list of sites to visit is lengthy. But where to start?

Real estate site TNRealEstate used Tripadvisor ratings, online search data and annual online article mentions to determine the most popular tourist destinations in the state.

The top three spots?

Graceland, Dollywood and the Great Smoky Mountains.

A sign sits on the ground of Graceland during Elvis Week on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, at Graceland in Memphis.

Graceland, the mansion and home of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, is one of the most-visited private homes in the United States, welcoming 500,000 visitors annually. In the past year alone, Graceland was mentioned 50,835 times in online articles, more than any other attraction in the state.

“These findings are a testament to the ever-lasting popularity of Graceland, which has undoubtedly only skyrocketed recently due to the release of Baz Luhrmann’s hit biopic ‘Elvis’ and should only continue to increase along with the release of Sofia Coppola’s upcoming film Priscilla,” said a TNRealEstate spokesperson.

People ride Big Bear Mountain during the roller coaster's grand opening in Dollywood's Wildwood Grove on Friday, May 12, 2023.

Dollywood, the theme park owned by Tennessee treasure Dolly Parton, ranks as the runner-up for most popular tourist hot spot in Tennessee. Dollywood receives 269,000 average monthly searches and has had 18,506 article mentions in the last year. 

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park ranks as the third most popular destination statewide. The park receives an average of 49,000 Google searches a month throughout the country and welcomes over 11 million visits annually.

Also included in the list are various Nashville destinations, such as the Ryman, Centennial Park and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Ramsey Cascades is seen in the Greenbrier area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Saturday, June 17, 2023. The waterfall is one of the tallest waterfalls in the national park.

The findings revealed that the Ryman Auditorium ranks fourth. The music venue is considered one of the most influential in the country and receives 70,000 average monthly searches, as well as holding a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Tripadvisor. 

Centennial Park ranks as the fifth most popular tourist spot in Tennessee. A popular destination for both locals and tourists, the park is also home to the historic Nashville Parthenon. Centennial Park receives an average of 25,000 Google searches a month across the country and had 13,094 online article mentions in the last year.

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