When people think of Tennessee, the first city they probably think of is Nashville. While the Music City is a must-see at least once, the Volunteer State has so many other cute towns worth visiting. From small historic hubs to secluded spots in the middle of the Smoky Mountains there's much to uncover here. And if you're looking for a change of scenery or an escape from the busy city, these hidden gem towns in Tennessee might just be worth checking out.

With colleges and grade schools being out in the summer as well as visitors flocking from other states, many of Tennessee's popular waterfall trails, tourist cities, and state parks are likely to be packed. Visiting these spots in the state will each offer something unique to discover, along with a healthy dose of small-town charm.

Fill up your tank, grab a friend or two, and pick which of these seven small towns you're going to cross off your list first.

Paris, Tennessee

Address: Henry County, Paris, TN

Why You Need To Go: Not only is this place home of the world's biggest fish fry, but there's a 70-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower that will whisk you away to France without a passport.

Collierville, Tennessee

Address: 94 N Main St, Collierville, TN

Why You Need To Go: This town is known for its Main Street and town square. There are murals scattered throughout as well as tons of cute little shops and eateries. It has some major Gilmore Girls' Stars Hollow vibes.


Cookeville, Tennessee

Address: Putnam County, Cookeville, TN

Why You Need To Go: This city is known for having many outdoor attractions. You can find Cummins Falls, Fall Creek Falls, and Burgess Falls State Park close by here too.


Leiper's Fork, Tennessee

Address: Franklin, Leiper's Fork, TN

Why You Need To Go: This laid-back town has a distillery for the booze lovers, southern cooking restaurants, multiple fine art galleries, cute cottages for visitors to stay in, and quaint countryside views.


Pulaski, Tennessee

Address: Giles County, Pulaski, TN

Why You Need To Go: This town is known for it's Milky Way Farm nestled on nearly 3,000 acres. Deer and wild turkey roam the barns n' land, while the trails and vistas are begging to be explored. 


Jonesborough, Tennessee

Address: Washington County, Jonesborough TN

Why You Need To Go: This is Tennessee's oldest town and it's walking tours are incredible. There are many boutiques, art shops, antique stores, and one-of-a-kind eateries to find downtown.  


Dandridge, Tennessee

Address: Jefferson County, Dandridge, TN

Why You Need To Go: You'll be close to two of Tennessee's largest lakes that you can fish, swim and hike the trails at. The Main Street in town is even on the National Register of Historic Places list.

Whether you're looking to take it easy away from the big city or are seeking out the nature escapes that surround these quaint towns, they're definitely worth visiting at least once.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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