Charming Tennessee Towns Everyone Should Visit This Year

Jonesborough
Photo: Paul Harris/Getty images

When it comes to charming small towns, Tennessee has them in abundance. From their tree-lined main streets, historic downtowns, and mom-and-pop shops to their local restaurants, antiques stores, and galleries, each small town has something different to offer travelers who are passing through. Set your sights on Tennessee's most charming small towns, and you'll be in for fun. They make perfect day trips from cities like Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville, and they are great places for building new memories. (You're also guaranteed to find a scoop (or two) of locally made ice cream to enjoy during your visit.) Get to know these small towns, from Bell Buckle to Franklin and Collierville to Bristol, and you'll get to know the heart of The Volunteer State—it's filled with hospitality, community, and small towns we love revisiting year after year.

01 of 08

Bell Buckle

Bell Buckle, TN Wall Mural
Caroline Allison

This tiny town is nestled in central Tennessee's horse country. It began as a railroad village and is now a cozy spot where you can find a home-cooked meal at the Bell Buckle Café, a scoop of ice cream at the neighborhood parlor, and an afternoon's worth of browsing at antiques shops and galleries. It's also where you can find the annual RC Cola-Moon Pie Festival.

02 of 08

Bristol

Bristol, TN
Eifel Kreutz/Getty Images

Located on the border of Tennessee and Virginia—and next door to the Virginia city of the same name—Bristol is a small town with outdoor adventure (don't miss Bristol Caverns, The Pinnacle, and Steele Creek Park) as well as in-town (stop by Paramount Center for the Arts, Lost State Distilling, and Elderbrew before you leave).

03 of 08

Collierville

Collierville
Collierville Chamber of Commerce

Collierville can be found near the Tennessee-Mississippi border. In addition to the historic town square, travelers love visiting Herb Parsons Lake, Lichterman Nature Center, and Shelby Farms Park. No trip is complete without a cup of joe from Square Beans Coffee Company, lunch at Dyer's Café or Mensi's Dairy Bar, and pizza from Lost Pizza Co.

04 of 08

Columbia

Columbia, Tennessee
Robbie Caponetto

Located south of Nashville, Columbia is a destination for shops, galleries, and the arts. From the Town Square to the town's lively Main Street, there's so much to enjoy, including Smith and York Co., Amber Falls Winery & Cellars, The Linen Duck, Vintage Winery, Goon, Muletown Coffee Roasters, Fork of the South, and Loblolly Interiors.

05 of 08

Franklin

Main Street in Franklin, Tennessee 06
Matthew Maxey (Visit Franklin)

You'll find Franklin, one of the state's most charming small towns, south of Nashville. It has a great downtown area surrounding a tree-lined Main Street, which is home to antiques shops, galleries, and restaurants. Shop through downtown at places like Avec Moi, Landmark Booksellers, and The Factory at Franklin while you're in town.

06 of 08

Jonesborough

Jonesborough
Paul Harris/Getty images

Known as the "Storytelling Capital of the World," Jonesborough is located in northeast Tennessee near Johnson City. Its red-brick downtown is home to the International Storytelling Center and hosts the National Storytelling Festival every autumn. Don't miss shops like Boone Street Market, Crystal Market, and Mill Spring Makers Market.

07 of 08

Paris

Paris Tennessee Eiffel Tower
Crove Media/Getty Images

When in Paris, it's impossible to miss the town's replica of the Eiffel Tower. Enter Eiffel Tower Park, and you'll have photo ops aplenty as well as opportunities to splash around a water park, fish in the trout pond, and bike and hike area trails.

08 of 08

Sewanee

The Lemon Fair in Sewannee, TN
Robbie Caponetto

This tiny college town and the nearby community of Monteagle make for a fun road trip stop in central Tennessee. Don't miss the views from forested overlooks or browses through shops such as Taylor's Mercantile, Mooney's Market and Emporium, The Lemon Fair, and Mountain Outfitters. Stop for a meal at The Blue Chair Café and Tavern, Shenanigans, or Mountain Goat Market before you leave town.

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