10 Unusual Things To Do In Tennessee – 2024 Ultimate Guide

10 Unusual Things To Do In Tennessee - 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Tennessee is a state known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant music scene. While popular attractions like the Great Smoky Mountains and Graceland draw in millions of visitors each year, there are also plenty of unusual things to do in Tennessee that offer a unique and memorable experience. From exploring mysterious caves to attending quirky festivals, Tennessee has something to offer for every type of traveler looking to step off the beaten path.

Visit the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

Essential Information

– Address: 461 Brookside Village Way, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Closed on Tuesdays)
– Fee: $3 for adults, $2 for children
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, history enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

When you think of museums, images of ancient artifacts or famous artworks may come to mind. However, the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee offers a unique and quirky experience that sets it apart from traditional museums.

As you step inside, you are greeted by an astounding collection of over 20,000 sets of salt and pepper shakers from around the world. Each set tells a story, whether it’s shaped like a famous landmark, a beloved cartoon character, or a quirky novelty item.

Visitors can marvel at the creativity and diversity of designs, ranging from vintage pieces to modern creations. You’ll find shakers in all shapes and sizes, made from various materials like glass, ceramic, and even plastic.

One of the most unusual aspects of this museum is the interactive nature of the exhibits. Guests are encouraged to handle and play with the shakers, allowing for a hands-on experience that is both fun and educational. You can even participate in a scavenger hunt to find specific sets within the vast collection.

For those looking for a break from the ordinary museum experience, the Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum offers a delightful and offbeat journey into the world of everyday objects turned into art. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just curious about the history of these humble condiment holders, this museum is sure to leave you with a newfound appreciation for the artistry and creativity found in the most unexpected places.

Explore the Lost Sea Adventure

Essential Information

– Address: 140 Lost Sea Road, Sweetwater, Tennessee
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily
– Fee: Adults $22.95, Children (ages 5-12) $13.95
– Visit Duration: Approximately 1.5 hours
– Ideal for: Families, Adventure Seekers

Why is it so unusual

The Lost Sea Adventure in Tennessee offers a unique experience unlike any other. What sets this attraction apart is its underground lake, which is recognized as the largest underground lake in the United States. Visitors have the opportunity to take a guided boat tour on this mysterious lake, where they can witness the mesmerizing crystal-clear waters and the fascinating geological formations that surround them.

In addition to the boat tour, guests can also explore the vast caverns that make up the Lost Sea cave system. The highlight of the tour is the opportunity to observe the rare and blind cave fish that inhabit the waters of the underground lake. This rare species has adapted to its dark environment over thousands of years, making it a truly remarkable sight to behold.

For those seeking a bit more adventure, the Lost Sea Adventure also offers a thrilling underground Wild Cave Tour. This tour takes visitors off the beaten path and allows them to crawl, climb, and squeeze through narrow passageways, providing a truly immersive and adrenaline-pumping experience.

Overall, the Lost Sea Adventure is a one-of-a-kind destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, geological wonder, and unique experiences that are sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

Tour the Bell Witch Cave

Essential Information

– Address: 430 Keysburg Road, Adams, Tennessee
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monday-Saturday), 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Sunday)
– Fee: $12 per adult, $7 per child
– Visit Duration: Approximately 1 hour
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, paranormal fans

Why is it so unusual

The Bell Witch Cave in Tennessee is not your typical tourist attraction. What sets it apart is the eerie history and paranormal activities associated with it. Visitors can explore the dark and mysterious cave, where legend has it that the infamous Bell Witch once roamed. The cave is said to be haunted by the vengeful spirit of the witch, who is believed to have terrorized the Bell family in the early 19th century.

Tourists can participate in guided tours that delve into the chilling tales of the Bell Witch haunting. From hearing spine-tingling stories of ghostly encounters to witnessing unexplained phenomena firsthand, the cave offers a unique and unsettling experience for those brave enough to explore its depths.

For those intrigued by the supernatural and fascinated by the macabre, the Bell Witch Cave provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to step into a world where reality and legend blur together. Whether you believe in ghosts or simply enjoy a good scare, a visit to this unusual attraction is sure to leave you with a sense of unease and wonder.

Experience the International Towing and Recovery Museum

Essential Information

– Address: 3315 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37408
– Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm
– Fee: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and military, $6 for children
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, history enthusiasts, offbeat travelers

Why is it so unusual

When thinking of museums, towing and recovery might not be the first topics that come to mind. However, the International Towing and Recovery Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, offers a unique and unexpected experience for visitors.

One of the most unusual aspects of this museum is the extensive collection of vintage tow trucks and equipment on display. From early 20th-century wreckers to modern towing vehicles, the museum showcases the evolution of the towing industry in a way that is both educational and fascinating.

Visitors can also explore exhibits that highlight the history of roadside assistance and recovery services, shedding light on an often underappreciated aspect of transportation. Interactive displays allow guests to learn about the tools and techniques used in towing and recovery operations, providing a hands-on experience that is both informative and engaging.

For those interested in the human side of the industry, the museum features a Hall of Fame honoring individuals who have made significant contributions to the towing and recovery profession. This unique tribute recognizes the skill and dedication of those who work behind the scenes to keep our roads safe and clear.

Overall, the International Towing and Recovery Museum offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore a niche aspect of transportation history that is both unusual and enlightening. Whether you’re a history buff, a fan of vintage vehicles, or simply looking for something off the beaten path, this museum is sure to provide a memorable and educational experience.

Discover the Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers

Essential Information

– Address: 555 Main Street, Anytown, Tennessee
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Tuesday to Sunday
– Fee: $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, history enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

Tucked away in the heart of Tennessee lies a hidden gem that is sure to pique the curiosity of visitors – the Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers. While most museums showcase art, history, or science, this unique attraction is dedicated solely to the humble salt and pepper shaker.

Upon entering the museum, guests are greeted by a vast collection of salt and pepper shakers from around the world, spanning different eras and styles. From quirky novelty shakers shaped like animals and cartoon characters to elegant antique sets crafted from fine porcelain, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the diverse world of seasoning containers.

Visitors can marvel at the creativity and craftsmanship behind each shaker, learning about the cultural significance and historical evolution of these everyday objects. Interactive displays allow guests to explore the functionality of various shaker designs and even try their hand at assembling their own custom shaker set.

For those seeking a truly offbeat experience, the Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers offers guided tours that delve into the quirky anecdotes and fun facts surrounding these seemingly mundane items. Whether you’re a seasoned collector or simply curious about the unexpected charm of salt and pepper shakers, this museum promises a one-of-a-kind journey that is as educational as it is entertaining.

Visit the Alcatraz East Crime Museum

Essential Information

– Address: 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM daily
– Fee: $24.95 for adults, $14.95 for children
– Visit Duration: Approximately 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: History buffs, true crime enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

The Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Tennessee offers a unique and intriguing experience for visitors seeking a departure from traditional tourist attractions. What sets this museum apart is its focus on the darker side of history, showcasing exhibits and artifacts related to infamous crimes and criminals throughout American history.

Upon entering the museum, visitors are greeted by a vast collection of items that once belonged to notorious individuals such as Al Capone, O.J. Simpson, and Ted Bundy. The museum’s interactive exhibits allow guests to delve into the minds of these criminals, exploring the psychology behind their actions and the impact they had on society.

One of the most unusual features of the Alcatraz East Crime Museum is its Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) lab, where visitors can try their hand at solving a mock crime using forensic techniques. This hands-on experience provides a unique insight into the world of criminal investigation and the science behind solving crimes.

In addition to its exhibits, the museum also offers a variety of special events and programming, including guest speakers, forensic workshops, and interactive demonstrations. These opportunities allow visitors to engage with experts in the field of criminology and gain a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system.

Overall, the Alcatraz East Crime Museum provides a one-of-a-kind experience for those interested in exploring the darker side of history. Its focus on true crime and criminal justice sets it apart from traditional museums, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to delve into the fascinating world of crime and punishment.

Explore the Tennessee Whiskey Trail

Essential Information

– Address: Various locations across Tennessee
– Opening Hours: Varies by distillery
– Fee: Some distilleries offer free tours, while others may charge a small fee
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours per distillery
– Ideal for: Whiskey enthusiasts, history buffs, and those interested in the craft of distilling

Why is it so unusual

When you think of Tennessee, your mind may immediately go to country music or delicious Southern cuisine. However, hidden among the rolling hills and charming towns of the Volunteer State lies a unique and lesser-known attraction – the Tennessee Whiskey Trail.

What sets the Tennessee Whiskey Trail apart is not just the opportunity to sample world-renowned spirits, but also the chance to delve into the rich history and craftsmanship behind each distillery. While many visitors may expect the typical distillery tour experience, there are a few unusual activities along the trail that are sure to pique your interest.

One such activity is the opportunity to participate in a barrel tasting session. At select distilleries, guests can sample whiskey straight from the barrel, experiencing the raw and unfiltered flavors that will develop over time. This hands-on experience provides a deeper understanding of the aging process and the impact of different barrels on the final product.

For those looking to get their hands dirty, some distilleries offer unique workshops where visitors can try their hand at blending their own whiskey. Guided by expert distillers, participants can experiment with different flavor profiles and create a custom blend to take home as a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

If you’re a fan of history, be sure to explore the historic distilleries that have been producing whiskey for generations. These iconic landmarks offer a glimpse into the past, showcasing traditional methods and equipment that have stood the test of time. Walking through these hallowed halls, you can almost feel the spirits of the master distillers who paved the way for Tennessee’s whiskey legacy.

Whether you’re a seasoned whiskey connoisseur or just curious to learn more about this beloved spirit, the Tennessee Whiskey Trail offers a truly unique and immersive experience that goes beyond the typical distillery tour. So, pack your bags, hit the trail, and discover the hidden gems that make Tennessee’s whiskey culture so extraordinary.

Discover the Museum of Appalachia

Essential Information

– Address: 2819 Andersonville Hwy, Clinton, TN 37716
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Monday-Saturday), 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Sunday)
– Fee: $18 for adults, $10 for children (6-12 years old)
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, families

Why is it so unusual

The Museum of Appalachia stands out as a unique tourist attraction due to its collection of quirky and offbeat activities that offer visitors a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Appalachian region. One of the most unusual features of the museum is the opportunity to witness traditional mountain music performances, where local musicians showcase their talent with authentic folk tunes that have been passed down through generations.

Visitors can also participate in hands-on workshops that teach traditional Appalachian crafts such as quilting, blacksmithing, and woodworking. These interactive sessions provide a rare chance to learn age-old skills from skilled artisans and gain a deeper appreciation for the craftsmanship that defines Appalachian culture.

For those seeking a taste of the past, the museum offers guided tours of historic log cabins and farmsteads, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience firsthand the simple yet resilient way of life that characterized early Appalachian settlers. Additionally, the museum hosts seasonal events like the Tennessee Fall Homecoming, a celebration of Appalachian food, music, and crafts that attracts visitors from far and wide.

In conclusion, the Museum of Appalachia offers a truly unique experience for travelers looking to explore the unconventional side of Appalachian culture. From live music performances to interactive craft workshops, this offbeat attraction provides a fascinating insight into the traditions and heritage of the region, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs and curious adventurers alike.

Visit the Lane Motor Museum

Essential Information

– Address: 702 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, Tennessee
– Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Closed on Tuesdays)
– Fee: $12 for adults, $8 for children
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Car enthusiasts, families

Why is it so unusual

When it comes to exploring unique attractions in Nashville, the Lane Motor Museum stands out as a must-visit destination for car enthusiasts and curious travelers alike. What sets this museum apart is its impressive collection of rare and unconventional vehicles that you won’t find in your typical car museum.

One of the most unusual aspects of the Lane Motor Museum is its focus on showcasing vehicles from around the world that are not commonly seen on American roads. From quirky microcars to eccentric prototypes, each vehicle tells a fascinating story of innovation and design.

Visitors can marvel at the unusual shapes and sizes of the cars on display, including the futuristic Citro├źn DS, the compact Peel P50, and the iconic Amphicar that can drive on land and float on water. The museum’s diverse collection also features aircraft-inspired cars, three-wheeled wonders, and even a car designed to look like a shoe.

For those looking to experience something truly out of the ordinary, the Lane Motor Museum offers a glimpse into the world of automotive history that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or simply curious about the unconventional, a visit to this museum is a journey through the fascinating and unexpected side of the automotive world.

Explore the Titanic Museum Attraction

Essential Information

– Address: 2134 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM daily
– Fee: $28 for adults, $14 for children
– Visit Duration: Approximately 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, families with children

Why is it so unusual

The Titanic Museum Attraction in Tennessee offers a unique experience for visitors seeking a glimpse into the tragic history of the iconic ship. What sets this museum apart are the interactive exhibits that allow guests to touch a real iceberg, feel the chill of the cold Atlantic waters, and even try to steer the ship on a simulated bridge.

One of the most unusual activities at the museum is the opportunity to walk the Grand Staircase, a faithful replica of the one aboard the Titanic. Visitors can also explore the recreated cabins, each telling a different story of the passengers and crew on that fateful voyage.

For those looking for a more immersive experience, the museum offers a special guided tour where guests can learn about the artifacts on display and hear firsthand accounts of survivors. Additionally, the museum hosts regular events such as Titanic-themed dinners and special exhibits, adding a dynamic element to the overall experience.

Overall, the Titanic Museum Attraction stands out as an unusual tourist destination due to its hands-on approach to storytelling and its dedication to preserving the memory of the Titanic disaster in a way that is both educational and engaging for visitors of all ages.

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