Welcome to our blog where we unveil the hidden gems of Tennessee's photogenic treasures! Get ready to embark on a visual journey through the enchanting landscapes and vibrant cityscapes of the Volunteer State. From the majestic peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the bustling streets of Downtown Nashville, we have curated a list of the best photospots that will leave you awe-inspired. Whether you're a professional photographer or an aspiring Instagram influencer, join us as we uncover the most stunning locations for photography in Tennessee. Get your cameras ready, because these breathtaking sites are waiting to be captured in all their glory. Let's dive in and discover the best photospots in Tennessee that will transport you into a world of captivating beauty!
1. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a photographer's dream come true. With its breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vibrant foliage throughout the seasons, this national park offers numerous photogenic spots for stunning photography. Here are a few highlights to capture in this natural wonderland:
- Clingmans Dome: Standing tall at the highest point in the Smokies, Clingmans Dome offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Photograph the awe-inspiring sunrise or sunset from the observation tower for breathtaking shots.
- Cades Cove: This historic valley provides endless opportunities for capturing the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. From captivating mountain vistas to picturesque creeks lined with colorful wildflowers, Cades Cove is a paradise for landscape photographers.
- Wildlife: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, elk, deer, and more. Capture the majesty of these animals in their natural habitat, but remember to keep a safe distance while photographing them.
Unleash your creativity and make unforgettable memories while exploring the photogenic wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
2. Downtown Nashville
Nashville, the vibrant capital of Tennessee, is a photographer's paradise with its dynamic mix of cityscape, culture, and history. Downtown Nashville is particularly iconic, offering a plethora of photogenic spots that are sure to captivate any photographer's lens. Here are some of the must-visit locations:
- Broadway: Known as the heart of Music City, Broadway is a bustling street lined with neon lights, honky-tonks, and live music venues. Capture the essence of Nashville's vibrant nightlife and energy here.
- The Pedestrian Bridge: Spanning the Cumberland River, the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge boasts stunning views of the Nashville skyline. Capture the cityscape at sunrise or sunset for breathtaking shots.
- Centennial Park: This expansive urban park houses the iconic Parthenon replica, making it a unique backdrop for photography. The lush greenery, serene lake, and historic monuments offer countless opportunities for creating beautiful images.
Immerse yourself in the charm of Downtown Nashville and witness the city's picturesque landscapes come to life through your lens.
3. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, offer endless opportunities for breathtaking photography. Whether you're capturing the natural beauty of the mountains or the vibrant attractions and activities in the area, these scenic spots are a photographer's paradise. Here are three must-visit photospots in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg:
Clingsmans Dome: As the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingsmans Dome provides awe-inspiring panoramic views. Hike up to the observation tower, where you'll be rewarded with an incredible 360-degree vista of rolling mountains and lush forests. The stunning sunrise and sunset scenes from this vantage point are simply unforgettable.
Cades Cove: Immerse yourself in the history and charm of the Smoky Mountains at Cades Cove. This scenic valley is filled with rustic cabins, old churches, wildflower meadows, and abundant wildlife. Capture the golden light filtering through the trees as deer graze in the fields, or photograph the iconic grist mill against the backdrop of the mountains. Early morning visits offer the best chance to spot wildlife.
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: Journey along this picturesque drive and discover rushing mountain streams, moss-covered boulders, and cascading waterfalls. The vibrant fall foliage provides a stunning backdrop during autumn, while the delicate wildflowers and spring blooms add pops of color in the warmer months. Don't miss the opportunity to capture the mesmerizing motion of the waterfalls or the reflections at one of the many pull-offs along the trail.
These are just a few of the many photogenic spots that Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have to offer. From majestic sunrises to vibrant landscapes, every season brings its own unique beauty to this scenic region. Grab your camera, explore these stunning locations, and unleash your creativity as you capture the spirit of Tennessee through photography.
4. Cades Cove
Cades Cove is an absolute gem for photographers seeking breathtaking shots in Tennessee. This picturesque valley is adorned with rolling hills, tranquil meadows, and a rich diversity of wildlife. With its awe-inspiring landscapes and abundant photo opportunities, Cades Cove is a must-visit destination for any photography enthusiast.
Capture the beauty of the sunrise: Wake up early and head to Cades Cove to witness the captivating sunrise over the serene valley. As the first rays of light illuminate the landscape, you can capture stunning shots of the mist-shrouded fields and the sun peaking above the mountains. Be sure to bring a tripod to achieve those perfect long-exposure shots and take advantage of the appealing golden hour lighting.
Explore the wildlife: Cades Cove is home to a wide array of fascinating wildlife species, making it an ideal spot for wildlife photography. Keep your camera ready to capture shots of white-tailed deer, black bears, wild turkeys, and even coyotes. Drive slowly through the loop road or take a hike along the numerous trails to increase your chances of spotting these majestic creatures up close.
Snap the historic structures: In addition to its natural beauty, Cades Cove boasts a number of well-preserved historic structures, providing excellent subjects for architectural photography. Explore the old cabins, churches, and mills which offer a glimpse into the area's rich history. Experiment with your camera angles and lighting techniques to capture the intricate details and rustic charm of these structures.
Embrace the beauty of Cades Cove and unleash your creativity with this extraordinary photography hotspot in Tennessee. From captivating sunrises to fascinating wildlife and historic structures, there is no shortage of remarkable photo opportunities waiting to be discovered. Don't forget to pack your camera, tripod, and a sense of adventure to make the most out of your photography experience in Cades Cove.
5. Ruby Falls
Ruby Falls is a must-visit destination for photographers seeking stunning natural beauty in Tennessee. This enchanting underground waterfall, located deep within Lookout Mountain, offers a truly unique and captivating experience. Capture the essence of this hidden gem with your camera to create breathtaking images that will amaze your audience.
When photographing Ruby Falls, be sure to bring your wide-angle lens to capture the expansive underground chambers and the awe-inspiring waterfall itself. The contrasting colors of the rock formations and the shimmering cascades of water make for an incredible composition. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to emphasize the beauty and grandeur of this natural wonder. Remember to adjust your camera settings to capture the low lighting conditions, and consider using a tripod for those longer exposure shots.
As you venture deeper into the cave, the play of light and shadows becomes an integral part of the photography experience. The interplay between the artificial lighting used to illuminate the falls and the natural light filtering through cracks and crevices creates a mystical atmosphere. Take advantage of this unique lighting situation to capture stunning silhouettes and intriguing patterns. The combination of the underground environment and the mesmerizing waterfall ensures that you'll find countless opportunities for extraordinary photography at Ruby Falls.
6. Clingmans Dome
Clingmans Dome, located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a must-visit location for breathtaking photography in Tennessee. Here are a few reasons why this spot offers stunning photo opportunities:
Spectacular panoramic views: At the summit of Clingmans Dome, visitors are treated to a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains and forests. The sprawling landscape, painted in vibrant colors during the fall season, serves as a perfect backdrop for capturing vivid and captivating photographs.
Unique observation tower: The iconic observation tower at Clingmans Dome adds an interesting element to photographs. Its architectural design, coupled with the towering trees, creates a captivating contrast against the open sky. Photographers can experiment with different angles and perspectives to create dramatic and visually striking images.
Ideal for sunrise and sunset photography: Clingmans Dome is renowned for its stunning sunrise and sunset views. The golden hues of the sun casting their glow on the mountains create a magical ambiance, perfect for capturing breathtaking silhouettes and warm colors. Don't forget to bring your tripod and experiment with long exposures to achieve stunning results.
7. Lookout Mountain
Lookout Mountain in Tennessee offers breathtaking views and is a photographer's dream come true. Below are some reasons why this location is a must-visit for stunning photography:
- Stunning Scenery: Lookout Mountain boasts jaw-dropping vistas that stretch for miles. From the iconic Lover's Leap to the panoramic views from Point Park, there is no shortage of picturesque scenes to capture.
- Waterfall Wonders: The mountain is home to several stunning waterfalls, creating the perfect opportunity for nature and landscape photographers to capture the beauty of cascading water against the backdrop of lush greenery.
- Unique Perspectives: Lookout Mountain provides unique vantage points for photographers seeking out-of-the-ordinary shots. Whether you're capturing the charming old-world architecture of Rock City or the panoramic views from the Incline Railway, this location offers endless opportunities for creativity.
Pack your camera gear and get ready to capture the beauty of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee's ultimate photospot.
8. Nashville Skyline
Nashville Skyline is a photographer's dream come true, offering an array of unique and iconic spots to capture stunning images. Here are a few hidden gems and popular locations to include on your photography journey in Tennessee:
- Broadway: Located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Broadway offers a vibrant and energetic atmosphere that is perfect for capturing the essence of the city. The bustling honky-tonks, neon signs, and lively crowds make for fantastic street photography opportunities.
- John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge: As the longest pedestrian bridge in the world, this iconic landmark provides breathtaking views of the Nashville skyline. For the best shots, visit during golden hour or at sunset to capture the stunning colors reflecting off the Cumberland River.
- Centennial Park: Known for its full-size replica of the Parthenon, Centennial Park offers numerous picturesque spots. The park's beautiful gardens, serene water features, and the grandeur of the Parthenon itself provide a diverse range of subjects to photograph.
With these photogenic spots in Nashville, you're sure to capture breathtaking images that showcase the stunning beauty of Tennessee's capital city.
9. Natchez Trace Parkway
If you are an avid photographer in search of breathtaking landscapes and historic sites, the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee is a must-visit photospot. Stretching for 444 miles, this scenic drive offers an abundance of picturesque views and intriguing points of interest.
- Capture the beauty of cascading waterfalls hidden within the lush forests along the parkway, such as Jackson Falls and Fall Hollow.
- For history buffs, the abandoned ghost town of Rocky Springs and the Native American burial mounds at Pharr Mounds will provide intriguing subjects for your lens.
- Don't miss the chance to photograph the vibrant colors of wildflowers that blanket the parkway during spring and summer.
Embark on an unforgettable photography adventure along Tennessee's Natchez Trace Parkway. With its diverse landscapes and captivating history, this photospot will leave you in awe.
- Marvel at the breathtaking vistas from the overlooks, such as the one at Loveless Cafe, which offers a panoramic view of the rolling hills.
- Capture the impressive architecture of the historic Windsor Ruins, a collection of columns that remain from a once-grand plantation home.
- Photograph the iconic Double Arch Bridge, a modern engineering marvel that complements the natural beauty of the surrounding area.
For both amateur and professional photographers alike, the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee is a haven for stunning photography opportunities. Allow your creativity to flow as you explore the captivating landscapes and historic sites along this scenic drive.
10. The Lost Sea Adventure
The Lost Sea Adventure is a must-visit photospot in Tennessee, offering stunning natural beauty for photography enthusiasts. Descend 140 feet underground into a vast cavern with the largest underground lake in the United States. Here are a few reasons why this unique location should be on your photography bucket list:
- Incredible formations: Capture the mesmerizing beauty of the cave's impressive formations, such as stalactites, stalagmites, and delicate drapery.
- Sparkling lake: The underground lake, known as the Lost Sea, provides a one-of-a-kind backdrop for spectacular shots, as its clear, turquoise waters beautifully reflect the surrounding geological wonders.
- Boat tour: Embark on a memorable boat tour across the Lost Sea, where you'll have the opportunity to photograph the striking underground landscape from a unique perspective.
Visit the Lost Sea Adventure for an unforgettable photography experience that combines natural wonders with historical significance. With its stunning formations, sparkling lake, and captivating boat tour, this Tennessee photospot offers endless opportunities for capturing breathtaking images.
11. Rock Island State Park
Rock Island State Park is a haven for photography enthusiasts searching for breathtaking natural backdrops in Tennessee. With its rugged cascades, stunning waterfalls, and lush greenery, this park provides endless opportunities for capturing the perfect shot. The park's iconic Twin Falls, plunging 80 feet into the pristine waters below, is a must-see and a favorite among photographers. The captivating rocks formations and tranquil beach of Great Falls also offer picturesque settings, while exploring the park's diverse wildlife can lead to unique wildlife photography opportunities. Whether you're an amateur or a professional photographer, Rock Island State Park promises extraordinary photogenic moments to capture and cherish.
Located in Eastern Tennessee, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is a must-visit destination for all photography enthusiasts. This picturesque park is home to one of the most stunning waterfalls in the region, Cumberland Falls, also known as the "Niagara of the South." The park's natural beauty, combined with its diverse wildlife and unique rock formations, provides endless opportunities for capturing breathtaking photographs.
Cumberland Falls: The star attraction of the park, Cumberland Falls stands at an impressive 68 feet high and spans approximately 125 feet wide. Its powerful cascades create a mesmerizing mist that often forms a beautiful rainbow, especially during clear sunny days. Photographers can experiment with different angles to capture the falls in its full glory and immortalize this natural wonder.
Wildlife and Nature: Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is teeming with a wide variety of wildlife, including deer, raccoons, and numerous bird species. While exploring the park, photographers can snap shots of these creatures in their natural habitats. Alternatively, they can focus on the park's enchanting flora, such as vibrant wildflowers and towering ancient trees, capturing the essence of Tennessee's incredible natural beauty.
Unique Rock Formations: The park's landscape is dotted with unique rock formations, adding an intriguing element to your photography. Notably, the pristine sandstone cliffs along the riverbanks provide a compelling foreground or backdrop for your shots. Experiment with different lighting conditions and perspectives to highlight the textures and contours of these remarkable geological features.
13. The Parthenon in Nashville
The Parthenon in Nashville is an iconic landmark that offers breathtaking photo opportunities. Located in Centennial Park, this full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens provides a stunning backdrop for photography enthusiasts. Capture the grandeur of its neoclassical architecture and the impressive Athena Parthenos statue that stands at 41 feet tall. Don't forget to explore the surrounding park area, which features beautiful gardens and a serene lake, perfect for adding depth to your compositions.
- Embrace the contrast between the ancient Greek architecture and the modern Nashville skyline for an interesting juxtaposition in your photos.
- Experiment with different angles and perspectives to showcase the intricate details of the Parthenon's columns and sculptures.
- During the golden hour, the warm sunlight beautifully illuminates the Parthenon, creating a magical atmosphere for enchanting photographs.
- If you're lucky, you might even stumble upon organized events or performances happening at the Parthenon, providing unique and dynamic subjects for your shots.
- Consider incorporating elements of nature into your photos by capturing the vibrant flowers and trees that surround the Parthenon, enhancing the overall composition.
14. Fall Creek Falls State Park
Fall Creek Falls State Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. With its mesmerizing waterfalls, towering rock formations, and vibrant foliage, this park offers an abundance of stunning photography opportunities. Whether you're a professional or an amateur, you'll be in awe of the park's captivating beauty during the fall season.
- Spectacular waterfalls: Fall Creek Falls State Park is home to an impressive collection of waterfalls that are a dream come true for photographers. The park's namesake, Fall Creek Falls, is one of the tallest waterfalls in the eastern United States, plunging a staggering 256 feet. The surrounding cascades and streams create a picturesque scene worth capturing.
- Breathtaking landscapes: The park's landscapes are nothing short of breathtaking. From the towering cliffs and rocky gorges to the serene cascades and lush forests, every corner of Fall Creek Falls State Park offers a new and exciting photography opportunity. Capture the vibrant fall colors as they paint the scenery in a tapestry of red, orange, and gold – a sight that will leave you in awe.
- Abundant wildlife: The park is teeming with wildlife, providing photographers with a chance to capture the beauty of Tennessee's native creatures. Keep an eye out for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and various bird species as you explore the park's trails. Don't forget to bring your zoom lens to capture those up-close shots of the wildlife in their natural habitat.
15. Beale Street in Memphis
Beale Street in Memphis is a must-visit location for photography enthusiasts. This iconic street is known for its vibrant music scene, historic landmarks, and lively atmosphere that make it a visual treat to capture. Here are some key highlights for photographers looking to capture the essence of Beale Street:
Neon Signage: Beale Street is famous for its colorful neon signs that adorn the buildings and create a captivating backdrop for photographs. Capture the vibrancy and energy of the street as the signs light up the night.
Live Performances: Beale Street is home to numerous music venues where live performances take place daily. Take advantage of the opportunity to capture candid shots of talented musicians showcasing their artistry on stage.
Street Life: Beale Street boasts a bustling atmosphere with diverse characters, street performers, and vibrant crowds. Document the lively street life by capturing the laughter, conversations, and unique personalities that make Beale Street a dynamic photography spot.
16. Burgess Falls State Park
Burgess Falls State Park in Tennessee offers a haven for photographers seeking picturesque beauty. With its cascading waterfalls, lush greenery, and diverse wildlife, this park provides endless opportunities for stunning photography. Whether you're an amateur or professional photographer, take advantage of these top features in Burgess Falls State Park:
- Breathtaking Waterfalls: The park boasts not one, but four stunning waterfalls – the main attractions being the 130-foot Burgess Falls and the 80-foot Middle Falls. These gushing waterfalls present the perfect opportunity to capture the raw power and natural beauty of Tennessee's landscape.
- Scenic Hiking Trails: Explore the park's well-maintained hiking trails, offering breathtaking views of the falls and surrounding areas. Capture the vibrant colors of the changing leaves during the fall season or the lush green foliage during the spring and summer months.
- Abundant Wildlife: Keep an eye out for various wildlife species such as deer, foxes, and a variety of birds. Capture these majestic creatures in their natural habitat and add an element of wildlife photography to your portfolio.
Unleash your creativity and photography skills at Burgess Falls State Park, where every corner presents a picture-perfect moment worth capturing.
17. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park offers breathtaking photospots for photographers of all levels. Here are some highlights to capture in this picturesque location:
- Pinnacle Overlook: Get ready to capture panoramic views of the Cumberland Gap at Pinnacle Overlook. The vantage point offers stunning shots of the overlapping Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee borders.
- Hensley Settlement: Step back in time and document the rich history of Hensley Settlement. This preserved 19th-century community provides a unique backdrop for photography enthusiasts.
- Tri-State Peak: Explore the convergence of three states at Tri-State Peak. Capture images of the monument marking the meeting point of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia in a striking natural setting.
Remember to pack your camera gear and tripod before setting off to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, as these photospots will surely leave you in awe.
18. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail showcases the picturesque beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. This scenic drive offers numerous photogenic opportunities for both amateur and professional photographers. Here are a few highlights of this stunning location:
- Waterfalls: Capture the captivating beauty of cascading waterfalls, such as Grotto Falls and Rainbow Falls, along the trail. These breathtaking spots provide the perfect backdrop for long exposure shots or close-up images of the flowing water.
- Wildlife: Keep your camera ready to snap pictures of the diverse wildlife that calls this area home. From black bears to white-tailed deer, you never know what majestic creature may cross your path.
- Historic Cabins: Explore the preserved remnants of pioneer homesteads, including several historic log cabins. These unique structures add a touch of nostalgia and offer interesting subject matter for architectural photography.
Immerse yourself in the natural wonders and historical charm of Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, where each snap of your camera lens can reveal unimaginable beauty and tell a unique visual story.
19. Tennessee River Gorge
The Tennessee River Gorge is a true hidden gem for photography enthusiasts seeking breathtaking shots. With its stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife, this 26-mile scenic stretch offers countless photogenic opportunities. Capture the mesmerizing waterfalls cascading down rugged cliffs, or focus on the picturesque foliage during the vibrant fall season. Whether you're a professional or an amateur photographer, the Tennessee River Gorge ensures a memorable experience with its unique landscape and captivating views.
- Explore the vibrant colors of the Tennessee River Gorge during the fall season, with the foliage turning into a beautiful mosaic of reds, oranges, and yellows. This creates a stunning backdrop perfect for capturing eye-catching photos.
- Don't miss the chance to photograph the numerous waterfalls that adorn the gorge. Watch as the water crashes against the rocky cliffs, creating a captivating contrast between the serene surroundings and the raw power of nature.
- Wildlife enthusiasts will be delighted by the diverse range of animals and birds that call the Tennessee River Gorge home. From majestic bald eagles soaring overhead to playful river otters frolicking in the water, there are endless opportunities to capture unique and memorable shots.
Step into Tennessee River Gorge's breathtaking landscape and let your photography skills shine.
20. Historic Downtown Franklin
The historic downtown of Franklin, Tennessee is a hidden gem for photography enthusiasts. Steeped in charm and rich in history, this photospot offers a myriad of stunning sights to capture. Here are a few highlights that make it a must-visit destination for photographers:
Main Street: Stroll down Main Street, lined with unique shops and beautifully preserved buildings from the 19th century. The timeless architecture combined with vibrant colors and intricate details provides gorgeous backdrops for your photographs.
Historic Sites: Discover a plethora of historic sites, such as the Franklin Theatre, McPhail Building, and the iconic Confederate Monument. These landmarks not only offer fantastic photo opportunities but also serve as a visual time capsule of the city's past.
Seasonal Delights: Visit during fall to witness the stunning transformation of the tree-lined streets into a kaleidoscope of vibrant autumn colors. Alternatively, be enchanted by the magical holiday decorations that adorn the town during the festive season. These seasonal touches add an extra layer of beauty to your photographs.
In conclusion, Tennessee offers a multitude of breathtaking photospots for both nature enthusiasts and urban explorers alike. From the majestic Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the vibrant cityscapes of Nashville and the charm of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, there is no shortage of stunning locations to capture with your camera lens. The state's diverse array of attractions such as the iconic Parthenon, the enchanting waterfalls of Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, and the historical significance of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, all contribute to Tennessee's appeal to photographers seeking unique and awe-inspiring subjects. Whether it's the natural beauty of locations like Lookout Mountain and Ruby Falls or the cultural and musical vibrancy of Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee is a haven for photographers seeking that perfect shot. So grab your camera and explore these remarkable photospots that showcase the true essence and beauty of Tennessee.