Photo Credit: Ben Collins

With so much greenery and parkland in this state, it’s no surprise that Tennessee is one of America’s top destinations for outdoor recreation. Hundreds of lakes and miles of river mean boating and fishing here is sublime, while trails wind through the Great Smoky Mountains and the other marvelous state parks that are open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riding.

The golfing scene in Tennessee isn’t too shabby either thanks to the rolling countryside that covers much of the state. This same terrain makes for some awesome biking, whether on rural roads or dirt paths. Team sports are also a big deal in Tennessee, which is home to the NBA Grizzles, NFL Titans, and NHL Predators. Nashville and Memphis are the best places to catch a pro game.

The mild climate and diverse topography of Tennessee makes it an excellent for biking, both on road and off. Multiday adventures, like the 185-mile Mississippi River Trail, can be enjoyed here. Outfits like Blackbear Adventures and Earth Traverse Outfitters can arrange any kind of excursion.

With 50 rivers and too many lakes to count, Tennessee is a water wonderland for boating. There is hardcore whitewater kayaking on the Ocoee River, tranquil canoeing on the Wolf River, and a variety of boating options on Dale Hollow Lake. Book with Ocoee River Rafting for adventure or Watauga Kayak Tours for more mellow canoe outings.

The fishing in Tennessee isn’t bad either, with everything from river fly fishing to rod and reel fun on the lakes and private fish farms. Letting a professional guide company arrange the fishing license, gear, and guidance is highly recommended. There are dozens of good outfitters in the state, including Rocky Top Outfitters and Foscoe Fishing Company.

Much of the state is covered by mountains and rolling hills, protected within state and national parks. It’s rarely hard to find a place to go hiking, whether it’s a big outing on the Appalachian Trail or a historic-themed hike in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. A great way to learn about Tennessee’s mountains is with a guided tour from A Walk in the Woods, a firm that specializes in the Great Smoky Mountains.

No matter where you go in Tennessee, you will be close to a golf course, and chances are it will be a pretty one. Most of the courses are open to the general public, and a fun way to see them is to follow the Tennessee Golf Trail, which highlights eight of the most scenic and interesting courses in the region.

Another side to recreation in Tennessee is its professional sports. From NASCAR racing at the world-famous Bristol Motor Speedway, to an NFL Titans home game at the slick LP Field on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, there’s plenty to see here. Tickets are usually available for most professional sports, races, and other special events via companies like StubHub or directly through the team franchise office such as Titansonline.

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