Here in Tennessee, our state slogan is “America at Its Best…” One of those “bests” we’re really known for is our jaw-droppingly beautiful Tennessee sunset. So, if you want to catch the best of the best, you’ll scroll down for our top five recommendations on where to enjoy these amazing sunsets.
The Smoky Mountains’ Clingmans Dome – Tennessee Sunset
Basically anywhere in the Smoky Mountains is a great place to watch the sunset…but hitting Clingmans Cove, the highest point in the Smokies (located just over the North Carolina border), takes that viewing up a notch! Hike up to the observation tower, situated at 6,643 feet, and enjoy sunset colors that seem to linger longer than in places down below. Just be cautious and bring a flashlight—once the sun sets, there’s very little light to guide your trek back down to the parking lot. The amazing photo above was snapped by @aozphotos on Instagram!
Nashville’s John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge –Tennessee Sunset
With so many fantastic spots to gaze at the horizon, it was certainly tough settling on just one Nashville location. So how did the Pedestrian Bridge earn our attention? It’s all about the experience.
Sure, you can enjoy views of downtown, East Nashville and the Cumberland River from your perch on the bridge. But there’s so much more involved when you’re a pedestrian sunset-gazer. For starters, may we suggest heading out early, grabbing a friend, and enjoying a leisurely stroll for some al fresco exercise? Bonus points if you time your moves to hit center bridge right as the sun drops out of sight.
Riverbluff Walkway in Memphis –Tennessee Sunset
This trail at the edge of downtown Memphis offers so many great ways to enjoy the setting sun. Meander the main walkway, right at the edge of the great Mississippi, and marvel at the reflections on the water’s surface. Want a more sweeping view? No problem! Just take a quick climb to the upper trail, located along Chickasaw Bluff, and you can take in the sky, the lovely homes and all the surrounding nature.
Knoxville’s High Ground Park –Tennessee Sunset
As the name suggests, this historical South Knoxville landmark is a great place to catch a sunset, thanks to its lovely city views and the surrounding nature. Established as Fort Higley in 1863, today’s High Ground Park is hemmed in by flowers, forests and a stone wall that begs for you to jump up on it and sunset gaze. Better yet, for truly optimal viewing, follow the Cherokee trail upwards from the dirt parking lot (keep right at the first fork, go either way at the second) and score the overlook’s very best sunset seats: the oh-so-Insta-worthy swing!
The Space Needle in Gatlinburg –Tennessee Sunset
While we’re on the theme of rising high, let’s not forget one of the tallest state spots for watching the sunset: the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle. From its 407-foot observation tower, you’ll enjoy unparalleled, 360-degree views of the city, the skies and—of course—the fabulous setting sun. Not to mention the fact that riding those glass elevators is a fun family outing, and, at the top, your whole crew can get an education thanks to the Higher Learning exhibit. It’s the perfect thing to explore while waiting for that magic evening hour. There are even free viewfinders to keep those kiddos occupied!
Whatever the season, and wherever you find yourself in this great state, there’s always a perfect spot (and moment) to stop and appreciate a Tennessee sunset. All that’s left to do is decide which place will be your next choice. Of course, given your amazing options, that may well be the hardest part!