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From the Great Smoky Mountains to the Mississippi River, Tennessee offers bucolic communities where country music stars retreat and bustling urban centers showcase southern culture and innovation.
Music, health care, automobile manufacturing and tourism drive the state’s economy. Residents here cheer for college sports teams from the University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt and pro teams like the Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators and Memphis Grizzlies.
If you’ve ever wondered what the best place in Tennessee is, we’ll gladly volunteer an answer. Check out our top 20 small cities in Tennessee.
20. Tellico Plains
This little rural community is tucked into the Appalachian Mountain foothills in the southeastern portion of the state. According to City Data it has a population of just 890. It is surrounded by Cherokee National Forest which means that the view is absolutely beautiful. Its rolling farmlands and picturesque mountain view, weathered barns and family farms give it an old fashioned, down home feel.
The Tennessee Tourism Development offers an abundance of outdoor activities in Tellico Plains. With camping, swimming, boating, hunting, hiking, picnicking, biking and fishing, there is always something to do. Backpackers can explore the wilderness of the Cherokee National Forest.
Deeper into the forest, the Bald River Falls cascades almost 100 feet. Take a walk around the falls and stop for a picnic, or watch it from your vehicle on the road. The view is spectacular.
There are still vestiges of Appalachian mountain tradition that is still apparent and walking through this small town takes you back to a simpler time. Tennessee Vacations shows that there is an abundance of things to do there.
There are several community activities that take place in Tellico Plains, including the Coker Creek Gold Festival. It is an old timey celebration with fun for the entire family.
Tellico Plains has an interesting and varied past. The Tellico Plains website explains that the town has gone by several names including Teliquo, Great Tellico, Great Terriquo, Talliquah, Talico, Tallequah and Talikwa. On July 4, 1911, the name changes stopped and the town was incorporated as Tellico Plains.
Native Americans inhabited the area for thousands of years. Historians believe that in the mid 1500s Hernando De Soto, the Spanish explorer, traveled the Great War Path that led into the town that is now Tellico Plains. Later, European colonists came to the area to trade with the Cherokee. Eventually settlers made their way from the Carolinas over the mountains.
While the Cherokee accepted some of the settlers, they fought with others over rights to the land. The 1700s saw little of the Cherokee traditions and lifestyle. They had mostly taken on the ways of the settlers and abandoned their traditional way of life.
There is always something to do in Tellico Plains. Young, old, man, woman, there is something to capture everyone’s sense of wonder.