The 8 States That Border Tennessee
Tennessee, famously dubbed ‘The Volunteer State,’ is located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is known for its cultural heritage and vibrant cities, sharing a border with eight states. Each of these states brings a unique flavor of Southern or Midwestern culture to the area. Tennessee shares a border with Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, and Missouri. Let’s take a closer look at the eight states that border Tennessee.
The State of Tennessee
Tennessee became a state in 1796, and it was the 16th state to join the United States. What is now Tennessee was originally part of North Carolina. In 1790, North Carolina relinquished the area to the United States. After six years, Tennessee became its own state.
The State’s Geography and ‘Grand Division’
Tennessee is approximately 41,227 square miles, making it a similar size to Cuba. From east to west, the state is 432 miles long. It is 112 miles long, north to south. The highest point in the state is Clingmans Dome in the Smoky Mountains, which reaches 6,643 feet tall.
The state consists of 94 counties, and it is divided into the “Grand Division of Tennessee”: East, Middle, and West Tennessee. These divisions date back to the “1835-1836 Acts of Tennessee.”
East Tennessee consists of the Appalachian Plateau and the Cumberland Plateau. The principal cities in this region are Knoxville, Chattanooga, and the Tri-Cities (Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol). Middle Tennessee is west of the Cumberland Plateau. The region has rolling hills and lush river valleys. Nashville, the state’s capital and largest metro is located in Middle Tennessee. West Tennessee is the final division of the state. This division is primarily an agricultural region and contains the state’s second-largest city, Memphis.
Border Length: Approximately 225 miles
Tennessee’s northern neighbor is Kentucky. The two states share a 225-mile border, a solid portion of which is dotted by the meandering Tennessee River. Kentucky is known for its horse racing, bourbon distilleries, and the historic city of Louisville, which is often a popular destination for Tennesseans to visit.
Border Length: Approximately 140 miles
On Tennessee’s northeastern side, you will find the state of Virginia. The border between Tennessee and Virginia is approximately 140 miles long and comprised of the peaks and ridges of the Appalachian Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah Valley are major selling points for Tennessee residents who enjoy recreational activities.
3. North Carolina
Border Length: Approximately 332 miles
Tennessee’s eastern neighbor is North Carolina. In particular, the border between the states runs approximately 332 miles, and includes portions of the Great Smoky Mountains. Recreational activities aside, North Carolina’s diverse landscape and unique cities provide ample reasons for Tennesseans to jaunt across the North Carolina border. Asheville, Charlotte, and Raleigh are all fan favorites of the Vols.
Border Length: Approximately 186 miles
Tennessee’s southeastern border state is Georgia, which extends about 140 miles. Similar to Kentucky, this southeastern border is defined by the Tennessee River, which provides a number of water-based recreational activities. Atlanta, amongst other historic sites in Georgia, attracts a number of Tennesseans eager to find diversity and culture.
Border Length: Approximately 185 miles
The southern border of Tennessee is shared with Alabama. The Tennessee River is a prominent feature along this stretch, which totals around 186 miles. For this reason, many residents from both Tennessee and Alabama take advantage of the opportunities to boat and fish. Additionally, Alabama’s music scene and Southern cuisine are inspirations to Tennessee’s food culture.
Border Length: Approximately 229 miles
On the southwest side of Tennessee lies Mississippi, and the states share a 220-mile border. This border includes the Mississippi River, which provides riverboat cruises and water-based activities. Mississippi’s civil rights history makes the state an educational destination for Tennesseans eager to better understand Southern culture.
Border Length: Approximately 222 miles
The state to the west of Tennessee is Arkansas, with a 222-mile border along the Mississippi River. The border between these two states is made up of adorable river towns and scenic bluffs specific to the Mississippi River Valley. Arkansas’s natural beauty, such as the Ozark Mountains and Hot Springs Natural Park, is a draw for any Tennesseans excited about outdoor adventures and recreation.
Border Length: Approximately 128 miles
Tennessee’s northwestern border is shared with Missouri, which measures about 128 miles long. The border follows the banks of the Mississippi River, which offers scenic beauty and outdoor activities. Missouri’s vibrant cities, St. Louis and Kansas City, provide a cultural draw to those from the Vol State.
The 8 States Bordering Tennessee
Each of Tennessee’s neighboring states offers a unique blend of culture and history. Moreover, these states also have a plethora of exciting outdoor activities specific to the region, making them all fascinating places to explore.
If you’re looking for a southeastern adventure, weave throughout Tennessee and these bordering states for a taste of Southern cuisine and rich culture.
Summary of the States That Border Tennessee
|Rank||State||Length of Border (Miles)|
|3||North Carolina||332 miles|