Tennessee’s Ultimate Bucket List Items

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

On April 24, we’ll commemorate one of the newest “national” days on the calendar: National Bucket List Day. According to NationalDayCalendar.com, it was established last year when Cindy Rhodes, owner of Bucket List Coach Travel and Tours, partnered with National Day Calendar to honor those who seek new thrills and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

With March Madness behind us, we at BetTennessee.com chose to take a timeout from Tennessee sports betting news and learn what activities or events Volunteer State residents want to experience the most before they shuffle off this mortal coil.

Starting with a list of top bucket list ideas from BucketList.net, we used Google Trends to see which ranked the highest, according to search interest score.

Tennessee’s Top Bucket List Items

RankItemSearch Interest Score
1Learn to Surf45
2 Visit the Grand Canyon38
3Get Married31
4Go Scuba Diving23
5 Go to Paris17
6 Go Skydiving15
7Buy a House14
8Write a Book4
9Go Parasailing3
10Swim with Dolphins2

The search period ranged from 2004 through April 9, 2024, and the score is comparable to other topics searched on a scale from 0 to 100. A score of 100 indicates peak popularity and a score of 50 reveals it is half as popular.

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Top Bucket List Items Require Travel

Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that those living in a land-locked state would have a few water-themed items on their bucket lists. Our top 10 list includes four ocean-based adventures, with learning to surf the most popular Tennessee bucket list item and scuba diving coming in fourth. A few sought information on parasailing and swimming with dolphins, as those experiences rounded out our list.

Traveling was also popular with many Tennesseans, as visiting the Grand Canyon – a roughly 1,600-mile drive down Interstate 40 from Nashville – earned the second-highest score on our list. Coming in fifth was a trip to Paris. While you can’t fly direct from Nashville International Airport to the City of Lights, the airport does have flights to many major airports that can connect travelers to the European destination.

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Some Consider Settling Down a Bucket List Item

Several personal milestones in life also hit our list, with getting married coming in third. That’s one bucket list item Tennesseans wouldn’t need to travel far to achieve as the state has scores of churches, chapels and other wedding venues spread across the state from Graceland in Memphis to the Smoky Mountains.

Buying a house was the seventh-most popular bucket list item. According to TheMortgageReports.com, the median price of a home in Tennessee as of December 2023 was $371,800, up 4% from the year before. That price is also 7.6% lower than the national median of $402,646.

Some Tennesseans are interested in following in the footsteps of Alex Haley, Shelby Foote and Cormac McCarthy, noted authors who spent at least part of their lives in the state. Writing a book came in eighth on the list.

Tennessee also has its fair share of thrillseekers, as skydiving finished sixth among popular bucket list items. There are several options for that within the state, and there are plans for a 300-room resort in Pigeon Forge that will include two indoor skydiving wind tunnels. X Games icon and noted stunt performer Travis Pastrana is among the investors in the development.

If you enjoyed this general interest story, maybe this one from BetTennessee.com will interest you: What Is Tennessee’s Top Beer Brand?


Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.