Tennessee is home to stunning scenery and vibrant cities deeply embedded in music and civil rights history. This region is located in the heart of the city. Therefore if you live in the United States, it is not that far away, making it an ideal weekend destination. So, if you’re planning a vacation across Tennessee, here’s a guide.
The journey we have outlined here loops you through Tennessee, ensuring that you experience all of the top state parks, museums, and scenic spots.
Planning a trip to Tennessee
No matter what season, Tennessee is a travel-friendly state, but it would be great to plan a trip between September and March to see how beautifully the color of the leaves changes. So, here are a few ideas to plan the best vacation across Tennessee.
Stop 1: Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg is a beautiful mountain community located at the Great Smoky Mountains’ edge. To get the most out of your time, plan on spending at least two to three days in the area, if not more. You can enjoy several outdoor activities, excellent museums, and thrilling amusement parks in the town.
Gatlinburg is a tourist town that offers its fair share of wonderful pubs and restaurants, shopping opportunities, and distinctive attractions. When deciding what to do in Gatlinburg, you also need to consider where you will stay. There are many lodging alternatives available, such as staying in a cabin or booking a room in Gatlinburg hotels, where you will discover all of the comforts of home, as well as luxurious amenities and breathtaking mountain views.
Visit Gatlinburg Amusement Park
Take a stunning tram ride from downtown Gatlinburg up into the mountains to reach Ober Gatlinburg. There is a lot to do at this amusement park regardless of the season. If you visit during the winter, you can go skiing, ice skating, or try out ice bumper cars. In the summer, you can slide down hills, take a water raft trip, or speed down the ski mountain slopes.
Stop 2: Great Smokey Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains are so close to Gatlinburg that getting there is a quick trip. Early morning light tints this historic mountain range with yellow, orange, and red that is sure to dazzle you if you visit in the autumn. With over 12 million visitors in 2020, it’s easy to see why the Great Smoky Mountains are the most visited National Park in the United States.
Experience A Beautiful Hike
When you’ve had your share of chilling in the car, head to one of the park’s many hiking paths and begin exploring. There is something for everyone on the park’s routes. Each hike features breathtaking mountain and forest views, as well as unique rock sculptures and waterfalls. The Great Smoky Mountains cover more than half million acres and are house a wide range of plants and animals.
Stop 3: Chattanooga
Chattanooga, located only about three hours south of the Great Smoky Mountains, is a great place to visit during your Tennessee road trip because of its accessibility to numerous natural attractions. The city itself is also worth visiting. Chattanooga has plenty of things to do and see, including art and history museums, a beautiful riverfront, and interesting architecture. After visiting the city, you can head to the nearby mountains or river for fun.
Take A Ride To Lookout Mountain
Lookout Mountain is one of Chattanooga’s most popular attractions. Spend a lovely hour on the Incline Railway. Since Chattanooga lies near the state’s border, the top provides breathtaking panoramic views of not just Tennessee but also Georgia. After taking in the breathtaking sights, make your way inside the mountain to find Ruby Falls.
Stop 4: Memphis
Memphis is a fresh, vibrant city, full of southern charm, and famous for its civil rights and musical history. This is a city where you can easily spend a few days while exploring and enjoying many interesting things. Foodies will love the opportunity to taste authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine. The Victorian Village Historic District and the Pink Palace Museum are also worth visiting to anybody interested in architecture.
Visit The National Civil Rights Museum
The Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed in 1968, is now located at the National Civil Rights Museum. This historic structure is now a museum dedicated to the civil rights movement. It has hundreds of objects and materials that will take you on a journey through the history of civil rights, beginning with slavery.
Last Stop: Nashville
For its lengthy and rich musical history, Nashville is known as the Music City. Country music is extremely popular in this area. There will always be a melody to keep you going with streets lined with live music venues and music shops. You may want to spend at least two days in Nashville to incorporate everything into your Tennessee trip. Nashville is a lively city with plenty of things to do to pass the time. Mornings can be spent visiting old museums and residences. Spend a day relaxing and strolling through one of the city’s beautiful parks. Hit the pubs at night and groove to live music. Whatever you choose to do, you will create lasting memories while seeing some of Tennessee’s top attractions.
Take A Look At The Ryman Auditorium
The Ryman Auditorium has been standing since 1892 and was named the most iconic building in Tennessee by Architectural Digest in 2018. Many celebrities performed in the National Historic Landmark, including Harry Houdini, Johnny Cash, and Charlie Chaplin. The iconic Grand Ole Opry show has also been staged here for many years. There are events at the Ryman even now, so don’t miss out if you get a chance to see one!
Tennessee is a great blend of musical history, Southern charm, and stunning waterfalls. By the end of your Tennessee road trip, you will surely fall in love with this underrated state. With a camera full of amazing Tennessee pictures, you will undoubtedly be craving to go home and tell your friends and family about your trip.