Sometimes when the week gets rough, all you want to do is just in the car with a fabulous playlist of tunes and a long open road in front of you. We found eleven places around the state of Tennessee – yes, even on the west side – that are great for driving during the twilight hour or in the afternoon or even during those light, bright early mornings. How many have YOU checked off your list…?
11. The Tail of the Dragon
The Tail of the Dragon begins in Deal's Gap, Tennessee and takes you on a twisting, turning 318 curves in 11 miles. Motorcyclists and sports car drivers come from all over the world to make their mark on this iconic road that carves its way through the east Tennessee mountains.
10. Reelfoot Lake
Here you can see the Reelfoot Lake Cypress Boardwalk, but it's the trek out here that will really give you a beautiful view. Located in the northwestern corner of the state, a quiet drive through the park is sure to give you the natural infusion your heart needs.
9. Ocoee Scenic Byway
The Ocoee Scenic Byway is made up of a 26-mile route that takes you through the beautiful and rocky bluffs of the Ocoee River Gorge. For bonus points, did you know that this was actually the first designated national forest scenic byway in the United States? A drive that's love to see AND historic.
8. Great River Road
Great River Road actually stretches across ten states as a series of scenic byways. Although it cracks state lines, the road in Tennessee runs down Highway 61 just south of Memphis and through to Mississippi. It's known as the, "Blues Highway," traveled by legends like Elvis Presley and BB King. Keep and eye out for Chickasaw Bluffs!
7. Roan Mountain Road
If you take a drive up 6,285 feet, you'll hit the peak of Roan Mountain. Known for its rhododendron fields, take a drive along this lovely east Tennessee road and enjoy views of the hollows and ridges that dot the mountain.
6. Grundy State Forest
Make your way through South Cumberland State Park for a view of Grundy State Forest, a facet of Tennessee protected land that hides not one, not two, but FIVE waterfalls in its heart. How amazing is that?!
5. Cades Cove Loop
Take a picturesque drive through the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with a spin around Cades Cove Loop. Over twelve miles of views await you here, chock full of rolling hills and beautiful mountain vistas.
4. Cherohala Skyway
A National Scenic Byway since 1996, this 42-mile-long road is well-traversed by locals and tourists alike. Beginning in Tellico Plains, take the skyway to see some of the most beautiful mountain views in the whole of the state.
3. Sequatchie Valley Scenic Byway
One of our lesser known, but still most beautiful hidden gems in Tennessee, the Sequatchie Valley is a pretty place to buzz on through. The byway runs through the middle of the Cumberland Plateau and Walden’s Ridge, and you'll drive through tiny, historic towns like South Pittsburg and Dunlap.
2. Little River Road
Here you can see Meigs Falls, one of the very few waterfalls you can spot from the road. You'll find it along Little River Road, a beautiful, quiet backroad that boasts its pretty waterfall about 13 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
1. Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a lonely road that runs from the heart of Tennessee straight on through to Mississippi. It's where you can take a view from the Double Arch Bridge in Birdsong Hollow (pictured) and meander through the deep beauty of Middle Tennessee's rural countryside.