We love Tennessee – don’t get us wrong. We think it’s the prettiest, smartest, most adventurous little (big!) state out there. It’s our home and we love it, but sometimes we need to just GET AWAY. So here are 15 fun weekend trips that will take you straight outta town, sometimes even
out of the state.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
15. Spend the day at Dollywood.
There are more than 40 amusement park rides and attractions at the well-known Dollywood, a place where kids come to be kids and adults remember the sweet twang of their country childhoods. Great for families and children of the younger set, you can get a 3 day, 2 park ticket for $99. Pretty sweet!
14. Or make the trek to Holiday World!
A little bit further out of the way, Indiana's Holiday World is where you go for a day chock full of wooden roller coasters and all the free soda you can drink. Each area of the park pivots on a seasonal theme, making for a fun trip down memory lane.
13. Try a delicious paleta in Nashville.
Las Paletas is located in the 12 South neighborhood of Nashville, and it has been slinging deliciously decadent popsicles for a few years now. Its cult following is well-earned, and the affordable price point makes them even more valuable.
12. Or head over to Steel City for a pop.
Louisville is only a couple hours away, and sometimes it's nice to break some state lines. Steel City Pops is a trendy hot spot that serves up creamy, fruity and coffee based iced treats to break up the monotony of the summertime.
11. Spend the afternoon in a waterfall in Rock Island.
The rugged beauty of Rock Island State Park makes it one of the most popular places to visit in the state. Run over by lots of young folks during the weekends and warmer months, you may want to break out of tradition and head out during the day on a Tuesday.
10. Or find a fabulous musuem to wander.
The Frist in Nashville is great, as is the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and the Alcatraz East in Pigeon Forge. Check their local calendars to see if there are any fun events or discounted exhibits.
9. Catch live music in Leipers Fork.
The original Puckett's is located in Leipers Fork, and it serves up a sweet meat 'n three alongside their nightly live music. It makes for the best kind of country evening.
8. Wander through downtown Franklin.
There are walking tours throughout the town of Franklin, but we'd recommend just grabbing your favorite people and taking a spin around the downtown area on your own. Spend the afternoon popping into tiny shops and saying hey to the locals. Lauded as one of the best downtowns in the US, this is a free trip worth your while.
7. Take a trip to Gatlinburg.
Gatlinburg is the Tennessee native's getaway, a place where you can choose to bundle up in the mountains or be a tourist from sun up 'til sun down. Head to the mountains for a hike through the wilderness or pop into a shop or two.
6. Perhaps view seven states at one time?
Lookout Mountain is shared between Tennessee and Georgia, but no matter the state of origin you can see a solid seven from its main viewpoint. There's simply no other place like it.
5. Visit the largest underground lake in the United States.
The Lost Sea is the largest underground lake in the United States, and is even listed among one of the largest in the world. You can visit for yourself in Sweetwater, Tennessee.
4. Or twist and turn through the mountains on The Dragon.
If you make your way to the Tail of the Dragon in Deals Gap, you'll find yourself traveling 318 curves in 11 miles. It's the ride of a lifetime and extremely popular amongst thrill-riders.
3. Rent a pontoon and enjoy a day on Watauga Lake.
One of the best kept secrets in Tennessee, Watauga Lake is great to rent a cabin and enjoy and weekend or so of water sports. The man-made lake is perfect for quiet afternoons, and there are multiple fireworks shows during the month of July. Can you imagine a better way to celebrate than on a boat...?
2. Grab some friends and play frisbee at Shelby Farms.
Shelby Farms is actually one of the largest urban parks in the United States. It covers a land area of 4,500 acres, which means it could eat New York City's Central Park five times over - and then some.
1. Hike through the Great Smoky Mountains.
The great natural wonder of Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is actually the most visited national park in the United States. The jury is still out on to whether it's because of its vicinity to multiple states or its magnificent beauty.