When you think Tennessee you probably first imagine Nashville and Memphis. However, there are so many other cities and towns worth stopping by on your road trip through the home state of Elvis Presley. In fact, you can experience bustling city life and quiet mountains all in the same day. Your Tennessee vacation rental will allow you to save money and be nearby the attractions your family wants to experience. Here are 10 road trips you should take on your trip to Tennessee.

1. Drive to the Country Music Capital

nashville

A road trip to Tennessee wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Nashville; the Country Music Capital of the world. Many know Nashville for its live music and country music history, however, there is so much more to do and see here for people of all ages. The city is on Interstate 40, making it accessible from around the country with plenty of sights to see on the way. Let the kids take a stretch at Radnor Lake State Park and take in the scenic nature views that are just outside the city. Then, head to Nashville to see sights like the Music City Walk of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry. Whether you listen to country music or not, Nashville is the perfect place to jam out on a Tennessee road trip.

2. Make Your Way to Memphis

downtown memphis
Source: Flickr / Deborah Lee Soltesz

Head to southwest Tennessee to the Mississippi River and see what the city of Memphis is all about. Take the famous old Blues Highway, or Highway 61, to experience the rich history and music that makes Memphis unique. A variety of blues clubs and delicious eateries are lined up along the less traveled road making Memphis one of the best road trip destinations in Tennessee. Be sure to stop for barbecue at Tops Bar-B-Q then head to the Memphis Zoo for a fun day up close and personal with giant pandas, grizzly bears, and much more. Vacation rentals in Memphis range from apartments to houses in the suburbs and are walking distance to many attractions.

3. Get Away in Gatlinburg

smokey mountains

This mountain town in eastern Tennessee has outdoor activities that the entire family will enjoy and remember for years to come. Known as the gateway to Great Smokey Mountains National Park, the drive to Gatlinburg is as scenic as it is adventurous. The town has several gas stations and convenient vacation rentals perfect for your mountain getaway. Be sure to fill up on gas before entering the national park, as there are no stations in the park. Activities in the area include skiing, hiking, laser tag, and so much more. Book your vacation rental to Gatlinburg, hop in the car and get ready for the road trip of a lifetime.

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4. Dream Big in Dollywood

dollywood
Source: Flickr / Darryl Kenyon

Another popular destination near the Great Smokey Mountains is none other than Dollywood, a magnificent theme park owned by entertainer Dolly Parton. Located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Dollywood is the number one ticketed tourist attraction in Tennessee and a must-see on any road trip through “The Volunteer State.” The drive to Dollywood is scenic and narrow and traffic can get jammed during summer months. Plan your drive in advance and be sure to check out The Smokey Mountains Opry Theater on the way. Dollywood also has several museums as well as more than 40 rides. Day tickets start at $68 for adults and $55 for kids and vacation rentals around the park range from mountain cabins to houses perfect for larger families.

5. Follow History in Franklin

watson house franklin
Source: Flickr / Brent Moore

Show the kids a piece of history and enjoy modern marvels in the city of Franklin, just half an hour south of Nashville. Stay in a vacation rental in downtown Franklin to be within walking of the arts district and a variety of restaurants. Then, go check out the site of the Battle of Franklin, the last great battle of the American Civil War. Guided tours of historic houses and sites start at $25 a ticket or you can take the “Franklin on Foot” tour for a walking tour of the city.

6. Head to the Lake

norris lake
Source: Flickr / mitsy mcgoo

Get the family excited for the next road trip by planning a lake getaway at Norris Lake in northern Tennessee. Located just 30 minutes north of Knoxville, Norris Lake isn’t far from many cities in Tennessee and Kentucky. Vacation rentals near Norris Lake offer parking as well as storage for your kayak or boat. Bring your fishing poles and swimsuits for fun by the lake or do a day hike at Big Ridge State Park. Several restaurants and shops are near the lake and the lake even has wi-fi access points if you need to check an email or two!

7. Check Out Chattanooga

lover's leap
Source: Flickr / Clint Alley

Chattanooga is the fourth largest city in Tennessee and the perfect destination for families of all ages. Located at the base of the Appalachian Mountains, this southeastern city has hiking, history, and family attractions. Chattanooga is only a two-hour drive from Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama, making it easy to explore even more of the South. Take a ride on the Chattanooga Choo Choo then stop by the Tennessee Aquarium. You also won’t want to miss Lookout Mountain which boasts Ruby Falls, an underground waterfall accessible by elevator.

8. Create Memories in Knoxville

norfolk southern tennessee river bridge
Source: Flickr / Brent Moore

North of Great Smokey Mountains National Park is the city of Knoxville, a thriving city with outdoor adventure and historical tours. Book your vacation rental in Knoxville to explore the surrounding mountains or just spend the weekend in the city. Families visit from around Tennessee to try the Navitat Canopy Adventures with ziplining, and adventure courses. Other things to do in the area include a visit to Zoo Knoxville or a night watching hockey with the Knoxville Ice Bears.

9. Take the Scenic Route to Big South Fork

forest route
Source: Flickr / Valerie

Head to eastern Tennessee to Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area for more outdoor adventures on your road trip. The kids will love the wildlife and water activities including swimming, fishing, canoeing and much more. Take a hike to Angel Falls or Twin Arches and don’t forget to bring the camera to show off your trip!

10. Head West to Natchez State Park

park lodges
Source: Flickr / Jacob Resor

Natchez State Park is an outdoor wonderland perfect for families wanting to experience nature on the road. Located only an hour and a half from Jackson, this park is most famous for its horseback riding and hiking. Find a vacation rental nearby and be within walking distance of all this park has to offer.

 
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