4 Best Places to Visit on a Tennessee Road Trip

Planning a Tennessee road trip? Looking for tips on the best places to visit in Tennessee?

We enjoyed a four-week road trip exploring this state and down below we share our tips on four destinations to visit including what to see, where to eat, and where to stay in each place.

Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains on a Tennessee road trip

Road Trip As A Family Through Tennessee

We are traveling around the USA to discover the REAL America.

To not only see the main tourist sites but to unplug the hidden secrets and ask you guys, our readers, to share your local tips and help shape our journey.

Our recent road trip allowed us to experience four of the top places to visit in Tennessee, and a lot of the cool experiences we had were thanks to you!

A partner for our road trips is Allianz Travel Insurance and their tagline is ‘How can we help?’ so today we want to help you by sharing all the great things to do in Tennessee and an itinerary for each place so you can replicate our trip!

As we keep saying, road trips are the best way for us to travel as a family and from our base here in Raleigh, North Carolina we headed along the I-40 and spent a month exploring the best attractions in Tennessee.

You can, of course, fly into each of these Tennessee vacation spots, but with all the stress around flying these days, it has never been a better time to go on a great American road trip and let the journey be as much fun as the destination.

So why not jump in your car and take a Tennessee road trip and discover for yourself all the beauty and adventure that the Volunteer State has to offer. Tennessee was included in several of our best USA road trip recommendations!

This is what we got up to.

Places to Visit in Tennessee

Not sure about what to do in Tennessee? We’re here to help.

First of all, you don’t have to spend a month-long vacation in Tennessee like us (though you should) and the below suggested itinerary totals 9 days.

But I would add on two extra days of travel and another day for some flexibility, so a good 12 days and you’re all set for your Tennessee road trip!

1. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles the border of Tennessee and North Carolina and is the most visited National Park in the US and one of the top Tennessee vacation spots. It’s located in Pigeon Forge and is a really fun place to explore as a family. 

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

One reason is because of its raw beauty. The other is because it’s within an easy drive for over half of America’s population.

Looking for things to do in Tennessee that involve nature and wildlife? You can’t go past the Smokies.

This is what we got up to over two days.

Day 1 – Waterfalls and Hikes in the Smokies

On the very first day, I suggest taking in all the waterfalls and hikes first.


When you visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, why not start off by hiking up to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Smokies at 6,643 feet.

From the car park, it’s a relatively steep half-mile walk to the observation tower on the summit, but our kids handled it no problem and on a clear day you get spectacular 360° views of the Smokies and beyond – a great spot for sunrise and sunset.

Hiking up to Clingmans Dome in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

But, as you can see from our experience, they don’t call it “Smoky” for nothing as our view was a white out, but hey, you’re 6,600 feet up.

Clingmans Dome - The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

To get here from Gatlinburg it’s a 21-mile drive.


There are endless options of places to eat in Gatlinburg, not a lot of healthy options mind you and for us as gluten-free diners, we struggled.

Our fall back option is usually Mexican, so we ate at No Way Jose’s Mexican Cantina which was pretty good!


We thoroughly enjoyed our hike to Grotto Falls, and excitingly on this hike, we had our first bear sighting, at a safe distance off the trail and there was a ranger nearby.

Grotto Falls in the The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the best places to visit in Tennessee

The hike is a 1.3 mile round trip and our kids handled it easily. And the cool thing about this waterfall is you can walk right behind the falls.

To get to Grotto Falls take the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail 5 mile loop drive out of Gatlinburg.


Take a stroll around Gatlinburg, there’s plenty of quirkiness and amusement type activities going on if that’s your thing.

A popular place for dinner is the Smoky Mountain Brewery, but I thought the food was average.

Day 2  – Bike riding in the Smoky Mountains

You’ll experience so much more when you bike through them. Do this on the second day.


Probably our favorite activity in the Smoky Mountains was cycling the Cades Cove Loop Road.

You can drive the 11-mile circuit, but we love our bike rides and so Caz and Kalyra cycled whilst daddy and Savannah followed in our vehicle.

Cades Cove bike ride Smoky Mountains National Park (5)

Around the loop, you’ll see numerous historic buildings – cabins, churches, and workplaces of Cades Cove residents during the 19th and early 20th centuries – and several walking trails as well in case you want to stretch your legs.

And great wildlife spotting opportunities, we saw BEARS again, a momma bear and two cubs! Again they were at a safe distance and we had a range close by.

Bears Cades Cove loop road bike ride Smoky Mountains National Park

Hot Tip: do this bike ride on a Wednesday or Saturday morning between 7am -10am when the road is closed to traffic.

Cades Cove is an about an hour and a half drive from Gatlinburg. It’s a must do in the Smokies and one of the top places to visit in Tennessee!


Laurel Falls is another kid-friendly hike and one of the most popular places to go hiking in the Smoky Mountains.

And to be honest, I think we liked this waterfall better than Grotto Falls, there are several cascading levels, but both hikes are nice and easy enough for families.

Laurel Falls in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the best places to visit in Tennessee

Evening Sunset

Besides Clingmans Dome, a lovely spot to take in a Smoky Mountains sunset is from Mortons Overlook, about a 20-minute drive up from Gatlinburg.

You get a gorgeous view across the valley as the sun dips below the peaks in the distance.

Sunset at Morton Overlook in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the best places to visit in Tennessee

Where to stay in the Smoky Mountains

We stayed at the Old Creek Lodge in Gatlinburg that had a great, quiet location just off the main road but within easy walking distance to all the restaurants, shops and activities in the town.

2. Knoxville

Knoxville is more than a College Football town, although they say game day here is like no other place in the nation and I plan to come back in the fall for a Vols game.

The Riverfront in Knoxville, Tennessee

But what surprised us about Knoxville is the outdoor attractions, the food and drink, it’s family-friendly, the music scene, the friendly locals and the relaxed vibe.

Knox would top the most underrated list of places to visit in Tennessee. Here is how we would spend 2 days.

Day 1 – Knoxville Markets and Outdoor Adventures

On the first day, spend time experiencing the markets and the hiking trails around Knoxville.


If you visit Knoxville between May – November, and can time your trip for a Wednesday or Saturday, start your visit at the Knoxville Farmers Market in historic Market Square.

The Farmers Market is one of the best things to do in Knoxville

We love a good local farmers market, and many of our readers suggested this as one of the best, and they weren’t wrong!

This market has an emphasis on local produce and community and everything is grown or made by the vendor in the East Tennessee region with an excellent range of products from delicious local food and coffee to artisan crafts.

We always do our best to shop local and if we lived in Knoxville we’d be regulars here!

(Wednesdays 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, Saturdays 9:00 am to 2:00 pm)


Whilst in Market Square, grab a burger at The Stock & Barrel. Again this place came highly recommended by our readers and my turkey burger and duck confit fries were delish!

Stock & Barrel - one of the best places to eat in Knoxville


We love getting outdoors, and in Knoxville there’s no better place than the Ijams Nature Center. 

With 10-miles of trails, rock formations, lakes and stunning overlooks it is a much-loved sanctuary by the locals and only a 10-minute drive from downtown.

Take a walk at the Ijams Nature Center - one of the best outdoors things to do in Knoxville, Tennessee

There’s a lovely relaxing short walk along the Tennessee River, then we upped the adventurous side and took on the Navitat Canopy Experience – a high ropes challenge consisting of 6 different courses and each course is designed with varying degree of difficulty from beginner to advanced.

And just down the road from Ijams is Mead’s Quarry, a beautiful place to go canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

Meads Quarry - Knoxville, Tennessee


Take a stroll along the riverfront of the Tennessee River followed by drinks and dinner at Calhoun’s which has a prime riverfront location.

We visited here twice to sit outside on the deck and enjoy the fresh air and watch life on the river go by (kids and gluten-free menu available).

Calhoun's - one of the best places to eat in Knoxville

Day 2 – Knoxville Zoo and Market Square

On the second day, take your time and really enjoy visiting animals at the zoo. Then, go and experience the beauty of the market square.


Another suggestion by our readers was to check out the Zoo which proved popular with our kids, they loved feeding the giraffes, watching the gorillas play (they had a baby when we visited) and getting up close to a tiger and elephants.

The Knoxville Zoo - one of the best things to do in Knoxville with kids

The zoo is one of the most family-friendly attractions in Knoxville and you can easily spend a few hours here.

Zoo Prices:

  • Adults  $19.95
  • Children ages 4-12  $16.95
  • Seniors ages 65+  $16.95
  • Children under 4  FREE


Another cool thing about Knoxville is their Ale Trail with 10 breweries currently in operation and more on the way, so if craft beer is your thing you’re in luck!

One brewpub we stopped in for a beer and a bite to eat at was Balter Beerworks which has a nice outdoor seating area.

Balter Beerworks, Knoxville


Back home in Australia, we would only ever go bowling when it rained and had nothing else to do! In the US, bowling alleys are so fancy and popular.

Maple Hall bowling alley is located underground in the historic J.C. Penney building and is this super cool boutique bowling with a full-service bar, cozy lounge areas and even a VIP room.

Maple Hall Bowling Alley, Knoxville

And almost next door on Gay Street is Cruze Farm Ice Cream, a cool family story and of course their ice cream was a hit with our kids.

They milk their own Jersey cows and bottle whole pasteurized Jersey milk, as well as real churned buttermilk, light milk, and chocolate milk.

You might have seen their farm girls around town delivering milk in their striking red and white dresses!


If you don’t get a chance to experience the morning farmers market, visiting Historic Market Square is still one of the must-do things in Knoxville.

It’s the heart and hub of downtown Knoxville and whilst it’s a cool destination at any time of day, it really comes alive in the evening and is the place to be for cafes, restaurants and live music on select nights.

Market Square is one of the best things to do in Knoxville

A great place for dinner in Market Square is Tomato Head, they have yummy pizzas and a nice range of sandwiches, salads, and sweets.

Places to Stay in Knoxville

We stayed at the new and stylish Tennessean Hotel which has a prime central location downtown across the street from the Sunsphere and an easy 5-10 minute walk to Market Square.

3. Nashville

Nashville is unlike any US city we have visited so far and a place we can see ourselves returning to over and over again. It’s fun, it has a soul, it has music and cool museums and pro sports and a growing food scene!

Nashville - one of the best places to visit in Tennessee

And music city has overtaken Vegas as the number one destination for bachelorette parties – it’s a HOT place to be right now!

This is what you can do with three days.

Day 1 – Country Music Museum and Grand Ole Opry Show

You should spend the first day just getting into the history of country music. This is the home of country music after all.


If you’re a fan of Country Music or want to learn about its history and famous artists, then a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-do in Nashville.

This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tennessee and one of our favorite museums to spend a few hours. There are four levels within the building, each sharing a different era and stories of the past.


Nashville has some great rooftop venues and one of our faves is the ACME Feed & Seed. It’s one of the best places to eat in Nashville for stunning views over the river and Broadway down below.

Acme feed and Seed Nashville rooftop views


A fun and informational thing to do in any city is a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour. We like them as they are great for getting your bearings and for the expert commentary you get from a local in the know.

On this tour of Nashville we were shown Taylor Swift’s penthouse, the hotel Keith Urban stayed in before he was Keith Urban, and received lots of local tips for places to eat in Nashville and where to listen to live music.

Allow about 90 minutes for a loop.

Hop on hop off bus tour of Nashville

Finish your bus tour on Broadway and take a walk around downtown, and maybe go shopping for some cowboy boots!

Broadway is vibrant and the place to be for people-watching. Wander past all the honky-tonk bars with cool music blaring, maybe take a horse and cart ride, pop into a candy shop, or jump on a pedal tavern – they are the thing to do in Nashville.

Shopping for cowboy boots in downtown Nashville


One of our favorite evenings yet on our travels in the US has been seeing a show at the Grand Ole Opry. This is the show that made Country Music famous and a night out you won’t soon forget.

The Opry started as a radio broadcast in 1925 and evolved into a live show. Each Opry show is still broadcast live on radio.

You get to see a wide variety of musicians and famous artists – new and old in one evening. We saw six performers in total and we also recommend doing a backstage tour to see behind the scenes and for a deeper insight into the Opry experience.

Book your Opry ticket before you go, so you don’t miss the show!

Even if you’re not in town on a show night, you can still visit the Opry on a tour – definitely one of the best places to visit in Tennessee!

Press play to see more of our Grand Ole Opry experience:

Day 2 – The Gulch and live music in Nashville

On the second day, go and see a bunch of other live shows. There are so many places that you could actually spend all day listening to live musicians perform.


Grab a great breakfast and coffee at Fido Cafe in Hillsboro Village. You might even spot a celebrity here, it’s one of Taylor Swift’s favorite hangs and when we were there so was Lennon Stella, AKA Maddie from the hit TV show Nashville.

Then explore The Gulch, a district with an industrial history that’s been revamped into one of the hippest places to visit in Nashville with boutique shopping, a cool food scene, and incredible wall murals.

The “What Lifts You” angel wings mural is one of the most photographed places in Nashville.

Angel wings in the Gulch neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee


Stay in the Gulch, the incredibly popular Biscuit Love is here (be prepared to line up) or head to Hattie B’s Famous Hot Chicken.

If you need to be back downtown and fancy some ribs, a few blocks from Broadway is Martin’s BBQ Joint and we had the biggest rack of ribs we’ve ever eaten – cool venue too!

Lunch at Martin's BBQ Joint in Nashville, Tennessee
Ribs at Martin’s BBQ Joint


Back on the music scene and the Johnny Cash Museum is just off Broadway and is home to the largest collection of Johnny Cash items in the world that tells the story of his life. Well worth a visit, what a legend!

And upstairs is the Patsy Cline museum, another country music legend worth learning about.

Across the road is one of the best things to do in Nashville with kids (that does not involve music), and that is the Goo Goo Clusters store.

What is a Goo Goo cluster? A unique combination candy bar (chocolate, peanuts, caramel and marshmallow nougat), and Goo Goo Clusters remains a family owned Nashville institution!

Goo Goo Clusters Things to do with kids Nashville (1)

From there, head to one of Nashville’s top rooftop bars for a drink and to prime yourself for an evening of Honky Tonk bars.

The George Jones Museum ranks as one of the best rooftop bars in Nashville with incredible river views plus live music, or Rockbottom Brewery on Broadway!

View from Rockbottom Brewery in Nashville
View from Rockbottom Brewery


You’re in Nashville and you can’t visit music city without hitting up a few of the honky tonk bars!

Here are some of our favorite bars to catch live music:

Got kids? Go before dinner time or check out the Wildhorse Saloon Bar, a 66,000 square foot live music, dance and dinner venue that is more kid-friendly.

Robert's Western World

Day 3 – The Ryman, Studio B & The Blue Bird – Nashville icons

Finally, your visit to Nashville is not complete without a visit to the holy church of country music and the iconic Bluebird Cafe.


Go behind the scenes at the famous Ryman Auditorium, recognized as one of the best live performance venues in the USA, and one of the most historic places to visit in Tennessee for music!

Known as the Mother Church of country music, this is hallowed ground and the original venue of the Grand Ole Opry Show. It’s also where Johnny Cash met June Carter, and where countless careers were launched.

If there’s a live show on here whilst you’re in town, do it.

Ryman Auditorium tour, Nashville


Across the river, East Nashville and Five Points are hip and happening spots for lunch or dinner. The Wild Cow serves up delicious vegan and vegetarian food, The Pharmacy tops many lists as the best burger joint in town, or there’s Burger Up!


As part of your visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum, you can add on a Studio B Tour which takes you to Music Row, where all the artists record their music, and to Studio B, the most famous of them all.

It’s not much to look at from the outside, but behind the walls, Billions of dollars worth of hits have been recorded here, primarily when the studio was operated by RCA Records – Elvis recorded most of his number one hits here!

Book your combo pass here

Studio B Tour in Nashville


If you’re a fan of the hit Nashville TV series like us, you’ll be excited to visit the famous Bluebird Café.

This tiny and intimate music venue in an old strip mall launched the careers of some of the old and modern greats, think Taylor Swift.

The Bluebird has scheduled shows throughout the week, see this calendar for info and tickets, but on Monday nights they host Open Mic – we had to line up super early to get tickets, this place only holds 80 people.

If you can’t get into the Bluebird, The Listening Room Cafe comes highly recommend.

Places to Stay in Nashville

Accommodation in Nashville can be hard to find and expensive. The city has lots of events happening all the time.

We also stayed two evenings at the family-friendly Loews Vanderbilt Hotel located in Mid-town. Its location is near many restaurants including the famous Hattie B’s hot chicken, and also near Vanderbilt University.

4. Memphis

Memphis is another iconic city known for its rich music history and one-of-a-kind food.

Memphis, Tennessee

We didn’t plan to visit Memphis on this road trip, but after experiencing the Grand Ole Opry Show and the Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville, we said to each other,

let’s chase the music, let’s go to Memphis!”

Here is our two-day itinerary.

Day 1 – Graceland, Sun Studio and Blues

If you visit Memphis, you simply must tour Graceland.


One of the most popular places to visit in Tennessee would be Graceland. The home of Elvis Presley is the most famous house in the history of rock ‘n’ roll and the top attractions in Memphis.

It’s truly amazing that over 600,000 people still visit Graceland each year to tour the home of Elvis who died 40 years ago.

Gracelands - one of the best places to visit in Tennessee

From the moment you enter his mansion, you go on a journey through the private life of Elvis and what it must have been like to be the king of rock!

We recommend the Elvis Entourage VIP Tour which includes an audio tour with headsets and an iPad, but the tour doesn’t stop at Graceland, across the road at the Visitor Entertainment Complex you can see his:

  • car collection
  • iconic fashion trends
  • private planes
  • and much more.

Grab your VIP Graceland tickets via our partner, Viator


Before we arrived in the city, everyone kept raving about Memphis BBQ as one of the best in the country, and you have plenty of options.

Close to Graceland is Marlowes Ribs & Restaurant, and when you walk in it’s like you entered a museum about Memphis, Rock & Roll and the king himself.

Marlowes Ribs & Restaurant - one of the best places to eat Memphis BBQ


I think we enjoyed the Sun Studio Guided Tour as much as Graceland, it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Memphis.

Originally called the Memphis Recording Studio, Sun Studio is now known as the most famous recording studio in the world and the birthplace of Rock and Roll.

Elvis recorded his very first song here, plus some of the great have recorded here like Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis, even U2 and Bob Dylan.

The Sun Studio Tour is one of the best things to do in Memphis Tennessee


Beale Street is the heart of Memphis, the place to be for live music and one of the most fun places to visit in Tennessee!

This three-block radius of clubs and restaurants is a melting pot of delta blues, jazz, rock’n’ roll, and R&B. And if you’ve got kids like us, go late afternoon / early evening for dinner and music.

It’s hard to beat the original BB King’s Blues Club for cool music. We took a late afternoon stroll along Beale Street, followed by dinner and a top night at BB King’s!

Day 2 – Civil Rights Museum and Bass Pro

Dive even deeper into American history with a tour of the breathtaking Civil Rights Museum and then indulge in more amazing Memphis food.


Step back in time and get your fix of eggs, pancakes, and biscuits at Memphis’ oldest cafe, The Arcade Restaurant.

This classic American diner was founded in 1919 and has that nostalgic feeling to it, Elvis once ate here, and you might recognize it from movies such as Walk the Line, The Client and Great Balls of Fire. 

The Arcade Restaurant - one of the best things to do in Memphis with kids
Take notice of our seat. Back right booth – It’s where Elvis sat

And you’ll need a full stomach because over the next couple of hours you’ll be spending absorbed in the National Civil Rights Museum, one of the best museums I have ever visited!

Located at the Lorraine Motel, this is the actual location where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and this museum walks you through his life, the tragedy of his assassination, and the history of the Civil Rights Trail and movement.

Visiting the Civil Rights Museum is one of the most moving things to do in Tennessee.

Civil Rights Museum, Memphis
Rosa Parks
Dr Martin Luther King Jr - Civil Rights Museum, Memphis


Before arriving in Memphis we asked our friend, a former Memphis resident, where do the locals go for Memphis BBQ? Central BBQ was at the top of his list.

From the outside, this place is nothing flash but the moment you walk in you can tell it is a locals fave, and he was right, the BBQ is tasty – take your choice of ribs, beef brisket plate, pork plate, chicken or turkey, BBQ nachos, hot wings and more!

Central BBQ Memphis


Many of you suggested we visit the Bass Pro Shop. Why we kept asking ourselves, why? How could a fishing and hunting store be one of the top Tennessee tourist attractions??!

Turns out, it’s one of the most unusual places I have ever been inside of and one of the craziest places to see in Tennessee! 

Located inside the giant Pyramid, this is not your ordinary fishing and hunting store, this place is home to an aquarium, bowling alley, and an award-winning 5-star resort called Big Cypress Lodge!

Only in America lol.

Oh, and you can ride the world’s tallest freestanding elevator 28 stories to the top of the Memphis Pyramid, walk out onto the glass floor observation deck, and get the best views of Memphis and the Mississippi River from 300 feet above!

Memphis skyline seen from the Bass Pro Shop observation deck
View of Memphis from Bass Pro Shop

For another unusual experience, go see a parade of ducks walk down the red carpet in the hotel lobby of the Peabody Hotel.

The Peabody Ducks are one of the top attractions in Memphis. The Legend of the Peabody Memphis Ducks started back in the 1930s, and they still visit the lobby fountain at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.

No joke, they hop out of the fountain, walk the red carpet, step into the elevator and ride to the rooftop.

Where to Stay in Memphis

If you want to stay near Graceland, you can literally walk there from the Guest House at Graceland. Designed with Elvis in mind, you’ll feel like you’re a guest of the King staying here!

But to be close to all the other attractions in Memphis I suggest staying downtown.

The Peabody Hotel ranks highly, and for a full list of places to stay in Memphis our partner Booking.com has over 90 properties to choose from.

Read more Tennessee travel ideas: 17 Fun things to do in Chattanooga with kids

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company) and I have received financial compensation. But all opinions about travel in Tennessee are our own

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Do you have plans to visit Tennessee? Have you already been? What would you suggest as some of the best places to go in Tennessee? Share in the comments.

32 thoughts on “4 Best Places to Visit on a Tennessee Road Trip”

  1. You should really consider doing the Junior Ranger program at the National Parks and Monuments. It’s a great program, particularly since you homeschool. We find it adds more history/cultural/etc. components to the parks. Nature is amazing and worthy on its own, but the Junior Ranger program enhances our visits.

    1. Great to hear you will be visiting the US. These were our favorite places to visit in Tennessee but I’m sure there are other spots we will explore next time.

  2. Fantastic, guys! You have such adventurous children. I love exploring the USA and have recently been in Miami. Same country, completely different culture! I particularly liked the classic cars and gorgeous beaches.

    1. Yes grateful that our kids love to travel and explore as much as we do. We’ll, thaey have no choice really, they chose us 🙂

      Looking forward to exploring more places to visit in Tennessee at a later date, we aren’t far from TN being in Raleigh. As for Miami, we’ll have one day there tomorrow before we depart on our cruise.

    1. Would love to!! Actually my parents look like they are coming over next May. Nashville and Memphis is at the top of their list! So if not before it will definitely be then

  3. Check out Chattanooga! Over 2 centuries of Native American and Civil War history. Mountains all around. World class aquarium. Tennessee river front and point of departure for the Trail of Tears. Active downtime night life. Read House history and haunted room. Chattanooga Choo Choo.

    1. We’ve heard great things about Chattanooga. We visited about 14 years ago so can’t remember much and I’ve heard it’s really grown a lot since then. Definitely keen to make it happen

  4. We were just in Nashville for the solar eclipse on the 21st. For the first time we went down to Chattanooga on Tuesday and got to see Rock City and the incline train. So much to do and see there! I want to go back sometime.

  5. Next time come check out Chattanooga. Chatt has so so very much to offer and from my experience it far outshines Knoxville and Memphis!

  6. Great post! I’ve been to Nashville once and really loved that city! I also used to be on exchange in Chattanooga for a year,which was a lovely city as well so I would also recommend going there once. I still haven’t made it to Memphis yet, it looks great! 🙂

    1. I am from Chattanooga. I would stay clear of Memphis. Been there and will never go back. They moved the old Memphis film festival to Mississippi and have changed the name. They do have some good BBQ. I have been to all the 5 largest metro areas. Memphis has to be on the bottom got us anyhow.

      1. Uhm, Memphis wins hands down. Something for everybody. Not mentioned but Memphis also has a first rate Zoo. It’s Home of St. Jude’s Children’s hospital too! And plenty more….

  7. Wow, I had no idea Great Smoky Mountain was so popular! I still haven’t been to Tennessee yet so this is really helpful for when we make it out there! Great itinerary! 🙂 xo Laura

  8. Memphis is a VERY dangerous city and should be skipped if coming to Tennessee. I know this first hand as a Midwesterner living here for the past 20 years. We are 700 police understaffed and the Mayor and City Council wants to defund the police and let all the criminals out of the jails and prisons.

    1. Oh I think you can be smart when you travel. We’ve been there four times and never had a problem. I’ve also been to many countries and cities that have been too dangerous. Never had a problem. I’m not saying there aren’t dangers to be aware of – they are everywhere. Be smart. Be diligent. Travel with awareness and local knowledge of the best places to go and avoid.

    2. I’m sure the Midwest would love to have you back if Memphis is so bad. People are moving to downtown Memphis as fast as they can build new Apts and houses, so it can’t be that bad. Great City yall!

  9. As a Tennessee resident, it is a beautiful state and so much more to explore off the beaten path, especially in upper N.E. Tn where the birthplace of country music is and Bristol Motor Speedway is. Boones Creek named after Daniel Boone, just so many things to mention.

  10. So im seeing this years past your trip, but you missed a very important and fun city on your Tennessee trip. In the Northeast corner is BRISTOL. Its one city in two states and the main street of downtown is one side Bristol VA and the other Bristol TN. But most importantly, Bristol is the official Birthplace of Country Music (not Nashville as most think) and we have a Smithsonium museum to prove it! Add Bristol TN/VA to you itenerary next time….its a great first or last stop.

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