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There are a number of great weekend getaway destinations in Tennessee, just a short drive from Nashville. Escape into the Smoky Mountains or drive on through to Kentucky. From urban oasis destinations to outdoor experiences, you won’t have another boring weekend when you visit one of these weekend getaways from Nashville.
There’s a reason why Chattanooga, Tennessee kicks off this list as the number one weekend getaway from Nashville. A two-hour drive away from Nashville, this Tennessee city has tons of things to do. Families will enjoy visiting the Tennessee Aquarium or Chattanooga Zoo. Outdoor enthusiasts must visit Lookout Mountain or Ruby Falls. And couples should consider strolling down the Riverwalk, home to popular eateries and unique boutiques. A weekend getaway in Chattanooga is well worth the drive.
If you’d rather spend your time getting to know a new city rather than hours in a car, then a visit to Franklin is the ideal weekend getaway for you. Franklin is only 30 minutes from Nashville, but the city is home to a number of great attractions so a far drive just isn’t necessary to enjoy a great weekend getaway. Book a charming bed and breakfast and spend your weekend browsing the historical sites here, such as Carnton Plantation or the Battle of Franklin Civil War Museum. Downtown Franklin shouldn’t be missed either, as there are a number of noteworthy art galleries, restaurants and cafes.
Rock ‘n roll enthusiasts and barbecue lovers alike should consider a trip to Memphis. Known as the birthplace of rock ‘n roll and blues, Memphis is the second largest city in the state and a fun-filled weekend destination. Learn about Memphis history when you visit iconic spots like Graceland and the Civil Rights Museum. A visit to Memphis also isn’t complete without walking down iconic Beale Street.
If you don’t mind the four-hour drive from Nashville to Gatlinburg, this Tennessee city should definitely be on your bucket list for a weekend getaway. There is nothing like enjoying the weekend in the Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg is the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so many people flock here to hike, camp and enjoy the mountain scenery. The city is also home to Tennessee’s only ski resort, Ober Gatlinburg, so visiting Gatlinburg during the winter isn’t a bad idea either.
If you’re truly looking for a change of scenery in a weekend getaway, escape the state altogether and visit Kentucky instead. A drive to Louisville, Kentucky will take you about three hours, but you’ll be sipping bourbon and mint juleps in no time. Home to the Kentucky Derby, a visit to Churchill Downs may be on your radar while you’re here. With attractions like Slugger Field, the Urban Bourbon Trail, and Fourth Street Live!, you may never want to return back to Nashville once the weekend is over.
Knoxville is a walkable city that boasts a small town vibe. This Tennessee town, three hours away from Nashville, is home to the University of Tennessee. Tennessee Volunteers fan should consider watching a sporting event during a weekend stay here. However, Knoxville is more than just a college town. Travelers here regularly visit attractions like the World’s Fair Park, Market Square and House Mountain.
Mammoth Cave National Park
Not many people know that the longest cave system in the world is only an hour and a half from Nashville, Tennessee. Located in Kentucky, Mammoth Cave National Park is a natural gem that makes a perfect highlight to your weekend getaway. Cave tours are offered through the subterranean passages. The national park offers above ground fun too, like mountain biking and kayaking. Camping is also available here as well.
This college town, home to the University of the South, has plenty to offer weekend travelers. The university alone is a great place to explore, with its Gothic architecture that will make any photographer swoon. However, hikers and bikers will be happy to hear that Sewanee is also home to the Sewanee Perimeter Trail. To complete your stay, book a room at the Sewanee Inn, one of the most popular lodging options for weekenders here.