A road trip is a perfect way to view beautiful scenery and spend time with your true love. You don’t have to travel around the country to create the ultimate road trip. In fact, simply traveling around Eastern Tennessee can create an experience you will always remember. Here are eight of the best east Tennessee weekend road trips for you and your girlfriend.
1. Great Smokey Mountains National Park
Only a two-hour drive from Knoxville, The Great Smokey Mountains National Park is a remarkable weekend road trip. Once you arrive at the park, you can spend the entire weekend driving around and viewing all the beauty this national park has to offer. Visit all the popular destinations in the park including Cataloochee, Clingmans Dome, and Roaring Fork. You can even spend plenty of time outside of the vehicle and enjoy a few hours of fishing, hiking, and exploring waterfalls. You may find that a weekend is simply not enough time to explore everything this national park has to offer.
If you don’t want to venture too far out of Knoxville but are looking for a destination with plenty of action, thrills, and excitement, Dollywood should be at the top of your list. Located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Dollywood includes a full theme park with more than 40 thrill rides. You can also spend the day at the water park with dozens of water attractions. In the evenings, you’ll certainly stay busy with the amazing dinner shows that feature music, dancing, and live animals. After this weekend road trip, you’ll certainly go home tired.
3. Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
If you are looking for a road trip that involves plenty of gorgeous scenery, exciting wildlife, and exquisite hiking trails, you must spend the weekend at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Explore up to 125,000 acres of land, sandstone bluffs, and beautiful waterfalls. If you want a budget-friendly trip, this option should be at the top of your list. You can stay in one of five campgrounds in the area and if you are in the mood for some true adventure, you can spend the weekend mountain biking and rock climbing as well.
4. Bristol, Tennessee
Bristol, the birthplace of country music, provides activities that cater to every interest. If you are a music fan, you must visit the Birthplace of Country Music Museum where you can learn all about the origins of country music and how it has affected this musical genre as we know it today. If you want a little more fast-paced action, don’t just spend your entire road trip in the car. Instead, watch cars race by at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Or, if you want a variety of outdoor activities, check out the Bristol Caverns, South Holston Lake and Dam, and the Steele Creek Park. There is so much to do and see in Bristol that you’ll stay busy throughout the entire weekend.
5. Johnson City
Johnson City is not a big city destination like Knoxville or Chattanooga, but it is large enough to provide all your essentials for the perfect road trip. Johnson City is another fabulous outdoor destination and is close to many attractions such as Winged Deer Park, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park, and Buffalo Mountain Park. You have ample opportunities to boat, hike, bike, and simply relax in this area of the state. Johnson City is also well known for the Gray Fossil Site and Natural History Museum. While here, you can be a paleontologist for the day and dig through a large fossil deposit. It’s a great way to expand your education while taking a break from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life.
6. Burgess Falls State Park
If you are willing to travel west more than 120 miles, you will find Burgess Falls State Park. This area features four gorgeous waterfalls with the largest falls cascading more than 130 feet. You do want to prepare yourself for this road trip because to view the waterfalls and the gorge you must hike. While the hike is only 1.5 miles round trip, it is strenuous and can be challenging for many individuals. Throughout this state park, there are day-use areas for you and your girlfriend to enjoy a nice picnic and relax after your difficult hike. And while you can’t camp and hike at this state park, there are nearby campgrounds or you can stay in Cookeville, just a short drive the from area.
Chattanooga is one of the largest cities in Tennessee and there is no shortage of things to do and see. If you want to enjoy the full beauty of the city, you must take a riverboat cruise. This city also boasts a rich history and you can learn more about it at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and various museums in the city. If you want to spend a little more time outdoors, you have access to remarkable areas and parks where you can mountain bike, white water raft, hike, and more.
8. Jack Daniels’ Distillery Tour
More than 200 miles outside of Knoxville is Lynchburg, Tennessee, home to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery Tour. The tour gives you a look at the history of Jack Daniel’s whiskey production. If you desire, you can enjoy small whiskey tastings — although they come with additional fees. There are several tour options available, making it easy to find one that matches your schedule and your interests. While you are there, you definitely don’t want to miss a gourmet meal at Miss Mary Bobo’s restaurant and discover what true cooking really tastes like.
If you are looking for a little sunshine, adventure, physical activity, and even a few thrills, you’ll find it on a road trip in Eastern Tennessee. Whether you want to go for a quick drive or spend a few hours in the vehicle, you can find a destination that helps you create life-changing memories for you and your girlfriend.