6 easy must-do weekend trips from Nashville

Published by: BouncePosted
Weekend getaways from Nashville

Famously known as the home of country music, Nashville is a fantastic place to explore. Even if you're not a fan of the three-chords-and-the-truth style of narrative songwriting, Nashville has plenty to recommend it, including incredible museums, relaxing green spaces, and some truly excellent food. Almost from the moment you arrive at Nashville airport, you'll find that the city has plenty to keep you occupied, whether you're in town for a weekend or for the rest of your life.

But sometimes, the pace of a big city can wear even the best of us down. Plus, Nashville's hot summers take a toll. Before long, you may find yourself pining for weekend getaways from Nashville that will let you discover more of what Tennessee and the wider region have to offer.

Luckily, it's not hard to plan a weekend trip from Nashville. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Music City, and you'll have your pick of great weekend getaways. And if you're looking for inspiration, you've come to the right place. Here are some easy weekend trips from Nashville that will give you a whole new outlook on this part of the US.

Weekend trip from Nashville to Birmingham

Birmingham, AL

Not far across the border into Alabama, you'll reach the city of Birmingham, an ever-popular destination for weekend trips from Nashville. With great food, lively culture, and endless entertainment options available, this is another fantastic choice for a weekend trip.

Distance from Nashville:

Nearly 200 miles, not to mention the Tennessee River, separate the two cities, so expect to spend just under three hours driving from Nashville to Birmingham. That makes it a little long for a day trip, but a great choice for weekend getaways from Nashville.

Our activity recommendations:

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum: Committed gearheads won't want to miss this one. Established by a former racecar driver, this is the world's biggest motorcycle museum, with more than 1400 machines on display. Many remain in working order, and the museum also hosts special events, particularly during the summer, so keep an eye out for races and other performances at this exciting museum.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: Birmingham is synonymous with the American civil rights movement, particularly with the work of Martin Luther King Jr. Opened in 1992, this Institute tells the story of the movement for civil rights and Birmingham's prominent place in the politics of the time. It also looks forward to the struggles still left to overcome in the battle for human rights.

Railroad Park: Lying just south of the railroad lines that pass through downtown Birmingham, this park is often known as Birmingham's living room. It's a great place to soak up the lively atmosphere of the city, especially on a sunny day. In the summer, it's also home to some great cultural events such as concerts and other performances.

Best season to visit:

Birmingham has enough going on to make it a true year-round destination, so whether you prefer to take your weekend trips in the summer or in the winter, you'll find lots to do here.

Weekend getaways to Columbia from Nashiville

Columbia, TN

This historic town is something of a hidden gem. Easily reachable from Nashville, it's one of the best weekend trips for history lovers in the state. It's also a great place for a weekend getaway if you just want to enjoy a slower pace of life.

Distance from Nashville:

At 45 miles south of Nashville, this is a town you can reach in well under an hour of driving.

Our activity recommendations:

James K Polk Home and Museum: The former home of the 11th president of the United States, this historic house was built in 1816 by the future president's father, Samuel Polk. Located close to downtown Columbia, the house is now open to visitors and provides a glimpse back into the early chapters of American history and the life of one of the nation's earliest presidents.

Main Street: With a wealth of historic buildings that now house boutique stores and great restaurants, Columbia's Main Street is about as charming and quaint as they come. Just taking a stroll down this road will make you feel like you've been transported back to a simpler time. Grab an ice cream to accompany you on the walk, or sit down at a sidewalk café to soak up the unique ambiance.

Columbia Arts District: Located close to the Town Square, this revitalized district has seen warehouses and factories transformed into arts venues and other cultural attractions. The perfect weekend trip for art lovers, the Columbia Art District provides a great way to enjoy music and live performances - as if Nashville didn't have enough of that already.

Best season to visit:

Spring can be very pleasant in Columbia, and the shoulder season allows you to avoid the tourist crowds. However, there's really no bad time to come here.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park

One of the most famous attractions in the region, this stunning cave and the National Park that houses it are located in Kentucky, making it an excellent destination for road trips from Nashville.

Distance from Nashville:

Just about a hundred miles north of Nashville, Mammoth Cave National Park can be reached in a two-hour drive.

Our activity recommendations:

The cave: Naturally, the cave is the star attraction here. Part of the world's longest cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds evidence of thousands of years of human occupation. Take a cave tour to learn more about this unique geological treasure and discover the remote past of what is now the United States on one of the best weekend trips from Nashville.

Hiking: As impressive as the cave itself is, there's more to the park than just the underground. Mammoth Cave National Park also has more than 80 miles of hiking trails that will take you through dense forest or along the banks of the Green River. That's what makes this one of the best weekend getaways from Nashville for those who love to spend time outdoors.

Boating: This forest park is also the home of Kentucky's first National Water Trail. The Green and Nolin rivers are the perfect place to set out on a kayak or canoe to enjoy the stunning park from the water.

Best season to visit:

Summer offers the most options for recreation in Mammoth Cave National Park. However, the cave is open year-round and maintains a constant temperature, so don't let winter put you off visiting.

Chattanooga weekend trips from Nashville

Chattanooga, TN

If you're thinking about a song featuring a famous train right now, you're not the only one. But there's more to Chattanooga than its well-known choo-choo. This historic town has plenty to offer on a weekend getaway from Nashville, including museums and the Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center.

Distance from Nashville:

At a distance of 134 miles, expect to take around two hours to make the journey from Nashville to Chattanooga.

Our activity recommendations:

Tennessee Aquarium: The perfect activity for families on a weekend getaway from Nashville, the Tennessee Aquarium in downtown Chattanooga will take you on a trip through the oceans and waterways of the world. You'll encounter colorful marine life from every corner of the planet and learn more about the importance of the world's oceans, lakes, and rivers as you explore both native wildlife and creatures from more exotic locations.

Creative Discovery Museum: Another great option for families, the Creative Discovery Museum is a science museum with a focus on exciting interactive exhibits that will teach you a lot about the world we live in without it feeling like a lesson. With a science theater, a play gym, and the ever-popular Rooftop Fun Factory, this is the perfect place to let the kids burn off some energy and learn something at the same time.

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum: Of course, Chattanooga is synonymous with historic rail travel, and there's no better place to understand that connection more fully than this engaging railway museum. Take a ride on a perfectly restored steam engine to see more of the Tennessee countryside on one of the best weekend getaways from Nashville.

Best season to visit:

Many of Chattanooga's top attractions are indoors, so it's a great destination to visit year-round.

Weekend getaway from Nashville to Knoxville

Knoxville, TN

The home of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville is known for its sports teams as well as its historic attractions. An ideal weekend trip from Nashville, the city offers a completely different atmosphere to its neighbor without being too far away.

Distance from Nashville:

180 miles separate Nashville from Knoxville. Expect the drive to take the best part of three hours on this popular weekend trip.

Our activity recommendations:

World's Fair Park: Knoxville hosted the World's Fair back in 1982, and since then, the former Fairgrounds have become one of the most popular places to visit for both locals and tourists alike. The beautiful streams and fountains make this green space a great place to cool off, and in the summer, you'll find tons of outdoor concerts and other entertainment going on. Best of all, it's all completely free, so if you're looking for weekend trips on a budget, this could be one to consider.

East Tennessee History Center: This is a part of the United States where the past continues to exert a powerful influence today, and you can learn more about the rich history of Tennessee at the East Tennessee History Center. One of the top museums in the area, this fascinating place will tell you the story of the state from its prehistoric origins up to the present day.

Market Square Farmer's Market: There are tons of great places to eat in Knoxville, but if you really want to get to grips with local produce and culinary flair, this is a place to do it. Browse the stalls and chat with local farmers, and you'll learn all about Tennessee's culinary traditions. This is also a fantastic place to try some of Knoxville's best street food, and there's a good chance that you'll be entertained by musicians and other performers working the crowds at this popular activity.

Best season to visit:

As one of the biggest cities in the area, Knoxville is a year-round destination, so whenever you're planning your weekend trips from Nashville, give this one some thought.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This expansive National Park, surrounded by other national forests and protected areas, is the heart of one of the last great wildernesses in the eastern United States.

Distance from Nashville:

At 200 miles from Nashville and around three hours of driving, Great Smoky Mountains National Park isn't one of the closest weekend trips from Nashville you could take. But the incredible mountain wilderness it offers means it's well worth the journey.

Our activity recommendations:

Clingman's Dome: At 6643 feet, this is the very roof of Tennessee, the highest point in the entire state. As you'd expect, the view from here is magnificent, especially at sunrise or sunset. But you don't need to be an athlete to get here. A scenic drive will bring you almost to the summit, so you only need to walk half a mile to the lookout point to capture this magnificent view on one of the best weekend getaways from Nashville.

Watch the leaves change: Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for its autumn foliage. The deciduous trees here make dramatic color changes as summer turns to fall, and thousands of tourists come here every year to see this reliable natural spectacle.

Best season to visit:

Summer in this national park is a great thing to experience, with all the hiking trails, rivers, and lakes there are to explore. But the foliage makes this one of the best weekend getaways from Nashville you can possibly take, and it shouldn't be missed if you have the chance.


It doesn't take much to see that Nashville makes the ideal base for some truly great weekend trips. Once you've enjoyed three days in Nashville itself, consider branching out on these Nashville weekend getaways. Whether you're looking for the best day trips from the city or for longer weekend getaways, you can't go wrong with the destinations on our list.

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