Nashville, the capital city of the state of Tennessee is a fantastic base for so many wonderful getaway opportunities. As the home of country music Nashville is a thriving city with so much to see and do it’s likely you’ll never get bored. The warm weather in the deep south means there are plenty of outdoor activities and gorgeous weather to make trips more pleasurable. Let’s check some out.
Mammoth Cave National Park
95 miles (ca. 153 km) away from the center of Nashville the Mammoth Caves are well worth a visit. It boasts to be the longest cave system in the world with amazing natural habitat for plant and animal life. The caves cover 400 miles (ca. 644 km) of passageways. Not for the faint-hearted, but don’t worry the caves are well-marked, so you won’t get lost.
The caves are best enjoyed with experienced tour guides who are able to take you through the caves safely and share their wealth of knowledge on the history and animal residents. There are various tours to choose from, and you can read the descriptions beforehand. It’s useful to plan ahead to avoid disappointment as the caves are very popular especially in high season.
The caves can be tricky to negotiate so be sure not to take prams, bulky backpacks, or other heavy items. Photography is allowed but only with the flash turned off so as not to disturb the many varieties of animals that live there.
You can’t live in the deep south without a visit to Memphis. For the ultimate cultural weekend away, Memphis has it all.
There’s lots to learn on a trip to Memphis. In the 19th century it was home to many African slaves. You can visit the National Civil Rights museum and learn about the milestones to reaching freedom and how this was achieved.
On a more positive note the king of rock & roll lived in Graceland which is now a museum you can visit. Check out where Elvis spent his time and look at the family photographs and see his final resting place.
As well as all the cultural opportunities there are lots of outdoor activities such as bike trails, river walks and adventure parks for the kids. There is also a wonderful zoo that’s home to around 3,500 animals since 1906 providing care for 500 species, well worth a visit for animal lovers.
Pickett State Park
For those craving some time in the great outdoors, Pickett State Park is a few hours away from Nashville and is the perfect escape from everyday life.
The park covers 12,000 acres and offers hiking trails, cabins, a lake, recreation lodge and the security of a ranger station. It’s the perfect getaway. There is a choice of 27 campsites all with the usual hookups available and is open all year round.
For a few more creature comforts, you can book a stay in one of the park’s cabins. There are a variety of styles in different sizes ranging from economy to luxury accommodation.
There are loads of activities you can enjoy at the park. If you’re a nautical lover, why not take out a boat and enjoy the peace of the lake? You Can also try your hand at fishing or have a swim in the cool lake waters. If you prefer to stay on drier land, then there are lots of opportunities for physical activities such as rock climbing or horse riding. Be sure to allow a long weekend to enjoy everything the park has to offer.
Country Music Hall Of Fame
For country music lovers, the CMHOF museum is a must. The museum exists to keep country music alive and has an impressive collection of country music memorabilia including costumes, instruments, and costumes. Book a tour for an exclusive insight into some of the best songwriters and performers of country music around.
Road trip from Nashville to New Orleans
A road trip across the deep south from Nashville to New Orleans is about 500 miles (ca. 805 km) and will take around 8 hours if driven with no stops. However, if you want to see some wonderful sites and meet some great people this is a fantastic road trip.
The best time to travel is May/June. The weather is glorious and the roads are not as crowded as in high season. In early June Nashville has a great vibe and you can hear country music playing everywhere. There’s a plethora of things to do and enjoy and something for every taste.
Travelling Through Mississippi is a wonderful scenic experience. Route 61 will take you through Windsor Ruins and Emerald Mound, great historical sights that provide photographic opportunities. The route will also take through the Natchez Trace Parkway that doesn’t allow commercial traffic to pass through so is a lovely, relaxing route through 440 miles (ca. 708 km) of forest trail.
En route you will discover a little town called Natchez which has a beautiful lake ideal for cooling off from the southern sun and provides a spectacular view of the sunset. The Perfect wind down after a day of driving.
Blackberry farm is around 3 hours from the center of Nashville and is a wonderful location for a weekend away. Set deep in the Great Smoky Mountains, the farm is set in 4200 acres and offers relaxing surroundings and spectacular scenery.
The farm focuses on living off the land and cultivating crops. The gardeners forage for seasonal fruits and veg, which are then made into tasty cuisine and served at the hotel restaurant.
There are a good selection of rooms and cottages to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family holiday, Blackberry farm has it all.
Eagles Ridge Resort
Another resort nestled into the Great Smoky Mountains, the Eagle’s Ridge resort provides a great base for exploring the magnificent mountains and surrounding countryside. For pets, there are pet-friendly cabins as well as larger cabins for big family gatherings.
The resort has a year-round clubhouse, outdoor swimming pool and plethora of restaurants, shops and local attractions. The location is right in the center so you’ll be spoiled for choice of activities. Imagine riding a beautiful horse through the Rocky Mountains ? Eagle’s Ridge is a unique choice and not to be missed.
Adventure Science Center
For a day out with the kids, the science center is a great educational visit with lots of fun activities included. Located in downtown Nashville, the center offers hands-on experiences for budding scientists and the kids will love the interactive activities to keep them busy all day long.
They also offer camps for children to fully immerse themselves into the world of science and space with hands on experiments fully supervised for the ultimate learning experience. Camps run over 4-7 days and are a great way to keep the kids occupied and help them make new friends with science loving buddies.
Frist Art Museum
For classy art lovers, the Frist Museum is a cultured day out and runs exhibitions from leading artists who work in multiple mediums such as drawing, sculpture, film, and silhouettes.
The museum also has visiting creatives such as animators of children’s books and as well as architects and music groups. A truly diverse museum with a lot to see and learn.
Gaylord Opryland Resort
This all-in-one resort is great for all the family and located not far from the airport in Nashville. The kids will love splashing around the water park. The park is open all year round and offers a tropical environment with lots of fun activities. There are different sections for toddlers and older kids. There are slides and waves as well as a unique roof structure that allow for indoor sunbathing. Check out their website for a list of all the water features, there is something for everyone.
For indoor fun there’s a fully equipped games room as well as an exclusive adults-only area. There are some great packages available for accommodation and activities with special events included during the holiday season.
Another great choice for the kids and animal lovers Nashville zoo is one not to be missed. The zoo has a huge selection of animals such as mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. You’ll find bears, alpacas, leopards, and cougars and giraffes amongst the residents at Nashville zoo.
They offer experiences to get up close and personal with the animals such as ‘call of the wild’ dinner which includes a 3-course meal, cocktails, and a VIP experience with a local animal doctor. A wonderful treat for a birthday or special occasion.
For children there are day and summer camps where children can learn all about the animals, how to take care of them and enjoy some wild arts, crafts, and games. The perfect break from the traditional classroom. There are also some jungle gym playgrounds throughout the zoo for kids to let off steam during a day visit.
Park county Indiana
Park country is a great destination for a road trip from Nashville. You’ll need a good few days to enjoy all the sights’ en route.
Park country is known for its covered bridges and feels like a step back in time. Every October Park Country throws a 10-day covered bridge festival that is a wonderful cultural experience. The glorious poplar and oak trees look amazing in the fall and the charming small town community make this festival and experience memorable indeed.
This little town 60 minutes from Nashville is a quaint little place and home to famous Johnny Cash who enjoyed peace and quiet in his local country retreat.
The Piney River rolls leisurely through the town and is an idyllic spot for fishing. Boating, swimming or simply watching the world go by.
Be sure to check out Woody’s Smokehouse, around since 1975 this independent store sells delicious cheese, meats and spices and is a favorite amongst the locals.
General Jackson Showboat
The Cumberland River runs through Nashville and a cruise along the water is a popular activity for residents and visitors alike. The steamboat first appeared in the city in 1817 and The General Jackson was named after it. Known as one of the largest showboats, it sailed from Indiana before arriving in Nashville on April 20th 1985.
The boat adheres to the Victorian era with elegant designs and interiors. You can easily lose yourself and be transported to bygone times.
The boat can hold 1000 passengers and is a whopping 300 feet (ca. 91 m) in length. You can book a daytime or evening cruise on this iconic vessel with entertainment aplenty. Jazz and blues, old and new country as well as Xmas music and party anthems are just a few of the entertainment offerings on board this vessel. You can even prolong your visit and book an overnight stay for the ultimate indulgence.
For the wine connoisseurs you can’t miss out on a visit to the spectacular Arrington Vineyards. 25 miles (ca. 40 km) south of Nashville this 95 acre vineyard is beautiful wine making heaven. With sixteen acres of vineyards it isn’t surprising it’s described as Nashville’s wine country.
As well as daily wine tasting, the vineyard holds regular events such as live jazz bands and music throughout summer. There’s plenty of space for pincis and there are food trucks available on site. No need to make a reservation just turn up and enjoy.
They also offer private tasting sessions where you can learn all about the wine they produce and the winemaking process. There’s the opportunity to find out how to join the exclusive wine clubs where you will receive regular deliveries, updates, and information. Imagine a wine delivery every month straight to your door? Bliss!
The above selections are by no means the only day trips/road trips and weekend getaways around Nashville, but there’s enough to get you started. The deep south is a beautiful part of the world and there are endless things to see and do. So, get planning, life is better when there are things to look forward to and with the last year and half of restrictions it’s time to enjoy life once more.