Weekend Getaways in TN: 11 Wonderful Cities

12 mins read
Weekend Getaways in TN
By Drew Beamer / unsplash Copyrights 2020

Weekend getaways in TN have a lot to offer visitors who want to take a break from their daily routine and do something exciting and interesting for a change.

The rustic charm of Tennessee and its vibrant cities make it a hot destination for those looking for a break, weekend getaways, or a romantic getaway.

The Mississippi River, the second-longest river, runs through this state and is another attraction in Tennessee to see and appreciate.

Weekend Getaways in TN
By Chase Baker / unsplash. Copyright 2020


Located in the Southeastern part of the United States, Tennessee has a border with eight states. The largest cities in Tennessee are Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville and these vibrant cities have a lot to offer if you are looking for weekend getaways in Tennessee.

What makes this city a perfect place for weekend getaways and a romantic getaway is that something is charming and appealing for everyone in this state. Whether nature, shopping, food, wildlife, or culture, weekend getaways in Tennessee will not disappoint you.

Weekend Getaways in TN

You have decided to visit Tennessee for the weekend and are scouting for places that will give you adventure as well as the magnificence of the landscape.

Let us look at the major cities in Tennessee and find out what they offer visitors to make weekend getaways in TN inviting and intriguing. Each city has its attractions that make them a hotspot for weekend getaways and also romantic getaways.

  1. Bristol

A visit to Briston Caverns at Bristol can be one of the most fantastic weekend getaways in TN if you are looking for one. It is located at the gateway of the Great Smoky Mountain area. Explore the vaulted chambers and stroll along the ancient Underground River, which was used as an escape route by the Indians.

The arches, the columns, the chambers, the natural stone formations in different shapes and sizes, and the stalactites and stalagmites will leave you awe-struck. This is one of the good weekend getaways in Tennessee, and for all nature lovers, this is the place to visit.

Apart from the Bristol Caverns, the other main attractions of Bristol are the Country Music Hall Museum which is the birthplace of Country Music and promotes the rich musical heritage of Bristol, the Bristol Floating Harbor, Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Cathedral, Cheddar Gorge, and the Blaise Castle House.

  1. Chattanooga

This place in Eastern Tennessee strikes the perfect balance between city and country life and has a lot of attractions that make it a perfect choice if you are looking for weekend getaways in TN.

Chattanooga is nicknamed the scenic city of Tennessee, surrounded by the mountains, and with the Tennessee River winding its way through it, this city is incredibly scenic.

Be it the Chattanooga Riverpark, Tennessee River Gorge, Tennessee Aquarium, Ruby Falls, the underground waterfalls, and other places of interest, there are multiple ways to appreciate the place’s natural beauty.

Weekend Getaways in TN
By Mitchell Hartley / unsplash. Copyright 2020

Visit the Lookout Mountain and get amazing views of the Tennessee Valley. This is just minutes from downtown Chattanooga.

Ride the Incline Railway, one of the world’s steepest railways, admire the beauty of Ruby Falls, the tallest and deepest underground waterfall, and indulge in adventures and outdoor activities. You can go trekking in Rock City and get to ‘See Seven States.’

Hike up to the Sunset Rock and watch one of the beautiful sunsets if you are hiking. Create everlasting memories and ensure your camera is handy to take some breathtaking pictures.

There is something for city lovers too. Visit the Creative Discovery Museum and enjoy the experiential learning experience that will help future generations.

The museum is unique and unconventional because it helps kids learn through play, and the museum has arts, music, and science for the kids.

The shops downtown Chattanooga is a haven for shoppers and will make your weekend getaway lively. If you are looking for weekend getaways in TN, then Chattanooga has a lot to offer.

Another way of exploring this city is by going on a Southern Belle Riverboat cruise. Glide along the Tennessee River, and the sights and sounds of this lovely city are a visual delight.

Stay at the Mayor’s Mansion Inn and make this stay one of the best weekend getaways in TN you have ever done before. Mayor’s Mansion Inn gives easy access to Lookout Mountain, the East Ridge, and Rossville.

Read House Historic Inn and Suites; a four-star hotel is another option if you want a luxurious hotel. It has a rich history and is just a 17-minute walk from the Chattanooga Riverwalk. The Read House Historic Inn boasts of surviving the Civil War, the Great Depression and hosting none other than Elvis Presley.

  1. Cherokee National Forest

Are you looking for some adventure and adrenalin rush during your weekend getaway in Tennessee? Then Cherokee National Forest in East Tennessee is the place to choose for weekend getaways in TN.

This 650,000-acre forest has 30 developed campgrounds, many picnic areas, numerous trails, and seven whitewater rivers. It will take you through many other exhilarating adventures making your stay here one of the best weekend getaways of your lifetime.

Go backpacking, snorkeling, drive through the mountains and enjoy the beautiful views around you, or spend a night stargazing.

Whichever activity you choose will be a fantastic weekend trip to one of the best weekend getaways in TN.

Weekend Getaways in TN
By Andrew Neel / unsplash. Copyright 2016
  1. Franklin

This city is 34 km south of Nashville and the seventh-largest city in Tennessee. This place is a melange of modern and traditional and there are trendy shops if you love shopping and good restaurants for eating.

Visit the Lotz Museum, which celebrates the talent of Johann Albert Lotz and his creativity, and covers the Civil War events in and around the Franklin area.

Go on a trail in Timberland Park, and nature lovers enjoy the wildlife and birdwatching. This park has a lot to offer if you want weekend getaways in Tennessee, a romantic getaway, or a date night.

The Middle Tennessee Hot Air Adventures and the Soar Adventure Tower are places to visit if you are an adventure lover.

Downtown Franklin is the best place to go if you love antique shops, art galleries, historic homes, boutiques, and performance venues. Franklin also has several verdant parks.

Book yourself in Franklin if you want to experience indoor and outdoor activities during your weekend getaways in Tennessee.

Weekend Getaways in TN
By Brandon Jean / unsplash. Copyright 2019
  1. Gatlinburg

Like other cities, this mountain resort has a lot to offer its visitors. The Gatlinburg Space Needle is an iconic observation tower that overlooks the Smoky Mountains and downtown Gatlinburg.

Go up the glass elevators to the observation deck for a panoramic view of the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg. This is the second tallest tower in the state of Tennessee.

There is a 25,000-square-foot playground at the base of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, a theater, a Lazer Tag arena, and The Captured, a Live Escape Game Experience. This is one of the major attractions in Gatlinburg and is open all year round.

Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Area is a fun place for people of all ages and is a good option if you are looking for weekend getaways in TN.

Go ahead and plan one of the best weekend getaways in winter. Book a weekend at the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort and enjoy the snow-scape.

A tram ride to the ski area is the best way to appreciate the aerial views of the Smoky Mountains. The place has ten ski trails, ice bumper cars, snowboarding, and snow tubing in winter.

If your weekend getaway is during summer or spring, you can go for outdoor activities like hiking trails, alpine slides, rock climbing, scenic chairlift, etc.

There are places for pocket-friendly mini golf here in Gatlinburg, and the O’Bears mini golf course is located at the base of Ober’s chairlift at the Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort.

Another big attraction of this city is the Great Smoky Mountains, National Park. Are you looking for weekend getaways in TN?

Why not visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and take in your fill of nature. It has something to offer nature lovers during all the seasons, whether winter, spring, summer, or autumn.

The diverse animal life, fauna and flora, the majestic mountains, and the Southern Appalachian mountain culture make it one of the most visited National Parks in the United States.

Weekend Getaways in TN
By Haitham / unsplash. Copyright 2021

Visit Cades Cove, one of the most visited destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The campground, wildlife viewing, and hiking trails make it a popular hotspot for adventure lovers.

Go on hiking trails, mountain biking, camping, picnic, kayaking, and many other activities that will allow languishing in the grandeur of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Get back home feeling refreshed and energized after breathing the fresh air of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

  1. Johnson City

This city is in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and is a good combination of old-world charm and a big city. It is a good travel destination if you are planning a trip.

Visit the Winged Deer Park, go on a Tweetsie Trail, book a hiking trail at the Buffalo Mountain Park, or visit the George L. Carter Railroad Museum and make it a weekend filled with activities and fun.

Book yourself at the Carnegie Hotel if you plan weekend getaways in Tennessee. There is a heated outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, and other amenities at the Carnegie Hotel. Enjoy the sights and sounds of Johnson City by staying at the Carnegie Hotel.

  1. Knoxville

Knoxville is an hour’s drive from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and its skyline is dotted with a gold share known as the Sunsphere. It is located on the Tennessee River, and many things can be done on your weekend getaways in TN.

Ijams Nature Center is a place for you to enjoy a good picnic, hike, bike, paddle, explore, and enjoy the natural beauty of the place and its surroundings.

It can also be one of the most romantic getaways if you want to experience a romantic ambiance. Ijams Nature Center is three miles from downtown Knoxville, and you can bask in the 318 acres of forest, meadows, and creeks and have one of the most romantic getaways in Tennessee.

Knoxville Museum of Art gives good insights into the historical and contemporary art pieces of the Eastern Tennessee region.

It brings to the light the diverse cultural scene there and is one of the places you can plan to visit while on your weekend trips to Knoxville.

Weekend Getaways in TN
By Joshua J. Cotten / unsplash. Copyright 2019

If you plan weekend getaways in TN with your kids and visit Knoxville, then Knoxville zoo should be on your itinerary.

The zoo boasts of having 800 species of wildlife and is going to be a real treat for the kids and also for adults. The mission of the Knoxville zoo is to save animals from extinction, locally and around the world.

  1. Memphis

Memphis is one of the good choices you can make if you are looking for weekend getaways in TN and want to take a break from your usual schedule.

This city is known as the birthplace of Rock n Roll and Home of the Blues and can be the best weekend getaway if you are a music lover. Be it the famous Beale Street, Memphis Rock and Soul Museum, or Stax Museum of American Soul Music; this place will give you a true experience and make your weekend getaway worthwhile.

If you are a great fan of country music and would love to visit some of the museums associated with music, then make weekend trips to Memphis and participate in some of their music festivals and country music events.

The National Civil Rights Museum is another attraction in Memphis. It takes you back to the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

The National Civil Rights Museum is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King was assassinated. You will enjoy the interactive exhibits and historic artifacts if you love history.

Weekend Getaways in TN
By Jr Harris / unsplash. Copyright 2021

Downtown Memphis has Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, the Memphis Rock n Soul Museum, the Crystal Shrine Grotto, Memphis Zoo, and other attractions that will make your weekend a significant one.

If you are looking for weekend getaways in TN, then why not choose Memphis and make your weekend trip indelible.

The Crystal Shrine Grotto is a hidden gem in Memphis and sits in the Memphis Memorial Park Cemetery. Biblical tableaux and a wonderful collection of strange stones make it a good place to visit during your stay in Memphis.

It is believed the artist Dionicio Rodrigues destroyed all evidence of his craftsmanship so that no one could recreate it.

If you are on a romantic getaway, stay at the River Inn of Harbor Town and book a room where you get expansive views of the Mississippi River. There are also vantage points in the hotel to enjoy the Mississippi River, and most of the attractions of Memphis are not far from this hotel.

  1. Nashville

Nashville, the capital of Tennessee, is also known as the music city, and it is one of the cities in Tennessee you can decide to visit if you are looking for weekend getaways in TN.

Enter the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, one of the world’s major museums and research institutes dedicated to the preservation of American vernacular music; and the Country Music Museum, which portrays the changing history and traditions of country music.

Centennial Park, and Grand Ole Opry, a weekly American country music stage concert to add color and glamor to your weekend trips.

Weekend Getaways in TN
By Tanner Boriack / unsplash. Copyright 2019

Downtown Nashville has good hotels where you can book and make it one of the best weekend getaways you have ever had. Music City Loft is one of the places in downtown Nashville you can stay at affordable prices.

Music City Loft is within walking distance to downtown Nashville, and it gives you luxury and comfort. If you are looking for places to stay in Nashville during your weekend getaways or romantic getaways, then this is the place.

  1. Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge, which is in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is another weekend getaway you can decide to visit if you are looking for weekend getaways in TN.

It is a small town surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. Opt for weekend getaways in Tennessee and stay at Pigeon Forge. Take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and see the extensive views of the place as you go high up.

Weekend Getaways in TN
By Darshan Patel / unsplash. Copyright 2019

Book yourself at the Little Valley Mountain Resort, Pigeon Forge, and stay in one of their log cabins. This weekend’s getaway at Pigeon Forge will be one of the most romantic weekend getaways you have experienced.

Most of the log cabins at the Little Valley Mountain Resort come with hot tubs, pool tables, air hockey, and jacuzzis. The heated swimming pool, patio fire pit, and miniature golf course are added attractions while staying a the Little Valley Mountain Resort. Experience the Smoky Mountains on the back porch of your log cabin by staying at the Little Valley Mountain Resort.

Have an exciting day at Dollywood, an Appalachian-themed amusement park. Have fun riding the coasters, on the kiddie rides, and go to Splash Country, the water park attached to it. Try out a Southern meal and let the weekend be relaxing and fun-filled.

Visit the Titanic museum here and go back in time to know how life was on the Titanic. The place showcases 400 pre-discovery artifacts and is said to be the largest permanent Titanic Museum in the world. The Southern culture and country music fans will love this small town.

If you are a movie buff, go to Hollywood Wax Museum and rub shoulders with the stars. Make sure your camera is handy to click pictures with your famous stars.

Eagles Ridge Resort, Pigeon Forge is a good place to stay because it is close to all the attractions, restaurants, and shops, at the same time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The cabins at the Eagles Ridge Resort have outdoor hot tubs, stone fireplaces, and furnished porches making your stay there relaxing and peaceful. There are cabins to suit the needs of everyone.

Pigeon Forge is a good choice if you plan weekend getaways in Tennessee or romantic weekend getaways in the Smoky Mountain area. There is a lot you can explore and learn here.

The Rivergate Mountain Lodge is another resort in Pigeon Forge that connects you easily to the attractions of this small town. All rooms have hardwood floors and a balcony overlooking the Little Pigeon River, and the honeymoon suite comes with whirlpool tubs for two in them. That makes it the right choice if you want romantic weekend getaways in Tennessee.

Weekend Getaways in TN
By Rodney Truitt / unsplash. Copyright 2021
  1. Red Boiling Springs

If your weekend getaway is in Tennessee, do not miss visiting the hot springs at the Red Boiling Springs, a small town originally called the Salt Lick Creek. Five different types of mineral waters are found here, and if you are looking for relaxing weekend getaways in TN, this is the right place to choose.

Stay at the Armour’s Hotel & Spa and enjoy their full-service spa. You can come back home rejuvenated after a mineral-rich spa. Unwind in the serenity of the landscape; it is a nice escape from your hectic life.

In The End

Weekend Getaways in TN
By Emmy Gaddy / unsplash. Copyright 2020

If you are looking for weekend getaways in TN or a romantic getaway, the cities mentioned above in Tennessee have a lot to offer.

They have good resorts and hotels with modern amenities that are good for date nights and romantic weekend getaways. Be it the city vibes, amusement parks, music scene, or nature, Tennessee is one the best states to travel to if you are looking for weekend getaways in Tennessee.

If you liked this article, here is something more.


Verified Content by Experts

USA Tales has content written by niche experts, travelers, students, and those with real-life experience. Our content is also periodically reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure content accuracy and relevancy. Have a question? Email us at team@usatales.com

mamta madhavan

Mamta Madhavan’s body of work includes web content writing, book reviews, interviews, articles, and poetry, mainly free verse. Her works have been published in various reputable journals and magazines worldwide. Living in creatively inspiring India, Mamta incorporates vivid imagery into her writings, influenced by nature, mysticism, and spirituality. Her poetry collection is titled connecting the dots.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog

Exclusive Guides & Discounts

Get how-to guides to shopping online, deals on things you love, & starting essentials to launch your business. Discounts when you use our content writing services. More details here.