Fly to Nashville
Arrive Nashville and transfer independently to your hotel for a three night stay.
Three nights: Hotel Renaissance Nashville or similar
Days 2 to 3
Two full days to explore this exciting city. We suggest you start at the Country Music Hall of Fame, which is situated in the heart of downtown and will give you the best introduction to the music central to Nashville. Another recommended tour is one of Historic RCA Studio B, where all the greats have recorded. There is also the Ryman Auditorium, Grand Ole Opry and Johnny Cash Museum to visit, and you’ll want to head to Broadway in the evening to enjoy the live-music bars. Our “Insider Tip” for that true Nashville experience is to go find your perfect pair of jeans at Imogene and Willie’s, then visit the The Goo Goo Shop to make your own Goo Goo at and learn the history behind the famous chocolate bar from the city.
Nashville to Knoxville (180 miles)
It’s time to pick up your hire car and head out into Tennessee! It’s just a three hour drive across to Knoxville today so you can take your time and perhaps schedule in a stop at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage – the estate, museum and final resting place of the seventh president of the United States. Or if you’re looking to use up some energy for the younger members of your party, then perhaps visit the Treetop Adventure Park.
When you arrive in Knoxville, park up and check in to your hotel for two nights. Then you can head out for a stroll around the historic Market Square district with its 19th century buildings, filled with shops and restaurants, and find a nice place for an evening meal.
Two nights: Hilton Knoxville or similar
A full day to enjoy Knoxville and we suggest you go list to the free live radio show WDVX 89.9 FM at the Downtown Visitor Centre, which happes at noon every day except Sunday. Whilst you’re there you can pick up a few other suggestions, which might include taking in the 360-degree views of downtown Knoxville to the Great Smoky Mountains from the Sunsphere which was built in 1982 for the World’s Fair. Or a visit to the East Tennessee History Center – learn all about Eastern Tennessee and the events that shaped the region. Alternatively, you could head out into nature and enjoy the walking trails and bicycling trails from the Ijams Nature Center.
Knoxville to Gatlinburg via Dollywood [optional] (45 miles)
It’s time to leave Knoxville and you have a choice of how to spend the day. For those country music fans, then a visit to Dollywood is a must and it’s less than an hours drive to the park, so you have a full day soaking up all things Dolly. Explore the park and the rides but make sure you take in one of the many shows with live music, which change through the year.
Alternatively, Sevierville is a lovely place to visit on your way to the Smoky Mountains, with a real Americana feel to it. The downtown is filled with independent coffee shops and boutiques. You can do a self-guided walking down of Sevierville’s 40 most important historic sites (you can pick up a free map near the statue of Dolly Parton – a Sevierville native). You might want lunch at The Appalachian – a farm to table Southern Appalachian dining experience. Before you leave, don’t forget a to take a selfie at the famous Dolly Parton murals.
Then continue on the short journey to Gatlinburg – gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains.
Two nights: Hilton Garden Inn Gatlinburg or similar
Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountain National Park
A full day to enjoy this beautiful national park. There are over 800 miles of trails to explore, with a trail for every age and level of fitness, and a wide variety or winding pathways to enjoy panoramic views. If you prefer the comfort of your car, then you can simply drive the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail which is a 5.5 mile loop just outside of Gatlinburg. The Sugarlands Visitor Centre is a great starting point as you can park up and take one of several trails from here.
Within Gatlinburg, you can also walk along the longest pedestrian bridge in North America – the Skybridge, or ride the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram or travel to the top of Anakeesta Mountain on the “Chondola”. There is so much to do in this area, that you may want to consider extending your stay in Gatlinburg by another night or two.
Gatlinburg to Chattanooga (155 miles)
It’s time to move onto your final stop of the hotel – Chattanooga, located on the Tennessee River and in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. You can take the road that loops back through Pigeon Forge, so its another opportunity to visit Dollywood if you didn’t slot it into your itinerary before. Or you could take the scenic route along the Foothills Parkway – but take heed, the speed limit is 35 mph and the winding road has some steep drops which are not for the faint hearted!
Two nights: DoubleTree by Hilton Chattanooga Downtown or similar
There are 101 things to do in Chattanooga, from the impressive Ruby Falls to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum to the amazing Rocky City. You could take a traditional southern riverboat cruise or enjoy a whiskey tasting. Chattanooga has an incredibly walkable downtown, but if you need to rest your feet or plan on trekking all the way across town, hop on the free electric shuttle.
This popular destination has an old-time European vibe blended with the modern feel of American art right on the bluffs overlooking the Tennessee River. From here, you can take in the sights and sounds of downtown Chattanooga while enjoying the peaceful feeling of being transported to another time. Located within the Bluff View Art District, the River Gallery Sculpture Garden is a two acre outdoor art exhibit featuring one of the Southeast's most impressive collections of temporary American sculptures.
You could also take a guided tour to the breathtaking waterfall – Ruby Falls, or take the incline railway to the top of Lookout Mountain – here you’ll find Rocky City Gardens with magnificent views and pretty woodland pathways. A lovely place to enjoy the last day of your holiday!
Chattanooga – Nashville (134 miles) – Fly home