Top 12 Best Day Trips from Tennessee

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One of the most lovely states in the American South is Tennessee, home to such natural treasures as the magnificent Mississippi River and the breathtaking ... read more...

  1. In Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the American Museum of Scientific and Energy is a kid-friendly science museum that first opened its doors in 1949 as the American Museum of Atomic Energy. As of right now, the Smithsonian-affiliated museum is housed in a brand-new 18,000-square-foot building on Main Street that offers a wide range of interactive, hands-on scientific and nuclear technology displays.


    The city of Oak Ridge's "secret" history as a covert nuclear testing site for the Manhattan Project is covered in permanent exhibitions, which also include a Van de Graaf generator, a fully interactive NOAA weather station, and one about that history. In addition, visitors can browse photographs taken by renowned Manhattan Project photographer Ed Wescott and stroll around the museum's antique flat-top house from the city's Manhattan Project era, which has been preserved from the time of World War II. In addition to the Y-12 National Security Complex and the East Tennessee Technology Park, bus tours also visit other locations related to the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.


    Address: 115 E Main St, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, United States
    Official site: https://amse.org/
    Phone: +1 865-294-4531
    Entrance fee: $8 for adults
    Google rating: 4.7/5.0

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  2. Since 1956, the renowned Tennessee whiskey company Jack Daniel's has called Lynchburg, Tennessee, home to the Jack Daniel's Distillery, which serves as its official production site. The brand's famed "Black Label" whiskey, which sells more than 12.5 million cases worldwide each year, is what the corporation is most well-known for. Every day during regular business hours, with the exception of significant national holidays, visitors can tour the company's distillery plant as part of guided tours.


    The company's basic Dry Country Tour, which lasts roughly 70 minutes and provides behind-the-scenes views at the company's whiskey-making process, is one of the tours that more than a quarter of a million tourists take every year. While an Angel's Share Tour offers exclusive reserve samples, a Flight of Jack Daniel's Tour includes a tasting of five different Jack Daniel's products. Three-hour, two-course Southern-style dinners are now offered by Taste of Lynchburg Tours at Miss Mary Bobo's.


    Address: 280 Lynchburg Hwy, Lynchburg, TN 37352, United States
    Official site: https://www.jackdaniels.com/en-us/visit-distillery
    Phone: +1 931-759-6357
    Entrance fee: $10 (over the age of 21)
    Google rating: 4.8/5.0

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  3. Between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake in Kentucky and Tennessee sits the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, a U.S. national park. John F. Kennedy, the president, proclaimed it a national recreation area in 1963. The two lakes in this recreation area were initially created by the Tennessee Valley Authority through the construction of dams; afterward, the recreation area was placed under the management of the United States Forest Service. It received the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation in 1991. As of June 2017, the government of President Donald Trump removed it from the initiative.


    In addition to providing possibilities for fishing, boating, water sports, hiking, wildlife watching, hunting, picnicking, and camping at one of the biggest untouched forest wilderness areas in the eastern United States, the park features more than 300 miles of natural shoreline. The Woodlands Nature Station offers ranger-led activities, and guided tours are available to visit protected historic locations such as the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm, the Elk and Bison Prairie, and the Golden Pond Planetarium Observatory.


    Address: 238 Visitor Center Dr, Golden Pond, KY 42211, United States
    Official site: http://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/
    Phone: +1 800-525-7077
    Entrance fee: $4.50-$10
    Google rating: 4.7/5.0

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  4. The first river site under the management of Tennessee's State Scenic River program, Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park, guards two spots for white water rafting that are well known across the world close to the city of Delano. The Ocoee and Hiwassee Rivers offer some of the best white water rafting in the world, and visitors may enjoy amazing year-round recreational options all across the park.


    Throughout the river are spots for class I, II, II, IV, and V rapids, which can be conquered on one's own or as part of guided white water rafting excursions. Also popular on both rivers are floating and canoeing. All year long, anglers can catch a variety of fish on both rivers, including largemouth bass, brown and rainbow trout, catfish, and yellow perch. An accessible 47-site campground at Gee Creek offers basic tent sites with picnic tables, fire rings, and grills, giving easy access to the surrounding Cherokee National Forest.


    Address: 404 Spring Creek Rd, Delano, TN 37325, United States
    Official site: https://tnstateparks.com/parks/hiwassee-ocoee
    Phone: +1 888-867-2757
    Entrance fee: 5$
    Google rating: 4.7/5.0

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  5. On Lookout Mountain, with a view of the Tennessee city of Chattanooga, lie Rock City Gardens, one of Georgia's most distinctive tourist destinations. With its "See Rock City" viral marketing campaign that was painted on barn roofs and walls around the country in the middle of the 20th century, the attraction, which first opened its doors in 1932, rose to national renown.


    On clear days, visitors to the site can view seven states from the observation deck atop Lookout Mountain or stroll through the fanciful Fairyland Caverns landscaped gardens, which feature statues of German gnomes and other figures from fairy tales. The trail that leads to the site is manicured and features odd rock formations including Balanced Rock and the Fat Man's Squeeze tunnel. A fall corn maze, an Irish festival for St. Patrick's Day, and a holiday light show are just a few of the seasonal activities that are held at the park each year.


    Address: 1400 Patten Rd, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750, United States
    Official site: https://www.seerockcity.com/
    Phone: +1 706-820-2531
    Entrance fee: $21.95 for adults
    Google rating: 4.7/5.0

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  6. Rock Island State Park ranks 6th on the list of the best day trips from Tennessee. The 883-acre Rock Island State Park in Warren and White Counties is a charming state park next to the Collins River, the Great Falls Dam, and the Caney Work waterway. The peninsula formed by the meeting of the two bodies of water is where the Rock Island town and land mass, in honor of which the park is named, are situated.


    The Great Falls Gorge, which is home to a number of cascading waterfalls and plunges, including the magnificent Twin Falls, is one of the park's iconic natural wonders. The 1892-built historic Great Falls Cotton Mill is a National Register of Historic Places listing. The Bosson Mill and the Spring Castle from the 1890s are further attractions. All throughout the year, visitors can take advantage of fantastic fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, and birding opportunities or stay the night at one of the park's charming campsites or rental cabins.


    Address: 82 Beach Rd, Rock Island, TN 38581, United States
    Official site: https://tnstateparks.com/parks/rock-island
    Phone: +1 800-713-6065
    Entrance fee: 2$-3$
    Google rating: 4.7/5.0

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  7. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most popular national park in the United States, drawing over 11 million tourists a year to its free-admission attractions and scenic delights. The park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is situated near the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. It gets its name from the permanent bluish haze that envelops the park's higher heights of mountains.


    The Clingmans Dome observation tower, which rises to a height of 6,643 feet, and the preserved old Appalachian homes and buildings of the Cades Cove region are just a few of the famous attractions that call its 522,000 acres home. There are more than 850 miles of hiking paths that wind through the park's terrain and lead to stunning waterfalls like Grotto Falls, which has a walk-behind road. Tourists visiting the area can stay in resort communities like Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Cherokee, which have magnificent hotels, vacation rentals, and family-friendly events and attractions.


    Address: 107 Park Headquarters Rd. Gatlinburg, TN 37738, United States
    Official site: https://www.gsmnp.com/
    Phone: +1 865-436-1200
    Entrance fee: 5$-40$
    Google rating: 4.9/5.0

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  8. The Tennessee Aquarium, which is situated in the lovely downtown area of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has earned praise as one of the best aquarium facilities in the country. The non-profit aquarium, which was established in 1992, is a facility that has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is home to more than 800 marine life species from all over the world. Each year, more than 20 million people visit the aquarium's displays, which are housed in its River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings.


    The North American habitat River Otter Falls, the Mississippi River Delta exhibit Delta Country, and the Tennessee River Gallery, which features native species of the Tennessee River Valley including the channel catfish and the American paddlefish, are just a few of the lovely River Journey exhibits. Visitors to Ocean Journey can check out the enormous 618,000-gallon Secret Reef, which is home to species from the Gulf of Mexico, or the Boneless Beauties jellyfish gallery.


    Address: 1 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402, United States

    Official site: https://tnaqua.org/

    Phone: +1 423-265-0695

    Entrance fee: $34.95 for adults; $21.95 for kids ages 3-12

    Google rating: 4.7/5.0

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  9. The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, sometimes known as TVRM, is a charming historical railroad and museum in Chattanooga that was first established in 1960 as a branch of the National Railway Historical Society. The museum offers tours aboard historic railroads that travel by local landmarks including the Whiteside Tunnel and depart from rail stations in Chattanooga and Etowah.


    Train service is still provided by TVRM today. Additionally, a local freight service has been introduced. The 6-mile (9.7-km) round-trip ride, which is frequently pushed by a steam engine, is available to visitors and lasts an hour. Additionally, excursion trains—occasionally pulled by steam locomotives—are available on most weekends from April through November. Baldwin Locomotive Works, the American Locomotive Company, and Montreal Locomotive Works built some of the historic locomotives that are still in use today on the line. Some Like It Hot, October Sky, and Water for Elephants are just a few of the popular movies and television shows that have included a number of the company's charming locomotives and train cars.

    Address: 4119 Cromwell Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37421, United States
    Official site: https://www.tvrail.com/
    Phone: +1 423-894-8028
    Entrance fee: $24 Adults, $15 Children
    Google rating: 4.7/5.0
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  10. Cumberland Caverns ranks 10th on the list of the best day trips from Tennessee. Aaron Higgenbotham, a land surveyor, found Cumberland Caverns, a display cave in McMinnville, Tennessee, in 1810. Having been made accessible to the general public in 1956, Higgenbotham's Cave immediately became to be a favored location for nearby intrepid travelers in the 19th century. Now, there are more than 32 miles of caverns and underground corridors, as well as stunning underground rock formations, underground waterfalls, dark pools, and some incredibly big underground rooms.


    A standard daylight walking tour of the caves is available, as are spelunking tours for the more daring, overnight tours for those who are truly searching for a thrill, and informative field trips for kids. Birthday and other celebrations as well as unconventional weddings are frequently held in the caves. In the Volcano Room of the Cumberland Caverns, a monthly concert series called Bluegrass Underground is also hosted.

    Address: 1437 Cumberland Caverns Rd, McMinnville, TN 37110, United States
    Official site: https://cumberlandcaverns.com/
    Phone: +1 931-668-4396
    Entrance fee: Adventure Tour $55 per person; Private Tour $85 per person
    Google rating: 4.8/5.0
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  11. If you are not a huge lover of country music, you are probably only going to learn about Loretta Lynn's Ranch by mistake while passing through Tennessee. The illustrious country music pioneer lived on a ranch and owned the 18,000-square-foot museum in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Through her extensive collection of memorabilia, personal belongings, and honors from her distinguished career as well as those of her numerous entertainer friends, she established a museum.


    In addition to the self-guided tours offered by the museum, you can also stop at the Frontier Homestead, the Native American Artifact Museum, the Grist Mill Museum, and the Loretta's Fan & Doll Museum, which are all nearby buildings. The ranch has a variety of lodging options, including tent sites, rustic cabins, and an RV park. The guests have access to a sizable pool, canoeing, paddle boats, fishing, and if they are lucky, nightly entertainment in the ranch theater.

    Address: 8000 Highway 13 South, Hurricane Mills, TN 37078, United States
    Official site: https://www.lorettalynnranch.net/
    Phone: +1 931-296-7700
    Entrance fee: $25 per person
    Google rating: 4.6/5.0
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  12. At 1140 Columbia Avenue in Franklin, Tennessee, there is a historic home called the Carter House State Historic Site. The Carter family hid in the basement of the home while they awaited the conclusion of the second Battle of Franklin. It is a State Historic Site designated by the Tennessee Historical Commission and is administered by the nonprofit The Battle of Franklin Trust in accordance with a contract with the commission. The mansion is a contributing property and the focal point of the Franklin Battlefield historic district, which is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.


    Federal breastworks were erected just south of the brick farmhouse built in the federal style in 1830 that served as the Twenty-third Army Corps's headquarters before the conflict. During the conflict, one of Carter's boys was injured, and his body was transported home where he subsequently passed away. The space where he passed away has been kept in its original form and is now a stop on the house tour. Visitors can take tours of the Carter House and its surroundings.

    Address: 1140 Columbia Ave, Franklin, TN 37064, United States
    Official site: https://carterhousemuseum.org/
    Phone: +1 615-791-1861
    Entrance fee: $18 per person per site
    Google rating: 4.8/5.0
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