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30 Best Weekend Road Trips from Nashville

After exploring Downtown Nashville and visiting the top-rated attractions, some travelers prefer to extend their road trip by visiting other Tennessee cities or states nearby.

Nashville is a great starting point on your road trip as there are many exciting places to visit in the music city before traveling towards states like Kentucky and South Carolina.

woman looking out window
Milos Bataveljic

Home to the Johnny Cash Museum and the famous Grand Ole Opry, Nashville has no shortage of entertainment and live music. Although Nashville has plenty of great places to see, there are so many states and cities nearby that make great day trips.

Here’s the scoop on road trips from Nashville!

Road Trips from Nashville

1. Greenville, South Carolina

Five and half hours from Nashville, Greenville, South Carolina is an underrated city with plenty of places to ride a bike and experience locally owned restaurants.

After exploring the downtown area, spend time at the Greenville County Museum of Art and stop by Falls Park on the Reedy. The town is also home to waterfalls and a suspension bridge.

2. Oxford, Mississippi

ole miss campus
Bryan Pollard

Spend some time in the hometown of William Faulkner while trying out first-class restaurants and the college campus of Ole Miss.

Oxford is only 75 miles from Memphis and is filled with peaceful parks, galleries, and museums for travelers looking to add a little history to their road trip.

3. South Walton, Florida

Looking for a beautiful beach to relax on your road trip? South Walton is only 438 miles from Nashville and boasts charming neighborhoods, turquoise waters, and natural landscapes.

Besides the unique neighborhoods, there are a plethora of options to soak in the eclectic mix of restaurants and shops.

4. Saint Louis, Missouri

A major city along the Mississippi River, St. Louis is home to the Gateway Arch, Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Art Museum, and the Science Center.

This destination on your road trip is 4 hours away from Nashville and the perfect place to visit for all ages, especially kids with award-winning zoos and free attractions.

5. Blowing Rock, North Carolina

blowing rock north carolina
Jill Lang

A village in western North Carolina, travelers can experience the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and historic sites like the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum.

Only 341 miles from Nashville, Blowing Rock is a unique town with incredible scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains for the perfect outdoor adventure.

6. Columbus, Ohio

The capital city of Ohio, Columbus is 380 miles away from Nashville. This city is a place filled with artists and innovative thinkers.

The most notable places to visit in this North American city are the zoo, aquarium, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the North Market Downtown area.

7. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Located on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, this city boasts plenty of beaches, trails, and other natural landscapes for nature lovers.

Gulf Shores also has a state park for camping opportunities in an RV or motorhome. The city is 6 hours away from Nashville offering relaxing beaches, golf courses, and a water park.

8. Savannah, Georgia

haunted house in savannah

Have a great weekend trip in one of the oldest cities in the country. Savannah is home to historic sites on every corner with cobblestone streets and Spanish moss.

Even though Savannah is a little further from Nashville than most cities on this list, it is still doable in one day just under an 8-hour drive.

When you’re visiting the historic district, make sure to take a ghost tour, visit Forsyth Park, and the Saint John the Baptist Cathedral.

9. Indianapolis, Indiana

The racing capital of the world, Indianapolis is one of the most popular road trips from Nashville due to the diverse activities available for tourists.

While stopping in Indianapolis for a few days, make sure to visit the Indianapolis Zoo, the Motor Speedway, and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

10. Springfield, Illinois

Only 5 hours from Nashville, Springfield is a great destination for road trippers to stop in if they love learning about history. The downtown area is an architecture lover’s dream with stained glass and the state capital’s large dome building.

When visitors stop in Springfield, the top attractions include the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, the Lincoln Monument, and the Henson Robinson Zoo.

11. Little Rock, Arkansas

little rock arkansas
Denis TangneyJr

Little Rock has the perfect blend of historic sites, nature, and dining sites. This Arkansas city is 5 hours from Nashville with endless activities including cycling trails, museums, and state parks. The thriving city was an important part of the Civil Rights Movement and should be on every traveler’s radar.

12. Abingdon, Virginia

abingdon virginia rail station
Bob Weston

A lovely town in Virginia, Abingdon rests in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is known for giving off an artsy vibe mixed with history.

Some of the best things to do when visiting the historic town are the Arts Depot, the Virginia Creeper Abingdon Terminus, and the William King Museum.

13. Memphis, Tennessee

After visiting the home of country music, the next stop on your road trip is Memphis. Even though Nashville is the main music city, Memphis also has attractions geared towards music lovers like the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the Rock N Soul Museum.

Visitors can also stop by and see the home of Elvis Presley while also soaking in the nightlife of Beale Street. Memphis is the central BBQ destination with plenty of historic landmarks.

14. Lansing, West Virginia

new river gorge view
Sean Pavone

Lansing is an underrated road trip location but is a great place to check out for travelers coming from Nashville. A little over 6 hours away from Nashville, this historic place is home to the New River Gorge Bridge with countless thrilling activities for adventurous people including a zip line and water sports like whitewater rafting.

15. Covington, Georgia

Part of the Atlanta metropolitan area, this U.S. city is a charming place filled with photo opportunities and is known as the Hollywood of the South.

Covington serves as a stunning backdrop for major shows and films like The Vampire Diaries, and the Dukes of Hazzard. After exploring Covington Square, tune into nature at Turner Lake or Academy Springs Park.

16. Parke County, Indiana

Only 4 hours away from Nashville, this county in Indiana is a relaxing location to escape big cities. This underrated destination is ideal for couples looking to have a romantic getaway with hiking trails and cabins. While visiting Parke County, check out Indiana’s Largest Festival, and the beautiful canyons.

17. Knoxville, Tennessee

knoxville tennessee at night
Joe Guetzloff

One of the best places to visit in Tennessee, Knoxville offers all kinds of entertainment for all ages. This city also has seven historical homes of prominent figures in history.

When visiting Knoxville, stop by the Ijams Nature Center, World’s Fair Park, and the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture.

18. Mammoth Cave National Park

Located in Central Kentucky, this unique landmark is the world’s longest cave system at over 400 miles. The national park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is best visited between November and February to fully soak in the beauty of the cave.

Travelers also visit Kentucky for the famous Kentucky Derby Museum showcasing horse race moments in Louisville.

19. Jackson, Tennessee

Only 2 hours from Nashville, Jackson is an important location as it was the first place where rock music was heard. For travelers interested in rock music and sports, Jackson is the perfect city to explore.

Home to Hard Rock Cafe and House of Blues, this Tennessee city is a central hub for entertainment. Jackson is also known for The West Tenn Diamond Jaxx.

20. Chattanooga, Tennessee

chattanooga tennessee
Denis TangneyJr

Take your family on a memorable road trip from Nashville by visiting Chattanooga, only 2 hours away. For RV owners and motorhomes, Chattanooga has some of the best campgrounds with breathtaking hiking trails. If you don’t own a car, you can always get a car hire to see the captivating Raccoon Mountain Caverns.

21. Asheville, North Carolina

Spend a weekend trip in charming Asheville, home to galleries, culinary delights, and The Biltmore Estate. Four and a half hours from Nashville, Asheville provides the ideal getaway with a mix of exciting attractions and waterfalls.

After soaking in the beautiful nature, set your sights on Thomas Wolfe’s Memorial House Museum.

22. Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Slow down and explore Elizabethtown on your Nashville road trip! This intriguing town reminds visitors of America’s earliest days with plenty of historic homes for guided tours.

Elizabethtown is the birthplace of Bourbon, Fort Knox, and Lincoln. With a plethora of lakes, museums, and parks, this city is great for the whole family.

23. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

ferris wheel in pigeon forge
William Reagan

A mountain town known for Dollywood and other top attractions, Pigeon Forge is one of the most popular cities to visit in Tennessee besides Nashville.

After getting over your fears at Dollywood, learn intriguing history at the Titanic Museum, and grab a bite to eat at The Old Mill Restaurant.

24. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Four hours away from Nashville, take time to appreciate nature at the most visited national park in the United States. Besides the endless hiking and walking trails, there are also plenty of cabins and lodges for couples and families who want a nature-filled getaway.

25. Conway, Texas

Conway is the halfway point between Nashville and Las Vegas and is considered to be an underrated historic town in Carson County. Home to ranches and a few historic landmarks, Conway is a laid-back town for a break if you plan on driving to Las Vegas.

26. New Orleans, Louisiana

nightlife in downtown new orleans

A city on the Mississippi River, New Orleans is known for its vibrant music and food scene on Bourbon Street and French Quarter. After soaking in the nightlife, spend some time learning about WWII at the national museum. Travelers visit this city due to the diverse cultures and cuisines.

27. Muscle Shoals, Alabama

Muscle Shoals is another city in Alabama that is a perfect day trip from Nashville. Also famous for music, Muscle Shoals rests on the Tennessee River. Fame Recording Studio made Muscle Shoals “The Hit Recording Capital of the World.”

28. Tupelo, Mississippi

tupelo swamp

Just over 3 hours from Nashville, Tupelo is the official birthplace of Elvis Presley with a festival keeping his name alive with artists playing his songs and participating in the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition.

When taking your family to Tupelo, stop by the Natchez Trace Parkway, Tombigbee Lake State Park, and the Oren Dunn City Museum.

29. Tuscumbia, Alabama

Helen Keller’s birthplace, Tuscumbia is a charming place dripping with history and nature. Only a few hours away from Nashville, this Alabama town gives visitors the chance to learn about the local music scene and the railways.

30. Dayton, Ohio

Dayton ohio
Denis TangneyJr

This city gives visitors a front seat when it comes to the “flying machine.” Dayton is under 5 hours away from Nashville and is the perfect location for history buffs, especially for people who love airplanes as The Wright Brothers called this city their home.

After visiting the Museum of The United States Air Force, marvel at the stunning art pieces at The Dayton Art Institute.

From small towns to large cities, Nashville is within driving distance to many iconic and underrated locations, which makes the city popular when it comes to road trips.

If you’re looking to escape the busy music scene and nightlife of Nashville, consider adding one or more of these best weekend getaways to your list for your next family vacation.

weekend road trips from nashville

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