City Guide / Nashville

The Best Weekend Getaways from Nashville

By Margaret Littman | Aug 18, 2022
The blue bridge in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, one of the best weekend getaways from Nashville.

It’s pretty hard to be bored in Nashville. When you’re ready to take a break from Music City’s 24/7 country music entertainment, it can be fun to plan a weekend getaway from Nashville. Music City’s convenient location in Middle Tennessee makes it easy to hop on the interstate (or the back roads) and arrive at your weekend getaway destination in no time—and on just one tank of gas!

Can’t decide where to go? Check out our best travel tips, including:

  • The best quick getaway from Nashville
  • The best weekend getaways from Nashville for outdoor adventures
  • The best romantic weekend getaways from Nashville for couples
  • The best weekend getaways from Nashville for history
  • The best weekend getaways from Nashville for food and drinks
  • The best weekend getaways from Nashville for music
  • The best family-friendly getaways from Nashville

Let’s hit the road!

The best quick getaway from Nashville

Drone Aerial of Downtown Chattanooga TN Skyline, Coolidge Park and Market Street Bridge.

Don’t have a lot of time? There are good options for a weekend trip without burning most of your time off getting there. One of Tennessee’s best gems is just two hours south of Nashville. Known as the Scenic City, Chattanooga is nestled on the banks of the Tennessee River in between the Cumberland Plateau and the Appalachian Mountains.

Many people come to this city because it is surrounded by great recreational activities, such as climbing, hiking, and paddling. Even if you’re not up for outdoor adventures, Chattanooga is a great place for exploring. The city is home to the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo, made famous by the song by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon and performed in the late 1940s by the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Check out the vaulted ceilings of the 1909 terminal and the historic railcars, then walk across Market Street to peruse the many shops and restaurants. Around the corner on Main Street are more bars, restaurants, and art galleries to fill your time.

The best weekend getaways from Nashville for outdoor adventures

Mammoth cave National Park view

As mentioned above, Chattanooga is a must-visit destination if you want to play in the mountains and on the rivers. This part of Tennessee is also home to other outdoor activities and attractions, such as:

Whitewater rafting

For whitewater action, head to the Ocoee or Hiwassee rivers, where an experienced outfitter can take your raft down these pristine waterways. These rivers were also the site of the whitewater events during the 1996 Summer Olympics and are well worth the trip!

State parks and national parks in TN

Tennessee’s many state parks also offer quick trips for hiking, backpacking, camping, and other outdoor adventures. Mammoth Cave National Park is one of the country’s true treasures, with activities both underground and on land. And, this destination is just a 90-minute drive north from Nashville over the Kentucky line.

Want even more national park action on the weekend? Lace up your hiking boots and prep for a three-hour drive east to get to the majesty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

The best romantic weekend getaways from Nashville for couples

Lafayette County Courthouse in Oxford, Mississippi in winter.

Spending uninterrupted time together is a great way to reconnect. Consider doing it on a trip for the weekend when you can turn off your phones and enjoy each other’s company in these top romantic getaway spots:

Oxford, Mississippi

If you like browsing bookshops, watching football, or dining in award-winning restaurants, you’ll enjoy a weekend holding hands and walking along the charming, romantic downtown of Oxford Mississippi. The drive from Nashville should take roughly four hours.

Clarksdale, Mississippi

If live blues music is what gets your heart racing as a couple, continue on to Clarksdale, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta. Live music seven days a week combined with great Delta sunsets and delicious Southern cooking will make any couple’s hearts sing. The drive to Clarksdale takes around four and a half hours.

The best weekend getaways from Nashville for history

Shiloh Battlefield

Sometimes, you just want to get away to learn more about your surroundings and where they’ve been. Check out these top destinations for a weekend history lesson:

Corinth, Mississippi

The banks of the Tennessee River are where some of the Civil War was fought. You can learn about the battle of Shiloh when you head to Corinth, Mississippi, less than three hours from Nashville.

In addition to Shiloh National Military Park, you can experience the Corinth Contraband Camp, where more than 6,000 formerly enslaved people lived and created a cooperative farm.

Corinth offers a “60 Sights in 60 Minutes” walking tours so you can take in all of the city’s historic sites and figure out where you want to go back and spend more time throughout the weekend.

Columbia, Tennessee

Closer to Nashville, Columbia, TN, is the site of the President James K. Polk Home & Museum, as well as historic buildings that have been converted into shops and galleries. This trip only takes less than an hour from Nashville.

The best weekend getaways from Nashville for food and drinks

A woman arranges lettuce in wooden baskets at the farmers market in Knoxville Tennessee

The South is jam-packed with good places to eat and drink—in almost any direction, you’ll find a weekend trip with good menus. Check out our top picks:

  • Knoxville, TN: This is a great beer city in East Tennesee. Be sure to stop to take a photo of the one-of-a-kind Sunsphere!
  • Louisville, Kentucky: Louisville, of course, is part of Kentucky’s rich bourbon culture with bars and farm-to-table restaurants.
  • Lexington, Kentucky: Just 90 minutes from Louisville is Lexington, a city known as a community that welcomes immigrant chefs to hang their shingles and open restaurants. Don’t miss their ice cream, either!

The best weekend getaways from Nashville for music

An Old Water Mill Found at Hurricane Mills, Tennessee

Of course, Nashville is Music City and is known for its impressive country music scene. But it isn’t the only place in Tennessee that will get your toes tapping! There are weekend getaways from Nashville where you can hear some of the best live music on any stage and immerse yourself in music history:

Hurricane Mills

Start by heading west from Nashville to Hurricane Mills, about an hour and a half from Nashville. This is the home of the Loretta Lynn Ranch, formerly owned by the country music star. Here, you can learn all there is to know about the Coal Miner’s Daughter, from visiting her mansion to checking out her museum to admiring the rolling hills of the serene landscape.


Another hour and a half west and you’ll come to Brownsville, once home to Tina Turner. The one-room schoolhouse Turner attended has been transformed into an educational center and museum, with lots of Turner’s old costumes and stagewear on display.


If you want to continue your trip from there, you can head west to Memphis to see the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studio, and Graceland.

The best family-friendly getaways from Nashville

Public park near Harahan bridge, Big river crossing from Tennessee to Arkansas, Mississippi river, USA.

Looking to get out of the city with the kids in tow? Check out our picks for the best quick Nashville trips for families:


While Memphis is just three hours away from Nashville, it can feel like a world away. Its landscape on the bluffs of the Mississippi River is unlike that of Middle Tennessee. The riverfront has been transformed into a network of parks.

Take the kids (and dogs!) on a walk from Tennessee to Arkansas on the mile-long Big River Crossing bridge that spans the mighty Mississippi.

Nearby Mud Island features the Mud Island River Park and Museum with a relief map and splash pad and a colorful Memphis sculpture perfect for family portraits

Union City

Also to the west of Nashville and good for family-friendly weekend getaways from Nashville is Discovery Park of America in Union City. This mammoth museum sits on 50 acres and includes exhibits about science, history, and more.

The Great Smoky Mountains

The towns surrounding the Great Smoky Mountains, including Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, are also designed for families with kid-centric attractions and amusement parks lining the parkway.

Looking to explore the greater Nashville area?

If you’re interested in taking all of these road trips from Nashville (and others!), consider renting a fully furnished apartment in Nashville from Landing. From downtown to beyond, Landing’s apartments offer flexible leases that make it easy to stay in town and explore the rest of the area on your terms. Learn more about what a Landing membership can do for you today!

Margaret Littman

Margaret Littman tells the stories of the people and the places of the South. From her home on the Cumberland River in Nashville, she researches restaurants, honky-tonks, paddling destinations, and bootmakers in the region. Her work has appeared in Preservation, Condé Nast Traveler, Real Simple, PUNCH, and many other publications. She writes guidebooks to the southeast under the Moon imprint. Life in Nashville has allowed her to acquire a boot collection but not the ability to carry a tune. She recently finished paddleboarding in all 50 states.