Due to COVID-19, vacations look a bit different this year. Depending on where you were hoping to vacation, you may have had to cancel your trip entirely. We’ve compiled a list of a few options for quick getaways that are perfect for the whole family. These would be great trips to take over the upcoming Fourth of July weekend.
1. The Lost Sea
The Lost Sea is America’s largest underground lake with unknown bounds. Because of the size and unique features, there’s still more to discover about the lake and cave. The visible portion of the lake is roughly 800 feet long and 220 feet wide with a series of large rooms filled entirely with water underneath the surface. More than 13 total acres have been mapped so far. The Lost Sea is exceptionally unique due to its cavern location and is recognized by the United States Department of the Interior as a registered National Natural Landmark. It’s not just large and beautiful, but also unique with an abundance of “cave flowers,” or rare anthodites and some of the largest trout anywhere in North America.
During a guided tour of the caverns, you will learn about the cavern’s exciting and colorful history and the fascinating geological development of the immense cavern rooms and rare formations. At the bottom of the cave, you will take a boat ride on The Lost Sea.
The Lost Sea
140 Lost Sea Road, Sweetwater, TN 37874
2. Fall Creek Falls
Located in Pikeville, Tennessee, the Fall Creek Falls state park is the largest and most visited park with 26 thousand acres along the top of the Cumberland Plateau. Throughout, the park features cascades, gorges, waterfalls, and tons of other sights to see. Some of the most popular is Fall Creek Falls itself as well as the Piney Falls, Cane Creek Falls, and Cane Creek Cascades. One of the great things about this particular park is the inn with 1245 hotel rooms, as well as the 30 cabins and over 200 campsites. Other activities range from hiking for all ages, the nature center, golfing, playgrounds, picnicking, swimming, obstacle course, boating, and fishing. For more information or to plan your trip, visit the state park website.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
2009 Village Camp Road, Spencer, TN 38585
3. Blues Highway
For a music-themed road trip, check out the Blues Highway that stretches along Highway 61 from Memphis, Tennessee to Vicksburg, Mississippi. The road was known to be traveled by many of the greatest names of Blues like Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and John Lee Hooker among many others. Even Bob Dylan did a 1965 album named after the highway. The whole trip from Memphis to Vicksburg is 225 miles beginning at the famous Beale Street. From there, check out the Graceland Estate for some Elvis Presley love and continue towards the Delta Blues Museum. Continue along the highway and you’ll hit the Highway 49 crossroads where Robert Johnson was said to have sold his soul. From there, head out to Vicksburg. Make sure you check out the great sights and the fantastic food, you’ll want to take your time exploring the area.
4. Cincinnati Zoo
The Cincinnati Zoo opened in 1875, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States. Just 4.5 hours away, this could make the perfect road trip for the zoo lover in your family. The zoo offers 75 acres with ranging habitats that are home to 1,896 animals from 500 species. One of the many breeding zoos in the United States, it is the first to breed California sea lions while also breeding other endangered animals such as South African cheetahs, Sumatran rhinoceros, western lowland gorillas, Malayan tigers, Masai giraffes, and pottos.
3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45220
5. Glamping in the Smokies
Take camping up a notch with luxury lodging from Under Canvas, which features the ultimate outdoor experience offering convenient access to more than 800-square-miles of lush forest, pristine mountain views, and the Appalachian Trail. The 182-acre camp is just minutes from the Smokey Mountain National Park
Accommodations: Luxury Tents with king size bed. The largest tent includes one king size plus one queen size bed. Cots for children are also available. Guests also have access to a bathroom with shower, sink & flushing toilet
Amenities: Bath products, bbq grill, bedding, heater, restaurant, robes, running water, and wood-burning stove, private deck with lounge chairs and an onsite restaurant.
Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains
1015 Laurel Lick Road, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863