Spring break is almost here! Family travel is a great way to embrace the warmer weather while making some irreplaceable memories in the process. Spring break is the perfect time to explore your home state with a road trip. We have organized a road trip of a couple of Tennessee’s larger cities for you. Spend some time in each destination exploring what the locals have to offer. We have provided hotels, restaurants and activities to experience while visiting each destination to help inspire you as you plan your vacation.
Nashville to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, 3.5 hour drive
Budget Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Gatlinburg
With over 2,400 reviews and an almost perfect score on Tripadvisor, Hilton Garden Inn is the best bang for your buck. Located near the “Gatlinburg Strip” you will have easy access to all the major attractions.
Luxury Hotel: Margaritaville Resort
A great central location, Margaritaville offers luxury and is great for families. They provide spacious rooms with great amenities, including some perks such as a children’s pool, a spa and 2 on-site restaurants.
Crocket’s 1875 Breakfast Camp – One of the most popular places to grab breakfast in all of Gatlinburg. This restaurant was founded to carry the legacy of David C. Crocket, a man who owned a local store with his wife that provided travelers with “the best breakfasts” during the 1800s. You will find griddle cakes, chopped steak & eggs and of course, the classic egg breakfast on the menu. Crocket’s 1875 Breakfast Camp promises to continue to provide the best home cooked breakfast in the Smoky Mountains just as the Crockets did more than 150 years ago.
Old Mill Restaurant – Located just North of Gatlinburg in the town of Pigeon Forge, the Old Mill Restaurant is rich in history and delicious dining. The Old Mill Restaurant sits on the Little Pigeon River and is a historic staple in the area. It opened almost 200 years ago as a gristmill for local farmers. It has since evolved into a general shop, distillery and restaurant. Classic, home cooked Southern comfort food is what you’ll find here. How does homemade meatloaf, southern fried country ham or a classic BBQ platter sound?
Delauder’s Smoky Mountain BBQ – A family owned, local “dive” BBQ joint with a perfect 5 out of 5 star rating across multiple platforms. Delauder’s gives high quality, attention to detail meals with a smile. Specializing in BBQ you’ll find the classics (pulled pork sandwiches, brisket dinners and ribs) in addition to more playful BBQ items (such as the Smoky Mountain Slaw Dog, a griddled chicken sandwich and nachos).
Things to Do:
Speedzone Fun Park – The perfect place to satisfy everyone! Four go-kart tracks to choose from, including a track designed just for kids. The tracks for the bigger kids are known for their unique and intense experience. From wooden tracks of multi-levels to slick tracks that have you at top speeds, kids of all ages will be having fun!
Titanic Museum Attraction – A realistic, interactive historical experience of what it was like to be on the real Titanic. With all employees dressed to period and in character, your family will embark on a journey as you wander the replicated hallways of the infamous ship. You will even be encased in an exact replica of the famous Grand Staircase. Gaze upon items retrieved from the original Titanic’s wreckage while learning facts about the voyage and the history of those on board in a fun hands-on encounter.
The Hatfields and McCoy Dinner Show – Watch history come to life right before your eyes at this infamous dinner show. Based off of the true life story of the Hatfields McCoy feud, this hilarious show will educate you while entertaining you. The best part? All you can eat full Southern home-style feast dinner provided.
Gatlinburg to Chattanooga, 2 hour and 40 minute drive
Budget Hotel – Comfort Inn Downtown
Near the South Historic District, the Comfort Inn Downtown is centrally located for quick access to multiple points of interest.
Luxury Hotel – The Read House
Located in downtown Chattanooga, this hotel is a beautiful balance of history and luxury. The original building was built in 1847; however, the building as it is today is dated back to 1926. From the stunning rooms to the on-site steak house, you will be immersed in historic elegance.
Maple Street Biscuit Company – How can you go wrong with daily scratch-made biscuits, all-natural chicken, house-made gravy and jams? When familiar and contemporary collide some beautiful things are born. Maple Street offers all a variety of biscuit sandwiches, chicken & waffles and breakfast bowls. Their slogan is “Comfort food with a modern twist” and that is what they deliver.
Hillbilly Willy’s BBQ – A family owned and operated restaurant at the base of Lookout Mountain bring you the best of Southern BBQ. All the classics you love: brisket, ribs and pulled pork drenched in house-made BBQ sauce. Rumor house it, Angela (one of the owners) whips up fresh desserts daily.
Things to Do:
Lookout Mountain – One of the top things that Chattanooga is known for is Lookout Mountain. Discover the deepest underground waterfall open to the public, Ruby Falls, while on a guided tour. Wander Rock City, a place full of magic, nature and a view of 7 states from a single spot on the top of the mountain or ride the Incline Mountain for some spectacular views!
Creative Discovery Museum – A nationally-ranked children’s museum that helps kids discover the world around them through fun and interactive exhibits. Learn how pulleys work through hands-on activities. Or explore the rooftop garden and fun factory. With regular exhibits like the playtime clinic, the honey bee experience in Buzz Alley and the performing arts gallery, your family will be entertained for hours on end.
Tennessee Aquarium – Housing over 9,000 animals from penguins to otters, your family will stand in awe at the size and capacity of the Tennessee Aquarium. Explore the secret reef or take an ocean journey to discover treasures about the amazing world we live in.