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Day & Overnight Trips

East Tennessee

1 to 3 Day Trip: Chattanooga, TN.

What a great place to go for a day or overnight trip. Many dining options, hotels and many things to do.There is something in Chattanooga for every member of your family. It is truly a great city.

Visit Lookout Mountain because there's so much to do - Rock City, Ruby Falls, Battle In The Clouds Civil War Park, Incline Railway. Stay of one of the great bed & breakfast on Lookout Mountain. Great place for a husband and wife to get away.

Go to the Bluff View Art District: great food, great lodging, and you must go to Rembrandt's for coffee and dessert. You are close enough to walk down to the waterfront, go to the Tennessee Aquarium, IMAX, and many other things. Check out Genghis Grill. Great Mongolian Food.

If your wife wants to do a little shopping, Hamilton Place Mall is located close by.

Chattanooga is where my wife and I go to get away when we don't have a lot of time.

Itinerary For A Great Three Day Trip To Chattanooga.pdf
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2 Day Trip: Cherohala Skyway

The skyway was opened in 1996. The skyway begins in Tennessee (near Tellico Plains, TN.) and goes into North Carolina (near Robbinsville, NC.). The drive is 40 miles long, and well worth the time and effort. It takes about 2-3 hours (with stops along the way) to travel the 40 miles. The elevations range from 900 feet above sea level at the Tellico River in Tennessee to over 5400 feet above sea level at the Tennessee-North Carolina state line at Haw Knob. The Skyway is becoming well known in motorcycling and sportscar circles for it's long, sweeping corners and scenic views.

Actually, if you plan a weekend trip to Chattanooga, the skyway is only about an hour to 1.5 drive out of Chattanooga.

The following is a link to get more information:

Cherohala Skyway

1-2 Day Trip: Ocoee Wilderness

About an hour outside of Chattanooga, near Cleveland, TN. The scenery is great, as you drive from Cleveland to the Ocoee. You will go by several TVA dams and a beautiful lake, traveling on a winding road that can be tight in some places when you meet on-coming traffic.

Take in some white-water rafting, some of the best in Tennessee. You can drive further from Ocoee to Duck Town and on to Natahala. Great day trip, plan on a picnic. There are some restaurants, but not a lot to choose from.

3-4 Day Trip: Townsend, TN.

If we go to the Smoky Mountains, we stay in Townsend. If you like to get away from the crowds and have some seclusion, Townsend is the place. Lot's of cabins available, plus hotel rooms. Several restaurants. Townsend is near Cades Cove (Smoky Mountain NP), which we love to go to. If you go to Cades Cove, go early -before 10:30 or after 3:30. The last three times I have been to Cades Cove, I have seen bears, and it was during those times. Plus, other wildlife is moving at those times. Great place to have a picnic.

If you travel to Townsend, spend a whole weekend. From Townsend, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and other parts of Smoky Mountain National Park is only a few miles away.

Middle Tennessee

1-3 Day Trip: Nashville, TN

I travel to the Nashville area all the time. There is so much to see and do - from the Grand Ole Opry to walking downtown on Broadway and Second Ave. taking in all the bands, sights and restaurants.

I will soon have a page on nashville, as there's so much to do I can't cover it all here.

The following websites provide good information:

Nashville Day Trips

Nashville Area Attractions

Nashville Area Weekend Trips

Memphis Area

2-3 Day Trip: Memphis, TN.

Memphis is home of the blues and Elvis. A trip downtown is a must to see Beale Street, the Fed Ex Forum, Gibson Museum, Mud Island and so much more. One note: if you go at night, be careful. Stay on the main roads, as it can be dangerous. Memphis police do their best, but be careful. I usually only go to downtown Memphis during the day time. Memphis also offers great golf courses and so much more.

If you go to Beale Street and you like a great Burger, check out
Dyers. They have a very unique way of cooking a burger which makes the taste incredible. Also, great fries and onion rings. If you want to know where to eat on Beale Street (or what to do), check out the following link:

Beale Street

For great day and weekend trips, see the links below:

Memphis Day Trips

Memphis Area Weekend Getaways

If you love Ribs, go to the Rendevous - Downtown Memphis. Great "dry" ribs, plus great atmosphere.

If you are a MEAT LOVER, go to "Texas de Brazil. The salad bar is killer. They have about 15 guys walking around with whole sides of beef, steak, chicken, pork and you can eat as much as you want. Truly a great experience. To get a feel for the experience look at the following link:

Texas de Brazil
Great Day And Weekend Trips

Family Trip Planner Spreadsheet

The link above gives you a great spread sheet to plan your family vacation. Included is a Itinerary Page, an Agenda Page and a page for reference data. Use it to help plan your trip!

If you live in the southeastern United States, and only have a day or two to get away, here are some ideas for where to go.


1-2 Day Trip:  Little River Canyon

Little River Canyon National Park is a great place to go where there is not a lot of congestion and great scenery. Little River Canyon is the deepest canyon east of the Mississippi. Not only can you visit the canyon, but also nearby are both Desoto Falls and Desoto State Park.  Desoto Falls is a must see. Desoto State Park has plenty of lodging, and a pretty good restaurant. If you don't want to stay there, there are plenty of rooms in nearby Fort Payne, AL.

Make plans to visit nearby Mentone. It's a very interesting mountain town (on Lookout Mountain) that has several bed & breakfast and other lodging, restaurants and even a snow ski area.

2-3 day trip: Mobile, AL.

Mobile is such a great place to visit. There are so many things to do, great restaurants, and plenty of lodging. Mobile combines history with a contemporary city. Check out the "Boiling Pot" restaurant. The food is great, prices are very reasonable and they give you more than you can eat.

In Mobile, you can visit Bellingrath Gardens, the USS Alabama Battleship. Go downtown to see the historic French districts and visit Dauphin Island and nearby Gulf Shores. So much to do.

Here is a great link I found that gives the 10 best things to do in Mobile:

10 Best Things To Do In Mobile

2 or More Day Trip:  Gulf Shores

If you love the beach, visit Gulf Shores, AL. Beautiful sand and beautiful water.  There are many types of lodging to choose from:  hotels, condominiums  and beach houses are available. 

If you are looking for fresh seafood, Gulf Shores has many seafood restaurants to choose from. Visit Gulf State Park, good food at the restaurant there, or maybe take a short drive to Foley and eat at Lambert's - home of the throwed rolls. Good place!

If you are a history buff, visit Fort Morgan (Civil War Battle Of Mobile Bay) , or take the ferry over to Dauphin Island. 

If you just want to hang out on the beach and enjoy the water and sun, Gulf Shore has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Gulf of Mexico.

1-2 Day Trip:  Huntsville, AL

If you have kids, Huntsville is a great place to visit. Take your kids to the Space & Rocket Center. They will love it, many things to do and see.

You can visit the Huntsville Depot Museum  (Civil War Museum), the Botanical Gardens, Sci-quest, or one of the best things - the Madison Country Nature Trail - Green Mountain. Great place for a picnic with the family.

Lastly, Monte Sano State Park is nearby. Take you family on a good nature hike.

If you want to do something different, take the Huntsville Ghost Tour. Kids young and old will enjoy this. 

Huntsville has a wide variety of restaurants and hotels to choose from.

1 -2 Day Trip: Cheaha State Park

Folks, Cheaha is a great place to go for a weekend get away. Cheaha State Park offers cabins, chalets, hotel rooms and a good restaurant. 

In the summer time Cheaha has a swimming pool and a lake for swimming and canoeing. 

Mount Cheaha is the highest point in Alabama, and has many hiking trails from easy to difficult, beautiful overlooks, and even mountain bike trails. Cheaha State park offers your family a great weekend.

Ladies, the town of Anniston is nearby, if you must go and shop.

There is also a great natural History Museum in Anniston.

Pensacola Florida

2 Days Or More Trip: Pensacola Beach

As you might have read on our Pensacola Beach page, Pensacola beach is one of our favorite beach areas.

Beautiful sand and water.  If you are looking for a pristine beach (like you remember when you were kids) go to Pensacola Beach. Visit Gulf Islands National Seashore. At Gulf Islands National Seashore there are several public beaches - and the white sand and blue water will blow you away.

Click on the link below to find great ideas for weekend getaways in Pensacola Beach, Destin, Fort Walton, Panama City, or other areas of the Florida Pan-handle:

Florida Weekend Getaways

Fun Things To Do Around Pensacola Beach

Visit our Pensacola beach Page for more information.


1-3 Day Trip : Natchez Trace Parkway

For those who don't know it, Mississippi offers a lot of great things to do and see. Whether you visit gulf coast town of Biloxi, or travel the Natchez Trace, Mississippi has a lot to offer.

If you have 2-3 days, take the Natchez Trace Parkway. The 444 mile Parkway travels from Natchez, Mississippi - through Alabama and up to Nashville, TN.  The drive is beautiful and offers places for your family to picnic. One word of warning - drive the speed limit on the parkway. They patrol

Click on the link below, to learn about various day and weekend trips to the great state of Mississippi:

Mississippi Day & Overnight Trips

Biloxi / Gulfport Attractions

Natchez Trace Parkway

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