Road Trip to Tennessee

For those that love adventure, there’s no better feeling than packing up the car and heading out for a road trip. And of all the places in the country to explore via car, few are better than Tennessee. 

The state of Tennessee has something to offer everyone, from outdoor excursions to historic landmarks. If you’re in the process of planning a road trip to Tennessee, you’ve come to the right place! 

Outlined below is the ultimate guide to planning a Tennessee road trip, including some basic road trip tips and things specific to Tennessee that should be included in your itinerary. Keep reading to learn more. 

Plan Your Route 

Before you can begin to plan out all of the fun things you’ll do once you arrive in Tennessee, you need to decide how you’re going to get there. The best way to do so is to make use of Google Maps or a website specifically designed for planning road trips. 

First, plug in your current location and the town in Tennessee you’ll visit first. Take a look at the recommended route and add any additional stops you want to make. This means planning out all the places you’ll stay overnight along the way and the attractions you’ll see each day. 

Depending on your mode of transportation and preferences, it can be helpful to do a bit of extra research at this point. For example, if you plan to stay in hotels every night, you should look up reviews of the various hotels in the areas you’ll be staying. If you prefer camping, take a look at the best RV camping spots along your route. 

Create Your Budget 

Although taking a road trip is a relatively inexpensive choice of vacation, you’ll still need to create a budget to ensure that you stay on top of your expenses. We recommend setting a dollar amount per day that you want to spend. Include food, accommodations, fuel, and excursions in your calculations. 

Using the amount you’ve allocated for each day can help you plan your accommodations and adventures during your trip. 

Make a Packing List 

Your specific packing list will depend on your itinerary. Longer trips will require more preparation and packing, and certain excursions will require specific supplies (swimsuits, bug spray, etc.). 

That said, there are a few items that should be on every road trip packing list, regardless of the destination or length of the trip. The road trip essentials are as follows: 

  • Roadside emergency kit 
  • Insurance information (car, health, and travel) 
  • Vehicle registration 
  • Vehicle owner’s manual 
  • Driver’s license 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • First aid kit 
  • Cell phone 
  • Road trip snacks (and cooler, if necessary) 

You’ll also need toiletries and the appropriate amount of clothing for the length of your road trip. Try not to go overboard with your packing list – everything you bring should fit in one main suitcase and a smaller day pack for adventures. 

Related: Top 15 Best American Road Trips

Must-See Sites in Tennessee 

Now that you know how to plan your trip to Tennessee, we can talk about what you’re going to do when you get there. As we mentioned above, The Volunteer State has a little something for everyone, so you’re sure to find something you enjoy, no matter your interests. 

To help you plan, we’ve picked out a few of the top sites and excursions to catch when visiting Tennessee: 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the United States – and for good reason! Along with offering stunning views, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park protects 65 species of mammals and more than 200 types of birds. 

Outdoor enthusiasts and animal lovers will have the time of their life in this historic park. Whether you only spend a day or camp out under the stars, you can’t go wrong! 

Cherohala Skyway 

When you choose to go on a Tennessee road trip, you can’t miss the Cherohala Skyway. This two-lane road opened in 1996 and features more than 15 scenic overlooks, as well as multiple picnic sites and trailheads. 

The Skyway is more than 40 miles long, making it a great day trip during your stay. 

Related: The 10 Things to Do in Portugal

Jack Daniel’s Distillery 

There’s nothing more Tennessee than Jack Daniel’s. The first registered distillery in the United States, the Jack Daniel’s Distillery offers tours and tastings to its visitors. 

You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the production and flavors of one of the most popular whiskey brands in the world while enjoying the beverage itself. 

National Civil Rights Museum 

For the history buffs out there, a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum is a must. This museum covers everything there is to know about the history of civil rights in America, including artifacts, films, listening posts, and interactive media. 

It’s located in the Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, making it an even bigger draw for visitors. 

Map Out Your Road Trip to Tennessee With This Guide 

In certain situations, it can be fun to hop in the car with no plan or destination in mind. However, to get the most out of your road trip to Tennessee, a detailed itinerary is a must. 

Sure, you can have unplanned adventures along the way, but without a blueprint of your trip, you risk not having as much as you could have otherwise. Take the time to map out your Tennessee vacation beforehand and you’ll enjoy your trip even more. 

In need of more tips and tricks for getting the most out of your next vacation? Be sure to check out our blog! 

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