Weekend Trips from Nashville that Include the Great Outdoors!

Josh SchukmanNovember 23, 2022

Weekend Trips from Nashville that Include the Great Outdoors!

The Best Weekend Trips from Nashville

Looking for a great weekend getaway that’s close to Nashville but teeming with nature and culture? In that case, check out these 4 amazing reasons to explore more than the streets of Music City. All destinations are within 2.5 hours of Nashville and include state and national parks as well as 1 charming city in nearby Kentucky. If you’re looking for an adventurous weekend getaway from Nashville, these might just be the excuses you need to book your first RV and camper rental and hit the road, Jack.

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Best weekend trips from Nashville: Fall Creek Falls State Park
Photo by Joshua Woods on Unsplash

Distance from Downtown Nashville: 125 miles / 2 hours 5 minutes

Fall Creek Falls is a must-see for any nature lover. It’s home to one of the tallest waterfalls (250 feet) in the eastern United States, which is just one of many draws to the park. With expansive overlooks, cascades, and a few other waterfalls, there’s plenty of opportunity to take in natural beauty.

In addition to that, the swinging bridge is also a sight to behold. For those looking for more than just views, the park offers an 18-hole golf course, rock climbing, and a canopy challenge course. You can hike or bike through the woods, go fishing, boating, swimming, or paddle in the lake surrounded by stunning scenery.

Fall Creek Falls State Park offers a variety of lodging options, from RV campgrounds with full hookups to hotel rooms to cabins, making it easy to extend your stay. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or an exhilarating outdoor adventure, Fall Creek Falls State Park is sure to please.

Tims Ford State Park

Best weekend trips from Nashville: Tims Ford State Park
Photo Credit: Brent Moore on Flickr Under Creative Commons Licence

Distance from Downtown Nashville: 89 miles / 1 hour 35 minutes

The beautiful scenery and ample recreational opportunities make Tims Ford State Park a great destination for a weekend getaway. This 3,546-acre park is situated on the Tims Ford Reservoir in south-central Tennessee, in the shadow of the Cumberland Plateau. It is considered one of the best bass fishing and recreational lakes in the Southeast and is also one of Tennessee’s most picturesque lakes. It’s perfect for fishing, swimming, and boating.

If you love being in nature and spending time outdoors, you might find yourself not having enough time to do everything here on a weekend. With a Bear Trace golf course, over 20 miles of hiking and biking trails, two marinas, and eight public boat ramps, there are plenty of options to fill your time. You can also rent pontoon boats, canoes, and kayaks from The Lake View Marina within the park. You will find a snack bar, a bait shop, and a place to clean fish at the marina.

For lodging options aside from cabin rentals, there are two spacious campgrounds for RV or tent campers to camp out under the stars. Some of them are even right on the lake! With so much to do, Tims Ford State Park is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Best weekend trips from Nashville: Mammoth Cave National Park
Photo by Corey Seeman on Flickr

Distance from Downtown Nashville: 93 miles / 1 hour 30 minutes

Mammoth Cave National Park in west-central Kentucky, a short 1.5-hour drive from Nashville, is an easy-to-get-to and unique weekend getaway destination. As the name suggests, this national park is home to Mammoth Cave, a massive cave system that offers an up-close look at the geology of the region. With more than 400 miles of explored caves, it is the world’s longest-known cave system. Mammoth Cave National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve since 1981 for its rich diversity of plants and animals, as well as thousands of years of human history.

You will love exploring this cave because the passages are well-marked and mapped, making it easy to go on your own exploration. There are also many different guided cave tours to choose from, so there’s one for everyone. Some of the highlights in the caves are Crystal Lake, Rainbow Dome, and the Snowball Room.

Above ground, there are more than 30 hiking trails that meander through stunning waterfalls and lush forest to enjoy. You can also go horseback riding, biking, or fishing, kayaking, and canoeing on the Green River and Nolan River. With so much to see and do, Mammoth Cave National Park is a great place to explore the natural world.

The closest places to stay overnight in the park are the front country campgrounds (for RVs and tents) and the Lodge at Mammoth Cave. The Lodge is right next to the visitor center and has a mix of modern hotel rooms and historic cottages.

Paducah, KY

Best weekend trips from Nashville: Paducah
Photo Credit: Paul Sableman on Flickr Under Creative Commons Licence

Distance from Downtown Nashville: 136 miles / 2 hours 20 minutes

Nestled on the banks of the Tennessee River, Paducah is a charming city with a rich history and a vibrant arts scene. You can have a relaxing weekend getaway or a cultural escape, all while enjoying the creativity of the area. This city was designated as a UNESCO Creative City in 2013.

The Paducah downtown area is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, galleries, and the National Quilt Museum. You can see architecture from the 19th century that has been kept in good shape and frames modern cultural experiences. Historic Downtown is a certified Kentucky Cultural District with 20 square blocks on the National Register of Historic Places. It is very easy to walk around, and there are creative ideas everywhere you look.

For those who love barbeque (most of us), you won’t want to miss the Barbecue on the River annual festival. The event features some of the best barbecue in the land, as well as live music and other entertainment. It is one of the few remaining opportunities to experience a true taste of old Kentucky culture. The festival has grown to become one of the largest and most popular yearly events in Paducah. Every year, thousands of people come from all over the state come to enjoy the delicious food and good times.

If you want to enjoy Paducah’s peaceful natural landscape in an RV instead of staying at a hotel or vacation rental, there are campgrounds and RV parks located within 15 miles of downtown.

There you have it, our best weekend trips from Nashville! Consider one of those destinations for your next getaway, as they are all within easy driving distance from Nashville. Each spot has something different to offer — stunning natural beauty, interesting history, or a vibrant arts scene.

And what could be better than spending a lazy weekend camping in your RV at one of America’s beautiful state or national parks? We hope you get the chance to visit some of these amazing places soon! 

3 Commonly Asked Questions

What are the best weekend trips from Nashville?

The best weekend trips from Nashville are visiting a creative city like Paducah for a cultural escape or going camping or hiking to enjoy nature at Mammoth Cave National Park, Fall Creek Falls State Park, and Tims Ford State Park. 

What are some things to do near Nashville, TN?

There are plenty of things to do near Nashville, TN! For music lovers, there are several live music venues and museums, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry. There are also several cultural attractions, such as the Tennessee State Museum and the Nashville Opera.

What cities can I visit on weekend trips from Nashville?

For cities that you can visit on weekend trips from Nashville, you can head to Chattanooga for a dose of outdoor fun. Hike up Lookout Mountain or spend an afternoon on the Tennessee River. Paducah, Kentucky is a great option for art and history lovers. Visit the National Quilt Museum or take a walking tour of the historic downtown area.

Josh and his wife traveled around the country in an '88 Airstream for 4+ years of full-time RVing. They made an unexpected pitstop in Montana in 2020 and haven't left since. That's because they got hooked on the glamping resort they run by Glacier National Park. Fittingly, they keep up their RVing love by renting out vintage Airstreams and other retro RVs to travelers hitting Montana.

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