Chattanooga, Tennessee, is centrally located and offers various day trips and road trip opportunities. Here’s a list of road trips from Chattanooga with some distance estimations, approximate travel times, highlights, stopovers, and tips for each:
Road Trips From Chattanooga – Weekend Trips Near Chattanooga TN
Weekend trips near Chattanooga TN, and road trips from Chattanooga (day trips from Chattanooga) offer diverse experiences, from exploring historic landmarks to embracing scenic natural beauty, making them ideal for quick getaways that cater to various interests while taking advantage of the region’s proximity and rich offerings.
Nashville, TN – Day Trips From Chattanooga
Distance: Approximately 135 miles
Travel Time: Around 2 hours
Nashville, just a two-hour drive from Chattanooga, offers a vibrant music scene, historical sites, and diverse cultural experiences, making it an enriching day trip destination with something for everyone. Nashville is one of the best day trips from Chattanooga for music lovers.
- Things to Do: Explore the Country Music Hall of Fame, visit the Parthenon, enjoy live music on Broadway, and experience the vibrant food scene.
- Must Stopovers: You can quickly stop in Franklin, Tennessee, to wander around its historic downtown and grab a bite to eat.
Tips: Plan your visit to catch live performances or events, and consider Nashville’s peak traffic times.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Distance: Roughly 150 miles to the park entrance
Travel Time: About 2.5 to 3 hours
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, within a 2.5 to 3-hour drive from Chattanooga, boasts breathtaking scenery, extensive hiking trails, and diverse wildlife, providing an ideal natural escape and a perfect day trip for outdoor enthusiasts seeking serene beauty and adventure. Smoky Mountains tour is one of the best weekend trips near Chattanooga TN for nature lovers.
- Things to Do: Hiking, wildlife watching, visit Cades Cove, and explore the natural beauty of the Smokies.
- Must Stopovers: Townsend, Tennessee, offers a peaceful gateway to the Smokies and can be an excellent stop for lunch or to explore the Little River.
- 12 Scenic Drives In Great Smoky Mountains (With Maps + Stopovers)
Tips: Start early to maximize your time in the park. Check weather and trail conditions beforehand.
Distance: Around 120 miles
Travel Time: Approximately 2 hours
Atlanta, just a two-hour drive from Chattanooga, offers an array of attractions, including the Georgia Aquarium, historic sites like the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, diverse culinary experiences, and a vibrant cultural scene, making it an enticing day trip or weekend getaway with something for everyone to explore and enjoy.
- Things to Do: Visit the Georgia Aquarium, explore the World of Coca-Cola, tour the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, and enjoy the city’s diverse cuisine.
- Must Stopovers: Consider stopping in Dalton, Georgia, for a snack or a stretch break.
Tips: Check out specific events or exhibitions during your visit and plan accordingly.
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Distance: Located around 10 miles from Chattanooga
Travel Time: About a 20-minute drive
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, a mere 20-minute drive from Chattanooga, provides a rich historical experience with Civil War battlefields, educational insights, and scenic hiking trails, making it an ideal day trip or weekend getaway for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike within proximity to the city.
- Things to Do: Explore the historic Civil War battlefields, visit Point Park, and hike the trails with stunning views.
- Must Stopovers: There are no specific stopovers on the way, but you should pack a picnic for your visit.
Tips: Consider joining a guided tour to learn more about the park’s history.
Distance: Roughly 110 miles
Travel Time: Around 1.5 to 2 hours
Knoxville, about a 1.5 to 2-hour drive from Chattanooga, offers a blend of cultural attractions and outdoor activities near the Tennessee River, along with historic sites like the University of Tennessee, making it an ideal day trip or weekend escape for those seeking diverse experiences and a vibrant city ambiance nearby.
- Things to Do: Visit the University of Tennessee, explore the Market Square, enjoy the Ijams Nature Center, and walk along the Tennessee River.
- Must Stopovers: Sweetwater, Tennessee, could be a good place for a quick break or a snack.
Tips: Check out if any festivals or events are happening in Knoxville during your visit.
Distance: Approximately 120 miles
Travel Time: Around 2 hours
Huntsville, just a two-hour drive from Chattanooga, boasts attractions like the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, scenic botanical gardens, and a rich scientific and technological history, making it an engaging day trip or weekend getaway for those intrigued by space exploration and diverse cultural experiences within a short drive.
- Things to Do: Explore the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, visit the Botanical Garden, and explore Huntsville’s science and technology attractions.
- Must Stopovers: Consider a break in Scottsboro, Alabama, known for its shopping opportunities, or in the charming town of Guntersville.
Tips: Check for any special exhibits or events at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center beforehand.
Distance: Roughly 150 miles
Travel Time: About 2.5 hours
Birmingham, located approximately 2.5 hours from Chattanooga, offers a blend of cultural history with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, vibrant art scenes, and diverse culinary experiences. It is a compelling day trip or weekend destination for those interested in deep historical insights and a rich cultural tapestry.
- Things to Do: Visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, explore the Birmingham Museum of Art, and enjoy the city’s culinary scene.
- Must Stopovers: Talladega, Alabama, could be a convenient stop for a break or a meal.
Tips: Check out the Civil Rights District and plan your visit to include some local food experiences.
Cherohala Skyway and Tellico Plains, Tennessee
Distance: About 100 miles
Travel Time: Approximately 2 to 2.5 hours
Cherohala Skyway and Tellico Plains, just a few hours’ drive from Chattanooga, present stunning scenic routes, picturesque mountain views, and the opportunity for outdoor exploration, making it an ideal day trip or weekend getaway for nature enthusiasts seeking breathtaking landscapes and serene surroundings. This is one of the most scenic drives near Chattanooga.
- Things to Do: Drive along the scenic Cherohala Skyway, visit Bald River Falls, and explore the quaint town of Tellico Plains.
- Must Stopovers: Consider a break at Madisonville or Vonore for a quick stop or a meal.
Tips: The Cherohala Skyway is especially beautiful during the fall season, offering stunning foliage.
Lookout Mountain and Rock City – Scenic Drives Near Chattanooga
Distance: Just a short drive from Chattanooga
Travel Time: Less than 30 minutes
Lookout Mountain and Rock City, a short drive from Chattanooga, offer enchanting gardens, unique geological formations, and sweeping panoramic views, providing an ideal day trip or weekend escape for families and nature lovers seeking distinctive natural wonders and outdoor adventures.
- Things to Do: Visit Rock City’s gardens and famous viewpoint “See 7 States,” explore Ruby Falls, and experience the Incline Railway.
- Must Stopovers: No specific stopovers on the way, but grab some snacks or drinks before heading up Lookout Mountain.
Tips: Arrive early to avoid crowds, especially on weekends and holidays.
Asheville, NC – Weekend Trips From Chattanooga
Distance: Approximately 225 miles
Travel Time: Around 3.5 to 4 hours
Asheville, around a 3.5 to 4-hour drive from Chattanooga, beckons with its vibrant arts scene, the grandeur of Biltmore Estate, and a thriving food culture amidst the Blue Ridge Mountains, making it an enticing day trip or weekend escape for those seeking a blend of cultural richness and natural beauty.
- Things to Do: Explore the Biltmore Estate, visit the River Arts District, and enjoy the vibrant culture and food scene.
- Must Stopovers: Consider Black Mountain, North Carolina, for a break or a meal on the way.
Tips: Plan your visit to Biltmore Estate and consider exploring downtown Asheville’s unique shops and galleries.
These day trips and road trip options offer a variety of experiences, from nature and history to urban exploration and cultural immersion, ensuring there’s something for every interest within a manageable distance from Chattanooga.
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