12 days in Arkansas, Kentucky & Tennessee Itinerary

12 days in Arkansas, Kentucky & Tennessee Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States vacation planner

Make it your trip
Eureka Springs
— 1 night
Hot Springs
— 3 nights
— 2 nights
Pigeon Forge
— 5 nights


Eureka Springs

— 1 night

Little Switzerland of America

Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, the whole town of Eureka Springs is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On the 16th (Mon), look for all kinds of wild species at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, look for gifts at Arnold Meteorites and More, and then wander the streets of Eureka Springs Historical Downtown. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a taste of the local shopping with Cosmic Cavern, then pause for some photo ops at Christ of the Ozarks, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church.

For more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Eureka Springs route planner.

New York City to Eureka Springs is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train, bus, and taxi. The time zone difference when traveling from New York City to Eureka Springs is minus 1 hour. Plan for a bit cooler nights when traveling from New York City in November since evenings lows in Eureka Springs dip to 39°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Hot Springs.

Things to do in Eureka Springs

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Shopping

Side Trip

Hot Springs

— 3 nights

Valley of the Vapors

Set deep in the Ouachita Mountains, the city of Hot Springs almost completely surrounds the national park of the same name.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Garvan Woodland Gardens and Fordyce Bathhouse. Take a break from the city and head to Petit Jean State Park and Zipline. And it doesn't end there: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Anthony Chapel, appreciate the extensive heritage of Bathhouse Row, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see traveler tips, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Hot Springs vacation planner.

You can drive from Eureka Springs to Hot Springs in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In November, daily temperatures in Hot Springs can reach 62°F, while at night they dip to 43°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Lexington.

Things to do in Hot Springs

Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trip


— 2 nights

Horse Capital of the World

Known internationally as the "Horse Capital of the World," Lexington boasts a thriving economy resting largely on its thoroughbred racehorse industry.
On the 21st (Sat), steep yourself in history at Mary Todd Lincoln House and then try your luck at Keeneland. Here are some ideas for day two: immerse yourself in nature at Kentucky Horse Park and then surround yourself with nature on Unique Horse Farm Tours.

To find more things to do, photos, and tourist information, go to the Lexington online trip builder.

Traveling by flight from Hot Springs to Lexington takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Hot Springs to Lexington due to the time zone difference. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Hot Springs in November; daily highs in Lexington reach 56°F and lows reach 36°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) early enough to drive to Pigeon Forge.

Things to do in Lexington

Museums · Fun & Games · Nature · Casinos

Pigeon Forge

— 5 nights

Center of Fun in the Smokies

A tiny town with big tourist appeal, Pigeon Forge bills itself as the "Center of Fun in the Smokies." Just a short drive from the national park protecting the diverse plant and animal life of the Great Smoky Mountains, the town features numerous places to visit, such as bars, restaurants, cafes, theaters, and shops.
Shop till you drop at Christmas Place and Tanger Outlets Sevierville. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Tuckaleechee Caverns and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Pigeon Forge: Bush's Visitor Center (in Chestnut Hill) and Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Foothills Parkway Southwest Parking, Rockefeller Memorial, &more). There's lots more to do: trek along Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, learn about winemaking at Mill Bridge Winery, admire all the interesting features of Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook, and take in the exciting artwork at Fowler's Clay Works.

To see reviews, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Pigeon Forge day trip site.

You can drive from Lexington to Pigeon Forge in 4 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of bus and car. In November, daytime highs in Pigeon Forge are 60°F, while nighttime lows are 39°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Pigeon Forge

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Arkansas travel guide

State Parks · Historic Sites · Art Museums
The Natural State
With a diverse geography including mountains in the north, dense broadleaf forests in the south, and fertile lowlands in the east, Arkansas is aptly nicknamed the "Natural State." Still largely undiscovered by foreign tourists, the state hides a world of little-known lakes and rivers. Arkansas also includes vast state parks, offering visitors on vacation outstanding camping facilities in the middle of pristine natural areas sheltering blue herons, warblers, and bald eagles. Often stereotyped as little more than poor hillbilly country, Arkansas boasts a surprisingly diverse array of cultural attractions, including numerous museums, theaters, and cutting-edge sports venues. To learn about the real culture of Arkansas, explore its outstanding cuisine, traditional festivals, and lively music scene.

Kentucky travel guide

Caves · Specialty Museums · Distilleries
The Bluegrass State
A diverse region of sprawling farmland and rich cultural heritage, Kentucky is the birthplace of American horse racing and home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby. While the cities of Lexington and Louisville experience the majority of the state's tourism, Kentucky is also a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts with its array of natural attractions, including the Cumberland Gap and the world's longest cave system at Mammoth Cave National Park. Take a tour through original Civil War battlefields to delve into the nation's history, or head to one of the many bourbon distilleries to learn more about Kentucky's most famous export.

Tennessee travel guide

Specialty Museums · Distilleries · Theaters
The Volunteer State
Divided by law, geography, and custom into three major regions, represented by the three stars on state's flag, Tennessee boasts a distinctive musical heritage that includes elements of bluegrass, country-western, and blues. With a countryside as diverse as its people, Tennessee includes landscapes ranging from a mountainous region in the east to the lowlands of the west, with gently rolling hills in the middle. For a well-rounded vacation, you can hike remote mountain trails in the morning and explore the crowded bars of Nashville in the evening. Visit the urban attractions, such as Elvis Presley's former residence in Memphis, but don't miss a chance to spend some time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, situated in the eastern part of the state.