13 days in Tennessee Itinerary

13 days in Tennessee Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Tennessee Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly + Taxi:  4​h 30​min
1
Gatlinburg
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Knoxville
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Nashville
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
4
Memphis
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h
End: Chicago

4
nights
Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg ©
Nestled in the lush, wooded forests of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is Tennessee’s premier mountain resort destination.
Step out of the city life by going to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Clingmans Dome. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Sugarland Cellars and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Take a break from Gatlinburg with a short trip to Bush's Beans Visitor Center in Chestnut Hill, about 44 minutes away. The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Roaring Fork, learn about winemaking at Tennessee Homemade Wines, and brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Ole Smoky Whiskey Barrelhouse.

To find where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Gatlinburg trip itinerary tool .

Chicago to Gatlinburg is an approximately 4.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST) is 1 hour. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Chicago in December; daily highs in Gatlinburg reach 53°F and lows reach 36°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to drive to Knoxville.

Things to do in Gatlinburg

Parks Wineries Nature

Side Trips

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Pigeon Forge, Hillside Winery, Bush's Beans Visitor Center
Highlights from your plan
Sugarland Cellars ©
Sugarland Cellars
Roaring Fork ©
Roaring Fork
Clingmans Dome ©
Clingmans Dome

2
nights
Knoxville

Knoxville ©
A gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Knoxville embraces music culture.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): take a memorable drive along Foothills Parkway Southwest Parking, explore the fascinating underground world of Tuckaleechee Caverns, do a tasting at Spout Spring Estates Winery and Vineyard, then brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Old Tennessee Distilling, and finally see the interesting displays at Smoky Mountain Knife Works. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Ijams Nature Center, then stroll around High Ground Park & River Bluff Wildlife Area, and then don't miss a visit to Market Square.

To see other places to visit, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read Knoxville online tour planner .

Traveling by car from Gatlinburg to Knoxville takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 47°F, and evening lows to 29°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can drive to Nashville.

Things to do in Knoxville

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Foothills Parkway Southwest Parking, Smoky Mountain Knife Works, Tuckaleechee Caverns, Spout Spring Estates Winery and Vineyard, Old Tennessee Distilling
Highlights from your plan
Tuckaleechee Caverns ©
Tuckaleechee Caverns
Foothills Parkway Southwest Parking ©
Ijams Nature Center ©
Ijams Nature Center

4
nights
Nashville

Nashville ©
Known as the capital of country music, the thriving city of Nashville combines old-world southern charm with a progressive urban flair.
Explore hidden gems such as Nelson's Green Brier Distillery and Arrington Vineyards. Do some cultural sightseeing at Lotz House Museum and Carter House. Explore Nashville's surroundings by going to H Clark Distillery (in Thompson s Station), Carnton (in Franklin) and George Dickel Distillery (in Tullahoma). There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at RCA Studio B, catch a live performance at Grand Ole Opry, and wander the streets of Downtown Franklin.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Nashville trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Knoxville to Nashville takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. Traveling from Knoxville to Nashville, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In January, daytime highs in Nashville are 48°F, while nighttime lows are 29°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Memphis.

Things to do in Nashville

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums

Side Trips

Franklin, H Clark Distillery, George Dickel Distillery, Arrington Vineyards
Highlights from your plan
RCA Studio B ©
RCA Studio B
Lotz House Museum ©
Lotz House Museum
Downtown Franklin ©
Downtown Franklin

2
nights
Memphis

Memphis ©
The largest city on the Mississippi River, Memphis bills itself as both the "Birthplace of Rock" and "Home of the Blues." With such a rich musical heritage, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Elvis Presley chose to live in Memphis during his later years.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Thu): don't miss a visit to Graceland and then steep yourself in history at Sun Studio. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: examine the collection at Stax Museum of American Soul Music, appreciate the history behind National Civil Rights Museum - Lorraine Motel, then take an in-depth tour of Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Beale Street.

For traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Memphis route builder website .

You can drive from Nashville to Memphis in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or fly. In January, daytime highs in Memphis are 50°F, while nighttime lows are 32°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Memphis

Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum ©
Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum
Stax Museum of American Soul Music ©
Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Graceland ©
Graceland

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