34 days in Tennessee, Kentucky & Virginia Itinerary

34 days in Tennessee, Kentucky & Virginia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Gatlinburg
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Louisville
— 5 nights
Drive
3
Mammoth Cave National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Nashville
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Memphis
— 4 nights
Fly
6
Chincoteague Island
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Williamsburg
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Virginia Beach
— 4 nights
Fly

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Gatlinburg

— 5 nights

The Gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains

Nestled in the lush, wooded forests of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg is Tennessee’s premier mountain resort destination.
Get outdoors at River Rafting & Tubing and Cades Cove. Get a sense of the local culture at Tennessee Homemade Wines and Mill Bridge Winery. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Gatlinburg: Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Townsend Wye & Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail) and Zipline (in Hartford). Next up on the itinerary: sample the fine beverages at Sugarlands Distilling Company, see the interesting displays at Titanic Museum Attraction, hike along Alum Cave Trail, and identify plant and animal life at Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail.

To see maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Gatlinburg trip planning tool.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Gatlinburg is an approximately 22-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 8 hours traveling from Jeddah to Gatlinburg. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Jeddah in July, with highs in Gatlinburg at 36°C and lows at 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Louisville.

Things to do in Gatlinburg

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

Louisville

— 5 nights

Derby City

Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville, is best known as the home of the Kentucky Derby.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and Churchill Downs. Take a break from the city and head to Louisville Mega Cavern and Salato Wildlife Education Center. Venture out of the city with trips to Lexington (Kentucky Horse Park, James E. Pepper Distillery, &more), Castle & Key Distillery (in Frankfort) and Bourbon 30 Spirits Distillery (in Georgetown). There's more to do: learn insider's secrets on a distillery tour and brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Angel's Envy Distillery.

For reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Louisville trip website.

Drive from Gatlinburg to Louisville in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of car, bus, and subway. July in Louisville sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 24°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) so you can go by car to Mammoth Cave National Park.

Things to do in Louisville

Breweries & Distilleries · Parks · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

Mammoth Cave National Park

— 2 nights
Mammoth Caves National Park is the longest cave system in the world so far discovered.
On the 27th (Tue), explore the fascinating underground world of Mammoth Cave, hike along Tall Man's Misery, and then trek along Fat Man's Misery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Wed): hike along Cedar Sink Trail, take a memorable tour with Tours, and then explore the activities along Echo River.

Plan my Mammoth Cave National Park trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Drive from Louisville to Mammoth Cave National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. In July in Mammoth Cave National Park, expect temperatures between 35°C during the day and 22°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Wed) so you can go by car to Nashville.

Things to do in Mammoth Cave National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Nashville

— 5 nights

Music City U.S.A.

Known as the capital of country music, the thriving city of Nashville combines old-world southern charm with a progressive urban flair.
Get some historical perspective at Lotz House Museum and McGavock Confederate Cemetery. Downtown Nashville and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Nashville's surroundings by going to Franklin (Gallery 202, McLemore House, &more) and H Clark Distillery (in Thompson s Station). There's still lots to do: see a show at Grand Ole Opry, take an in-depth tour of The Johnny Cash Museum & Cafe, contemplate the long history of Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery, and see the sky in a new way at Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Nashville visit planning app.

Drive from Mammoth Cave National Park to Nashville in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) so you can go by car to Memphis.

Things to do in Nashville

Museums · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Breweries & Distilleries

Side Trips

Memphis

— 4 nights

Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll

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.
Sun Studio and National Civil Rights Museum - Lorraine Motel will appeal to history buffs. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Graceland and Beale Street. The adventure continues: make a trip to The Peabody Ducks, let your taste buds guide you at Tastin' 'Round Town, contemplate the long history of Fire Museum of Memphis, and brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Pyramid Vodka.

To see where to stay, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Memphis trip itinerary planner.

Drive from Nashville to Memphis in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Memphis can reach 38°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Fri) to allow enough time to fly to Chincoteague Island.

Things to do in Memphis

Museums · Historic Sites · Breweries & Distilleries · Tours

Chincoteague Island

— 3 nights
Famous for a wild breed of horses--Chincoteague Ponies--Chincoteague Island embraces the mystery of some of North America’s oldest inhabitants.
Get a sense of the local culture at Museum of Chincoteague and Tryfan Gallery. Escape the urban bustle at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Donald J. Leonard. There's still lots to do: take a memorable tour with Captain Dan's Around the Island Tours, visit a coastal fixture at Assateague Lighthouse, explore the landscape on two wheels at Bike Depot, and let the kids burn off some steam at Chincoteague Veteran's Memorial Park.

To see more things to do, maps, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Chincoteague Island trip site.

Fly from Memphis to Chincoteague Island in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Memphis to Chincoteague Island, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Memphis in August, with highs in Chincoteague Island at 34°C and lows at 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) so you can drive to Williamsburg.

Things to do in Chincoteague Island

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trip

Williamsburg

— 4 nights

Colonial Capital

Founded in 1632 as a fortified settlement on the high ground between two rivers, Williamsburg served as a colonial capital of Virginia for over 80 years.
Step out of the city life by going to Yorktown Beach and Boat Tours & Water Sports. Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Settlement are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore Williamsburg's surroundings by going to Bacon's Castle (in Surry) and St. Luke's Historic Church & Museum (in Smithfield). The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at Historic Jamestowne, steep yourself in history at Bassett Hall, pause for some serene contemplation at Bruton Parish Episcopal Church, and take in the history at Yorktown Battlefield.

For ratings, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Williamsburg trip planning site.

You can drive from Chincoteague Island to Williamsburg in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. In August in Williamsburg, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Virginia Beach.

Things to do in Williamsburg

Historic Sites · Museums · Outdoors · Parks

Side Trips

Virginia Beach

— 4 nights

The Resort City

Holding a record for the longest pleasure beach in the world, Virginia Beach showcases 35 miles of coastline and maintains a longstanding reputation as a family-friendly vacation destination.
Get in touch with nature at Virginia Beach and Grommet Island Park. Military Aviation Museum and Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Memorial are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step out of Virginia Beach to go to Cape Charles and see Cape Charles Beach, which is approximately 1 hour away. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Sandbridge Beach, see what you can catch with a fishing tour, sample the fine beverages at Tarnished Truth Distilling Company, and take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read Virginia Beach tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 35°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in Virginia Beach

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

Tennessee travel guide

4.4
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.

Kentucky travel guide

4.5
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.

Virginia travel guide

4.6
Historic Sites · Wineries & Vineyards · Gardens
Old Dominion
The home of the first permanent English colony in the New World, Virginia is a prime holiday destination for those looking to immerse themselves in American heritage. Proud of its colorful history, distinct culture, and southern drawl, Virginians see their state as the place where the imaginary line between the north and the south is drawn. With scenic beauties as diverse as its people, Virginia is a land of rolling hills, rugged mountains, lush valleys, dense forests, and secluded beaches along picturesque bays. Bordered on the east by the Atlantic and the west by the Appalachian Mountains, with rolling farmland in the middle, the state offers countless places to visit for history buffs, nature lovers, and passionate foodies.