9 days in North Carolina, Virginia & Tennessee Itinerary

9 days in North Carolina, Virginia & Tennessee Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Nags Head
— 2 nights
Fly
2
Natural Bridge
— 1 night
Drive
3
Pigeon Forge
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Highlands
— 1 night
Drive
5
Chimney Rock
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Nags Head

— 2 nights
Most visitors take a trip to Nags Head to enjoy the beach, but this Outer Banks town offers more than just waterside entertainment.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Back Country Safari Tours and Nags Head Woods Preserve. Kids will enjoy Jennette's Pier and Bodie Island Lighthouse. Venture out of the city with trips to Corolla (Currituck Beach Lighthouse and Museum & Off-Road Tours). There's much more to do: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour, explore the striking landscape at Jockey's Ridge State Park, and take a leisurely stroll along Duck Town Boardwalk.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Nags Head travel route planner.

Houston to Nags Head is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Houston to Nags Head. Traveling from Houston in October, things will get a bit cooler in Nags Head: highs are around 72°F and lows about 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to fly to Natural Bridge.

Things to do in Nags Head

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Natural Bridge

— 1 night
Natural Bridge is an unincorporated community in Rockbridge County, Virginia, United States. Kick off your visit on the 26th (Tue): stroll through Virginia Safari Park and then explore the striking landscape at Natural Bridge State Park.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Natural Bridge trip maker site.

Fly from Nags Head to Natural Bridge in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car, bus, and taxi. Traveling from Nags Head in October, expect Natural Bridge to be slightly colder, temps between 59°F and 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Pigeon Forge.

Things to do in Natural Bridge

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Wildlife

Pigeon Forge

— 3 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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Roaring Fork. Kids will appreciate attractions like The Goat Coaster at Goats on the Roof and Rocky Top Mountain Coaster. Step out of Pigeon Forge with an excursion to Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend--about 40 minutes away. Spend the 27th (Wed) exploring nature at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There's lots more to do: cool off at Dollywood, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

For reviews, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Pigeon Forge trip itinerary site.

Traveling by car from Natural Bridge to Pigeon Forge takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of taxi, train, bus, and car. In October, Pigeon Forge is somewhat warmer than Natural Bridge - with highs of 74°F and lows of 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Highlands.

Things to do in Pigeon Forge

Parks · Nature · Theme Parks · Outdoors

Side Trips

Highlands

— 1 night
Highlands is an incorporated town in Macon County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sat): take in the awesome beauty at Whiteside Mountain, then take in the dramatic scenery at Bridal Veil Falls, and then admire the sheer force of Dry Falls.

Planning Highlands trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Pigeon Forge to Highlands takes 2.5 hours. Traveling from Pigeon Forge in October, plan for little chillier nights in Highlands, with lows around 44°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can go by car to Chimney Rock.

Things to do in Highlands

Nature · Parks

Side Trip

Chimney Rock

— 1 night
Chimney Rock is a village in Rutherford County, North Carolina, United States. On the 31st (Sun), kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then look for all kinds of wild species at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, and then take in the views from Lake Lure Flowering Bridge.

To find other places to visit, reviews, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Chimney Rock day trip app.

Getting from Highlands to Chimney Rock by car takes about 2 hours. In October, daytime highs in Chimney Rock are 70°F, while nighttime lows are 47°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Chimney Rock

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Wildlife

Side Trip

North Carolina travel guide

4.4
History Museums · Specialty Museums · Zipline
The Tar Heel State
A top destination for a holiday in nature, North Carolina provides a seemingly endless variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain climbing, and skiing. While the state's rural regions offer a taste of traditional Appalachian music and culture, its increasingly diverse big cities feature modern skyscrapers, renowned museums, and historical neighborhoods perfect for sightseeing tours. The coastal region, famous for its year-round temperate climate, attracts millions of annual visitors, making North Carolina the sixth most-visited state in the country. Though it's hard to find a quiet time of year in coastal North Carolina, the state's inland areas retain many secluded corners where you can experience the laid-back Old South atmosphere.

Virginia travel guide

4.6
History Museums · Wineries & Vineyards · Historic Sites
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.

Tennessee travel guide

4.4
Specialty Museums · Distilleries · Theme Parks
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.