9 days in Tennessee, North Carolina & Kentucky Itinerary

9 days in Tennessee, North Carolina & Kentucky Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Nashville
— 1 night
Drive
2
Pigeon Forge
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Asheville
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Lexington
— 1 night
Fly

S M T W T F S
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Nashville

— 1 night

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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Fri): see the interesting displays at The Johnny Cash Museum & Cafe, then take in the history at Carnton, and then see the interesting displays at Madame Tussauds Nashville. Here are some ideas for day two: take an in-depth tour of Lotz House Museum, get to know the fascinating history of Downtown Franklin, and then take in the history at Carter House.

To see ratings, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Nashville trip itinerary maker site.

San Antonio to Nashville is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from San Antonio in October, expect Nashville to be slightly colder, temps between 75°F and 52°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Pigeon Forge.

Things to do in Nashville

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Tuckaleechee Caverns and Bush's Visitor Center. Kids will appreciate attractions like Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Roaring Fork. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Pigeon Forge: Newfound Gap Road (in Great Smoky Mountains National Park) and Forbidden Caverns (in Sevierville). The adventure continues: catch some excitement at Rocky Top Mountain Coaster, get in on the family fun at 7D Dark Ride Adventure, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Pigeon Forge road trip planning site.

You can drive from Nashville to Pigeon Forge in 4 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of bus, subway, and car. Traveling from Nashville to Pigeon Forge, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In October in Pigeon Forge, expect temperatures between 74°F during the day and 51°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Asheville.

Things to do in Pigeon Forge

Parks · Outdoors · Theme Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Asheville

— 3 nights

Land of the Sky

Asheville nestles between two major mountain ranges in the scenic western section of North Carolina.
Get a sense of the local culture at Basilica of Saint Lawrence and Woolworth Walk. Discover out-of-the-way places like The North Carolina Arboretum and The Folk Art Center (Southern Highland Craft Guild). There's still lots to do: whizz through the canopy at Navitat Canopy Adventures - Asheville Zipline, take a memorable drive along Blue Ridge Pkwy, examine the collection at Asheville Pinball Museum, and indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour.

For reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Asheville online road trip planner.

You can drive from Pigeon Forge to Asheville in 2 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 70°F, and evening lows to 47°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to drive to Lexington.

Things to do in Asheville

Outdoors · Tours · Museums · Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Lexington

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Sat): surround yourself with nature on Unique Horse Farm Tours and then don't miss a visit to Kentucky Horse Park.

For photos, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Lexington online trip maker.

Traveling by car from Asheville to Lexington takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of bus and subway. In October, daily temperatures in Lexington can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Lexington

Parks · Museums · Nature · Wildlife

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.

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.

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.