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Weekend Travel Destinations

The summertime will be here before you know it, which typically means longer vacations and periods of relaxation.  But until that time comes, Springtime is the perfect opportunity to enjoy quick getaways on the weekends to relax and explore nearby locations.  Our team has compiled a list of some of our favorite weekend getaway destinations, plus we’ll be sharing family photos and our tips and tricks for making the most of your time away!

Loren’s Pick – Memphis

3 hours 7 minutes from Downtown Nashville

Known as the Home of Blues & the Birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, there’s so much more to Memphis than meets the eye.  From Elvis Presley’s Graceland to the live music and good eats on Beale Street, Memphis is a mecca for music lovers and foodies alike.  One of the more unique opportunities in Memphis is to visit the Peabody Hotel and watch their live ducks visit the lobby fountain each day!  And of course, while you’re there, you can’t leave without indulging in some of Memphis’s most famous food – BBQ!  Central BBQ and Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous are two world-renowned bbq joints and have been offering authentic bbq for years and years.  

Loren’s Insider Tip : Head over to Raiford’s Disco for some late night party fun, but stop at the ATM on the way for this cash-only club!

For more information about visiting Memphis, please visit https://www.memphistravel.com/ 

Sarah’s Pick – Soundwaves at Gaylord Opryland

17 minutes from Downtown Nashville

If you’re tired of spending hours in the car during your weekly commute, then a staycation may be more your cup of tea!  Located right here in Nashville is Soundwaves, the brand new water experience at Gaylord Opryland.  With 9 different water attractions, private cabanas and both indoor and outdoor experiences, Soundwaves is the local spot for year round pooltime fun.  They also have multiple dining options within the attraction for when the hunger strikes!  Once you’re ready for some time away from the water, head down to their Bass-ment, where you’ll find an arcade with virtual reality games, game table and even a rock climbing wall.  There really is something there for everyone!

Sarah’s Insider Tip : If you book a resort package including room + Soundwaves admission, you can access the water park as soon as they open on your check-in day.  Pack a small bag with swimsuits and towels and hang out in the Lazy River until your room is ready!

For more information and to book your Soundwaves getaway, please visit https://www.soundwavesgo.com/ 

Cat’s Pick – Chattanooga

2 hours 12 minutes from Downtown Nashville

Chattanooga has been named by The New York Times as one of the “Top 45 Places to Go” in the World, and it’s no wonder!  You’ll find it tucked between the mountains of Southeast Tennessee and along the beautiful Tennessee River.  One of the most popular attractions in Chattanooga is Rock City!  Featuring ancient rock formations and gardens with over 400 native plant species, one of the neatest experiences is the ability to see 7 different states from one breathtaking overlook.  Afterward head over to Downtown Chattanooga, where you’ll find the Tennessee Aquarium and the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, along with plenty of shops and restaurants.

Cat’s Insider Tip : For a more adventurous time, visit Cloudland Canyon State Park for hiking, mountain biking and amazing lookout views.  The park is home to 1,000 foot deep canyons, sandstone cliffs, wild caves, waterfalls and so much more.

For more information about visiting Chattanooga, please visit https://www.visitchattanooga.com/ 

Brittney’s Pick – Kentucky Bourbon Trail

2 hours 32 minutes from Downtown Nashville

Whether you’re a Bourbon connoisseur or casual partaker, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is where the spirit may lead you for a quick weekend getaway.  With locations scattered throughout the state, you’ll have the opportunity to view both boisterous cities and the beautiful backcountry of Kentucky.  If you’re a history buff, the Buffalo Trace Distillery, located near Lexington, should be your first pick of stops as they have been distilling for over 200 years and have the distinction of being the only distillery open throughout Prohibition.  For more of a hands-on tour, Maker’s Mark gives you the opportunity to dip your own bottle of bourbon into their famous red wax!  Grab a frozen cocktail from their onsite restaurant and relax in the front porch rockers or take a stroll through the prettiest scenery around with acres of rolling green grass and North America’s first natural water sanctuary.  Enjoy but do so responsibly!  

Brittney’s Insider’s Tip : When it’s time to refuel, make a pit stop at the restaurant Little Mexico in  Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace of Hodgenville, Kentucky.  Centrally located between Louisville and Lexington and just a short distance from the interstate, it’s a bit of a hole in the wall, but their chicken fajita nachos are worth the detour!

For more information and to check out transportation options, please visit https://kybourbontrail.com/   

Erin’s Pick – Smith Lake

2 hours 23 minutes from Downtown Nashville

Located in picturesque North Alabama, Smith Lake covers 21,000 acres and is known as one of the cleanest lakes in the country.  Nestled next to Bankhead National Park, the beauty is endless with wildlife, fishing, waterfalls and vistas in abundance.  There are plenty of local marinas to enjoy dinner and drinks, but locals and visitors alike tend to entertain in the form of cookouts in their lake house after a full day of boating.  Located just a short distance away is the place they call the “Land of a 1000 Waterfalls” – The Sipsey Wilderness!  Home to Alabama’s largest tree, a tulip poplar with a 21-foot circumference at its base, there’s no better place to fully immerse yourself in the relaxing calm of nature.

Erin’s Insider Tip : On your next overnight lake trip, book The Glass House Airbnb.  Erin stayed there before she bought a property on the lake and highly recommends it! To explore the lake the best way is to rent a boat for a weekend. Erin’s pick is to go to Duskin Point Marina to rent a boat and explore waterfalls and swim in one of the cleanest lakes in the country. 

For more information regarding Smith Lake, please visit http://www.smithlake.info/ 

Bonus Pick – Loews Hotel in Midtown Atlanta

4 hours 9 minutes from Downtown Nashville

With it’s high ceilings and beautiful artwork, the Loews Hotel in Atlanta leaves a stunning impression as soon as you walk in the door.  Located in Midtown, it’s less than a mile from hundreds of restaurants with outdoor seating and Piedmont Park, a beautiful green space in the heart of the city.  Plus, through April 11, stop by the Atlanta Botanical Garden to view thousands of beautiful, fragrant orchids in their Orchid Daze exhibition, an annual event featuring winter’s favorite plant.  For those with a craving for caffeine or sweets, nearby Cafe Intermezzo is an Atlanta staple.  Offering coffee, dessert and delicious food, you can sit back and watch people, pets and cars go by for hours!  And for those of us who prefer outdoor dining, Bulla Gastrobar has the BEST heaters on their patio so you can still enjoy a delicious meal and stay warm and cozy during these chillier months.  

Insider Tip : Live like a local and keep your car parked all weekend!  There’s so much to do within just a few city blocks!

For more information or to book reservations at the Loews, please visit https://www.loewshotels.com/atlanta-hot