Beyond Knoxville: 5 Daytrips from the Cutest Scruffy City

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Emilie Stooksbury

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Our Fave Spots to Day Trip from Knoxville, TN!

Lookin’ for some good Knoxville day trips? Ooooobviously, we know you’d never want to leave the cutest Scruffy City in the South. It’s an East Tennessee paradise with Farmers’ Markets and quarries and live music, duh πŸ˜‰ However, on the off-chance that your friend wants to get out of town for the weekend, we can still help.

After years living in Texas where road trips lead you to… more Texas (πŸ˜‚), it’s an absolute delight to live in Knoxville and be able to get to multiple states, cities, and quirky corners in mere hours. So without further ado, here are five of our favorite day-trips and weekend getaways from Knoxville, Tennessee!

1.) Sweet Southern Cities

This one may be obvious, but it’s honestly our top way to day trip from Knoxville. We love getting a taste of other southern cities (especially when we ultimately decide we still love Knoxville best πŸ˜‰).
Here are a few of our faves:
1.) Chattanooga, TN (<2 hours away – the Chattanooga Choo Choo area & the west side of the river are our fave spots to wander.)
2.) Asheville, NC (<2 hours away – Biltmore may get all the love, but we keep going back for the brewery scene πŸ‘€)
3.) Lexington, KY (<3 hours away – if Knoxville’s the Scruffy City, Lexington is the Southern Belle. Cute, cute, cute.)
4.) Nashville, TN (<3 hours away – gobs of live music, cute coffee shops, and influencers in the wild. What more could you want? πŸ˜†)
5.) Greenville, SC (<3 hours away – Full disclosure, we haven’t actually been here yet. BUT so many people have suggested it as a precious town, she had to make the list!)
6.) Helen, GA (<3 hours away – it is a little GERMAN TOWN?! Are you KIDDING ME? Precious. Just make sure you go back during Oktoberfest!)
7.) Sevierville, TN (<1 hour away – HEAR ME OUT. You’re so close to the mountains. Dollywood is legit a fabulous amusement park – catch us with Cinnamon Bread on the Mystery Mine πŸ‘€ Their downtown is getting more and more precious too with a Dolly statue, fine dining, even a rooftop bar!)

2.) The Caverns

Did you know Knoxville is less than 3 hours away from one of theeee most iconic live music venues? The Caverns is quite literally an aptly named venue in a cavern. You’re surrounded by rocks and rock and roll, am I riiiiight? πŸ˜‰πŸ˜†Β  The cavern stays about 59 degrees year round so bundle up & jam out. (PS. The Caverns are pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but Chattanooga is only an hour away – so make it a weekend trip & enjoy a Chattanooga excursion after the show!)

FREE Craft Coffee Tasting at Five & Hoek EVERY First Friday from 1-2 PM!

Taste coffees from around the world with Five & Hoek owner, Tyler, every first Friday of the month from 1-2 pm. Learn what you like about certain coffees, how coffees are selected & how quality is maintained from roast to roast & cup to cup.

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3.) Hot Springs Resort & Spa

Trust me when I say this is not as bougie as it sounds πŸ˜† But it IS a delight! Did you know the Appalachian Trail cuts right down the main street of Hot Springs, NC? This means youuuu can basically hike the Appalachian Trail by simply parking your car & walking into Big Pillow Brewing.Β 

Due to this long hike (πŸ˜‰), you’ll need to unwind in the natural hot springs found at Hot Springs Resort & Spa. You can bring your own sips & snacks as you lounge in the hot tubs full of natural mineral water, overlooking the river. We had a moment there where we were going for basically every friend’s birthday & we cannot recommend this lil day-trip enough!

4.) Grandfather Mountain/Blue Ridge Parkway

We took a lil weekend trip to Blowing Rock, NC one year (so cute – highly recommend for anyone who enjoys cosplaying retirement as much as we do), but our one regret was only getting a couple hours at Grandfather Mountain. Between the Mile High Swinging Bridge and picnicking right by the “Forrest Gump Curve”, it’s definitely a fun lil way to experience the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you don’t want to pay the ticket price, that area is still just seeped in hiking and views in general, so get your cutie lil bootie over there for a day-trip stat!

(PS. This isn’t near Grandfather Mountain, but check out Rail Bikes in Blue Ridge, GA. We’ve never done it but it looks SO FUN.)

5.) Bristol Motor Speedway

Y’all, I moved to Tennessee & ended up marrying a NASCAR fan. I know, what a cliche – but here we are πŸ˜† So joooin me in embracing this car-filled-corner of East Tennessee culture! You can’t deny the electric (or more accurately, gas-powered) energy at a NASCAR race. We even brought along some wine & cheese on our excursion to class it up πŸ˜‰

After the race, you can head downtown to straddle Tennessee & Virginia at the same time as you explore eateries & sipperies galore!

Home Sweet Home to Meee

Don’t worry – no matter how far you roam, we’ll always welcome you back to good ole Rocky Top. C’mon, we know you can’t stay away for long, anyway πŸ˜‰πŸ˜˜ In fact, wanna move here? Click here to get a free rental guide & tips for moving to our sweet Scruffy City!

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