When you go the 212 miles from Memphis to Nashville, you are going through coal country. The people who squeaked out a living here in the past lived fascinating lives. Many of them are immortalized by Loretta Lynn, who still calls this area home. While Memphis is known for its blues, Nashville is known for its country music. You can also see some beautiful scenery. By doubling the length of your Memphis to Nashville road trip, you can add either Hot Springs National Park or the Great Smoky Mountains. Consider this possible road trip itinerary from Memphis to Nashville.
Unfortunately, there are no national parks directly on a Memphis to Nashville road trip. However, it is only 189 miles to Hot Springs National Park from Memphis and only 227 miles from Nashville to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can also use this handy guide to plan future trips to national parks.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and camping are just a few things that you can do at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This park that was established by Congress on June 15, 1934, also contains many historical structures. There are camping spots available, but they often fill up quickly, so make your reservations as far in advance as possible. If you feel like leaving the RV for a night, consider backcountry camping opportunities at this national park.
Hot Springs National Park
Once the country’s wealthiest citizens went to soak in the healing waters, Hot Springs National Park was established on April 20, 1832. You can soak in two bathhouses when you visit this national park. The water comes up out of the ground at 147 degrees, so the bathhouses are used to let the water cool down. One bathhouse remains more traditional while you can get deluxe spa treatments at the other one. This park also contains many hiking and biking opportunities. You will love the retail therapy that you can experience in Hot Springs. Many stores are located close to places where you can feel and taste the water after it has been cooled down.
Every Tennessee state park has its unique features. You may want to include these stops on your Memphis to Nashville RV road trip.
Big Hill Pond State Park
Big Hill Pond State Park is located between Cypress Creek and Tuscumbia River. This park covering more than 4,138 acres near Pocahontas, Tennessee, has over 30 miles of multi-use trails. Enjoy exploring them as you wind your way through different ecosystems at this park. Climb the 70-foot observation tower for amazing views of Travis McNatt Lake. During the summer, you can contact a vendor at the park to rent a boat. Use the boardwalk to take a stroll around the lake or go fishing for catfish, bream, and bass.
Chickasaw State Park
Covering over 1,400 acres near Henderson, Tennessee, this state park sits on some of the highest elevation lands in Western Tennessee. Challenge your road trip from Memphis to Nashville traveling companions to a round of golf on the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Design Golf Course. This well-maintained course is open for public play, and it is an extremely scenic course. Rent kayaks, canoes, SUPs, and pedal boats from a vendor in the park to play on its two tranquil lakes. The sandy beach and the swimming area on Lake Placid is the perfect place to relax. You can rent horses at the stables to explore the old logging roads.
Nathan Bedford Forest State Park
Nathan Bedford Forest State Park near Pilot Knob, Tennessee, contains the Tennessee River Folklife Interpretive Center and Museum, which is a fascinating place to learn about the customs of the Western Tennessee residents throughout history. Several films are available, and you can see exhibits related to musseling, crafts, commercial fishing, and more. At this park on the shores of Kentucky Lake, you can rent SUPs and kayaks to explore the lake. Eva Beach is a great spot to go swimming. The swimming area remains open as long as the weather is warm enough to swim. From late March through May, this park offers terrific crappie fishing from its shores or a boat. Challenge your friends to a game of disk golf on the nine-hole course. You can also enjoy exploring along 20 miles of hiking trails.
Long Hunter State Park
Located near Hermitage, Tennessee, Long Hunter State Park is divided into four distinct units. Most of them are located along the shoreline to the 14,000-acre Percy Priest Lake. The lake is a great place to go fishing for carp in the spring. A 50-foot-tall adventure tower that combines elements of a climbing wall and a high-ropes course is available to rent. You can also go swimming at a lake in this park.
Depending on your interests, there are many interesting attractions that you can include on a road trip itinerary from Memphis to Nashville.
Casey Jones Home and Rail Museum
You can have a lot of fun at the Casey Jones Home and Rail Museum in Jackson, Tennessee. Climb on board the 35-ton locomotive and ring the bell just like Casey Jones did on the night that he took his own life to save the lives of many passengers on another train. Tour his home and see how an engineer lived in the late 1800s. See many exhibits about this hero’s life.
Humphreys County Museum and Civil War Fort
The Humphreys County Museum is set inside a mansion constructed in 1922 in Waverly, Tennessee. The home is filled with different exhibits related to the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Jesse James. Be sure to stroll to this home’s backyard to see the Civil War fort located there.
Loretta Lynn’s Ranch
This event venue near Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, features a variety of museums, including the Coal Miner’s Daughter Museum featuring items from Lynn’s career, the Doll and Fans Museum featuring dolls sent by fans to Lynn, Loretta’s Frontier Homestead containing more than 400 items related to Lynn’s personal life, Grist Mill Museum featuring an old grist mill, and a Native American Artifacts Museum. There is also an area set aside for all your favorite outdoor games and a campground.
Belle Meade Plantation
A log cabin was first built on this site in 1807. From that humble beginning, one of the largest thoroughbred racing stables grew, and the home's size grew into a mansion. You can go on guided tours that finish with a complimentary wine tasting at this facility. Make sure to leave time to see the gardens and outbuildings.
On your road trip itinerary from Memphis to Nashville, you may want to stop in one of the many charming Tennessee mountain communities.
Jackson, Tennessee, is a great place to hear music at its various venues. This city is a regional shopping destination, so it may be time for some retail therapy. Consider campgrounds near Jackson, Tennessee, like Chickasaw State Park or Jackson RV Park. RV dump stations are available at both campgrounds.
Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee
Parkers Crossroads, Tennessee, is home to the Parkers Crossroads Civil War Battlefield. You can see over 50 interpretative signs to help you understand this site’s history. The city park often hosts live events. Consider camping at Parkers Crossroads RV Park. You can find RV dump stations at this campground or these other nearby locations. If this is not the campground you want, then check out other nearby Tennessee campgrounds.
The historic downtown area of Dickson, Tennessee, contains many small businesses that welcome you to come to browse. The nearby Harpeth and Caney Rivers offer outstanding trout fishing. Consider camping at Dickson RV Park or Tanbark Campground. RV dump stations are available at Pilot Flying J Travel Plaza and Montgomery Bell State Park. You may also want to consider these other Greater Nashville campgrounds and dump stations.
Nashville is your destination, but you may want to spend some time exploring this country music city. There are lots of other things to do in town, including eating great food and seeing museums. Consider camping at Anderson Road Campground or Clarksville RV Park. Dump stations are available at Cages Bend Campground and Nashville North KOA. Check out these other dump station possibilities.
Going on a Memphis to Nashville road trip allows you to see many different things. This area was once filled with coal mines, but now, you can find many unique recreational opportunities there to go fishing, swimming, mountain biking, and more. Pack up your RV and get there soon. If you do not have an RV, then rent one on RVshare.com in Memphis or Nashville.