Day Trips From Nashville to Check Out

As the state capital of Tennessee and all of the country music, Nashville reigns high on people’s must-visit list. However, Nashville is also centrally located and within a three-hour drive to historical centers and pop culture meccas.  Check out these day trips from Nashville. 

Metropolis, Illinois 

You don’t need to travel to New York to find Metropolis. Just drive 2.5 hours north on Interstate 24 and you’ll find the home of Superman and his friends. Home to the Super Museum, where you can tour a collection of Superman memorabilia. From action figures and lunchboxes to props from the “Superman” movies and television series, pop culture and comic book/movie fans will enjoy visiting the museum. There’s also a gift shop, so you can leave with a ton of Superman goodies. 

  • Nearby is a larger-than-life sculpture of the Man of Steel. Pose for a selfie or group photo next to Superman. A couple of blocks away is a sculpture of Lois Lane, as originally portrayed by Noel Neill. 
  • Once a French army stronghold, Fort Massac State Park also served as an American military installation. Overlooking the Ohio River, the fort became the state’s first state park. Special events at the replica fort include reenactors dressed as French and American soldiers.
  • Fort Massac State Park offers hiking and biking trails, as well as boating, fishing, and disc golf.  

Fat Edd’s Roadhouse offers a fun environment to grab dinner on the way home. With peel-and-eat shrimp, buffalo wings, burgers, salads, and more, Fat Edd’s Roadhouse offers a casual dining experience. 

Evansville, Indiana 

Welcome aboard LST-325, the only working landing ship tank (LST) left from World War II. The ship, which also travels to other cities for tours in the fall, is open seasonally for tours at its port in Evansville. Learn about the role the ship played during World War II, and why it goes by  LST rather than a ship name. Commissioned in 1943, LST-325 served in the European theater during the invasion of Sicily, as well as D-Day at Normandy Beach in France. 

  • Combine your visit to the LST-325 with a stop at the Evansville Wartime Museum. Learn about the military vehicles, ships, and airplanes that were built in Evansville during World War II.  
  • Situated on 45 acres, Mesker Park Zoo & Botanical Garden offers visitors an interesting array of animals to visit amidst rolling hills and beautiful scenery.
  • Mexican gray wolves, red pandas, Komodo dragons, and giraffes are among the animals you can see as you enjoy a walk through the zoo. Mesker Park is also home to a botanical garden, where you can enjoy beautiful flowers and plants.  

Before driving about 2.5 hours back home, check out having dinner at Angelo’s Italian Restaurant. Featuring classic Italian dishes, enjoy spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parmigiana, your group will enjoy the visit.  This is one of those day trips from Nashville that you will want to check out. 

Huntsville, Alabama 

Explore America’s space program at the US Space and Rocket Center. From rockets and space program artifacts, space and rocket center has been nicknamed “Earth’s largest space museum.” In addition to impressive exhibits, the space center has an outstanding planetarium and simulators.  

  • With 112 acres to explore, the Huntsville Botanical Garden has more than a dozen gardens featuring flowers such as azaleas, daylilies, and hydrangea, as well as nature trails.
  • The Damson Aquatic Garden features a 100-foot lake, with a Japanese gate and lotus and water lilies. The botanical garden also features a butterfly house, with about 2,000 butterflies, as well as frogs, fish, and turtles. 
  • From fajita nachos to enchiladas and chili relleno, Phil Sandoval’s is home to authentic Mexican fare.  

Chattanooga 

Tour the nation’s largest underground waterfall. Ruby Falls, discovered in 1929 and named after the man’s wife, drops 145 feet below Lookout Mountain. Enjoy a comfortable walking tour to the falls.

  • Afterward, cross into Georgia and visit Lookout Mountain Tower and Blue Heron Overlook, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Cumberland Plateau. Adventure enthusiasts will want to test their wills as they climb a 40-foot tower and ride down 700 feet of ziplines. 
  • A walk through the Tennessee Aquarium takes you around the world, covering both fresh and seawater life. Following the route of the Tennessee River from its beginnings in the Appalachian Mountains to its eventual feeding into the Mississippi River, the aquarium features wildlife along the way, including otters and birds, as well as forests and more.
  • Dumping into the Mississippi Delta, the water’s story continues as it explores life in the rivers, including odd-looking fish and other creatures. The aquarium also features a lemur and stingray exhibit. 

Featuring 100 percent certified Angus beef, Urban Stack offers a variety of burgers that will challenge your palate. From a New Mexico green chile cheeseburger to a burger with pastrami, coleslaw, swiss, and a mix of Dijon and mayo, your taste buds will thank you for stopping.  

Memphis 

You could probably spend days in Memphis, but it’s not a bad place to hang out for a day, either. From Elvis’ Graceland to exploring Beale Street, and touring the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, you can find so much history to explore in the city. 

  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music started as Satellite Records. After becoming Stax and moving to a new location, the studio recorded its first hit song, “Cause I Love You,” a duet by Rufus and Carla Thomas. Stars recording at Stax included Otis Redding and Booker T. and the MGs. As you tour the studio museum, you’ll learn a lot about the studio, recording stars, and see artifacts and memorabilia.
  • Combine this stop with one at Sun Studio, where future stars Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded early hits. You’ll stand in the spot where Elvis stood when he recorded his first hit song, as well as take in artifacts and memorabilia of the early days of Rock-and-Roll. 
  • Featuring some of the best barbecue in the south, Central BBQ in downtown Memphis is a short walk from the National Civil Rights Museum. Order a half slab of ribs or a full slab to split, you won’t choose wrong. Grab a sandwich featuring pulled pork, beef brisket, or smoked sausage and top it with the eatery’s best sauces for a delicious Memphis treat. 

 Whether you want to travel to see Superman or consider Elvis Tennessee’s Superman, you can plan a day trip from Nashville that can take you to different states just down the road to Memphis or Chattanooga. No matter which city you visit on your day trip, you have lots of fun options, and you’ll be home in time to watch the news or just relax before bedtime. What is one of the day trips from Nashville that you’d like to check out?

 

 

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