Recharge With A Weekend Getaway
Need a change of scenery from the hustle and bustle of life? Want the kids to unplug from their devices for a while and connect together as a family? Enjoy an easy scenic hike, go apple picking or antiquing, pitch a tent, or explore the local shops along a charming Main Street.
We’ve chosen 6 destinations, all within a 3 hour drive from Knoxville, where you can experience a fantastic weekend getaway, whatever the season, whatever the reason.
6 Destinations Your Family Will Love
Each of these destinations highlights a nearby mountain town that offers great local food and shops along with terrific indoor and outdoor activities. Something for everyone. No lodging research needed or activities to plan out-- it's all covered in detail here, saving you time and effort that you would rather spend on your weekend getaway, not planning it.
We've Made It Easy For You
Need some destination ideas? Too busy to read through a million blogs and guidebooks to plan a family trip? Don’t worry, it's already been done for you. Simply Awesome Trips offers family trip itineraries to destinations near and far. Everything you need to know: where to sleep, eat, and play! All organized into detailed day-by-day plans.
Where To Sleep, Eat, and Play!
Johnson City, TN
--1 hour 38 min. from Knoxville
Johnson City is a small town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, and their logo aptly states “start your adventure here.” It’s a great hub for biking, hiking, and even exploring a fossil site. A revitalized downtown offers terrific restaurants and breweries in a quaint setting.
It’s a place where you can spend a day hiking the Appalachian Trail over numerous mountain balds with amazing 360 degree views, bike a family-friendly bike path, or tour a fossil dig site. And from all of these activities, you can easily return to town for lodging, a local craft beer, and a great meal. View this itinerary.
--1 hour and 42 min. from Knoxville
Chattanooga has no shortage of things to do for kids AND adults. This is one of the few cities you can visit where you can climb in one of the largest climbing gyms in the country, walk across one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world, visit Civil War battlefields, admire a jellyfish exhibition, and squeeze through rock boulders alongside tiny gnomes statues--all in one weekend!
In addition to a fun downtown filled with a variety of good local restaurants and breweries, Chattanooga’s outdoor opportunities earned it Outside Magazine’s “Best Town” twice. View this itinerary.
-- 1 hour 54 min. from Knoxville
Abingdon, Va is a beautiful, quaint town in southwest Virginia. It has terrific restaurants, walkable streets, a craft brewery, and the famous Barter Theater. Catch a show at the Barter and stroll around Abingdon's historic downtown.
Seek more adventure with a bike ride along the Virginia Creeper Trail (a 34 mile rails- to- trails pathway) or with a hike along the trails at Grayson Highlands State Park, famous for its soaring views and wild ponies. You'll find plenty to do! View this itinerary.
--2 hours and 20 min. from Knoxville
Brevard, NC is a charming mountain town filled with shops (including a great toy store), restaurants, antiques, and art galleries. It’s located just 33 miles from Asheville. It’s also home to Dupont State Forest, which offers plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails to explore.
The Hunger Games movie was filmed at Dupont where you can visit Triple Falls, the most recognizable mountain scenery in the movie. View this itinerary.
Bryson City, NC
-- 2 hours and 10 min. from Knoxville
Bryson City is a such a fun outdoor town and possibly the most underrated. Its downtown is filled with quaint shops and restaurants, and the Great Smoky Mountain Railway train depot is right in the heart of it. Take the kids on a scenic train ride through the North Carolina mountains along the Nantahala and Tuckasegee Rivers, across valleys, and through tunnels.
Within a 20 minute driving radius of downtown, you have lakes to canoe, rivers to raft, and hikes to waterfalls. Plus, a brewery, a fantastic pizza place and good restaurants, a bookstore, and an excellent outdoors store- all downtown. You just can’t beat it. View this itinerary.
-- 2 hours and 50 min. from Knoxville
Calling all foodies and outdoor lovers! Greenville, SC has been on the trendy radar for some time, appearing in multiple travel magazines and blogs for its vibrant food scene and beautiful use of the riverfront downtown. Take a hike or bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 20 mile paved bike trail running through downtown and leading to fun food stops along the way. View this itinerary.
A Knoxville “Staycation”
Sometimes a "staycation" is the right way to go. The nice thing about Knoxville is that you don 't even need to leave town to have a fantastic family outing. Take advantage of downtown activities, spend a day at Ijams Nature Center, bike the greenways, tour the downtown food scene, or go to the top of Knoxville's infamous local landmark, the Sunsphere. You'll find plenty to do in this fun town. View our Knoxville itinerary.
Feel like adventuring out west to Yellowstone National Park? Perhaps a bucket list trip to Paris or Athens? We've got it covered. You'll find more destinations on our website. Many itineraries are free and all are less than $10.