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9 Tennessee Adventures before Heading Back to School

9 Tennessee Adventures before Heading Back to School

Soak up the last moments of summer with a Tennessee vacation.

As summer winds down and school bells are ready to ring, soak in the last precious moments of the season with a vacation to Tennessee. Hike through strikingly beautiful scenery; camp in a luxury treehouse; and meet some of the world’s most iconic artists. Family memories are just waiting to be made in Tennessee. 

Indoor Fun

Beat the heat and take advantage of Tax Free Weekend, taking place 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 28 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 30 in Tennessee. That means state and local taxes won’t be collected on clothing, school and art supplies that cost $100 or less per item and computers costing $1,500 or less. The event is open to everyone, locals and out-of-state residents alike.

Songbirds Guitar Museum
Timeless guitars on display at Songbirds Guitar Museum.

Songbirds Guitar Museum houses more than 300 rare, vintage guitars both behind glass and in The Vault. Acoustic, electric, jazz, bass, mandolin and banjo guitars are all on display, providing a stunning visual of music history from the 1930s to 1970s. Tack onto your visit access to The Vault to see 60 timeless, vintage guitars that have been a driving force to today’s culture.

Madame Tussauds Nashville
 Get close to your favorite musicians at Madame Tussauds Nashville.

The world-renowned wax attraction Madame Tussauds, which has been producing life-size, life-like wax figures for 250 years, has put roots down at Opry Mills in Nashville, the city’s No. 1 shopping destination. Known for its interactive wax experience where guests can take photos with their favorite celebrities, Madame Tussauds Nashville plays hosts to guests’ favorite musicians including Justin Timberlake, Minnie Pearl, Bruno Mars and Johnny Cash among many others.

Outdoor Gems

The Lost Sea in Sweetwater, Tennessee
See The Lost Sea in a glass-bottom boat.

Explore America’s largest underground lake at The Lost Sea in Sweetwater. Start off with a guided tour of the caverns and learn the fascinating history of the area. Make your way to the bottom of the cave where you’ll board a glass-bottom boat to set sail on the Lost Sea. After the tour, explore the general store, Cavern Kitchen Cafe, gem mine and glassblower.

South Cumberland State Park, photo credit Chuck Sutherland
South Cumberland State Park, photo credit Chuck Sutherland

Journey to South Cumberland State Park in Monteagle that stretches across four counties: Sequatchie, Grundy, Franklin and Marion. The Savage Gulf and Stone Door areas offer 55 miles of hiking. Take your family on this Tennessee adventure to experience waterfalls, historic locations like Stage Coach Road and the beautiful vistas. Stone Door gets its name from a crack in a cliff that looks like a door left open.

Shelby Farms Park, Memphis
Take a paddle boat on the lake at Shelby Farms Park

Guests to Shelby Farms Park in Memphis can enjoy a larger variety of trees, shrubs and vegetation courtesy of a new expansion. New trails, wetlands, the 80-acre Hyde Lake, decks, boat rentals and pavilion for music and events have also been added. With more than 4,500 acres of green space, you can spend your day mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking, sailing, cycling, visit with the buffalos, and lots more.

Family Camping Trip

Luxury treehouse at Camp LeConte, Gatlinburg
Luxury treehouse at Camp LeConte

Make kids’ dreams come true with a stay in a Luxury Tree House at Camp LeConte in Gatlinburg. The open air bedroom offers breathtaking views of Mount LeConte and fresh Great Smoky Mountain air. With a queen bed furnished with sheets, blanket and pillow and sleeping loft for two kids with blankets, pillows and sheets, a full private bathroom, covered patio, phone charger outlets and towels, wash cloths, soap, shampoo and lotion provided, it’s the family summer campout taken to a new level.

Airstream Glamper at Stillwaters Farm, Henderson
Airstream Glamper at Stillwaters Farm, photo credit: Mikaela Hamilton
Interior of Airstream Glamper at Stillwaters Farm, Henderson
Interior of Airstream Glamper at Stillwaters Farm, photo credit: Mikaela Hamilton

The Airstream Glamper at Stillwaters Farm in Henderson is, as they say, “for the rustic hippie in us all.” Have a glamping experience in the Airstream which houses a full-sized bed, queen-sized bed and a twin bed at the collapsible dinette booth. It has high-efficiency heat and air conditioning, new laminate floors and access to the outdoor bathhouse. The bathhouse has a composting toilet, clawfoot tub, LED lighting and tankless water heater. Do laundry at the cottage easily as Stillwaters Farm has basic laundry soap made on-site. Linens, dishes, soap, cookware and appliances are also provided.

Forest Gully Farm, Santa Fe, TN
Forest Gully Farm in Sante Fe

If you were ever to see a woodland creature or even a hobbit, your chances are high at the magical Forest Gully Farm in Santa Fe. Stay in what’s considered Gully Huts. When guests book a night, they get access to all three pods. The green pod houses the kitchen and dining area. The yellow pod has a queen-size bed, twin-size bed and a twin-size inflatable mattress. The red pod has a queen-size murphy bed and two twin-size beds. Air conditioning is throughout with showers, solar lanterns, kitchen equipment and linens are provided.  

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