Spring Break Adventures Made in Tennessee

Thinking about your spring break plans? Let this snapshot of spring adventures in Tennessee be your guide.

Thinking about your spring break plans? Let this snapshot of spring adventures in Tennessee be your guide. Learn something new in a museum, see beautiful cave formations in East Tennessee, ride a train, pose with your favorite musician, and see Tennessee from new heights.

Known as the “Greatest Site under the Smokies,” Tuckaleechee Caverns is a 20-minute drive from Cades Cove. One of the interesting features of the caverns is the huge rooms, with the Big Room cavern reaching more than a football field in length. The formations in the caverns are awe-inspiring, and Silver Falls, a spectacular waterfall located inside the caverns, is a must-see. This natural wonder is $7 for children, $15 for adults and no charge for children 4 years old or younger. The Caverns open for the season on March 15.

Enjoy a spring train ride to see Tennessee’s gorgeous scenery and learn about the history around the area with the Tennessee Valley Railroad. You can board at the Grand Junction Station in Chattanooga for a 55-minute excursion that crosses four bridges and passes through a pre-Civil War tunnel. The local history is presented by a tour guide as well as a brief tour of a train restoration shop and a historic turntable demonstration. Other train rides depart from Etowah, Tennessee and include a Hiwassee Loop ride (3.5 hours) hosted weekends beginning March 31 and the Copperhill Special (8 hours) Saturdays only beginning March 24.

Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area – Knoxville

Forks of the River in Knoxville, photo credit Elle Colquitt

If you scroll through Knoxville tagged Instagram posts, chances are you’ve seen people within fields of sunflowers beginning in July. It makes for a magical, aesthetically-pleasing photo op every time. Before the sunflowers bloom, you can spend time discovering wildlife and other gorgeous views among the 10.6 miles of trails within the area, part of Knoxville’s larger Urban Wilderness program that has 1,000-forested areas along the downtown waterfront. Two trailheads to adventure are accessible from the parking areas, making it as convenient as possible to get out in nature. Your Spring Break will be one for the books.

The world-renowned wax attraction Madame Tussauds, which has been producing life-size, life-like wax figures for 250 years is in Opry Mills, Nashville’s No. 1 shopping destination. The iconic destination, known for its interactive wax experience where guests can take photos with their favorite celebrities, has nine different areas, including the iconic Opry Stage where you’ll see Waylon Jennings and Minnie Pearl in Madame Tussauds Nashville. The Rock Bar & Bluebird Cafe is where you’ll find your favorite “Nashville” TV stars, and even Jimi Hendrix, who had Nashville ties. You’ll quickly see that rock n’ roll lives in Nashville.

SOAR Adventure Tower – Franklin  

Test your physical and mental limits at SOAR Adventure Tower in Franklin

If the kids need to expel some extra energy, take them here, about 30 minutes south of Nashville. With four levels and more than 110 climbing elements, kids and adults alike are challenged to overcome their limitations both physically and mentally. Each platform offers three different features so you can change your course whenever you want and create your own experience. Music-themed elements can be found throughout the courses, giving a nod to the rich music found throughout Tennessee. There’s a ground level perfect for little ones to explore their own abilities, ideal for ages 4-7 with 19 elements. Levil 1 is 15 feet above ground, Level 2 is approximately 30 feet above ground and Level 3 is more than 45 feet, all filled with challenges to complete. If you want to stay on the ground, mini golf is also offered.

Window Cliffs State Natural Park – Baxter

Get some fresh air and new views at Window Cliffs. Photo credit: Chuck Sutherland

Window Cliffs is a 275-acre natural wonder with a challenging hike that rewards those with spectacular views of the Upper Cumberland below. The name is derived from the natural stone structures at the summit, producing a window-like shape. Cross over streams, hills and more to get some of the most epic photos. We can guarantee your friends will be envious.

The world-class museum offers entertainment in an educational setting. With 50 acres and 70,000 square feet of exhibits ranging from nature to technology to science, the museum is home to a Human Slide, Earthquake Simulator, The Observation Tower that offers expansive views of the surrounding West Tennessee fields and the Starship Theater. Outside, enjoy gardens, 100 year-old buildings and a train station from the 1800s. You’ll want to dedicate a full day to soak everything up.

One of the largest facilities of its kind in the Southeast, this museum posts a replica of the first self-service grocery store, cultural and natural history exhibits, dioramas and audio-visuals. Travel through space at the AutoZone Dome at the Sharpe Planetarium and catch an immersive film in the CTI 3D Giant Theater.

Spend a day exploring the 4,138 acres filled with bottomland forests. Take one of the hiking trails, go mountain biking, fishing or paddling. There are 30 miles of overnight and day-use trails that house four backpack trail shelters. Clamor up the 70-foot observation tower to see views of the boardwalk that goes through Dismal Swamp and Travis McNatt Lake. However you choose to spend your time, you’ll be glad to have visited Big Hill Pond.

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