If you want to point your compass south when the trees turn pretty for a fall getaway, here are some exciting places (that aren't Gatlinburg) to visit for some beautiful fall color and a step away from home for fall break 2023!


Chattanooga (About 4 Hours from the Tri-State)

This remarkable and mountainous city is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and it is surrounded by the Tennessee River. This town is steeped in history and has many gorgeous viewpoints. Take a trip on a unique railway system to the top of lofty Lookout Mountain, or maybe a river cruise is more your style. There is no end of new things to discover in the area.

Chattanooga Choo Choo

With the help of the famous Glenn Miller song, Chattanooga Choo Choo is a household term for many. It is free to visit this choo choo at Glenn Miller Gardens, visit their website for more information and upcoming events



Chattanooga Incline Railway

Take a trip up to Lookout Mountain, and find out what they mean when they say "Discover America's most amazing mile." The Incline Railway is a unique funicular rail system that is over 125 years old!

Tennessee Aquarium

Located in Chattanooga is the Tennessee Aquarium. Home of hundreds of aquatic species such as North American River Otters, Sand Tiger Sharks, and Southern Stingrays! There is so much to discover at this Aquarium. They even have their own IMAX theater!



Creative Discovery Museum

Come discover the Wild Kratt Brothers aquatic exhibit at the museum that runs until September 10th! The museum has some awesome permanent exhibits such as STEM zone, ArtSpace, Tennessee RiverPlay, Little FarmHouse, and UnEarthed. Starting August 16th the museum will be closed every Wednesday.


WDKS-FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Nashville (About 2 Hours from the Tri-State)

Nashville is more than just a bachelorette party destination, It's a great metro area for the family. With concerts, inner-city parks, a massive book and music store, and lots of shopping. Nashville could be the fall destination you never thought about.


Ryman Auditorium

Step inside Music City's Mother Church, the Ryman. Steeped in history and music a tour of the Ryman is a must on any visitor's to-do list. Visitors can step up on the stage in that unbroken famous circle where so many country music giants have stood before.


Centennial Park and Parthenon


Located across from Vanderbilt University Campus is the gorgeous Centennial Park. There are many outdoor events here including concerts. Parkgoers have even seen country music celebrities jogging around this scenic green spot in the heart of Nashville. Take a seat on Taylor Swift's park bench and maybe read a book while enjoying the fall colors.



The Parthenon is located within Centennial Park and is a great destination to add to your afternoon must-dos while in town. This monster Grecian structure was built in 1897 as a part of Tennessee's Centennial celebrations and was designed by William Crawford Smith.



McKay's is a used bookstore that appeals to a wide variety of hobbyists. There you can find miles of books on shelves, video games, DVDs, toys, Legos, music, and games. Have unwanted items around the house? McKay's might just buy that. They give a generous store credit or cash-back offer to anyone who brings in items to sell. Visit their Facebook page or business website for the items they typically purchase from their patrons.


Waverly, Tennessee (About 3 Hours from the Tri-State)

A small town about an hour west of Nashville might just be the change of pace that you and your family need. Waverly is home to Loretta Lynn's Hurricane Mills Ranch and Campgrounds and has a population of less than 5,000 according to the 2020 census.


Hurricane Mills


This ranch and grounds became home to the Lynn Family in 1966 when Loretta Purchased 3,500 acres of land centered around a plantation-style home. Hurricane Mills isn't only a great destination for fans of the country music legend, it's also a camping destination with many awesome outdoor events scheduled in upcoming months. Some upcoming events include Gospel Fest, a Fall Horseback Trail Ride, Halloween Havoc Chuck Wagon Races, and more!



Tour Loretta's haunted mansion that inspired her hit song, " This Haunted House" visit the Coal Minor's Daughter Museum, and tour the recreated Butcher Holler homestead reminiscent of where Loretta grew up in Eastern Kentucky. There are gift shops as well for some shopping.


READ MORE: Tanger Outlets Expanding in Tennessee this Fall

This Tennessee Resort Looks Like it Came Straight from ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Tennessee Aquarium Let’s You Get Up Close and Feed a Real Sea Turtle

The Second Most Haunted Destination in the United States is in Tennessee And You Can Stay Overnight

Travel Beneath the Smokies to Discover Tennessee’s Forbidden Caverns

Kayak to the Majestic Burgess Falls: A Beginner-Friendly Adventure in Tennessee State Park

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Tennessee

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Tennessee using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

A Unique Tennessee Getaway, The Smoky Mountain Pirate Ship

Located on Douglas Lake in Tennessee, sits a rather unconventional houseboat. What makes this houseboat unconventional is it's been modeled to look like a pirate ship, complete with masts, skeletons, portholes, and more! If you're wanting a Smoky Mountain getaway like no other, this is certainly a good option. See the full VRBO listing, here.

More From WDKS-FM