Tennessee is a terrific state to explore. It is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many people annually head to Tennessee to hear great country music at the Grand Ole Opry and other country-western venues. There are beautiful state parks and national forests to explore. A great way to take in all Tennessee offers is by exploring the state in an RV. Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga are popular starting points for RV adventure. The most popular RV rental is a class C because they are smaller, making them easier to maneuver on city streets and winding country roads. Small pop-up campers rent for as little as $65 per night while large motorhomes with room to sleep up to 10 people start at $300 per night.
Nashville is the largest city in Tennessee. Many come here to attend concerts at the Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium. You may want to explore many other country music venues, like the Johnny Cash Museum, Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. There are also beautiful antebellum homes to explore, including Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage and Belle Meade Historic Site and Winery.
The second-largest city in Tennessee is Memphis. Many people head here annually to see Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Memphis is also the home of blues music, and you may want to visit Sun Studio and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.
Knoxville is the third-largest city in Tennessee and a great place to start a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Market Square and Old City are great places to go shopping. Hear the lions roar during a trip to the Knoxville Zoo.
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest Tennessee city. Lookout Mountain is a fascinating place to explore. Ride the incline railway to the top and hike back down. Point Park at the top is a great picnic spot.
It is a good thing that there are 10 developed campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, along with opportunities for backcountry camping, because there is so much to do.
Drive the Newfoundland Gap Road to enjoy this park’s scenic beauty, especially when the leaves turn color in the fall. Along this road, the Sugarlands Visitor Center is a fantastic spot to learn more about the park’s history and nature. While there are many lookouts along this road, be sure to stop at the Campbell Overlook to see the heath bald.
You will also want to drive along the Cades Cove Loop. One place that you will want to stop is the John P. Cable Grist Mill, which was constructed in 1867 was used to turn corn and wheat into flour for baking by early settlers.
There are also fantastic hiking trails. For example, you will want to hike the mile path to the top of Clingmans Dome, the tallest point in the park. You will also want to take the short hike to see Rainbow Falls.
If you are a history buff, you will not want to miss stopping at the Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill. Historic buildings from throughout the park have been moved to this site and restored, including a house, barn, applehouse, springhouse, and smokehouse.
The Stinks is a fantastic spot to go for a swim in the natural pool.
Kayak and standup paddleboard rentals
15 miles of hiking trails
57 camping spots
Kayak and paddleboard rentals
5.5 miles of hiking trails
Sadie Ford Heritage Farm and Cultural Art Center
Disc golf course
10 miles of hiking trails
12.5 miles of horseback riding trails
7 miles of hiking trails
3.5-mile bike path
Paddleboards, canoes, kayaks, tandem kayaks, pedal boats, and fishing boats for rent
14 miles of hiking trails
1.1 miles of hiking trails
97 camping spots
3-mile bike path
60 camping spots
11 miles of hiking trail
Storybook hiking trail
You can divide Tennessee into four large regions, and there are fantastic landmarks to visit in each of them.
Consider basing a trip to Western Tennessee in Memphis, Shiloh, or Jackson. If you are a music lover, visit Graceland, the Tina Turner Museum-West Tennessee Heritage Delta Center, and the Beale Street Historic District. Wolf River is a fantastic place to go kayaking.
The middle part of the state, near Nashville and Franklin, is a great place to explore. Learn more about the Civil War in Tennessee by touring The Carter House and Carton Plantation. If you have children, the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring and the Adventure Science Center are great places for STEM education. See art at the First Center for Visual Arts and animals at the Nashville Zoo.
The area around Bristol and Knoxville in Eastern Tennessee holds many adventures you will enjoy. This region is home to the Cherokee National Forest, and the Appalachian Trail transverses it. The Ocoee River is a fantastic spot for a whitewater rafting trip. You will want to visit the underground waterfalls at Ruby Falls. Ride the Incline Railroad to the top of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga.
About 13 million people explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park annually. This park is one of the most biodiverse areas in the nation, boasting more kinds of species per square mile than almost anywhere else. It is hard to take in all this park offers in one visit, so if you have already been there, consider going again.
Camping is very popular in Tennessee, so regardless of where you roam, you are sure to find a campground meeting your needs. Remember that some campgrounds, especially those at higher elevations, may not be open in the winter.
You can also find free primitive campgrounds, especially in Cherokee National Forest. Note that the Parksville Lake Campground offers full hookups and charges $20 per night. State parks often charge under $20 per night, and there is no entrance fee to Tennessee state parks. Some of these campsites are primitive while others have full hookups.
You can also stay at privately owned campgrounds. For example, consider the Pine Mountain RV Park by the Creek. This campground that is only two blocks from the Pigeon Forge Parkway leading to Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers full hookups, a splash pad, and laundry facilities.
You can find many RV dump stations if you choose to camp in a campground that does not offer sewer services. Take a look at our guide to learn about specific options. Many state parks and state recreation areas offer dump stations. You can also find many at major truck stops. Some campgrounds will let you use their dump station for a fee, even if you do not stay with them. In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can find dump stations at the Cades Cove, Cosby, Deep Creek, Look Rock, and Smokemont campgrounds and across from the Sugarlands Visitors Center. Options within the Cherokee National Forest, include the Chilhowee Campground, Rock Creek Campground, and the Indian Boundary Recreation Area.
Bonnaroo Music and Art Festival, Manchester - Hear over 150 musicians perform at this September festival. These musicians perform on over 10 stages, and there is plenty of good food and campground parties.
Bloomin’ Barbecue and Bluegrass Festival, Sevierville - Approximately 40 barbecue teams will compete to see who cooks the best food at this festival, usually held in May. Musicians from around the country compete to see who can perform Dolly Parton's songs the best.
National Muscadine Festival, Sweetwater - Listen to top musicians perform during this two-day festival. Try the wine and barbecue while the kids play in the kid’s area before viewing the arts and crafts displays.
Sugarlands Mountainfest, Gatlinburg - Watch fishing, running, and other outdoor events at this festival. There will be plenty of beer and other liquor on hand to enjoy while listening to musicians perform.
4 Bridges Art Festival, Chattanooga – See the winners from the juried art show while enjoying food and drink. The winners of this contest can receive up to $5,000.
Motorhomes are divided into Class A, B, and C vehicles. On average expect to pay $185 per night for Class A, $149 per night for Class B and $179 per night for Class C.Do you need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Tennessee?
Yes. The minimum age is 25 to be eligible to get an RV Rental in Tennessee from RVshare.Does RVshare have emergency roadside assistance?
Yes. Every RV rental booked through RVshare receives 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.Does RVshare offer one way RV rentals in Tennessee?
Yes. Prior to renting any RV, check with the owner since not all will offer this particular option.