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Potential trip to TN/GA--NCFCA open

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Hi Everyone!


Our family is looking at a potential trip to Tennessee in March for a debate tournament. Actually, the tournament is in Lookout Mountain, GA.


My dh has a client in Knoxville so we're looking to incorporate that into our trip. I'm always looking at state capitals and national parks when we travel so can a few of you look at this plan and give me some input?


Fly into Knoxville and have dh visit his client. From Knoxville, go to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Drive down to Chattanooga and stay there for the tournament. After the tournament, drive up to Nashville to visit the Capitol and fly home from Nashville.


For anyone familiar with the geography, does this sound doable at all? Are those all places worth seeing or would you advise something else in that general area? We're looking at 7-8 days with 4 of those being taken by the tournament (which is at Covenant Christian College in Lookout Mountain).


I'd love any input! Definitely an area of the country I haven't explored at all!


Oh, and is anyone going to the NCFCA open at that location? :)

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I'm not going there, but quite likely, my son will be doing the A/V for you folks! He's a freshman there and that's his work study job. He and one other freshman have moved up in the ranks and are more or less handling most of the AV jobs.


Oh yes... as far as tourism, we've no good with cities as I tend not to like them, but the Great Smoky Mountains are worth seeing pending when you are there (spring, summer, fall - not so certain about winter comparatively). If you go, stop at the Visitor's Center and watch the movie about the place first. It really augments the visit. My son assures me Cloudland Canyon State Park is well worth it too - esp in fall when the leaves are turning.


We've been to Chattanooga's Aquarium and highly recommend it. We've also done Ruby Falls (cave itself isn't much, but the falls inside are worth seeing) and Rock City (the chance to see 7 states from one vantage point simply doesn't occur anywhere else - it's on the list of 1000 things to see before you die - as per the book). If you have a clear day, I recommend it. The rock formations are neat too. Rock City and Ruby Falls can easily be done on the same day. The Aquarium took us a whole day in itself, but we go through Aquariums slowly and take in most of the signs and critters.


Knoxville we've only driven past - and watched an Imax 3D in. Nashville I haven't been to in years. They are all a fairly easy drive from each other. Pending where you stay in Chattanooga, allow 25 minutes or so to get to the college. Search for hotels closest to Lookout Mountain - there are several to choose from at the base of the mountain. Other areas of Chattanooga will take you much longer due to traffic.


I hope you enjoy the debate!

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The Cades Cove portion of the Great Smoky Mtns is our favorite - definitely worth a visit. The Knoxville Zoo is excellent.


The Incline Railway in Chattanooga is neat, in addition to the things already mentioned. There's also a nice arts area in downtown, and some fabulous local restaurants.

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Fun things to see in Nashville:

The Parthenon

The Belle Meade Plantation

The Opryland Hotel

Country Music Hall of Fame

The Grand Ole' Opry

Any concert at the Ryman Auditorium


The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is a fun, small art museum with an interactive area for all ages.


There are loads of historical sites, esp. civil war era, around Nashville, but I think that Belle Meade is the best by far.

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make sure you hit mckay's used books in knoxville or nashville, however knox is a little bigger ;)


:iagree: I'll even meet you there. One of my most favorite places!


Another beautiful place to see is Monteagle/Sewanee, TN which is between Chattanooga and Nashville. The University of the South is one of the most gorgeous campuses I've had the pleasure of visiting.


Cades Cove is also my favorite part of the Smoky Mountains and the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies is great, too.

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As far as Nashville goes, just call and make sure some places are open. I know with the flood that some of the Opryland places might still be closed due to fixing them from the damage.


Opryland Hotel is scheduled to open this month, but I don't know that there is a reopen date scheduled for Opry Mills.

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Or Chattanooga! It's in a newly expanded building. I adore McKay's.



It is really, really worth going to. You can't miss it as the sign is right on 75 going south at the Bonny Oaks exit just inside Chattanooga. I think the Knoxville store has cheaper prices on classical education books but the Chattanooga store has a bit more.


I was raised in Knoxville. Oak Ridge is about 15 minutes away and has a lot about the history of the atomic bomb. The museum is fantastic for older children and teenagers.


Knoxville doesn't hold a huge amount of attraction for outsiders, lol. Dollywood in Pigeon Forge is liked by my children better than Disney World!


Your plans sound very doable, by the way!! Have a great time and wave my direction when you pass Cleveland!

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I can't remember exactly, but you are around two hours from the Georgia capitol in Atlanta when you are in Lookout Mountain. It is a straight shot down I-75.


I loved Chattanooga. Most of mine enjoyed the aquarium. They all loved the children's museum. (They were younger than your oldest ones though.) Raccoon Mountain is fun. We also did the Duck Tour. There is a neat train ride available as well as a paddle wheeler. There is also Ruby Falls.


Since you haven't explored that area, have you thought about a Civil War Battlefield? There is a national park near Chattanooga. Here is the link. http://www.nps.gov/chch/


I hope you can make the trip work for you. There is definitely enough to do in that general area to fill your time.

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