Both Metro Nashville and Williamson County schools have Fall break during the second week in October and if you have kids and don’t have anything planned, don’t fret! As a mom of three school-aged girls, I both love and dread our October fall break from school. But, Nashville’s fall break always seems to sneak up on me (please tell me I’m not the only one!).
While my family LOVES everything Nashville and often will simply enjoy a stay-cation or attend a cool local camp during these breaks, we also love to travel and explore together.
I’ve found several manageable (and magical) family spots near Nashville that are perfect for a long weekend or fall break excursion. Below, are 5 of our favorite road trip destinations – all are family friendly and well under a 5 hour drive from Music City:
Photo: @memphiszoo + @visitgraceland
Approximate Driving Time from Nashville: 3 hours
Memphis is jam-packed with family-friendly sights and adventures from the iconic Graceland to the Civil Rights Museum; from walking along historic Beale Street to visiting the Memphis Zoo. There are plenty of educational activities for your kids and also places to simply sit back, eat Memphis bar-b-que and listen to some great music with your family.
Check out our family of 5 Adventure to Memphishere.
Photo: @olemiss + @squarebooks
Approximate Driving Time from Nashville: 4 hours
Oxford is a wonderful small southern town with a rich history in literature and civil rights – plus it’s just an hour drive from Memphis if you want to combine the two cities on your road trip. Deemed “The Cultural Mecca of the South,” Oxford has some great educational and playful spots for the whole family.
Visit The Square & check out Square Books and Square Books, Jr.
Check out our family of 5 Adventure to Oxfordhere.
Photo: @lostrivercave + @chaneysdairbarn
Bowling Green, KY
Approximate Driving Time from Nashville: 70 minutes
Bowling Green is about an hour drive north which means it could be a great day trip too! You can explore caves, their quaint downtown and check out this lovely university town with Western Kentucky University sitting proudly atop the city.
Try the homemade ice cream at Chaney’s Dairy Barn & Restaurant
Check out our family of 5 Adventure to Bowling Greenhere.
Approximate Driving Time from Nashville: 2.5 hours
I grew up in Knoxville and now when I visit with my kids I’ve found that this incredible city – home to the University of Tennessee and the gateway to The Great Smokey Mountains – is an awesome town to visit and explore at any age.
Family Friendly Things to do:
Visit the Downtown Market Square shops, restaurants & parks
Catch live music at lunch at The Blue Plate Special with WDVX radio located inside the Knoxville Visitors Center
Sarah is a freelance writer, editor and communications consultant in Nashville. Sarah writes about kid-friendly Nashville and expanding your family's worldview through travel, food, books and engaging in our local and international communities at TheWanderingRumpus.com. She is the Director of Travel Communications at TheFamilyBackpack.com, a lifestyle company designed to make family travel easier.
Sarah, her husband Brad and their three girls have traveled extensively - both locally and internationally - and are making big plans to do much more wandering with their little brood in the coming years.