Suggestions: places to see/visit between Orlando - Nashville

Travel Forums North America Suggestions: places to see/visit between Orlando - Nashville

1. Posted by Tiphook (Budding Member 3 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Hi fellow travelers!

We are coming from Finland to the States for couple weeks in April. We are planning a road trip from Orlando to Chicago making a 4 day stop in Nashville. Otherwise our schedule is open for any suggestions or ideas. 😊 Here is some places and activities we’ve been thinking about;

- disneyworld or universal studios (Orlando)
- Kennedy space center (Orlando)
- NHL game (Nashville)
- grande ole orpy (Nashville)

We have at least 2 days to spend somewhere between Orlando - Nashville and another 2 days to spend between Nashville-Chicago. States we could visit: Florida, Georgia/Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana/Illinois. Any ideas and suggestions are much appreciated! πŸ™

Kindly regards,
Tuomas

2. Posted by zzlangerhans (Travel Guru 550 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

It's an interesting question. First of all no one can really comment about your thoughts of going to theme parks, sports events, or the Grand Ole Opry because those things entirely depend on your personal interests. Some people are interested in those things and consider them worth the expense, others are not. Since we don't have any idea about any of your personal interests or whether you have children with you or your budget we can only throw out some potential attractions in the area for you to consider.

The route from Orlando to Nashville is pretty much a straight shot along interstate highways that pass through Atlanta and Chattanooga. Both of these cities have plenty of interesting sights and are great for Americana. Chattanooga has the Bluff View Art District on the Tennessee River and the Market Street Bridge which are remarkably beautiful places that are not well known. Lookout Mountain is also quite interesting and fun. Some alternative destinations that would require slight detours are Crystal River in Florida where you can swim with manatees, St Augustine in Florida, Pensacola Florida and Mobile Alabama for Gulf Coast culture, Athens Georgia, the Georgia Guidestones.

3. Posted by Tiphook (Budding Member 3 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Quoting zzlangerhans

It's an interesting question. First of all no one can really comment about your thoughts of going to theme parks, sports events, or the Grand Ole Opry because those things entirely depend on your personal interests. Some people are interested in those things and consider them worth the expense, others are not. Since we don't have any idea about any of your personal interests or whether you have children with you or your budget we can only throw out some potential attractions in the area for you to consider.

The route from Orlando to Nashville is pretty much a straight shot along interstate highways that pass through Atlanta and Chattanooga. Both of these cities have plenty of interesting sights and are great for Americana. Chattanooga has the Bluff View Art District on the Tennessee River and the Market Street Bridge which are remarkably beautiful places that are not well known. Lookout Mountain is also quite interesting and fun. Some alternative destinations that would require slight detours are Crystal River in Florida where you can swim with manatees, St Augustine in Florida, Pensacola Florida and Mobile Alabama for Gulf Coast culture, Athens Georgia, the Georgia Guidestones.

Thank you very much for these various suggestions and feedback on the topic! Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga would definently be ones to Google… πŸ‘

We are traveling as group of 4 adults and we are pretty much open for everything. 😊 Whether it’s outdoor activities/sightseeing or indoor museums/shows.

We were thinking about driving mainly on small roads to see and feel the local athmosphere. πŸ˜…

4. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1618 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

I'd say a couple of days at Disney World/EPCOT is OK. After the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, I'd drive along the coast of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, stopping by St. Augustine, Savannah, Beaufort (SC) and Charleston, then head to Chicago via Columbia (SC), Asheville (NC); Knoxville, Nashville (TN), Louisville (KY), Indianapolis and Chicago. Methinks a couple of days in Nashville would be OK. This route is more scenic and you'll see more of nature. It's spring and the trees and shrubs, including dogwoods, redbud, azaleas and magnolias, will be in bloom. Check out YouTube videos on destinations such as Savannah and Charleston. Near Beaufort, SC, check out the beach and lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park. Two weeks is awfully short for the distance you want to cover, given the interesting stops along the way. You'll need to decide what's the most important. I live in Atlanta but also have a home in Hawaii and travel at least six months each year. I've been to all the places mentioned above. Friends who visit from Europe always say that one of the highlights of their trip is Charleston, SC. One of the many places to visit there is this: https://www.magnoliaplantation.com/

5. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 5499 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Georgia is a long the way.

https://www.travellerspoint.com/guide/Georgia_(USA)/

Good luck.

6. Posted by Tiphook (Budding Member 3 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Thanks guys for all the recommendations. We might cut couple days off from Nashville to cover more of the landscapes. πŸ‘

7. Posted by BeateR (Full Member 277 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Tiphook

We were thinking about driving mainly on small roads to see and feel the local athmosphere. πŸ˜…

But with only 2 days you won't have time for small roads. From Orlando to Nashville is about 700 miles, about 11 hours drive, hands on wheels. So you'll need all your 2 days only for driving the Interstate.
And you miss the interesting cities like Savannah and Charleston. Or the possibilitie watching very BIG Alligators and a really wetland in Congaree Nationalpark, south of Columbia.

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1618 posts) 10w Star this if you like it!

Take your time traveling to Nashville, then speed from there to Chicago. That segment will take about eight hours, according to Google Maps.

Nashville
Tennessee

ξ—Œ
Get on I-40/I-65 N
3 min (0.8 mi)

ξ—Œ
Continue on I-65 N. Drive to I-190 W in Chicago
7 hr 18 min (493 mi)
O'Hare International Airport
10000 W Balmoral Ave, Chicago, IL 60666

As mentioned earlier, two weeks is awfully short for the distance you want to cover. You need to focus on the most important sights and experiences you want. Spring in the southern states is gorgeous and I recommend spending more time there. You won't regret it.

P.S. Please note that you will encounter road tolls, particularly in Florida. Tolls are usually paid electronically with passes. At some toll-road entrances and exits there are no manned-toll booths. If you rent a car, note that if you do not pay the toll, the rental car company will, after your trip, dun your credit card for each toll, plus an adminstrative fee (in the past, US$35). So it can be costly. I use an E-ZPass. See these links:
https://www.cfxway.com/faqs/?_ga=2.76634069.1353761356.1707317392-1991280017.1707317392#1548961052281-cf07ee02-c4ad
https://www.e-zpassiag.com/
Your car-rental company might offer a plan that includes prepaid tolls. An example is the PlatePass program offered by Hertz. Check around.

[ Edit: Edited on 7 Feb 2024, 15:07 GMT by berner256 ]

Post 9 was removed by a moderator
10. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2564 posts) 8w Star this if you like it!

Driving directly from Orlando to Nashville to Chicago will be a 17 hour trip at best for just the driving. Why do you want to drive? The cities are not the best places to be driving in. I'd drive to each city, find a place to stay and do the sightseeing with someone else driving.

There is stuff to see in the Orlando area that does not involve theme parks. But it is not as exciting perhaps as the theme parks.

While I agree that Charleston SC and Savannah are lovely cities, if I was primarily interested in Nashville and Chicago, I wouuld try to find places not too far off my main route to visit. So Atlanta and Chattanooga between Orlando and Nashville and on the way to Chicago I would stop off in Louisville. Louisville is an interesting city - I have been here and have written about it, but my trip was following very specific interests of mine which would not interest most people. But in case you want to read it it is here https://grandmarafv.travellerspoint.com/42/