Tennessee to Florida Road Trip (8 Day Itinerary)
Day 1 – What to do in Gatlinburg Tennessee
We left our house around 7am and headed towards The Great Smokey Mountains for the start of our Tennessee to Florida Road Tip. It took us about 10 hours to get there with some food and bathroom breaks along the way. Depending on what time you arrive, you can either start checking out Gatlinburg or you can just relax at the campsite and explore the next day. (If you need to fly to Florida or Tennessee read our blog on finding cheap flights)
We stayed at Cosby Campground in Tennessee only for one night. We arrived at Cosby Campground around midnight, set up our tent, then went to bed.
Day 2 – Things to do in Gatlinburg – Tennessee to Florida
Gatlinburg is such a cute town with so much to do. We started off our day by hiking The Chimney Tops Trail at The Great Smokey Mountains National Park. This trail is about 4 miles out and back and it is one of the most popular trails within the park because of the views it has to over.
From The Great Smokey Mountains National Park , we drove about five minutes into the town of Gatlinburg. Once we got there we went to a really good Mexican restaurant called No Way Jose’s Cantina. I have nothing but good things to say about this place. The food was AMAZING, plus you get a huge portion for a good price. The staff was also super nice and attentive, so I would highly recommend going here, you won’t be disappointed.
Next stop was Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The aquarium is literally right across the street from the restaurant Therefore, you won’t need to worry about finding parking again. Tickets are $32.99/per adult and children get in from $7.99 — $17.99 depending on age. They also offer a huge military discount, 50% off for the person active and 30% off for the rest of the family. There are 2 levels to the aquarium and the aquarium offers some fun actives throughout the tour, including the shark tunnel (show below) and penguin feedings. There is so much to do and see within the aquarium so it is definitely worth the money.
After a couple hours at the aquarium we walked around the town and checked out a couple stores , mainly cowboy boot stores because you have too while your in Tennessee!
That night we stayed at Poole Knobs Campground . We got a tent site that had electric and water hookups due to the fact that we had an air mattress and needed to charge our phones. This was a very clean campground with beautiful landscape and even a lake to boat or fish in. Best part about it is they are budget friendly, only about $22/Night.
Day 3 – Driving from Gatlinburg to Nashville Tennessee
This was our first day in Nashville so we wanted to just check out the town and go to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. This was at the top of our list to see while in Nashville mainly because we always hear about it and we both love country music. Tickets were about $25 per/person and that gets you general admission to the museum. You can purchase other packages depending on what interests you, but for us just walking around seeing and reading the exhibits was enough.
We ended up grabbing lunch before we walked around the town for the rest of the day . If you’re anything like me and love cowboy boots, you stop in EVERY single boot store within Nashville. They all had such a big selection and the staff were really friendly and helpful, even if you wanna try on 12 different pairs of boots! Almost every store had a special going on where if you bought one pair of boots, you got another pair free.
The BEST Boot Stores in Nashville – Road Trip Florida to Tennessee
Places to Eat in Nashville
As you probably already know, Nashville has tons of places to eat and drink with live music. Heres a couple places to eat that we either went too or that people recommended.
Day 4 – Things to do in downtown Nashville Tennessee
This is the most eventful day of the trip. We started off our day by having breakfast at Biscuit Love, It was a long wait but totally worth it. I recommend getting the Bonuts when you go, you’ll know why once you try them!
After eating we walked right across the street to see the “WhatLiftsYou” Wings Mural. It’s a tourist favorite and mostly everyone stops to take a picture in front of it. From there we drove about 20 minutes to the Grand Ole Opry. We walked around inside for little bit but decided to no buy the tickets for the tour because it was somewhat expensive and the only difference was that you got to see the main stage and you had a tour guide explaining what everything was throughout the opry. Also there wasn’t any shows going on when we went which was kinda disappointing, so if you want to see a performance just check their schedule before hand. The opry was also cool to walk around outside of, they have two big guitars out front that you can take pictures with.
Next stop was Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. It’s located inside of the shopping mall, which is kinda a weird location and not where I expected it to be. But anyway, we went at a good time because there was only a handful of other people there and we didn’t have to wait at all, we got our tickets then walked right in. We got the silver ticket package for $24 ( if you buy your tickets beforehand online you can save a couple bucks).
The rest of the day is completely up to you. We ended up just walking around the mall and shopping since we were already in there and we had a long drive ahead of us. That being said we were off to Florida! It was close to a 13 hour drive from Nashville to Fort Lauderdale. We drove about 10 hours straight through then stopped a rest stop to get food and go the bathroom. We were both exhausted from driving , so we decided to just sleep in the car for a couple hours and drive three hours in the morning to Florida.We really wanted to get to Florida so we didn’t stop for any road trip attractions from Florida to Tennessee.
Day 5 – Driving to Florida – Interesting places between Florida and Tennessee
As we drove from Tennessee to south Florida along I-75 we were looking for places to stay and wondering what states do you pass through to get to Florida? Driving from Nashville to Florida you will only pass through Georgia. That morning we checked into Quiet Waters Park. This campsite was our favorite and we still talk about it to this day. They don’t have normal tent sites, instead they have “rent-a-tent” sites. It’s basically a big tent on a deck. We just blew up our air mattress and put that in the middle of the deck and then put our belongings around it. The tents do zip up so you don’t have to worry about creepy crawlers coming in the tent in the middle of the night. The site is right on the water which we loved, and had a picnic table, fire pit, grill, and the showers and bathrooms were super close.
The campsite also has a water park attached to it. We had no interest of going, but if you have kids this campsite would be perfect for you. They also have a lot more activities within the campground like volleyball, mountain bike trails, horseshoe pits, fishing, dog park, disc golf, and Cable water-skiing (we didn’t know this till the end but if we went back we would definitely do it).
Later that night we went to Loggerhead Marine Life Center for a Guided Turtle Walk.
“A Turtle Walk is a unique program that allows our visitors to learn about, and observe, the nesting and egg-laying process of sea turtles. With the approval of State issued permits, experienced Loggerhead Marine life Center scouts will patrol our designated section of Juno Beach searching for sea turtles while visitors enjoy an informative presentation on the plight of sea turtles and an after-hours experience to view our current patients in our outdoor Sea Turtle Hospital. Once a loggerhead sea turtle is found and begins her egg-laying process, the group is then led down to the beach to witness this unforgettable experience.” – LoggerHead Marine Life Center
We got there an hour before hand so we could walk around the gift shop and walk along the beach. The tour started at 9pm but they wanted everybody there by 8:40 so we could check in and they could explain everything to us. We started out the tour by learning about the turtles anatomy, what they eat, the different types of turtles, what certain turtles were being hunted for, and how the trash people leave on the beach were affecting them.
From there, they took us outside to see all the turtles. We went around each pool and they told us why the turtle was there, how they were being treated, and when or if they were going to be released. After that it was time to head down to the beach. We all had to walk single file on the beach and be really quiet so we didn’t scare the turtles away. We had to all stay behind the turtle while she was laying her eggs and weren’t allowed to take photos or videos either , since we didn’t want her to know we were there. Overall it was an amazing experience to see how she laid her eggs and how much work actually goes into building the nest for the eggs.
Day 6 – Beach Day in Florida – Tennessee to Florida road trip
Finally a beach day! We went to Pompano Beach, which was only about 15 minutes away from our campsite. We had to drive around for like 20 minutes to find parking, which was kind of annoying, but we finally found the perfect spot right in front of the beach. It was not even a minute walk from the car to the beach and it had outdoor showers to rinse off the sand, and bathrooms.
Some advice when going to Florida beaches… WEAR SUNSCREEN. James and I had never to been to Florida , let alone the beach in any wear other than New Jersey & Maryland. That being said we had no idea how brutal the sun was there, So I put on tanning oil and James wore nothing thinking we would get tan or just some light sunburn that would later turn into tan. Well, that didn’t happen at all. We both got really burnt, to the point I’m pretty sure we both had sun poisoning. So like I said, make sure you wear sunscreen on the beach!
That night we were planning on having a bonfire and maybe doing the boardwalk but we both didn’t feel good from the sunburn, so we just ate dinner and called it a night.
Day 7 – Renting a Boat in Fort Lauderdale – Tennessee to Florida
After spending all day on the beach the previous day, we were debating on renting jet skis or a boat to hang out on the water. We rented a little deck boat from Atlantic Boat & Jet Ski Rentals. It cost $100/Hour for the boat that we got, but they have different sized boats you can choose from that vary in price.
The place was really laid back and didn’t really give us restrictions on where we could and couldn’t go, as long as we were back before our time was up. If you’re planning on spending most of the day on the water, make sure you pack a cooler with drinks (non alcoholic) and snacks because they don’t provide you with any of that.
After our long day on the water, we headed back to the campsite , relaxed for little bit, then headed to Hollywood Boardwalk for dinner and to just check it out. I kept seeing Hollywood Boardwalk on Instagram and saw it on other bloggers itineraries, and from what I saw and heard about it I thought it was gonna be really nice, but it wasn’t. We found parking pretty quickly which was nice, but we started walking on the boardwalk and it was just overly crowded with drunk people and there was trash everywhere. Also most of the stores weren’t even open , so we just walked on the beach for a little bit and headed back to the campsite.
Florida doesn’t really have boardwalks, at least not where we were staying. But if you still want somewhere you can shop and eat thats actually nice, stay away from Hollywood Boardwalk and try these ones instead.
Day 8 – Beach Day / Head Home
For our last day in Florida we decided to do one more beach day before heading home. It didn’t last very long since we were both still super sunburnt from the other day. We spent maybe 3-4 hours there then started our long trip back home. You can always do this trip in reverse and drive from Florida to Tennessee.
If you aren’t into road trips and prefer flying, check out our blog on How To Find Cheap Flights
If you have any questions feel free to contact us!
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