15 Great Day Trip Destinations For Families Around Nashville

Traveling to Nashville is fun for the entire family. It offers lots of activities to engage in, so it’s an exciting activity to look forward to.

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What are some fun day trips for families around Nashville?

You can check out top day trip destinations such as Mammoth Cave National park, Chattanooga, Huntsville, Lynchburg, and Cummin Falls in Nashville. A simple getaway to Nashville can be a fulfilling experience for you and the family.

As a family that loves to travel, we always look for new and better destinations. Our goal was to travel to Nashville as a family and have everyone have a great time. We had to talk to a few of our friends from Nashville, who helped us look up some of the best destinations for day trips from Nashville.

Choosing the Right Day Trips from Nashville for Families

Our desire to find the best day trips for families in Nashville led us to research and talk to friends and tour guides about our trip. 

It was surprising how much we could do during the day around Nashville Lakes National Recreation Area. 

Whether you love national park adventures or prefer lake adventures like Center hill lake, you will be spoilt for choices.

While we knew of the country music hall, and the Huntsville botanical garden, we wanted something that worked for the kids too. 

The fresh air was inviting, and we looked forward to scenic river escapades in the music city. It was a pleasant surprise to uncover some of these places, as we highly recommend most of them to families that want to tour Nashville.

We would recommend making a river journey as one of your outdoor adventures, probably visiting the rock island state park, rocky rivers, stone river, or ruby falls, we acknowledge that each family has their preferences. 

We suggest visiting historic sites, a visitor center, or better still working with park rangers or guided tours for the best local attractions. Others include Creative Discovery Museum Tennessee Aquarium, Jesse James riding stables and Lookout Mountain.

 Some sites need you to take a few hours drive such as Natchez Trace Parkway, Natchez Trace Parkway, historic Diamond Caverns and Kentucky Action Park

Go horseback riding as a family, visit the knob creek farm, or the lost river cave if you are more adventurous and want ideal Nashville day trips.

Generally, we recommend finding activities that all of you will love. You can scout for a theme park for the kids, a gold course for the adults, or even go horseback riding as a family. Look up ocean journey day trips, or visit downtown Nashville for an outdoor adventure.

The bottom line is that there are lots of outdoor attractions and guided tours to look up. Our favorite spots are described below.

Cummin Falls

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The Cummin Fall is a must-visit when planning day trips from Nashville and around. This waterfall in Blackburn Fork River is located in Southern Jackson County in Tennessee, the East of Nashville. 

What we loved about the falls was the family friendliness nature.

You can hike and enjoy swimming as a family as one of the many outdoor activities. This destination makes for one of the most adventurous day trips in the Nashville area.

Families that love spending time outdoors will love participating in these activities. Get some ice cream on your way back to Nashville by popping in at the Old Mill General Store and gift shop. 

Top activities to engage in at Cummin Falls include hiking, swimming, camping, and site seeing.

Center Hill Lake

Where: Center Hill, Tennessee

How far from Nashville: 1:15

Center Hill Lake Tennessee is a perfect day trip for families from Nashville as it offers a range of outdoor attractions that can keep even the most energetic kids busy. 

From fishing and swimming to paddling and camping, every family can find an activity suitable for their age group. If you are looking to relax, there are hiking trails and hiking tours through the scenic landscape of lush greenery, which provide beautiful views along the way. 

Jesse James Riding Stables

Where: Cave City, Kentucky

How far from Nashville: 1:20

Jesse James Riding Stables is the perfect day trip for families from Nashville. Located in nearby Cave City, Kentucky the riding stables offer something for guests of all ages. Horseback trail rides through the scenic woods of the Cumberland Mountains or they can learn proper horsemanship with basic horse-riding lessons and even work one-on-one with a professional “farrier”. 

In addition, there’s a country store filled with items handcrafted by local artisans and offerings from vendors located throughout Middle Tennessee.

Mammoth Cave National Park

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The mammoth cave national park is one of those destinations that everyone in the family will love. It takes an hour and a half from Nashville, making it perfect for a day trip. Your kids will marvel at one of the world’s largest cave systems and enjoy the cave tours.

The unique nature of one of the largest cave systems also makes mammoth cave national park excellent for adults. 

The mammoth cave is certainly worth visiting regardless of age.

Some activities that adults and kids will enjoy at the mammoth cave national park include the Frozen Niagara and the historic tour inside the caves. The Sloan crossing pond at the mammoth cave national park also offers an exquisite exploration option.

You can also ride the famous Green River Ferry at the Mammoth Cave or canoe to the Green river café where you can enjoy some sumptuous delicacies.

Overall, the mammoth cave national park remains one of those day trip destinations everyone in your family will love.

Kentucky Action Park 

Where: Cave City, Kentucky

How far from Nashville: 1:20

Kentucky Action Park is the perfect day trip for families from Nashville due to its diverse attractions and activities that offer something for everyone! This theme park is located less than 2 hours away, this outdoor adventure park boasts thrilling rides, such as the world-famous Bashland roller coaster and caterpillar train ride. 

For those looking for a more relaxed experience, there are several go-kart tracks, miniature golf courses and a water-themed area featuring interactive fountains, slides and a lazy river.


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The Chattanooga national military park is two hours from Nashville. It makes a perfect family day trip destination thanks to its relaxed yet charming appearance. If you are a Southern Traveler family, this is one destination you must visit and enjoy the national park service.

The area of Chattanooga also seems to be easy to access. Besides the Chattanooga national military park, you can also consider visiting rock city gardens. 

Alternatively, go to the Chattanooga aquarium, which the kids will love.

Historic Diamond Caverns

Where: Park City, Kentucky

How far from Nashville: 1:15

Historic Diamond Caverns is the perfect place for families to explore, year round. It offers something special and unique to all who enter with bright and breathtaking formations that have been providing delight for generations. 

We love this for the easy adventure it offers to all ages in our group. The journey will take you underground and features formations of crystalline limestone, onyx, and marble stalactites, and stalagmites. We had an experienced guide who took us on the tour and pointed out the incredible geological features. 

Centennial Park

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Besides visiting a national park, you can consider a kids’ park like Centennial. This is one of the best parks in the area considering that the different activities can work for kids of all ages and adults.

It can be quiet and calming, great for art lovers, although you have to pay some money to see the art at one of the best art galleries.

You can still enjoy the outdoors without entering the Parthenon/ art museum. Younger kids will not enjoy art exhibitions, so spending more time with them outdoors is best. The sunken gardens will, however, make up for this and are great for taking photos with the entire family.

Knob Creek Farm

Where: Knob Creek, Kentucky

How far from Nashville: 2:10

Knob Creek Farm in Kentucky is perfect for families looking for a fun and educational day trip from Nashville. Located just over two hours away, families can explore the fascinating history of Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home while enjoying the views of the countryside and all it has to offer. 

We loved discovering the unique artifacts, like the180 years old furniture and Civil War history. You can also take a scenic horseback riding tour, and even milk cows! 


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This is another exciting destination for a day road trip. It works best for families that enjoy outdoor activities and is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations in the US.

It is the home to Space and Rocket Center, which is an excellent choice for children. The space museum is one of the world’s largest space museums, and the rocket collection will be all your kids will talk about for a long time. 

The adults can also enjoy fantastic public art or explore the artists at Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment.

Rock Island State Park 

Where: Rock Island, Tennessee

How far from Nashville: 2:30

Rock Island State Park is a perfect place for families to explore and enjoy nature, as it boasts a variety of activities for all ages. With two distinct swimming beaches, miles of hiking trails, and camping available, outdoor enthusiasts can experience something new during each visit. 

For adventurers seeking something more daring, Rock Island State Park also features kayak launch sites along its 300 islands and sandstone bluffs that overlook the glimmering water.


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This will be great for adults who enjoy a great drink. Lynchburg is located one hour and 20 minutes from Nashville. 

This is where you get Jack Daniel’s distillery. A tour of this famous distillery will expose you and your family to brewing history.

Besides having fun learning the history of this distillery, you will also enjoy visiting the smaller towns around it. Adults can go to the whisky-tasting sessions if they want to.


Visit the historic Sewanee cemetery. This is a unique college town on top of Monteagle Mountain. It has a natural outdoor charm and appeal.

The entire family will enjoy exploring the more than 13000 acreage space. Get to sample the cuisine at Shenanigan’s, or drive to Cross and hike the Perimeter trail and Natural Bridge.

Stones River National Cemetery

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If you love history and want to know more about the civil war history, then the Stones River National Battlefield will be exciting to visit with the family. 

Get to learn about the final resting place of the numerous American soldiers from the American civil war. 

Ground tours and provision for cycling and hiking on the walking trails are offered. The civil war history at Stones River National Battlefield will make you appreciate the peace you enjoy today.


This is just 60 minutes from Nashville, the big city, and one of the best nashville day trips to make. You get to enjoy both outdoor and historic sites at Clarksville.

The area has one of the most exquisite restaurant scenes in Tennessee. The hiking trails around the Cumberland river and the numerous picnic stations make this an ideal family day trip destination.

You can go further downtown to the Customs House Museum and explore it as a family. The City Forum is an excellent place to play with the kids or have fun together. You can also visit the Dunbar Cave and the Dunbar Cave State Park and explore the hiking trails with the entire family. Everyone is sure to love the cave tours.

Key Takeaways

  • Nashville has lots of day trip destinations for the entire family
  • Finding Nashville day trips that are kid-friendly is not difficult
  • Nashville has lots of natural outdoor destinations to explore as a family