Budget Vacations and Weekend Getaways

Budget Vacations and Weekend Getaways

Everyone needs a break. Whether it is a long weekend getaway or a weeklong vacation, it’s good to take a breather and enjoy the sights and sounds of the fall season. While a vacation is great for a person’s mental and physical health, it isn’t always easy on the wallet. However, there are some amazing inexpensive fall break alternatives in East Tennessee.

Here are some low-cost and even some no-cost fall break activities that provide opportunities for making family memories that you will treasure forever.

Cades Cove. Located in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Cades Cove is one of the most scenic and popular destinations in East Tennessee. A drive around the 11-mile Cades Cove loop is an excellent way to view wildlife. White-tailed deer, coyote, black bear, wild turkey, and other animals can be seen in their natural habitat. On Wednesday and Saturday mornings before 10:00 a.m., Cades Cove is closed to motor vehicle traffic, so visitors can bicycle, run or walk around the loop in peace and enjoy the tranquility.

Cherohala Skyway. Opened in 1996, the Cherohala Skyway is a designated National Scenic Byway that crosses through the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. This 40-mile route is a paved two-lane road which provides some amazing views of the fall colors. Along the route there are a number of opportunities for picnicking, hiking, biking, or even kayaking or canoeing on Indian Boundary Lake.

Foothills Parkway. This scenic parkway is an excellent choice for viewing fall foliage. It is located within thirty minutes of Knoxville with entrances in Cosby, Townsend or Maryville. The Foothills Parkway’s closed sections are perfect destinations for bicycle enthusiasts of all levels of expertise.

Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most visited fall destinations in the country. Known for its scenic views, this scenic parkway is more than 400 miles long and travels through Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Along the Blue Ridge Parkway there are opportunities for biking, hiking, fishing, climbing and more.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Minutes from Knoxville is a wonderful park that is known for its diverse plant and animal life. One of the most visited national parks, The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is an ideal setting for a scenic drive, hike, or picnic. Fall foliage peaks in mid-October at the higher elevations and lasts until mid-November at the lower elevations. There are a variety of campsites in the park that can be accessed on foot or by car.

To ensure that you stay within your budget, it is wise to avoid the tourist traps that are located on the way into some of these famous scenic byways. You should even consider packing your own picnic lunch to avoid overpaying for your meals.

With so many amazing no-cost or low-cost attractions in the East Tennessee area, it is possible to enjoy a weekend getaway without breaking your budget. For fall travel on a budget, it’s not about how much money you can spend, it’s about the wonderful memories that you can make.

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