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Tennessee, the “Volunteer State”, offers travelers a seemingly endless list of scenic attractions, natural wonders, museums, family fun, and more. If you’re planning a day trip to Tennessee, check out our breakdown of attractions you’ll want to add to your itinerary below. For more day trip ideas, discover what fun and affordable activities Maryland has to offer here.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park- Located in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge areas, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to more than 800 miles of hiking trails and a diverse group of wildlife including bears, elks, and deer. If you enjoy camping, hiking, and fishing, then a trip here should definitely be on your list! After hitting the trails, take the family to the nearby Dollywood amusement park located in Pigeon Forge. Roller coasters, water rides, and live entertainment will keep everyone busy. Dollywood tickets cost $58 for adults and $48 for kids 4-11, but coupons and discounts can be found here.

The Tennessee Aquarium- Alongside the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga is the Tennessee Aquarium. As the top-rated Aquarium in America, it features multiple venues for visitors to explore, including the River Journey and Ocean Journey, which each feature different animals and attractions. As you stroll through indoor forests and waterfalls, you will see an incredibly diverse collection of freshwater animals. Downtown Chattanooga offers a scenic riverfront (the Tennessee River) with miles of parks and public art, all surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains. Tickets to the aquarium cost $26.95 for adults, $16.95 for children over three years-of-age, and are free for children under the age of three.

Rock City & Rock City Gardens- Located near Chattanooga, atop Lookout Mountain, is Rock City, which is described as a true marvel of nature. Here you’ll find massive ancient rock formations, gardens with over 400 native plant species, and breathtaking panoramic views. While in Rock City, you can take an unforgettable journey along the Enchanted Trail where each step reveals a scene of natural beauty and wonder along the woodland path. General Admission is $19.95 for adults, $11.95 for children (ages 3-12), and free to children under the age of three.

The Capital City, Nashville- Not only is Nashville the “Heart of Country Music”, it’s also the state capital! When you visit Nashville, you’ll want to visit the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Open year round and offering FREE admission, your trip to this park will give you a taste of Tennessee’s rich history and natural wonders. Built to honor the state’s 200th anniversary on June 1, 1996, the park was also honored by the American Planning Association as one of the top 10 public spaces in the United States. You can’t leave Nashville without making a stop at the world famous Grand Ole Opry; the stage that made country music famous!  Some of country music’s most famous stars have performed here including Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, and Brad Paisley. Tickets start around $30 and increase depending on the artist performing. Check out a full list of upcoming shows here.

Visit Graceland- Located in Memphis, Graceland is home to the “King of Rock-n-Roll”, Elvis Presley. As the front door to Elvis Presley’s mansion opens, you’ll go on a personal tour into Elvis’s life. Self-guided audio tours are available and feature commentary and stories by Elvis and his daughter, Lisa Marie. You’ll be able to see where Elvis lived, relaxed, and spent time with his friends and family. Tour prices vary; basic self-guided audio tours start at $35, while VIP tours with access to multiple exhibits cost $72 per adult, and children under the age of six are FREE for all tours.

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Whether you’re planning an end-of-summer family vacation somewhere local or across the globe (check out our list of Top Affordable Day Trips), Mariner Finance is here for your financing needs!  Contact your local Mariner Finance branch to speak with a knowledgeable member of our staff and get the money you need today!

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