There’s something magical about traveling during the holiday season. You not only get the excitement of a change in scenery, but you get the added charm of the holiday lights and festivities of the season. Thinking about getting away this month? Cozy up and read up our Nashville weekend getaway ideas:

Branson, MO
Distance from Nashville: 7 Hours


Ever since the early 80’s when the first major theaters opened up, Branson has been a classic hub for good, ol’ fashioned American entertainment. In terms of entertainment, this place has an impressive show line-up, with many having the added experience of a dinner show. Come during the holiday season and yes, there will be plenty of holiday shows in the lineup, as well.

Known as the classic attraction, taking a trip on the antique train with Branson Scenic Railway for a 40-mile round-trip excursion through the Ozark foothills and tunnels while learning its history of the area is a crowd favorite. A bonus for the holiday season is chance to take a trip on the “Polar Express”!

For outdoor lovers, the area has endless opportunities for hikes, ziplining, scenic overlooks and underground adventures like Marvel Cave or Talking Rocks Tavern.

Mentone, AL
Distance from Nashville: 2.5 Hours


Home of Cloudmont, the southernmost ski resort in the U.S., this stood-still-in-time type of place is the perfect mountain-draped destination to unplug in the northern backcountry of Alabama.

While in Mentone, be sure to visit the historic Mentone Springs Hotel and St.Joseph’s on the Mountain.

For a relaxed day of shopping and lunch, the Log Cabin craft village is a favorite paired with the neighboring Moonlight Bistro or whimsical Wildflower Cafe.

To spend time enjoying the beauty that Mentone has to offer, a hike to DeSoto Falls is a must.

Asheville, NC
Distance from Nashville: 4.5 hours


Asheville is a treat of a town with a walkable downtown filled with unique restaurants, live music, and craft breweries.

Start with dinner at one of the unique restaurants in just about any category you can imagine, catch some live music at Jack of the Wood (their bluegrass on Thursday nights is incredible), and don’t forget to explore Asheville expansive craft brewery scene.

Aside from the downtown area, most people come to Asheville for the awe-inspiring Biltmore Estates. Biltmore offers different packages including the estate itself, the 8,000-acre grounds, and the pristine winery. Visiting during the holiday season gives you a chance to see the estate fully decked out for the holidays, a special treat that many come specifically to see.

Before you head out of town, don’t forget to take advantage of the Blue Ridge Mountains that Asheville sits next to. To enjoy the breathtaking scenery, hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway and settle in for an impressive ride.

Gatlinburg, TN
Distance from Nashville: 4 hours


Hit the road due east and you’ll wind up at the beautiful start of the Smokies and entertainment mecca of Gatlinburg.

For a winter treat, visit Ober Gatlinburg – home of a Gatlinburg amusement park and ski area. Not a skier? Not a worry. You’ll have plenty to do with the ski lifts, alpine slides, tubing, ice skating, and a warm cup of hot chocolate, of course.

To enjoy the rest of Gatlinburg’s outdoors, be sure to drive to Cade’s Cove near Townsend for an absolutely picturesque drive to some of the area’s most popular hikes. There are also many places you can drive to lookouts, ride horses, and simply explore the area.

For a warmer, more indoor stop in Gatlinburg, there’s an entire strip of attractions including dinner shows, magic shows, museums and touristy hubs like Ripley’s Believe It or Not. Don’t forget to check out the “Wilderness in the Smokies” indoor water park, as well!

Oxford, MS
Distance from Nashville:4 Hours


For a weekend getaway that combines pure historic southern charm with a college campus vibe, look no further than Oxford, MS. Begin your trip with a stroll through the beautiful tree canopies of the Ole Miss campus before exploring the historic downtown square. For a well-known hotspot and a treat of a meal, try out City Grocery. Other Oxford favorites include Chicken on a Stick (background story here) and Bottletree Bakery for the best brioche and chocolate chip cookies around.

Oxford is also home to many historic buildings; with the most popular being Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s house. For history buffs, there is an impressive list of homes, churches and the Confederate cemetery.

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