Suggestions for Day Trips

The Sidecar Inn is a great base for day trips to explore the many interesting destinations in the surrounding area. Below are suggestions for day trips.


Bristol, TN

Suggestions for Day Trips Country Music Museum

In 1927 a series of recordings were made that included the first recording of Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family. The Birthplace of Country Music Museum tells the story of these earliest recordings of country music, and how that sound continues to reverberate down through the years to today.

Oak Ridge, TN

Suggestions for Day Trips Museum of Science and Energy

Known as “The Secret City” from its origins during the Manhattan project, Oak Ridge was built to house those working on the project. Construction started in 1942, and within a couple of years Oak Ridge was the fifth largest city in Tennessee. The American Museum of Science and Energy and the Y-12 History Center are both good sites to visit to learn about the history of the Manhattan Project and Oak Ridge’s contributions. As of this writing in March of 2022, the Y-12 History Center is not open due to Covid. Roger has found it to be very interesting, and hopes it will reopen soon.

Museum of Appalachia

Suggestions for Day Trips Museum of Appalachia

Located about 40 miles to the northwest, near Clinton TN, is a museum that recreates an Appalachian community on 65 acres. A vast collection of folk art, musical instruments, baskets, quilts, Native American artifacts, and more, are on display.

Cities & Parks

Asheville, NC

Suggestions for Day Trips - Downtown Asheville

One of my favorite towns to visit is Asheville, located just a couple of hours to the east on I-40. From the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Biltmore, the NC Arboretum, live music, art galleries, and a multitude of breweries, there is much to keep one entertained. For more information, please visit their website or talk to Roger.

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Suggestions for Day Trips - Cumberland Gap

Located about 60 miles to the northwest, the Cumberland Gap was one of the first gateways to the west. The Visitor Center is located on U.S. Highway 25E just south of Middlesboro, Kentucky, and houses a museum with hands-on exhibits, a book sales outlet, and an auditorium featuring two films. More at the National Parks website, or here at “Another Walk in the Park” website.

Bryson City, NC

Bryson City is a town located almost due south of Gatlinburg on the opposite side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (steam & diesel) is located in downtown Bryson City and offers a number of train excursions using both diesel and steam engines. More area information.

Maggie Valley

View of Maggie Valley from the air.

Maggie Valley is a small town located on the North Carolina side of the Smoky Mountains. Trout fishing, hiking, elk, and numerous festivals are among the things to do. Here is a link to an online visitor’s guide.

Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum

Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum

Dale’s Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum contains an amazing array of antique, and rare, motorcycles as well as memorabilia. Many of the bikes are in running condition. I’ve been there a few times and often one of the bikes was taken outside and started.

Cataloochee Valley & Elk Watching

Barn in Cataloochee Valley

A variety of wildlife, including elk, frequent the area. The roads leading into the valley both contain a long stretch of gravel road, sharp curves, and steep drop offs. Vehicles pulling trailers and RVs are not recommended. Another guide to the area is here on a Maggie Valley webpage.

Trout Fishing

Western NC Fly Fishing Trail Logo

Abundant trout fishing is available on both the North Carolina and Tennessee sides of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

In western North Carolina the Fly Fishing Trail promotes a series of 15 fishing locations. Maggie Valley and Jonathon Creek are designated Heritage Trout waters.

Suggestions for Day Trips fly fishing

The Tennessee Vacation Guide lists fishing locations. Several guide services are available on the Tennessee side such as Frontier Anglers, East TN Fly Fishing.

These are but a few suggestions for day trips. There are many others!