Cheapest Travel and Backpacking Destinations in Tennessee

1. What are the most affordable backpacking destinations in Tennessee?

1. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park: As one of the most visited national parks in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains offer numerous affordable backpacking opportunities. With over 800 miles of trails and countless campsites, you can easily plan a budget-friendly trip here.

2. Cherokee National Forest: Located in eastern Tennessee, Cherokee National Forest offers beautiful landscapes and plenty of places to hike and camp for free. There are also options for backcountry camping with permits available at no cost.

3. Cumberland Trail: This 300-mile long trail runs through the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee and offers several backcountry campsites that can be accessed for free.

4. Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area: This lesser-known national park is located on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky and boasts over 150 miles of trails for backpackers to explore.

5. Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area: Another nature escape on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky, this recreation area offers over 300 miles of trails for hikers and backpackers to enjoy, as well as several primitive campsites that are free to use.

6. Frozen Head State Park: This state park located in East Tennessee offers numerous hiking trails that are great for backpacking trips, as well as a primitive campground that is available at a low cost.

7. Big Frog Wilderness Area: Located in southeastern Tennessee near Chattanooga, Big Frog Wilderness Area is a lesser-known gem with scenic hiking trails and free dispersed camping options available.

8. South Cumberland State Park: With over 25,000 acres of protected wilderness, this state park offers multiple affordable lodging options including a rustic lodge with bunkhouses perfect for groups or individual backpackers on a budget.

9. Fall Creek Falls State Park: Known as one of Tennessee’s most popular state parks, it also has affordable lodging options including cabin rentals which can sleep up to six people at an affordable price per night.

10. Savage Gulf State Natural Area: This wilderness area offers stunning views and challenging trails for backpackers, as well as primitive camping options for those on a budget. Permits are required for backcountry camping but can be obtained at no cost.

2. Where in Tennessee offers the cheapest travel options for budget-conscious travelers?

Some budget-friendly travel options in Tennessee include:

1. Memphis: This city offers a wide range of affordable accommodation options, from budget hotels to hostels and Airbnbs. It is also known for its delicious and inexpensive barbecue food.

2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Entrance to the park is free, making it an ideal choice for budget travelers looking to explore nature. The park also offers camping and hiking opportunities at minimal costs.

3. Gatlinburg: This mountain town offers affordable cabin rentals, as well as free activities such as hiking and exploring the local arts scene.

4. Nashville: While accommodation in the popular Music City can be expensive, there are still plenty of budget-friendly options available, including cheap motels and Airbnb rentals. Many music venues offer free entry or low-cost tickets for live shows.

5. Chattanooga: This city has a thriving art and cultural scene, with many free or low-cost activities such as the Hunter Museum of American Art and outdoor events at Coolidge Park.

Overall, smaller towns and cities in Tennessee tend to be more budget-friendly than larger tourist destinations like Nashville or Pigeon Forge.

3. What are some off-the-beaten-path spots for affordable backpacking in Tennessee?

1. Cumberland Trail State Park – This 300-mile hiking trail runs through some of Tennessee’s most scenic areas, including waterfalls, rock formations, and overlooks. There are numerous campsites along the trail, with fees ranging from free to $10 per night.

2. Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area – Located on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, this area offers a variety of camping options including backcountry sites, primitive campgrounds, and group camping areas. Fees range from free to $20 per night.

3. Cherokee National Forest – With over 600 miles of trails and 30 developed campgrounds, there are endless opportunities for affordable backpacking in this forest. Fees for campsites range from free to $20 per night.

4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park – While this is a popular tourist destination, there are still plenty of opportunities for affordable backpacking in the off-season or in less crowded areas of the park. Backcountry permits are required for camping and can be obtained for a small fee.

5. Natchez Trace Parkway – This historic road offers numerous camping options along its route through Tennessee. Many of the sites are free or have low fees for tent camping.

6. Savage Gulf State Natural Area – Located in Middle Tennessee, this natural area boasts over 50 miles of trails and several rustic campgrounds with fees ranging from free to $10 per night.

7. Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area – This large peninsula between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley has several affordable campgrounds as well as backcountry camping opportunities.

8. Frozen Head State Park – This mountain park offers affordable backcountry camping as well as developed campsites with fees starting at $15 per night.

9. Obed Wild and Scenic River – Known for its stunning rock formations and scenic river views, this area also has several designated primitive campsites available for free on a first-come-first-served basis.

10. Horn Harbor Island – For a unique and affordable experience, take a ferry to this remote island on the Tennessee River for primitive camping and hiking opportunities. Permits are required but only cost $2 per person per night.

4. Where can I find cheap airfare and accommodation in Tennessee for a backpacking trip?

1. Airfare:
– Look for flights to smaller, regional airports in Tennessee such as Nashville International Airport or Memphis International Airport
– Use flight search engines like Skyscanner or Kayak to compare prices and find deals
– Consider traveling during off-peak seasons or mid-week, as flights tend to be cheaper
– Sign up for airline newsletters and follow them on social media to stay updated on sales and promotions

2. Accommodation:
– Hostels are a great option for budget travelers and can be found in cities like Nashville, Memphis, and Chattanooga
– Camping is also a popular and affordable option in Tennessee; check out state parks or national forests for camping sites
– Home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and Couchsurfing can offer cheaper accommodation options than traditional hotels
– Consider staying in smaller towns outside of major cities for lower prices

5. Where in Tennessee has the best value for money when it comes to travel and backpacking?

The Smoky Mountains in east Tennessee offer some of the best value for money when it comes to travel and backpacking. The national park is free to enter and offers over 800 miles of hiking trails with breathtaking views, diverse wildlife, and numerous campsites. Additionally, nearby cities such as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge provide affordable accommodations, dining options, and activities. The Cherokee National Forest in eastern Tennessee also offers budget-friendly camping options and scenic hiking trails. Other budget-friendly destinations in Tennessee include Nashville, known for its live music scene and affordable hostels, and Knoxville, which offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking at a low cost.

6. Where in Tennessee has the lowest costs for food and transportation while traveling and backpacking?

It is difficult to determine the exact location with the lowest costs for food and transportation while traveling and backpacking in Tennessee as prices can vary depending on the specific area, time of year, and available discounts. However, some areas that may offer lower costs for food and transportation include less touristy cities such as Knoxville or Chattanooga, small towns in rural areas, and state parks with camping facilities. It may also be beneficial to shop at local farmers’ markets or grocery stores instead of eating out at restaurants and to utilize public transportation options when available.

7. Are there any lesser-known Tennessee destinations that are both cheap and great for backpacking?

1. Frozen Head State Park – This park offers 14,000 acres of rugged terrain with backcountry campsites and over 50 miles of trails.

2. Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area – Located along the Cumberland Plateau, this area offers over 100 miles of trails, backcountry campsites, and beautiful scenery.

3. Savage Gulf State Natural Area – Known as the “Grand Canyon of Tennessee,” this state natural area features stunning waterfalls, rock formations, and multiple backcountry campsites.

4. Cherokee National Forest – This national forest covers over 650,000 acres in eastern Tennessee and offers a variety of backpacking trails with primitive campsites.

5. Natchez Trace State Park – With over 100 miles of trails and primitive camping options, this state park is a great budget-friendly option for backpackers.

6. Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area – Spanning over 170,000 acres along the Kentucky-Tennessee border, this recreation area offers numerous hiking trails and free backcountry camping.

7. Obed Wild and Scenic River – This national park unit offers backcountry camping along the scenic Cumberland Plateau with opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, and whitewater paddling.

8. Reelfoot Lake State Park – Surrounded by cypress trees and home to a variety of wildlife, this state park offers several inexpensive backpacking options including primitive lakeside campsites.

9. Fall Creek Falls State Park – In addition to its popular waterfall views, this state park also has backcountry campsites accessible by hiking trails.

10. South Cumberland State Park – With its expansive wilderness area and numerous trail options, South Cumberland is a lesser-known but budget-friendly destination for backpackers in Tennessee.

8. What are some unique budget-friendly activities to do in Tennessee while backpacking?

1. Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Entrance to the park is free, and there are plenty of hiking trails to explore.

2. Explore Nashville’s street art: Take a self-guided tour of Nashville’s vibrant street art scene, featuring murals from local and international artists.

3. Attend a free concert or festival: Tennessee is known for its music, and many cities offer free concerts and festivals throughout the year.

4. Visit Jack Daniel’s Distillery: Take a free tour of the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg and learn about the history of this famous Tennessee whiskey.

5. Tour historic sites: Tennessee has a rich history, and many historic sites offer free admission or low-cost tours, such as Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville or the Belle Meade Plantation in Franklin.

6. Go on a self-guided food tour: Tennessee is home to some iconic food stops like The Loveless Cafe in Nashville and Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken in Memphis. Grab a friend and share some dishes for an affordable meal.

7. Visit Dollywood: While Dollywood may seem like an expensive amusement park, you can still visit for low cost by purchasing a one-day ticket instead of a season pass.

8. Relax at a state park: Tennessee has 56 state parks that offer beautiful scenery, hiking trails, and picnic areas for budget-friendly outdoor fun.

9. Take a brewery or distillery tour: Many breweries and distilleries in Tennessee offer free tours with samples of their products included.

10. Attend sporting events at local colleges: Some smaller colleges in Tennessee offer sports events at low prices, making them perfect for budget travelers looking to experience some college athletics.

9. Is it possible to do a low-cost road trip through Tennessee?

Yes, it is possible to do a low-cost road trip through Tennessee. Here are some tips to help you plan your budget-friendly trip:

1. Plan your route carefully: Choose destinations that are close together, so you can save on gas and travel time.

2. Travel during the off-season: Visiting Tennessee during the off-season (usually between September and March) can help you save money on accommodations and activities.

3. Bring your own car or rent a fuel-efficient one: Bringing your own car can save you money on rental fees and ensure that you have a reliable vehicle for your trip. If renting, choose a fuel-efficient car to save on gas expenses.

4. Cook your own meals: Eating out can add up quickly, especially if you are traveling with a group. Packing snacks and cooking meals in your hotel room or at campsites can significantly reduce food costs.

5. Look for free attractions: Tennessee is home to many free attractions such as state parks, scenic drives, and historic sites. Do some research before your trip to find these free activities.

6. Stay in budget-friendly accommodations: Instead of staying in expensive hotels, consider alternative options such as camping, Airbnb rentals, or budget motels.

7. Take advantage of discounts and deals: Many attractions offer discounts or special deals for students, seniors, military personnel, or AAA members. Check their websites or call ahead to see if you qualify for any discounts.

8. Limit unnecessary expenses: Be mindful of other unnecessary expenses such as souvenirs and drinks at restaurants. Consider bringing water bottles with you and opting for free souvenirs like photos instead.

Overall, with careful planning and budgeting, it is possible to do a low-cost road trip through Tennessee while still enjoying all the beauty and culture the state has to offer.

10. Where in Tennessee has the most affordable camping options for backpackers on a budget?

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest have some of the most affordable camping options for backpackers on a budget. These areas offer a variety of backcountry camping options, including designated campsites and shelters that are free to use with a permit. The park also has developed campgrounds with affordable fees for tent and RV camping. Additionally, there are many privately operated campgrounds and hostels in the surrounding towns that offer affordable rates for budget travelers.

11. Can you recommend any inexpensive hostels or guesthouses in Tennessee for backpackers?

1. Nashville Downtown Hostel – located in the heart of Nashville, offering affordable dorms and private rooms.
2. The Crashpad: An Uncommon Hostel – a trendy hostel in Chattanooga with budget-friendly options for travelers.
3. Knoxville Downtown Hostel – situated in a historic building and close to popular attractions in Knoxville.
4. Memphis Travelers Lodge – a budget-friendly guesthouse with private rooms and shared kitchen facilities.
5. The Birdhouse – a cozy hostel in Knoxville with comfortable dorms and common areas.
6. Bode Nashville – offers both dorm and private room options in a central location of Music City.
7. The Looking Glass Inn Memphis – an affordable guesthouse with shared bathrooms and modern amenities.
8. Above Stay Lodging – located near popular hiking trails in Gatlinburg, offering budget-friendly private rooms.
9. Elk Lodge Luxury Hostel & Private Suites – a unique hostel experience with rustic-style rooms situated near Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
10. East Nashville Homestay – an inexpensive homestay option for backpackers looking to live like a local in East Nashville.
11. Hi-Whitehaven Memphis Hostel – offers mixed and female-only dorms at an affordable price in downtown Memphis.

12. What states have the best deals on outdoor gear and equipment for backpackers?

1. California: California has some of the best deals on outdoor gear, thanks to its proximity to popular backpacking destinations and numerous outdoor retailers.

2. Colorado: Home to many outdoorsy folks, Colorado has a thriving outdoor gear scene with numerous discount outlets and annual sales events.

3. Utah: With five National Parks and countless other outdoor recreational opportunities, Utah offers great deals on gear for backpackers.

4. Oregon: Known for its stunning wilderness and outdoor culture, Oregon offers competitive prices on a variety of backpacking gear.

5. Washington: The Pacific Northwest is a haven for backpackers, and the state of Washington boasts many discounts on quality gear from local manufacturers.

6. Arizona: Whether it’s hiking in the Grand Canyon or exploring the desert, Arizona has plenty of discounted gear options for backpackers.

7. New Hampshire: The White Mountains of New Hampshire attract hikers and campers from all over, and the state offers great deals on outdoor gear to support their adventures.

8. Montana: With its vast wilderness areas and popular national parks like Glacier and Yellowstone, Montana has many discounts on essential backpacking equipment.

9. Vermont: Known for its beautiful scenery and abundance of trails, Vermont is a top contender for deals on outdoor gear for backpackers.

10. North Carolina: From the Appalachian Trail to the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina caters to backpackers with affordable gear options.

11. Alaska: Though not typically known for budget-friendly prices, Alaska’s booming tourism industry means that visitors can find good deals on essential outdoor equipment for their trips here.

12. Virginia: From the rolling hills of Shenandoah National Park to countless state forests and parks, Virginia has plenty of discounted gear options for backpackers looking to explore its natural beauty.

13. Are there any hidden gems in Tennessee that offer budget-friendly attractions and activities for travelers on a budget?

Yes, there are several hidden gems in Tennessee that offer budget-friendly attractions and activities for travelers on a budget. Here are a few options:

1. Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area – This national park offers stunning scenery and plenty of outdoor activities, including hiking and camping, at no cost.

2. Natchez Trace Parkway – This scenic byway stretches through Tennessee and offers beautiful views, historical sites, and outdoor recreation opportunities, all free of charge.

3. Cumberland Caverns – Located in McMinnville, this cave system offers guided tours at affordable prices.

4. The Jack Daniel’s Distillery – Visitors can tour the famous distillery in Lynchburg for just $15 per person.

5. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad – Take a scenic train ride through the Great Smoky Mountains for under $50 per person.

6. Historic Franklin Main Street – Stroll through this charming downtown area filled with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings without spending a dime.

7. Ijams Nature Center – This 300-acre nature center in Knoxville offers free admission and features hiking trails, a quarry swimming hole, and wildlife viewing opportunities.

8. Dollywood Theme Park – While tickets to this popular theme park can be expensive, there are several ways to save money such as visiting during off-peak times or purchasing discounted tickets online.

9. Bluebird Cafe – Music lovers can enjoy an intimate concert experience at this iconic Nashville venue for just a small cover fee.

10. East Nashville Farmers Market – Every Wednesday evening from May to October, this market offers live music, food trucks, and local produce at affordable prices.

14. Where in Tennessee has reliable public transportation systems that make it easy and cheap to get around as a backpacker?

The city of Nashville has a reliable public transportation system with buses, trains, and shuttles that make it easy and cheap to get around as a backpacker. Additionally, the city of Knoxville also has a decent public transportation system, including buses and trolleys. Both cities also have bike-share programs available for tourists and locals to use for getting around.

15. What is the cheapest time of year to visit Tennessee for a budget-friendly and enjoyable backpacking experience?

The cheapest time of year to visit Tennessee for backpacking is typically during the shoulder seasons of spring (March-May) and fall (September-November). During these times, the weather is pleasant and there are fewer crowds, making it easier to find affordable accommodations and activities. Additionally, many attractions may offer discounted rates during this time. Avoid peak tourist seasons such as summer and major holidays, as prices tend to be higher during these times.

16. Where in Tennessee offers discounts or special deals specifically catered towards low-budget travelers and backpackers?

There are plenty of places in Tennessee that offer discounts or special deals for low-budget travelers and backpackers. Here are a few options:

1. Hostels: Hostels are a popular choice for budget travelers as they offer affordable accommodations and often have shared kitchens where guests can cook their own meals. Some of the most popular hostels in Tennessee include Nashville Downtown Hostel, Chattanooga Crash Pad, and Smoky Mountain Hostel.

2. State parks: Many state parks in Tennessee offer discounted rates for camping, as well as affordable cabins or yurts for rent. Cheaper campsites can be found at Standing Stone State Park, Tims Ford State Park, and David Crockett Birthplace State Park.

3. Camping on public lands: The Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park allow backpackers to camp for free on designated backcountry campsites.

4. City attractions: Many cities in Tennessee offer free or discounted admission to museums, galleries, and other attractions. For example, Nashville offers free music events all year round while Memphis offers discounts on tours to historical sites like Graceland.

5. Free concerts and events: Smaller towns in Tennessee often have free outdoor concerts or festivals during the summer months. These events can be found by checking local event calendars or asking locals for recommendations.

6. Discounted activities: Popular tourist attractions like Dollywood or the Country Music Hall of Fame may offer discounted tickets for students or seniors. It’s always worth checking their website or asking about any available discounts.

7. Local transportation deals: Many cities have public transportation systems with discounted fares for students, seniors, or residents purchasing multiple rides at once.

Ultimately, it’s also helpful to do some research before your trip to find specific deals and discounts that may apply to your travel plans in Tennessee!

17. Where in Tennessee has affordable ways to experience local culture, cuisine, and nightlife in various states while traveling on a budget?

Nashville and Memphis are both great options for affordable ways to experience local culture, cuisine, and nightlife in Tennessee. Both cities are known for their vibrant music scenes, delicious Southern food, and rich history.

In Nashville, you can check out live music for free at various bars and honky-tonks on Broadway, sample BBQ and hot chicken at local restaurants like Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint or Hattie B’s, and explore the city’s many museums and historic sites like the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or the Belle Meade Plantation.

In Memphis, you can visit famous music landmarks like Sun Studio and Graceland (for a small fee), try some mouthwatering BBQ at spots like Central BBQ or The Bar-B-Q Shop, and take a stroll down Beale Street to experience its lively nightlife. You can also check out free attractions like the National Civil Rights Museum or the Shelby Farms Park.

Both Nashville and Memphis also offer affordable dining options with plenty of food trucks and casual eateries serving up delicious local dishes at lower prices. Finally, if you’re looking for budget-friendly nightlife options in these cities, be sure to check out happy hour specials at bars, catch a show at a smaller venue or comedy club, or simply wander around and soak up the local atmosphere.

18. Are there any eco-friendly or sustainable options available for budget-conscious travelers in Tennessee while backpacking?

Yes, there are a few eco-friendly and sustainable options available for budget-conscious travelers in Tennessee while backpacking. Some options include:

1. Camping: Tennessee has a variety of affordable camping options, including state parks and national forests. Camping allows you to immerse yourself in nature while also reducing your carbon footprint by avoiding traditional hotels.

2. Hostels: There are several hostels located throughout Tennessee that offer budget-friendly accommodations for backpackers. Many hostels are committed to sustainability and may have eco-friendly practices such as using renewable energy sources or composting.

3. Volunteer opportunities: Some organizations offer volunteer opportunities in exchange for free accommodation and meals. This can be a great way to save money while also giving back to the community and supporting sustainable efforts.

4. Farm stays: Another unique option for budget travelers is a farm stay, where you can stay on a working farm in exchange for help with tasks such as harvesting or animal care. These experiences allow you to connect with nature and support sustainable farming practices.

5. Local transportation: Instead of renting a car, consider using public transportation or walking to explore your destination. This not only reduces carbon emissions but also allows you to experience the local culture and support small businesses along the way.

6. Pack reusable items: To reduce waste while traveling, bring reusable items such as a water filter, utensils, and cloth bags for shopping instead of purchasing single-use items.

7. Research green hotels or eco-lodges: While these options may be slightly more expensive than traditional accommodations, they often have environmentally friendly practices in place that align with your values as a sustainable traveler.

Overall, being mindful of your choices while planning your trip can help make your journey through Tennessee more eco-friendly without breaking the bank.

19. Where in Tennessee has provide amazing scenery, nature, and outdoor activities at a low cost for backpackers?

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located in the eastern part of the state, is a popular destination for backpackers seeking affordable outdoor adventures. The park offers over 800 miles of hiking trails, including portions of the Appalachian Trail and numerous backcountry campsites for overnight stays. Entry to the park is free, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers. Additionally, the nearby town of Gatlinburg offers affordable lodging options and easily accessible amenities for backpackers.

20. Where in Tennessee is known for their vibrant and affordable music or arts scenes that attract budget travelers and backpackers?

Nashville, also known as Music City, is known for its vibrant and affordable music and arts scenes that attract budget travelers and backpackers. It is home to countless live music venues, street performers, and art galleries that offer free or low-cost entertainment options. Additionally, Nashville has a bustling food scene with many affordable dining options, making it an ideal destination for budget travelers.