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Our Favorite Tennessee RV Parks and Cities

Our Favorite Tennessee RV Parks and Cities

My husband and I RV’d around the country for a solid year to explore some of the most impressive sites and scenes possible. We devoted our second month of RVing to the Volunteer State, mountainous, country-music-loving Tennessee. Little did we know that by the end of our year, this state would win for the most fun we had RVing — these were our favorite Tennessee RV parks and cities. See which one appeals to you!


Tri-Cities, TN

If you’re yearning for a peaceful getaway, I’ve got just the spot in the Tri-Cities region of Tennessee. Rocky Top Campground, tucked away near Kingsport, Tennessee, is a quiet haven. The folks there are the sweetest – they even helped us get our spot on the hillside, which was much appreciated since we were newbie RVers. Plus, everything at the RV park was spotless and gorgeous.

This adult-only spot is a dream for those seeking nature’s serenity. They’ve got places for RVs, tents, and a few cozy cabins. There’s even a little store and a game room for some pool table fun. What I adored most were the darling seasonal touches around the campground – think cute pumpkin carvings and artsy metal works, all adding to Rocky Top’s charm.


Just a short drive away, Bristol, a city that straddles two states, will steal your heart as the birthplace of country music. Don’t miss out on the sophisticated museum there, a cheeseburger that will please your palate in a classic diner (where Hank Wiliams was the last scene before his death), and cultural shows and performances that’ll dazzle you at Paramount Theatre. 


And the stars of Bristol are the (insert your favorite adjective here!) pastries at Blackbird Bakery, where the blueberry iced donut is a slice of heaven. Take my word for it!

For my NASCAR peeps, Bristol Motor Speedway is your thrill destination. Picture this: roaring engines and the excitement of race day. And it’s not just about the speed; expect concert headliners there, too!


Johnson City and Jonesborough: Bonus Visits

Johnson City is something else, the second address of the Tri-Cities area. For craft beer lovers, Yee-Haw Brewing is the place to be. Downtown Johnson City has charm for days – vibrant murals, shops full of treasures that’ll catch your eye, and food out of this world. 

Try German bites at Freiburg’s, savor Indian fare at Sahib (my fave!), and twirl some tasty pasta at Main Street Pizza Company. Into BBQ? Southern Twist BBQ serves up the most amazing BBQ charcuterie board I’ve ever seen!


And get this: Jonesborough is the oldest town in Tennessee. It’s not in the Tri-Cities but in the vicinity. Stroll through history with a costumed interpreter from yesteryear at the Heritage Alliance. There’s more than history to dig into in Jonesborough; there are cute shops, some good restaurants, an excellent coffee shop, and the only International Storytelling Center in the universe.


This whole Tri-Cities area has a special place in my heart, full of stories and a few weeks spent enjoying the mountains and Eastern Tennessee. Please check it out one day!

Clarksville, TN

Clarksville is my husband’s hometown. We’ve been there dozens of times over the last 30 years, mostly to visit family, but we went as tourists this time. It was our second favorite of the Tennessee RV parks and destinations.

We cozied up at the Clarksville RV Park and Campground… and talk about cute! The park is a gem, stocked up with all you might need for camping; plus, I found the USA map for our RV I’d been searching for.


The pool was closed for the season, but we still enjoyed the fire pit area, and my granddaughter loved the RV park playground. We also appreciated that the Clarksville RV Park sold propane, the most affordable of the month-long Tennessee trip.


Clarksville’s sips and eats are next level. We indulged in some fine wine from Beachaven Winery and discovered “Clarksville’s favorite hangout,” Strawberry Alley Ale Works. With gourmet brews, live music (shout out to Logan Moore!), and excellent food (don’t skip the Southwest Egg Rolls!), what’s not to love?


Take a stroll downtown Clarksville, catching all the artsy murals and cute shops, then stop into the Customs House Museum. It offers a hefty dose of historic charm. Head to Yada’s for intriguing craft cocktails and delectable food items when lunchtime rolls around.


Best dinner spots? Whether you fancy gourmet pasta from Harbor Cafe or prefer a river view with fabulous fried Gulf shrimp from Liberty Park Grill – you’re set. Those nearby walking trails are perfect for a post-dinner wander.

Driving out to Historic Collinsville and stepping back into the 1800s is quite the treat for history buffs. And hey, Nashville’s just an hour away for all your honky-tonk or upscale shopping whims at Opry Mills!


Manchester, TN

Eddie and I checked into the Manchester KOA Holiday for our first KOA stay. Guess what? It was fabulous! Their campground is tip-top, and the pool? I had it all to myself – pure bliss! They’ve got an epic mix of cabins, yurts, treehouses, teepees, and even a covered wagon setup that’s unlike anything I’ve seen!

Manchester KOA’s friendly staff made us feel right at home.


Manchester, Tennessee, is your gateway to several charming Tennessee day trips. We had a hoot exploring Fayetteville, complete with its classic courthouse and town square vibes. Then we chowed down on a legendary slaw burger at Ken’s Fast Foods. I loved them, and the affordability gets a thumbs up.

Another quaint Tennessee town we enjoyed was Pulaski, my cup of tea, with a stellar courthouse, trendy coffee spots, fun shopping, and Reeves, a blast-from-the-past soda fountain. The chocolate malt was off the hook!


We chose Manchester as our Tennessee RV park home base because it is where you’ll find the Jack Daniels Distillery, which was on our bucket list. The tour is educational and oh-so fun. Who knew whiskey-making could be such an art? Surprisingly, Jack Daniels sits in a dry county, so purchase your spirits and souvenirs while at the distillery or from the dedicated downtown shop. 


Don’t miss lunch at Miss Mary BoBo’s; their rotating daily menu is a foodie’s dream. I believe the price is $29.95 a pop, including your choice of entree, several sides, bread, and a heavenly dessert. Reservations are recommended. I still dream about this meal.


Lastly, we hit Dover – where the Fort Donelson National Battlefield driving tour is excellent for Civil War buffs and anyone wanting to learn more about the South. Need lunch? Esha’s Country Store was delicious, and coffee and sweets from Cafe Doughver were the perfect finishing touch. 


Stewart, TN

Hey, fellow wanderers! Have you heard of Stewart, Tennessee? Nope? Neither I nor my trusty online maps had. But who stumbled upon the most serene spot ever? Yes, we did!

Cane Creek Marina and RV Campground were our hidden gems. Somehow, we managed to weave our Cedar Creek 291RW through the backroads and – voilà – arrived at this cozy lakefront retreat. For a few blissful days, it was just us, the rippling water and skies for days. Can you believe the RV campground was empty other than us?


Our fur baby, Priscilla, was in doggie heaven, roaming leash-free while we soaked up the waterfront property, where the one and only Taylor Swift has been known to visit. Although we skipped the boating on this trip, the view was more than enough.


Land Between the Lakes (LBL) is your destination for a slice of adventure on your RV journey! This massive playground sprawls out, with camping spots ripe for the picking. And ‘The Trace’? It’s a scenic drive that’s pure magic.

Step back in time at Land Between the Lake’s 1850s Pioneer Settlement or gaze at the majestic bison roaming free – absolute must-dos that won’t break the bank!


If you find yourself near Grand Rivers, Kentucky, or want to enjoy a meal that will knock your socks off – you’ve hit the jackpot. Patti’s 1880s Settlement is a wonder. Think charming B&Bs, quaint boutique shops, and yes… even mini golf. 


Patti’s 1880s Settlement is a feast for the soul – and stomach. We drooled over their old-school menu. I dived into the famous Kentucky Hot Brown, a spin on an old classic, while my husband couldn’t resist their coconut layer cake, though he did try the famous apple-stuffed pork chop first.

Who knew this town would be so darned cute and fun? Stewart is a place you’ll want to pencil in on your itinerary.


Sevierville, TN

Y’all, we had a most remarkable stay at the Ridge Outdoor Resort in Sevierville, where the mountain air is as sweet as the thought of Dolly Parton’s childhood home nearby. This RV park (our #1 of the Tennessee RV parks we stayed at) is spotless, with a friendly vibe that made us feel right at home—complete with a Sunday service that brings back the good old days.

The campsites are top-notch! We’re talking about a sparkling bathhouse, a refreshing pool to dip your toes in, and a lovely little lake to cast a line. Plus, the onsite store’s got everything from souvenirs to munchies. After 365 days of RVing, The Ridge Outdoor Resort was number one of the Tennessee RV parks we camped at and the favorite of the year.


Exploring around Sevierville is a must. You’ve got scenic drives, an appealing outlet mall, and a seriously great downtown area to explore, which also happens to lead to the iconic Dolly statue at the historic courthouse. If you love good eats, Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant serves a breakfast that’ll have you asking for seconds—don’t skip those apple fritters and butter!


When hunger strikes again, Five Oaks Farm Kitchen has the BBQ and comfort food ready and waiting, but save room for Seasons 101’s impressive dinner. The baked brie is sheer heaven. And when the sun goes down, head upstairs to 101 Sky Lounge, where the music and rooftop views will sweep you off your feet.


Just a hop, skip, and jump from Sevierville is Pigeon Forge, where entertainment is the name of the game. You’ve got everything from the Titanic Museum to Dolly Parton’s Stampede. And Dollywood? It’s a dream destination, folks!

Don’t miss The Island for a day of shopping and thrills, circling to The Old Mill for some sips and scenery. Yet, the breathtaking Smoky Mountains National Park will steal your heart with its wild trails and helpful visitor centers to guide your adventure.


Driving the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail was an edge-of-your-seat experience in our Ram 3500 truck (whew!), but so worth it. Gatlinburg has that perfect blend of nostalgia and modernity that keeps its intriguing allure.


Read more of our RV adventures here:

Visiting the Grand Canyon by RV

EZ Daze RV Park: Southaven, MS

Rayford Crossing, Woodlands, Texas

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