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Smoky Mountain Rail Adventure

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Fill your ears with the sounds of the south and your heart with adventure as you take on some of the best sites of Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains.

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
9 days Sold out

2021 Tour code: MW-SMAA-21

About the tour

Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains: A region of scenic landscapes and iconic cities, and incredible sites that enrich the mind and the soul. During our time here, you will visit legendary sites, some of Tennessee and North Carolina's most beloved cities and one of the most grandiose homes in the country. Your journey begins in Music City, U.S.A - Nashville, TN - where incredible musical history comes to life. Moving onto Chattanooga, enjoy time in the city and out in the vast wilderness, as you embark on the first of several steam train rides throughout the mountainous landscape. From Chattanooga, Pigeon Forge awaits your exploration. Your days here are spent surrounded by the beauty of nature, with a steam train ride along the Tuckasegee River and a half-day tour through Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The tour presses on as you arrive in Asheville, NC. With a tour of the Biltmore Estate and free time to peruse the shops, art galleries and unique eateries throughout the town, your tour is sure to end with just as much excitement as it began. 

Highlights

Activity level Light and Easy

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You enjoy a perfect harmony between light and no activity. You’re okay with some walking and don’t mind strolls through cities or being on your feet for a few hours, perhaps on uneven pavement or cobblestones.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Nashville

Arrive in Nashville and transfer independently to your hotel. After check-in, the remainder of the day is free to get acquainted with this vibrant city. Overnight Nashville, TN.

Day 2 - Nashville/Grand Ole’ Opry

Some of the most intriguing locales in Nashville lie ahead this morning, as you embark on a guided tour of the city. Enjoy glimpses at sites such the Historic Downtown District, Riverfront Park and "Honky Tonk Row," and learn little-known facts from your local guide. Following your tour, spend the afternoon sightseeing on your own before meeting with the group for dinner. This evening we visit the world renowned Grand Ole' Opry for a backstage tour of this country music gem followed by a performance. Overnight Nashville, TN.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - RCA Studio B & Country Music Hall of Fame/Chattanooga

Follow in the footsteps of some of the world's greatest recording artists with a tour of RCA Studio B this morning - Nashville's oldest remaining recording studio. Immerse yourself in the sounds of history as you hear the stories of some of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century. Elvis, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings are just of few of the many artists who recorded some of their top hit songs here and we see the studios where this amazing history was recorded. Next, we visit the Country Music Hall of Fame. This iconic museum is filled with exhibits highlighting artists and musicians, both new and old, which helped to put Nashville on the map. Following lunch at leisure we continue onto Chattanooga, our base for the next two nights. Overnight Chattanooga, TN. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Summerville Steam Special

Set out through the lush landscape of Tennessee and Georgia aboard a vintage steam train today with a ride aboard the Tennessee Valley Railroad's Summerville Steam Special. This railway journey departs from Grand Junction Station in Chattanooga and continues across the Tennessee-Georgia border to Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, Rock Spring, LaFayette and Trion before stopping in Summerville. While in Summerville, take a look around the historic train depot and find a quaint spot for lunch before boarding your motorcoach for the return drive to Chattanooga. Your afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the local amenities. The walking trails at Rock City Gardens and the Tennessee Aquarium are beloved destinations of visitors. Overnight Chattanooga, TN. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Incline Railway/Pigeon Forge

Look out over Civil War sites, picturesque forest scenery and more from the Incline Railway on Lookout Mountain this morning. This century-old funicular railway offers a leisurely 1-mile ride to the summit, as well as stunning views along the way from large, panoramic windows. Once at the top, enjoy breathtaking views from the observation deck, shop at the gift shop, take a walk to Point Park or visit the Battles for Chattanooga Museum for a dose of Civil War history. This afternoon, our motorcoach takes us on an easterly journey through the state to Pigeon Forge. You have the remainder of the day to explore the sites of this mountain town upon arrival. Overnight Pigeon Forge, TN.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Ready yourself for stunning mountains and the serenity of nature as we embark on a half-day tour through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo opportunities are bountiful as the tour winds through the park. Enjoy a look at the Rockefeller Memorial at Newfound Gap, and keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife. The remainder of day is at leisure in Pigeon Forge. Overnight Pigeon Forge, TN.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Great Smoky Mountains Railroad/Asheville

Railway adventures beckon as you board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad's Tuckasegee Steam Train for a 4-hour round-trip journey from Bryson City to Dillsboro, NC. Enjoy the scenic vistas from the panoramic windows of the fully restored rail cars as the train passes through valleys and idyllic countryside as it travels along the Tuckasegee River toward Dillsboro. There is a layover in Dillsboro, which provides a chance to explore the interesting shops and galleries of this tourist hotspot. As the train arrives back in Bryson City, there is time to experience the quaint beauty of the small town independently before boarding your motorcoach bound for Asheville. Overnight Asheville, NC.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Biltmore Estate/Asheville

This morning visit America's largest home, the Biltmore Estate. The family home of George and Edith Vanderbilt, this estate covers more than 8,000 acres in beautiful Asheville. Your tour of the property includes a look at the stunning home, complete with 16th century decor, a library with over 10,000 books and original art by Renoir. We also have a chance to explore the gardens, winery and equestrian center - all of which are located on the grounds of the estate. While at the Biltmore Estate, join your tour manager and fellow travelers for a Farewell Lunch. This remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy the endless offerings of vibrant Asheville. World-class restaurants meet funky art galleries, stunning architecture meets the simple beauty of nature, and your opportunities are endless. Overnight Asheville, NC. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 - Tour Conclusion

Your tour concludes today as you are transferred to Asheville's Airport for your return flight home. Included group transfer accommodates flights departing after 10:30 a.m.

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Asheville - Biltmore

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Asheville - Biltmore

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Courtyard Chattanooga Downtown

Courtyard Chattanooga Downtown

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SpringHill Suites Nashville Downtown/Convention Center

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Dollywood's DreamMore Resort, Pigeon Forge

Dollywood's DreamMore Resort, Pigeon Forge

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Trains

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
Tennessee Valley Railroad

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Reviews

4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 2 reviews

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Michael K., Loveland, CO

4 stars

Submitted 07 Dec 2017

Very much enjoyed this trip. Outstanding tour director and driver. Guides also enjoyable.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Charles M., Easley, SC

4 stars

Submitted 03 Nov 2017

Vacations By Rail is a great opportunity to have opportunities to enjoy travel that draws people together. ?The interaction among passengers and staff was great.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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