The Road Trip Issue 2020: Social Distancing Edition – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2020-08-13 10:00:00 –

Summer 2020 is a time we won’t soon forget, but not for the reasons we’d surely all prefer. With cases of COVID-19 still on the rise — particularly here in the Southeast — typical summer-fun activities just aren’t a safe option. No concerts, no summer blockbusters at the megaplex, no public swimming pools or big backyard barbecues.

But that doesn’t mean rest and relaxation are off the table. In this year’s Road Trip Issue — our second installment, and first of the COVID era — we point you toward some safe and fun activities all within a day’s drive. Below, find our tips for a trip to Kentucky’s beautiful Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest. On p. 12 we lay out pointers for a getaway to the charming Northern Alabama town of Florence, and on p. 14 we sneak away to The Square in Mississippi’s historic Oxford. On p. 15 we journey to the gorgeous and expansive Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and on p. 11 we provide some camping pointers for amateurs courtesy of MTSU’s outdoor pursuits coordinator.

There are of course many more Southern road-trip destinations that offer socially distant getaways, from fishing and mountain-biking in the Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas to the hikes and scenic drives of Western North Carolina. Before you decide to road-trip anywhere over the coming weeks and months, however, be sure to research ahead of time, and follow all of the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines: Maintain at least six feet of distance from others, wash your hands regularly, and for the good of yourself and others, wear a mask.

Red River Gorge, Kentucky

Choose your own adventure in Daniel Boone National Forest’s gorgeous and expansive Red River Gorge

By D. Patrick Rodgers

Florence, Alabama

This slow-moving town in Northern Alabama offers quirky, classy Southern charm

By Laura Hutson Hunter

Oxford, Mississippi

History complicates and enriches a visit to the northern Mississippi college town 

By Steven Hale

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

The most-visited national park in the country still has plenty of open space to explore 

By J.R. Lind

Pitching Camp

Tips for camping beginners from MTSU’s outdoor pursuits coordinator 

By Stephen Elliott

Photo: Eric England

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