Traveling Safely to the Tennessee River Valley During the Holidays

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For those planning a holiday trip to the Tennessee River Valley, the Explore TRV partners remind visitors to follow the local guidelines for safe practices in the region.

Credit: Explore TRV

Before traveling, check for guidelines at your chosen destinations and stops along the way.

The COVID pandemic has impacted travel across the Tennessee Valley, with visitors traveling by car, RVs, and motorcycles to more rural and less crowded destinations. During this upcoming holiday and winter break travel season, the Explore TRV partners ask travelers to follow local guidelines for safe travel practices while in the region.

The Tennessee River Valley is a popular drive destination for winter breaks, holidays, and hunting trips. Even with the COVID pandemic, the summer and fall attracted many budget-conscious and safety-minded visitors who were able to enjoy the bounty of outdoor recreational activities and unique lodging options with their family and four-legged friends. As the holidays approach, the regional partners urge travelers to plan their trips and follow local guidelines while in the region.

“The weather in the Tennessee River Valley is more temperate than in the Northeast and Midwest ideal for outdoor leisure and recreation,” said ExploreTRV spokesperson Julie Graham. "We anticipate a busy holiday season for rural inns and B&Bs near hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, and boating stops. We are already seeing an increase in cabin rental and RV campgrounds bookings as favorite family destinations.”

Across the Valley, businesses are following state guidelines and ordinances for safe travel to protect visitors, residents, and staff. Some owners enforce additional protocols. Travel trends reflect that tourists drive shorter distances and prefer places that provide quaint, pet-friendly lodging, outdoor recreation, and feel safe. Before traveling, check for guidelines at your chosen destination and any stops along the way. When in doubt, wear a mask in public places.

The Tennessee River Valley extends from Abingdon, Virginia across much of Tennessee, North Georgia, North Alabama, and into Paducah, KY, making it a drivable location from major metropolitan cities in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, and Illinois. Boasting mild weather and year-round boating, fishing, golfing, biking, paddling, and camping, the region draws families, outdoorsmen, couples, and solo adventurers. Even with COVID's continued impact on large events and tourist attractions, the abundance of natural attractions and wide-open spaces provide an authentic experience with intrinsic social distancing.

The Tennessee River Valley Stewardship Council serves as the steering committee and editorial board for the Geotourism Map Guide website. It is composed of volunteers from a seven-state region. The Council's efforts are made possible through the generous support of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). For more information about the Map Guide, visit the website.

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Julie Graham
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