Tennessee is home to some of the most beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers in the country. Even in the larger cities, visitors don’t have to go far to enjoy the state’s beautiful natural surroundings. These Tennessee resorts offer a respite from the state’s busier destinations but are close enough to area attractions and outdoor adventures to entice attendees.
Chattanoogan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
The Chattanoogan Hotel is on the south side of Chattanooga, about a mile from downtown. Groups that host meetings at the facility can stay on-property and take advantage of many team-building opportunities that can be brought in, such as axe throwing, or get outside into nature for hiking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or a scenic or sunset cruise on the Tennessee River.
It takes only about 15 minutes to get to Lookout Mountain, with its 125-year-old funicular incline railway system that takes passengers on a mile-long journey straight up the side of the mountain. At the top, visitors get spectacular views of the city below. They can also take a guided tour of Ruby Falls, the tallest and deepest underground waterfall in the U.S. Guests take a glass-front elevator 260 feet down into the mountain for a guided tour of the cave. The more adventurous may want to extend their stay on the mountain to enjoy High Point Zip Adventure at Ruby Falls.
Meeting planners hosting events at the Chattanoogan Hotel have their pick of 25,000 square feet of meeting space that can host groups of up to 600 people, including an 85-seat amphitheater for lectures or movie nights, as well as an outdoor courtyard and a 7,752-square-foot ballroom.
The hotel has a full-service spa and a rooftop restaurant with amazing views of the surrounding area that can be rented out for smaller functions. The hotel has 199 guest rooms.
Marriott MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center
On 30 acres in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Kingsport, the Marriott MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center overlooks the Cattails at MeadowView Golf Course, where meeting groups can host golf tournaments or team-building activities. Golf Amplified, on-property, is a simulated golf venue, allowing guests to play many courses virtually or practice their golf swings. The resort is only about 15 minutes away from Tri-Cities Regional Airport and partners with Visit Kingsport for unique off-site experiences for groups such as tours and community service projects. Meeting planners have their pick of venues on-site, with 305 guest rooms and close to 90,000 square feet of flexible meeting space that includes three ballrooms, three amphitheaters, 13 executive meeting rooms and a reception area that overlooks the golf course.
The Grand Ballroom is nearly 10,000 square feet and can host banquets for up to 450 people or 1,000 for a reception. The Executive Convention Center has 34,768 square feet of space and can host 1,700 people for a banquet or 4,300 for a reception. The amphitheaters, which are suitable for lectures or intimate performances, can host groups of 60 to 150 people.
The Meadows Restaurant serves American food all day, including Sunday brunch. The Horse Creek Lounge is a great spot to relax and enjoy happy hour with friends after a round of golf at the hotel’s putting greens. A Starbucks provides attendees with their morning caffeine fix.
Lodge at Fall Creek Falls
The Lodge at Fall Creek Falls offers tranquility and easy access to some of the most spectacular scenery in Tennessee. Located in Fall Creek Falls State Park, right next to the lake, the Lodge is a great spot for a small corporate meeting or retreat. It features 85 guest rooms in a variety of setups, sizes and layouts, many with private balconies. There are 30 cabins in the park with full kitchens, fireplaces and private patios with grills; each sleeps six to 10 people, making them a good fit for smaller group events. There is an 18-hole golf course, and during their free time, meeting attendees can rent canoes, kayaks or paddleboards.
There are miles of hiking and biking trails in the park and group ranger programming is available. An Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool is located in the park village, and for groups that want to get a bit competitive, there is a canopy challenge course. The area has five beautiful waterfalls to explore, and fishing on Fall Creek Falls Lake is premium.
Meeting groups have their pick of meeting venues, both indoors and outdoors. The Cascades Ballroom has 3,784 square feet of space, with 2,146 square feet of prefunction space for exhibits or registration. To take advantage of the beautiful scenery, groups can rent out the large Lakeview Terrace or the smaller Lake Level Terrace. There’s also a patio, a pier and a recreation hall.
Wildwood Resort and Marina
Situated on Cordell Hull Lake, the Wildwood Resort is tucked away in the rolling hills about an hour from Nashville. The resort offers lodging options right on the lake, boating facilities, dining, live music and a retreat center for group meetings and events.
Lodging options include cabins, an inn, a lodge, vintage Airstreams for a glamping experience, houseboats and tiny cabins, depending on the type of experience your group desires. For fun, the property offers prime access to paddling, waterfalls, golfing, craft breweries, horseback riding, museums, guided fishing trips, hiking and biking trails, wineries, distilleries and group tours. Historic Granville is worth a visit to see the Sutton Homestead Historic Home, Pioneer Village and several unique museums, including the Mayberry-I Love Lucy Museum and the Ice Cream Museum. Groups can even take a free guided tour of the Cordell Hull Dam Powerhouse and Lock.
The Cordell Lakeside Event Room can host groups of up to 50 people seated at tables with 180-degree views of the lake. For larger groups, planners can rent out the event room and the South Deck Pavilion, which are separated by a glass garage door. The pavilion can accommodate 100 people seated and 150 people standing. The Wysteria Pergola sits next to the Wildwood Inn and has a brick fireplace. The space can hold up to 100 people with tenting. The Wildwood has the longest boardwalk in Tennessee, a spa and outdoor games like bocce ball, cornhole and pingpong.
Dancing Bear Lodge and Appalachian Bistro
The Dancing Bear Lodge is in Townsend, which is at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and just a few minutes from the nationally acclaimed Cades Cove Loop Road that takes visitors through the most iconic parts of the park. The lodge property is nestled between mountains, with cabins, meeting venues and an award-winning restaurant on-site, the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro. Townsend is on the “peaceful” side of the mountains, away from the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg. Instead of theme parks, the area is known for its outdoor activities, such as rafting, biking, hiking and fly-fishing. Meeting planners who host events on-site can access a preferred vendors list to add some fun and adventure to their events, including horseback riding or rafting.
There are 26 one- and two-bedroom cabins on-property that can host up to 60 guests. For event spaces, the lodge can host up to 250 guests with a variety of setups, and its customizable menus take advantage of local produce and seasonal ingredients for fresh, farm-to-table cuisine. The Dancing Bear Event Center is a corporate event space with cathedral ceilings, open wood beams and a towering stone fireplace that can accommodate up to 85 people for a plated dinner. If the restaurant next door is also rented out, the facility can host groups of up to 150 for a banquet. Larger groups can use the lodge’s lawn and deck for corporate celebrations, with a fire pit for roasting s’mores.