Hit the Road: a 40-mile getaway to Ocoee, TN

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The Ocoee River is well known for its whitewater rafting opportunities. | Photo via @ocoee_quest

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Last month, we kicked off our summer road trip series, Hit the Road, with an outdoor adventure to Highlands, NC. If you checked it out, we’d love to hear about it.

This month, we’re continuing the series with a 40-mile trip to Ocoee, TN for a quick getaway. From cute cafés to rafting on the river, this area offers a little bit of everything — making it the perfect end-of-summer vacay.

Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.

Drive time: ~45 minutes from downtown

Est. population: 1,258

Avg. high in July: 88°

🎟️ Things to do

  • Whitewater rafting | One of Ocoee’s most popular activities is whitewater rafting Class III + IV rapids in the Cherokee National Forest. While the area has no shortage of rafting companies, we recommend Cherokee Rafting, High Country Adventures, or Quest Expeditions.
  • Ziplining | If you’d rather speed through the trees than the rapids, Ocoee also has plenty of ziplining to try — some outdoor adventure companies, like Ocoee Rafting, offer both whitewater rafting + ziplining.
  • Ocoee River Jam | On Sat., July 30, this annual, family-friendly music festival will take place in Ocoee.
  • Ms. Be’s Purple Bus | A must-stop while in Ocoee, this unique shopping experience will leave you with a smile on your face. Pro tip: ask Ms. Be for her local recommendations.
  • Lake Ocoee | Enjoy a day picnicking + swimming at Parksville Beach on Lake Ocoee.

🍔 Grub to eat

  • Apricot Place Café | 283 US-64 | This cute outdoor café is the perfect spot to grab a bite before or after your big adventure (plus, it’s conveniently located on Quest Expedition’s campus).
  • Cajun Lady Seafood | 3720 US-411 | Enjoy fresh seafood + authentic Cajun and Creole dishes.
  • Ocoee Dam Deli | 1223 US-64 | This popular deli + diner has some dam good comfort food — catfish, burgers, barbecue, meatloaf, and more.
  • Tacoee | 409 US-64 | Beat the heat with a strawberry limeade + delicious tacos.
  • The Bus Bar | 522 US-64 | A former rafting bus turned bar and grill, this spot has a changing menu with something for everyone + good drinks to wash it all down — stop by on weekends for live music.

🏨 Overnight accommodations

If you get a wild hair and decide to turn this quick day trip into an overnighter, here are some spots to stay.

  • Ocoee Whitewater Inn | 120 Whitewater Dr. | This cozy inn is conveniently located near most rafting companies + attractions.
  • Quest Cabins | 281 US-64 | If you’re looking for a more outdoorsy experience, but still want the “all-in-one-place” resort feel, Quest cabins are the perfect stay — enjoy lodging, food, and whitewater rafting all in one location.
  • Hilltop Heaven Cabin | Ocoee, TN | This cabin is perfect for big families who need a bit more space (plus, there’s a hot tub).
  • Caney Creek Wagon Glamping | Benton, TN | Try out this glamping experience at this unique wagon setup in nearby Benton.
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