This is my first post, so I hope I'm posting in the right place, otherwise please feel free to redirect me.
My best friend from college is flying to EWR (Newark, NJ Aiport) from the West Coast, to spend Spring Break here in NYC. This is going to be April 3rd and we are planning on a roadtrip to the Great Smoky Mountains in TN. We also wanted to stop in Nashville, since we both like country music and have never been there before.
We only have from Tuesday 4/3 (after 6pm) to Sunday 4/8. I know this sounds like a crazy adventure, but we don't mind driving and need to catch up on a lot so basically what we wanted to do was leave Tuesday night and stop somewhere on the way after a 3/4 hour drive. Then proceed onto Nashville in order to spend Wed night and Thursday day there to then drive off to the Great Smoky ( don't know exactly where to stay) and spend Thursday night, Friday, Saturday in the area, to be able to hike and whatnot.
I see google maps suggest to take I 81 S all the way to Nashville, but I was thinking I 64 W would be more fun, since I think it would be nice to stop in KY (Lexington) for lunch, and we wouldn't mind driving trough KY as opposed to MD, VA etc.. But it really just comes down to the most scenic route, so have any suggestions?
Also, any suggestions on where to stay for a fun 2/3 days in the Smoky Mountains? We are 22/23 yro and like to hike and the outdoors, but we would also like to be in a fun place with a cool night scene ( restaurants, fun bars etc...).
Thank you so much in advance for any help you can provide us with.