Tennesseans are lucky to live in a beautiful state. Residents are treated to four seasons, rolling hills, and some of the best history. From past Presidents to musical legends, there is a lot Middle Tennessee has to offer. With so much to sift through, we decided to highlight some of our favorite places and destinations for both locals and new inhabitants. If you’re looking for some quintessential places to move or visit, check out our list for some inspiration.
Nashville is synonymous with music, and many people spend their time frequenting amazing places like the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry. Broadway is another contender and should be one of the first things you do when you make it to Nashville. There are loads of bars and restaurants with open mic nights and karaoke that attracts some of Nashville’s most talented up and coming artists. It’s also a fun way to relax and enjoy time with some friends and locals.
If you’re going to Broadway, you’ll want to look into Legend’s Corner to enjoy some music and drinks. Tootsie’s in a honky-tonk staple in Nashville, and you won’t be disappointed by dropping in for a visit. There are four stages, and the atmosphere gets lively very quickly in the evenings. Paradise Park Trailer Resort offers guests a unique experience through its kitschy trailer themed bar. You can get cheap pitchers of drinks and dive into some excellent bar food like burgers, fries, or tots.
Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry started out as a radio show in the 1920’s and quickly become famous for its unique choice of music. Fans loved hearing the sounds of the artists playing live on the radio and began to frequent the radio station’s location to watch the musicians perform. The popularity grew to the extent that the show had to relocate. After moving not once, but twice, the Grand Ole Opry is still the first venue people think of when you mention country music.
Today, guests can visit the Opry one of two ways. You can take a guided tour of the venue for a historical look back at all the history and the artists that made the place what it is today. There is also the option of taking in a live show. VIP guests can go backstage afterward to view the halls the music legends have walked down and possibly bring you on stage after the show.
Visiting Historic Downtown Franklin is an excellent day trip if you are looking for something relaxing to do at the weekend. For many years, Franklin has been voted one of the Best Small Towns in America and the residents are proud of their little city. There is quite a lot to do from historical visits to boutique shopping. You will have enough to fill up a day.
The area has three historic homes from the Civil War where you can take tours and learn how the families were affected by the Battle of Franklin. Perfect for any history buff. If modern day interests you more, Main Street is chock-full of little shops that will keep you busy. There are clothing boutiques and places to stop in for a keepsake. For breakfast, you’ve got to try Merridee’s for great coffee and a pastry. Gray’s was historically a local pharmacy but is now a place where you can go and grab a bite or some cocktails.
Cheekwood Estate and Gardens
Art and nature lovers will enjoy a trip to Cheekwood. The estate is 55-acres of Botanical Gardens. There is an on-site art museum tucked inside the original Georgian-style Cheek family mansion. The art museum has curated a collection of American art from the 19th and 20th -century. You’ll also find some temporary exhibits come through with artifacts and more paintings from around the world.
The real gem is the outside gardens. There is a greenhouse, a sculpture trail, and flower display. Visits are highly recommended in the spring or summer to view everything while in bloom. However, winter shouldn’t be overlooked. Each year the entire estate is decked out in Christmas lights and has a winter wonderland for couples and families to stroll.
Loveless Cafe and the Natchez Trace
We’ve put these two together because they are well within a short drive of each other and work well together. The Natchez Trace is a 444-mile recreational road that moves through three states. It was used historically by everyone from Native Americans to future Presidents as a travel system. Today you can enjoy it with a scenic drive or stop off and go for a hike. Not too far from the Natchez Trace Parkway entry, you’ll find the Loveless Cafe. The restaurant is known for its Southern cooking. But, most importantly their biscuits.
The establishment has won accolades from places like USA Today and Southern Living. Initially, it served chicken at picnic tables, but eventually, the rooms in the house turned into seating, and the menu began to expand. The food is delicious and wait times can run pretty high. We suggest putting your name on the list and hitting up the Natchez Trace or stopping by to refuel and rest after a great hike.