Side Trips from Nashville
The middle Tennessee area surrounding Nashville is a pocket of gently rolling Cumberland Mountain foothills and bluegrass meadows. It is one of the state's richest farming areas. Such small towns as Lynchburg and Franklin, the latter of which historian Shelby Foote calls one of the nation's top Civil War sites, offer wonderful antiques shops and crafts boutiques.
Tennessee Antebellum Trail. The Tennessee Antebellum Trail, which has more than 54 historic sites, plantations, and Civil War battlefields, is a 90-mi loop tour that begins south of Nashville in Franklin and continues through historic Maury and Williamson counties. Nine sites are open to the public daily. The official website includes downloads of a detailed brochure and map. 888/852–1860 for a map and admission prices. www.antebellum.com.
Loretta Lynn's Ranch
Loretta Lynn's Ranch. Loretta Lynn's Ranch encompasses the entire village of Hurricane Mills 65 miles west of Nashville. The singer's personal museum is here, and you can take tours of the first floor of the coal miner's daughter's stately antebellum home, of a simulated coal mine, and of a re-creation of her simple childhood home. Camping, canoeing, paddleboats, trout fishing, and swimming are among the many recreational activities available here. See website for camping (RV, tent or cabin) rates. 8000 Hwy. 13 S., Hurricane Mills, TN, 37078. 931/296–7700. www.lorettalynnranch.net. Home & museum tour $20 or $12.95 each; full tour $25. Mar.–Oct.
Williamson County Visitor Center. For more information on Franklin and its attractions, contact the Williamson Country Visitor Center. 209 E. Main St., Franklin, TN, 37064. 615/591–8514. www.visitwilliamson.com.
Jack Daniel's Distillery. The quaint town is home to the Jack Daniel's Distillery, the oldest registered distillery in the country, where you can observe every step of the art of making sour-mash whiskey. Tours are lively and informative and involve a lot of walking throughout the beautiful grounds (including the spring that continues to source the whiskey) with stops at several buildings—among them Jack Daniel's office. 182 Lynchburg Hwy., On TN 55, Lynchburg, TN, 37352. 931/759–4221. www.jackdaniels.com. Free. Guided tours daily 9–4:30.
Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House. Diners flock to this two-story 1867 white-frame house (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) with a white picket fence to feast family style at tables laden with Southern favorites like fried chicken, meatloaf, fried catfish, stuffed vegetables, and sliced tomatoes, along with corn on the cob, homemade biscuits, corn bread, pecan pie, lemon icebox pie, fruit cobblers, and strawberry shortcake. And, yes, the famous whiskey distilled nearby is used in some of the recipes. Dinner (that's lunch) is served at 11 am and 1 pm Monday–Saturday. An additional 3 pm seating is added most Saturdays April–Oct. 295 Main St., half a block from Public Sq., Lynchburg, TN, 37352. 931/759–7394. www.jackdaniels.com. Reservations essential.
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