More and more travelers are looking for ways to see new places while still respecting the land and traditions of places they travel. We've made it easier for you by compiling this directory of places to stay, eat and have fun while still helping us preserve the best of Tennessee.
The businesses, events and attractions listed here all are working to take better care of the natural resources, the history, and the culture that make Tennessee such a great place to live or to visit.
Farms, Markets, Gardens & Orchards, and Hayrides in Southeast Tennessee
Southeast Tennessee farmers pride themselves on the value of tradition. While the tractor has replaced the wagon, farmers in our region devote themselves to traditional ingenuity when harvesting their crops. That hard work and dedication shows in every fruit and vegetable they produce. Culture in another aspect Tennesseans believe in and show. The culture of our region can be seen in all of the many festivals offered here. And, any visit to Southeast Tennessee would not be complete without a scenic hayride through Southeast Tennessee's beautiful country side. Green is only something that can be experienced first hand while visiting a farm, garden, festival, or enjoying a fun hayride.
Crabtree Farms promotes research and education through a certified community garden. Guests can stock up on herbs, flowers, and vegetables at the plant sale every April and September. In Chattanooga, TN. (423-493-9155) www.crabtreefarms.org
Cookie Jar Cafe on Johnson Family Farm has been satisfying guests hungry for true Southern food for years. Located on a dairy farm, this quaint eatery has the finest Southern cuisine around. (Dairy tours available for school groups Apr. - Oct.). In Dunlap, TN (423-949-5852)
Mayfield Dairy Visitor Center is a place for the entire family. Guests can tour Mayfield Dairy Farms and see first hand how milk and ice cream products are produced. In Athens, TN (1-800-629-3435) www.mayfielddairy.com
Jackson Farm is a family owned produce grower that has several vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage, bell peppers, yellow squash, and others are available for purchase (mid July- mid Nov.). In Pikeville, TN (423-447-6635/ 423-997-0015)
Shultz Farm Foods is a fifteen generation farm which offers a market and a beautiful view of Starr Mountain. All of produce and fruits grown there are available for purchase. (Education tour groups scheduled in Sept. and Oct.) In Athens, TN (423-745-4723)
Sequatchie Valley Institute in an organization on 400 acres of forested mountain land in the Sequatchie Valley. SVI arranges tours and workshops on sustainable living. In Whitwell (423-949-5922) www.svionline.org
Ocoee Mist Farm B&B & Llama Hikes offers an out-of-the norm hiking experience in the Cherokee National Forest. See majestic wildlife and views with a llama companion. At the B&B guests can see camels and other unusual farm animals. In Benton, TN (423-299-4054) www.ocoee-mist.com
Morgan Horse Farm is located on historic Polk County land. The farm features a greenhouse, antique shop, and the largest herd of Morgan horses in the South. In Delano (423-263-0824) www.thegreenhouseatmorganlane.com
The Chattanooga Market is an open-aired market place where local farmers and artisans sell their products while music fills the air. Local chefs present cooking demonstrations and their food is some of the finest around. In downtown Chattanooga, TN (423-266-9270) www.chattanoogamarket.com
Chilhowee Famer's Market offers locally produced garden vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and ornamentals, honey products and farm-fresh eggs. In Benton, TN (423-338-4503)
Clark's Bakery at Stone Cave has over 10 varieties of 100% whole grain breads, cookies, cakes, and granolas. The bakery which sits on 300 acres produced flour ground in-house which makes the bread the freshest available locally. In Dunlap (423-949-4333) The Dutch Maid Bakery has been offering food for 105 years which makes it one of the oldest bakeries in Tennessee. The bakery offers a variety of good including over 20 types of bread. In Tracy City (931-592-3171)
Henry Flury & Sons was established in 1905 as a general store. The site offers true country store atmosphere and is the oldest family-operated stores in Tracy City. (931-592-5661)
Delano Daylilies is a tourist hot-spot in Southeast Tennessee. Over 1,400 varieties of daylilies are grown here and open to the public during bloom season each June. In Delano, TN (423-263-9323) www.delanodaylilies.com
Apple Valley Orchard grows some 30 varieties of apples. Visitors enjoy such goodies as apple cider, apple fritters, and homemade apple bread. In Cleveland, TN (423-472-3044) www.applevalleyorchard.com
Gardens of Sunshine Hollow are 20 acres of gardens which displays hundreds of varieties of flowers. Scenic walking trails around beautiful lakes and streams are a tourist favorite. (Lunches and wagon tours with reservation). In Athens, TN (1-800-669-2005) www.sunshinehollow.com
Mouse Creek Perennial Farm grows more than 800 varieties of hardy herbaceous perennials. Also on the property is the historic Walnut Grove Methodist church which was built in 1885. In Riceville, TN (423-462-2666) www.mousecreekperennialfarm.com
Guthrie Pumpkin Farm & Corn Maze is a wonderful adventure for the entire family. Enjoy picking pumpkins with the children in the fall, then choose from other activities including hayrides, mazes, and an animal petting barn. (Field trips must be scheduled during the week). In Riceville, TN (423-336-9896) www.tnpumpkinfarm.com
Mayfield Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch is a great place for a family to spend the day. Choose from a selection of activities including hayrides, sunflower maze, antique tractor show and more. Also, don't miss the “Mayfield Mader Olympics” featuring the largest tomato fight in N. America. In Athens, TN (423-746-4866) www.mayfieldfarmandnursery.com
An overview of Nashville's Personality
To get a true sampling of Nashville's personality, an overview tour must incorporate history, art and music.
Begin in west Nashville with a country breakfast at the Loveless CafÈ followed by a tour of Cheekwood's beautiful gardens and fine art collection. From there, travel 10 minutes down the street to Belle Meade Plantation for a taste of life in the antebellum South at this thoroughbred horse farm.
Eat lunch at Martha's at the Plantation or stop at one of the many restaurants in midtown or downtown.
Tour the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for a good overview of the city's musical heritage. Afterwards, take a walking tour of downtown including a stop in the historic Ryman Auditorium and Hatch Show Print. Take a little music break at Tootsie's or one of the other clubs on Lower Broadway.
Live music, of course! Choose from any of the city's clubs that feature live entertainment. The Wildhorse Saloon offers free dance lessons. Other options include musical showcases such as Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theater or A Tribute to the King. The legendary Grand Ole Opry is a "must see" on weekends.
Other Great Options:
History: The Hermitage, Travellers Rest, Belmont Mansion, Tennessee State Museum
Art: Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Van Vechten Art Gallery, Parthenon
Music: Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, Grand Ole Opry Museum, Historic RCA Studio B.
Tour the most complete and authentic replica of pioneer Appalachian life at the Museum of Appalachia, located 16 miles north of Knoxville in Norris, Tennessee. The 65-acre complex includes dozens of authentic log structures, the Appalachian Hall of Fame building showcasing unusual mountain relics, the Mountain Heritage Room, live mountain musicians, traditional farm animals and an extensive craft and gift shop. Groups can see the newly opened Revolution-Era exhibit, showcasing 200 important artifacts from this period including Gov. John Sevier's family bible, printed in 1571 and reputed to be the oldest bible in the US; a rare American-made Revolutionary War musket; a copper bleeding bowl and "bleeding" instruments; and a Continental army sword.
From pioneer life to pioneering science and technology, nearby Oak Ridge, Tennessee offers groups a variety of enjoyable and compelling experiences including the American Museum of Science and Energy.
Through film and exhibits, the museum documents the story of Oak Ridge, a secret city constructed in 1942 during World War II, and the site of the historic Manhattan Project, where the US government developed the atomic bomb.
Diversity is a key part of Nashvilleís past, present and future. While slavery was part of plantation life in Middle Tennessee, this area was also one of the first to embrace economic and educational freedom for former slaves as the Civil War ended. In the 20th century, Nashville was the site of many non-violent demonstrations during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Today, the city has become a model of the American melting pot with an active Native American population, thriving Hispanic community and growing Middle Eastern and Asian presence. Different cultures, religions, ideas and customs have come together harmoniously in modern day Music City.
Begin with a tour of Fisk University, including the prestigious Van Vechten Art Gallery and Jubilee Hall, home to the Fisk Jubilee Singers. Include the chapel and Aaron Douglas Gallery on the campus tour.
Stop and shop on nearby Jefferson Street. With its fun and funky shops, visitors are sure to find treasures to take home.
Stop by the Nashville Farmers' Market, where you can grab a lunch of Mexican, Greek, Middle Eastern, Asian, Mediterranean, Jamaican or Southern fare.
Tour the Civil Rights Collection exhibit at the downtown library or take the African-American Historic Sites driving tour.
Enjoy international menu offerings at Sambuca, Wasabi's Sushi Bar or Zola's. After dinner, get into the blues at B. B. King's.
Plans are underway for the city to soon welcome the new Museum of African American Music, Art & Culture celebrating the contributions of African Americans on a local, regional, national and international level.
Other Options & Resources:
Nashville's historically black colleges and universities are happy to schedule group tours of their facilities. In addition to Fisk 615-329-8500; Nashville is home to American Baptist College 615-256-1463; Meharry Medical College 615-327-6111; and Tennessee State University 615-963-5000. The Jefferson United Merchants Partnership, 615-726-5867, can help outline shopping and dining options in the district. Visit Cheekwood 615-353-6982, to see 19 of the incredible sculptures by native Nashvillian Will Edmondson, who in 1937 became the first African-American to have a one-man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The African-American Guide to Nashville, available at the Nashville Visitor Information Centers, provides additional narrative and tour ideas. Both Belle Meade Plantation, 615-356-0501, and The Hermitage, 615-889-2941, have exhibits that tell the story from slavery to freedom at their plantations. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 615-416-2001, also has displays pertaining to important African-American musical pioneers including Harmonica Wizard DeFord Bailey, who was instrumental in the naming of the Grand Ole Opry.
Due to a successful brook trout restoration program, for the first time in 30 years, anglers are now able to fish for brook trout in park streams. Great Smoky Mountains National Park has about 2,115 miles of streams within its boundaries, and protects one of the last wild trout habitats in the eastern United States. The park offers a wide variety of angling experiences from remote, headwater trout streams to large, coolwater smallmouth bass streams. Most streams remain at or near their carrying capacity of fish and offer a great opportunity to catch these species throughout the year.
Fishing is permitted year-round in the park, from 30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset. The park allows fishing in all streams EXCEPT the following streams and their tributaries upstream from the points described:
Tennessee: Indian Flats Prong at the Middle Prong Trial crossing
These streams are closed to fishing to allow fish to repopulate following restoration work. For the exact location, consult the appropriate USGS 1:24,000 Quadrangle Map available at park visitor centers. Detailed information, including a complete list of regulations and a map of fishable park waters, is also available at any visitor center or ranger station.
You must possess a valid fishing license or permit from either Tennessee or North Carolina. A license from either state is valid throughout the park, and no trout stamp is required. Fishing licenses and permits are not available in the park, but may be purchased in nearby towns or online. Special permits are required for fishing in Gatlinburg and Cherokee. For more information, go to http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/fishing.htm.
Tennessee License Requirements:
Residents and nonresidents age 13 and older must have a valid license. Residents age 65 and older may obtain a special license from the state. Buy a license from the state government of Tennessee.
Fishing is permitted year-round in open waters.
Guided horseback rides are available at four concession horseback riding stables in the park from mid-March through late November. Rides on scenic park trails are offered, lasting from 45 minutes to several hours. All rides proceed at a walking pace. Rates are from $20-$25 per hour. Weight limits and age restrictions may apply. Please call the stable you are interested in for additional information. For additional information, go to http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/horseriding.htm.
Cades Cove Riding Stables, near Townsend, TN (865) 448-9009
(also offers hayrides and carriage rides) Visit website for additional information.
Smokemont, near Cherokee, NC (828) 497-2373
(also offers wagon rides) Visit website for additional information:
Smoky Mountain Riding Stables, near Gatlinburg, TN (865) 436-5634
Visit website for additional information:
Sugarlands, near Gatlinburg, TN (865) 436-3535
Cades Cove Riding Stables offers a 1.5 ñ 2 hour hayride around the Cades Cove Loop Road. Passengers sit on a bed of hay in a trailer pulled by a truck and enjoy an open air view of the scenery of Cades Cove. Reservations are generally required and can be made by calling (865) 448-9009. Rates are $6.00 per person.
Ranger-led hayrides are also offered on some evenings and these do not require a reservation. See the Schedule of Events for scheduled ranger-led hayrides. The rate for the ranger-led hayride is $8.50 per person.
Carriage and Wagon Rides
Carriage or wagon rides are offered at two of the concession horseback riding stables in the park. These rides provide an opportunity to experience a 20-30 minute horse-drawn carriage or wagon ride on a park trail. Rates are $7.50-$8.00 per person. Please call the stable you are interested in for additional information.
Cades Cove, near Townsend, TN (865) 448-9009
(also offers hayrides and horseback rides) Visit website for additional information.
Bring Your Horse to the Park
Caution is advised in the backcountry. The park's backcountry is managed as a natural area where the forces of nature determine trail conditions. Please be prepared for swollen streams, bridge washouts, downed trees, and trail erosionóriding is not recommended from early December until May due to the seasonal nature of the trail maintenance program.
About 550 miles of the park's hiking trails are open to horses. Horses are restricted to trails specifically designated for horse use. If you wish to ride your own horse in the park, please obtain a copy of the park's trail map. This map indicates the trails on which you may ride horses and explains the park's rules and regulations concerning horse riding in the backcountry. It also provides information about backcountry camping, and permit requirements. To obtain an official trail map, stop at any park visitor center or call (865) 436-0120. The cost of the map is $1. You may also download a trail map.
Horses are allowed only on trails specifically designated for horse use. Off-trail or cross-country riding is prohibited. Horse riders may use designated campsites located on trails open to their use, however some backcountry campsites must be reserved in advance. These sites are indicated on the park's trail map.
Five drive-in horse camps provide ready access to backcountry horse trails in the park. Camps are located at Cades Cove (Anthony Creek), Big Creek, Cataloochee, Round Bottom, and Towstring. Horse camps are open from April through October.
See more August events »Enjoy the outdoors