Dale Hollow houseboating

Middle Tennessee’s Rich in Bucket List Ideas for 2013

The excitement of every new year is looking ahead to experiences on your wish list, goals you’d like to accomplish, and that tantalizing Bucket List. What’s on yours for 2013?

Tennessee is a beautiful state to explore and I’m busy making up my must-do list for this year. Let’s take a look at some of the exciting options that you may like to add to your Bucket List.

Grand Ole OpryThe Grand Ole Opry is a Nashville legend and if this is your first visit to Music City, plan it around a Friday and Saturday night to catch an ever-changing menu of country music icons, new talent and superstars performing live on stage. October is the Grand Ole Opry’s 88th birthday, marking a long history of the evolution of music that has changed the world. The shows are still broadcast live on Radio 650AM WSM.

Wilson County Fair 2012 061Immerse yourself in the tastes, sounds and smells of a genuine county fair – the kind that dotted the rural landscape of America in decades past. Wilson County Fair is Tennessee’s largest agricultural fair held every August, and has continued its tradition since 1853. It’s a fun time for the whole family. Sample sweet funnel cake, moonshine jelly, or ears of corn dripping with butter, see exhibits of crafts and prize-winning homemade goods, enjoy toe-tapping bluegrass music and watch horse shows and sheepdog trials. See if you can pick out the grand champion in any of the livestock classes!

Iroquois Steeplechase 200Held the week after the Kentucky Derby in May, the Iroquois Steeplechase is a rite of spring in Tennessee, opened with men in hunting scarlets leading a pack of exuberant hounds. Choose your own outrageous hat and dress for the occasion when Southern society turns out for one of the richest events on the National Steeplechase Association spring circuit. The seven races culminate in the run for the prestigious Iroquois Steeplechase title.

Center Hill Lake SunsetMiddle Tennessee is an outdoor enthusiast’s delight, dotted with State Parks, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. Fall Creek Falls offers a scenic mix of hiking trails, campsites and access to launch sites for canoes. If you’d like to cool off even more, try a houseboat on Dale Hollow or Center Hill Lake. Both are surrounded by steep, forest-clad hills, deep blue water abundant with fish and quiet coves for overnight anchorage.

Music City Biplane 168Is high-flying your dream for a new experience? Take your pick of ziplining through the trees, flying over famous landmarks and the rolling hills surrounding Nashville in an open cockpit Waco biplane, or float quietly above the early morning mist in a hot air balloon.Zipline Adventureworks 101a

Celebrating the life and legacy of The Man in Black, the Johnny Cash Museum is scheduled to open in Nashville in the spring of 2013, featuring the most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world. This is your chance to pick up personally autographed vinyl albums, books and photographs! Close by is the Music City Center, Nashville’s spectacular new convention center scheduled to open in April 2013.johnny cash

Explore Tennessee’s rich Civil War history. The state is the site of over 1,462 battles, home of numerous antebellum mansions, and this year joins in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the war that forever changed the face of America. The Hermitage in Nashville is one of Tennessee’s grand mansions, once home to President Andrew Jackson, and a nationally preserved landmark.

Jackson’s policies were influential in the forced removal of Native Americans from their land, ultimately leading to the Cherokee Trail of Tears, which passes within a few miles of The Hermitage. 2013 marks the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears observed at various sites across the state of Tennessee.

General JacksonAnd for that final fling? Celebrate the history of music in Tennessee on a General Jackson showboat cruise down the Cumberland River, where dinner is served during a spectacular Broadway-style show.

Let me know any other favorites you have on your Bucket List, and we may feature them throughout the year!

For more details of Tennessee attractions, order the just-released and free 2013 Tennessee Vacation Guide.

Hi! I’m Dayle Fergusson. As a transplanted Aussie living in Middle Tennessee since 1986, I have been a freelance travel...Read on



    Ryan French

    Largest music festival in North America doesn’t even make the Middle Tennessee list? Hum… Well here goes: Bonnaroo Music Festival Manchester, TN.


    Josh Smith

    Here’s some cool stuff:
    Uncle Dave Macon Days- Murfreesboro
    Bluegrass Underground – Cumberland Caverns
    Breakin’ Up Winter- Cedars of Lebanon State Park
    The Ryman Auditorium- Nashville
    Sutton General Store- Granville

    Enjoyed your article!

  1. Pingback: A Bucketful of To-Dos in West Tennessee | Tennessee Triptales

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