Your 2014 Middle Tennessee Must List

You can be honest: How many events did you check off of your Bucket List in 2013? I crossed off quite a few but 2014’s a new year with exciting new events and opportunities.

Forget the excuses and plan to cross something off your list every month in 2014. Maybe we can inspire one another! Here’s the lowdown on a few of my resolutions for the new year.

1. Support a local theatre company

cumberland county playhouseLocal theater offers that intimate experience, seats so close to the stage you can see every expression of the actors and feel like you’re almost on the set. Cumberland County Players in Crossville is one of the 10 largest professional theaters in rural America, performing more than 400 shows to over 145,000 visitors annually and often highlighting Tennessee and Southeastern history and culture.

The Hendersonville Performing Arts Company (Sumner County) and Act Too Players in Franklin (Wilson County) also perform Broadway style shows and musicals using mainly local talent. If you’ve always had the desire to act, you may even like to audition when they hold casting calls.

2. Boogie Down to Bluegrass Music

bg underground2You can find some of the world’s best Bluegrass right here in Middle Tennessee. For the ultimate in ambience and acoustics, descend 300 feet under the earth to Bluegrass Underground in the Cumberland Caverns. If you feel a little more secure above ground, the historic steamboat river town of Granville hosts a homestyle dinner and the Ole Time Music Hour every Saturday night, a live radio-taping of Bluegrass music that is streamed around the world.

3. Catch an Adrenaline Rush

freefallingLive a little dangerously and get that adrenaline pumping through your veins. You may surprise yourself and discover you’re more courageous than you thought. Take a tandem jump with Adventure Skydiving Tennessee in Waverly and experience the freedom of freefalling from 14,000 feet! Ziplining through the treetops is an adventure for the whole family as you hook on and zoom across forested valleys.

4. Take a Class

balloonLearn something new in 2014. Sign on for a vegetarian cookery class, learn the art of stained glassing, discover how to make goat cheese, or play a new instrument. I’m still promising myself to take up saxophone lessons. Maybe 2014 is the year!

5. Visit an Arts and Crafts Festival

Middle Tennessee offers a kaleidoscope of arts and crafts festivals throughout the year. Take your family, friends and your dog out for a day in the sun and pick up some artisans’ treasures. You’ll be amazed at the quality craftsmanship.

6. Enjoy a concert at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center

The Schermerhorn, designed in the grand neo-classical style and looking for all the world like it was born in the south a hundred years ago, is home to the Nashville Symphony and hosts many notable artists throughout the year. Annual favorites every Christmas include Handel’s Messiah and Christmas with Amy Grant and Vince Gill. If you missed them this year, put them on your calendar for 2014.

7. Pedal to a Different Drummer

pedal tavernNashville offers some unique ways to get around. Think outside the box and explore some of the options. You’ll see Music City through different eyes! Pedal your way from one local attraction downtown to the next on the Pedal Tavern, a different spin on a pub crawl. Hop on and off the Music City Trolley Hop to explore various attractions at your leisure. Green Bikes and Red B-cycles offer a healthy way to explore at a grassroots level for a minimal cost. You’ll earn that latte and pastry and not feel in the slightest bit guilty!

8. Learn about a Nashville Country Music Legend

DSC_0221Visit the homes of country music greats like Loretta Lynn and Barbara Mandrell and walk through the story of their rise from humble beginnings to greatness. You’ll be inspired and hear their music with a new appreciation. Both Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, and Mandrell’s Fontanel in White’s Creek offer concerts, tours, and outdoor activities for the whole family.

9. Kick Up Your Heels

Dance the night away at one of Nashville’s summer series of Big Band Dance Concerts in Centennial Park, or visit Music City’s Honky Tonks looking for music, dancing and a rollicking time savoring the local talent.

10. Waterfront Dining

blue moon sunset2Discover a new venue for waterfront dining. The Blue Moon Waterfront Grille reopened at Rock Harbor in 2013 after being washed away in the 2010 floods. Boating in Middle Tennessee is bigger than you may think, and you can either sail or drive to several popular spots. Al fresco dining on the water can be enjoyed at the Black Pearl, in Old Hickory’s Black Jack Cove; Shipwreck Cove at Elm Hill Marina; Barefoot Charlie’s on Drake’s Creek, Hendersonville; The Rudder at Anchor High Marina, Hendersonville; Cherokee Steakhouse and Marina on the Cumberland River; and Gallatin Marina restaurant.

What’s on your Bucket List for 2014? Let us know in the comment section below.

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

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