This year, you can make Valentine’s Day weekend extra memorable with a getaway to Tennessee. Enjoy the music, attractions and luxurious attractions found throughout the state whether coupled up or cozied up with your best friends. Here’s where to stay and what you should do while in these Tennessee towns and cities.
Where to stay: James Lee House
Beautifully-decorated suites with grand architectural details can be found when you book a stay at The James Lee House, built in 1848. The house exudes opulence with its mid-19th century details of marble mantels, shaped moldings and plaster ceiling medallions. You’ll feel right at home at this luxurious accommodation.
Take in the sunset on Big River Crossing, the longest public pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi in the U.S. The bridge gives expansive views of downtown Memphis and West Memphis, Arkansas across the way. As the lights go down, make your way to Beale Street where soul, rock n’ roll and blues flow into the streets. Make a night of seeing as many musicians perform as you can, feeding off the energy the city gives.
Where to dine: Itta Bena
To treat your special someone, head to the hidden gem of Itta Bena where sleek libations and southern cuisine with a Delta twist are served in a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy entrees like jumbo shrimp and grits or the 14 oz. bone-in pork chop, and desserts like a Godiva liqueur cheesecake, the cobbler of the day or the classic Crème Brulee.
Where to stay: Germantown Inn
Housed in one of the oldest buildings in Nashville’s Germantown neighborhood, the inn was constructed in 1865 and has been converted into beautiful accommodations with six suites all named after presidents. Traditional and modern architecture fuse to give you a special stay. All suites come with complimentary Wi-Fi, LATHER toiletries, Frette linens and more.
What to do: Nashville Symphony
Let the Grammy Award-winning Nashville Symphony serenade your sweetheart by catching a performance of classical, pops, jazz or world music in the building inspired by some of the world’s best concert halls. The main venue is one of few in the nation to have natural interior light through 30 soundproof windows as well as some of the best acoustics you’ll ever hear.
Where to dine: The 404 Kitchen
Local favorite The 404 Kitchen serves up deliciously locally-sourced plates and cocktails in a romantic atmosphere. The extensive cocktail list has names that nod to Nashville and Tennessee’s music heritage with names like The Man in Black, the Minnie Pearl and Honky Tonk Girl among others. Order the wood-fired catch in a ham broth with delta blues rice, black eyed peas and collard greens or the fried chicken leg with corn grits, braising greens in a neonata calabrese sauce.
Where to stay: The Tennessean Hotel
You’ll have fond memories of your stay at this boutique hotel that has quality luxury linens on pillow-top mattresses, private bathrooms with high-end amenities, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology compatible with all smart phones. Gorgeous views of Knoxville and the mountains beyond can be experienced as well as the great dining options offered in The Drawing Room at Fairgrounds.
Join the hotel Feb. 8 as Veuve Clicqout is highlighted on a luxurious tasting tour. The tasting begins in The Drawing Room and finishes in the Governor’s Suite, overlooking the Knoxville skyline and World’s Fair Park. The lineup features a grand selection of Veuve Clicquot varietals and bites from the chef as guests make their way through the hotel. Guests will also receive gift bags with items from Veuve Clicquot and the hotel, with one bag containing a surprise voucher for a complimentary one-night stay at the hotel and breakfast.
During the journey, guests taste the Yellow label, Rose NV, Demi Sec, Vintage 2008 and La Grande Dame 2006.
Tickets are available on Eventbrite, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/veuve-not-love-tickets-42477348894, for $70 per person.
Have a fun night of entertainment at the Tennessee Theatre whether it be a Broadway show, classic film, opera, symphony or a concert. The world-class performing arts center was originally a 1928 movie palace but has since been full restored to its original glory, complete with a beautifully painted dome you can’t help but admire as you take your seat.
Where to dine: Lonesome Dove
As a nod to the iconic movie, Chef Tim Love has created a menu that is a nod to the ingredients and cultures of the West. Dine on pheasant, wild pig, catfish, rabbit-rattlesnake sausage and elk-foie gras sliders among other tasty selections. Order the 1888, a crafted cocktail featuring Buffalo Trace bourbon, Amaro, mint, lemon juice and mixed berry preserves. Finish off the meal with the Ancho Chile Chocolate Cake, peach empanadas or the Birthday Surprise paired with coffee from Maryville, Tennessee-based coffee company, Vienna Coffee Co.
Where to stay: Read House Historic Inn and Suites
Have an historic stay with great views of Chattanooga. Enjoy spacious rooms with a queen or king-sized bed, plush bedding, complimentary Wi-Fi, an indoor heated swimming pool and a Starbucks in the hotel. The hotel even has pet-friendly rooms for dogs up to 50 pounds, just let the hotel know when booking. The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of downtown, easily accessible to local dining, attractions and shopping.
What to do: Southern Belle
Set sail along the Tennessee River to see Chattanooga from a different perspective. Valentine’s Sweetheart Luncheon and Valentine’s Be Mine Dinner cruises are offered each year, a perfect way to make a Valentine’s Day memory. Daily cruises last 1.5 hours and include commentary on river history and legends while showing off the beautiful Chattanooga skyline and Lookout Mountain.
Where to dine: Hennen’s
Head here to savor high-quality steaks and seafood, more than 100 wines by the glass and creative side dishes. Located on the River Front/Ross’ Landing District, enjoy bustling city views as you dine on pan roasted duck breast, chicken picatta in a white wine lemon butter sauce with capers, stone seared salmon or one of the perfectly cooked steaks they have on menu. Classic cocktails like Manhattans, martinis and Negroni’s can be found on the menu to complete your dining experience.
Where to stay: The Lodge at Buckberry Creek
Luxurious accommodations and breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains meet you during your stay. On 26 acres, the Lodge offers 14 suites ranging from 650-775 square feet of space. Rustic decor reminiscent of the Adirondack Great Camps include soaking tubs, private balconies, kitchenettes with full-size appliances and fireplaces. It’s a stay you won’t soon forget.
What to do: Anakeesta
This mountaintop experience features a treehouse-themed village, Firefly Village that includes artisan shops, Pearl’s Pie in the Sky pie shop, firepits and expansive views of the Great Smoky Mountains. Stroll the Tree Canopy Walk, challenge your friends (or soulmate) on the dual-racing zip lines and walk the interpretive Memorial Forest Trail which tells the story of the November 2016 wildfires.
Where to dine: The Peddler Steakhouse
Have a lovely dinner at The Peddler Steakhouse where you can dine on stuffed shrimp, grilled salmon, custom steaks cut tableside, filet mignon and fresh caught rainbow trout. Finish off your meal with the hot blackberry cobbler with vanilla cream, Kristi’s chocolate cake with hot fudge and vanilla ice cream, or the Kahlua Crème Brulee.
Where to stay: Pot n’ Kettle Cottages
Find a true rest in the quiet little town of Leiper’s Fork. Here, you’ll find the Pot n’ Kettle Cottages, four homes revamped to accommodate five to ten guests depending on your party size. Within walking distance of Leiper’s Fork, you’ll discover the art, music, Leiper’s Fork Distillery, great shopping and delicious food the town offers. Mosey into Franklin, about a 15 minute-drive from the Fork, to experience more food, shopping and music.
What to do: History tour
Franklin was at the forefront of the Civil War, with the Battle of Franklin in its backyard. Now, the town has done an exceptional job preserving the battlefields and homes that were on the front lines. Get up close to history at Carnton Plantation, Lotz House and the Carter House to learn the battle lines, the lives of the residents of these homes and what happened to the homes post-Civil War. It’s a great way to get a tangible view of some of Tennessee’s rich history.
Where to dine: Red Pony Restaurant
With a seasonally-changing menu, you can be sure you’ll taste only the freshest ingredients at Red Pony. Sophisticated southern cuisine is paired with crafted cocktails and finished with to-die-for desserts. Start your meal with wood fire oysters and brussels with butternut squash, pecorino, bacon-balsamic vinaigrette and cornbread crisps. Order the pan seared tuna in crispy sushi rice, a carrot-ginger puree, dynamite aioli and cucumber wakame or the seared scallops with fresh ricotta, fried brussels in a sundried tomato-caramelized onion beurre blanc.
Where to stay: Saltbox Inn
Break up the work week with a stay at Saltbox Inn in one of the four suites that include private baths – the Saltbox Suite even has a claw foot bath tub! – Wi-Fi and comfy beds. The Saltbox Suite includes a queen bed, a master bath, a large front porch with a wrap-around deck, an expansive living area and four large sky lights. Rustic furnishings complete the suite that welcomes you home after an adventure-filled day exploring Cookeville.
What to do: Rock Island State Park
Venture to this 883-acre park to see some of Tennessee’s finest waterfalls, about a 43-minute drive from Cookeville. Great Falls, for example, is a 30-foot horseshoe cascading waterfall that is actually located underneath a 19th century cotton textile mill that it powered more than a century ago. Enjoy scenic overlooks, limestone paths, fishing spots and more. Rent one of Rock Island State Park’s cabins which are open year-round and feature three bedrooms and two bathrooms in each.
Where to dine: Seven Senses
The locally-owned restaurant has been serving Cookeville delicious cuisine since 2013. The Southern American food has an urban look and a laid back attitude in the heart of downtown Cookeville. With vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options, everyone can find something to enjoy at Seven Senses. Order comfort favorites like chicken parmesan, shrimp & scallops, and even chicken mac – grilled chicken with elbow macaroni, bacon, tomatoes, white cheddar cheese and scallions. Or, nosh on one of the many sandwiches, burgers and wraps available. Whatever you order, you can be sure ingredients are locally-sourced and always delicious.