Named to the carnival industry’s list of top 50 fairs in the U.S., Lebanon’s award-winning Wilson County Fair is nine days of thrills and live music every August. Bring your inner child to the pure fun of prize animals, strains of bluegrass, the whirl of carnival rides and a sugary dusting of sweet funnel cake on your nose.
There is more fun to be had at 900-acre Cedars of Lebanon State Park, known for the stables that provide guided trail rides, overnight boarding and barn birthday parties. Eight miles of hiking trails wind through forests and glades. From four trails, you may glimpse fox, deer and turkey. Picnicking and camping are popular here. The Eastern Red Cedar trees in the area gave Lebanon its name. Within the park, there are 19 rare species of plants that grow profusely here and nowhere else in the world.
Lebanon is rich in history and culture. The town square, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is home to many antique, gift and collectible stores. During the Civil War, General Robert H. Hatton called for volunteers. More than one thousand from Wilson County responded, becoming part of the 7th Tennessee Infantry. In 1912, a statue of General Hatton was erected in Lebanon’s square.
From Main Street, step into the award-winning renovated cottage of The Cuckoo’s Nest for a great meal. Pick up plump produce at Pratt’s Orchard and Garden Center. For comfort food, look no further than Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, serving up hearty meals of meatloaf, homemade chicken and dumplings and biscuits made from scratch. Lebanon is the birthplace and headquarters of the popular Cracker Barrel Ole Country Stores.
Visit Fiddler’s Grove Historic Village, consisting of Wilson County’s turn-of-the-century buildings. Tour Wilson County Museum, built in the Federal style and displaying artifacts from more than 200 years of history. Stop in at the Lebanon Museum & History Center to walk through the town’s history from prehistoric to contemporary times.
Satisfy your decorative side at McCullough’s Art Gallery, which offers a wide selection of oils and prints by well-established and promising new artists. Go to Lebanon Premium Outlets for steals and deals from stores such as Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers and Coach. Find authentic handcrafted luggage and leather goods at the Hartmann Factory Store.
Lebanon maintains its old-fashioned charm with a historic town square and renowned state fair while providing easy access to big-city amenities.