Ring of Fire Trail
Take in beautiful scenery and make a splash at the renowned Dale Hollow Lake. Go off the beaten path to discover some of Middle Tennessee’s most unique experiences and rich history — from settlers and Civil War soldiers to the Bell Witch and underwater ghost towns.
Downtown Nashville Visitor Center
Inside the glass tower of Bridgestone Arena, visitors can talk with Music City experts for "inside" tips; pick up brochures, maps and coupons; shop for souvenirs; and buy tickets for attractions, all while listening to live music.
Originally the Union Gospel Tabernacle, this 1892 church became an entertainment venue, presenting operas, vaudeville shows and top artists in the early 1900s. The auditorium is best known as the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, which performed here from 1943-1974 before moving to the current Grand Ole Opry House. Stop in to tour the venue, and visit the museum and gift shop.
Historic RCA Studio B
Get an intimate look at America's music, just blocks from the honky tonks that launched hundreds of country music careers. See one-of-a-kind memorabilia, rare photos and video, traveling exhibits and live performances. Don't forget the gift shop and Two Twenty-Two Grille.
The great city of Nashville traces its roots to this site on the banks of the Cumberland River. In 1780, James Robertson and a group of early pioneers established a settlement here. This reconstruction uses the same building elements as those early forts, built to house the settlers and their families and protect them from Native American attacks. Open daily, 9 a.m-5 p.m.
Tennessee State Capitol
Perched on a high hill, this massive 1859 limestone structure is one of the most magnificent public buildings of its time. William Strickland, its architect, considered this to be his master- piece and is entombed above the cornerstone of the building. The governor's office is here, along with the State House and Senate chambers. You'll find works of art, murals and frescoes, the tomb of President James K. Polk and his wife; and monuments to Presidents Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson, Sergeant Alvin C. York and Sam Davis, the "Boy Hero of the Confederacy."
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
As urban Nashville boomed in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the ground here was too soft for high-rise construction due to the historic salt lick that originally attracted wildlife, Native Americans, trappers and settlers to the area. This park was created in the 1990s to save the one remaining view of the Capitol and to commemorate Tennessee's 200th birthday. Visit this 19-acre park, stroll the "Pathway of History" and splash in 31 fountains, all tributes to Tennessee's waterways. Due to damage from the 2010 Nashville Flood, the fountains are under restoration, projected for completion Memorial Day 2012.
Nashville Farmers Market
Since the early 1800s, the farmers market has been a vital part of Nashville life. Stop in to visit local farmers and produce resellers; grab a bite at one of the Market House restaurants; visit on the weekend and browse the Flea Market. Tourists love the "Nash Trash" comedy tours departing from this spot; hop on the pink bus here.
Fontanel Mansion & Farm
This is a true gem just outside of Nashville. Formerly the 136-acre estate of country star Barbara Mandrell, the 27,000-squarefoot log home is now used for special events. Enjoy over two miles of hiking and biking trails that are free to the public; catch a show at the Woods Amphitheater or dine at the fabulous on-site restaurant. Open Tues.-Sun.
4225 Whites Creek Pk
Port Royal State Historic Park
This historic area was once an important trading post in the early 1800s, and is an official site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. The former 1850s general store building is the only structure that remains of this once-thriving river town, which vanished as railroad and automobile travel eclipsed steamboat activity. Stop here to take in the state's quiet natural beauty as you drive up to Adams, or take a canoe trip starting at point 18;— you'll pass this spot as you paddle.
Red River Canoe
Experience Tennessee's natural beauty with a float down the Red River, starting here in Adams. The river is moderately shallow along the route, with plenty of sandbars and places to picnic. RV and primitive camping is also available, and locals love the "float ‘n' feed," a canoe trip that includes a full down-home BBQ meal. Float trips end at Port Royal State Park (point 16).
Bell Witch Cave & Canoe Rental
Take a tour of the eerie Bell Witch Cave, located on the original Bell family farm. Learn more about the legend of the Bell Witch, and see a replica of the Bell family log cabin. Tours by appointment, May-Oct. Not accessible during or after heavy rain.
Springfield Historic District
Take a picturesque trip through the past with wide, tree-lined streets featuring beautifully restored historic homes. The buildings date as far back as 1833 and feature a variety of architectural styles, many included on the National Historic Register.
J. Travis Price Park / Springfield Greenway Trailhead
Visit this well-kept city park's picnic shelters and historic log cabin, then hop on the Springfield Greenway. The 3-mile, paved path is an opportunity to slow down and take in the natural beauty of the area.
4155 Wilks Rd
Don't miss this full-service pharmacy and soda fountain, in business since the early 1900s in downtown. The interior still features many original details and working antique fixtures, like the 1930s soda fountain. Order a burger and a hand-dipped milkshake and shop for local products and artisan goods. Take a seat at the counter or on the front porch bench to truly experience life in Cross Plains.
7802 Hwy 25E
Gammon Dairy Farm/Chase's Corner Store
Located on a family-run dairy farm, stop in for natural, farm-fresh milk, home-sewn gifts, seasonal vegetables, farm-raised beef, local honey, homemade breads, and more. Meet the Gammon family, have a cup of coffee with fresh cream, and view the working dairy farm from the observation window inside the store.
5766 Highland Rd.
Sumner Crest Winery
Stop in for daily tours and sample wines made on the premises from grapes grown in Sumner County's vineyards. Stay awhile and browse in the antique and gift shop, and admire the classic car collection on the grounds.
5 Chefs Restaurant & Occasions Gifts
Located in a restored Victorian home, this "meat and three" eatery is known for its delicious desserts. After lunch, find a special treasure in the gift shop. HOURS: Occasions Gift Shop Monday-Thursday: 10am-4pm Friday: 10am-8pm Saturday: 9am-3pm Sunday: Closed 5 Chefs Restaurant Breakfast: Tuesday-Friday: 6:30am-10am Saturday: 7:30am-10:30am Lunch: Monday-Saturday: 11am-2pm Dinner: Friday-Saturday: 4:30pm-8pm Sunday: Closed
103 W. McGlothlin St.
200/202 North Broadway
Cold Springs Schoolhouse in Richland Park
Built in 1857, this one-room schoolhouse became a hospital for soldiers and re-opened for students after the Civil War. Today, the school has been relocated in Richland Park and is restored as a museum of local history featuring war memorabilia. Open by appointment.
303 Portland Blvd
Macon County Welcome Center
This new facility is home to the Macon County Chamber of Commerce. View artwork by Macon County artists, and pick up brochures and other materials on local attractions.
685 Hwy 52 Bypass W
Union Camp Waterfall
Just behind the Union Missionary Baptist Church, these falls were the site of a Union soldiers' camp during the Civil War. The falls are on private property about an eighth of a mile behind the church, but respectful visitors are welcome.
4789 Union Camp Rd.
This massive 14-room hotel is the only surviving Red Boiling Springs resort untouched by fire or flood in its nearly 100-year history. It's also the only one in Tennessee that still offers authentic mineral baths, flowing from the nearby springs into vintage cast-iron tubs in the spring house on the side of the hotel. Stop in for a tour of this lovingly remodeled hotel, admire the extensive collection of antiques, and take in the view of Salt Lick Creek, the Donoho Hotel, and Thomas House from the front porch.
Dale Hollow Dam
Constructed to control flooding, generate power, and improve water quality along the Obey's banks, Dale Hollow Dam and the 52,000-acre lake it created are one of the country's top vacation spots for fishermen and water lovers today. As you drive across the dam, look to your left for a gorgeous view of the lake and to your right for a breathtaking picture of the Obey River flowing through the valley.
Standing Stone State Park
This 10,000-acre park is one of Tennessee's gems. Even if you don't step foot out of your car, it's a gorgeous drive in any season. Activities here include camping, hiking, rental cabins, a pool and playgrounds; your roller-coaster route goes straight through the park and over the dam, catching some of the prettiest scenery in the Upper Cumberland Plateau. Don't miss the historic 1808 home of pioneer Moses Fisk, located at the park's entrance.
Jackson County Museum & Historical Society
Learn about the history of the area in this 1894 former church. It's a wealth of information for people from all over the U.S. tracking their family history back to those first Avery's Trace settlers. Open Thurs.-Sat.
105 Montpelier Ave.
Sutton Ole Time Music Hour
Situated just a stone's throw from the Cumberland's banks, this was Granville's general store and grocery from the 1800s until the 1970s. Today, it has been beautifully restored to respect its heritage, with a second-floor balcony and many original features and fixtures. The space functions as a gift shop, family-style dining room, art gallery and bluegrass pickin' parlor — the Sutton Ole Time Music Hour is recorded here on Saturday nights and broadcast worldwide. Open Wed.-Sat., noon-3 p.m.
Cordell Hull Lake Overlook at Tater Knob
This very accessible viewing spot is perched high atop a ridge overlooking Cordell Hull Lake and Dam. Bring your camera;— a short walk up the paved ramp is rewarded with a gorgeous view of the lake's cool blue waters. Public restrooms are available. Hikers, you'll find a trailhead for the Bear Waller Gap Trail near the parking area. It's a rugged 5.6-mile (one-way) hike along the lake's shore, featuring more overlooks, rock gardens, waterfalls and even the remains of old homesites.
Cordell Hull Dam & Visitors Center
Just north of Carthage, this dam on the Cumberland River forms Cordell Hull Lake. It's one of many sites in the area providing hydroelectric power, and is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Picnic facilities and a playground are available outside the visitors center.
Bledsoe’s Fort Historical Park
Take the self-guided walking trail around this 80-acre park and experience the history of one of Middle Tennessee's first white settlements. You'll see the restored 1790 cabin of Nathaniel Parker; a 1790s Irish-style stone cottage; Bledsoe's Lick, a prehistoric natural spring; the archaeological outline of Bledsoe's Fort, ca. 1780; the Isaac Bledsoe family cemetery and more. It's a great place to get a firsthand understanding of the area's longhunter heritage.
Bledsoe Creek State Park
Enjoy the great outdoors at this state park, featuring walking trails, boat ramps, picnic facilities, and 60 RV and tent sites on 164 acres along beautiful Old Hickory Lake.
This unique plantation house was built in the 1830s by Josephus Conn Guild, a local politician and statesman who was held prisoner by the Union during the Civil War. The home was built using materials found on the 500-acre property, and features a successful blending of Greek Revival and Palladian design. Open for tours, April-Oct.
Trinity Music City, USA
Visit the former estate of country music legend Conway Twitty, affectionately known as "Twitty City." The property is now owned by the faith-based Trinity Broadcasting Network. Take a tour of the Twitty mansion and TBN studios. Closed Mon.
Historic Rock Castle
Built by General Daniel Smith in 1794, this is the first stone masonry house built west of the Appalachian Mountains. Its 22-inch thick limestone walls have shielded it for over 200 years, and windows all around helped protect its first residents from Native American attack. Today, this state-owned historic site stands as a monument to survival on the Tennessee frontier; tour the home to experience life from its early residents' point of view. Closed Mon.
This grand 1860 two-story wood frame home was used as a hospital during the Civil War. Today, it's a business center and meeting space, and home of the Hendersonville Arts Council. Stop in to view the work of local artists.
Mansker's Station/Moss-Wright Park
Named for longhunter and settler Kasper Mansker, the area's earliest white resident, this fort is an authentic reconstruction of a frontier station typical of the early Cumberland settlements. Within the park you'll also find the 1787 Bowen Plantation House, restored in the 1980s to preserve and showcase elements of frontier life. Tour the fort and home starting at the visitors center in beautiful Moss-Wright Park; if you're lucky, you may find yourself here during one of the many living history weekends. Open March-Dec.
745 Caldwell Dr.
Tucked into the Music City Shopping Center, this eatery features artfully prepared food and fabulous desserts.
900 Conference Dr.
Goodlettsville Chamber of Commerce
Stop in for info about local events and attractions. The Main Street area is home to several antique shops and businesses.
117 N. Main St.
Pedestrian Bridge /LP Field
Once a main connector of downtown and East Nashville, this bridge has been restored and continues to function,— but for pedestrians and tourists. Park at LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans and host to spectacular concerts including the CMA Music Festival; stroll across the Cumberland River for beautiful views of downtown. You may recognize the bridge from Big & Rich's 2004 hit video, "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy."
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
From the pedestrian bridge, cross through the courtyard of this state-of-the-art concert hall, occupying a full city block. It's home to the Grammy Award-winning Nashville Symphony as well as the tasty Arpeggio Café.
Music City Walk of Fame and Nashville Music Garden
As the base of the "Music Mile," this park features permanent star markers dedicated to influential musicians of all genres. It's a great place to end the Ring of Fire Trail; wrapping up a journey through the ghosts of Tennessee's past at a spot dedicated to our music legends.
400 Demonbreun St.