Take a journey through Middle Tennessee’s history, landscape, music and cuisine. Explore charming small towns built by the iron industry in the 1800s. Walk in the footsteps of Tennessee legends and Civil War heroes. And stop to sample some of the best BBQ ribs and family-style soul food around.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
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, photos and video, traveling exhibits, and live performances. Don't forget the gift shop and Two Twenty-Two Grille. When you exit the Hall, cross Demonbreun Street to the Nashville Music Garden where you'll see roses named for Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline. Also notice the Music City Walk of Fame, honoring musicians with local connections like the Fisk Jubilee Singers; you'll learn more about them at the end of the trail.
Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge
Once a main connector of downtown and East Nashville, this bridge has been restored and continues to function,— but only as a pedestrian bridge. Stroll across the Cumberland River for beautiful views of downtown and LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans and host to spectacular concerts including the CMA Music Festival. You may recognize the bridge from Big & Rich's 2004 hit video, "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.""
Broadway Historic District Honky Tonks
The collection of music venues and watering holes on Broadway and surrounding blocks drowned the sorrows and launched the careers of many music stars. Bars like Tootsie's Orchid Lounge became a sort of "backstage" for up-and-coming performers like Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and Waylon Jennings, making the "37 steps" in the alley between Tootsie's and the Ryman Auditorium famous. More favorites are Robert's Western World, The Stage and Legends Corner; the honky-tonks in Printers Alley, just a few blocks away; and Station Inn in the Gulch. Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, 422 Broadway, 615-726-0463 Robert's Western World, 416B Broadway, 615-244-9552 The Stage on Broadway, 412 Broadway, 615-726-0504 Legends Corner, 428 Broadway, 615-248-6334 Printers Alley, Between 3rd & 4th Aves., from Union St. to Church St. Station Inn, 402 Twelfth Ave. S., 615-255-3307
Broadway, between 1st & 5th Aves.
This historic street in "The District" is home to legendary clubs, restaurants and entertainment venues like Wildhorse Saloon, Hard Rock Cafe, and B.B. King's Restaurant & Blues Club. During the day, it's a great tourist stroll; at night, the avenue really comes to life as live music fills the venues. Wildhorse Saloon, 120 Second Ave. N., 615-902-8200 Hard Rock Cafe, 100 Broadway, 615-742-9900 B.B. King's Restaurant & Blues Club, 152 Second Ave. N., 615-256-2727
Second Ave., between Broadway & Church St.
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.
Pegram Station Train Depot
Built in 1898, this site gave Pegram its original name: Pegram Station. The community landmark was originally a stagecoach stop between Charlotte and Nashville; it later became a train depot with rail service from Nashville. Today, the station is the oldest of its kind in Cheatham County, and the red caboose you'll see is the perfect reminder of this important chapter in Tennessee history.
5003 Station Dr.
Take a break to play. This park is the heart of the community and provides walking trails, a train-themed playground, pavilion, picnic areas and ball fields.
Located next to point 15, this local bar serves amazing pork shoulder sandwiches and BBQ quesadillas. Their beer menu is extensive, and there's always a party on the weekends with songwriter nights and live music. Open Wed.-Sun.
Harpeth River State Park
Influential iron producer, Montgomery Bell created this engineering masterpiece he named Pattison Forge in 1818: a 200-foot tunnel chiseled by slaves through solid rock at the "narrows" of the Harpeth River. The tunnel diverted water from the river to create force as it fell, powering iron-forge machinery. Take one of the marked nature trails to get a great view of the water spilling through the tunnel. The "narrows" is just one of several sites along the river that make up this linear park, a popular spot for hiking, canoeing and fishing.
Ready for a zip lining adventure? This 40-acre lush estate provides zip tours all year long. The tours last about 90 minutes across nine zip lines. Get a true "bird's-eye-view" of the local trees, plants and wildlife, and enjoy the rush! Advance reservations required.
Carl's Perfect Pig
Mr. Carl knows his BBQ; he's been in the business for over 20 years. The "ribs and three" is the most popular dish on the menu, and they do not disappoint. Grab a slab or half-slab, depending on your appetite, and dive right in. And don't forget to taste the mouth-watering banana pudding. The small dining room is lined with bright pink booths and piggy paraphernalia; pick up a t-shirt or a koozie to commemorate your trip. Vanity Fair magazine voted Carl's in the top 10 "Country's Best BBQ Joints.
4992 Broadway St.
Montgomery Bell State Park
With remains from the iron furnace that was once on the land and cemeteries dating back to some of the earliest settlers in Dickson County, this state park is rich with history. Iron ore was abundant at this location, and remains can still be found of the Old Laurel Furnace. Set among the natural beauty of a hardwood forest where fox, squirrel, raccoon, opossum and deer make their home, visitors can hike, camp, and picnic. Stay overnight in the park's inn or villas, fish on Lake Acorn, enjoy a Southern buffet at the restaurant or play a round on the Audubon-certified 18-hole golf course, all on site. Inn: 615-797-3101 Restaurant: 615-797-3101 Golf Course: 615-797-2578
Historic Charlotte Square
This town square is anchored by the 1804 Dickson County Courthouse, the oldest working courthouse in the state. When you explore the area a bit, you'll find several historic buildings on the square.
1 Court Sq.
Historic Downtown Dickson
Park and stroll the area to find antiques, local arts and crafts, books, gifts and more. See the Old Train Depot and the War Memorial Building, one of only two Depression-era War Memorial Buildings in the state. Park and walk to visit points 25-27.
It's half museum, half furniture store, but it's all fun. Chat with the local historian to hear the history of Dickson and see it through the photos that line the walls.
200 N. Main St.
This restaurant is fast becoming a Dickson institution, with rave reviews from locals. Get a scrumptious omelet any time of the day or sit at the counter for a burger or milkshake in this historic building, a former pharmacy. Pop in on a Friday night for live music or a weekend brunch feast.
104 N. Main St.
Clement Railroad Hotel Museum
Historic Hotel Halbrook is an old train depot and the birthplace of former Tennessee Governor Frank Clement. Explore the museum's interactive exhibits and marvel at the model train exhibit that fills an entire upstairs room.
100 Frank Clement Pl.
This futuristic structure is home to art exhibits, the Gaslight Dinner Theater, the Cybersphere Digital Theater and a top-notch gift shop overflowing with beautiful works from area artists. The gift shop is absolutely worth a visit in itself, and visitors can stop in weekdays at the House Blend Café for salads and sandwiches. Call ahead for theater and exhibit schedules.
855 Hwy 46S
Loretta Lynn's Ranch
This immense complex is a wonderful celebration of the life and career of Loretta Lynn, one of the most beloved female performers in country music. Tour her majestic Plantation Home and see the famed "Crisco Kitchen;" walk through the simulated coal mine chute, see her recreated Butcher Holler, Kentucky Homeplace and admire her many achievements in the Coal Miner's Daughter Museum. Also learn the history of Hurricane Mills and see the water-powered mill. Gift shops open year round; some attractions open April-Oct. Patsy Cline Exhibit opens Memorial Day 2012.
8000 Hwy 13S
Cissie Lynn's Country Store & Music Barn
This store, museum and live music spot is owned by Loretta's daughter, Cissie. Check out autographed pictures and albums from some of country music's biggest stars and view a variety of handmade goods from Tennessee. Pick up a fried bologna or fresh deli sandwich and say hello to Cissie, who is usually working the counter.
8000 Hwy 13S
Humphreys County Museum / Butterfield House
Explore military and county history, view Antebellum décor, visit the site of the old First Kansas Artillery Civil War fort and see an old post office building from Denver. Open Fri.-Sun., 1-4 p.m.
201 Fort Hill Rd.
Waverly Train Explosion Memorial
On February 24, 1978, a derailed railway tank car exploded, killing 16 people, including the fire and police chief. With vivid photos and compelling stories, this museum in a restored L&N caboose is a powerful touchstone for the Waverly community. Open daily.
E. Railroad St. & E. Richland Ave.
Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge-Duck River Bottoms
Where the Duck River meets the Tennessee River is affectionately called the "Big Bottom." These bottomlands are some of the most fertile land in the nation, and are now home to thousands of wintering waterfowl, hawks, bald eagles, shorebirds and egrets. The area has an extensive system of refuge roads to view wildlife, and there is an info kiosk at the entrance. Visit the Pintail Point Observation Deck for excellent photo opportunities. Area open year-round; some roads closed Nov. 15-March 16.
Betsy Ligon Park
Visit the Leprechaun railroad worker in this park, just two blocks south from the courthouse. Explore the old train cars and hike the 2-mile trail on an old railway bed to see many of the town's historic sites.
Benton-Houston County Ferry
There are three remaining ferries in Tennessee. One is on the Screaming Eagle Trail. This ferry connects Erin and Houston County to the east side of the Tennessee River.
Stewart County Visitors Center
Stop in for info about Dover, Fort Donelson and recreation near and around Land Between The Lakes.
117 Donelson Pkwy/Hwy 79
Stewart County Historical Museum
Learn more about the area at the historic Sykes/ Brandon House, an imposing frame home built in the style of a river showboat.
Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway / Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area
Known as "The Trace" to all the locals, this is the main artery through the 170,000 acres of Land Between The Lakes (LBL), one of the most popular U.S. recreation destinations. Just over the Kentucky state line and the Kentucky Dam, the Tennessee River becomes Kentucky Lake and the Cumberland River becomes Lake Barkley. LBL is tucked between the two, where you'll find the Great Western Furnace, a bison range and The Homeplace living history farm. All three are within 13.2 and 14.2 miles from the turnoff.
LBL Main Visitor Center (Open year-round)
100 Van Morgan Dr.
Fort Defiance Interpretive Center
This site was a Civil War outpost constructed by Confederates. It now hosts a Civil War park, earthen works and walking trails. A state-of-the-art Interpretive Center features multi-media stations that tell the location's history. Civil War re-enactments offered throughout the year. Check the calendar for more info.
This historic building was constructed in 1858 for wealthy tobacconist and riverboat captain Christopher Smith. It is rumored that Smith's widow refused to believe that Christopher died and spent her last days looking out the high mansion windows for his return on the Cumberland River. Some claim to still see her ghostly face peering through the window, waiting. Visit November through January to view live Christmas trees in every room. Open weekdays, 9:30a.m.-2:30p.m.; weekends by appointment.
Austin Peay State University (APSU)
This site has been used for educational purposes for 180 years, hosting multiple universities until APSU was founded in 1927. It is named after former Tennessee Governor Austin Peay, a Clarksville native. The four-year public, master's level university offers over 56 majors and 63 different concentrations. Visit the two public art galleries on campus: Mabel Larson Gallery and Trahern Gallery. Mabel Larson Gallery, Harned Hall, 1st Floor, 931-221-7891 Trahern Gallery, Margaret Fort Trahern Art & Drama Complex, 931-221-7333
Settled in the 1780s, this historic area is lined with various places to shop, eat, drink, and enjoy the local flavors of Tennessee's fastest growing city. See original advertisements on the side of the Poston Building, observe several monuments in the square, and explore Franklin Street to experience the charming downtown area.
Montgomery County Courthouse
In 1999, a tornado that touched ground for only five minutes wreaked havoc in downtown Clarksville. The courthouse, originally built in 1878, was severely damaged. It was rebuilt at the same location and continues to serve the county.
1 Millennium Plaza
This monument on the square symbolizes the strong bonds between Clarksville, Fort Campbell and the many soldiers that have come from the community. It was dedicated in 2004; a wreath laying ceremony is held once a year.
Customs House Museum
This is the state's second-largest general museum with rotating exhibits featuring art and memorabilia. Permanent popular staples include Bubble Cave, where you'll find out why bubbles pop or how sinkholes form; and the Challenges and Champions Sports Gallery with displays about Montgomery County's sports heroes.
200 S. 2nd St.
Roxy Regional Theatre
The neon lights of this marquee have been a Clarksville mainstay since 1947. Catch professional theatrical productions from regional and world dramas to classic Broadway musicals and Shakespearean plays.
McGregor Park & Riverwalk
As you approach the park, notice the Avenue of Flags, representing the multicultural heritage of the city of Clarksville's residents. Stop here to picnic, enjoy the playground, and take in the beauty of the river. Use the pedestrian overpass on College Street to access the riverwalk from downtown Clarksville. Be sure to see the life-size bronze statue of Wilma Rudolph at the base of the overpass.
This living history museum in Southside features authentically restored log houses and outbuildings dating from 1830 to 1870, and decorated with period furnishings. Be sure to see the animals and artifacts on display at the Wildlife & Native American Center. Open May 15-Oct. 15, Thurs.-Sun., 1-5 p.m. Retrace route back to downtown Clarksville to int. of US-41 Alt. Bypass/Riverside Dr. & College St. Turn R on College St. to rejoin main trail en route to pt. 65.
Beachaven Vineyards & Winery
This family-owned winery has been in business for over 25 years and has produced many award-winning wines. Linger in the gift shop for a sample taste or take a tour to see the nuanced wine-making process. If you come in the summer or the fall, stay for the very popular Jazz on the Lawn, select Saturday nights in May through October.
Dunbar Cave State Park
Excavations have revealed that this site has been occupied by man for thousands of years. Though its namesake cave is currently closed to visitors, this 110-acre park is a great place for easy to moderate hiking, scenic picnics and fishing in Swan Lake.
Miss Lucille's Marketplace
With over 60 craft vendors in this huge warehouse style open air market, you're sure to find something to love.
2231 A Madison Street
Scenic Parkway Highway 12 / Pat Head Summitt Parkway
State Route 12 from Clarksville to Nashville is designated by the state of Tennessee as a scenic parkway. Enjoy a drive through the hills and hollows; pass family farms, creeks and woodlands. In 1998, the segment from Clarksville to Ashland City was titled "Pat Head Summitt Parkway" to honor the coaching legend. You'll pass through her small hometown of Henrietta along the drive.
Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail /Marks Creek Trailhead
Almost seven miles of trails have been developed in the old railroad beds of the Tennessee Central Railroad. Enjoy a relaxing walk or ride under the trees and over bridges.
Historic Ashland City
The 1869 Cheatham County Courthouse, on the National Historic Register, centers this charming downtown square. Stop and visit the area's restaurants and shops. If you're on the trail in late June, be sure to check out Summerfest in nearby Riverbluff Park.
101 Court St.
Blue Heron Cruises
Get even closer to the water and wildlife aboard the Blue Heron. This 40-foot pontoon boat boards inside Riverbluff Park and leads you through the Cheatham Wildlife Management Area, where you are sure to see the boat's graceful namesake. Reservations recommended.
Riverview Restaurant & Marina
Come visit this eatery for a delicious homecooked meal with a view overlooking the Cumberland River, this spot is known for catfish, handcut steaks, and special Blackberry Wine Cake. Overnight boat docking and RV park available.
110 Old River Rd.
Nashville's first suburb was incorporated into Nashville's city limits in 1865. The largely German population built homes, workers' cottages and shotgun houses. Today, this beautifully restored historic area is home to an eclectic array of residents and local boutiques, restaurants and shops. Oktoberfest is an annual street fair bringing in visitors to enjoy all things German:— music, arts, food and brews.
4th Ave. N. & Jefferson St.
You'll make quick friends at this Nashville institution; all the meals are served family style, and guests are seated around large tables with other diners. You'll all agree the Southern comfort food is delicious, and seconds are encouraged.
1235 Sixth Ave. N.
One of Nashville's Historically Black Colleges and Universities, this liberal arts college has two notable art galleries not to miss. Visit the Carl Van Vechten Gallery and Aaron Douglas Gallery to see traveling exhibitions as well as student and faculty work; permanent collections feature more than 4,000 objects spanning three centuries of art history. Paul Cezanne, Pablo Picasso and Georgia O'Keefe are just a few of the world-renowned artists represented in this collection. Carl Van Vechten Gallery Corner of Dr. D.B.Todd Jr. Blvd. & Jackson St. 615-329-8720 Aaron Douglas Gallery John Hope & Aurelia Franklin Library, 3rd Floor 615-329-8685
1000 Seventeenth Ave. N.
The Parthenon in Centennial Park
The centerpiece of this beautiful urban public park, the Parthenon and the massive Athena statue inside, are full-scale replicas of the Greek originals. Built for Nashville?s 1897 Centennial Exposition, it now serves as an art museum, photo opp and meeting space. The public park is open daily and hosts events year-round. Parthenon open Tues.-Sat.
2600 West End Ave.