Day Trippin: Whiskey, State Parks and Civil War History
Looking for an easy road trip from Nashville? You’re in luck. Smack in the middle of Tennessee where foothills meet bluegrass meadows, these small towns couple historical lore, antiques, storied booze culture and for those looking for a spot of green, ample state parks. If you aren’t coming to Nashville by car, not to worry. Hutton Hotel’s concierge will get you road-trip ready with a luxurious exotic car rental at Nashville’s Dream Cars.
This small town is known for its charming downtown and Main Street that conjures up simpler times. Hosting weekly famers markets with organic produce and art crawls, you can also check out musical concerts inside the renovated 1930’s Franklin Theatre. History buffs flock for the rich Civil War battlefields and historic plantations like Carnton. For a true taste of the south, drop by the intimate H Clark Distillery, situated in an old granary and sample gin and its Black and Tan – made from distilled oatmeal stout. Nearby on manicured, rolling hills, drop by the peaceful Arrington Vineyards for a picnic lunch, wine flights and cheese plates. Alternatively, sample the Southern French cuisine (think roasted duck and jalapeno-corn griddle cakes) at Gray’s on Main; also featuring craft cocktails, a well-curated wine list and live tunes.
Welcome to Lynchburg, the quaint town that hosts the beloved, iconic whiskey brand Jack Daniels. Known as the oldest registered distillery in the USA and housed on leafy grounds, you’ll uncover the original recipe and bottling practices—and sip some inside their handsome tasting room. Later, stroll the town square filled with locally owned antique shops like Buzzard’s Roost and Galaxie Modern stocking midcentury pieces. There’s also wine: Lynchburg Winery is situated in a no-frills room and pours those sweet wines like the Raspy Dragon. Of course, for a taste of 90-proof Tennessee whiskey, channel your inner John Wayne with a trip to George Dickel where you might hear some country music amidst a waft of maple and rye scented air.
Just 90 miles south of Nashville, this sleepy college town oozes with outdoor appeal and spiritual zeal; the Sewanee tradition asks you tap the roof of your car to “grab” your guardian angel. Stroll the leafy campus and examine the mosaics and archways inside All Saints Chapel. Later, for art prints and blown glass, The Lemon Fair has you covered while Taylor’s Mercantile doubles as a flower and gift shop. Serious nature enthusiasts flock to Cumberland State Park with over 25,000 acres of streams and woodlands. You can also make an overnight trip (campgrounds dot the landscape) or hit over 90 miles of backpacking trails including the popular loop through the Fiery Gizzard or Foster Falls. In the morning, refuel inside the venerable Shenanigans (est. 1974) featuring local brews, comfort food and deli sandwiches or snag a seat inside the Blue Chair Café for burgers, milkshakes and ice cream.