Explore all the history and entertainment that Middle Tennessee has to offer.
Offering some of the most stunning and interesting spots in the nation, Middle Tennessee is a perfect destination for your summer trip. From museums to fine wine to great music, come and explore all that the area has to offer this summer. While you can’t go wrong with any Middle Tennessee trip choice, here are a few of our favorites.
Located just 45 miles south of Nashville, Columbia has much to offer the historically minded traveler. With over 90 buildings that have already passed the centennial of their construction, Historic Columbia Square features many unique shops along its cobblestone streets.
Must-dos on your trip to Columbia include a visit to the Rippavilla Plantation, hiking the Natchez Trace Parkway and paddling the Duck River Blueway. Columbia is the perfect place to launch your tour of Middle Tennessee.
Built in 1853, the 10,000 square foot Rippavilla Plantation house is a stunning example of the antebellum Greek Revival style. Used as a field hospital during the Civil War, the 100-acre site offers guided tours of the mansion, self-guided walks through the Battle of Rage Hill grounds, a view into slave life in the one remaining slave quarter on the site, and stunningly manicured gardens.
Linking the Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers, the Natchez Trace is a historic forest trail used by Native Americans, early European explorers, and American emigrants and traders through the early 19th century. The 444-mile Parkway and Bridge includes the burial site and a bronze bust of Meriwether Lewis.
2. Upper Cumberland Wine Trail
Let the Upper Cumberland Wine Trail carry you away on rows of gently curving grapevines and tasting rooms full of country charm. Located along country roads interspersed by picturesque small towns and stunning lakefronts, Upper Cumberland Wine Trail will allow you to explore the natural beauty and flavor of Middle Tennessee.
Beginning in Lafayette, the Red Barn Winery & Vineyards offers an array of sweet wines and breathtaking views. Just south, the Cumberland River winds through the mountains into Cordell Hull Lake, a perfect spot offering cabins, fishing and boating. Along the river, you’ll also find historic Granville, holding many charms of a small town southern city.
Next up is Brush Creek’s Cellar 53 Winery, which produces 10 wines. After a wine tasting and tour, enjoy hiking, boating and fishing at nearby Center Hill Lake at Edgar Evins State Park.
Baxter’s DelMonaco Winery & Vineyards’ Tuscan-style tasting room and wrap around balcony offers visitors expansive views of the vineyard beyond.
Sparta is home to the family-owned Northfield Vineyards, where you can sample an array of unique varietals and purchase locally made fruit butters, preserves, and cheeses in the gift shop.
Just north in Livingston you’ll find Holly Ridge Winery and Vineyard’s offering of everything from dry red wines to sweet white wines. Nearby Dale Hollow Lake, where you can stay in a waterfront cabin and partake in smallmouth bass fishing, is a perfect spot for enjoying your bottle while picnicking.
Tennessee’s oldest winery, Highland Manor Winery is located in Jamestown. Offering free tours and wine tastings, this English Tudor-style winery is located nearby Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area, perfect for hiking or horseback riding.
End your tour in Crossville with its two wineries, Chestnut Hill Winery and Stonehaus Winery, featuring wine tasting, custom cheese pairings and live music events. Be sure to bring your clubs – Crossville is the “Golf Capitol of Tennessee”.
Of course, Nashville is the number one vacation destination in Middle Tennessee. With so much to offer, Music City is the perfect locale for anyone wanting to explore all the fun, history, and hospitality that makes Middle Tennessee such a wonderful place to visit.
Summer festival season is getting into full swing. The weekend of June 7-10 brings the CMA Music Fest to Nissan Stadium. Featuring some of the biggest names in country music, including Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Luke Bryan, the CMA Music Fest donates half of the net proceeds from the event to benefit music education programs across the country. Fans from across the country flock to Nashville to enjoy great music benefiting a great cause.
Lady Antebellum is headlining this year’s Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing fireworks show and concert. A Nashville tradition, this event is the place to celebrate the Fourth of July if you’re a lover of country music or great fireworks shows.
An ongoing event in Nashville that visitors are sure to love is the First Saturday Art Crawl in downtown Nashville and the Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood. Galleries throughout the downtown area host special receptions and art galleries, drawing in over 1,000 attendees each month. Work from local and world-renowned artists are featured at local galleries and in traveling exhibits at Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, The Parthenon, and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Most galleries also offer free wine and other refreshments during the events.
Over 90 years since its first show, the Grand Ole Opry is still the stage for rising and established country music singers to be seen. Everyone from Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn to Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley have graced the staged of the Opry. Be sure to check out what shows are coming up during your visit to the city.
As the centerpiece of Centennial Park, The Parthenon in Nashville is the world’s only full-scale reproduction of the famous Greek Temple. Originally build for the 1897 Centennial Exposition, today the building houses both the city’s art museum and the Athena Parthenon.
Nashville boasts many draws for historically-minded visitors. The Belle Meade Plantation, Belmont Mansion, Fort Negley, and Lotz House Civil War Museum all offer a glimpse into the rich antebellum and Civil War history of the region.
Cultural opportunities abound in the city’s many museums. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will feature exhibits on Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Shania Twain and Loretta Lynn this summer. Cheekwood Estate and Gardens offers world-renowned art exhibitions and botanical gardens on the 55-acre historic Cheek estate that draw in more than 225,000 visitors each year.
Start planning now
With so much to see and do in Middle Tennessee this summer, why wait to start planning your dream vacation? Explore the rich history and culture of this unique piece of America.
What your favorite Middle Tennessee vacation destination? Leave us a comment below and tell us all about it.
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EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates
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