This week marks the one year anniversary of the launch of Sports & Entertainment Nashville’s Day Trippin’ series. Over the past year, we’ve taken you all across the region, from Chattanooga to Kentucky, to the distillery of the No. 1 whiskey brand in the world and every lovely town in between. While each town is special in its own way, and offers plenty of entertaining opportunities for its visitors, we put together a “best of” list of some of the highlights of our excursions over the last year. Check them out below:
Best overall day trip: Lynchburg, Tennessee
While it’s hard to pick just one of our region’s many wonderful locations, Lynchburg offers so many unique activities, and a whole lot of southern hospitality, putting it at the top of our day trip list. From tours of the Jack Daniels distillery, the only place in the world where every drop of the Tennessee Whiskey is made, to lunch at the charming Miss Mary Bobo’s, Lynchburg serves as the quintessential small town that offers so much to its visitors, making it the perfect day trip. I have revisited the town twice since my first official visit last year and find something new to love each time. Whether finding just the right gift at Nina’s Taste of Tennessee or the perfect souvenir at the Lynchburg Hardware and General Store to commemorate your experience at the Jack Daniels Distillery, the local town square is just as impressionable as the distillery itself.
Best restaurant: Terminal Brewhouse – Chattanooga, Tennessee
We visited so many great restaurants across the region this year and Chattanooga’s Terminal BrewHouse offers the most unique and diverse menu. From the philosopher’s burger to the delectable BrewHouse Pot Roast Nachos, there’s no end to the deliciousness Terminal BrewHouse has in store. Housed in an old train station, the eatery also has an eclectic beer menu offering ales to German-style brews, each of which is brewed in house by a special Terminal BrewHouse process. Plus, they locally source many of their food items, adding a nice touch to an already exquisite place.
Most unique food item: Havana Nights sandwich – Bowling Green, Kentucky (Home Café & Marketplace)
While there are so many noteworthy aspects about Bowling Green, the Havana Nights sandwich at Home Café & Marketplace may be among one of its best. Perhaps the most daring sandwich I’ve ever tried, the mouthwatering dish is the perfect combination of pulled pork barbecue, Kentucky ham, mango barbecue, fried onions, Swiss cheese and pickles. While that may sound a bit too adventurous, I can assure you it’s the most delicious sandwich I’ve ever had and certainly the most unique. It’s worth the hour-and-a-half trip just for the sandwich.
Best winery: Beans Creek Winery – Manchester, Tennessee
There are plenty of exquisite wineries across the region that are sure to temp any wine lover. But Manchester’s Beans Creek was simply a joy to visit. What made this winery particularly special was the private tour given to us by Production Manager Josh Brown, who passionately talked about the establishment that was started by his father, an amateur winemaker, and the process and special fermentation technique that goes into creating their exclusive sparking strawberry wine, made from fresh strawberries grown right here in Tennessee. And as a lover of fruity wines, Bean’s Creek really catered to my palette, especially with the Pannydroppin’ Peach.
Best antique shop: Centerville Marketplace – Centerville, Tennessee
One feature I’ve noticed throughout these various day trip excursions is that the South is home to an abundance of incredible antique shops, full of one-of-a-kind gems. But one of the best is that of Centerville Marketplace, a three-story building filled to the brim with awe-inspiring treasures that will take you back in time. It’s where I purchased one of my favorite pairs of shoes, found a sweet, vintage Mother’s Day card that was perfect for my grandmother and where my roommate found a set of old-fashioned tin bowls. We walked away with plenty of goodies that make it a must-stop the next time we visit the cute town of Centerville, which is also home to some of the best barbecue I’ve ever eaten, which can be found at local gem, Papa KayJoe’s.
Best historic home tour: Carnton Plantation – Franklin, Tennessee
There are plenty of interesting historic home tours in the area, but Franklin’s Carnton Plantation is definitely a standout. From the actual bloodstains on the floor from the Battle of Franklin, to the completely captivating tour guides, Carnton Plantation is in a league of its own when it comes to historic home . antiquity. It’s now my go-to location anytime a history buff comes to visit or when a friend is looking for a bit of culture and intrigue.
It’s been such a joy exploring all of the lovely towns the middle Tennessee region has to offer and we look forward to another year of travel!