We sent two of our staff members to Lynchburg, Tenn., recently for the first installment of a new series, Day Trippin,’ where we take you to a new town outside of Nashville each month.
With all its charm and history, Lynchburg served as the perfect stop for our first day trip and offered more than we could have ever hoped for.
As we drove from Nashville along the scenic route 41A that takes you through Franklin, Shelbyville and each little town in between, we had no idea of the truly splendid day that was ahead us.
The roughly hour and a half drive to the quaint town of Lynchburg was made even more delightful by the back road travels, where we were treated to an endless sea of beautiful fall colored trees and even a handful of lovely Victorian-style homes.
When we arrived at our destination, we were immediately struck by the pleasantness of the area. Lynchburg is the epitome of a sweet southern town, as you are greeted by an adorable town square surrounded by locally owned shops.
The first stop was to the Moon Pie General Store, featuring a variety of goods from every flavor of Moon Pie you can imagine, to vintage memorabilia like a Beatles lunchbox. In the back you’ll find some fabulous signs donning classic southern phrases and some inspiring ones in between.
Just a few steps away is the Lynchburg Hardware and General Store, offering any and all Jack Daniels keepsakes. While exploring, you’ll come across items you can’t find anywhere else, like a giant wooden barrel that’s been cleverly transformed into a table, complete with matching chairs, along with traditional garb like t-shirts, hats and, of course, bottles of Jack.
But the highlight of the day was lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House Restaurant, which gives a whole new meaning to traditional southern dining. Just down the block from the town square, the home was purchased by Mary Bobo and her husband in 1908, who then turned it into a boarding house, where many guests (one of them being Jack Daniels himself) would enjoy three meals a day, sitting family-style around the table. While no longer a boarding house, the comradery-style eating still lives on today.
As you enter the beautiful home, you are asked to sign a guestbook, one that shows the vast number of people who visit the establishment every year from all over the country and even across the world.
As we waited for the lunch bell to ring, we took to the cozy sitting room where we met a delightful older couple. Upon hearing that the gentleman had been there 20 times, we knew we were in for a something truly special.
In traditional Miss Mary style, we were seated around a dining room table with about 10 other people from various locations in the US and indulged in a classic southern meal of fried chicken, broccoli and rice casserole, fried okra, pinto beans, delicious baked apples with a kick of Jack Daniels’ and so much more. As you eat, a friendly hostess tells the fascinating history of the town, Miss Mary Bobo, and the life she built for herself and her guests in this iconic Lynchburg home. It is unlike any other dining experience, complete with fantastic southern cuisine and even better company.
After filling up at Miss Mary’s, we visited Nina’s Taste of Tennessee to try some decadent fudge. In addition to the tasty treat, we were pleasantly surprised to find countless other items that would make for the perfect gift – many of which are made in the Volunteer State. From jams and adorable tea sets to exquisitely laser-cut wooden boxes (made by Nina’s neighbor), you are sure to be charmed by all that Nina’s has to offer.
Between our hearty and incomparable meal at Miss Mary Bobo’s and all the fun we had exploring the town’s many shops, we didn’t even make it to the main event – the tour of the Jack Daniels’ Distillery.
However, we couldn’t leave the Tennessee Whiskey master’s hometown without at least checking out the visitor’s center, where we were introduced to Daniels’ talent and the art behind his revered libation.
As the sun began to set and a truck full of goodies from the day’s events, it was time to head back to Nashville. The town of Lynchburg provided a truly delightful and memorable day and has guaranteed two returning visitors.
If you’re looking for a great location not too far outside of Nashville that will give you an authentic taste of Tennessee, Lynchburg is the ideal spot. From the quaint shops in its historic downtown district, to the famed Jack Daniels Distillery, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time while exploring this charming little town. You are sure to have an authentic southern experience – and even make a few friends along the way.