Entertainment, On A High Note

Whites Creek, Tennessee: A day trip filled with vintage charm


Any native of Nashville knows that there are plenty of nearby towns that serve as the ideal day trip and those who are new to the city are sure to discover the many hidden gems that middle Tennessee has to offer. Just one of those gems is that of Whites Creek, just a short drive up the road that offers a myriad of activities to fill one’s day.

A great first stop is to the quaint Coffee Bank. Housed in an old stone building that dates back to the early 1900s, the Coffee Bank offers homemade pastries, beignets and other goods, in addition to locally roasted coffees and teas, making it the perfect pick-me-up before venturing off to the day’s activities. You can even see the old-fashioned door to the safe when the building used to be a bank, adding a vintage feel to the establishment.

But of course the biggest attraction in Whites Creek is that of the Fontanel complex, which in and of itself is host to a variety of activities that one could spend a whole day with. The Fontanel mansion, the former home of multi-time Grammy and CMA Award-winning country singer Barbara Mandrell, offers a truly unique look into the life of a music star and provides a one-of-a-kind house tour experience, allowing guests to sit on the furniture, play the instruments and hear tales about the music royalty that has passed through the halls.

The Coffee Bank serves a variety of homemade goods and locally roasted coffees and teas. PHOTO COURTESY OF COFFEE BANK

Stop for lunch at Cafe Fontanella, which offers a diverse menu that includes a wide variety of options, ensuring that each member of the family will find a favorite item.  And you can’t forgo a trip to Natchez Hills Winery, a satellite location for its home base in Hampshire, Tennessee. Their plethora of delicious wines are sure to please the palette of any wine lover, many of which are made from local fruits. Prichard’s Distillery is also home to a variety of fine liqueurs and makes for a fun activity with friends. The savory tasting consists of selecting multiple liqueurs to try ranging from peach mango rum to fudge brownie cream liqueur, offering up a taste of locally-made mixes.

After a dose of music history, and maybe a glass of wine or two, mellow out with a little shopping at Vintage Creek, a boutique clothing and gift store just feet away from Fontanel. Housed inside the charming, antique-looking building is eclectic jewelry, bags, clothes and plenty of unique finds that make for the perfect gift whether for a loved one or even yourself.

End your eventful day with dinner at Ri’chard’s Café, the companion restaurant to the Coffee Bank. Being a native of Louisiana, owner Richard Trest has managed to create an eatery that offers some of the most authentic Cajun dishes in town. Just some of the traditional New Orleans-style items that are sure to tempt your taste buds include gumbo, gator bites, crawfish pies, shrimp creole and many more. And if you’re there on a Friday night, you’ll be lucky  enough to catch some live music from talented local bands and musicians to entertain as you dine on your Cajun meal.

Vintage Creek is a charming shop just up the road from Fontanel. PHOTO COURTESY OF VINTAGE CREEK

Whites Creek offers a hearty combination of history, culture and diverse dining,   with a whole lot of artistry to match – a wonderful day trip indeed.