My hectic work travel schedule kicked off with a super quick trip to Nashville, Tennessee. I was in Nashville for less than 24 hours, but during that time I was able to see one of the sights I had missed during the summer I lived there: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
It actually worked out perfectly because my breakfast meeting was at the Hall, so I just walked down stairs after we finished to participate in the tour. They say the tour takes around two hours to complete, and I absolutely believe it. I, unfortunately, had to get back on the road to Atlanta so I was only able to be there for an hour. But what I saw whet my palate, and I’ll definitely be back!
The museum has the perfect mix of permanent and traveling exhibits. The traveling exhibits change on a regular basis, so be sure to check the list before you go!
I thoroughly enjoyed the “Sing Me Back Home” exhibit. This exhibit tells the story of country music starting with the nineteenth century through modern day. You get the full grasp of how much this genre has changed and grown over the years.
If you are a Johnny Cash fan, I highly recommend you make a visit before the end of the year. The “Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City” Exhibit is quite an interesting exhibit that provides 16 listening booths that provide history of how these artists changed country music in the 1960s and early 70s.
One of my favorite sights was the Wall of Records as you descended the stairs between the second and third floor.
The last stop of the tour is the Hall of Fame rotunda. The rotunda is round in shape to ensure that every member is recognized as an equal. It is a very cool experience.
Lynchburg, Tennessee is a small town just over the Alabama state line, making it the perfect day trip from Huntsville (about an hour drive) and from Nashville (about an hour and half drive). The biggest, and primary, draw to this sleepy town in Tennessee is its affiliation with the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.
Jack Daniel’s Distillery
The Jack Daniel’s Distillery was started in 1866 (even though official paperwork states 1875) and it is one of the oldest distilleries in the Untied States. Even if you aren’t a fan of whiskey, it is worth checking out this landmark of American and Southern history. The distillery offers several different tours of varying lengths and prices, and some even include tastings. Be sure to wear walking shoes because there are lots of stairs and walking.
I opted to participate in the Dry County Distillery Tour, which provides an informative tour of the distillery and how they make the whiskey.
Fun fact: Jack Daniel’s Distillery is actually situated in a dry county, but you can purchase bottles from their store. Once you procur a bottle, be sure to check out one of these classic recipes.
Lynchburg Downtown Square
Lynchburg offers an adorable downtown square that is perfect for exploring either before or after your distillery tour. The central focus of the square is the 100-year old courthouse, but there are also tons of shops and restaurants. I didn’t eat lunch in town, but everyone recommends checking out Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House for some down-home Southern cooking. I was able to grab a cone of JD’s whiskey ice cream from Prince’s Parlor.
If you want to see Jack Daniel’s final resting place, his grave is not too far from the town square.