Hidden bits of Tennessee: those places off the tourist’s lists
We are familiar with Dollywood, The Ryman Auditorium, Shiloh National Military Park and Graceland . But what about the hidden gems in Tennessee? Thanks to suggestions from readers (and a few of my own). Here are some places off many tourist maps.
Beachhaven Winery-(Clarksville) Not only a working winery, but Beachaven is a live music venue, too with a concert every two weeks. 1100 Dunlop Lane, Clarksville. www.beachavenwinery.com. 931-645-8867. Suggested by Kimberly Caudle Barney
Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art- (Memphis) Who would have picked Memphis as a must visit place for lovers of Judaic and Asian art? And the museum is in the middle of downtown, right on the trolley. Even a lot of Memphians do not know it is there. 119 South Main, Memphis. www.belzmuseum.org. 901-523-2787
Blue Hole Falls- (Elizabethtown)- Four waterfalls in Northeast Tennessee make up this hidden yet easy to get to piece of Tennessee scenery. Head Northeast on Highway 91 from Elizabethtown for ten miles, then turn left on Panhandle Road. Suggested by Christy Cable Bracken
Cragfront and Wynwood estates- (Castalian Springs) Wynwood was an old stage coach inn and received some serious damage in the 2008 tornado outbreak. It is now closed. Cragfront was home to James Winchester, one of the founders of Memphis. Wynnewood, 210 Old Highway 25, Castalian Springs. Cragfront, 300 Cragfront Road, Castalian Springs, 615-452-7070.
Holocaust Box Car (Whitwell)- Students in a small East Tennessee town collected 6 million paperclips to illustrate how many people were killed in Nazi purges against the Jews. The project became a documentary film titled “Paperclips.” In 2001 a memorial was set up at the school inside a boxcar used to transport prisoners. Today it holds the paperclips from around the world. 1 Buterfly Lane, Whitwell. www.whitwellmiddleschoool.org. Suggested by Terry McCoy
Leiper’s Fork- This is the only historic village along the Natchez Trace and boasts a Chili cook-off in October. On the Natchez Trace Parkway, Just South of Franklin www.leipersforkvillage.com
Memorial Park-(Memphis)- A secret about a lot of wedding photos in Memphis is they are taken at a cemetery! The concrete grottos were constructed in the late 1930’s by Mexican artist Dionicio Rodriguez and fountains gurgle outside. Inside the grottos statues relive scenes from The Bible.
Nashville City Cemetery- A burial is soon to join the Nashville City Cemetery 204 years after his death. Charles Dickinson dueled with future President Andrew Jackson in Kentucky over an unknown matter. He lost. Since 1806 he has laid bellow 216 Carden Avenue. That is one of many stories here at the cemetery at 1001 4th Avenue South, Nashville. http://www.thenashvillecitycemetery.org/. Suggested by Shannon Sonricker Bower
Parrot Mountain – (Pigeon Forge) – No pigeons here, just a collection of hundreds of tropical birds in the Smokey Mountains with landscaping based on the paintings of Thomas Kincaid. 1471 McCarter Hollow Rd. Pigeon Forge. www.parrotmountainandgardens.com. 865-774-1749. Suggested by Vickie Jeffers
Rhodes College- (Memphis)- Generally this is a closed campus surrounded by fencing but the collegiate gothic architecture makes Rhodes College a local gem. The architectural style has remained the same since the college relocated from Clarksville to Memphis in 1925. The trees which shade the campus also compliment Overton Park, just south of the college. Check the schedule on their website for any public events, or just pass by and see the campus from University or North Parkway. 2000 North Parkway, Memphis. www.rhodes.edu
Rugby Village- This restored Victorian community was built by English immigrants in the 1880’s and has more the look of England than Tennessee. On State Highway 52 between Allardt and Elgin, South of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. www.historicrugby.org. 423-628-2441. Suggested by Ken Garland
Train Ride (Etowah to Copper Hill) At 9:15 am a bus takes passengers from Etowah to Gee Creek train station. The train then takes a two hour and twenty five minute train trip to Duck Town where passengers can raft the Hiwassee River for about two hours and forty five minutes. http://www.tvrail.com/hiwassee/ 423-894-8028.Suggested by Joy Locke
Wolf River Boardwalk – (Rossville)- Walk about five feet over a West Tennessee swamp’s thick forest, gently flowing stream and to a pond. The perpetually saturated ground is home to many flora and trees and it is part of the flood plain of the Wolf River. On Highway 194, just north of Rossville
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