While you’re traveling throughout Tennessee on the Whiskey Trail, you may be tempted do nothing but visit distilleries and drink that great Tennessee Whiskey. While there’s nothing wrong with doing that, you’d be missing out on a lot of what Tennessee’s great cities have to offer. If you find yourself visiting distilleries in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Gatlinburg, here are some fun things you should do while you’re there.
The Grand Ole Opry – Nashville
If you find yourself in Nashville, you should definitely tour the Grand Ole Opry. Beginning as a one-hour radio show back in 1925, the Grand Ole Opry is responsible for making Nashville the center of country music and giving it the name Music City. Check their website for touring info and to see upcoming shows.
Belle Meade Plantation – Nashville
Constructed in 1853, Belle Meade Plantation is known as the “Queen of the Tennessee Plantations” and features a Greek Revival style exterior architecture with an antebellum-style interior. Interior tours are conducted by guides dressed in period costumes, and you’re free to explore the plantation grounds which are home to some of the best thoroughbred breeding farms in the country.
The Adventure Science Center – Nashville
If country music and history aren’t your shot of whiskey, then why not visit the Adventure Science Center. You might learn a thing or two through their hands-on interactive displays that feature cool things from space exhibits to the marvels of the human body. Events and planetarium shows are hosted daily. It’s a great place for families as events and exhibits are geared toward teaching children all about science.
Rock City – Chattanooga
If you’ve been driving through Tennessee on the interstate, you’re bound to have seen a couple barns beckoning you to “See Rock City.” Well, if you find yourself visiting the Jack Daniels Distillery, you’re only a short ride from Chattanooga. With its own distillery, Chattanooga Whiskey, Chattanooga is a great stop along the Whiskey Trail not just for its whiskey but also for the sights: Rock City, Ruby Falls, and Lookout Mountain. Located on Lookout Mountain, Rock City and Ruby Falls are home to gorgeous gardens intertwined within Lookout Mountain’s marvelous rock formations.
Coolidge Park – Chattanooga
If you’re looking for some outdoor leisure, Coolidge Park is a popular waterfront park in Chattanooga’s North Shore area. Part of Chattanooga’s River Walk, which spans 15 miles along the Tennessee River, Coolidge Park is known for its 100 year old carousel that has been restored. Other features include an interactive water fountain for those hot summer days and a rock climbing wall.
Tennessee Aquarium – Chattanooga
From giant catfish, to freshwater stingrays, to river otters––if you enjoy aquatic animals, then the Tennessee Aquarium is the place for you. With more than 320 fish species, you’ll be amazed at what aquatic animals live right here in Tennessee. Visitors will follow the path of water as it makes its way from mountains to the ocean, featuring exhibits with aquatic animals found in the mountain streams, river animals, and saltwater animals.
Gatlinburg Skylift – Gatlinburg
So you made it to Ole Smoky Moonshine in the mountain town of Gatlinburg. In order to appreciate the mountain town, you should take a trip up Crockett Mountain in the Gatlinburg Skylift. Since the 1950s, it’s been transporting visitors up a 1,800 foot mountain in a short trip that only takes five to six minutes. At the top of the mountain, you’ll find a rest area with refreshments and a gift shop, along with a great view of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Gatlinburg
To really enjoy the beauty of the Smoky Mountains outside of the city, you should visit Clingmans Dome which isn’t too far from Gatlinburg. Clingmans Dome is the highest point in Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains. If Gatlinburg is your last stop on the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, it’s only fitting your victory over the trail should end at the highest point in the state. Take a shot of Tennessee Whiskey at the highest point in the state––just don’t let the park rangers see it.