Day 1 You'll See:
- Jack Daniels’ Distillery
- Cumberland Caverns
- Cumberland County Playhouse
Day 2 You'll See:
- Fall Creek Falls State Park
- Country Music Hall of Fame
- Ryman Auditorium
- Grand Ole Opry
It’s time to celebrate your big day with an exciting 2 day trip around the heart of Tennessee! Get off the grid and onto some serious country back roads as your group explores the rural side of things around Nashville. Pay a visit to Mr. Jack Daniels, explore some of the biggest and best natural areas around Cumberland, and spend a day taking in all of Nashville's most impressive and historically influential music stops, such as the Grand Ole Opry or Country Music Hall of Fame. This 2 day trip is perfect for you and your classmates ready to let loose and have some fun in Tennessee.
Jack Daniels’ Distillery - Spend some time in Lynchburg getting to know Mr. Jack and his very successful business at the Jack Daniels Distillery! This distillery was established in 1866 and registered with the federal government, making it the oldest U.S. registered distillery on record. Ironically enough, Lynchburg is located in a dry county and it has remained that way since the Prohibition. If you are wanting to go on an "enhanced" sampling tour you must agree to paying for the bottles only, the whiskey being "free." A tour of the distillery will give your group the complete story of their whiskey, as well as several personal stories about Mr. Jack himself. The tour is mostly outdoors, so wear comfortable shoes as you explore the grounds and the "hollow" the source of the cave spring water that is mixed with corn, rye, barley, and yeast to make this 7 time Amsterdam Monde Selection Award winning whiskey. You will also get to see up close and personal the mellowing process in which 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal is used. Be sure to stop by the visitor center on your way in or out to learn more about Jack’s personal life, including the story of his anger driven death (gangrene after kicking a safe out of frustration) and 7 mourning mistresses (the origin of the bottle's no.7). Your group really must make time stop by Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House Restaurant in town as well, the local source of southern style food that Mr. Jack frequented quite often for dinner.
Cumberland Caverns - Next stop, McMinnville, Tennessee, for America’s greatest caving adventure at Cumberland Caverns. This, the most extensive known cave in the U.S., is actually a combination of the formerly known Higginbotham and Henshaw Caves. This National Landmark was discovered in 1810 and used for calcium nitrate digs and gypsum deposits from the War of 1812 to 1869, when the cave was opened for recreational purposes only. Inside your group will find over 32 miles of caves and underground passageways, incredible rock formations, beautiful underground waterfalls, and several gleaming pools. Thousands of visitors have explored this cavern, with daily walking tours and adventure trips ranging from themes such as "Parts Unknown" to "Higginbothams Revenge." They also offer overnight adventure trips as well as access to the Emmy Award Winning Bluegrass Underground feature. This stage is 333 feet below the ground and is actually part of the PBS concert series, with monthly taped recordings from the Volcano Room. Your group will also have the chance to explore the massive wonder of the ten acre room, as well as shop at the gift shop on your way out. Everyone in your group is going to love this "spelunk-tacular" adventure in the heart of Tennessee!
Cumberland County Playhouse - The Cumberland County Playhouse is one of the top 10 largest professional theaters in rural America, as well as rural Tennessee’s only non for profit professional performing arts resource. In 1963 the small town it was located in, Crossville, was an economically depressed Appalachian region that had a population of 5,000, the entire county had 25,000. Local successful actor/performer Paul Crabtree (lead in the original Oklahoma!) moved here and fell in love with his equally successful actress/model wife Mary. Their combined love and talent in the theater department led to the community supported building of a playhouse. Since then the playhouse has grown into an immense community, education and economic resource. Over 145,000 visitors enjoy a show here annually, with an option of viewing the show from the two indoor and two outdoor stages. The Cumberland County Playhouse also sees young audience productions, competitive dance programs, as well as a permanent concert series. As your group will see, the subject matter typically revolves around Tennessee and Southeastern history and culture, mainly rural Appalachian themes. While you are there your group will have the chance to catch an opera, dance, or maybe a dramatic work, each themed appropriately for this area!
Fall Creek Falls State Park - Start your second day of Nashville area adventures at Tennessee’s largest and most visited state park, Fall Creek Falls State Park. First established for restoration by the federal government in 1937, this over 26,000 acre park cuts across the eastern top of the Cumberland Plateau. Within the park your group will see breathtaking cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams, and immense stands of virgin hardwood timber. The namesake, Fall Creek Falls, is a 256 foot waterfall, making it one of the highest in all of the eastern U.S. You will also see Piney Falls, Cane Creek Falls, and Cane Creek Cascades within, each uniquely gorgeous. There are over 34 miles of trails to hike within, from short distance treks to overnight backcountry camping adventures. Be sure to check out the on site nature center, full of hands on environmental education exhibits led by naturalists from the area. The state park also offers 4 playgrounds, horse stables, guided trail rides, an olympic sized pool, as well as one of the best golf courses in Tennessee. This 18 hole course offers lessons, supplies, and equipment rentals on site if your group decides you are interested! No matter what outdoor adventure you choose to embark on, Fall Creek Falls is the perfect place to do so!
Country Music Hall of Fame - Established in the musical heart of Nashville in 1967, the Country Music Hall of Fame is an essential and exciting stop for your group while visiting Nashville. Considered the Smithsonian of country music, this hall of fame aims to collect, preserve, and interpret the evolving history and traditions of country music, which it does spectacularly. Inside this 350,000 square foot wonder your group will find exhibits, publications, and various educational programs that highlight the enduring beauty and cultural importance of country music. Your group will delight in the opportunity to look through the history of the most popular and influential country music stars, the very first to be inducted into the hall of fame being Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams. Your group will have the opportunity to choose from several exciting country music tours, such as the Star For a Day tour, Legends Lunch and Lyrics tour, Hatch Show Letterpress tour, or fan favorite Cash on Cash tour, a two hour private concert and Q&A with Johnny and June’s son. On any tour you will see the 776 seat CMA Theater, the Taylor Swift Educational Center, and Nashville’s oldest surviving studio. The studio on this premises has seen the likes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and Waylon Jennings. Don’t forget to visit the best country music themed gift shop on your way out to pick up the perfect Nashville souvenir!
Ryman Auditorium - Known tenderly by Southerners and tourists alike as the "Carnegie Hall of the South," Ryman Auditorium is a true country music icon in Nashville that your group is not going to want to miss. The idea for this auditorium began in the 1880’s, when steamboat captain and local business man Thomas G. Ryman vowed to build a tabernacle that would project his favorite speaker, Reverend Jones’ voice perfectly for a large group of people to hear. In 1892 the late Victorian Gothic revival style structure was complete, being the largest building in the area. Being the largest structure attracted community events, political rallies, and turn of the century entertainment such as operas, symphonies, ballets, and bands. Inside the Ryman, your group will have the chance to tour the halls of the historic entertainment mecca and set foot on stage and backstage, getting the full Ryman Auditorium experience. Hear the story of Earl Scruggs and how this very site became the birthplace of Bluegrass, see memorabilia from the 1901 Barber of Seville opening at Ryman, and be immersed in the past as you learn about the earliest performers at this venue, such as John Philip Sousa, Harry Houdini, Charlie Chaplin, Bob Hope, and Theodore Roosevelt. Find out why this stage as been named "the mother church of country music," the birthplace of Bluegrass, and has been voted "Theater of the Year" for 5 years running firsthand as you visit the prestigious and historic Ryman Auditorium.
Grand Ole Opry - End your trip at what began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925, and has now grown into Nashville’s number one attraction and a true American icon, the Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry is dedicated to honoring country music’s rich history and dynamic present and showcases a mix of country music legends of the past and contemporary chart toppers of the present. This, country’s most famous stage, has launched countless music careers and is the driving force behind the nickname ‘music city’ for Nashville. The first members of the Opry family included Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, and Minnie Pearl. Today you can see such acts as Trace Adkins, Brad Paisley, and Martina McBride. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take a backstage tour while you are here, either upon arrival or prior to a 2 hour show. During a tour you will walk in the footsteps of country superstars and get an exclusive look at the behind the scenes on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Your group will hear stories of backstage excitement throughout the years, as well as have the varying opportunity to see a star preparing or practicing before a big show! Prepare yourself and your group for a ‘foot-stomping, hand clapping, laughing, crying good ol' time as you visit an absolutely essential country music tour stop, Nashville historic icon, and home of American music!