Wouldn’t ya know, another Nashville throwback. This was my second trip to Music City and John’s first.
September of 2017, we took a five-day trip to Nashville to see the sights. It was sort of a mini vacay, and also a first anniversary celebration trip for not only us but for the couple we went with as well (Samantha and Adam).
Our first stop was Loveless Cafe, a place that had been highly recommended by a few friends. Their food was mouth-watering and we definitely left feeling stuffed! I love the ambiance of Loveless, there’s just something about that small town country feel to it.
This was our first trip to Loveless, but we’ve since been back because it’s just THAT good. You can see more about it here on one of my previous blog posts.
Our next stop was to check-in to our Airbnb. Out of all the Airbnb’s we’ve stayed, this one was easily my favorite. The attention to detail was phenomenal and our hosts were spectacular! This place wasn’t too far from downtown Nashville, and worked out perfect for us. The link to this amazing place is here.
Just down the road from our Airbnb, the boys found themselves a little cigar shop. The Tobacco Road Smoke Shop was a neat little spot, with just a handful of people there. It seemed like it was probably a local hangout.
For dinner that evening we made our way to downtown Nashville, and stopped in Rippy’s Bar and Grill for some BBQ. The food was delicious and the live band was loud but good!
After dinner we walked around on Broadway for a couple of hours, checking out some live music and the sights.
Up and at em Friday morning, we had a tour booked at the Belle Meade Plantation. It’s architecture was breathtaking, and the grounds were beautiful as well. We easily spent a couple of hours here, enjoying ourselves and taking it all in.
Belle Meade was at one time an internationally known Thoroughbred Plantation. John Harding purchased 250 acres of land in 1807, which was the original plantation. Together with outbuildings, today it sits on 30 acres of property. In the late 19th century, the plantation encompassed roughly 5,400 acres. Below is the map of Belle Meade, the full-scale at its largest and the red spot towards the top center being the plantation today.
By 1883 William Giles Harding (John’s son) had passed the operation of the farm and one-third interest in the blood horses to his son-in-law, William Hicks “Billy” Jackson, who really made history for this plantation.
“In 1881 Iroquois had been the first American bred and born horse to win the English Derby. Jackson brought Belle Meade international fame by purchasing Iroquois in 1886 to stand at stud. This fame led Jackson to demand a remarkable $2,500 stud fee for Iroquois service by 1892. When Iroquois died at Belle Meade on December 17, 1899, he was still considered the most famous Thoroughbred of the time.” – Belle Meade Thoroughbreds History
How true or not this is I could not say, but while we visited we were told that one of Iroquois hooves were made into an inkwell, coated in silver after he passed. They had the said inkwell on the desk in the office during our tour. I cannot find any evidence of this online, but having heard it first hand and seeing a silver hoof, I tend to believe it is true. For more Belle Meade history, you can read here.
The tour lasted about 45 minutes inside the main house and pictures were not allowed. Following our tour, we had a free wine tasting and access to the rest of the grounds. I’m not a big wine lover, but their blackberry wine is delicious! To see more from their winery, take a look.
The weather was perfect, as we sat outside drinking wine and enjoying the atmosphere. Before leaving we walked around the grounds and looked at the other buildings on site.
After our Belle Meade visit, we headed into downtown Nashville to have lunch and explore. We ate at Margaritaville, hoping to catch the Music Row Happy hour from Sirius XM the highway. Turns out they were out of town that weekend unfortunately.
I stopped for a picture of the Legend’s wall mural, it’s on the side of Legend’s Corner (right next to the Ryman). We got some goodies from Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, thanks to the recommendation of a good friend. And we wandered in and out of some boot stores just looking around.
For dinner that night we decided on the Cheesecake Factory, the first of many visits. Their menu has such a variety so it’s really a great place to go for any group. The food was wonderful, and the cheesecake was the BEST I’d ever had.
After a full day at the mall, we rested a bit in our Airbnb before heading to dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery. Our dinner was great, and the ambiance was nice. It had a little more of an upscale feel to it from the normal bar scenes on Broadway, but not “too fancy”. Following dinner we wandered down Broadway for a bit before calling it a night.
We made our way to Lynchburg bright and early, which was about an hour and a half drive from Nashville. This was easily John’s favorite day on our trip, and I bet you couldn’t guess why!
First stop (and basically the only thing in Lynchburg), was the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. We got there a little early and enjoyed the welcome center. They offer five different tours, out of these we took the Angel’s Share tour which included a taste testing. It lasted about an hour and thirty minutes, plenty of time to tour the facilities. It was very informative, and our tour guide seemed very knowledgeable!
Unfortunately, the time we went they were doing their annual two-week maintenance, which caused us to miss out on one of the steps and part of another. Also, we learned that the whiskey is only bottled Monday-Friday, but missing that part wasn’t a real big deal. Despite both of these things, the distillery was still mind-blowing. To me, it was almost unbelievable that the amount of whiskey they sell comes from this one distillery. Why yes, it’s large don’t get me wrong… it still just kind of left me in awe.
There’s a LOT of history behind Jack Daniel’s and I could probably make an entire separate blog post about it (and one day I might), but for now we’ll stick to the basics and key points.
The key ingredient in Jack Daniel’s whiskey is something you might not would expect, at least not something I expected. It’s naturally pure cave spring water!! It draws 800 gallons of water a minute, and stays a cool 56 degrees year round.
Three days a week, they stack maple pallets high and douse them in un-aged whiskey. They burn them down into embers, which helps to make up the flavors of their whiskey. Since they burn these pallets so often, they actually have their own fire department, just in case!
They have multiple barrelhouses that they house their whiskey’s in to age. The time frame a barrel stays in these depends on various things such as: type of whiskey, temperature, level of barrel, and of course time.
All of Jack Daniel’s barrels are made only out of American White Oak. They are brand new when putting the whiskey in them, never using the same barrel twice. Once used they sell them to brewers and distillers world-wide who will use them and get some of that same taste out of them.
Overall, our experience was wonderful and we’d definitely go back again! If you’re ever close, it is a must see in my opinion. Even if you don’t like Jack (like me) the process and history alone is phenomenal. For more on the history and details of the process, you can checkout their website here.
After our tour and distillery visiting was done, we walked into downtown Lynchburg. I loved the little town square!! There isn’t much to Lynchburg other than the distillery, but there were a couple of places to eat and a few flea markets/shops.
By this time we were starving, and decided on Barrel House BBQ. This was a small, hole in the wall type place with WONDERFUL food!! The atmosphere is kind of rugged, but in a good way, with writing all over the walls (people leaving notes behind as proof of visit). The owner came to our table just to chat about the place. When we were there he was telling us how he was working on being fully farm to table, and that he was almost to that point.
For the next couple hours we wandered in and out of all the small shops in the town square. My favorite shop we visited, and easily anyone’s favorite, was the Lynchburg Hardware General Store. While yes all those little shops sold Jack Daniel’s merchandise, this one mainly sold items made from the Jack Daniel’s barrels! They had all kinds of stuff from clocks, coasters, furniture, ornaments, and more.
After a long day of walking and adventuring in Lynchburg, we made our way back to our Airbnb. For dinner we ended up at Rodizio Grill. If you’ve ever eaten at a Texas De Brazil, it’s very similar. It’s a Brazilian steakhouse with an area full of salad, sides, and desserts, and for the main course they bring around a variety of meat on skewers. You have a little block that is red on one side and green on the other, essentially green means go as in bring more meat, and red means stop as in not right now. It was pretty good and definitely a different experience!
Our last day in Nashville, which wasn’t a long one since we had a 4 hour drive home. We had one last place on the list to go that Adam had been wanting to visit, Marathon Village the home of Antique Archaeology from the show American Pickers.
This whole area was just neat. It’s a large, long building with multiple “rooms” basically converted into separate shops. It is a mixture of everything from souvenirs, jewelry, a deli, oils, home accents, a candy shop, art, and even a distillery. Somewhere you could easily spend a few hours hanging out!
Our last stop was brunch at Another Broken Egg Cafe. We had not ever ate at one before, and for a chain restaurant their food was pretty great! They had some really fluffy pancakes, and John enjoyed his omelette. Their biscuit beignets were AMAZING.
All in all, this Nashville trip was no doubt one for the books. We did a mixture of relaxing, adventuring, and sight seeing. My two favorite things we did on this trip were by far the Belle Meade Plantation and Jack Daniel’s Distillery. The older I get, the more I realize how much I truly do enjoy the history behind things, or maybe I’m just an old soul when it comes to that.
I highly recommend any of the things we did on our visit!! And with this post, all my Nashville trips are finally blogged about!! That is until I go back again in 2 months!
Checkout my very own Nashville recommendations list here! And if you haven’t had a chance, take a look at my other 3 Nashville trips here on my site: One, this is Two, Three, and Four. 🙂
Here’s the link to our beautiful Airbnb, The White House at Crieve Hall.
Lastly, we used Uber basically our entire visit, beat the heck out of driving around! Use my code and get a free ride: FREE UBER RIDE
“Hey blue eyes, cryin’ in the rain. Hey fire, burnin’ round the ring. Hey crazy, you know it’s true. That Nashville, wouldn’t be Nashville, without you.” – Tim McGraw