By Samantha Lambert
It was a trip my husband Scott and I had been planning for a while to celebrate our 30th anniversary, a 10-day journey that took us from Fort Walton Beach to Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, and back to Tennessee. The first half of our anniversary trip is told here.
JACK DANIEL DISTILLERY – LYNCHBURG, TENNESSEE
We left early on a Wednesday morning and took I-65 to Huntsville, Alabama, and then headed to Lynchburg, Tennessee off Tennessee 55-E. Lynchburg is a small town and a dry county. A shuttle bus transported us to the Jack Daniel Distillery.
Jasper Newton Daniel, known as Jack, introduced the world to Old No. 7, charcoal-mellowed Tennessee Whiskey in 1864 and officially established the Jack Daniel Distillery in 1866.
We bought tickets ($20 each) for the Flight of Jack Distillery Tour. The tour lasted 90 minutes and was led by a very knowledgeable tour guide. It is a great walking tour, but accommodations are available for those who cannot walk.
We saw the Cave Spring where spring water comes from, and barrels of whiskey being made. We ended our tour with a visit to the Barrel House, where we sipped five of the most popular whiskeys and liqueurs. These included Jack Daniel Tennessee Whiskey, Tennessee Fire, and my favorite, Tennessee Honey. There is also a dry tour for those who do not drink.
It’s a beautiful area in the south hills of central Tennessee and just an hour and a half south of Nashville. Check it out at JackDaniels.com.
Upon arrival in Nashville, we met friends for dinner downtown at J. Alexander’s Redlands Grill on West End Avenue near Vanderbilt University and across from the Parthenon, a full-scale reproduction of the ancient Parthenon in Greece. It is a casual restaurant with good food and reasonable prices. After dinner, we drove downtown on Broadway, also known as Nashville’s Honky Tonk Highway, which has live country music 24 hours a day.
The morning after our arrival in Nashville, we went to the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum located in the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. The Rolling Stones Exhibit, “Exhibitionism,” was there from April until the end of August. We took that tour and the tour of the Hall of Fame for $39.50 each. The Rolling Stones exhibit included costumes, guitars and instruments used by the band, and a 3D video of the Stones performing “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum is the only museum that honors musicians who played on some of the greatest recordings ever. Exhibits include Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Sun Studios, and Motown. It was full of instruments used by famous musicians such as the Los Angeles-based Wrecking Crew and the Muscle Shoals Swampers, along with hundreds of others.
We thoroughly enjoyed this tour. Learn more at MusiciansHallOfFame.com.
CHURCHILL DOWNS – LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY
From Nashville, we took I-65 to Louisville, about a two-and-a-half-hour drive. Our first visit was to the Churchill Downs Racetrack and Kentucky Derby Museum. General Admission was $15 per person for the Historic Walking Tour and the Museum.
The 30-minute guided tour includes a look back at the history and areas of Churchill Downs. (Did you know that Secretariat’s heart weighed 22 pounds?) The tour covers the track, grandstand, and paddock area. The museum holds two floors of exhibits, a 360-degree video experience, and interactive family-friendly exhibits. We had lunch in the Derby Café, which was very good and had reasonable prices.
More at ChurchillDowns.com.
LOUISVILLE SLUGGER FACTORY AND MUSEUM
The Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum is located in downtown Louisville. The factory tour shows how bats are made from start to finish and showcases bats of famous baseball players. The museum has many exhibits on the history of baseball as well as interactive exhibits.
There was also a 25th anniversary exhibit celebrating the movie The Sandlot. Cost for the tour is $15, and it’s fun for the whole family. Learn more at SluggerMuseum.com.
Next Issue: Exploring the Great American Midwest.