One-Day Trips From Nashville

You can explore dark caves, crystal lakes and a car lover's paradise and be back to the Music City by dinnertime


While there are certainly plenty of things to do within Nashville's city limits, you might want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Music City. Crank up the country tunes and take a one-day road trip across the Volunteer State to enjoy the outdoors.

Bucksnort Trout Ranch

Anyone can cast off in a boring old fishing hole, but there's only one Bucksnort Trout Ranch—and with that name, it's a place you'll always remember. Even if you don't know chum from crankbait, you're bound to catch your own dinner; Bucksnort, which caters to families, only charges you a per-pound fee after you snag your fish. You don't pay unless you catch something, and chances are, you’ll feel a tug on the line. This complex of small lakes is nestled in a wooded clearing 60 miles southwest of downtown Nashville. A fishing license isn't required, and if you need poles, Bucksnort’s got them!


Birdsong Resort

Emerald woods surround the sparkling sapphire water of Kentucky Lake, America's largest man-made lake, at Birdsong Resort. Located 85 miles west of downtown Nashville hotels, you'll find boat rentals and outdoor activities galore, but it's the pearls that are Birdsong's real crown jewel. It's North America's only freshwater pearl-culturing farm. Take a tour where you can watch mussels pulled from the water and shucked, or simply watch a short video and explore the pearl museum and gift shop on your own. You can also arrange for a tour of The Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Farm that's geared toward school-age children and includes lunch by contacting Birdsong in advance.


Bowling Green, Kentucky

Roll down the windows and blast the Everly Brothers' "Bowling Green" as you drive into Fountain Square Park in this city's center. Then cruise over to the National Corvette Museum, where you can drool over mint-condition classics, or watch robots assemble the sleek new models at the GM Corvette Assembly Plant. Bowling Green, which is 65 miles northeast of downtown Nashville, is also home to Beech Bend, a combined amusement and water park that has several car-related rides. This city is all about the go, go, go! And if you go another 30 miles northeast, you'll reach Mammoth Cave National Park, the longest known cave system in the world with more than 400 miles of passageways to explore.


Dunbar Cave Natural Area

On a steamy Tennessee day, stepping into Dunbar Cave is instantly sends a pleasant chill across your warm skin. This 8-mile-long cave is always a crisp 58 degrees, therefore making it one of the cooler things to do when visiting Nashville. After being closed for several years, the cave reopened for summertime guided tours in 2015. It's muddy, space is tight in some spots and the cave is only open to children 5 years and up, but if you make it inside, you'll be able to see cave art left by the Mississippian Indians. Dunbar Cave is 50 miles northwest of downtown and also offers three miles of hiking trails and plentiful opportunities for bird- and butterfly-watching.




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