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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Morrisville, Pennsylvania, United States

    Default Philadelphia to Nashville, looking for some hidden gems

    My husband and I have decided to do a road trip from Philadelphia to Nashville. Our inspiration for the trip is History Channel's American Pickers. We are definitely going to visit the Antique Archaeology shop in Nashville. We plan on spending 3 days in Nashville but we are looking for some off the beaten path or out of the ordinary things to see & do. We do plan on hitting the honky tonks & BBQ spots but we would like to do something at least a little different for 1 of the days. Any suggestions on short drives or day trips from Nashville w/some fun or interesting things to do? Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Not a day trip out of Nashville, but...........

    Hello Melissa727,

    While in Nashville, the whole of "Lower Broad" is said to be the zenith of music venues, etc while there. On a recent visit my wife enjoyed Roberts Western World so much she went twice.

    Your best route, at least according to Mapquest and my own earnest desire to avoid Balto/DC at all costs, brings you west to Harrisburg then all the way through MD and VA on I-81, to where it ends east of Knoxville, TN, and I-40 to Nashville.

    Along the way, near the VA-TN state line, lies Abindgon, VA, home of the Barter Theater and the western end of the Virginia Creeper Trail (VCT). The former is a renowned playhouse in a nice little burg, with many a B&Bs within walking distance. The latter is a 35 mile long rail-trail (railroad line converted into a walking/bicycle trail). The most popular segment of the VCT starts and ends at Damascus, VA, some 15 miles east of Abingdon on US 58. There you may purchase ticket for a rental bike (nice, fat-tire, sit-up-straight cruiser) and a shuttle ride to Whitetop Gap, VA, some 17 trail miles east and nearly 2,000' in elevation above Damascus, and enjoy the 17 mile all downhill ride back to Damascus. This isn't some knarly "single track" mountain bike ride, rather it's a smooth, gentle gradient glide down a series of creek gorges and pastoral valleys. We see folks of all ages, shapes, and sizes along the way when we ride it, which we do a handful of times annually. From the bike shop back to the bike shop, you're looking at 3-4 hours. We use Blue Blaze Bike Rental and Shuttle Service, and there are at least 3 or 4 more outfitters. There a nice little cafe at about the halfway point, at Taylor's Valley, VA, to grab a bike and a wonderful piece of home-made chocolate cake, too.

    Have fun planning and taking your Great Valley Road Trip!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Hidden Gems

    These are the things you come across on your travels. Be on the lookout for unusual sights upon which you stumble, the surprising signs to side trips. If you were able to find them in guide books or on the internet, they would no longer be 'hidden gems'.


  4. #4


    I do not know much about Nashville beyond the few times that I have been there but below are some things that my girlfriend recommended who lived there for a couple of years. A few places that you might consider eating are at Loveless Cafe or Monell's for some good southern cooking. Additionally if you would like a nice leisurely walk I recommend going out to Radnor Lake. There is a short 2 mile walk around the Lake that would be good for an early morning or evening stroll. For the evening there is always the Grand Ole Opry or for live music another good spot would be Tootsie's or Mercury Lounge. If you are into records you should go to Grimey's record store where various artist like the Black Keys or Jason Isbell have been know to show up and play as well. Also, Jack White of the White Stripes has a record store called Third Man Records you might check out.

    Now one of things I was excited about when I went there was going to the Antique Archeology store as well. The store was smaller than I expected but had some really cool things in it like old motorcycles, signs, etc. however the prices were a terribly expensive. This is a tourist based location and couple times drove by and there was a line out the door to get inside however when I went during the weekday it was not terribly busy. All in all it was cool to see the store, got a nice t-shirt, but rather pricey to actually want to buy something,
    Enjoy your trip and have fun on that drive. The way that Foy described above was the same way that my girlfriend I drove to Allentown, PA from Nashville earlier in the Spring and beyond the distance it is an easy drive.

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