Something that this Grand Family Adventure has taught me is that the road less traveled can lead to some amazing places.
Our travels through Tennessee led us to an unexpected location. A small town with lots of charm. Lynchburg, Tennessee might be known for it’s Jack Daniel’s distillery, but there is so much more to experience in this quaint small town.
The road less traveled brought us to Lynchburg because of it’s small town city park.
Wiseman Park has several sites for RV’s offering power and water hookups for only $20/night! It was a quiet place to stay (we were the only ones there) within walking distance to pretty much everywhere. Pay at the courthouse and admire the beautiful animal sculpture carved out of a tree trunk.
Walk around the city square, check out some local businesses, and meet the great people that own them. We don’t buy much stuff because we live in a travel trailer, but Christmas is coming and we like to support small town businesses. Make sure you stop by the Honey Bunny Mercantile and say hello to Chumley, the stores mascot. Also get a bite to eat at Barrel House BBQ, a local favorite, it was delicious. The Old Jailhouse Museum is worth checking out too. You won’t believe that it was still being used into the 90’s! There were some cool artifacts and interesting history to learn.
We heard about another small town nearby that was having a Christmas event, so we decided to go check it out.
It was called Host of Christmas Past in Fayetteville, TN. The shop owners dressed up in period costumes and the kids got to meet Scrooge. There was live music, games, ornament making, and lots of food vendors. We really enjoyed listening to the story telling in the courthouse. On the way home we stopped off at a large playground where the kids seemed to get everyone involved in a game of tag.
Our visit to Nashville made us appreciate the small town charm.
It is a huge city and the RV park we stayed in was not only expensive, but noisy and crowded. The capitol building was being restored which is a good thing. However, it is the first time we have seen a capitol restoration where they have the scaffolding up around the entire top. They usually do them one side at a time so that at least one side is still visible. We enjoy doing guided tours at the capitols when available. They usually provide more information than you would get otherwise. Due to their staff we didn’t take a tour, since the woman on duty for this quickly told us just to look around ourselves because it wouldn’t be worth it to wait for the tour. She told this to everyone else as well and no one took a tour while we were there.
The grounds in front of the capitol building are very nice.
Along one side they have a time line of the state. It starts in prehistoric times and goes all the way up to the present. There was a WWII monument that had some great information. The kids liked pushing the large globe that moved on water. We got some interesting information about the Tennessee Centennial Exhibition as well.
After learning about the state by exploring the grounds we went to the park where the Parthenon replica is to have our picnic lunch. Inside the building is an art gallery. We did not go inside, but it was pretty cool just to see it and is worth checking out if you are in the area. If you decide to have your picnic in the park please do not feed the squirrels. They have been fed one to many times and are getting to be very aggressive. This made for an unpleasant experience.
Something you probably won’t find in a small town is a place like Adventure Science Center.
This was our favorite thing about Nashville. It is a place where children and adults can play, learn, and discover. It contains three floors of interactive exhibits. We have been to museums and science centers in almost every state we have visited, but we still had some unique experiences here.
When you walk in there is a climbing structure that goes up to the third floor. At the top you can look out over the building which has a cool pyramid on it. The first level has different musical instruments, which is fitting for Nashville. The rest of it is made to resemble different parts of the human body. A spine you can climb up, a heart to crawl through, and even a wall of skin with a tunnel through it.
It was a great place to run around and we had to drag the kids, including the big one, away to see the rest of the museum.
They didn’t mind too much because they found some of the other cool things to do. In the space chase area we found a moon walk exhibit. The older kids were strapped into to a harness that allowed them to find out what it would feel like to walk on the moon. There was also a cool space race game that we could all play at the same time. We moved along a board, different things happened, and it was all displayed on a big screen.
We really enjoyed Body Quest, a place to learn more about the human body. This area was our favorite. The amazing aging machine showed us what we might look like as we age. Throwing foam ball food into the giant Feed Me mouth was a fun challenge. Body Battles was where we spent the most time. This interactive laser game was awesome. You get to shoot germs with laser guns while an electronic lymphocyte and a pathogen explain the rules. It made for a great, educational, family fun day.
Staying in Lynchburg was great and I was so glad to have found Wiseman Park. The capitol in Nashville will not make our list of favorites, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy our time there. The Adventure Science Center and capitol grounds were great. Seeing the Tennessee version of the Parthenon was pretty cool too. The Host of Christmas Past was a wonderful way to start off our holiday season. So whether you are in small town or a big city taking the road less traveled usually leads somewhere amazing.
If you are wondering, no we didn’t tour the Jack Daniels Distillery for a variety of reasons.
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