Nashville’s economy has exploded in the last couple of years, as has the stress load of its inhabitants and traffic pileups. But really. We’ve become quite the metropolis, and it calls for a moment away from the crazy and an envelopment in the sweet and quiet and good that surrounds our darling town. Let’s take a moment away together, shall we?
Nolensville is one of the top spots to go if you'd like to wander through a quaint downtown while perusing antique shops and small Amish bakeries. If that sounds niche, it's because it is. In the best way. Darling southern homes sit on expansive land, and you're sure to sit and chat with a local at Mama's Java.
10. Beaman Park
Tucked away in the hills, Beaman Park is one of the least trafficked parks in Nashville. There are three trailheads that boast five miles of hiking, and it doesn't cost a cent. It's a bit hilly, so be prepared for an endorphin rush.
9. Montgomery Bell State Park
Located in Burns, Tennessee, this 3,782 acre park is great for lakeside views and a little soul searching along the hiking trails. You can camp overnight from $13.75 — $31.25 a night, or you can book a cabin for a wildly Thoreau mini-vacation.
8. Peeler Park
Peeler Park is located down off of Neely's Bend in Madison, and boasts a paved walkway as well as a remote control plane airfield. There's also a boat ramp to the Cumberland River if you're looking to get out on the water, but we wouldn't recommend it this time of year. No, wander the multi-use trail sans music for a quiet hour or two away.
7. Shelby Bottoms
The East Nashville park stretches all the way up to Two Rivers, providing gorgeous views of the river, trails and Shelby Park. You may run into a few couples taking engagement photos or watching Little League games, but we'd recommend grabbing your running shoes and taking a good jog in the woods to clear your mind.
6. Radnor Lake
Radnor Lake boasts a beautiful, fairly level loop around the water that is one of the most popular destinations for Nashvillians looking to unplug. Clocking in at only a couple of miles, you'll even have time to visit their nature center if you're craving a bit of company.
5. Bell Buckle
Home to the annual Moon Pie & RC Cola Festival, Bell Buckle also has a cute downtown to wander, and the Bell Buckle Cafe for lunch - we'd highly recommend. They serve a lunch that will stick to your stomach and keep you full 'til tomorrow.
We love Columbia for its sweet downtown, investment in Tennessee history and Muletown Coffee. It's known as one of the up and coming spots in Middle Tennessee, so you may want to visit before it fills up. Interesting fact: the only surviving home of President James K. Polk is in Columbia. Other than the White House, of course.
3. Leipers Fork
Leipers Fork is roughly 45 minutes from Nashville down stunning, curvy country backroads. Visit the original Puckett's and shop for trinkets in their tiny downtown area, but we'd recommend getting lost for a minute on the road. This is the perfect place to leave your worries behind.
2. Savage Gulf
Savage Gulf has 15,590 acres of gorgeous wilderness, boasting sandstone cliffs, unbelievable views and a plethora of waterfalls. You can camp, but take a hike down one of its forty trails and you may just never want to come back. It's known as one of the most beautiful wilderness ares in Tennessee.
Sewanee isn't too far from Savage Gulf, but we'd recommend running or walking the Sewanee Perimeter Trail or visiting the imposing University of the South. Founded by the Episcopalian church, it's one of the most beautiful colleges in the state and known for its rural location. Wander the halls or the age-old graveyard for a quiet excursion.