April 2016

Nashville Day Trip Ideas

In an effort to keep myself occupied while at home, I’ve compiled a list of a few day trips that are a bit more accessible while using Nashville as a jumping off point.

Kayak to the Islands of Percy Priest Lake

Luau Island, Percy Priest Lake.

Photo by Brandon Williams

I’ve been out to Percy Priest a number of times, but I’ve never been out on the water. Within sight from shore are a number of islands that in my mind would make for a great overnight trip. I’m curious what actual condition they are in given their accessibility and proximity to a major metropolitan area.

According to this website there are 38 islands located within Percy Priest. Doing a bit of research I learned that Percy Priest is a man made lake. The dam was completed in 1967 and the town of Old Jefferson got swallowed up when the reservoir began to fill. In some places the water is as deep as 100′ feet.

Kayaks are available to rent from Nashville Kayak Rental for $40 per day. Maybe there is an island out there similar to Isla de la Muñecas in Xochimilco. Thoughts of cliff jumping and pontoon boats also cloud my mind.

Bioluminescent Caves of Northern Alabama

Rumble Room in Rumbling Falls Cave.

Photo by Stephen Alvarez

It was brought to my attention that in New Zealand there are caves where a certain bioluminescent glow worm lives. Arguably not the easiest commute from Middle Tennessee, but upon talking with some friends I was informed that a distant cousin live in a cave located in Northern Alabama.

Dismal Canyon is where these buggers call home. Apparently the best time to view them is May – September. Moving beyond this, I’ve realized that there are a TON of caves to explore within a days drive of Nashville. I’ve never even considered exploring caves until recently. Something about the whole becoming trapped under the ground thing has been a turnoff. In typical fashion, I am actively deciding to look past spelunkings shortcomings and give it an ill-advised chance.

Rumble Room in Rumbling Falls Cave, Topless Dome in Tumbling Rock Cave, and Fantastic Pit in Ellison’s Cave are a few that peak my interest. Of course, I am grossly unqualified to attempt any of these, so perhaps I will endeavor to check out Mammoth Cave first.

Attend a Motorsporting Event

Bristol Motor Speedway

Photo by dpkimmel2001

On a recent flight, I watched the movie “The Last American Hero” starring Jeff Bridges. Junior Johnson got me thinking about the racetracks of the Southeast. I always remember watching NASCAR races with my Dad on Sunday, yet I have never actually been to a race, aside from a local dirt track close to where I grew up in North Carolina.

There would appear to be no shortage of racetracks one can access close to Nashville. There is the  Fairgrounds Speedway located in South Nashville, Music City Raceway in Goodlettsville, or Highland Rim in Greenbrier, TN. Not too far away are the big boys; Bristol Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Outdoor Art Environments


Photo by John Guider

In keeping with my pursuit of experiencing large scale structures built by lone ranger characters, there are two sites that I’d really like to visit sooner rather than later. They are the Fortress of Faith in Greenback, TN and the Mindfield Cemetery outside of Memphis, TN. To get a better idea of what I’m talking about, I suggest a visit to Spaces Archive. Within town, I’d also like to see what the Frist Center for Visual Art has on exhibit.

Have a solid day trip? I want to hear about it!