Nashville Visitor Center
Inside the glass tower of Bridgestone Arena, visitors can talk with Music City experts for “inside” tips; pick up brochures, maps and coupons; shop for souvenirs; and buy tickets for attractions, all while listening to live music.
501 Broadway Nashville, TN
Park near the visitor center, and walk to visit points 1 & 2.
More About: Downtown Nashville
Downtown Nashville draws people from all over the world, eager to stroll the sidewalks of Broadway, duck into the famous honky tonks and walk in the footsteps of country music’s greats. This thriving district has something for everyone, from pool halls and pub fare to great meals and family fun; shopping and souvenirs to world-class sporting events. This has always been the heart of the city, and right on the banks of the Cumberland River sits Nashville’s beginning—the site of the original Fort Nashborough. Led here by James Robertson, this is where the city’s first settlers lived. Looking out over the river and behind the fort at the bustling downtown is an interesting reminder of the changes Nashville has seen—from humble fort to modern sky-scrapers, pioneers to performers—since the late 1700s.
Originally the Union Gospel Tabernacle, this 1892 church became an entertainment venue, presenting operas, vaudeville shows and top artists in the early 1900s. The auditorium is best known as the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, which performed here from 1943-1974 before moving to the current Grand Ole Opry House. Stop in to tour the venue, and visit the museum and gift shop.
116 5th Ave. N. Nashville, TN
Turn L to walk up 5th Ave. N. to pt. 2. (Museum entrance is on 4th Ave. N.)
More About: Downtown Presbyterian Church
At 5th Avenue North and Church Street, is Downtown Presbyterian Church, founded in 1816 and listed on the National Register. Designed by William Strickland, it is one of the few examples of Egyptian Revival architecture in the U.S. The site was a hospital during the Civil War.
Tennessee State Capitol
Perched on a high hill, this massive 1859 limestone structure is one of the most magnificent public buildings of its time. William Strickland, its architect, considered this to be his master- piece and is entombed above the cornerstone of the building. The governor’s office is here, along with the State House and Senate chambers. You’ll find works of art, murals and frescoes, the tomb of President James K. Polk and his wife; and monuments to Presidents Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson, Sergeant Alvin C. York and Sam Davis, the “Boy Hero of the Confederacy.”
600 Charlotte Ave. Nashville, TN
From Broadway, go N on 5th Ave. N. (past pt. 2). Turn L onto Charlotte Ave. to pt. 3. Visitors are asked to use metered spaces around Capitol complex or public parking lots in the area.
More About: Capitol Ghosts
Architect William Strickland and politician Samuel Morgan argued throughout the capitol’s nine-year construction; the discussions often turning into screaming matches. Both men are entombed in the building’s walls and people report hearing the men fighting even today. The eerie sounds are heard in the northeast corner, where both men are buried.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts
This world-class, non-profit exhibition center is dedicated to bringing major American and international exhibits to Nashville, as well as the finest visual art from local, state and regional artists. Gift shop and Café on site.
919 Broadway Nashville, TN
Go SW on Charlotte Ave., approx. 0.2 mile past Capitol, turn L onto McLemore Ave. Turn L onto Church St., turn R onto 8th Ave. N./ James Robertson Pkwy. Turn R onto Broadway to pt. 4.
Union Station - A Wyndham Historic Hotel
Built for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, this 1900 structure was a key center in America’s economy and culture. Guests from all over the
world visit this truly grand train station-turned- hotel today. Make plans to stay over- night or just stop to admire the lobby, formerly the main terminal, lit with Tiffany-style windows. Enjoy dinner at Prime 108 or sip a beverage in one of the coolest lounges in the city.
1001 Broadway Nashville, TN 37203
Pt. 5 is next door to pt. 4.
More About: Union Station Legends
Union Station has welcomed legends from movie star Mae West to Mafia kingpin Al Capone who was escorted through here on his way to a Georgia penitentiary.
This vibrant district was once a mass of abandoned buildings and a railway yard. Today, it is the first LEED* certified neighborhood in the South and a balanced collection of shops, restaurants, residences and office space. Stop in Whiskey Kitchen for “Jack Black Poppers” made with Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 or take in a live bluegrass show at Station Inn.
118 Twelfth Ave. S. Nashville
402 Twelfth Ave. S. Nashville
12th Ave. & Demonbreun St. Nashville, TN 37203
Exit L/SW onto Broadway, turn L onto 12th Ave. S. Go approx. 0.4 mile to heart of pt. 6.
More About: Earvin Magic Johnson
Hall of Fame basketball player Earvin Magic Johnson and his business group invested over $20 million in The Gulch's Terrazzo condominium development.
Yazoo Brewing Company
This 10-year- old Nashville micro-brewer has eight unique beers as well as funky merchandise. Thurs. & Fri., 4-8 p.m.; Sat., 2-8 p.m. Tours: Sat., every hour, 2:30-6:30 p.m.
910 Division St. Nashville, TN 37203
Head S on 12th Ave. S., turn L onto Division St. to pt. 7.
Arnold's Country Kitchen
Inside this red building is one of Nashville’s best “meat and three” restaurants and a “soul food landmark” according to Frommer’s and Southern Living. Dine cafeteria-style with the locals and you’ll come away with new friends and a full stomach.
The food is amazing and yes, I did see a James Beard Award on the wall, holy cow! ...the mac & cheese here is to die for.
605 8th Ave. S. Nashville, TN 37203
Exit L onto Division St., turn L onto 8th Ave. S. to pt. 8.
This is another great “meat and three” cafeteria where the mashed potatoes are real and homemade breads will keep you coming back.
538 Lafayette St. Nashville, TN 37203
Exit L onto 8th Ave. S. Turn R onto Lafayette St./ US-41/70S to pt. 9.
More About: Purity Dairies
You’re passing Purity Dairies founded in 1925 and known all over the South for its award- winning ice cream. It was the first company to use refrigerated tanks on dairy trucks — a 1956 innovation that changed the industry.
Lane Motor Museum
You don’t have to be a car fanatic to enjoy the 150 unique cars and motorcycles here, including the largest European car collection in the U.S. The vehicles date from the 1920s to present day and feature microcars; military, amphibious, and alternative fuel vehicles; and rare prototypes. Closed Tues. & Wed.
702 Murfreesboro Pk. Nashville, TN
Go SE on Lafayette St. US-41/70S, toward 5th Ave., for 1.3 miles. Continue onto Murfreesboro Pk./ US-41/70S. Go 1.2 miles to pt. 10.
More About: Genesco
If you've heard of Johnston & Murphy, Dockers Shoes, or Journey's, you know Genesco. The General Shoe Company traces its roots to Smyrna in 1924 with men's shoes, but gained prominence in the '60s when it expanded and acquired brands like the iconic Tiffany. Genesco was once called the "General Motors of Retail" for the company-owned retail store model. You'll pass the headquarters as you drive down Murfreesboro Road.
Long Hunter State Park
It’s worth the 5-mile drive up Hobson Pike to visit this Tennessee treasure situated along the shores of Percy Priest Lake. The park is divided into three parts named for farming communities now mostly inundated by the reservoir: Couchville, Baker’s Grove, and Bryant’s Grove. Explore the Sellars Farm State Archeological Area, a protected Native American mounds site dating back to the Mississippian period. Enjoy camping, picnicking, swimming, hiking, backpacking, boating, fishing and observing wildlife.
2910 Hobson Pk. Hermitage, TN 37076
To go off trail from pt. 10, exit L/SE onto Murfreesboro Pk./ US-41/70S. Go 10.1 miles, turn L onto TN-171/Hobson Pk. Go 4.7 miles to pt. 11. Retrace route on TN-171/ Hobson Pk., turn L/SE onto Murfreesboro Pk./ US-41/70S. Go approx. 2 miles to rejoin
More About: Bryant's Grove
Bryant's Grove, in Long Hunter State Park, is named for Sherrod Bryant, one of Tennessee's wealthiest African-American land owners in the mid-1800s.
During the Civil War, La Vergne alternated between Union and Confederate occupation with at least seven battles and skirmishes on record. Most of the town’s buildings were burned in 1862 leaving it a quiet rural community for the next century. Today, it is home to the largest industrial park in the state, and has become a smart choice for international companies to set up headquarters, including Whirlpool Corporation, Bridgestone, and Singer Sewing Co.
La Vergne, TN
To stay on main trail from pt. 10, exit L/SE onto Murfreesboro Pk./ US-41/70S. Go approx. 12 miles to pt. 12.
More About: Mary Kate Patterson
A Civil War Trails sign at nearby 158 Fergus Drive marks the home of Mary Kate Patterson, a Confederate spy. She was a good friend of fellow spy Sam Davis, and was among the last to see him before he was captured and killed in 1863. When she died in 1931, she was buried in the Confederate Circle of Nashville’s Mt. Olivet Cemetery, the first woman laid to rest there.
This small town traces its name to a little square log Presbyterian church, built on the Stones River and named for a Bible passage in the Book of Revelation. From 1941 until the early ’70s, Smyrna was home to Sewart Air Force base, housing over 10,000 military personnel and their families. When it closed, structures were converted into industrial space and an airport. The impound- ment of Percy Priest Lake in the 1960s created a popular outdoor destination and in the 1980s, Nissan North America put Smyrna on the map with the first Japanese auto plant in the U.S.
Continue SE on Murfreesboro Rd./Lowry St./US-41/70S for approx. 4.5 miles to pt. 13.
More About: Percy Priest Lake
In the 1700s, hunter Uriah Stone came upon the “Stones River,” and with it, grasslands, cedar barrens, and bountiful forest that had long been hunting grounds for the Creek, Chickasaw, Shawnee and Cherokee tribes. Stone wasn’t the only person to fall in love with the area; Andrew Jackson later built his mansion, The Hermitage, near the river — visit it on the Promised Land: Pilgrimage to President Trail. Under the Flood Control Act of 1946, 200 years after Uriah wandered the area, Congress commissioned a dam to control flooding, named in honor of the late congressman from Tennessee. It was completed in 1968, creating J. Percy Priest Lake. Today, the water is surrounded by 18,854 acres of public lands, half devoted to wildlife management. Just a short drive from the city, the lake and Long Hunter State Park (point 11) are favorites for swimming, boating and wildlife watching year-round.
This 1873 landmark was a stop on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, connecting the area with Charleston and New Orleans. Now restored, it hosts events like the popular family festival “Depot Day” each fall.
Front St. Smyrna, TN 37167
Turn R onto Washington St. At traffic circle, take 2nd exit onto Front St. to pt. 14.
Sam Davis Home
Tour this nine-room, 1820 home and learn its fascinating story. Sam Davis is known as the “Boy Hero of the Confederacy,” a courier who was hanged by the Union Army when he refused to reveal the source of classified information - stolen Union battle plans - he was carrying to Confederate authorities. A film and museum highlight the life and death of this Civil War legend, and explore the tumultuous time in Middle Tennessee before, during and after the war.
1399 Sam Davis Rd. Smyrna, TN 37167
Retrace route on Front St. to traffic circle, exit onto Washington St. Turn R onto S. Lowry St./US-41/70S, go 0.1 mile, turn L onto Sam Davis Rd. Follow signs for approx. 1.3 miles, you’ll turn L off Sam Davis Rd., to pt. 15.
More About: Sam Davis "Boy Hero of the Confederacy"
Born in Smyrna in 1842 and killed in Pulaski, the story of Sam Davis is written all over The Jack Trail. A young Confederate soldier, he served under Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson and fought at the Battle of Shiloh, one of the Civil War’s bloodiest clashes. As a member of an elite group of spies known as Coleman’s Scouts, led by Captain Henry B. Shaw, he was captured in Pulaski with Union newspapers and dispatches hidden in his saddle and boots. Union General Grenville Dodge forcefully interrogated him in an attempt to get to “Captain Coleman”, AKA Captain Shaw. But Davis knew something they didn’t: The man they were after sat in the next cell, arrested in Giles County under his own name. The Union promised Davis freedom to betray his leader, but Davis refused, famously stating “I am but a private soldier in the Confederate Army. The man who gave me this information is worth ten thousand more to the Confederate cause than I, and I would sooner die a thousand deaths before I would betray a friend or be false to duty.” Davis was publicly hung in Pulaski in 1863. Visit his boyhood home in Smyrna (point 15) and monuments in Pulaski (point 80) and Nashville (point 3).
Nissan North America, Inc.
The manufacturing plant produces several of the top Nissan vehicles, including the all-electric Nissan LEAF. See all parts of the vehicle assembly process, from steel cutting to painting to carpet installation. Tours by advance reservation.
983 Nissan Dr. Smyrna, TN 37167
From pt. 15, turn L onto Sam Davis Rd., go 0.4 mile, turn R onto Nissan Dr. You’ll see pt. 16 on L; make U-turn at Chicken Pk. to visit.
More About: Rutherford County's
Rutherford County's reputation as a great place to live dates back to the early 1800s when its moderate climate created a longer growing season; proximity to Nashville, accessible water and railroad routes put wealthy farmers near the markets.
Stones River National Battlefield
This 650-acre park and cemetery are dedicated to preserving the memory of those who fought and died on this crucial Civil War battlefield. Walk where 81,000 soldiers fought and 23,515 were killed, wounded or captured during one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Living history programs presented periodically. Ranger programs, April-Oct; call for times.
3501 Old Nashville Hwy Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Head N on Nissan Dr., make U-turn, take ramp onto TN-1E/US-41S/ 70S E/Murfreesboro Rd. Go 4.5 miles, turn R onto Thompson Ln. Go 0.6 mile, turn L onto Old Nashville Hwy. Go 1.4 miles to pt. 17.
More About: Battle of Stones River
As dawn approached on December 31, 1862, 81,000 soldiers prepared for a major battle of the Civil War in the fields and forests west of Murfreesboro. The men of Confederate General Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee were fighting to control the rich farmland in Middle Tennessee and thwart Union efforts to seize the railroad junction at Chattanooga. President Abraham Lincoln was pushing commander of the Army of the Cumberland, General William S. Rosecrans, to fight the Confederates and end the year with a boost to Northern morale and more support for the Emancipation Proclamation. The fight began with a massive Confederate attack that shattered the right side of the Union Army. Muddy fields, woods, and rocks slowed the gray tide as Union resistance stiffened. After 10 hours of fierce fighting, massed Union artillery along the Nashville Pike finally checked the Confederates just short of victory. The fighting resumed after a New Year’s Day lull. A Confederate charge seized the high ground on the east bank of the Stones River only to be bloodily repulsed by 57 Union cannon. More than 1,800 Confederates fell in less than an hour and Bragg’s army withdrew the next day. The Union Army had won a costly victory. Nearly one third of the men in both armies — 23,515 soldiers — were killed, wounded, or captured. Both sides claimed success, but the Union garnered the lion’s share of the political and strategic benefits. The Confederates withdrew to the southeast, losing control of much of Middle Tennessee. The Federals built Fortress Rosecrans (point 20), a giant supply depot and one of the largest earthen fortifications of the war, as news of the victory was touted in Northern newspapers. Lincoln later called the battle,“A hard earned victory... which, had there been a defeat instead, the country scarcely could have lived over.” The Battle of Stones River altered the landscape and the lives of those living in Murfreesboro, which became a Union-occupied town for the rest of the war. Enslaved people seized the chance to gain their freedom. After the war, Stones River National Cemetery (point 17) became a permanent reminder of the terrible loss and destruction caused by the fighting, even as the African-American soldiers who built the cemetery created new lives as citizens on adjacent farms.
Murfreesboro offers a 12-mile greenway system that can be accessed at point 17 and will take you to points 20 and 21. This scenic, paved, handicap-accessible path runs along the Stones River and Lytle Creek, with 11 trailheads throughout town, and access to local food stops and public restrooms.
3501 Old Nashville Hwy Murfreesboro, TN
Access pt. 18 at pt. 17.
Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center
Visit this staffed, state-of-the-art center that features a Civil War timeline, interactive kiosks with visitor info and gift shop.
3050 Medical Center Pkwy. Murfreesboro, TN 37129
To go off trail from pt. 17, go SE on Old Nashville Hwy for 0.8 mile, turn R toward N. Thompson Ln., then L onto N. Thompson Ln. Go 0.6 mile, turn R onto Wilkinson Pk. to pt. 19. Exit L/E onto Medical Ctr. Pkwy., go 1.3 miles. Turn R onto N. Thompson L
Part of point 17, this is one of the largest earthen fortifications constructed during the Civil War. Following the Battle of Stones River in 1863, Union troops and freedmen worked together to build the fort named for General William S. Rosecrans. The earthworks protected critical railroad segments, served as an important supply base and supported the Union troops as they took the railroad town of Chattanooga, captured Atlanta, and executed General William T. Sherman’s infamous March to the Sea.
1916 Golf Lane Murfreesboro, TN 37129
To stay on main trail from pt. 17, go SE on Old Nashville Hwy for 0.8 mile, turn R toward N. Thompson Ln., then R onto N. Thompson Ln. Take 1st R onto N.W. Broad St./Murfreesboro Rd./US-41/ 70S, go 2.3 miles. Turn R onto Old Fort Pkwy./TN-96W, go 0.6 mile
More About: Fortress Rosecrans
Four thousand men worked eight-hour shifts to build Fortress Rosecrans, clearing land and building the fortification of tramped earth reinforced by wood, wire, brick and stone.