40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (2024)

The top stops along the way from Bowling Green to Charleston (with short detours) are Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Ryman Auditorium, and Cades Cove. Other popular stops include Middleton Place, Falls Park on the Reedy, and Grand Ole Opry.

1

Lost River Cave

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Nature & Parks

Education center

Underground cave tours are a great way to explore Bowling Green's Lost River Cave complex. The attraction offers an interesting experience on a subterranean boat ride that is appropriate for all ages. The tour guide provides information about the history of the cave and underground waterway while visiting "blue pools" near the entrance of the cave.

We really enjoyed our visit today! The boat ride was nice and the cave is beautiful. Our tour guide was super funny and made it so much more enjoyable as she educated us on the natural history of the area. I felt good spending money here, knowing that the proceeds go to and not for profit foundation set up to preserve this historical cavern. The site also ties in with Civil War history, which was an extra bonus for my boys.

Daniel E — Google review

Pulling in the parking lot we had no idea what to expect. After entering the gift shop to buy spots on the tour, we found a wonderful place for souvenirs.The staff was super friendly and gave us all the information we needed to start our adventure.Walking down to the cave is a beautiful Scenic route. 🚶‍♀️🚶‍♂️🚶Once we reach the end of the path and saw the cave, we were pleasantly surprised at its splendor. 🤩Our guide was full of energy and made us laugh many times during the boat ride.I recommend you don’t forget to fit this itinerary on your next vacation. 😁

Troy D — Google review

A very short experience in the cave itself. The surrounding area is beautiful and well maintained. Plenty of parking and staff to assist. The gift shop is on the pricey side but has all kinds of options for everyone.

Jennifer S — Google review

If you love being surrounded by the wonders of God's creation then I highly recommend the nature trail here. With beautiful scenery and interesting facts about the Lost River along the way it is sure to please any nature lover. I have yet to take the underground boat tour but I'm sure I won't be disappointed when I finally do. The gift shop has unique and beautiful items for sale and the employees are very friendly. My grandchildren enjoyed the rock mining and the Lost River spring more than anything. I could go here every day and discover something new.

Laura L — Google review

Wonderful cave system to spend half a day. There are lots of trails to walk around. Tickets can be obtained from online or the visitor center and the tickets are only for the boat ride inside the cave which is pretty fun if you have little ones with you.The parking lot is spacious and restrooms are within the visitor center. Boat rides start every hour and you have to be there 10 mins before it starts. Limited slots are only available so plan your hour of visit ahead. Tickets are somewhat $23 for adults and $18 for youths.

Cyrin S — Google review

We had so much fun on our visit to Lost River Cave. It was one of the highlights of our trip to Nashville. This was our sons favorite part of vacation. It is just a short 45 minute drive from Nashville and well worth it. I purchased our tickets online and there are a few benefits of that. I was able to get a discount on the kids mining buckets which they loved! And you also receive a coupon for the gift shop. The tour guides do an amazing job and know a lot of history about the cave and area which I enjoyed. Really all the staff from the gift shop to the guides are super friendly and helpful. If you are visiting when it is cooler be sure to bring a jacket you do have to walk outside some and will want a jacket.Just a note our kids are 9 and 2.5 and it was perfect for them. I was unsure if our daughter would enjoy it or be entertained long enough to sit still for the tour but she did fine. I highly recommend the mining bags or buckets kiddos get to pan for treasure (gemstones shark teeth and geodes) outside of the gift shop and ours loved that experienced.

Jessica C — Google review

This cave was beautiful! I enjoyed learning facts about the place from our tour guide. You can also rent the area for a wedding! It was really pretty and very neat to ride the boat through the cave, my son loved it. Also I think its less than a 20 minute walk to the cave or for the start of the cave tour. They are kid/baby friendly as we took a 9 year old and a 9 month old on the tour. The gift shop had lots of cute knickknacks too! We didnt have a wait to buy the tickets but we had about a 20 minute wait from time we purchased tickets until our tour actually began, which was totally fine with us as there was plenty to see to occupy our time.

Kim G — Google review

2nd time here. 1st time seeing the butterfly exhibit. I love that they did it, but dislike that people touch them too much. The boat cave tour was amazing. Hannah was a great guide (5/28/23). Loved hearing the history of this place. Please go out and support this amazing little wonder!

Eric P — Google review

This tour was good, not great, but a nice stop if you have extra time near Mammoth Cave.This was the only truly wet cave we ventured to. It was a nice albeit short boat ride through the cave. Our tour guide Emma-Claire was so passionate and informative. You could tell she was interested in what she was talking about, and did a great job of inserting humor in with the history.The cave is very pretty and the gift shop has a good selection of trinkets and handmade goods from local artisans.This wouldn’t be a tour I would repeat, and think the price doesn’t necessarily match the length and overall experience, but still glad we experienced it.

Rebecca D — Google review

Loved our visit! Must stop! Great cave and short boat trip. Beautiful area around it. Friendly service from all. Great tour guide! Very nice gift shop.

Sara T — Google review

Such a cool experience! The short walk back up the hill is worth it! Our guide was so knowledgeable and had great dad jokes! The cave is beautiful. Was hoping it was bigger but hey its a cave! Was so interesting learning all the history and with that was put into this. Definitely worth the stop! Oh and the gift shop has so many good tourist stuff!

Jessica H — Google review

We took the boat tour very informative guide great visuals and very educational. Also in the park is a it's a 2 mile walking trail that could that currently has many scarecrows for the Halloween season a lot of fun for the kids and adults as well. The cave entrance can be rented out for events the day we were there it was set up for a wedding with crystal chandelier

Ernest G — Google review

Tour guide is very passionate and knowledgeable about the cave and knows how to deliver information to audiences with different ages. It was fun listening to all the information he gave to the tour group.Lots of interaction between the tourist and the guide, pointing out formations of the rock, and ducking our heads down to squeeze in through the cave made up the entire experienceThe whole tour was very exciting, and memorable experience. I did not know that Kentucky was full of cave until I got here and learned about it.Highly recommend to come check this place out! Family-friendly!I don’t know how often the tickets sell out, but you can book it online or in person!

Edward L — Google review

Absolutely loved it! We had Becky as our tour guide and she did a great job with commentary and history. It’s not a super long tour so you can talk smaller children on it (there are life vests and the water is only around 4 feet deep). Would definitely recommend.

Taylor G — Google review

This place is really relaxing and calming. I love coming here when I am in Kentucky. They have a great gift shop and very friendly staff. The grounds are beautiful, there is hiking trails and a butterfly garden that is fun to see. It is a good place to get out in nature. I love seeing the creeks and hearing the water.The tour is short but I enjoyed the boat ride. You don't go that deep into the cavern but I would definitely recommend coming here. It is beautiful.

Carla S — Google review

Definitely book this tour! We were searching for a cave tour that is easily accessible as we had two with us that had small mobility issues that could not do much of the hiking which would be involved with the other cave tours around. They both made it up and down to the entrance with ease. Our tour guide was fantastic, knowledgeable and made the adventure enjoyable! The boat tour itself is gorgeous.

T — Google review

Lost River Cave is phenomenal! I had my wedding here over the weekend and I got so many compliments! The staff were so helpful and professional. Their get ready building was so helpful! I got to hang out with my girls and hook my phone up for music! I strongly recommend this venue for weddings! 10/10!We also did the tour and that was so much fun! We encouraged everyone from our guests list to go before the wedding as well!

Dawn D — Google review

Just got done with the boat tour and loved it. What a unique experience! Our group had a toddler and it was great—they had kid-sized life vests (required for those under 13). This seems pretty doable for different activity levels, with these two things in mind: 1) there is a bit of a walk to get to the start, so give yourself extra time, 2) at one point on the boat you have to duck pretty far down so as not to hit your head. Staff was really knowledgeable and friendly. Nice visitor center and bathrooms. Other activities available and spaces for picnics—could spend several hours here. This is run by a nonprofit. Would totally recommend to others and go again!

Marissa W — Google review

What a neat experience! It was quite unique.We had an entertaining tour guide who shared a lot of stories about the cave and area.The actual time on the boat in the cave was shorter than I was hoping, and you don’t travel very far. Other than that it was fun. I wouldn’t go a second time but I’m glad I did it once.

Jason B — Google review

We've been through numerous caves, and although this one does not have the massive stalactites and stalagmites (which they explain about during the tour), it was a very interesting cave and I loved hearing about all of the history surrounding the cave and the area. Our guide, Jayden, was both personable and knew what he was talking about. I wish I had known ahead of time about all of the trails in the area as well because I would have planned to have more time before or after our tour to explore the area some more. I am very glad that we decided to do this.The walk down to the cave was intermixed with things to see and stories to hear, so it wasn't too fast for anyone in the group and our overall group ranged from somewhere 6 months to somewhere upward of 60. You walked back on your own and at your own pace for the uphill part, and it really wasn't bad. There is a gravel parking lot at the very back of the property that will knock about 10 minutes off of the return walk if you are worried about the total distance. One woman had her son go and get their car for her. Nice short distance, so very easy to drop one person at the front desk to check-in, then drive those worried about the walk to the back of the parking lot and park there.The only warning I would have for people with balance or knee type problems is that the two steps down into the boat can be a bit hard to manage since there isn't anywhere really good to hold onto. The guide was holding the boat steady, so he wasn't able to help much. Even though I was headed to the left side of the boat to be seated, I walked in on the right side and used the rail on shore to hold onto, then moved over to my side.

Ann W — Google review

We came for spring break, and the boat ride through a cave is one of the things our kids were the most excited about. It was their favorite cave tour. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about our experience here. The hiking trails were perfect for our youngest child’s little legs, and well maintained. The boat tour was a lot of fun, and a different experience than the other caves we toured. Something I saw earlier in the week at their gift shop was gone, and they were able to go into their storage area and get exactly what I wanted. It made my day because I came back to the gift shop a few days later specifically hoping that item was still there. Would recommend to anyone!

Stacy M — Google review

The cave tour was sold out the day we visited. Decided to do the walking trails and they did not disappoint! Very scenic, loved the blue holes!

Tami N — Google review

Great tour to check out the caves. We purchased tickets ahead of time, and the tour was right on schedule. The time in the boat on the water was only prob about 10 min, but it was cool to be down there. If you're in the area, I would recommend adding it to your list of things to do.

Matt D — Google review

This was a different cave experience than what we are used to since this one is in a boat. It isn't a long boat tour but it is interesting. The grounds are very nice and the staff is nice and friendly. Our tour guide was fun. They also have ziplines, a butterfly sanctuary, and nature trails. There is also a very nice gift shop. This is one tour that you probably wouldn't repeat, but it is definitely worth visiting.

Donna S — Google review

I’m so glad we decided to come here! Everyone in the gift shop was super friendly. Brad was our tour guide and he was very knowledgeable and he was kind to all the kids with questions on our tour.

Steph G — Google review

Outstanding educational, historical, and nature filled experience. Fletcher is an excellent tour guide and very patient w kids. Get tix in advance. Come early or stay late to enjoy the nature trails. Really nice gift shop too. Nonprofit supports continued cleaning and preservation of cave. Come support this mission driven haven!

Greg L — Google review

4.6

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4.5

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2818 Nashville Rd, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA

(270) 393-0077

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Ryman Auditorium

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$$$$affordable

Live music venue

The Ryman Auditorium, known as the "Mother Church of Country Music," is a renowned live performance venue located in Nashville, Tennessee. Formerly called the Grand Ole Opry House and the Union Gospel Tabernacle, this historic 2,362-seat auditorium holds a significant place in entertainment history.

I toured the Ryman by myself today waiting for a friend to fly into town and it was a wonderful visit. The staff is really friendly and knowledgeable and it was a neat feeling to walk into a room with such history. They play an informative video to start (don't skip it) and then the rest is self guided. You can get your picture taken on the stage steps and you get a copy for free in the gift shop! I highly recommend going.

Dana D — Google review

I enjoyed the $30 tour. It includes a video that wraps around you. Displays of clothing worn by many of the greats, both old and current and framed play bills. You can walk freely throughout the auditorium which also let's you see where the techs work. A free photo is provided that is taken on the stage. The employees were lovely and happy! The gift shop is quite affordable. Definitely a worth while adventure. If you choose not to venture inside there are several things to enjoy for free outside.

Ashley — Google review

Always love the Ryman! Of all the venues in Nashville, this is my go-to place! Much more intimate setting and there's no bad seat in the house. I've been to other venues in town but this is absolutely my favorite and always will be. The sound is absolutely incredible. They don't call it the mother church for nothing! It's also amazing the variety of artists that come there. I'm so glad it's one of the buildings that have been restored and still in use! Parking is easy with a parking garage directly next door and several across the street. There are actual church pews that you sit on but you can also bring a cushion. I've never been to a bad concert there! Can't wait for my next trip to the mother church!

Barbara S — Google review

Really glad I stopped for the guided tour of the auditorium. There is so much history in one place it’s amazing. If you like country music then this is the place to start. It’s really cool to see the videos and the outfits that were created by and worn by many stars of the past. The dressing rooms are particularly interesting with so many pictures of the stars who have entertained there. It’s fun to have your pictures taken on stage and the gift store has many different kinds of gifts that are all related to the Ryman.

Examiner 0 — Google review

Fantastic shows both Friday and Saturday. I love the residency program it makes my drive more affordable when I can catch multiple shows! The staff as always was outstanding the lines for concessions and bathrooms moved well and we're not outlandish. My balcony seats were outstanding and the sound top notch. The best at any venue I've been in. The place was clean also. Nice that they have a band in the courtyard while waiting to enter. Bravo! My wait time to get in included me showing up an hour early to get a Hatch Print. I always meet music lovers so I don't mind.

Mark D — Google review

We visited the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN in February and it was a fantastic place! We purchased VIP tickets and our guide, Ken, was fantastic. He told us all about the history of this great place and took us backstage, in the dressing rooms and on the stage. The same stage the likes of Minnie Pearl, Charlie Pride, Bill Monroe and Loretta Lynn, to name a few, performed on. It was the fifth place of the Grand Ole Opry, from 1943 to 1974. The Ryman is a historical building and any music lover would love to see it. It was a Bucket List thing to do and it was an awesome experience.

Terry G — Google review

Ryman is fantastic intimate venue! Saw Van Morrison and can't think of better place. Built in 1892 (?) it has beautiful architecture inside and out. Was originally a church, great acoustics, and still has wooden benches. I lucked out and got end of row padded seat, lol. Highly recommend for any artist you want to see.

Martin S — Google review

This was a very nice venue that truly gave me and my husband an intimate listening experience with the musicians on stage. We were just there to see Father John Misty and we were amazed at the acoustics, how sitting in the balcony we had a great view of the entire stage, and the workers there were all very friendly and welcoming. I liked the wooden pew style seating and while it was a tight squeeze and we were packed tightly in our row, the show quality was worth the social discomfort. I would be happy to see any musician on this stage again.The stairs are quite narrow though and while walking up them I tripped onto my face so perhaps be warned. Still, solid 10/10 experience.

Maria — Google review

Did the self guided tour. Beautiful old church turned auditorium with tons of history. The tour features a short video explaining the history, exhibits with clothing worn by inductees, with more history, and a photo on the stage is included.

Rachel W — Google review

We completed the self guided tour on a Sunday and it was an awesome experience. Right from the amazing video introduction through to the cool displays, to the auditorium itself.You can't help but get caught up in the emotion that the multitude of stars would have felt and still no doubt feel to this day when walking through the Ryman and taking the stage.I would happily recommend a visit to the Ryman to anyone that has an interest in music.

Martin M — Google review

Loved the history. Took the self-guided tour and it was worth every penny. Really enjoyed being in the place where so many got their start. If you like history, or country music, or both, add this to your list of places to visit.

Laura J — Google review

The history in this building is really neat - but let's talk about the physical experience of attending a show here. Very often the folks who perform are doing so to a sold-out crowd. This church was built when humans occupied much less space than they do today. If you are 6 foot, it will be painful because there is no room for your knees. If you are even simply moderately sized, you will personally extend over the allotted space for your "seat". And even if *you* don't have long legs or happen to be a thin person, if you have the misfortune of being in a row with a couple other larger folks and your row is full, everyone will be squashed, because they are church pews and many sections don't have any type of seat divider. I know the pews are historic and we want to keep them historic, but the venue DESPERATELY needs to realign the spacing. Charge more per ticket if you have to, but I want to be able to take a full deep breath without every inch of my side body touching the stranger next to me. It's *genuinely* worse than any old, teeny tiny Broadway theater seat in NYC, and I have been in some bad ones. The positive: The acoustics in the venue are great, the bathrooms were clean and modern, the staff is kind. I appreciate that you can take in your beverages to the show, but I had people who spilled their open cup by kicking it on the floor and it dripped down into my space so my floor was covered. Nowhere to put your bag if the seats are all full and the floor is covered in red sticky liquid. ☠️

Kailey P — Google review

We didn’t know what to expect when we came for the tour but it was very nicely done. The short movie and effects was very well made. The exhibits were quite minimal though and it isn’t advertised well but you can take a free photograph on the stage! It will be taken by a photographer for you, printed and available to pick up in the gift store. The gift store was also reasonably priced.

Dawn C — Google review

Really interesting history! I took the guided tour and although the price might seem high, it was well worth it. I learnt so much about the Ryman Auditorium and the whole experience was really interactive and really made the history come to life. It’s a must see if your are visiting Nashville!

Arianna L — Google review

This was such a great place. After we entered the Auditorium, we were directed upstairs to a movie theater. This was a film on the Auditorium and it's history. Amazing story. During the film, I now understood the importance of the place and how many things came and went. Have a good one.

B J — Google review

We had a fantastic experience at the Ryman auditorium! I took my team to the haunted tour and we all had a blast. The tour was filled with historical facts as well as spooky stories going back to the early 1900s. We got to see dressing rooms, authentic costumes from BB King, and even under the stage. We were also very pleased that everyone in our group was provided a photo at the end of our experience for no additional charge.

Justin L — Google review

We went to see two shows on two different nights and both experiences were great. The Ryman was a clean and well organized venue. Entry was simple with little security. The sound was incredible. Crystal clear and at a volume that did not require ear protection. The only downside was the seating. Hard wooden pews were not very comfortable. In spite of that, I'd love to see more artists performing there.

Edward L — Google review

The Ryman Auditorium is an essential stop for anyone visiting Nashville, even if you don't have tickets or there is no show that day, it's worth stopping at. I say this because it is located in the heart of downtown Nashville, surrounded by a vibrant and safe environment full of wonderful retail shopping and all kinds of dining.I went to a concert this summer and got tickets for the front row of the balcony. They were the most amazing seats, and I got them for about $100 each! There was nobody to stand in front of me or block my view, and my buddy and I had the time of our lives!With it's rich history, our band opened by saying that it was a dream of theirs to play at the Ryman, and then proceeded to put on the best live show I've ever seen from them (and I've seen them play live 11 times before). In summary, if there IS a show, GO! If not, stop by and take pictures of the statues outside before continuing on to the surrounding attractions like Printer's Alley (the main street for all the bars and pubs). I recommend staying in a hotel downtown. You can walk everywhere with ease. Everything is close and safe, and you won't have to worry about drinking and driving.

Elliot S — Google review

Bucket list checked. Concert at the Ryman. Abraham Alexander opening for Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. The best sound quality I have ever heard in a concert venue. So much history. The front row of the center balcony, obviously, are incredible seats. Lots of leg room. It's the only seats I can speak for though. We traveled from Michigan for this.

Alan L — Google review

The Ryman Auditorium is such an amazing venue! The history in this building is unbelievable. So much talent has graced the stage over the years. I have seen many shows over the years here. This particular concert was Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade on Halloween 2023. So much fun! The crowd was definitely into it. The sound was amazing (I could feel the bass through my feet) and the light show was spectacular! The staff were super friendly and even though the lines were pretty backed up getting in, everything flowed smoothly and we weren't in line too long. I can't wait to see more shows here in the future!

Jeremy S — Google review

First tour on our last full day in Nashville. Our tour guide, Drake, was very friendly and knowledgeable and provided a great experience. We got to see inside four dressing rooms(no pics allowed)since there were no performances that evening. Walked on stage and was truly in awe of the history. So glad they saved this historic building! We got a short tour of Johnny Cash’s last tour bus too which was included with our ticket purchase.

Don C — Google review

I had a ticket to a show in the evening and decided to take the self-guided tour earlier in the day. I bought my ticket I site and not in advance. There was just a short wait for the tour to begin. thoroughly enjoyed this experience. They show you a short film to start on the history of the building. Then you take yourself throughout the building. They had some artist memorabilia showcased and you get a free picture of yourself at the end of the tour - free print and then $5 to purchase a digital download. The staff/volunteers were all friendly and knowledgeable. The Johnny Cash bus was on-site and that was accessible with your tour ticket.The sound and energy during the show I saw that evening was incredible. I highly recommend taking the tour and seeing a live show here!! I’m sure I will be back! Also - I had purchased a seat that said obstructed view at the end of an aisle (section 3 - row M) and I can assure you my visibility was not that obstructed.

Miss V — Google review

I went both to the tour in the morning and Vince Gill Amy Grant Christmas show that night.The tour was great and well worth the extra time I. The movie alone 3D made me feel like I had got my money's worth. Getting a picture is fun. Great walking around seeing the memorabilia. Amazing place. The show spoke for itself!! Not a bad seat in the place. Great experience. Friendly staff. Gift shop nice too.

Joe W — Google review

Watching a show at the Ryman is special, there's no denying that. We went to see the Black Pumas in April as it's one of our favorite bands. Eric is an amazing entertainer! You can't beat the acoustics of the Ryman. Drinks are easy to get with two concessions, although getting to your seat can be a challenge (which can tend to be uncomfortable if you sit too long). We will be back!

Mark H — Google review

Walking into the auditorium was an experience that I'll never forget. To the effect of chills and goosebumps just thinking about all the history that has been made in that one place by so many. The most humbling feeling you could ever imagine. Sitting on the old pew and just taking it all in was just amazing. I can't imagine what it must feel like to stand on that stage in that building and do what you love. Something I've always dreamed about.

Appliance R — Google review

We went to see Amy Grant and Vince Gill's Christmas Show. We were extremely pleased with the ease of getting in even though several bus loads of people were in line as well. It was great being in this historic building. We did have a column in our view but it did not diminish the entertainment or our evening at all. This was our first visit to the Ryman for a show. We had toured it many years ago. We drove in from the Lexington, Kentucky area and would definitely do this again. Vince Gill and Amy Grant were great!!

Sandra C — Google review

I went here for a show (The Infamous Stringdusters + Leftover Salmon) while I was in town and it was so fun! I didn't have time to do the tour beforehand, but hopefully next time!The acoustics were unreal 😍.Although...maybe ear plugs would be a good idea. It's a perfectly intimate setting and so cool to be in the same space where so much country music history took place. I LOVED the pews - was worried we would be super cramped but we had plenty of space and it wasn't uncomfortable. Our seats were in the balcony (halfway back) and I was worried it wouldn't be as good so far back, but there really isn't a "bad seat" in the place (although I read ahead that the acoustics sitting toward the back underneath the balcony aren't quite as good).Wonderful experience and can't wait to come back.

Lauren H — Google review

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3

Downtown

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Neighborhoods

Nashville's lively country music scene can be found in the bustling Downtown area, which is home to numerous honky-tonk bars along the main street, Broadway. Visitors can enjoy big-name concerts and backstage tours at the historic Ryman Auditorium, or explore artifacts from Johnny Cash's life at the nearby museum dedicated to him. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum offers hands-on exhibits and audio tours for those interested in learning more about this genre of music.

4.5

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Nashville, TN, USA

4

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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Museum

History museum

Specialty Museums

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum showcases the rich history of American music through its collection of artifacts and interactive displays. Situated in downtown Nashville's vibrant District, this attraction brings the city to life, especially at night. Alongside the famous honky tonk bars, visitors can explore shops, restaurants, and historic music landmarks. Just a short distance away is Centennial Park, which offers unique features such as a full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon.

This place was so cool!!! We budgeted one & a half hours based on the recommended time. I wish we would have planned on a little bit more time. It was so interesting seeing costumes & outfits country stars have worn over the past several years. Loved seeing how fashion has changed & the details in the clothing. Martina McBride section was one of my personal favorites. Definitely recommend but make sure you budget enough time before tours, if you are doing tours.

Chirelle P — Google review

This was an experience that I will never forget in my entire life. I think I was most excited to go here over anywhere else in Nashville. We purchase tickets in advance and therefore were allowed to go straight in. You start on the third floor and work your way down to the first floor where the exit is. I thought that was very smart. The displays were incredible! I love older Country Music and they did not disappoint. I would love to come back here with my kids one today. I know they would love it as much as I did. The gift shop was awesome too!

Amber W — Google review

If you're a music fan of any genre, the Country Music Hall of Fame is a must-see. Lots of history and stories. We also did the RCA Studio B tour. So cool to be in the studio where iconic songs were recorded, ie from Elvis, Dolly and many more. Sitting at the same piano Elvis played was very surreal. Highly recommend!!!

Josh H — Google review

We took the kids through the museum on our vacation and we had a great experience. Wonderful exhibits and history. Would highly recommend this. Tickets seem to average $30;a piece at any museum so if you have to choose, this is the one!

Thomas S — Google review

Not at all a country music fan (except bluegrass) but I thought this was a great museum. I learned quite a bit, they have some absolutely amazing artifacts, especially musical instruments, great exhibits, some hands on stuff. Really, really enjoyed it and I probably will explore country music outside of bluegrass because of this visit. If you like guitars, they have a fantastic collection to drool over, especially Martin and Gibson.

Robert M — Google review

This place had some really cool things in it and so many things to look at! It had outfit of what the singers wore in their most popular songs and the records and everything! It's just an amazing place you have to visit if you're ever in Nashville!

Cierra R — Google review

Really spectacular collection of memorabilia. It's time to add Billy Ray Cyrus!If you are a fan or a fanatic! This is a spectacular museum. They are adding some really neat current items which includes interactive and kid friendly items and hands on activities!!We spent a couple of hours + here and watched the presentations, recorded a song and made a poster.The gift shop had some cute and reasonable Christmas ornaments.If you have a student or are an older adult they do offer discounts on site.Take your own water, they allow carry in bottles. We paid over $3 for one there.

Kelli K — Google review

Listen. If you're in Nashville you MUST go to the Country music hall of Fame whether or not you like Country music. It's spectacular. Blows that other museum in Cleveland away. Always a rotating exhibit when you enter. We saw one for Bill Anderson. Two levels of amazing artifacts documenting the history of Country music from the 20s/30s through today showing the rise fall and eventual rise again of the genre of music. The guitars are amazing. Outfits and stage wear even better. Several cars including Elvis's limo and the TA from Smokey and the Bandit. Make sure you pay extra and go over to RCA studio B. It takes and hour and is absolutely worth the additional cost and bus ride over. I've been here twice and would come back another 10 times if in Nashville.

Richie P — Google review

It was alright, nothing blew me away. If I were a huge country fan, it probably would have been really cool. The whole 3rd floor is the beginnings of country.. the second floor being the more modern era. There were a lot of artists, in my opinion, that have made bigger contributions to country, yet they were not found anywhere in the museum (or it was one item). It was a lot smaller than I had expected as well. Highlight of this stop was Bajo Taco.

Brianne S — Google review

Nashville is all about country and blues music, and this museum is a great way to explore a lot of the history and upbringing of the country music scene.There are 3 floors to the museum and each one is layed out well so that it is easy to navigate and plenty of room. I'm not a big country music fan, but I very much enjoyed browsing through the museum learning about the history and see many of the artifacts that made country music what it is today.Highly recommend booking the first visit of the morning so you can get in before the museum gets crowded.We also booked the museum tickets with the Hatch Show Print and RCA Studio B combo package. It can get a little pricey to do this depending on how many people are in your party (about $75 for the 3 together), but it was very worth it.

Neil H — Google review

Visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville is a musical pilgrimage that any country music enthusiast should undertake. Nestled in the heart of Music City, this iconic museum is a sprawling treasure trove of the genre's rich history.As you approach the building, you're struck by its sheer size. The museum is a colossal three-story structure, with a distinct design that evokes the grandeur of the country's musical heritage. The modern architecture seamlessly blends with the surrounding historic district, making it both a beacon of the future and a guardian of the past.Once inside, the Hall of Fame doesn't disappoint. Its vast collection covers the full spectrum of country music, preserving the legacies of legendary artists from the earliest roots of the genre to contemporary superstars. Exhibits showcase costumes, instruments, and personal artifacts of icons like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and Hank Williams, connecting you to the heart and soul of their music.To ensure an optimal experience, arriving early in the day is advisable. This way, you can beat the crowds and soak in the exhibits at your own pace. It's also wise to purchase your tickets online in advance to bypass the lines that tend to form, especially during peak tourist seasons.A trip to the Country Music Hall of Fame is not just a museum visit; it's a journey through the soul of America's music. It's a place where you can stand in awe of the legends, feel the rhythm of history, and understand why country music is such an integral part of the nation's cultural tapestry.

Scott P — Google review

Recently updated exhibits spread out smartly to accommodate large numbers without feeling overwhelmed. Recommend the audio tour for more information that's different from what you can read on the exhibits! Fully accessible regardless of mobility. Small theatres so you can sit and rest at intervals throughout (3). Enjoy!

JL M — Google review

To be honest, I'm not much of a country music fan - but when in Nashville, right? The collection at this museum is vast, and you could easily spend hours here. Being a bit of an outsider to the genre, I would have loved a little more context for many of the displays, but maybe that's on me.

Alyssa, W — Google review

A very well designed performance venue! Right from the entrance, this place had a good vibe, which to me, sets the stage for a well rounded, enjoyable evening. The gals at the information desk/will call were quite upbeat and helpful. Then you go through security - which didn't feel nearly as intimidating as so many other venues do, even though you must empty your pockets before proceeding. The ushers on each entrance all had a warm welcoming presence, and were very helpful. I saw The Dixie Dregs and The Steve Morse Band, and was seated literally above the drums, so being a drummer, I was in heaven! I did check out the sound at several other locations throughout, and it was very good everywhere, not to mention, every seat in the venue, is good viewing as well. The biggest improvement that could be easily made, would be to aim the speakers slightly more flanged for better clarity in the uppermost seats as well as a bit more definition on the low end, to bring it together a little tighter and punchier. Perfect otherwise!

Todd M — Google review

What a great place to visit. Beautiful collection of music stars of artifacts, instruments and costumes. Well worth the visit for everyone to enjoy Country music's artist and history. There are shops inside if you want to purchase items for gifts or other merchandise. Don't pass this up!

Patricia C — Google review

This is a MUST DO! when your in Nashville!! We had a great time learning all about the history of country music and all about current country music!! WOW! so much cool stuff! What a fun time! We paid for the guided tour and that helped a lot and I definitely recommend it. It was just a simple device that you put in the number of the display that your looking at and it tells you all about it. They have the Elvis limousine in there and so many other cool things. Go check this place out it is so cool!

Eric S — Google review

Fun experience with lots to look at. There are interactive things as well as items to view of all sizes and types. Lots of history for those interested, and easy to walk through as fast or as slowly as you'd like. Plan on at least an hour to walk around and maybe longer especially if you're a country fan. There's a nice gift shop as well as a snack stand with lots of seating indoors and out. A lovely place to spend a hot Tennessee afternoon.

Christine D — Google review

My family and I loved learning the history of each Hall of Fame musician and songwriters! Our kids discovered that there was proof that a lot of the music they listen to now was and is richly influenced by so many in the Country Music industry and not just something we told them to expand their music choices. There is also some fun interactive games and a recording studio that you can save and email to yourself that the whole family will have fun with.

Tonya O — Google review

This was my 2nd visit, a first with other people in the party. I enjoyed that exhibits had changed since I had originally been there, which had only been 5 months prior. Having exhibits that change on a regular basis will keep people wanting to continue to visit.I saw things through fresh eyes, as this visit my child was with me. Country Music Hall of Fame is FULL of interactive things to do for children (and adults). The music petting zoo was a highlight!

Kristin D — Google review

Nice collection of all things country music. Worth a visit if you like history. Exhibits were good. Audio devices are worth it as it was crowded and allowed me to stand away from exhibits while others bunched around to read the info in the exhibit. I enjoyed the video and audio items the most. The interactive portions were a creative touch.

Jeff W — Google review

This place is absolutely amazing. If you are into country music, or just music or history in general, then do yourselves a favor and go and check out the Country music hall of fame. They have so so many incredible exhibits and musicians that are featured in this huge and expansive building. So many incredible artifacts that are on display. The sheer history in this building is absolutely fantastic.

B A — Google review

Wonderful museum, lots to see and learn. Warm welcoming staff. I would recommend going on the studio B package with combined tickets. Free transport to and from.Highly recommended for all country and Western fans. Extra plus they have one of Elvis car and smokey and the bandits car. Highly recommended.

Tina T — Google review

I don't know much about country music. I am here as a pure tourist. It's a great place to visit when you come to Nashville. It covers almost famous country music singers in history. Briefly introduced them and also displayed their stage dresses and instruments. There is even a recording section to let you play around. A nice place for all ages and families. I had a good time here. Recommended!!

Peng H — Google review

I learned so much about music visiting this place! It was so cool to see the history of music and how a lot of instruments came about. Definitely a must visit place when you’re in Nashville and buy tickets ahead of time because the line could get really long. The Taylor Swift room was pretty cool, and Eric Church has his own street. The music booth was pretty cool being able to sing in a studio is sick.

TheonlyCEF — Google review

The Country Music Hall of Fame Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone who appreciates the rich history and cultural significance of country music. The museum is home to an impressive collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibits that showcase the evolution of country music over the years.Walking through the museum, you'll find yourself immersed in the world of country music, from its roots in folk and blues to its modern-day stars. The museum's exhibits are beautifully curated, offering insight into the lives and careers of some of the genre's most iconic artists.One of the highlights of the museum is the Hall of Fame Rotunda, where you can see the plaques of the artists who have been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. It's a poignant reminder of the impact that these artists have had on the genre and music as a whole.The museum also offers a variety of programs and events, including live performances, lectures, and workshops, making it a dynamic and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.Overall, the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum is a must-visit destination for music lovers and history buffs alike. Its dedication to preserving and celebrating the legacy of country music is truly commendable, and I highly recommend a visit to anyone visiting Nashville.

Lady C — Google review

I grew up listening to the old country music with my Pop Pop and transitioned into more recent country in my adult years. This place has it all. I loved getting to soak up the history and actually see what I'd consider lost artists in this fast past world. I'd give it 5 stars on one condition if there was NO TAYLOR SWIFT. She faked a country accent and has no place there. Completely ruined my first impression when her big, annoying name was the first thing you see whenever you get off the elevator. It's disrespectful to the other country music artists who worked hard to get to where they're at. She has a place, but not at this museum.

Kendall M — Google review

This was a fun experience! I really enjoyed the memorabilia from the older generation of country artists. There was a big section on new artists, but I didn’t know any of them. The video showing the history of country music in television and movies was phenomenal. It’s a great museum and a must-see if visiting Nashville.

Elizabeth D — Google review

Went on Dec 22nd. Purchased tickets online and paid the extra $5 for the audio player. I'm a 52 yr old man who has listened to country music since I was a baby. This was my first time in Nashville, and I was very eager to visit this museum. The history of country music was well represented. I would have liked to have seen more of the blues influence, but I get that it's a different genre.The displays were done very nicely, and the entire museum was impressive. If you go, get tickets online... it'll get you in much quicker. If I were to do it again, I would not rent the audio player.

BigMan S — Google review

“Will the Circle be Unbroken ” the best ending and beginning. Just a taste of my adventures because you have to see it,hear it,and feel it for yourself in Country Hall of Fame and Museum. We did a self guided tour. I loved the exhibits! The only thing I will say make sure you are on time for the tour because they presale tickets!

Ariel — Google review

So, i am not a giant country music fan. This is still great museum with loads of interactive displays, videos, and loads of detail in every display. If you're a country fan, it would be easy to spend 2 to 3 hours here. We spent about 1.5 hrs wandering through. I would not suggest it to younger kids unless they are music history fans.Heads up, if you walk past the gift store, there are at least 2-3 places to have a bit to eat. The lobby restaurant was packed on our visit and a bit of a zoo.

Grant I — Google review

Great place for country music history, spent 2.5 hours here. They offer an audio tour for an extra 5 or so bucks it gives extra info about each display.Its deff worth it.they have a gift shop also that was nice. The park across the street with the walk of fame is a bit dicey though. a lot of homeless panhandling going on ...id skip

Kevin S — Google review

Worth visiting if you're a country music fan. I found the displays well done and not overly done. The video presentations were great - a bit long for some, but fans will appreciate it.

Greg M — Google review

We actually had a great experience here. The Taylor Swift experience I think was sold more than was it was, it was quite literally a smashed guitar and maybe two outfits. But the rest of the visit was great. My favourite room was near the end where you can (for free) record your own voice over popular country music tunes and send to yourself.Lots.of history, very clean and well laid out. I would recommend.

Andre B — Google review

4.6

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4.5

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222 Rep. John Lewis Way S, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

(615) 416-2001

5

Grand Ole Opry

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Live music venue

Concerts & Shows

The Grand Ole Opry, renowned as the authentic country music hub, is a must-see for enthusiasts of this genre. Established in 1974 to serve as the permanent residence of the world's longest-running live radio broadcast, it offers visitors the opportunity to embark on either self-guided or backstage tours. These tours present an array of distinctive memorabilia and intriguing behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the stars who have graced its stage.

I loved this tour so much!!! It was really cool to see all the backstage things for the Grand Ole Opry. The dressing rooms were really interesting to look at. They seem so simple but in my head, they were a lot fancier than they actually are. Most of them don’t even have their own bathrooms. Our tour guide was great! He told us which celebrities saw which dressing rooms. We were able to go on stage as well. I really recommend this tour & hope to one day see a show there.

Chirelle P — Google review

First time to the Opry, and I was not disappointed. Really no bad seat in the venue. The sound and acoustics are great. Be prepared to spend a hefty amount if you plan to drink. Domestic beers were $10.The presentation of everything is immaculate. The venue really goes above and beyond to make this a wonderful experience. There is a 15 minute intermission to allow patrons to use restroom or get food and drinks.Buy your tickets as early as possible. Tickets prices go up closer to showtime, even when seats are the same or further back or to the side. Fee additions are what you expect. You shouldn't need to worry about parking as there is a big open lot in front of the venue that is shared with other local shops. They will make it seem on the website that it is mandatory (or at least imperative) to buy a parking pass.My wife is a huge country fan, as I am more of a casual listener. Regardless, I still had a blast watching live music.

Jon F — Google review

Wow. I had no idea How Much Fun!! Great venue. Great entertainment. The host is funny. The musicians are fantastic. Really enjoyed the music and the atmosphere is amazing. The staff are very friendly and helpful. Driving was no issue and we got back downtown with no problem. The mall next to it looks Huge. I’m sure you could spend the whole day there. Get your tickets soon. They go fast and now I see why. Everyone had a great time. Enjoy 😊

Examiner 0 — Google review

My friends and I went to a country music tour at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville for a bachelorette party. It was both thrilling and memorable. As our first time immersing ourselves in the heart of country music, the electric and heartwarming atmosphere provided an ideal setting for our brides. The rich history and undeniable charm of the Grand Ole Opry truly enhanced our celebration.The highlight of the evening was the backstage tour, which allowed us a glimpse into the magic behind each performance. It was both exciting and deeply moving to walk the same path as legendary country music artists, creating a wonderful memory for our group.A massive thank you goes out to the Grand Ole Opry and our tour guide for making this event so special.

Thuy-Linh P — Google review

The venue is nice and you can see fine from anywhere. We were in the last row and didn’t have any problems. The seats are like church pews. They were comfortable. The show itself was entertaining as well. They had a variety of acts and each performed for around 15 minutes. It was nice to have them changing frequently. That way if they have one that you don’t like much it will switch out in a few minutes.

Ryan B — Google review

Wow! What a classic venue. You can feel immense talent that makes this a huge showcase for young/upcoming, current and ageless superstar performers. The Customer Service was great, even moving us and others down to closer seats. They keep things moving and in-between the MC is great. If close you have to check this out country fan or not.

Brian F — Google review

What a amazing experience. We did the Circle room, Opry and post show. I could not find any reviews on the Circle room(premium lounge pass) but we enjoyed having a place to be before the show, drinks and munchies included until intermission is over. Included a photo and a guest drop in. Shout out to Maddie & Q! We would do it again. The Opry...wow! That was an awesome experience. We didn't know performers really, but do not need to. What an amazing show. The comedian was spectacular, the up and coming performers were outstanding and the Opry members were wonderful. I cannot say enough about all the staff we encountered. They made our experience so much more. Very friendly, helpful and they all loved their jobs & the Opry. We sat in section 4, row G. I would absolutely want those seats again! No watching screens. Thank you Grand Ole Opry, what a great night!

Michelle B — Google review

I enjoyed the show! We had upper bowl tickets and one of the hosts offered to move us to the lower bowl because there were 2 men in our seating section and we would not of all fit together...so moving to the lower area was exciting and a plus!! So thank you for that. The grand Ole Opry is so beautiful inside and a great place to see a concert!!

Amy K — Google review

I was in Nashville for a few days and saw the Opry Country Christmas show. I purchased a ticket the day before at the ticket office. The venue is top-notch. It was easy to find my section. My seat was on the upper level but I could still see just fine and there were plenty of screens for a more up close view. Pew seating but it’s cushioned…plan to stand up or move out of the way if you have long legs and anyone in your row needs to get out. The ticket price was reasonable considering the number of artists performing. Concession stands sold food: snacks but also packaged salads, sandwiches and pizza. Alcoholic drinks were available. I had water and pretzel bites. Restrooms were easy to find and no long lines. I parked across the street at Opry Mills for free - that’s just a short walk. The show was entertaining and had audience participation. I did the backstage tour on a previous trip and recommend that at well.

Miss V — Google review

Great place to visit when you're in Nashville. It is a major part of the country music scene history of the town. There are always great shows, I caught one on a whim, but was able to see country music legends and members of the Country Music Hall of Fame play.Tickets were reasonable, and I got great seats last minute. There is also a huge mall across the street with lots of shopping, a giant Dave & Buster's, a steakhouse, an aquarium restaurant, many other food options, drinks, and more. The whole Grand Ole Opry is a destination in itself, what's a big resort hotel right next to it, tons of parking, the mall, and obviously the theater.

Constantino P — Google review

We couldn't believe how close we were to the stage, but I don't think there is a bad seat in the house. They also have big screens to watch the artists up close. There was a good variety of the Old and the new music. We even got to listen to a hilarious comedian, although many of the musicians made us laugh too. Seats were comfortable, bathrooms clean and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Food and beverages were also available to take to your seats to enjoy. Don't miss it! Every show is unique.

Katrina Q — Google review

We enjoyed our visit, show and post tour. We saw a country classic show. They change up the shows so they have different people in different days of the week. It was a great venue with only 4,400 seats and there's not a bad seat and you could move around with ease because it wasn't overly crowded! That made it very nice!!The show flowed well, Larry Gaitlyn did an excellent job hosting and it was a fabulous show that made you feel right at home!The post tour, a behind the scenes look at what goes on backstage. was excellent as well! It's a solid 45 minutes of going through were the singers enter, quite a few dressing rooms and going on stage. Note, this tour was all standing.The shop was large and had a variety of items but it was expensive.A must see for any music fan! We definitely will take an opportunity to visit again!

DElightful P — Google review

At first I was a little concerned with selecting the $55 "cheap seats" but that's all that was available when we decided to go. I was relieved to see there is no bad seat in the house! It is such an intimate setting. We will definitely be back!

Wendy S — Google review

I had such an amazing day at the Opry. I took the Women of Country Tour and David was a wealth of knowledge on the women who have and currently call the Opry home. The show I attended was just so great. It was awesome to be able to share my first time at the Grand Ole Opry with Kasey Tyndall as she stepped into the circle for the first time. After the show, I took a post-show backstage tour and once again my tour guide, Michael had so much to share with us. Even though I had seem some of the backstage earlier, Michael had different information to share and I got to see different things. Getting to see where they filmed HEE HAW was so awesome as I remember watching that show with my Grandma, who is the whole reason I love country music. This was such a great day and I cannot wait to be back.

Antoinette H — Google review

I saw Dashboard Confessional and Counting Crows Monday Aug. 14, 2023. Absolutely amazing concert in a beautiful, historic venue. It was my second at the Opry, and I will definitely be attending more concerts there. The only negative is if you are in the 30 sections of the balcony it's a very steep angle to see down to the stage. Otherwise, it's a wonderful place to see some of your favorite band.

Corey G — Google review

Psychedelic Furs and Squeeze. The college self is very happy. Great venue, full of Nashville vibes. It was odd to be there for something other than country music. Free and plentiful parking was a treat. Short walk and lots of benches and places to sit if you arrive early for a show.

Jody T — Google review

We were in town on a business trip and got to tour the Grand Ole Opry. Such a wonderfully unique experience! The tour guide we had was fabulous and entertaining- she made sure to cover the history of the place with a nice flair of fun.The video they showed made me tear up, you can really tell it's an honor for someone to be invited to join as a member. We got to stand on the stage and it's unbelievable! I definitely recommend doing this tour and I can only imagine how awesome a show here is.

Daydreanne L — Google review

My recent visit to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville was nothing short of a sensational experience. From the moment I stepped inside the complex, I was enthralled by its grandeur and warm Southern hospitality. The architecture, both inside and out, was a testament to the rich history of country music, and it felt like stepping into a musical shrine.One of the first things that caught my eye was the large gift shop, filled with a wide array of country music memorabilia and souvenirs. It was a country music lover's paradise. I couldn't resist picking up some unique keepsakes to remember the night.The Grand Ole Opry complex also offered numerous dining options and places to grab a refreshing drink, ensuring that guests could enjoy a delightful meal or quench their thirst before the show. The convenience of having all these amenities within the complex made the evening even more enjoyable.But what truly made the night remarkable was the size of the arena. It was just the right balance, not too big, ensuring that no matter where you sat, you had an excellent view of the performers on stage. And what a show it was! The tribute night featured Garth Brooks and several other country music legends, leaving the audience in awe with their extraordinary performances.My visit to the Grand Ole Opry was a memorable experience. The exceptional complex, a vast gift shop, various dining options, and an intimate arena made it a night to remember. If you're a country music enthusiast, this iconic venue in the heart of Nashville is an absolute must-visit. It's a place where the magic of country music truly comes alive.

Scott P — Google review

This is a wonderful venue to see great entertainment! The seats are Pews. *If you have any back issues the seat will get uncomfortable. Intermission is a great time to move and stretch while standing up.When purchasing Tickets for a show also purchase Parking. It makes it so easy to walk/use a walker /wheelchair under the lighted covered walkway to your vehicle and leave. Traffic moves really smoothly too.As you can see it’s decorated beautifully for Christmas. So much to take in. The Opry Mall is close too if you want to go out to eat or shop prior to your show.Alcoholic beverages are served at the bars set up in the foyer before a show and during intermission.Restrooms are located on the far right inside. The Restrooms outside on the far left are available to access before entrance inside.There is also the Axis Shop for purchasing tickets, the Opry Gift Shop along with The Roy Acuff House close by.You will not be allowed to enter until the entrance time. If it’s cold or rainy the Gift Shop or Mall are close options to wait.

Tammy L — Google review

We have been to Nashville many times, and never attended the Grand Ole Opry. Wow! We missed so much. This time we were guests of one of the acts (Shane Smith and the Saints), and the show was amazing! Great venue! Great show!

John R — Google review

Wonderful evening at the Grand Ole Opry. The show was fantastic. Larry Gatlin was a great host, very humorous. Loved him singing with his brothers. He really shared his deep feelings for how precious it is to sing at the Opry. He was so warm and welcoming to the new singer Mae Estes. Chuck Mead was great, lots of fun tunes. It was amazing to hear Leona Williams and learn about all the songs she had written. The Bellamy Brothers were fabulous, they did all there No. 1 hits, so much for to sing along with. The whole show was warm and comforting, like you were being entertained by family. It was my first Opry show, hopefully I will get to go again one day. It's a long way to go from Montreal, Canada. 🎵🎸🎶🎵🎸

Kathy A — Google review

All I can is for King & Country! Awesome experience and best concert where the sound was on point! Christmas time is always magical, but this had me in awe. There were so many sunshine moments on this trip, and I'm glad to have chosen to spend my Christmas here for 2023.

Melissa R — Google review

We had great seats and the view was awesome!! Thought it was a bit pricey but changed my mind... Was well worth the price!! We also did the after show backstage tour!! Also worth it!! You get a photo op on stage in front of the mic so bring or wear what you want to be seen in!! Get experience!!

John ( — Google review

It's difficult to explain how fantastic this show actually is. I'm not a massive country music fan, but, when in Nashville, we figured we should go. I'm so glad we did. It was a fascinating mix of big stars, up and comers, and forces behind the music industry that we'd never heard of, but turned out to be highlights. If you don't recognize the line up, don't let it dissuade you from going - our group thoroughly enjoyed everyone.

James M — Google review

Was a wonderful moving experience. Great backstage tour seeing all the dreasing rooms and areas the entertainers hang out. The theatre and stage was impressive. So much history and information. Can't wait to see a live performance. I do recommend getting tickets in advance. We just showed up but had to buy tickets for a later time or next day.

Dawn B — Google review

It is everything and MORE!!We grabbed the circle room experience in addition to our seats and it was amazing!A couple even got engaged in the circle room while we were there. It was light hors d'oeuvres and beverages, a commemorative photo and an intimate conversation with a grand ole Opry member.The Opry itself is iconic for a reason. You can feel the history and energy in the room and seating is amazing. Just looking around as they taped the television portion, it is soon forgotten when the performers take the stage and share their gifts.I can't wait to come back and see my next Opry show!! It is truly special and worth all the hype!!

Kelli K — Google review

What a great night! It's not cheap, and I think the earlier you book, likely the better prices you get.But I was surprised with how the whole thing worked. Multiple artists, 2-3 songs each, really good pace - we loved it.The atmosphere is great, although where it loses its 5th star for me - if you are sitting in the higher rows,.it wasnt quite loud enough. The view was great but I could hear conversations around me better than the music. The other thing, the on air advertisem*nts is kind of gross. I've never been to a show/concert where they are saying between every act, "and today's event is brought to you but (xx) because when you are in need, trust (xx), it's the #1 (xx) in America". Cheesy and weird.Did get to see Don McLean sing American Pie, Adam Wainwright made his debut, Connie Smith, but I think our favourite unexpectedly was Riders in the Sky. Cute, witty, funny and great.

Andre B — Google review

Wow! So many great performances all on one stage in one night! For best seats, buy tickets when you are planning to visit. We bought these tickets on Saturday for the Tuesday show. We were close by off to the side. For the best view, sit in the center where the performers are most of the time. Traffic is ridiculous as there is one way in and one way out. Give yourself plenty of time!

Terri C — Google review

This is our 3rd visit to the G.O. Opry. If we lived closer I'd go to a show there every month. It's a small intimate setting and the crowds are always respectful. No one is yelling, whistling, or standing up in front of you like at typical concerts. There's not a bad seat in the house. Acoustics are spectacular! Can't say enough Great things about this special Iconic experience. We love the Grand Ole Opry! It makes me want to move to Nashville!

Kay C — Google review

This was very awesome. We loved every minute. My teenager laughed and smiled quite a bit so it has to be great. I would highly recommend this to all. We liked the shop and the back stage tour. Which is take it or leave it but Connie was great. Wonderful stuff going on here.

Eric F — Google review

We stopped by for a tour of the Grand Ole Opry and it did not disappoint. It is a beautiful facility and the history is so rich. The tour guide was so knowledgeable and they take you back stage to see the unique and stunning dressing rooms. It was a wonderful experience and we are so happy we went.

Emili W — Google review

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Stones River National Battlefield

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Park

Sights & Landmarks

Stones River National Battlefield is a 570-acre park and cemetery that features well-marked trails and a visitor center, which provides information about the Civil War battlefield. The visitor center was designed to teach visitors about the site's history while remaining respectful towards fallen soldiers and apolitical. The National Park Service did an excellent job of presenting the information without bias towards any side of the battle - there was no mention of which party emerged victorious.

A very nice day for a visit. The driving tour is great, but it is walkable and great for bicycles. Something for everyone of all ages. Sites are well marked and easy to find. There is a self guided audio tour which is very helpful. Also very sobering to think of the number of casualties. You can spend as little or as long as you like exploring the park. Download the National Park Service app before you go.

Sheila H — Google review

Really great national historic site with a lot of intentionality put into capturing the history and events that took place. A few monuments that you were able to go see (accessible by walking) definitely add to the experience. This is a park that enables you to stop by on a day trip to Murfreesboro and is generally accessible by car. There’s pretty great biking infrastructure, and a visitor center that allows visitors to walk through a chronological record of “Hell’s Half Acre”

Zak M — Google review

Well designed visitor center that allows you to learn about the site and battle while also remaining respectful to the fallen soldiers and remaining apolitical. The NPS did a nice job of presenting this without a prejudice for one side being better or worse--specifically I didn't recall seeing any information on which side won the battle.It's about 8 minutes from the interstate and you can enjoy the full visitor center experience in as little as 30 minutes.

Brad K — Google review

If you are looking for a outing with the family or just want to get out and learn about the civil war and the struggles these men went through.This place is one of the largest battles and most causalities occurred in a short three day period.It’s humbling to walk amongst the soldiers graves and see the many that gave their lives during the battle.They have a guided tour you can take or you can go in your vehicle and drive among the trail to the actual battlefield places.Such a great trip for learning and seeing what they went through.

Brad — Google review

We are always pursuing more passport stamps! My kids enjoyed the Visitor Center and the drive through the battleground and past the Stone River National Cemetery. We saw 4 wild turkeys as we drove in and they "talked back" when my girls called to them "Gobble, gobble, gobble!" Junior Ranger activity books are free for kids, and completing one will earn them a badge. We spent some time (and money) in the gift shop... a bird guide, a couple children's books, Christmas ornament, and more stickers to stamp for our forgotten at home passport! Also there was a book for Family Activities. I do recommend as a great place to visit and learn some history and about local wildlife. There is a short educational film that shows reenactments (including head wounds and dead bodies) my girls found this a bit upsetting and said, "I hate wars, they make people die!" In my opinion, that's an excellent take away! I enjoyed the quotes from Ed Abbott.

Big B — Google review

Just stumbled onto this on our trip as we were making a stop in Murfeesboro and had some downtime to be able to visit this battlefield. Neat little battlefield that is very accessible to walk around, drive to and spend an easy 1-2 hours here tops.You will not be spending hours and hours here to see everything but for a a battlefield I didn't know exist before visiting, it was worth a little detour to get out and stretch our legs.

Mr. W — Google review

This park is awesome. Unfortunately, the history behind it is not, but the presentation of the history and historical facts at the time is just great. It is also horrifying at times to realize what those soldiers went through.I highly recommend taking in the whole park. It is truly an experience. The slaughter pen is unbelievable, especially when you realize the horrifying battle that occurred there.The folks at the visitor center were extremely helpful and friendly.Do not miss out on this park for sure if you are in the area.

Dan J — Google review

This is a battle field during the Civil War. This park you can drive to locations within the park to see certain important locations. You have an option to hear free audio (off your phone from a number you call) of the area you are in. If you enjoy history this can be a nice place to visit.

Giovanni S — Google review

There has definitely been a lot of work put into this place lately. I haven't gone here since I was a kid on a field trip. There are bike Lanes car Lanes and just beautiful surroundings. We even got to see deer!

Amanda F — Google review

Stones River is nice to have in town for a casual stroll. Today was a great fall day! Those who are into history will find this place rich with information about a time before..

Preston T — Google review

I appreciated that it was possible to visit this despite not having a lot of time. I was able to complete the visitor center and 5 of the outdoor sites in about 1.5 hours.The rock formations in the Slaughter Pen were interesting.

James M — Google review

Tucked into a city, this is a great place to see nature. I was surrounded by deer the morning I was there. As far as following the battle, it's not the easiest place to do so. If you have knowledge of the battle then what you see and walk/drive to would make some sense. There are very few plaques and almost no monuments. The visitor center is nice and the rangers there are very knowledgeable. Having the natl. Park app helps to follow along some of the high points that are preserved within the park.

Brian S — Google review

We will have to come back on a warmer day to walk the trails, but the driving tour was fun and perfectly fit the hour of free time we had while in the area. The visitors center was informative and rangers were friendly and helpful.

Kristy S — Google review

Humbling to say the least, a great spot loaded with history. An interesting multi stop tour of the battlefield, a cemetery, a nice museum & gift shop.

Hockey F — Google review

We did the booklets for junior rangers- ages 13-6 and it was fun. The books will be updated to the park for better outlining they stated, as it was a bit all over the place where to find the clues. The staff were super friendly & engaging. We absorbed history & discussed many aspects of war and the struggles as well as that each longed for home. They had audio to listen to writings. The only downfall we had was the field being sprayed where the tombstones were and figuring how to maneuver out without inhaling or getting on shoes. Cross walks have buttons you press to alert passing street to different portions to the park. Very clean bathrooms and great gift shop. Highly recommend the park.

Melanie C — Google review

It's a place that is rich in history and it walks you through it in the visitor center that they have. Everyone was all very nice and made us feel welcome.

Sandy L — Google review

It was an amazing experience walking the trails of this Battleground and learning its history via the visitor's center and the National Parks employees.

Donald D — Google review

The visitors center was great! We were greeted with a smile and given a map. We toured the small museum which was very informative and nicely laid out. The outdoor area had a a few monuments and fields but left a lot to be desired. I definitely recommend if you enjoy taking a walk and learning about history.

Opinion O — Google review

4.8

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4.5

(816)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (52)

3501 Old Nashville Hwy, Murfreesboro, TN 37129, USA

(615) 893-9501

7

Cummins Falls State Park

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State park

Nature & Parks

Historic site of 2 former mills is now a popular spot for swimming & hiking.

Beautiful place!We did the overlook and the base hike.The overlook honestly was not worth it. You could barely see the falls.The base hike was great! I'm sure it changes with the seasons, I was in October 2022, the water was no more then knee level throughout the river. I didn't think the hike was as difficult as others had described, besides crossing the river twice, and watching out for the slippery rocks, it was pretty easy getting across the huge boulders. The waterfalls were very nice and the fall colors were coming out too, overall very nice fun adventurous hike.

Noa K — Google review

This place is really beautiful. Due to recent rains the water was high. That and the temperature stopped us from hiking the gorge, but there were people hiking it. You could tell the water was cold. We hiked some of the outer trails, but a recent prescribed burn left most of the scenery charred. It was a bit windy at times and we ended up covered in soot. It was decent exercise for the day. 3/5/22

T S — Google review

What an amazing place! It was a challenging trail but so worth it! We experienced this with 3 adults (1 over 65) and 2 kids (10 and 6). Overall everyone enjoyed our time at the park. I would recommend the park have places along the trail with garbage bins but even without that... 5 stars!!!

Claudia D — Google review

We had been planning this hiking for a long time, so we arrived around 9:30 AM; for the first time, we did the tour, including the waterfall overlook, and then we took the Blackburn fork river trail, you can see map 1; the route was 2 miles, and we covered it in 1 hour 2 minutes to Cummins falls; I recommend patience and enjoy nature there is no rush, and the was stony path; There is a part of the trial where you have to cross the river, it is super slippery there.After swimming and submerging, and swimming in cold waters, the route was lighter see map 2; but you have to take your time going up to the parking area; it takes us 34 minutes in 1.1 miles.

Alvaro Z — Google review

CAREFUL! By far one of my most memorable hikes yet. You can access the overlook easily, but the hike becomes extremely strenuous once you travel to the base. You must have a gorge permit which you can purchase online and screenshot, but make sure to wear some water shoes with good grip bec you WILL have to enter some water along your journey. I'd recommend a backpack or fany pack to keep your hands free, but the views were definitely worth it.

Unjala — Google review

Definitely need good water shoes if you are swimming. Call ahead to see if the falls are actually open to swim due to rain. Falls were closed when I visited because it had previously rained a lot. Moderate hike up/down. I recommend hiking sticks. Look to the sides of the river for hidden small waterfalls. Watch for snakes. Saw 2 while there.

Norma F — Google review

Must get the permit to hike the gorge. It took a total of 1.5 hours from the parking lot to the base of the Falls. We crossed the river at the little waterfall on the right first. The water was about upper thigh high (I'm 5'2") - the 2nd crossing was a little slippery, the water was just below knee high - we followed the rock bed through back to the left side. The walk down to the river gets steep the closer you get. The hardest part of the hike is the walk back up from the river to the parking lot. The level was a 3 the day we hiked 5/8/22. The day before 5/7/22 it was a 4 - gorge closed. Go as early as you can because this is an out-and-back hike, it gets busy and some of the trails are very skinny.

Alieda S — Google review

This hike is amazing. You NEED water shoes, I was most comfortable in shorts and bikini bottoms as pants will get wet. Need to get a permit beforehand online. I also had a backpack and put my phone and car keys in a ziplock bag and boy did that save my life with the deep water, highly recommend if you don’t have a waterproof case. The water was waist deep in spots when I went since it rained all week, so definitely check the weather and know what to expect as well attire wise. It was pretty strenuous with a dog, but so much fun. I got there at 8am when the park opened so I could get pictures of the falls without people standing all over the falls. It was so peaceful going early. It’s not marked, but when you get down to the river, you turn left and hike upstream. You basically hike until the path runs out then cross the river and hike the path on that side. I crossed 4 times total the whole trip. I ran into 3 other hikers who were really cool and fun so we all walked together halfway to the falls. I can see why they say it’s hard for young children, I suppose if they are carried in a pack or you pick them up for certain boulders they could do it. But it’s tough! I was picking up my 50 pound pit-bull sometimes! It’s definitely worth the pain though 10/10 yes do it if you’re in the area.

Alexis — Google review

Fantastic swimming hole. Didn't seem overcrowded and rangers on duty to keep people safe. Dog friendly too! Small fee to enter the gorge but totally worth it. The hike to the falls is not super hard but there are some slippery/rocky parts. Bring decent shoes and have a spare dry pair waiting in the car and you will be fine.

Gary R — Google review

Wear appropriate hiking/water shoes! Geeze people are down there in flip flops! Lots of large boulders, slippery algae rocks when you have to cross through water, etc. Bring a backpack with lots of snacks and waters, and pack out your trash. This hike is such an amazing experience and well worth it when you arrive at the waterfall. Make sure to get your gorge access pass online to make things simple. People were jumping off the waterfalls, but it was only about 4 feet deep and all three people hurt their feet. Also, the rocks on the upper ledge are super slippery, one lady and child fell and slipped off into the pool below, and another man slipped and fell on the boulders trying to leave the falls area. My own daughter fell and took a chunk out of her knee. Also, check the weather and go when there's no rain a few days prior to help make sure the water is ankle deep and not thigh deep.Make sure you stop to see the fossils along the rocks, and enjoy the brisk water. We brought our own life jackets. Enjoy it!

Me O — Google review

Absolutely worth the work! AllTrails rates this as moderate. Definitely at the top in of that. Lots of goating over rocks. Some ledges pretty precarious. At times, far better to simply fight the river rocks and current. Super busy. Lots of people simply hanging out in the river and picnicking.Be ready to work your tail off. Park rangers will definitely make sure you are out of there.

Lorna M — Google review

Please take your water shoes to enjoy the hike.You will have to cross the river twice when headed towards the falls and twice again while returning.It can get strenuous if you are trying to avoid walking in the water and stick to the land.Pets had a great time.It's take about 3-4 hours for the entire trip.Most scenic and beautiful views at the falls.

Deepti K — Google review

Checking in and getting a permit to enter the water at the falls is worth it. The hike to the gorge itself is beautiful than when you actually reach it you're blown away. Wear sturdy shoes you don't mind getting wet, wear or pack a swimsuit. And throw a towel in a backpack. Don't bring anything you can't afford to get potentially wet. This is not an average hike. Technical terrain with rocks and small boulders. The water is cold but very refreshing on a hot day! Highly recommended this experience!

Clayton W — Google review

Amazing falls and the park has well maintained trails. Rocks are slippery of course but the crossings weren't too deep. Don't forget to plan ahead with a permit and for rain. It will close for any rain forecast due to risk of flash floods.

Madeline H — Google review

This was so beautiful!! I do think the park should warn you more about how tough it can be to actually get to the falls and have signs reassuring you of which way to go to get to the falls. You must, must, must have water shoes or sneakers on that you don’t mind getting wet and you must have good tread on your shoes. Once you get to the actual falls you realize it was worth all that trekking to get to them!!!

R S — Google review

This is one of the top favorite places to visit when we have friends and family in the area. We live about 2 hrs away from Cummins Falls and love to make a day trip out it! We make it a point to show off this Tennessee beauty every chance we can!!The hike can be a bit challenging for those some, but it is definitely doable if you're determined. Love that they offer life jackets and rangers are on stand-by.

Asury A — Google review

Such a beautiful waterfall!I recommend appropriate footwear (they will get we). There’s lots of rocks to maneuver around but a great activity overall. If it was summer I would definitely jump in the water.

Any O — Google review

Visited at the end of March 2024, and there were only a few other people there. There are 2 ways to get to the falls, a short way and a long way. You must get a permit to go to the falls. I went on a day it was supposed to rain, and the park staff said we will have to evacuate if it rains due to the area being prone to flash flooding. Once you get through the woodsy part of the trail, you will be walking along a very rocky river. You will have to cross it a few times, so be prepared for that. The rocks are slippery, strong currents, and waste deep water at times. A hiking stick and good shoes will help a lot. You can swim and walk on the falls. It is a dangerous area for flash flooding. They have life jackets on both sides of the river near the falls. There is also an evacuation route.

Leslie L — Google review

Beautiful area, go early for less people. I saw the falls from a super easy walk. I did not want to hike the gorge in March if it required getting wet. I didn’t see any people on the other trails I took. Not sure why but all restrooms were locked up. There is plenty of parking, dogs welcome on a leash. The park staff were friendly.

Beth R — Google review

Loved this park 👍🏻 well maintained. Nice campground across the road. Great hiking trails.

Mark U — Google review

It's only a short in/out hike to the overlook. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the overlook, but if you are out of shape, there you might want to allow a little extra time as there are a few spots along the trail that have moderate inclines to get your heart rate up. We arrived later in the day (4:45pm) and the gentleman by the visitors center said they "close" the trail to the overlook at 5 pm. So when we got to the waterfall, we were able to get pictures without any people in it. Otherwise, the gorge/base of the falls is usually rather crowded with folks swimming. The gift store is really nice, and was still open when we got back from the trail.

Victoria E — Google review

Great river hike up a gorge to a stunning waterfall that is tired and has a large pool of water at the base. Many great rocks to scramble over. Water proof boots are useful when crossing the stream a couple times.

Kevin C — Google review

Amazing place! We were lucky to have a beautiful 70° day in November. The water was low and had not rained recently. Definitely impossible to keep your feet dry, bring old shoes or sturdy sandals not flip-flops! Worth the rugged hike over large rocks, not for the casual hiker. The return hike back was just as rugged and then it's back UP the steep hill to your car! Walking sticks/poles would be a good idea.

S K — Google review

Really great place with nice staff. They were showing us a snake that looked awesome. They also did a great job at letting us know about the dangers of the gorge.

Ben S — Google review

It's beautiful there, but the walking path down to the creek before heading to the falls is a fantastic workout going back up🥵. Do that 3 or 4 times a day and you'll be skinny in no time😅😅. I went in the beginning of December so the water was very low. You could see the bedrock and walk on it. I noticed kinda a lot of trash on the sides of the walking paths and near wear the water meets the banks. The park needs to get in there and clean that up a little. Saw some Hawks and deer on my walk. Not one chipmunk or squirrel, which is weird🤔.

Joshua K — Google review

It's absolutely amazing. Beautiful trails. Peaceful place. Swimming hole at the waterfall. Great park Rangers. Definitely going back.

Becky W — Google review

The gorge and falls exceeded our expectations! Plan on getting wet feet at least. Use the 3 points of contact rule when scrambling over wet river boulders. (Or you might eat sh.t). Make sure to pack in and pack out. The trash left by lesser humans is a real bummer. Matter of fact, next I my partner and I visit we’re gonna being an extra trash back and pack to clean up what trash we find. I think the weekends are gonna be very busy especially through the summer. Try to get there early or on a weekday. Beautiful spot. $6 a person bc there is a limited number of visitors per day fyi.Make sure to use the restroom bf going down to the falls. Nowhere to even try to pee in the gorge. There’s nowhere to hide. LolMake sure to visit Rita at the country store at the entrance to the park. Great ice cream and wonderful service.

andykalber — Google review

4.7

(3908)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (57)

4.5

(682)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (58)

390 Cummins Falls Ln, Cookeville, TN 38501, USA

(888) 867-2757

8

Burgess Falls State Park

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Mentioned on

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State park

Nature & Parks

Burgess Falls State Park boasts of four waterfalls that cascade into a large pool via foot trails with varying levels of difficulty, ranging from moderate to strenuous. The park is incredibly beautiful and also features hiking trails, a butterfly garden, a playground for children, and a store in close proximity. Visitors are encouraged to visit the park at least once as it is an absolute must-see destination for waterfall enthusiasts.

This place is Incredibly Beautiful ❤ our first trip..about 2 hours 30 minutes each way but it was definitely worth the travel!! I'm sharing some of my pictures for everyone to see what we seen so you can judge for yourself! There is at least 4 falls but you do have to walk half a mile or so to get to the big tall one. They also have a Butterfly Garden, hiking trails, a playground for the kids, & a store very close.I encourage everyone to go see this but the people who are waterfall fanatics...IT IS A MUST!!!

Shannon M — Google review

This place is magical! Parking was available and not too crowded. There's a cute little playground for the kids and restrooms close by! There's a covered area behind the restrooms with tables and benches too! The parking lot is right at the trail entrance and as soon as you enter you are blown away by a tranquil waterfall! Stunning view of Burgess falls and super easy trail with only one part with stairs, maybe 30 or so stairs going straight up but if you can manage those you are golden! Not a super long hike but so worth the view! Love, love, love this little trail!

Mary W — Google review

We kayaked from Cane Hollow Recreation Area a few days after some big rainfalls. The trip to the Falls took a little over an hour and we took our time. The Falls were nuts given the large rainfall, but in an amazing way. This is a must do trip if you like waterfalls! Oh, nice launching area. Only porta-potties available and they are not on flat ground. Yikes!

Martie G — Google review

We love this park. If you take the lower trail you can see the lesser falls as well as the major one. They were all beautiful. The lower trail is harder with lots of roots that you have to be careful of and a large flight of stairs. There is an upper path that is mostly flat and much easier to traverse that leads to the main fall. From the main fall lookout there is also a path that goes down so you can look out from the top of the fall. My young adult sons loved that part. Also a ton of stairs on that path.

Jessica S — Google review

We walked the trail around 10am and the majority of it was all shady which made it very nice. The hardest part of the trail is if you decide to walk down from the view point to see the water up close. There are quite a few steps that are very steep! Beautiful hike and I loved the waterfalls!

Kimberly K — Google review

A wonderful place! They have both rugged trails, for runners, hikers, and dogs, and then they have the gravel track that's a lot easier for people who may want a more leisurely stroll. There are public bathrooms with water fountains and a little playground for toddlers. There is a community building if you need a place to have a party, and there are random picnic tables and open spots for picnic blankets. Highly recommend this spot!

Jasiel L — Google review

My pups and I really loved this park. The trails were easy to walk through. I have two small dogs and they did fine. It wasn’t busy at all and everything was beautiful. The falls were big and worth the walk. It’s so wooded, shaded and peaceful. It’s also close by to another state park that also has a pretty big waterfall. This was also dog friendly. I would suggest to anyone who wants to see some nature while visiting the city.

Devin G — Google review

Spectacular views, well marked path and a gorgeous fall day to adventure. We went early and arrived before others so it was more peaceful but it is a highly trafficked area. The bathrooms were clean and there were picnic tables and grills both in the open and under a pavilion. It was a lovely short hike with amazing views! The park had railings and steps and garbage bins along the hiking trail. Dog friendly too.

Beth R — Google review

I had not looked this lake up before visiting, such a wonderful suprise. That waterfall that's hidden in that lake is amazing. It was about an hour kayak trip from Cane Hollow (lots of parking there) Very nice lake, lots of wildlife and the water was perfect for swimming.

April S — Google review

First off. No matter how many pictures you take, the sights don't touch the quality of the picture. It's breath taking. Absolutely gorgeous.The hike itself. It's steep and strenuous, it makes a little easier since there's steps which doesn't make it seem as bad, (good cardio) but if you're a plus lady like myself with poor lung function, I advise you take it easy and slow, don't rush yourself. The end is so worth it and it's rewarding knowing you did it!!!We all had a blast, it was great fun. You'll enjoy it. We took our dog too and she had a blast!

Shawntee S — Google review

Went in late March, there was tons of people. The parking lot was nearly full. Go early. The trail to the falls was pretty easy with several great viewpoints. You can walk all the way down, and it will take you right to the edge of the falls. The trail does not go to the bottom of the falls.

Leslie L — Google review

Super cool hike to above the falls! If you like living on the edge, this is the place for you! You can walk out to the edge of the falls where there is rock and see it from the tippy top! Don't fall in though it's 135 ft down the falls. Pretty cool the history of the falls powering a mill to power the town back in the day.

Alieda S — Google review

Beautiful area! The trail was not at all crowded on a Thursday even tho the parking lot had quite a few vehicles. Happy to check this state park off my list! We really enjoyed the walk to view the falls. Beautiful scenery every where we looked!

Dawn W — Google review

Absolutely beautiful hike. You get to see falls in many different areas which is incredible and there’s a designated viewing area for each. The whole walk you’re surrounded by trees which this time of year (April) were pretty much entirely green. A few trees contained flowers and were in full bloom.

Nicole — Google review

Beautiful waterfall and easy hiking trail. Dogs on leashes are allowed. There is water access at the cascade near the parking lot and I think the only way to swim at the bottom of the actual fall is via kayak or canoe.

Kimmie B — Google review

Beautiful park with a nice and mostly easy to moderate hike.Walk right up from the parking lot to enjoy the cascading water immediately or take the journey down the easy to moderate path to the large falls. From there, you can view from the top or take the moderately difficult journey to the bottom of the falls.Worth the drive from any distance!

Kenny H — Google review

Such a wonderful park. The trail to the top of the overlook was moderate, but mainly due to the amount of stairs and spacing between each step. There is an access road that you can walk down to make it easier, but you will still have some stairs to navigate.

JF — Google review

Nice moderate hike with beautiful falls at the end. It took us about 20 min to slowly enjoy the route. Multiple falls along the way to the main one. Restrooms are nice, dog friendly, picnic places, dog friendly.

Mary V — Google review

Parking is ample. Restrooms attached to the pavilion is nice. There are a couple of ways to get to the main falls. The narrow flume trail is quaint. Lots of natural beauty to see on this route. Multiple small creeks flowing in with small falls. The cascades are great, the 2nd falls are nice, and the main falls are awesome. Really glad we made it to this spot.

Paul P — Google review

Fun little hike and absolutely beautiful! It's dog-friendly and parts of the hike can get a little narrow with all the trees and large roots.Because of the sections that can be slightly narrow, please please do not bring dogs that are not friendly toward other dogs. Ours was almost attacked by a larger dog that the owner couldn't handle and had slipped away from her.Even with that, however, I would definitely visit again.

Kimberly S — Google review

Was a nice little day hike! It took about 1.5 hours total with stopping at the lookouts. We thought it was going to be more strenuous than it was. Not a lot of hiking but some. Mostly walking paths through the beautiful forests. There are two waterfalls on the hike! Would go here often if it was closer to home

Nathan W — Google review

Updated to add more pics and say that it is still incredible being in this park!! The park is beautiful and the falls are incredible!! We took our fur babies and did the hike to the Overlook, the entire trail was amazing!!!

Carrie C — Google review

Beautiful place, and incredibly majestic with its waterfalls and views. Trails that guide you to different areas of the river, it is advisable to go in summer to enjoy the warm water. Parking area and bathrooms, area for children's entertainment. It is only 1 hour and 20 minutes from downtown Nashville.

Sandy R — Google review

Oh my goodness, this place was absolutely gorgeous! Several waterfalls throughout the hike and the last one is breathtaking. The hike was very nice, however, if needed, there is an easier way to access the waterfall by taking a road.

Tracey S — Google review

So beautiful. There are 2 trails to main fall. One of them is a gravel trail and is pretty easy. The other trail is closer to water. So more to see but it has A LOT of stairs.

Jeannie R — Google review

The 3/4 mile walk to the Big Falls was worth it. I walked on the gravel trail. It only had 2 moderate hills to walk up and had benches at the top of the hills if you needed to rest. 1.5 mile round trip.

Tammy R — Google review

One of the most beautiful waterfalls to hike to. The hike is about 1.5 miles roundtrip. Not a hard hike to do and well worth it. Multiple cascade waterfalls to view along the way. Burgess falls at the end is such a stunning waterfall to view from a platform and can walk down to the top of the falls afterwards. I recommend seeing this beautiful piece of nature.

Melissa M — Google review

Fantastic scenic place. Park area at top of falls offers a nice view.The bottom is accessible by kayaking about two miles and then hiking the final stretch (assuming the water level is down as was when we visited.Visiting the base is amazing. Scenic waterways w stellar views. We saw a bald eagle on the water while kayaking.When the water is low you’ll need to walk in sometimes rocky, muddy, and hilly areas. You’ll be forced to cross the water at times and climb over some larger rocks.Do it. It’s amazing.

Randy S — Google review

4.8

(3561)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (63)

4.5

(500)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (64)

4000 Burgess Falls Dr, Sparta, TN 38583, USA

(888) 867-2757

9

Cumberland County Playhouse

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Performing arts theater

Concerts & Shows

Dance school

Non-profit organization

Located in the picturesque hills of Middle Tennessee, Cumberland County Playhouse is a non-profit organization dedicated to showcasing the arts as an integral part of rural America. With a focus on opera, dance, and theatrical performances, it offers entertaining and educational plays featuring professional actors. Drawing over 80,000 visitors annually, it stands as a prominent cultural hub in Crossville. The playhouse boasts three stages for hosting concerts, productions, and dance programs.

This little gem is tucked in the beautiful landscape of East-Mid Tennessee. It’s between Knoxville and Nashville. The charming & rustic playhouse doesn’t do justice to the quality of the actors and stellar performances. We just saw “Murder on the Orient Express” and it exceeded expectations. Not only was the acting superb, the set designs and changes of scenery were impressive. All of the volunteers and staff there were so nice, welcoming and kind. The prices are very reasonable, with an average ticket price at $35.(And while the bathrooms are a bit dated, they are very clean and have a second ladies room inside the theater.) While waiting for the show to begin, walk around the side and relax in the darling gazebo. We grabbed the schedule for year and plan to return. Plus there are free outdoor concerts in the summer!

KLK 9 — Google review

My wife and I are back in Fairfield Glade after an absence of 10 years or so and based on our previous enjoyment at the CC Playhouse we purchased tickets this week for both Dial M for Murder and Beehive - The 60’s Musical. Both presentations were superb and the Playhouse is an excellent venue. We hope to return again next year.

Brian B — Google review

It's been years since I've been here but it is one of the best childhood memories that I have. Most may not remember Marion Sullivan's niece who used to follow her wherever she went but my favorite memories of hanging out with her was during rehearsals.I miss everyone one I met during rehearsals and that one acting camp I did that one summer!!! Everyone was always so happy and full of joy even when multiple runs had to be done of the same set. Hopefully soon I'll return until then I hope that you all have an amazing year!!!

Katerina J — Google review

We were looking forward to a family friendly comedy. Instead we heard a mom telling her daughter to live with several men to try them out. What awful advice for our young people.Several incidents of drunkenness. It could have been a really cute and funny play if the subject matter had been given a little more thought

Anne K — Google review

My husband Ray and I attended a performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this afternoon at the playhouse and the show was phenomenal! It was obvious that the cast was well versed on the script and had put forth great effort and many hours of rehearsal to perform a play that was attended by a sold out crowd! We have attended plays in the past and will continue to attend well into the future. Thank you, Cumberland County Playhouse for having us today!

Peggy J — Google review

Absolutely Fantastic! Eagle Mania was off the charts best show!

Irishman's T — Google review

Dial M for muder, we saw it today. It was very good the detective and cop in the second half made the show for me, the whole show was great. The people working there was very helpful and friendly.

Hugh T — Google review

Saw an amazing show in Scrooge! The playhouse is set in the hills of Middle Tennessee and you might think that they couldn't get good talent in there but they are fantastic. Jason Ross played Scrooge and was a joy to watch! Seating is a little tight as it is an older style theater. However, if you've never been, you need to check out the Cumberland County Playhouse!

Steve E — Google review

Went as a family and joined my Granddaughters girl scout troop ..The Best Christmas Pagent Ever was the Best Christmas Pagent Ever..The children in the play were Exceptional;the whole cast was wonderful. It is well worth seeing..There is no way someone could not like it. It was heart warming and touching, it brought out the true meaning of Christmas. Many Thanks to the whole crew for putting their hearts into the Play..lol even BOB ;)

Debbie M — Google review

This playhouse has been around for 57 years and is a regional favorite. They toughed out covid and are as successful as ever. On our visit, they featured Margaritaville. We got an opportunity to have our pictures taken with the cast. Pictures could not be taken of the play, but could of the facility.This year, we attended the opening of All Shookup... A Musical Comedy. It was loosely based on Elvis featuring his hits. It was the funniest play I've seen in a while. It was well choreographed and performed. The Playhouse does a fantastic job with its performances. It continues to win grants and special funding and accolades from multiple sources. It is well supported by local business and arts enthusiasts. I recommend Cumberland County Playhouse for Arts first-timers and veterans.

Larry H — Google review

Went to Cumberland County Playhouse and seen Little Shop of Horrors. I had a blast! Cast was great, and you could tell all the hard work they put into it. I would highly recommend checking this play out before it ends.

Brandon S — Google review

My daughter had a school field trip to see Junie b Jones batman smells and it was wonderful! The cast was amazing! The staff was extremely organized and helpful. 10/10 would definitely recommend catching a play if you haven't already.

Rachel M — Google review

My husband and I saw "White Christmas" today. It was absolutely WONDERFUL! I LOVED this performance! The actors were SO TALENTED and energetic! When the old man Hank found out about the surprise, his words made me cry. If this play comes back next Christmas, I will be there to see it!🥰👍

Sulynne D — Google review

Cheap concessions (popcorn & drink for $5!), comfy chairs, plenty of ushers to lead you right to your seat. Love the place!!! Cannot wait to visit more often next year :)

Liza G — Google review

Wonderful plays! Great singing! Just saw the show "Beehive " about songs of the 60's and it was wonderful!!!!

Cindy B — Google review

My wife and I bring 7-10 kids with us each time we go. Normally a group of 10-16 of us. We have seen elf, the best Christmas pageant ever, young frankenstine, little shop of horrors, junie b jones, Charlie and the chocolate factory. They do a great job and always impress for a regional play house we love going and supporting them. Looking forward to our trips next year as soon as they post new line up.

Tim J — Google review

Just got back from seeing the production of Charlie and the Chocolate factory. I’m so impressed with this show, especially Jason as Willy Wonka. His singing of Pure Imagination in the factory seen, took me back to my childhood, thinking of Gene Wilder performing. The whole troupe does a wonderful job, I highly recommend everyone see this production, you will not be disappointed.

Rick A — Google review

For a small company they put on professional shows. I have seen several shows here and I am never disappointed. I love the Cumberland County Playhouse!!!

Kim B — Google review

4.8

(290)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (65)

5.0

(475)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (66)

221 Tennessee Ave, Crossville, TN 38555, USA

(931) 484-5000

10

American Museum of Science and Energy

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Science museum

Museums

History museum

Museum offering educational & interactive displays exploring energy, with a focus on nuclear power.

Very fun, educational museum for all ages. Great information about the role of the uranium development for the “little boy” bomb during world war too. We learned lots that we don’t know before and they make it kid friendly so they learned a lot and were asking questions. Learning about our history is important for the upcoming generation. They have STEM classes for kids, including homeschool science classes. Definitely plan to bring our kids back for future classes.

Mallory P — Google review

I never had the chance to visit the museum in its previous location, however I can reinforce previous reviews that say this museum is very small. It's also hard to tell what age group this museum is catering to. The front half of the museum is very wordy, mature, and packed with information. The back half features many interactive displays obviously geared towards children. It seems like it would make more sense to have more interactive, kid-friendly displays throughout, rather than packed in the back of the museum.The staff at the museum seemed very friendly and knowledgeable, with some members being long-term residents and/or employees in Oak Ridge with firsthand experience related to the exhibits in the museum. One staff member approached us multiple times to share anecdotes relating to Oak Ridge, which was nice and unexpected!Overall, I liked the musuem. However, it was small and didn't have as many artifacts and relics as I had hoped. Unfortunately there were a lot of exhibits that only had paragraphs on the wall to read and didn't include the physical objects that really catch your eye and hold your interest.If you're looking for a museum exclusively relating to Oak Ridge or the Manhattan Project, I think the K-25 History Center down the road is slightly better, as it's roughly the same size and manages to pack more information and more artifacts into the museum. But if you're in the area and looking for things to do, it can't hurt to visit both as they both have their strengths and weaknesses!

Jacob B — Google review

Super nice and clean little place. The activity areas were nice (although some things were broken). The portions about the history of Oak Ridge and the atom bomb were interesting, but honestly, nowhere near as good as the old museum. My kids missed seeing all of the bombs that used to be there. They would love to go back however.

Amber H — Google review

Incredibly small, but the fee for entry isn't terrible at $10.00. You could absolutely see everything they have here in less than one hour. There are not a lot of actual relics, but they have a wide variety of 3D printed replicas of items of interest. Weekdays are full of school field trips so be prepared for a bit of noise if you visit during those times.

Brian S — Google review

Enjoyed this place. And a 3D printed Jeep. Come on. Informative.Manhattan project. I believe the bomb saved 1000s of lives.

Steven S — Google review

Four adults and my grandson went. It was very interesting for all of us. Not too crowded on Monday. Some interactive stuff like programming a mechanical mouse in the lab. Lots of nuke history.

Frederick B — Google review

Takes just over an hour to visit all the exhibits. Senior citizen rate $5. Cool gift shop w plenty of history books and gadgets. Perfect for me to geek out while the wife went shopping nearby. Thanks AMSE

OutdoorWood — Google review

The American Museum of Science and Energy is a fantastic place that is just jam packed with information, displays, and interactive features throughout - all related to science and energy contributions that the Oak Ridge National Laboratory were instrumental in making. The amount of information will keep you there for a couple of hours, and there are some games and such in the back that could keep you there longer. It's relatively inexpensive and well worth the admission price. Staff are very friendly and knowledgeable. I'd highly recommend this museum.

Jon M — Google review

This was inexpensive and informative stop! It's small, but don't let that fool you. There is a lot to look at and try.We gave the robotic arms our best shot and tried the brain games in the back. I wish I had taken a pic of the periodic table of games. It was such a fun room!All the examples of 3D printed objects were neat to see too.Can you imagine keeping an entire city secret in today's connected society?!

Patricia S — Google review

Loved the video at the beginning of the museum that tells how the area was used and that a lot of women were employed to watch the equipment. Plus, they talk about the effect that the atomic bomb had on Japan and how it ended the war. They also as you make your way through the museum talk about how nuclear energy is used in today's world in ways that have nothing to do with bombs. Again, age limit on this I think would be 13+ just because it has a lot of reading and I think younger kids would be bored in fact someone had two young kids as we were finishing the museum who were already bored and yelling. This site sits in an odd place as it's in a shopping center. They do have plenty of parking and if you are planning on doing the K25 Museum on that same day hold onto you receipt show it at the next museum and admission will only be $5.

Sd S — Google review

This museum gives an overview of the history and current role Oak Ridge, TN plays in the nuclear power and technology fields. There are some interactive displays that are entertaining and educational for older elementary aged children up to adults. I spent an hour and a half at the museum and was able to see all of the exhibits. I would recommend a visit!

Amanda N — Google review

An excellent museum in the heart of Oak RidgeOak Ridge has a rich history steeped in science and helping to build the atomic bomb and win WWIIThe Oak Ridge Museum of Science and Energy is a captivating destination that offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich history and groundbreaking scientific advancements of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The museum provides an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages. It showcases the remarkable contributions of Oak Ridge to the fields of nuclear science, energy research, and national defense. Through informative exhibits, interactive displays, and engaging multimedia presentations, visitors are taken on a journey through time, exploring the city's pivotal role in the Manhattan Project during World War II and its subsequent impact on science, technology, and society.One of the highlights of the museum is its comprehensive collection of artifacts, including historical documents, photographs, and equipment used in early nuclear research. These exhibits offer a tangible connection to the past and provide valuable insights into the scientific breakthroughs achieved in Oak Ridge.The museum offers educational programs, workshops, special events that further enhance the learning experience. There is a bus tour that leaves from here to take some visitors around Oak Ridge on a tour of the various key historical sites. Knowledgeable and friendly staff members are readily available to answer questions and provide additional information, ensuring a fulfilling visit.Overall, the Oak Ridge Museum of Science and Energy is a must-visit attraction for those interested in the history of science and technology.

Ward D — Google review

This was an awesome BSA Scouting trip with our awesome troop. The museum had many fun and interactive activities. We attended A demonstration of the Van de Graaff generator to learn about electricity. This is the hair raising activity that everyone loves so much! The gift shop was so fun with lots of interesting selections. Staff at the museum were so nice and accommodating.

Liz W — Google review

A neat and fun place to learn about nuclear energy and science. Several good hands on exhibit options.You won’t be bored and will learn and have fun at the same time. Fascinating and informative video worth viewing. Learn about nuclear submarines and neutron detectors, and have some fun with Archimedes Screws. Learn more about the Secret City and life during WWII.Exhibits are well laid out, and a lot of time and money was put into this museum and it shows. Gift shop has all sorts of interesting items for sale as well, most reasonably priced. Bring in a few quarters to play the pinball machine. See an entire Army Jeep completely made on a 3D printer (how did they even do that?) as well as a small car and an old robot. Such a unique mix of items that will keep you entertained as you explore the museum. Don’t let the fact that it is at the end of a mall fool you. This place is large and has something for everyone and very reasonably priced to enter. Even if passing through at least put this museum on your list.

J H — Google review

4.5

(1439)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (71)

4.5

(532)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (72)

115 E Main St, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, USA

(865) 294-4531

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11

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

National reserve

Nature & Parks

Historical place

Museum

Gateway to the West with historic structures & ruins, trails, cave tours, waterfalls & more.

This park is beautiful! The overlooks are incredible! Worth the drive if u don't live close by! Eastern Kentucky has beautiful mountains!! There is a huge parking area & bathrooms available.

April D — Google review

I was very surprised about this historical park which definitely exceeded all my expectations! There’s lots to see here and you can hike so many trails! I highly recommend going up the Pinnacle overlook as the view is worth the drive or hike! Also, make sure to bring the stamp book as there is lots of stamps at the visitor center!

Daniel D — Google review

Beautiful, historic, and lots to see and hike. So many things to see and can bring the family. The welcome center was really cool as well and highly recommend stopping in there to check out. Our family loves it!

Allyson W — Google review

Beautiful, serene, pleasant, historic National Park! Presently a Florida resident, I've been visiting the area for nearly twenty years (my partner owns a farm 17 miles east of the park.) I am embarrassed to admit this was my first visit to this area of the park (there are several different areas of the park) I can't believe this Beautiful, historic "hidden gem" has been right " under my nose" for the last twenty years and we just discovered it's peaceful splendor. From my knowledge of the area, this is the western entrance/side of the park. Located near the towns of Cumberland Gap and Middlesboro. The park offers a superb diversion from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It provides a safe, quiet, natural experience perfect for all ages to enjoy an outdoor experience with lots of fresh air. Regardless if visiting alone or with a group, the park offers many opportunities for recreational activities or relaxation naturally. There are trails for hiking and walking, featuring rivers, streams, waterfalls and scenic views. Well maintained and clean picnic shelters. The park welcome center is a great place to start your visit, surrounded by plenty of complimentary parking. The restroom facilities were clean and well managed. Of course, the absolute "highlight " for my partner and I is the abundance of wildlife within the park. Park Rangers maintain a visible presence in the park, making a visit to the park very safe. Whether you plan to visit for a few hours or the entire day, Cumberland Gap National Park is a perfect escape from the "norm". If you're in the area, and can use a breath of fresh air, you should definitely check out this beautiful, peaceful and historic National Park. Oh, I did i mention there is no charge to enjoy this great park?!?!

Alan H — Google review

Beautiful park in the Fall when the leaves are changing. If you like to hike there are several trails to choose from ranging from easy to hard. If you aren't into hiking you can drive up to the Pinnacle and a short, paved, handicap friendly path takes you right to the overlook. From the overlook you can see straight off to the Smoky Mountains in the distance, Joppa Mountain, and, of course, the Cumberland Gap. The visitors center is a great place to stop and get information about the park. Upstairs you can sit in some very comfortable rocking chairs and watch 3 short videos about the history of the park and Cumberland Gap which played a vital park in the countries expansion westward.

Sherry C — Google review

Day we went, there was a lady at the visitors' center showing how textiles were made by pioneers. She was very pleasant and informative. Held my girls attention. We drove up to Pinnacle Overlook, spectacular views, and a very curvy road. We hiked to the iron furnace and the Cumberland Gap historical marker from a parking lot in Virginia. Going to the landmarks was all uphill. Rangers in the visitors center were very helpful. Don't forgot you Passport Stamps! (They have a soft pad under the stamping surface,so don't rock stamp around too much or it's unreadable).

Erin C — Google review

Great hiking, so much to take in! We parked at the earthworks and then hiked up to the Pinnacle. The view is amazing! Be sure to stop by the visitors center for some great history, and if you're lucky you might catch some reenactors, too

Rebecca N — Google review

Had a great time here. My only regret is that I wasn't able to budget more time this trip. The views were awesome and the park is very well kept. I am trying to line up a trip early fall before the color change crowd rolls in.

Ron B — Google review

There are picnic tables along the drive to the overlook. Spectacular 180 degree view of 3 states. It's cool also that you get to see both ends of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel from Tennessee to Kentucky while standing on Virginia.4 miles of switchbacks and hairpin turns to get to the top. Elevation of 2,440 feet.You can drive or you can hike. Next time we will go back and hike.

Owen C — Google review

Beautiful park with breathtaking overlooks. Great walking trails with adequate rest areas. Bathrooms are well maintained and clean. Parking lot is large and plentiful. I would recommend going before or after the summer heat.

Adam H — Google review

Visitor Center is very clean, cool (in summer time), well decorated, and extremely helpful staff that give individual attention and help with maps and drawings if needed. There's a good sized shop inside and 2 10ish minute films to watch. Masks are a requirement for inside as of July 2022 but they provide them if you forget. Restrooms can be accessed outside not from inside Visitor Center. Top hikes and pinnacle are easily accessible from Visitor Center with plenty of parking and markers/signs.

Hannah T — Google review

We had an amazing time exploring this area. What a beautiful National Park. Trails are well maintained and marked. We absolutely will come back again to explore more.

Emily E — Google review

Hadn't been to the Pinnacle since my son was probably 1 so nearly 15 years later we finally got to come back. It was a beautiful day and not very crowded like some of the other Parks. Great views and also saw some of the wildlife going up. My whole family enjoyed it. We will be back soon.

Tammy S — Google review

The fall foliage is in full shift, and the views are breathtaking! Go all the way to the top to the Pinnacle for spectacular panoramas. If you are on a motorcycle, your skills better be up to the task for numerous challenging hairpin switchbacks. It is worth the ride, whether you're in a car/van/truck or on a motorcycle. Don't miss it!!

Mike — Google review

A lovely area good for a quick picnic or a good hike. Absolutely gorgeous view at Pioneer Lookout at the top and the Park Rangers were very polite and helpful. Would love to come back here when I have time to do a long hike.

Magic F — Google review

If you're going into Tennessee and passing by, I highly recommend the quick stop to check out this amazing view. Over 2,500 feet up, you can see three three states in one place. There is a short walk from the parking lot. Restrooms are also located at the parking area.

James — Google review

Hiked from Civic Park to Sand Cave with an overnight in the camp site. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, but this hike is not for the faint of heart.

Zacque H — Google review

Trails are good lengths, some flat and some a little challenging. But overall, it's very beautiful for hiking. The road to Pinnacle Point is a very curvy road. But also a beautiful drive.

Lois D — Google review

Oh my gosh! This is such a beautiful and historic American Icon. How the west was won starts here! There is a great visitors center and so many hiking options. The drive through the Gap Tunnel is so cool.I saw wildlife and nature’s stunning vistas galore! I love it here!

Chris P — Google review

We went out of way on our trip to visit the Gap. It was well worth it. The only thing I wish is that there was more clarity that there was a hike to the tri state point. We were not prepared time wise or how we were dressed. It was something we were looking forward to but were not able to take the time. Beautiful area!

Anna Z — Google review

So much history to see, beautiful scenery to look at, and trails to explore. You can stand in three states at one time. You can go to the top of a mountain and see for miles around in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. Take a day and explore, you won't regret it.

Dennis J — Google review

4.8

(3230)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (80)

4.5

(608)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (81)

Middlesboro, KY 40965, USA

(606) 248-2817

12

Market Square

Sights & Landmarks

Points of Interest & Landmarks

4.5

(2987)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (82)

Knoxville, TN 37902, USA

13

Zoo Knoxville

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Zoo

Zoos & Aquariums

The Knoxville Zoo is a great place to visit for families with kids, as it offers educational experiences and plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. From camel rides and carousels to splash pads and even a family petting zoo, there's something for everyone at this zoo.

I have been coming here since 2000 with my family. We are proud members! One of our favorite zoos. Not as big as the Nashville zoo, but they just seem to have better Layout /Exhibits / Lot of places to stop and rest with benches, Picnic tables. Not to meet you boo with the zoo but Halloween is our favorite thing every year. I don’t like the fact to expose you have to go through the gift shop to exit the zoo. Now that usually causes a little problem with the kids. That really the only thing I hate about this zoo. Should be an option to exit without going through the gift shop.

Carolyn S — Google review

One of the best zoos I've been to. The animals seem happy and active, and not only are the exhibits top notch with multiple view points, some of which are inside (with A/C!), but the walking paths are engaging with thoughtfully placed water misters and shade! So much care for the animals and guests. Plenty of attractions to keep kids happy, the food is actually good and reasonably priced. Definitely worth a trip!! 10/10

Megan B — Google review

I live about 45 minutes away from Knoxville and yearly we get memberships to the zoo. I highly recommend doing so if you live in the area! The zoo is smaller than many zoos, but still has a lot to do and see for kids of all ages. They’ve recently renovated their habitat for reptiles and it looks great! They host seasonal events and activities (Boo at the Zoo, dinosaur takeover, etc.). The splash pad is great, the petting zoo and play area are cute, and the food at the restaurants are (expectedly) overpriced, but good quality. They do well in their maintenance and cleanliness and it seems like the animals are well cared for.

Megan F — Google review

We had a great time at the Zoo Knoxville. We went with three kids under 5 and three adults on a weekday morning. We did not have a wait to get tickets or enter the zoo. The zoo is very well laid out with easy to navigate paths and signs, with bathrooms / changing rooms always close by. There was something for everyone in our group with fun exhibits and explanations for all the fun and unique animals. We brought in our wagon and alternated from pushing our kids or letting them run along the paths to the next exhibit. The zoo has a variety of animals in exciting enclosures, a petting zoo, splash pads (not open when we went), a kids playground, and lots of photo opportunities.There are many food stands, restaurants with indoor and outdoor eating areas, however many of them were not open when we were visiting.The other unique set of displays in this zoo is their dinosaur exhibits where there are large robotic dinosaurs that move and make noise. My kids really loved those!Overall the zoo took us about 2 hours to complete, which was the perfect time for short - attention spans and we ended right before lunch. I would definitely go again to explore the splash pad and playground areas as well as to see the well cared for animals again.

Sherlyn S — Google review

We love Zoo Knoxville! My daughter adores all her animal friends who live at the zoo. She is a big fan of monkeys, red pandas, ghiraffes, otters, and tigers. The zoo is well arranged for ease of visiting. This zoo's trails run in loops and the animals have reasonably large well appropriated paddocks. There is plenty of shade for the animals and humans that are at the zoo. The zoo has sunscreen and hand sanitizer dispensers throughout their facilities for sanitizing and preventing children from getting sun burnt. There is also a splash pad for children and parents to cool down during the hot of the Summer. This zoo is definitely a world class Zoological Park.

Jason H — Google review

We love this zoo! The staff is so friendly, and very knowledgeable. We had the opportunity to go to a party hosted privately after hours, and to have the zoo to ourselves was such a wonderful experience. The guided tours, refreshments along the way, feeding the giraffe and a catered dinner, just wow! They pull out all the stops!

Ashley R — Google review

For about 10 yrs we have bought yr passes...we have skipped a year here and there before openings of new exhibits...we are such a big fan of knoxville zoo...they have some neat exhibits and fun experiences...till September you can walk the trails and see the dinosaurs and some move...the new outer space is one of our favorites. Being up close to red pandas and a sloth is pretty cool too! Not to mention riding carousel.

Sherri B — Google review

It was a wonderful day with my son, their Uncle Wesley, and 2 & 3 yr old granddaughters. Their parents were on a BD and Anniversary get away. It was miserably hot so the misters were nice to walk through. All the animals were out and we seen them all but the Bears. We actually noticed how Healthy all the animals looked too. We are so very proud of Knoxville Zoo. The moving and roaring Dino's throughout was exciting. I wish we had known more about the Dino Eggs while we were actually there. But my 3 yr old found them anyway. The old Safari Jeep was a perfect idea for kids to play in. It was truly a wonderful day to spend with my grown son and our little ones.

Kim H — Google review

We love coming to the zoo. We first started our excursions because we were socializing our Service Dog and what better place to introduce distractions? The animals all loved our dog and made the trips more exciting. Now we enjoy coming with family, in particular our little niece and nephews. Well worth the price and time spent. Members get food and gift shop discounts, so that's a plus too!

David M — Google review

We love this zoo so much!!! Great reptile exhibit indoors for inclement weather. Love the new otter habitat too! Plenty of good food options and places for kids to play between visiting the animals. Kids got to feed a sloth one time too!

Courtney C — Google review

A pretty decent zoo for the price. It's about $25/person to get in, and you can easily spend a few hours here. They have a good amount of things for small kids to keep them busy. There's a nice play area, petting zoo, carousel, and a splash pad. The assortment of animals is pretty standard for a zoo. I did appreciate the turtle and frog section they have set up. The gift shop is very pricey, so get your stuffed animals elsewhere and skip the markups.

Beans W — Google review

Great experience. Lots of animals and very spacious. This is one of the better zoos that I've been to. I think the directions are a little difficult to follow, But ultimately you will manage I really enjoyed the up close and personal tiger area and then the lion area.

Scott G — Google review

Giving a three stars simply because 3-4 exhibits was empty. We wasn’t able to see the zebras, tiger,otters, rhinos they where no out. I’m unsure what was going on but my little girl was so sad about the zebras. The dinosaur exhibit was truly wonderful. We have a Dino obsessed little boy and he was amazed. They made the whole trip worth it just to see him smile. Over all nice zoo would recommend updating the strollers too they were a little run down. But I do like that they have that option to be able to rent one. Parking was a mess but not the zoos fault it was just a busy time.

Alice W — Google review

The Knoxville Zoo is a great place to spend the morning before the day gets too hot. Even when the animals are too hot, you can still see them indoors as these spaces have glassed viewing areas. My daughter and I spent around 2 1/2 hours viewing the animals and reading about the various conservation programs such as the Red Panda Preservation. Surprisingly, the Dinosaurs at Dawn exhibit was also a favorite and we were impressed by their animatronics. Parking was free and easy. The other visitors seemed to be local parents/grandparents with small children.

Lindsay C — Google review

Went to the Knoxville zoo today with my kids. We went up to get our tickets and the girl charged me for my two year old who should have been free. After I corrected that she also charged $5.00 for parking. The lot was so full we had to park over by Muse and we still got charged for parking. So for four of us we paid $80.85. That's kind of steep for a zoo this size. Once inside we realized many of the animals were not outside. Many enclosures had nothing to view and several people were commenting on it. Also couldn't help but notice lots of the concessions stands were closed as well. It's spring break and it was very crowded. My kids rode the train and the merry go round and both were an additional $4 per kid per ride. They did however enjoy both. What animals we were able to see my kids enjoyed. They also loved the dinosaur a lot. The petting zoo was a favorite of the kids as well. I gave three stars because my kids did enjoy the experience. My girl and I were somewhat disappointed and probably had a two star experience. They need more animals and more viewing opportunities for the animals they do have. The kids were entertained and I guess that's all that counts. Being forced to exit through the gift shop with kids felt like a final cash grab. Water for $3.50 in the vending machine with all the water fountains off was frustrating. I would reluctantly recommend a visit but not really enthusiastically. We wished we had a better time but we're just being honest.

John G — Google review

Nice little Zoo. (I'm from San Diego, and our Zoo is very large and more than one park, which is why I said little Zoo.) They do a nice job with the enclosures. Fun outing to take the Grandkids for the day! They're doing a little remodeling, so there were a few interruptions to the flow around the park. They have the natural habitat type of enclosures, which I appreciate. Lovely weather, we had a lot of fun! I also appreciate the fact that they have free admission for Veterans! Good job!!

Sheryl D — Google review

Have been to many of the zoo's throughout the US and this has become our favorite! At the end of our 1st visit we bought memberships and going back regularly. Love the layout of the animals and allows you to feel like you are up close and personal. The animals all look so healthy and happy with their unique enclosures. Even on a cooler cloudy day, the zoo is a great place to visit and enjoy a walk. A must go for everyone, it won't disappoint.

Lena M — Google review

Great zoo. Nice place for the family to enjoy an outing. Lots of cool animals. Make sure to visit the Arc building. It has several snakes and neat things.

Nitak H — Google review

Very clean. They have fun interacting animals And they also have extinct animals like this One that Is mixed with a Tiger bear and has horns on his head. And they're also coming out with a dinosaur Except they have fun interacting. Little rides for the kids like under 4 or 5 or 6. And you can put them on the little scooters that are shaped like animals and you can ride with them around in the park. They also have a petting zoo a playground and the sandbox for them. You should go.

Anthony T — Google review

This was my first visit to the Knoxville Zoo, and I have to say that I was expecting a much better experience than the one I received. I'll start with the low points:The animals seemed...sad. Most of them were sleeping or hiding. So, you don't get to see half of the animals that are advertised. And the ones that you do see (for the most part) seem exhausted and miserable. The glare on some of the exhibits make it nearly impossible to see in when the sun is out. Accessibility appears to be limited in some areas of the Zoo. Lastly, the gift shop isn't even worth visiting in my opinion, there's hardly anything related to the zoo itself.My favorite and what I consider the best part of the zoo was the amphibian and reptiles exhibit. But beware, it can get very hot in there due to the humidity and crowding. So, I would avoid it if you have breathing issues. I really enjoyed it though. They have some cool snakes, lizards, turtles, and frogs. Plus that's where their sloth is located! Loved him. Would have totally stolen him if he wasn't so high up. The Gorillas are also amazing. I could have stood and watched them for hours. They have so much personality.That's about all I have to say.

Tiffany P — Google review

The Knoxville Zoo is a fantastic place to visit. With a diverse range of animals and well-maintained habitats, it provides an enjoyable and educational experience for all ages. The staff is knowledgeable and passionate about conservation, and they offer informative talks and feeding sessions. The zoo's layout is easy to navigate, and there are plenty of shaded areas to take a break. It's a great destination for families, animal lovers, and anyone looking to support wildlife preservation. Don't miss the red pandas and the reptile exhibits – they are a real highlight!

Matt H — Google review

The Knoxville Zoo is always a blast. If you have kids and/or love animals, I highly recommend visiting. Some of these pics are from their temporary Planet Prehistoric exhibit, which is pretty cool.

Tiffany B — Google review

Zoo Knoxville was great, however some of the enclosures did not have any of the animals posted that was supposed to be in them (just a few enclosures). We did get to see several animals which did make for the empty enclosures. We stepped into one of the cafes got in line to grab a drink. The cashier was putting souvenir cups together and putting the straws in them with her bare hands (should of been wearing gloves) we saw this and left the Cafe. Our experience was great but could have been better. We will come back to the animals.

Chris A — Google review

So fun! We thought we were done in 2 hours then quickly realized we missed a whole section of the zoo in the back with elephant and rhino and more! We will definitely be back.P.s. - $5 for parking unless you're a member!

Jess P — Google review

What an amazing zoo! My toddler loved that for many of the animals there were multiple views you could look through to see them! There were many cool activities throughout the zoo which made the experience even better! We will definitely be going back!

Valerie L — Google review

Great place to take your kids of any age! Yes some days the animals are hiding and you don’t see much but other days they are out and about it’s amazing to see! Some times they even have zoo mascots come out and interact with the kids! I think the food is a bit pricey but overall a great zoo experience!

Marissa L — Google review

We love the Zoo! We are season pass holders if you are a family and plan on going more than once get the pass it’s totally worthy it. They have great events (Boo at the Zoo) and you can even get married there! I’ve officiated 3 weddings there. The staff is always friendly and willing to help you. They also have a great kids area with a sand pit, a little water feature (not together) and an aviary that you can going and touch the birds!

Happy N — Google review

Nice selection of animals, it's nice how big the exhibits are. Just a lot of walking. As well as the gift shop was nice just seemed high price but still bought from. .kids enjoyed the zoo.

Amy G — Google review

Absolutely beautiful zoo. It is kept very clean and the animals seem very well taken care of!! Also we visited the day after Tonka was euthanized. So sorry for your loss :(

Kimberly W — Google review

4.5

(11066)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (88)

4.0

(1390)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (89)

3500 Knoxville Zoo Dr, Knoxville, TN 37914, USA

(865) 637-5331

14

Cades Cove

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Ravine

Sights & Landmarks

Cades Cove is a valley located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that offers a scenic drive through preserved homesteads and churches, providing a glimpse into mountain life 150 years ago. The Cove's 11-mile loop allows for leisurely exploration, with opportunities to observe wildlife such as black bears along the way. Short trails provide additional access to the area's natural beauty. Take your time and soak in the history and stunning views of this popular destination.

Absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful scenery plus lots of wildlife we saw lots of deer, horses, turkey and plenty of other birds.

Jessica P — Google review

This was my third time being at Cades Cove in Tennessee. I've had the opportunity to see several black bears on each occasion. I got within 20 feet of one this time and got some great videos along with photos. There are also several deer along with other wildlife. The backdrop of the smoky mountains all around you is worthy of the trip as well. This is an 11 mile loop that you can drive at your own pace with several locations to pull off for photo opportunities.

Jamie S — Google review

This was so much fun. Definitely bring snacks and drinks if you are going through in your car. It was such a cool experience to see how they lived. I loved getting out and going through the houses. It was also a great view of the mountains and wildlife. While we were driving through, there was a bear behind the fence, and it was awesome to see it so close. Another great thing is that a park ranger went to where the bear was spotted and made sure everyone and the bear was safe.

Ellie W — Google review

One of my favorite places to go, to meditate and pray after a long week. Whether I see bears or not, I love the landscape and scenery, especially the clouds against the mountains.

Susan S — Google review

A great drive though nature with beautiful sights at every turn. The loop is spectacular with trees, rapids filled streams and flowers where ever you look. The store and bicycle rental is convenient and fun to look through. They have a wide range of souvenirs and items for sale. A very peaceful place to visit or to camp.

Louis E — Google review

Beautiful place to vacation year-round,Me and my family have been going as a tradition since the early 1950s from the hiking trails to the wildlife to having a peaceful ride around the loop, there is some thing for everyone, and I look forward to coming back every year!

Finley M — Google review

The Cades cove scenic loop is one of the best places to see eastern black bear, and of course the scenery and historical log buildings are great too. The campground has no hookups or showers available (flush toilets and potable water are though) but the sites are not too close and the wooded setting is nice with lots of wildlife in the campground.

David L — Google review

Many very nice sights to see! The views of the mountains are unbelievable! There are many smaller structures some dating back 200 years! Small pull offs and trails all along the way! We saw many deer, unfortunately no bears tho. The loop is one way with many sights to see! Definitely worth the drive!

David S — Google review

When exploring the Smoky Mountain National Park, don't miss Cades Cove. It's 11-mile loop provides access to a variety of homesteads and churches that give insight to life in the mountains 150 years ago. Take your time. Enjoy the views. Read the signs. Look for wildlife. Allow yourself to be transported back in time to a much younger America.

James A — Google review

This is another must visit attractions in great smoky mountains national park. This a very scenic 11 mile one way loop road that offers amazing views of the nature and wildlife. You can slowly drive along the loop road or even do biking. Cars are not allowed on Wednesday but you can bike or walk down the loop. Rest of the days cars are allowed. One can easily spend 2 to 4 hours depending on the slowness of traffic. Most of the times traffic slows down if they see any wildlife. There is a visitor center located half way the loop road where there is restroom and a small gift shop. Most of the times one can see bears, deers, turkeys, etc.,. There is also a information center at the start of the loop. This is definitely recommended.

Nareshkumar A — Google review

Amazing views and chance to see wildlife! Get there early before traffic backs up too much and stop at restrooms at campground before you depart, could be long time till next restroom at visitors center.

Kent 1 — Google review

It was wonderful. We made the circle 3 times. In the first lap we enjoyed the nature and saw 2 coyotes, we started the second lap around 6:30 pm and we managed to see a black bear and lots of roe deer, and the third lap was magical because the meadows were full of fireflies. We haven't seen fireflies for a long time in our country, barely one a year and this was really magical for us. We enjoyed it, it was like being in a fairy tale. The road is 11 miles long and goes only one way, but since there is always a lot of cars, and everyone wants to see and take photo of both the scenery and animals, the first lap with few stops lasted 2 hours. We drove for almost 4 and a half hours and we are not sorry. We enjoyed it to the max. Must see for everyone.

Jelena V — Google review

I've been wanting to go for years and it was great! Don't go in expecting to be out in under an hour. The loop is not meant to drive through fast and if you want to finish in under that, just don't go. You may see some wildlife but if people see a bear, they act ridiculous. If you're expecting to see a bear, you may want to just try a nature trail or short nearby trail. Bear sitings aren't always guaranteed.

J H — Google review

We had an awesome time driving through here! I came in the off season so it was slightly less crowded than usual, but still pretty busy. We saw two bears, some wild turkey, and a fox which was cool. Overall this was a super scenic drive that I would definitely recommend to anyone in the area!

Ethan U — Google review

Beautiful place! We saw so many bears . Took a lot of pictures. There was a lot of wildlife to view. The mountains looked so beautiful.

Terri W — Google review

My husband and I hiked the Abrams Falls trail. The trail was absolutely beautiful and we had a wonderful time. The drive there, however, was a bit stressful. They have signs on the scenic loop saying not to stop. We got behind several people who stopped every time they saw a deer or sometimes for no reason at all. There are many areas that allow you to pull off the road to stop and look, but many people just stop in the road and no one can pass. The road is a single one way lane. We ended up taking about 30+ minutes to drive the short distance to the trail head. Leaving was even worse. So if you go, please be courteous and pull over if you want to stop to look.

Stephanie W — Google review

Beautiful view. Go well fed, bring snacks for the kids, use the bathroom before you go. It's a one way loop with other cars and pulloffs. Don't stop in the road. Do stop at the visitor center, look up hours of operation and expect to spend more than an hour to make it through.

Kelly S — Google review

Breathtakingly beautiful scenery. We were hoping to see bears on our visit, but we didn't spot any this time. We enjoyed seeing deer and turkeys. The untouched vast landscapes are phenomenal. I'd highly recommend this drive to anyone.

Jennifer S — Google review

A must see scenic route! If fortunate, you’ll see wildlife. Note: sometimes it’s possible to not see any, but still give it a shot! You won’t be disappointed regardless because the scenery is breathtaking!

Jereomy C — Google review

I’ve been going here my entire life and it never gets old. Amazing views of scenery and wildlife. Ignore the review from the guy who said there were no restrooms on the loop, there are multiple restrooms along the loop. Check this place out.

Scottie E — Google review

One of our favorite places to go while visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park. An easy to drive scenic loop full of beautiful nature, wildlife and history. If you are lucky you might even get to see a black bear.

Warren’s R — Google review

I don’t understand the hype about driving through this valley. There are so many other beautiful areas of the park with breathtaking vistas. It is a good location if you want to see some old wood cabins and churches built by the first European settlers.

Carol M — Google review

I wanted to see a bear so bad but I don’t think they are out too much yet. We did see lots of deer and turkey! It was a beautiful drive plus we managed to hit a quiet time so there wasn’t a ton of traffic yet either!

Holly — Google review

This is a must do at least once in your life as a wildlife excursion that has no script and is different in each season and each separate visit offers a unique but safe interaction with nature. Be prepared for delays when bears or deer are close by even if they aren't by you traffic will clog... Allow 30 mins to 1.5 hrs longer than gps calulates. Also have a beverage and snacks at the ready it took over 3 hrs for us to get thru it but its worth it

Darby F — Google review

Always enjoy seeing the deer, foxes, bears, etc . Also, there are many rustic cabins, churches, and an old mill. Many trails to explore, a waterfall, an old cave, and many other things to see. During the warmer months, they have entertainment such as rustic music, srup, or molasses making at the visitors center at the halfway point

Philip S — Google review

We love Cades Cove. It’s such a beautiful place. We used to go there a lot when I when I was younger, we would camp for weeks at a time, and this was the first time I have been back in many many years, but no surprise. It was still beautiful the scenery all the wildlife we seen so many bears as you can see in the picture below and I sure enjoyed the ice cream and the gift shop. Everyone was so friendly. It’s just a beautiful place that the Lord has gave us to enjoy his creation. All the trails were marked very well. All the old churches were steal in remarkable shape and all the Rangers were friendly.

Jerry C — Google review

This place is a gem!If you end up going, don’t stop in the middle of the road!! There are places to pull off the road literally everywhere, yet folks were still stopping smack dab in the middle. It’s a one-way loop, and when you stop, you hold everyone up. Don’t be that person.

Keith L — Google review

Nice, fun loop to drive through. Daily access is super cheap and there's plenty of rest stops and bathrooms along the way. There's beautiful landscapes all around and plenty of critters abound. Just keep an eye out for the black bears, as when they show up, everyone is going to stop in their tracks and take pictures as they travel.

Sean G — Google review

Cades cove always delivers awesome beautiful trip sad I didn't see a bear but very beautiful also if you visit please don't allow your children to write on things

Michelle A — Google review

Just visited in the beginning January and it was still absolutely beautiful. We even got to see some deer. Plan on spending 2 to 4 hours to see the whole loop And probably worse when it is busy. There is only one restroom I noticed on the whole loop. Definitely worth the visit.

Catherine J — Google review

Beautiful place to visit especially if you have kids who love exploring and seeing animals. I do recommend going during the week and at lunchtime or later afternoon. Those have been the slowest times and we were able to explore without feeling rushed!

Kaitlyn L — Google review

Beautiful park and very friendly staff at the park store. We didn't see any bears because they were hibernating. We did see plenty of whitetail deer, though. Can't wait to go back in April when the bears are out.

Traveling S — Google review

4.7

(2981)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (97)

4.5

(5611)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (98)

Tennessee 37882, USA

15

Smoky Mountain River Rat Main Tubing Outpost

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Raft trip outfitter

Water & Amusem*nt Parks

Theme Parks

Smoky Mountain River Rat offers tubing gear and family-friendly trips on the Little River, making it a top activity in the Smokies. Adult tickets for tubing down two separate river courses are just $15 with the option to tube as many times as you like. The outfitter caters to kids aged 2 and up and is dog-friendly, making it an ideal experience for families. Booking online saves you $2 off ticket price, so take advantage of this great deal!

This is such a great time!! My family really enjoyed the chill side. Our daughter loves jumping off the cliff. Actually got my mom out there who has never done anything like this. This was our second time and many more to go!! Thanks for the great service and awesome time. The only thing I would do is have someone out there selling food.

Ben A — Google review

My wife and I went tubing here for the day and it was a great experience. There are two separate outposts, and you can do both (and you might as well because you pay for it) and they're within a mile of each other. Definitely kid friendly and even pet friendly (you can put your dog in a special tube if you want) the staff were very cheerful and helpful as well. If you make a reservation online you will save approximately $5 per person. The main stretch takes about 2 hours to float down the river from start to finish while the second one is only about an hour. (2 miles, and one mile, respectively). Highly recommend if your on vacation or even just a relaxing day on the river. You need to either bring water shoes with you or purchase a pair there because when the water is low you have get out of your tube and walk short distances on slippery rocks. I would also recommend bringing a long walking stick or buying one there to help push off rocks if you get stuck. Overall has a great time here would definitely recommend.

Mitchell B — Google review

We had a great time, water was cold but felt good to me with the heat, very clean facility. Easy and quick pick up at the end of ride so you can go again. Price was awesome, would suggest getting one of the paddles to help you control your tube, can't take anything as far as ice chest is just you on a tube that has 2 handles and the life jacket they require you have, you don't have to wear it but have to keep it with you.

Nolana F — Google review

Took a large group of 14 ages 5-69! Water was low so some of us went slower and got stuck on rocks, but overall very fun time! Point A is for all family and has a spot to stop and jump off rocks for those brave enough to do so! Very busy, so don't go if you want a serene float down river. Point B has more rapids and is shorter but with low water it was difficult to navigate. Would try again when water is at normal level. More peaceful because less people on river. Float by lots of busy campgrounds and people are in water having fun, but still peaceful. Cost is very reasonable for all day adventure, but make sure to purchase prior to visit.

Brandi B — Google review

We had a blast! We went down the family friendly side with my family and we all had a great time. I highly suggest to buy a stick or paddle, it helped us several times. Sometimes the water is very low and you get a little stuck within the rocks and need a little push, or you might come to an area that the water is not moving as much and need an extra little push with the paddle. In the area where the rocks are for you to jump off, keep a close eye on your tubes. We had an extremely rude grown man take our tubes after I repeatedly told him it was my husband and sons, he did not care and walked over me and stole them from us. It might be helpful to have staff keep an eye on this area as I felt very uncomfortable having a grown man walk over me and take my belongings.

Rosaline H — Google review

This 2as one of our absolute favorite things too do... We would have done it a 2nd time if we hadn't already made plans for something else.. it was awesome, beautiful views.. calm floating and then several awesome rapids, definitely plan on getting wet... I recommend getting a paddle or stick.. 10 out of 10 of things to do on Vaca!! Definitely bring a bad to keep your items dry, plenty of calm rafting for pics.. we might go back and bring the dogs🐶❤️..

James V — Google review

Even with a long line and humidity, wait time moved along quickly and we were greeted with a cold water hose and friendly staff. Perfect place to experience Tennessee with family visiting from out of state. Found our new favorite place in the warmer months. We will for sure be coming back.

Dopey G — Google review

Great place for family's to have a good time. There was a food truck available to get some snacks with a little picnic area to sit. The store had sunscreen, hats and water shoes available to purchase should you need them. All the staff was very helpful and friendly. The process to buy tickets was quick and easy. Everyone in the group had a blast.

Tisha B — Google review

Outstanding service from ALL employees, beginning to end.No need to buy trip needs from Walmart etc... not only is trip reasonably priced, buy shoes, oar for pushing, dry bags, all competitive prices, they don't trap you at last minute for buying there.Do not fret crowds, always looked packed when we drove by, we live here, but finally decided to try it with grandchildren visit, looks crowded, is not, plenty of parking, fast moving ticketing, life vest dressing (no add charge), tube and river entry. Crowd breaks up and go at your own pace. All this at july 4 week... wish we had gone sooner.

Glenn W — Google review

River tubing was an absolute blast! Outpost A took about 2 hours and was pretty smooth except for a few bumpy parts. Outpost B took about an hour but had more intense rapids. I highly recommend getting a push stick to help you along the river (they sell them for $7 in the gift shop). Also highly recommend a waterproof phone pouch to take on the river with you

C E — Google review

Really fun for all! Came with my 5 year old nephew. We did outpost A & B. A is more calmer waters & B is more rapids and way shorter float time. You pay for both though. PAY IN ADVANCE ONLINE. They sell out fast and you will have to wait. The whole thing last about 2-4 hours. Pretty views. Check the website for water levels because we went when the water was average and there were spots we had to get out and walk or we got stuck. They sold “push sticks” and paddles for this reason. So if water is super low it may not be the best time to go. Plenty of spots to swim and there is a really good burger restaurant next to outpost B ! Check it out!

Heather D — Google review

This was our second visit and so worth it. One of my favorites. Great family experience for all ages. Staff is very friendly and a very organized process, all the working parts move smoothly. Recommend booking online and at least a day in advance. Will save you money and guarantee you will have a spot. We booked the day of on our most recent trip and we were still able to get our group of 8 but it is extra per person to book the day of. The scenery is beautiful and a nice mix of lazy, chill floating and other areas that move faster and a little bumpy. The water is cold but very refreshing! About half way down the river is a neat spot to stop and there is a deep hole where they have installed a ladder on a piece of rock. You can climb out and jump in. Nice bit of adventure along the way. There are picnic tables you could pack a lunch and eat on the property before or after you float down the river. The grounds are surrounded by beautiful mountain views and everything is kept very clean. The shop items are very reasonably priced for water shoes, paddles and sticks to use while you tube if you forget to bring any items. Life jackets are provided for all sizes. There are changing rooms as well. You could make a whole day of it if you wanted. Between both our trips we had my 3 sons, my nephew and nieces between ages 5-16 and they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Mary C — Google review

This was soooo much fun and such great value for money!! We purchased the tickets in advance and this helped us save about $10 per ticket and also helped us keep our appointment time (others were asked to come back 1.5hrs later as slots was completely booked). There is ample parking space and restrooms/changing rooms in both outposts A and B.We went on a holiday so the queue to check in was really long. We realize later that there is also a check in at outpost B that is relatively less crowded.Outpost B is a shorter route and definitely more adventurous with 3 amazing rapids. It is less crowded than Outpost A which is more popular, longer, has many smaller rapids and the rock jumps. We started with outpost B (went through it twice) and then went to outpost A.Having a stick really helps push yourself in the calm waters! Happy tubing.. we would love to come back here someday.

Neha V — Google review

The float was nice, except for the fact that the current is not strong enough to keep you moving if the water level is "average". My group was perfectly capable of getting ourselves downstream, but anyone who cannot easily get themselves in and up from the float should not be allowed to go. Our group had to help 3 separate older people get to the exit. They were unable to move because the water wasn't flowing in some areas and they were trapped. Two people were pushed from about halfway and another was helped from the end to the exit. One of the people had previously suffered strokes and his left side was limp for the most part. Why on earth would they allow someone to go if it puts them and anyone helping them in danger.?. They need safety precautions in place and to ensure those going understand they need to be strong enough to get themselves downstream in some areas.

Misty R — Google review

Such a fun experience! Our Guide Liam was super awesome he gave us the best white water rafting experience! Would go back again!

Angelica P — Google review

Great time. We did upper river. Rapids were perfect excitement and we did a Cabana that was a fabulous option although we did not use it much. It was great to have it to come back to after being on the river all day. Would definitely do this adventure again.

Diana G — Google review

4.6

(2645)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (103)

4.5

(1640)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (104)

205 Wears Valley Rd, Townsend, TN 37882, USA

(865) 448-8888

I'll never travel to Charleston without this trip planner again

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16

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

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Nature & Parks

Hiking Trails

The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a picturesque, single-lane road that spans over 5.5 miles and winds through the beautiful mountainside. Along the way, visitors can enjoy views of well-preserved farms and take hikes to scenic waterfalls. The route offers an immersive experience into nature's beauty and provides an ideal getaway from city life.

Beautiful place to visit and enjoy the wildlife and see the historic buildings.

Timothy J — Google review

Wow! Nature at its best. Scenic drive alongside beautiful creeks. Traffic is usually heavy and the drive being one way, there are delay’s for sure if a bear 🐻 is spotted . Lot of trails on the way and picturesque overlooks. Depending on what you are interested the drive may last from 1 -2 or 4-5 hour. Roaring fork is highly recommended !! Don’t miss it !

Rishikesh N — Google review

David B — Google review

This is a must visit attraction in great smoky mountains national park, Tennessee. Recommended for nature lovers. This a very scenic loop one-way drive of around 5.5 mile long and surrounded by amazing nature display. One can see streams, mills, old cabins, etc. The drive may take around 1-2 hours. There are also trails to rainbow and grotto falls and other nature trails located along this drive.

Nareshkumar A — Google review

Stunning views, multiple picturesque vista points, serene, feels so close to nature that you don’t want to leave this place. Don’t miss this drive to get the feeling of what Smoky Mountains offers. River streams, Hiking trails, Tall Trees, cloudy peaks… Do whatever you enjoy the most, this place has everything !!

Piyush B — Google review

Such a great way to experience The Smoky mountains with minimal hiking/walking. There's a lot of history to see as well. Plenty of pull-off spots at the key points to be able to get out and look around, there are a couple good overlooks, as well as numerous places along the stream.Highly recommend this place at the end of a long day, a nice way to unwind and take in the relaxing scenery.

Jurgis G — Google review

4.9

(158)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (117)

4.5

(1799)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (118)

Tennessee 37738, USA

17

Bridal Veil Falls

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Waterfall

Nature & Parks

Scenic cascade with a walking path under the rocks that offers a reverse view of the waterfall.

Such a beautiful waterfall right along the road. You can literally pull right off the road to view it and there is parking right next to the waterfall. It’s worth the stop for the photo op. You can walk right under the falls. Very beautiful.

Clara D — Google review

Just driving down the road and oh my!!! How cool!!!!This waterfall is literally right on the road as you drive by. Absolutely awesome!!! There is parking before and after the falls but a must stop while in town.You used to be able to drive behind it but now can only walk behind it.

Neil N — Google review

Great little waterfall right along side the road. Can get busy, watch for traffic. Please consider liking my review/pictures and follow along on all my adventures. Jeff Mullins Photography. It's All About the Adventures!

Jeff M — Google review

Feels a bit like runoff than falls, but you can walk underneath. Nice short stop on way to other falls in area

Raymond S — Google review

Nice falls ! Parking area is small, the road under the falls was closed.

Karen C — Google review

We finally took the time to take a 2 hour drive up to see the fall! Though it wasn't a large fast flow coming down, it was beautiful and peaceful. Nature's beauty.

Andrea C — Google review

Sweet spot for some great pictures. Roads on the way up and down are narrow, not for the novice driver.

Tony S — Google review

A really amazing place to stop and enjoy.While you don’t even have to do more than just slow down along the road as you go past in order to appreciate it, stopping to stand under it and spending time there is quite enjoyable.

YunsAvatar — Google review

See this one before Dry Falls; all waterfalls are to be appreciated

Angie M — Google review

I would definitely recommend to stop by and enjoy this awesome little spot. Bridal Veil Falls is well worth the time. Kind of a small area with only the waterfall and right off of the side of the road. Nicely paved walkway under the falls that is blocked to vehicles but you can walk under.

Timothy M — Google review

It’s very accessible, it’s right off the rd and sometimes you can drive under it. Although there’s not much water it’s still worth a visit

Hanna B — Google review

The beauty is hard to photograph. Well worth the trip. Many other waterfalls in close vicinity.

Lirands — Google review

It's also an amazing view you should check out on the way to Dry Falls.

Kelli O — Google review

This place was BEAUTIFUL, and literally right alongside the road. All you need to do is park and walk 20-30 feet. The road up is pretty hairy in spots though, so if you don't feel comfortable driving on very narrow roads with cliffs on the sides, ride with someone else.

Mayor M — Google review

We went during early winter time which is end of December, it was slippery but amazingly beautiful, they sometimes close the go in through we got lucky it was open and we were able to take photos.

GrimzFamilyTravel — Google review

Very awesome roadside falls. A must see on the highway of the waterfalls, it is located right outside of Highlands, NC and minutes away from another cool falls Dry Falls. All of which are along Highway 64. Definitely worth stopping by to check out the beauty of nature.

Dan W — Google review

Such a nice small place on the road side. The views while going towards drywall and bridal veil falls are incredible. True to it's name waterfall feels like a veil. Amazing little place for small stop. There are no parking but one could stop for a while.

Ashutosh S — Google review

4.6

(323)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (123)

4.0

(750)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (124)

North Carolina 28741, USA

18

USA Raft Adventure Resort

Mentioned on

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Adventure sports center

Tours

Cabin rental agency

Campground

USA Raft Adventure Resort offers a thrilling experience on the Nolichucky Gorge with expert guides like Walker and Loren. The Lower Nolichucky trip provides a different but fun adventure, with a beautiful primitive campground at Red Banks take out. The friendly and helpful staff, including Dale and Riff, make for an enjoyable stay in accommodations like the Love Shack. While Take Out and One Love were closed during this visit, guests can bring their own supplies for next time.

We love this place. We try to visit 2-3x a year. Bathrooms/showers are clean. The Take out bar and grill was a great additive. We’ve camped in regular tents and the Bell tent.

Ashley P — Google review

My wife and I were in town for our anniversary and looking for something exciting to do. The spelunking adventure into Worley's Cave was AWESOME! Andy and Miranda (our guides) were knowledgeable, personable, funny, and so patient during our excursion. We were with another group who had smaller kids and they took their time to pause to point out cave-dwelling wildlife, rock formations, and were mindful of what crystalline formations were still growing to look at but not touch! Fantastic experience - highly recommend!

Matt A — Google review

Planned this trip a month ago, long overdue vacation with my wife. We scheduled a 1/2 day rafting trip, for 1:30pm. We both work late nights into early morning so getting up for the 8:30trip would have been a rough indevour. However the wonderful staff worked some magic and got us a group for 10:30am.Our guide Lauren was amazing, personable, knowledgeable and made our trip memorable and safe.At night our "Appalachian concierge" Cory was quick to get us what we needed, helpful, friendly and an all around great guy!We had a couple great evenings at the Take Out Tavern. The food was amazing, the beers ice cold, service was absolutely spot on weather it was to warm our bellies after the wonderful white water or after a few beers.We stayed in one of the domes, the pictures didn't even do it justice to how luxurious it would be. The bathhouse facility and sauna were clean and maintained daily.We had a wonderful surprise of live music by the Dirty Dead.The grounds had this amazing vibe and ambiance, it felt like I came home, it was home, and everyone there was my family.A completely magical vacation, we can not wait to go again. Already looking at the calendars!Thank you to everyone, even if I didn't get your name you were intrical to making it the best vacation, what our souls really needed.

Erin H — Google review

I was charged with criminal trespassing for showing up on their property after getting my property back from my ex-boyfriend at the Nolichucky River Gorge Campground. Avoid going here. They just want your money and do not care about relationships or the truth. I am not a thief.

Cat W — Google review

We stayed at the resort for two nights. Dale, Riff and the rest of the staff that we interacted with were friendly and helpful. We loved staying in the Love Shack. We were there on Monday and Tuesday night, so the Take Out and One Love were not open. We brought our own and will check that the next time we are there.We went rafting on the Nolichucky Gorge with USA Raft during our stay. Our guide, Walker, was fantastic. He is a real pro on the river. He and trip leader Loren made the trip exciting and fun. We will definitely go again.We also floated the Lower Nolichucky a couple of times while there. That is a different but fun trip. The Red Banks take out has a nice beach and is a beautiful primative campground.

Benjamin S — Google review

Super awesome experience on the Nolichucky with Andy! He was very informative of the surrounding area and history, kept us engaged with silly jokes, and kept us on the edge of our seats! Definitely a trip worth making. Can't wait to come back!

Madison T — Google review

We had an amazing time with USA Raft..A group of us stayed in the Crockett Cabin. The cabin was HUGE..it was great for covid..we all had our separate places and one main area. We spent most of our time outside enjoying the river, fishing, swimming, and tubing…we missed out on the rafting but that’s just an excuse to come back. The communal bathrooms were cleaned and stocked from tampons to hand towels, soap and more…Everything was always fully stocked and clean. We went during SOL Jam…so it was pretty packed. They made everyone comfortable with all things covid. It really was more than I expected in every way. The food was great, the people were great and the music was great. A truly wonderful experience for us all.. We love the Band Sol Driven Train and we hope to come back and see them and USA Raft again next year. Thank you, for sharing your little piece of heaven with us and all your accommodations, recommendations and making us all feel so welcomed.

Kelly S — Google review

We took a wrong turn coming off the AT trail after hiking 18 miles (the sign with showers and several amnenities got us overly-excited!) and ended up at the USA Rafting Adventure Resort. We were confused and asked for directions and guidance of how to get to Uncle Johnny's Hostel in the main store. They misled us by saying it was far away and telling us there was no real downtown area in Erwin (which we knew was false information) presumably to encourage us to stay there (their cabin rates started at $165). An off-duty staff member offered us a lift (all of 1 mile) for $10 and left us waiting for 20 minutes for him to return and he never showed up. We ended up just hiking the extra mile to Uncle Johnny's. It was confirmed that this facility often mislead and attempt to appeal to the hiking community but doing so by spreading false information is really dishonest and dissapointing.

Virginia I — Google review

Great location, great people. Horrible management.The manager, Tiffany, was rude and condescending. When I finally asked her to stop interrupting me, she yelled “OH, YOU’RE CUTE talking to me like that…” And it only got worse from there.It only takes one person to make the entire establishment look bad. Which is awful considering everyone else was really friendly, accommodating and seemed like very nice people.The Tiny House was fine as long as you can use the patio and deck area. For $285 I would have expected a few things to be nicer. For example: the cob webs along the AC unit, bleach stained shower curtain covering up a rusty water heater. The tent had 3 of its feet screwed in but one came loose and in the wind was slamming down and quite noisy!The interior was not made for lounging. The amazing view was blocked by a full sized refrigerator and countertop grille backed by a trellis. The end of the bed and corner of the room were the only places to sit and see the River from inside unless we were standing and as it was too cold to stay outside for long, that’s all we got! During great weather I bet this spot is great but great weather it was not!We never found the wifi, not in the in-room notebook which would be logical. Finally upon checking out, we saw a plaque in front of the office.Note to staff:-When cold weather is coming, don’t make the client have to call for another space heater or extra blankets. Have it in the unit for them.-Let people speak and if they want $15 worth of tubing passes for the summertime so you might redeem yourselves as a location worth peoples money and time, listen to them instead of manipulating and condescending!

Jenn C — Google review

My partner and I have done the Nolichucky half-day trip twice now. This isn't a technical raft, but there are plenty of fun, splashy rapids. The aspect that keeps us coming back--and we'll be back again--is the scenery. For all of the 8.5 mi downriver, you're surrounded by verdant Appalachian mountainsides. A little-used train track traces a line along the south riverbank. Two-thirds of the way through, you are rewarded with a beautiful stretch of rocky cliffs on the north riverbank. Overall, very fun and tough to beat as a tour to this pretty portion of the Appalachians.Our last guide, Ashley, was outstanding.

Ian D — Google review

First time out with USA Raft and was very impressed. Had a fantastic trip down the Nolichucky with Trip Leader Loren (sp?). He was very knowledgeable about the area, and had amazing control of our raft, such that we actually had to do very little paddling relative to other trips we've been on. His safety briefing was serious but also humorous. We will definitely be going back and requesting Loren as our guide.

Jim A — Google review

We went white water rafting last Friday just before heading back home to FL. Walker was our guide and he was outstanding! Great personality and a Super Guide. We all had an amazing time. This river is now in the top of our favorites. Great white water rapids! The only downside was no pics....y'all need to get those back.

Heather D — Google review

Had a great time on the rafting trip! Our guide Andy kept us alive and entertained the whole time. Great guy. 10/10 would do again 🫡🫡🫡

Ivan G — Google review

USA Raft is truly an amazing place. I can’t express in words how beautiful the Nolichuky Gorge is. You must float the river and experience it yourself. Danny was our guide, his knowledge on the history of the area, the flora & fauna made the trip that much more special. His paddling skills were amazing, he could certainly pick a line!The campground at USA Raft is awesome as well, the Take Out Bar has a great beer selection and good bar food. You might get lucky with good music on the small or large stage!I can’t say enough about this Mountain Gem!Thanks for a wonderful weekend!Rhys

Rhys C — Google review

Stayed in one of the airstream camper trailers while hiking the AT. It’s 0.1m off trail and a great spot to stay dry on a rainy night. Activities look very cool, but it’s back to the trail tomorrow.

David L — Google review

Was a great time. My sister had never gone rafting before so we decided on the half day. Had a great time and the scenery was gorgeous. Great for all skill levels and the staff was extremely nice and friendly! Definitely would recommend.

Jennifer B — Google review

Rafting was lots of fun, beautiful sights and amazing guides. Cam and Andy were wonderful :)!!

Vikiix — Google review

Our group had a blast on the half day rafting trip through the gorge. It was SO beautiful, and exciting to navigate the class 3 and 4 rapids. Elliott was our guide and he was the master of the water and the dad jokes - very knowledgeable and entertaining. The location is perfect - convenient to the highway etc. We loved the resort too - so much that we came back the following weekend for the Dog Days festival. This will be at the top of our list to refer to our friends. Thank you!

Brooke M — Google review

Wow! Such an amazing experience staying and rafting with my family! We were able to take our 5 and 6 year old kids on the Nolichucky river and Bobby was an incredible guide. Able to give us a taste of adventure without being too scary for the kids. Cannot wait to come back and go again! The Loft cabin was such a perfect and refreshing place to crash after a day of hiking, rafting, and playing in the river. Highly recommend.

Amber F — Google review

Had the best time rafting down the river with USA Rafting! Will was a great guide and got along great with our group! Absolutely loved all the corny jokes he told and how much history he knew of the River. 10/10 would recommend USA rafting! Hope to come back soon!

Brooklyn N — Google review

This is my second opportunity to stay here, and I love all the changes (additions) that have been made to include Red Banks, the bar, disc golf and more. Matt Moses and his team are amazing, friendly, and create that “family” vibe. You won’t be disappointed with a stay here, even if you just enjoy the outdoors and sound of the River.

Shawn S — Google review

Stayed in cabin for the weekend. Clean and comfortable. Bar/grill was awesome so we didn't have to leave the resort for food, staff was extra nice. The music (both live and recorded) was great. The overall atmosphere of the resort was so relaxing and of course beautiful being next to the river. We hope to do it again in the future.

Margaret H — Google review

4.8

(319)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (125)

5.0

(887)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (126)

2 Jones Branch Rd, Erwin, TN 37650, USA

(800) 872-7238

19

Sliding Rock

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40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (129)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (130)

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Waterfall

Nature & Parks

Geologic Formations

Sliding Rock is a natural water slide located in the Pisgah National Forest, offering a unique and refreshing experience for visitors. The 60-ft.-long rock creates a low waterfall that leads into an eight-foot-deep pool, providing a fun and cool escape from the summer heat. While it can get crowded, there are plenty of spots to relax on the rocks and watch others enjoy the slide. The area offers ample parking and attentive staff, including on-site guards for safety.

I've been on countless trips through the pisgah national forest throughout my life and I always set aside time to visit here for a bit of fun on the river

Joe S — Google review

Great fun for all ages, depending on the time of the year/day of the week it can be busy but there is much more to explore hiking and enjoying the park. Not handicap friendly or for those with severe trouble walking.

LOE_FREY — Google review

The water was cold but the waterfall was fun to slide down! (We went out of season, so it wasn't crowded)

Jordan H — Google review

A very nice recreation area. Ample parking spot. Staffs were nice and attentive , on location guards are available , there is a decent crowd / queue for water slide. I’d you have small kid who is a beginner in swimming , please take a wearable float or floating jacket is recommend. Our party enjoyed a lot , this slide is for everyone and I’d you followed posted recommended position (seating ) then you can enjoy without fear. This natural slide is one of the best we ever enjoyed. I definetly recommend this attraction . There will be crowd on weekends , for each round expected 15 mins waiting time but you will not feel bored since you will be watching others slide and it is fun to watch. Your party members can wait on the deck or take a picture or video of you sliding.

Prabha S — Google review

Cool spot to check out if you’re in the area and it’s an easy walk. Not crowded during fall, but I can imagine it’s full of people sliding down it during the warmer months. Saw 2 people do it today, so if you’re good with it being 50F outside plus the cold water, go for it!

Tracey P — Google review

At least once a year I drive up to North Carolina (specifically the Brevard area) and sliding rock is always on my visit listThe view, the sound of the water flowing; it’s just all so beautiful and perfect ❤️

Ashley N — Google review

awesome, awesome, and awesome. i went here off season, when no one was available to swim, that's why the photo is very empty but wow!

keira! — Google review

The flow was so strong because of the rain from last night, that sliding could be dangerous and there were no life guards as well.

Shalin R — Google review

10/10!! it was so fun and exciting!! the water was really cold, but besides that, I had a lot of fun! definitely would go back

Vanna C — Google review

Beautiful, I came in the winter and did not actually slide on it so I have no experience there. Short walk to the waterfall, easy, quaint and picturesque.

Robin M — Google review

DO IT. WE went super early during the week, no lifeguard present, only one other family there. The water was freezing cold. Great once in a lifetime experience.

Victoria R — Google review

Loved the slide but warning the water is super cold! We got there around 11:30am and it started to get very busy so I recommend going earlier to beat the crowds. Bring a life jacket for the little ones and swim shoes for all

Alissa C — Google review

Very nice place to visit. There is a big rock on which you can slide. There are life guards on duty until 6:00 PM. After 6:00 PM you can slide but on your own risk. There is entry fees $5 per person. Here if you are lucky you might get parking space since it has small parking area. Other wise you can park near by. This place has restrooms and changing rooms too. Staff are really nice and very kind. You will love this place and can enjoy with your family.

Andy D — Google review

Really cool experience. Know the line will be horribly long to wait to slide down. Water is freezing but worth the shock. They do not offer military admissions even though they are part of the national parks.

S A — Google review

This is a great place to bring the kids and have some fun in nature! The water is cold but it’s what makes it so great! They do have lifeguards during the day. It’s 5$ a person to go into the parking lot. Usually on busy days they have law enforcement there as well. No picnicking I guess bears.

John M — Google review

Made a stop at Sliding Rock as a part of our girls day adventure. Went on a Friday in August; it was about 100 degrees out, so while the water was super cold it wasn't too bad! Waited in line maybe 10 minutes each time to get to the top of the rock and slide down. Spent about an hour sliding down the rock. Definitely recommend some type of water shoes!No picnicing allowed so we went down the road to Looking Glass Waterfall to sit and each lunch with a view!

Kim H — Google review

It was beautiful. They do charge $5 per person. The drop is about 10 feet deep. Not a really big area for swimming just the bottom of the slide. But other then that the kids enjoyed it.

Rosie M — Google review

4.7

(588)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (131)

4.5

(923)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (132)

North Carolina 28768, USA

20

Mount Mitchell State Park

40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (133)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (134)

40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (135)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (136)

State park

Nature & Parks

Mountains

1,946-acre park on the highest peak east of the Mississippi, with camping, hiking & panoramic views.

The summit was very nice to drive up to, the road beautiful. We took the small trail between the parking lot and the summit, and walking casually it took us 20 minutes, lots of stairs and rocks. I suggest having a coat for the high wind up top! And a walking stick if it's muddy, many of the rocks get very slick. Beautiful fir trees and scenic overview at the end. Walking the trail really feels like being in another world.

Angela B — Google review

I was here in late July and it was so peaceful. The air was cool & misty and there was moss covering the trees and fallen logs. The air was so refreshing to breathe in. There was a small museum packed with information about the environment, wildlife, geology, and history of the area. The man who “discovered” it as being the highest point on this side of the Mississippi River is actually buried near the peak! He died there while conducting scientific research. The info in the museum compared the habitat to that of Canada. There are magical trails to hike and a short, wide paved hike up to the summit. I highly recommend you go and check it out for yourself! I will be back again soon!

Jen R — Google review

Mount Mitchell State Park is like stepping into a postcard of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's got this awesome vibe that makes you feel like you're on top of the world, literally, because it's home to Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.If you're into hiking, this place is a must-do. The trails are scenic and well-kept, winding through forests and mountain views that will take your breath away. When you reach the top, the views are insane—you can see for miles and miles of pure mountain goodness.But even if hiking isn't your thing, there's still plenty to love about this park. The drive up is stunning.Overall, Mount Mitchell State Park is a gem of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you're a nature buff, a photography enthusiast, or just looking for a chill place to hang out, this park has got you covered with its stunning views and mountain vibes.

Nook H — Google review

First State Park in North Carolina (established in 1915) and highest point east of the Mississippi River (6,684 ft). The park contains a great set of trails, an observation tower (at the summit), museum, gift shop, campground, etc. You can even drive to the top and take a short walk (only 300 yards) to the summit. Access to the park is off of the Blue Ridge Parkway so even the drive to the park is nice.

Rocky B — Google review

Great views! We did the short walk up, and then did the nature trail hike. My kids thought the nature trail was their favorite part of our trip. It was peaceful and smelled like Christmas with all the pine trees.

Laura H — Google review

The drive to the State Park is a very twisty and scenic. It is a slow go, so enjoy the views! Tower at the summit with maps of which mountains can be seen in the distance facing each direction. A snack bar and small museum near the summit. Very clean restrooms. Tent sites available near the top. Sadly, it rained the day we were there but we managed a few views on the way up.

Melissa L — Google review

Gotta say--this hike was definitely not a favorite of mine, although I would come back and give it another go.To do the full hike starting at the lowest point, you have to put "Black Mountain Campground" into your GPS because the State Park & peak is about a 30 minute drive away from it.Not only does this hike include trekking 11 miles round trip (for typically 7+ hours) on rugged terrain with a punishing elevation gain--but the weather can change in an instant, the forest is very dense & there are places along the trail where it was so dark/overcast that it felt like dusk. Also, there has recently been a lot of bear activity & sightings along the trail--so be advised and be sure you're comfortable with bear safety.You'll also want to pack enough water and nutrition to fuel you on your hike as well as a rain jacket/extra layers for temperature & weather changes.Finally, keep in mind if you are hiking from the base, you will likely go long bouts without seeing other hikers, and I had no signal on my phone, so letting someone know ahead of time about your route is not a bad idea.I made it about 2 miles up before I decided to turn back and drive to the top. Another hiker said a mama bear was on the trail ahead, and given that it had started to rain and it was kind of dark too, I decided it simply wasn't worth it or all that enjoyable to keep going.So I drove to the top of the mountain & did the quarter mile hike up to the peak. Honestly, the view was a bit less impressive than I had imagined or seen at other hikes, but that could be because it was overcast, (which I'm told is common there).There is a little shop at the top as well as a museum, and place to buy coffee & hot chocolate, although the restaurant was closed. There are also several picnic areas with grills, etc.All in all, there is a lot of promise for this hike-- I likely just chose a less than perfect day to visit.

Valerie M — Google review

Note: the mountain is foggy most fall mornings and doesn’t clear up until the afternoon.We visited during a very foggy morning and weren’t able to see the famous 360-degree views. The 10 minute paved hike from the parking area was easy and the summit is still cool to see.There are restrooms, a museum and gift shop, and a concessions stand.

Kevin W — Google review

We loved it here. Beautiful views, plenty of moderate to difficult hiking options and a few easy ones too. This is the one place we've been to here in the NC mountains where we felt like we were hiking on a trail in the Pacific Northwest. The smell of pine and spruce in the cool damp air as we walked the short trail near the top was absolute bliss. And the views from the summit were incredible. On a clear cool day, I bet you could see halfway to Charlotte from there. We didn't make it to any of the picnic or camping spots this time, but I bet they would be amazing up here too. It seemed like a lot of stuff (like the restaurant and other park services) were not yet open for the season, but I would imagine they'll be open by the end of this month.

Christina J — Google review

Short incline walk to observation deck. We visited on a cold, very windy March day. We dound snow still on the ground. Sky was beautiful blue and view made us forget about the temperature. Well worth the drive.

Laurie S — Google review

This is a beautiful park! It was very crowded, even for a weekday, but it is almost summer. There is a smooth, paved path to the summit. It might be challenging for some due to the slight incline, but it is only 300 yards long and there are benches along the way to sit and rest. Once you do get to the top, you won't be disappointed. There are 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was gorgeous!!I also took the nice Balsam Nature trail path. This had many information stations along the way that described the different animals, birds and flora at Mt. Mitchell. Don't forget to check out the museum and the gift shop. The museum is very interesting and has lots of information about the history of Mt. Mitchell.

Carrie H — Google review

Gorgeous park and views. Great for kids and dog lovers. The hike up to the lookout is steep but mostly paved. Bring comfy shoes you’ll be walking up steep hill. Tons of picnic areas for a great family outing. Stay hydrated!

Jake S — Google review

I love the Mountains!! We drove to the Top of Mount Mitchell from Grandfather Mountain. It took almost one and a half hours for almost 50 miles as the speed limit is 35 and winding roads. Very scenic and beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway to Mt. Mitchell. I visited almost the last week of June. Last 3 miles drive to the top was breathtaking. I was driving almost into the clouds. Visibility was almost zero. Couldn't see anything beyond 20 feet. But I really enjoyed the drive. There is an overlook point, but we couldn't see anything as we were in the clouds. This is the highest peak to the east of the Mississippi River. It was quite chilly even though it was a sunny day. Just a little bit disappointed as the Visitor center was closed as I wanted to get Magnet or Souvenir.

Amol M — Google review

Beautiful park. I recommend spending as much time there as you can. If you love to hike, I cannot suggest a better place. There are so many different trails to explore. The drive into the park offers quite a few stops or 'overlooks' for views of these breathtaking mountains. I highly recommend the walk up to the Observation Point. The view from here, the highest point, offers a 360° view of the mountains!

Mary P — Google review

An absolutely wonderful place for an easy hike. Driving the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway to get there was lovely in and of itself, and when you enter the state park (which is FREE), you drive most of the way to the top. They have a nice gift shop, small museum, clean restrooms, and a food area for snacks and drinks. The walking path to the top observation deck is paved, with a moderate incline. We went during a foggy/cloudy day, with low visibility. But it only added to the beauty and mystery. The trails looked like something out of a gothic fairy tale. If I hadn't known I was in North Carolina, I would've thought I was in the Pacific Northwest. A must-see, in any weather.

Liz W — Google review

A well-earned state highpoint with beautiful views along the way.I made the drive here as I continued my journey to hike all 50-state highpoints. As usual I started my day early and had the crisp clean air all around me as I got my gear together. Feeling the clouds up at our elevation roll through was an awesome experience. It is otherworldly and makes you feel like you are living out an epic story from a novel.It was a beautiful fall day and I didn't see one person while hiking on the trail to and from the peak. Nothing but the sounds of nature and my fellow companions of animals bustling about in the woods.Much of the trail is exposed to the beautiful vistas surrounding the mountain. You'll certainly work for the summit but is very doable for just about all ranges of hikers.

Nick L — Google review

Absolutely gorgeous. The short path up to the observation deck is fairly easy but also steep. It is paved. The observation deck is wheelchair friendly but again, the path up is fairly steep. It was pretty busy when we went but there was a lot of parking. There was a small museum, a gift shop, and bathrooms. There were park rangers to assist.

Kylie — Google review

It's beautiful not just at the top but getting to the top. It definitely makes you feel small.I would recommend checking the state park website and the national forest website for closers at the park and on the blue ridge parkway rd.

Jeffrey Y — Google review

It was very foggy at the peak when I visited back in October! Although, I really enjoyed the hike through the fog. I’d love to go back on a clear visibility day. My dog loved the hike as well 🐾🥾🌲

Rachel R — Google review

Great hiking trails surrounding the entire area. Great platform at the highest park to get a 360 degree view.

Juan J — Google review

Gorgeous and super walkable. Really accessible for casual visit as the paths are paved and the trails are well-marked. The summit view was gorgeous.

Noelle — Google review

Beautiful and largely accessible natural wonder. The views are of course magnificent, from the summit and most areas within the park. The museum, concession stand, restrooms, and gift shop are all located right off of the huge parking lot. The viewing platform is a 300-yard walk uphill on a well-paved road. There are many hiking trails, including the Mountain-to-Sea trail. Highly recommended.

Jenn M — Google review

Mount Mitchell is a beautiful place where you can hike and enjoy enchanted forest. This place is truly beautiful and I enjoyed hiking here with my husband. It's not a difficult hike but in a few places you will have to climb over big boulders. We were able to see some beautiful birds there.

Alex R — Google review

So glad we made a visit to Mount Mitchell! We drove all the way to the top and started by checking out the observation deck. Stunning 360 views. It’s a very short walk up on a paved path, but on a fairly steep incline.We then took one of the shorter loop trails and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Such a beautiful park all around.

Brooke R — Google review

While driving the Blue Ridge Pkwy, we drove up Mount Michell State Park to visit the highest point east of Mississippi. Weather was partly cloudy on Pkwy, but when we got to the top, the whole mountain top was in a big cloud. When I spoke to another lady, this was her 4th time to the top, and 3 of 4 times were like this with no visibility. So bad timing on our part as we couldn't see 50 ft.

Alan B — Google review

4.9

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4.5

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2388 NC-128, Burnsville, NC 28714, USA

(828) 675-4611

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21

Elijah Mountain Gem Mine And Crystal Store

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Rock shop

Sights & Landmarks

Elijah Mountain Gem Mine And Crystal Store is a beloved spot located just a short distance from downtown Hendersonville. Visitors of all ages can experience the thrill of gem mining, immersing themselves in the role of prospectors from the 1800s. The mine offers both outdoor and indoor water flumes where you can sift and pan for various gemstones such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and amethysts.

Definitely a highlight of our holiday vacation. Shop is loaded with all kinds of gemstones, rocks and jewelry. There's a big area to mine for gems and an area to walk and explore behind the mining area. There are even friendly goats that love to be fed!

Pat C — Google review

Great family fun! Unique creations made from gems. Mining was a hit with our family! To get into the store was free, of course. However, there are various rates to go gem mining. It just depends on how many people and what type of mining you want to do. We chose the "family dream deal" which was around $108.

Angela L — Google review

If I could give 20 stars, I would. I loved every second we spent here! They have goats and chickens. You can feed the goats, and they're so gentle and sweet. The buckets we did had tons of cool gems, definitely worth the money. The store inside has TONS of beautiful gems.Our experience was made 1000 times better because of the awesome customer service. Joe was super helpful and so nice. He took the time to explain the mining process, and offered to identify any rocks we had had questions about.

Taylor W — Google review

A huge shout out to the staff here! We just left here after the power had unfortunately cut out due to a tree fall, they went out of their way to make sure our experience was still fantastic as always and continue mining and enjoying our time here. I already enjoyed coming here because of the experience and all the animals, but this really just made this my favorite gem mine! I will 100% continue to come back to this lovely place and I hope you all do the same!

Katelyn H — Google review

5-star fun in Hendersonville NC! Get the green value bucket vice individual buckets. One adult can scoop into the panning trays and keep 3 kids entertained for 30-45 minutes. Tons of “gems” from the family size bucket. 5-star, friendly staff. We’ll visit again in our next visit.

Patrick — Google review

Awesome selection of crystals! Very affordable bucket mining prospecting for the family and kids! They have Goats you can feed and peaco*cks out back! They even have a small obstacle course too with a small river flow coming through. Very cool and unique place to stop by while your in the area or Asheville area.

Dy — Google review

My family and I have visited Elijah Mtn multiple times over the past 5 years and every visit has been just as remarkable as the first.Since our last visit in 2021, they’ve expanded a great deal.This visit, aside from our traditional bucket digging, we fed goats and admired so many different species of beautiful birds.It’s a wonderful spot for a day full of fun and experiences, there’s tons of picnic tables scattered throughout for families to enjoy and watch their kids play from.There’s a brewery now!I could spend all day there and still want to return the next.It’s a MUST visit!Today will always be particularly memorable.Thank you Sherbet, your help was beyond impactful and healing.You’re a gem (pun intended), and truly the most precious and rare one I saw in there today. 🖤Until next time! (Never know, it could be tomorrow 😉😆)

A. P — Google review

As someone who cares for all animals and rescues as much as I can, I am always worried about going to a place that has animals and how the up keep is for the animals. As soon as I saw your animals, I knew that they were very well cared for and loved. Everything was clean, lots of room for them. Had water and food. It made me so happy to see them happy. My kids also had a wonderful at the wooden play area.

Nola F — Google review

We absolutely loved this place. We took my mom for Mothers Day. Super nice and helpful staff. We found lots of really nice gems, had a beer, shopped, fed the goats, relaxed by the river, great place for a picnic.

Skwirl — Google review

This was our first time in Hendersonville but not our first time gem mining. We've been to two other places in NC and these were absolutely the largest gems we've come across. It was fun to explore the gems and the staff was engaging and fun to chat with. Would definitely recommend.

Gloria F — Google review

We spent $165 for a huge tub and found so much fun soothing for rocks and gems. We found several big geodes. Cute gift shop had so much to offer. Cute joy pond inside. There was a cute playground outside and a lil petting farm goat peakco*ck pheasant and chickens

Tabatha L — Google review

This gift shop and mining place was very beautiful and nicely arranged and decorated! A lot to see! Prices for mining was a little more expensive than Pisgah gem mining, which is right down the road but it's a more upscale place and has other things to do for the kids, (a playground area.) We didn't do gem mining there but instead, we mined at Pisgah and shopped here at Elijah mtn.

The M — Google review

We are so glad we happened to come across a large road sign advertising for this place! Reece and Joe were so knowledgeable, helpful, kind, and friendly. We would highly recommend visiting, shopping, gem mining, and feeding the goats at Elijah Mountain Gem Mine. Thank you, Reece and Joe, for your hospitality and great energy. Your "old" friends, Brenda & Kristi

Brenda B — Google review

We had promised our oldest the We were going to take her to a gem mine since little sis had been a mo th earlier with their class to another mine. We really didn't feel like driving over an hour to go to our normal spot. My wife searched and found this place. We didn't know what to expect but went for it. We get there and my girls loved it. They loved everything. The mining was great. They have awesome gems. We got the $40 bucket and walked away with some incredible finds. The obstacle course was fun and the goats were cool. My girls loved every minute we were there. I HIGHLY recommend this place and we will be back soon.

William T — Google review

Fantastic experience from the kids up to us as adults! Staff was excellent and helpful. What we found in our tub was nothing short of incredible and memory making worthy. If you are able we definitely advise getting the 30 gallon tub!! The store inside is wonderful as well! Nice little activity area and goats to feed as well.

Seth D — Google review

We absolutely loved Elijah Mountain gem mine! We have a big family and the everyone had the best time. We had four kids and used a Groupon. Each kid was able to get a zip lock bag full of gems with just one bucket. They each got a few things from the $1 treasure island. The prices here are great and the people that work here are so welcoming and friendly. We were able to feed the goats and play outside. We will definitely be back.

Natalie J — Google review

We had such a great time at Elijah mountain gem mining! We did the family package for our 4 little miners. It was definitely worth it! They all collected over 50 gems each! Plus lots of smaller ones on top of that! Staff is so kind and helpful. Cocoa bar is top notch and a great deal! Gift shop was phenomenal and plenty of fantastic deals for all the little geologists!

Lynn J — Google review

This place has several gym mini g stations. There is a playground and animal feeding and petting locations. The store has a lot to look at. Overall prices are good and can handle a lot of kids. Gyms in every pale for the kids to keep.

Brandon D — Google review

This was our first time gem mining. The price was reasonable and we found a lot of really cool stuff. The two guys working were very nice and helpful. They have a few animals out back too. Overall we had a great time.

Will G — Google review

#4 family friendly thing to do in the world!$16 was fun for my daughter and she loved her gems and the experience of rinsing them off. And the balance playground was a super hit with kids! Best for kids four and up.Lots of gifts to buy and a favorite would be the magnetic balls.

Psalms 1 — Google review

What a cute spot! I brought the toddler I nanny for here today and he loved it! The goats are the friendliest I’ve ever met and there’s a beautiful peaco*ck here as well. Plenty of picnic tables and a natural playground for older children. Looks like they’re constructing some walking trails/other things and I can’t wait to see what’s to come! Will be back

Madison M — Google review

Great activity for kids. Indoor and outdoor gem mining area. There are great fossils and the gems are good quality and price.

Andre R — Google review

Great gem mine experience and good value for everything you get. My friend and I split the Green Giant bucket and we are satisfied with our loot. Cracking the geode was really fun too! Keep in mind that this place can get crowded so you may need to come early for parking.

Sherman N — Google review

4.8

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5.0

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2120 Brevard Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28791, USA

(828) 692-6560

22

Linville Gorge Wilderness

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National forest

Nature & Parks

Linville Gorge Wilderness in Pisgah National Forest offers a picturesque landscape with its distinctive rock formations, hiking trails, and camping areas. Visitors can also explore nearby attractions like Chimney Rock Park and Blue Ridge waterfalls. For an alternative experience, renting a stand-up paddleboard is recommended to discover this region's natural beauty from the water.

I highly enjoyed the Linville Gorge trail heading down to the waterfalls vs. going across the river and up to the top views!! The view of the waterfall is just 100x better down here. Turn left before walking through the visitor center and up the stairs to find this trail!

Polariss S — Google review

Great camping experience with jaw dropping views. Everyone followed the "leave no trace" guideline, and there are a lot of cool hikes around!

Piper — Google review

Such a beautiful park. The gorge itself is very lovely, lots of hikes to choose from. Plenty of spots along the river to go swimming safely and lots of big beautiful rocks to climb on. Just watch out for snakes on the forest trails!

Maya B — Google review

Wonderful wild place..in case you love being outside! I haven't been there in quite some time. But I'm sure it hasn't changed a lot! Due to the absolute rugged terrain! Be sure to follow all the wilderness guidelines and be sure to enjoy yourself!

Amanda M — Google review

Most of the reason we come out to North Carolina. Always fun camping out here. Trails are awesome and the views are to die for.

Antonio S — Google review

Great hike and destination. Boulders are enormous and water is cool and refreshing. The road to the trailhead is super bumpy. If driving a compact car just go slow and you'll get there and back.

Seweryn W — Google review

I love this place so much!! Such a cool place to see and visit. Some of the best waterfalls in NC. The trails are great and it’s rather easy to get to the waterfalls. There are a ton of places to do primitive camping for free. Highly recommend!!

Robert H — Google review

Each trail has a phenomenal view of the gorge below. The waterfalls are breathtaking and the river is a calming oasis. One of my best hikes in NC.

Ryan — Google review

It's truly one of my most favorite places to go hike.

Kat B — Google review

The Grand Canyon of the East! Located in the Pisgah Forest, this beautiful destination will not disappoint! Enjoy views, trails(for all levels) and the beautiful waterfalls nestled here… Great for day trips or weekend camping adventures

Kerrie P — Google review

A natural wonderland dedicated to hiking. Full of trails, waterfalls and amazing overlooks. I only spent a day here but its easy to spend a week. Hikes of all levels and difficulty are available here but most will have you descending into the gorge or up to an overlook, or both!

Trypp A — Google review

4.8

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4.5

(380)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (157)

Morganton, NC 28655, USA

(828) 257-4200

23

Falls Park on the Reedy

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Park

Nature & Parks

Waterfalls

Falls Park on the Reedy is a gorgeous and peaceful urban park that is easily accessible for exploration. The park is home to gardens, walking trails, waterfalls, and art installations that make it a great place to spend a relaxing day. Passerelle Bistro in the park afterward is a fantastic French restaurant that should not be missed if you're looking for some great food and amazing views.

Absolutely gorgeous park that brings the city together as it shows the harmonious symbioticness between the river falls and skyscrapers. The extensive walking path purposely weaves everyone through the landscape with great views of the waterfall. The Liberty Bridge politely calls attention to its engineering marvel. What a great place to spend an afternoon people watching and soaking up the city vibe. Also a great place to take the pets!

Jessica S — Google review

Serenity found. We enjoyed an early midweek stroll and had this gorgeous place pretty much to ourselves. We had researched articles and short video history on this area so it made our visit that more interesting. History is fascinating on this area! Gorgeous and all FREE. Also public restrooms were available too.

Michelle H — Google review

This place is absolutely beautiful. Greenville has hands down the best looking downtown area I have been to date. There are several different walking areas and benches so you can view this waterfall. We sat on one of the benches near the bottom and sat there watching the falls for about 45 minutes as the sun was setting it was a sight worth seeing. I also recommend walking across the suspension bridge, and taking in the view from there. Will 100 percent come back to this place in the future.

Jake Y — Google review

What a beautiful and thoughtful place. We visited in the morning - the air was crisp, the water was flowing, and there were just a few people. We can't wait to come back and relax on a swinging bench and take in more of the area. We parked downtown and took advantage of the free 2-hour street parking - it was about a half mile walk. Just gorgeous!

Rachel L — Google review

Falls park is unlike any other place in our country. It's beauty is supported by the eclectic nature of its city surroundings. Amenities aplenty including restrooms, eateries, many shops, galleries, picnicking areas, and walking paths. Dog friendly, the park is a playground of exploration for both children and fun seeking adults alike. The park IS the destination for those people in search of wonder and relaxation.

D.J. H — Google review

In the middle of the city, this is a beautiful gem with paved paths and beautiful fall views.There is no free or public parking available nearby, so you need to park in a parking garage nearby.It may seem like a small spot, but there are many paths you can take that takes you to beautiful spots where you can sit relax and enjoy.Paths are a bit uneven, and there are stairs, so wear appropriate shoes.

Abeer M — Google review

The most amazingly and beautiful park in any city ever. Make sure to explore around and look for the secret staircase in the photos. Hint, you may have to cross the falls to find it. The suspended bridge is just incredible with views and energy. Plan to spend a good half day enjoying this park and walk along all the trails.

David C — Google review

Busy on a Saturday afternoon we found one parking space four blocks away. As we got closer there was a wonderful floral scent that grew stronger as we got closer to the park. Lots of restaurants and shops line the street leading to the park.Beautiful falls and walkway gardens surrounding the park.A three bathroom stall ( very tiny for the highly popular spot) is found through a outdoor patio.A very clean, safe and family friendly spot! Highly recommended!

Psalms 1 — Google review

The falls is magnificent! There are walking trails, restaurants, places to sit and meditate. The falls are accessible, and accommodate individuals with disabilities. It is dog friendly. Put this on your itinerary when visiting Greenville.

Island D — Google review

While photographing a conference in Greenville I got to walk around and enjoy the park during one of the breaks. The thriving downtown area has a lot to offer. And this park is a beautiful oasis in the midst of it all!

Chris ( — Google review

Falls Park on the Reedy in Greenville, SC, is a true hidden gem that offers a captivating natural escape. The park's main highlight is the breathtaking waterfall that cascades gracefully through the heart of the city. The sight and sound of the rushing water create a serene and enchanting atmosphere. The park's well-maintained trails and bridges provide scenic views and opportunities for leisurely walks or jogs. The beautifully landscaped gardens and lush green spaces make it a perfect spot for picnics and relaxation. The Liberty Bridge, a stunning architectural marvel, offers stunning panoramic views of the falls. Falls Park on the Reedy is a must-visit destination that combines the beauty of nature with urban charm, creating a peaceful retreat in the heart of Greenville.

Joel G — Google review

Falls park is very nice.Lots of people and children along the banks and playing on the rocks in the middle of the river.Lots of photo shoots going on and saw someone taking their wedding pictured.Very nicely organized and designed.The suspended Bridge is the center point of attention and curves around perfectly so you can enjoy the small falls in the river.Over all a great place to visit.

Laura L — Google review

I will never forget the feeling of AWE the first time I saw Reedy Falls in the heart of Greenville! Magnificent, beautiful and breathtaking! The best view is from the pedestrian bridge and it also takes you to the other side of the river!Greenville would not be such a spectacular place without the falls. We love and treasure our downtown park!

Olga S — Google review

This place is so beautiful. My family was absolutely amazed to experience the falls in the middle of downtown. We took a few trails( woody, narrow stairs, bugs) that led to one exploration after another(Spill the Beans coffee has great ice cream. The Grand Bohemian very picturesque, and Gather has a ton of food options in a covered outdoor fun atmosphere) The Falls Park is really cool. You definitely need walking shoes!

DeAndrea B — Google review

Visited during the holiday season.. streets filled with lights and a festive atmosphere. There were Christmas decorations, live music and popup stalls selling trinkets and gift items. The highlight was the picture with Santa for free!As this park was right in the middle of the city, there were all sorts of stores for shopping, restaurants and coffee shops.Plenty of street parking and garage options.

V Y — Google review

We love Falls Park on the Reedy! The waterfalls were enjoyable to listen to, beautiful views, pristine walkways and grass, the bridge was fun to walk on, and there was plenty of area to sit and relax! Our Pembroke Corgis loved their walk and all the attention they received by everyone around. Restaurants and hotels are there. We will return!

Jeanne F — Google review

One time watch. At the heart of the town, this falls add to its beauty. Less crowded on weekdays but become busy on weekend. There are bench to sit at different location. No ticket is required. Other usual service such as public restroom is available.

Tej K — Google review

The hidden gem in the heart of Greenville, Falls Park on the Reedy is everything a park should be.We entered the park by way of Pedrick Garden at Falls Park, walked over a small bridge and down a side road to the park. We were able to get a great view of Liberty Bridge and could hear the falls.Surrounded by restaurants, cafes and hotels all within walking distance, Falls Park boasts lush greenery lined paved walkways with benches and swings to sit, relax and enjoy the views and sounds of the falls. There are large open green spaces available for kids to play, families to picnic and relax and pets to roam.The park was busy on the Saturday we visited, yet it did not feel crowded. There was plenty of room for everyone to enjoy the area.A true gem for nature lovers!Take a stroll across Liberty Bridge to get the most expansive view of Reedy River Falls. Enjoy listening to the flow of water, natural white noise. From the bridge you will be able to see adults, kids, and dogs on the rocks below enjoying the shallow areas of the falls.We were not able to fully explore the area to our liking due to our time constraints.So we look forward to returning for a long weekend to explore this amazing park, the Greenville downtown and the surrounding areas soon.

Danielle — Google review

Nestled in the heart of our city, this park is a true gem for nature lovers and dog owners alike. The highlight of the park is undoubtedly its artificial waterfall, which is nothing short of phenomenal. The sound of cascading water creates a serene atmosphere, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.The surroundings complement the fall beautifully. The park’s design is thoughtful and aesthetically pleasing, with winding paths, lush greenery, and well-maintained flower beds. It’s a delight to stroll through the park, with every turn offering a new, picturesque view.Dog owners will find this park exceptionally welcoming. The area is very dog-friendly, providing ample space for pets to run and play. There are also plenty of benches and seating areas, making it comfortable for pet owners to relax while their furry friends enjoy themselves.Overall, this park is a wonderful spot for relaxation, exercise, and enjoying the beauty of nature. Whether you’re looking to unwind by the waterfall, take a leisurely walk, or spend quality time with your dog, this park caters to all.

KC T — Google review

This is an amazing place to visit. This park makes this city. The waterfalls are very relaxing and the park is beautifully maintained. The pedestrian sky bridge is a great place to take photos. The location is perfect for having dinner and enjoying the visit to downtown Greenville.

Paul H — Google review

The grounds are beautiful. So many different trails to take and the vegetation/garden areas are gorgeous. I only wish it were more stroller friendly but overall, a definite must visit.

Shyann M — Google review

Well maintained, beautiful space. It was busy on a Saturday but still plenty of room to mill about. We found a parking spot not too far away.

Denise S — Google review

We had a wonderful day. The falls were easy to see from many directions. I have issues with walking. Many of the paths were very accommodating. I was a little nervous about the bridge. It gave another great view.

Lisa J — Google review

What a magnificent place. Bridges, green spaces, waterfalls, shopping ,great food and art plus so much more. Can't wait to go back to this perfectly designed park on the heart of Greenville. Wow.

Ellen S — Google review

Beautiful city walk with plenty of picnic areas, good for walking, jogging, people watching and plenty of restaurants nearby. There is also a hotel, a Bank of America if you need cash, parking ranges between $5.00 and $20.00 for the entire stay.

Alex L — Google review

Lovely place to visit. The park and falls are beautiful. If I lived nearby I’d come here all the time. Very relaxing and nice scenery.

Lexi C — Google review

Falls Park is a beautiful place to visit in downtown Greenville. I recommend if you have the ability to; to take a journey out across the rocks and get to a place I like to call “Falcons Cove” . In the last picture I took I am on top of the rock I like to call “Falcon’s Cove” . Maybe you’ll see why if you venture to the rock. Be safe, have fun. Love, Just!

Jamie E — Google review

Beautiful city park with lots of walking paths and several waterfalls, not just the big one. The bridge over the falls is perfect - what a good idea by the city whenever they did that! Lots of great places to eat - Spill the Beans coffee, Passerelle French bistro, Carmella's dessert cafe, and the restaurant and bar at the huge Grand Bohemian. Feel free to walk inside and sit on the terrace overlooking the falls!

Sara W — Google review

It's a nice walk for you and your partner. Or for you and your friends, walking over liberty Bridge and then down into Falls Park is both scenically beautiful but also just fun. There's usually someone playing music on the stone bridge. Or swings to watch the waterfall.*pictures from several different occasions*

Callie C — Google review

4.9

(18363)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (165)

5.0

(4434)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (166)

601 S Main St, Greenville, SC 29601, USA

(864) 467-4350

24

Greenville Zoo

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Zoo

The Greenville Zoo is a small, no-frills zoo that offers visitors a chance to learn about local and exotic wildlife. The zoo has a variety of walking paths, playgrounds, courts, and more to make it a great place for the whole family to enjoy.

We visited on Friday 4/8/2022 - We arrived at the Zoo around 10:30 am. I did not have to wait long to purchase my ticket even though there was a small line. My daughter and I spent a good hour - hour & half, venturing around the open exhibits. Our favorite was the giraffes ! 🦒🦒🦒 The "baby" one kept running around between the adults, it was so cute! The Ocelot was super cute! The Leopard was GORGEOUS 🖤 Some animals were not present & some things were being built, so there is some construction - That just means more animals are coming , so let's be patient while we wait! 🤍 Several different playgrounds on site. Gift shop is reasonably priced as well. We didn't not purchase any food or drinks. There was a shaved ice truck also out front when we left. It was a nice thing to enjoy with my child on a Friday ! ✨️🙌🤍 They do hold special dates & seasonal events. Membership & group rates are available per request! Check out their website before heading out. I recommend the Greenville Zoo to locals & those passing through ! 🦒🦎🐸🐺🐒🐼🐆🤍✨️

Ashley H — Google review

We visited the Greenville Zoo for the first time and really enjoyed it. The park was very clean and the gift shop had a lot of neat things. We’ll definitely be back to see the animals again!

Lindsey A — Google review

Perfect sized zoo to take a stroll with the kiddos! Not too small and not too big. Great variety of exotic animals for everyone to enjoy. Would absolutely recommend if you were staying near the area and were looking for a good past time. Fairly priced as well.Includes a little gift shop and small store to buy refreshments and snacks.

Dan — Google review

A beautiful experience, with well cared for animals and clean atmosphere. Even with the little bit of renovating going on, the animals were quite relaxed and seemed happy. The kids had a blast! A great little seating area for snacks, and a large park for the little ones to let off some energy. Stay until near closing and you can get some interactions with the cats as they await dinnertime.

Amy J — Google review

As someone who has frequented bigger zoos in the past, I think this zoo is quality for the price of entry and the size of the space available. Some of the enclosures need to be updated and the exhibit descriptions are better for children than adults. There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of engaging enrichment for the animals since many of them were facing the back of their enclosures (the keeper side) clearly waiting to be fed. I think there are certainly better zoos in the southeast, but again, I think this one is on par for what you pay.

Zack W — Google review

It was okay for a small zoo. We enjoyed seeing the leopard and orangutans the most. My grandson was thrilled because he loves animals and those were two he had not seen before. There were also lions which he always enjoys. Only one small snack bar is offered. It only takes about an hour to traverse the whole zoo so we were able to see all his favorites two or three times.

Peggy S — Google review

Small but fun zoo great family fun. There are lots of different animals for their size. Worth the trip if you have small kids and are trying to entertain them for a while.

Jermaine W — Google review

Greenville Zoo is small but kept nice and clean. They have many different animals, my favorites were red pandas and baby orangutan and the leopard. Unfortunately it was a cold day so giraffes were inside and we didn’t see any, same with lions. But that means we will have to be back.

Olga S — Google review

In full complete honestly this was the most well kept zoo I have ever visited. Every single exhibit had an animal. Normally when you go to zoos some animals will be gone for the winter or not in some of the cages or displays but every animal they said they had they in fact did. They were so cute and this zoo was so fun! I have been to A LOT of zoos where the animals are in poor living conditions and not fed well and look miserable and that was NOT the case at this zoo. This was the happiest zoo I’ve ever been to. The animals were literally coming up to the glass to greet us and say hello. I even told my boyfriend I was convinced they were trying to show off for us or wanted us to be happy. They all had large cages and I saw lots of food in the exhibits. Normally when I go to zoos I feel indifferent after seeing the animals but this zoo was so lovey. I would definitely come back here again. We looked at the food menu and the food was inexpensive and had a large selection. We were visiting from out of state and had a flight in a few hours and the front staff was kind enough to watch our bag for us as well.

Lexi C — Google review

I love all the improvements to the Zoo. Our granddaughter had such a wonderful time. She was literally squealing with delight at all the different animals. All the animals and their enclosures were clean and healthy. The reptile exhibit was outstanding! The staff was friendly, especially the lady in the gift shop. Keep up the excellent work!

bumblegirl — Google review

Wonderful zoo! Well designed and small enough for kids to walk around comfortably but plenty to see! Took us around an hour to walk though the whole park. My kids really enjoyed seeing the alligator, giraffes, lions, and monkeys. There's also a nice park right next to the zoo.

Rocky B — Google review

Very cute little zoo. Took only about 2hrs of pittling though. There wasn't much but the few they had were cool. Expected bigger and the gift shop they have wasn't stocked and bare. Could have been better but was a good little detour. Been to the Detroit Zoo in Michigan and that's an all day thing! Which I expected but it's ok.

Jhenna S — Google review

It's small but cute. Perfect to go to & just walk around for an hour or so... Price is fair, too. Go early or on cooler days, as with any place with animals, you won't see much movement from them when it's really hot outside. The baby giraffe is adorable!

Tatiana M — Google review

Unexpectedly great zoo! For a zoo on the smaller side, it was great! The animals are situated in a way where they are easily visible and the setting is very natural. The zoo is easily walkable with small kids and all the animals were out! We even saw a lion roar!

Pia L — Google review

We got free tickets and went here over Memorial weekend... it was sprinkling, so they weren't busy at all. It's a small zoo and doesn't take long to walk the whole thing. The gardens are beautiful and well taken care of and so are the animals. We always enjoy the giraffes, lions and monkeys, but this time they had some sort of lizzard. He loves people they said, and he followed my grandson all over near the window. It made his day! It was our 2nd time visiting this zoo and we will definitely be back.

Lori K — Google review

A great small zoo with a really nice reptile house. Some different animals than Riverbanks or Atlanta have. Tickets are $11 for adults and $8 for kids.

Beth M — Google review

Small zoo but very nice. Not too many animals, several different kinds of monkeys, lions, giraffe, leopard, birds, flamingos. Cost was $14 for an adult. Very clean and well kept. Easy parking.

Debra C — Google review

Always a good time here. Small enough for little ones but still has exotic animals. Not to mention Cleveland park and the swamp rabbit trail right in the front yard. Tickets are fairly priced but the gift shop is pricey - still the money goes to the zoo so it’s not hard to spend anyway. Not to mention, downtown Greenville is right around the corner.

Hanna I — Google review

It's a small zoo but well done - most areas look new, even the sections being remodeled! So while it doesn't have a lot of space, it seems that it's got some good donors. The animals look reasonably happy and relaxed and they even have a big African lion, giraffes, and a leopard. The red pandas are super cute and active, some bat-eared foxes are super cute, and there are several birds of prey and a reptile house.I was mainly there to take a walk on a pretty day, and it only takes about 30 minutes to do a completely circuit, pausing to look at most of the animals. I did another lap in reverse, which rewarded me with different views of some animals. It is on a hill, so you are walking (and possibly pushing a stroller) up and down some decent hills. I recommend heading uphill first, then winding your way down and around to the alligator and farm animals.

Sara W — Google review

Our family loves the zoo. It's a great zoo, not too big and we've never been when it's crowded. We get family passes every year. Everyone there is so friendly and easy to talk to. I've never had any issues with cleanliness in the bathrooms and the playground that's in the front of the zoo is great. The playground has different sections. Ones for 5 and under and the other is 5-12.

Angela N — Google review

We were doing recon for a family picnic. While we didn't visit the zoo, the covered picnic areas were large enough which were located across from the zoo entrance. The nearby bathroom was a plus as well.

Jo-C C — Google review

We love the Greenville Zoo!! Beautiful location nestled in the hills, with a lot of trees for shade. Big enough but not too big and very well put together. There's even a small kids park mid-way through to stop and get some energy out. Great picnic area and additional larger park right outside the Zoo. We can definitely spend 1-2 hours here on a nice day.

Jade L — Google review

Cool little zoo. Not as big as some of the there’s we have seen, but a nice place to spend the morning around Greenville. Great addition to the surrounding park area. Definitely will be back again.

Brian G — Google review

Such a great place to visit for a couple of hours. Smaller than the Atlanta zoo, but also a fraction of the cost and crowds! We always have a blast!

Courtney G — Google review

Loved this little zoo! The animals were so active, except the big cats who were snoozing! Really nice place, easy to navigate, handicap accessible and enclosures are close up and easy to see the animals and activity!

Caitlin R — Google review

Really cute local zoo if you don’t feel like fighting to crowds at Riverbanks. They are putting in a lot of work to make it even nicer over this next year. I can’t wait to see everything when it’s all done.

Ali M — Google review

Nice zoo outing. There is a preschool playground inside the zoo and 2 large playgrounds outside the zoo. Parking is free.

Eve D — Google review

We picked the wrong day to visit! We arrived to find 8 elementary schools (and their parents) on a field trip. Very crowded. We couldn’t even go to the playground, not a square foot of area available. Also, why are the flamingos standing in dirty, muddy water? Hadn’t rained in days. The glass to view the alligator is soo nasty. Please clean!

C J — Google review

What a fun, little zoo! Just perfect for young children and adults alike. Loved all the play areas and I’m excited to bring my family back here to visit and play. It was a rainy day when we spent time at the zoo, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Well maintained.

Maggie S — Google review

The Greenville Zoo is small, but don't let that dissuade you! This place is a real gem! They have a large variety of animals, and everything is nice and clean!

Caleb E — Google review

Very cute and clean little Zoo. It's not super big but the Price Is Right especially when you're bringing the whole family. The kids really enjoyed all the animals there and so did my husband and I. We tried to go every time we are in Greenville

Brittany T — Google review

4.3

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4.0

(997)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (170)

150 Cleveland Park Dr, Greenville, SC 29601, USA

(864) 467-4300

25

Hopelands Gardens

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Park

Nature & Parks

Garden

Picturesque 14-acre garden with old oak trees & cedars, a koi pond, fountains & holiday lights.

We love coming here to see the fish, have a picnic and just walk around. The trees always offer ample shade during a hot day. The history of this always blows my mind - it’s wonderful. I come here all the time and have since I moved here in 2009. Lovely place to put a blanket down and read

Nicole F — Google review

The park doesn’t have the same care put into it as it did a few years ago but it’s still a nice hallmark to have here in Aiken. It’s gorgeous in the fall and even though the Christmas lights were lacking this year compared to other years, it’s free and beautiful to walk through. There’s a small variety of wildlife that make it worth the trip. It’s very pet friendly and has numerous public restrooms available on site.

Joey R — Google review

lovely gardens ! Pet friendly! Spring is definitely time to visit but I’m sure all seasons are delightful! Gorgeous!

Jessica J — Google review

Beautiful serene gardens to enjoy trees florals and all things nature. Lots of quiet little areas to relax and enjoy just “being.” I saw turtles sunbathing in one of the ponds and birds chirping everywhere. There is such a unique smell in one particular area that is everything Jasmine!! It made me want to sip jasmine tea! The bonus for me was the history (look it up) and especially that Mrs. Hope would leave such a place to the city of Aiken for countless people to enjoy. This is definitely worth the visit many times over.

Pamela J — Google review

A perfect old time Christmas stroll thru the gardens. The Hot Apple Cider and treats were a hit also! The lamb was a little "cheeky" but the woman that gave us the carriage house tour was full of wit and charm! She made our night! Thanks!

Timothy A — Google review

Very relaxing place. Great for walking with beautiful trees, fountains, and ponds

No G — Google review

Beautiful place to walk around and enjoy. Lots of great photo ops. Wasn't too crowded. Unfortunately the water with the koi fish was really murky and we could barely see the fish. Other than that, highly recommend!

MisStepProject — Google review

Potted trees not watered. Sad to see dying Japanese maples outside the buildings in pots sitting in full sun where they don’t survive well and not at all without water. Quite a slick of sludge on Koi pond water. Not sure if that’s harmful to the fish or not but we could just barely make out one fish. Love the variety of old trees !

Stephanie S — Google review

So beautiful. Majestic trees and lots of horse history. Lots of photo ops.

E C — Google review

This will be my new go to spot for a nice quiet place to spend time with my dog. There’s plenty of walking space with so many different areas to explore. We didn’t even get to explore it all. Very excited to come back here.

Carolyn S — Google review

This is a great park to walk around and visit for free. It's a gem in the city. They have the major trees labeled and you can learn about them by calling a local 803 number. There are fountains, trees, and plenty of benches to sit and relax near the theater.There is also a barn with large models of locally known horses to read about.There are also large fish in the pond that are a bit shy and on a sunny day there are always big painter turtles sunning.Go and visit with friends and family, take some pictures. They recently went through some spring cleaning and the place looks fantastic.

Paul C — Google review

Nice peaceful place to walk and gather thoughts. It's definitely a gem of a place in the middle of Aiken. Horse racing hall of fame is a good bonus.

Robert T — Google review

Old live Oaks are spectacular. Enjoyed stables and horse memorabilia/museum. Great informative staff.

Carolyn J — Google review

A nice place tucked away in Aiken, SC. I unfortunately came at the end of the season. I can imagine how vibrant this place must be in Spring. Even though, I saw some lovely flowers as well as water. This is a nice spot for photography and a calm date. It is also nice to take a healthy walk. There is something relaxing about being in nature. Go out and smell the green Earth!

Dread I — Google review

4.8

(1157)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (171)

4.5

(438)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (172)

135 Dupree Pl, Aiken, SC 29801, USA

(803) 642-7650

I'll never travel to Charleston without this trip planner again

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26

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

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Zoo

Zoos & Aquariums

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is a family-friendly zoo with African and Australian animals, reptile galleries, a bird house, a farm, and botanical gardens. The zoo features a splash pad with rubber surfaces that has been upgraded in the summer. There are also playhouses, treehouses, a large field with toys and games, a waterfall and 2 splash pads.

Riverbanks zoo reminds of Animal Kingdom set in good old Disney World without the financial hard ship going there. Riverbanks is simply an amazing zoo. I would recommend setting aside 3-4 hours to see everything, this of course is set with a two old in mind. We stopped and saw just about everything and even petted some very friendly goats. Some stuff does cost extra, $20 on the zoo card will be more than enough for two children.The giraffe feeding stops at 1:30pm so if that is on your agenda I would get in line early. We went on a Sunday and the crowds were not too bad. We will definitely become frequent visitors. 10/10 I highly recommend.

Tai S — Google review

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden is fabulous! We absolutely love it here and have been visiting regularly for 10+ years. The animal variety is second to none. The layout of the zoo flows very nice to ensure you can enjoy each stop to see all that it offers during your visits. The staff do a great job of keeping the zoo very clean and safe. They are very, attentive, and provide excellent service every time we are there. The expansions keep coming and continue improving and evolving this Zoo into one of the best visits you and your family can make.If I was going to provide a critique, I would recommend more fans through out the park. South Carolina (especially in the midlands) can get very hot and humid during the summer months and that heat can make visiting the park a less than pleasant experience if you are not use to the heat down here (heck even if you are 😂). More fans through out the park would add to the already amazing atmosphere and help create some more much needed cool zones through out.One last add. Please visit during the Halloween and Christmas events. They are fantastic and highly recommended. For adults the Brew at the Zoo is one of the best attractions around. Enjoy!

Jacob G — Google review

This was an amazing experience! The $5 parking is worth it if you are wanting to go to the botanical gardens/splash pad first or last on your visit. The prices were fair for adults at $26 for how big of a zoo it is! There were some of every animal including giraffes you can feed, a kangaroo exhibit you can walk through, and sea lions you can stand next to. Animals included monkeys, gorillas, lions, tigers, snakes, birds of all kinds, goats, alpacas, bears, otters, tortoises, penguins, tropical fish, jellyfish, sea turtles, koalas, sloths, and so much more. I even tried out the ropes course within the zoo (requires shoes w/ heel strap) which was priced at $7 for non-members. It was a good ropes course for the price! I do recommend having a parent or older sibling go up with a younger child if they're new to ropes courses. The height can be a fear factor and the way the harness is attached to the top of the course can make it harder for smaller kids to reach in order to move around the course. As an adult, it's a fun add-on especially if you're looking for some more thrill with your zoo experience. The botanical gardens were gorgeous! They were located right next to the $5 parking and the tram. Overall, I really enjoyed visiting the Riverbanks Zoo and all of the staff here were polite and happy.

Michelle L — Google review

Wild Nights was awesome! Really looked great from the front gate fungi/coral to the animated creatures. Went on Black Friday with family in town for the holidays. Highly recommend buying tickets in advance as another group mentioned it was already sold out when we arrived right after 5pm. The kids loved that the train and carousel were both running.The person at the gate was very helpful as we had multiple ticket purchases across several confirmation emails. Would definitely go again.

Jeremy L — Google review

A place where families can come and witness animals from around the world in a protected and safe environment. The Riverbanks Zoo rescues animals from around the globe to rehabilitate them and care for them with such love. The zoo is filled with a variety of animals ranging from tigers, lions, gorillas, and birds from all countries. This place is clean, family friendly, and caters to all ages. If you're ever in Columbia, SC, I would definitely recommend this place for a fun family outing. If you wish to take friends, you can purchase yearly passes that give you 4-8 guest passes, depending on your choice of yearly pass.

Alexander ( — Google review

The zoo is well maintained, clean, and organized.There’s a $5 dollar fee for the parking and they have plenty of parking spaces.You can book in advance “behind the scenes” to pet some of the animals. (Check their website).If you go early in the morning you can feed the giraffes.There are plenty of restrooms around, some of them smell bad and are messy, speciallyIf the zoo is pretty busy.The bird part smells bad but is just the smell of the birds. Just be aware.They rent strollersGift shop availableThey have photographers at the entrance with a giant green screen.They have an interactive farm for kids, a carousel, and more.Food and drinks from outside are not allowed.

Veronica — Google review

Very cool, lots to do! We spent 4 hours here and didn't make it to everything they had! Very fun family experience! We went to the gardens, too. They had an amazing arrangement of plants and beautifully organized gardens. This place is excellent for children and adults! There are vendors around the place with food, drinks (adult kinds included), and souvenirs none of which had a long line when we went to them. Tickets were cheaper online than at the gate when we went!

Joshua G — Google review

The zoo was awesome! There were a lot of nice animals, and the enclosures/habitats were more than adequate for the animals. Healthy animals! My favorite places to visit had the flamingos and the lions. They had a grizzly bear, which I had not seen before. The botanical gardens were nice, as well. Small, but nice. There is a tram that takes you from the zoo to the garden. It took me and my partner about 3.5 hours to do the zoo and the garden.

Mar P — Google review

I visited her in the spring, and it was fantastic. We enjoyed feeding the giraffes. We were able to get up close to the gorillas even though their enclosure is going through renovations. I loved the sea lion exhibit. The aquarium had just recently opened back up and was super crowded. We were not able to check that out, but it looked super nice from the outside. My daughter and nephew loved all the activities this zoo offers. This zoo is very well kept, and the animals looked happy and healthy.

Marsha D — Google review

Went this past week with my nieces (1 yo) and they had a blast. There are lots of exhibits and we saw all of them and stayed for about 2 hours total. We were able to see all of the animals except the tiger(s). My nieces especially loved the aquarium and the penguin exhibit. We got to see them performing maintenance/cleaning in one of the aquarium tanks which was pretty cool. Also got to see a couple of young gorillas nursing. I would recommend bringing some bug spray and sunscreen. There’s a lot of tree cover and canopies at exhibits providing shade throughout the park but there are also areas in direct sunlight at many of the exhibits. The park overall was very clean and there was lots to do. Also recommend going during the week/off season as the temperature is cooler so you’re able to see more animals and it is WAY less busy. There were maybe a max of 5 other people at an exhibit with us. Did not see or visit the garden this time, but definitely have plans to visit next time. This was our 2nd time making the trip to this zoo and we will definitely be back!

Faith L — Google review

Beautiful and spacious zoo. There are unique animals that live here, that are not at a typical zoo. Lots of shade to keep you cool while viewing the animals. And very, very clean!The enclosures have lots of space and the animals seemed happy and energetic, compared to other zoos I’ve visited. There are friendly zookeepers posted around the zoo to share interesting information on the animals. They were well informed and were able to answer all the questions we asked. My favorite part was visiting the Kangaroos. You are able to actually go inside the enclosure (while staying on the path) to view the kangaroos from a short distance without any fence or obstruction blocking your view. The experience felt up close, but was a safe distance away.We enjoyed the trek up the trail to the garden through dense trees that felt like it’s own separate space from the zoo. The garden is well taken care of and has a calming atmosphere. We then rode the tram back down the trail where we were brought back to the zoo. It is nice the facility offers the tram at no extra cost.Overall, we had a great time! This is probably my favorite zoo now.

Gabi B — Google review

I visited with my kids here during the Christmas holidays. The weather was pleasant.There was no wait line at the ticket counter.The charges for kids and adults are almost the same.It's not very big zoo but there are lots of animals and well maintained.There are more than one lion, tiger, orangutan and many more.There are different animal talk times for more information.With special bands you can go near few animals like giraffe, feed birds and play games.Sometimes the layout gets confusing but it's small enough to trace the steps back.The alligator 🐊 was not there.There are lots of picnic tables.I could go near kangaroo 🦘.Zoo rangers are always nearby and helpful with information or directions.There are many eating outlets.It's a good to spend with kids.

Archie — Google review

The zoo was pretty big, and had a good selection of animals. Compared to other zoos I've visited, it was ok. Animals were on the smaller size, and the one grizzly bear we saw looked like he had mange (fur was patchy in several places). The plus for me was that you can take the free tram to the botanical gardens which was included in the ticket price. That was my favorite part. Walking through the gardens was a nice outing, and there were places with seating, food, activities, and a splash park for kids. Overall I enjoyed it.

Tonya — Google review

This place is BIG. The last time I had been to Riverbanks, it was nowhere near as big and developed as it is today. In fact, it was only the Riverbanks Zoo, no garden included. There are multiple packed parking lots, but even having to park far away, the walk to the front gate wasn’t terrible, and parking is FREE. Whoever thought to build that bridge over the parking lot with elevators, bless you! This zoo reminds me of a mini Animal Kingdom at Disney. It’s setup like theme park. There’s music playing, lots of staff, the enclosures are well kept, and there’s so much going on in every direction. I went on a random Saturday and it was filled with families enjoying the day. There are lots of food and beverage options (I noticed that you CAN bring your own water bottle), and I loved the tram service that takes you from the main park to the botanical gardens. The gardens aren’t as impressive as I’d hoped, but they still give you something different to do. One thing that was slightly inconvenient is that the staff hands you a map when you walk in, which is great, but the map isn’t oriented to where you are at the beginning of the park. I found myself having to turn the map upside down to get the map to line up correctly to where I was when starting at the front of the park. I really wish they’d fix that, because you’re never “right side up” until you’re working your way from the back of the park to the front/main exits. There are some really cool interactive areas for kids like a splash pad and large open area where kids and run and let off energy, a sky rope course, and giraffe feeding. I saw online that there are other private experiences you can pay for as well. It’s a fun day if you’re looking to get outside and keep the kids entertained, or even if you’re solo like me and just looking for something safe and wholesome to do. Took me about 3 hours to get through without rushing. I’ll definitely be taking family members that come to visit.

T F — Google review

I dropped in unexpectedly, looking to get some steps in. Lots of trails and flora. Many places to sit and take a load off.You can walk from the garden to the zoo, it's only 3/10 mile. Zoo was a bit more crowded, but pretty cool....and they sell beer 😁.Check out Saluda Ruins, BEAUTIFUL walk and an interesting story. I was there for about 2 hours and got in my 10k steps.

Erik S — Google review

Well worth the visit! I went with my wife and 2 kiddos, oldest is 9. We really liked the aquarium with a wide variety of up close exhibits. The ocean exhibit had numerous "Coming Soon" attractions. Note that to ride the carousel or do the climbing wall, you must buy extra tickets like at a carnival, but the prices are not ridiculous. When we went, the carousel cost $2 per ride. We also let our daughter try the high ropes obstacle course. This was another fee ($7 per person) but well worth it. Mom and Dad enjoyed the bridge and trails to the botanical gardens, which was included with the zoo admission. Great family outing!

Jarrod R — Google review

Free zoo map is available. I was able to see all the animals so close. Was also able to feed a giraffe and brush the goats. They are very cute. Don't forget to get some merchandises too on the way to the parking lot.

Andita M — Google review

I've always loved the zoo, and now I get the joy of taking my girls. I do suggest a membership as it pays for itself and tickets are pricey but it's worth it. We usually take snacks with us and we have the souvenir cups. We love doing boo at the zoo and the lights at the zoo

Angel W — Google review

Such a great place to bring the family to! The kids loved seeing the animals and learning about all them. Love their aquarium area too! So neat to see them all and watch the kids eyes light up with joy over seeing how they live. If you haven’t gone yet I’d strongly suggest going asap!

Danielle O — Google review

Beautiful zoo, kept clean, prices are as you'd expect going to any big park these days. Good food variety, as well as snacks, drinks. Tons of animal exhibits, overall great for the fam & everyone!Great parking options.

C P — Google review

Took advantage of the last free Friday for this month. First time at the zoo and was not disappointed. Only spent about 2 1/2 hours but really enjoyed. I pretty much stuck to one side of the zoo this time and will explore the other half later on. Highly recommend. The only thing I wish they had was more food options but I’m not complaining because i know how that goes but I went prepared! Took my own food!

Annie G — Google review

we love this place! this is my fourth time at the riverbanks zoo, and it's never failed to please. easy access, plenty of parking, affordable ticket prices (I recommend getting the extended bracelet deal, feeding the giraffes is part of it, and it's really worth it). the animals seem to be well taken care of, and if you go earlier in the day, you'll be able to see everyone waking up and hanging out (the otters were especially excited for the sunshine and company). definitely dress comfy and bring plenty of water! there's lots of shade and several drinking fountains, but it was nice to have our own on hand. this was our first time making it up to the gardens, and that was also really worth the trip up. the waterfall splash area is great for the kiddos in the heat. I believe there's a lot on the west side where you can park and the access is much easier for the gardens and play area. all around great time!

Heather H — Google review

We had a great time,animals were cool food was good and wait times were a bit long on a few things but other wise it was great, it’s very nice and nothing is to far apart so it’s not that bad when walking from place to place extra things were very affordable being 2 dollars a person just so you know the zoo does a coin system kind of so if you want to do an extra and you had 3 people it would 6 dollars with each coin being 1 dollar a piece,extras were very cool with the extras being feeding giraffes,feeding birds and other things. I would recommend getting to the zoo as early as possible because it gets crowded very fast you could get to see more things actually moving and running around and that’s just a few things to keep in mind.

Mc B — Google review

God have us an absolutely perfect day for our visit! It was 75°, partly cloudy, and a gentle breeze. Although it was fairly busy, everyone moved along through all the exhibits quickly. I'd have to say that our group's highlights were feeding the Coconut Lorikeet, walking among the kangaroos, and visiting the botanical garden (took the tram up). It's a great place for kids of all ages. The garden has quite a few play areas of all different themes and many water features. The kids were having a blast in the water activities. They even have a cabana for bathing suit changes. It's a "must see" if you're in the area. We'll be visiting again in the future.

Patricia V — Google review

This was a nice zoo for a city of this size. The attendants at the kangaroos and flamingos were very nice answering my questions about the animals. Kid friendly. Guests should be aware that during hot weather or middle of the day many of the larger animals are not very active. The aquatic collections and monkeys are really good.

Louis M — Google review

Came to the zoo in the morning. Most animals were out as breakfast was being served to some of the animals. It was pleasant that the weather was cool, so a light coat or long sleeves did the trick. By the time it was 11 a.m., it warmed up. Not very crowded, it was nice to walk through and take some time to see the animals starting their day. Since it was 9:30 am when I got in, not many food/drink places were available until closer to 11, so I purchased a bottle of water from one of the vending machines and kept exploring. If you're looking for a slower pace to venture, I recommend the morning, I enjoyed it.

Ari G — Google review

"Love taking the kids here! Awesome zoo with aquarium and aviaries. Large habitats are great but animals can be shy. Park lacked water due to a break on a hot day, $4 for water bottles is steep. Offering cheap bottles until boil mandate lifted would've helped. Kids enjoyed feeding birds and the sky high safari was a highlight!"

Cobey R — Google review

I would recommend getting here EARLY and leaving before 1-2pm. It gets extremely busy after lunch time, but aside from that I had a wonderful time! I had to bring my service dog with me and the staff were respectful and understanding! There are some places you aren’t allowed to go with a service animal but that is understandable and totally fine! Bathrooms were kept clean and smelled fine, there wasn’t trash or debris everywhere. The animals confinements looked clean and well taken care of which was a favorite of mine! I will say it took a while to get our food when we went up to a food truck. This was at lunch time and the place was getting pretty crowded by then. I had an absolute blast here and will definitely come back.

Jayden C — Google review

Riverbank zoo is a all day adventure for the family! I recommend buying tickets online as somedays it's packed here. Always building new and exciting exhibits for the animals. This is definitely a all day trip for all ages. Many many animals to see and multiple locations thay are indoors and cooled when you get too hot. There is also petting zoo areas and small rides like a train and carousel for the little ones. They do sell food and drinks there but they are very very expensive. We bring food and eat it outside on the benches then go back inside.

Tony G — Google review

Riverbanks Zoo is always a fun day for the kids. Even after multiple visits, it never gets old. A great way for the kids to get their energy out. They absolutely love it when Waterfall Junction is open and love the giraffe feeding, too! The grounds and gardens are always beautiful!

Deanna B — Google review

Very nice zoo. The animals seemed well cared for, and there were a lot of attractions. The price is also reasonable as you could easily spend 4-6 hours looking around. Definitely buy tickets online and save some money (free parking with online purchase).

D M — Google review

This is a great Zoo. Downside is make sure you get the wristbands to actually participate in feeding the 🦒 and doing a good amount of things the kids will want to do. Downside was we didn't see the large tortoise or many monkeys. There were no cats available to view either as a lot of exhibits were being renovated. The food is definitely not great, everything costs so much these days. Expect to spend at least $160 for a few hours and 2 people. Clean, well staffed and easy to find.

Ree C — Google review

Here visiting for the weekend and came on a Friday. Really enjoyed this zoo! I think it is very kid friendly and has a lot of activities for them to do, not just see the animals. We came at a good time (10 am) so most of the animals were pretty active. We enjoyed seeing the reptiles and Gorillas the most. It was definitely busy that day due to many schools having field trips to the zoo. They only really had snacks around the park, which is expected at a zoo. I do recommend doing to Tuskers if you real food while visiting though. We also really enjoyed walking the Garden trails. I highly recommend checking out this zoo!

Lauren L — Google review

Riverbanks zoo was more than I expected. The animals seem to be very healthy and well kept. Great place to visit. The trail to the gardens is very peaceful. The gardens itself. Stunning. If you buy tickets online the parking is free. If you buy tickets in person parking $5 per car.

Anthony M — Google review

Other than the number of people, we had a great time. The staff was nice and all the animals were out. Can't wait to go on a weekday and be able to take our time watching the animals.

Lydia D — Google review

We got there at 1pm and had enough time to stop by most the exhibits, but many of the animals were sleeping. I'd recommend getting there earlier so you can go back to see the animals you missed on the first round. The zoo itself was not very big, so you can easily make a couple laps. The parking lot was hectic when we got there (1pm on a Saturday), but once we got past the entrance, we found many open spots, while others were fighting for closer parking.

Danielle C — Google review

Very well put together Zoo and Gardens. There is a lot of various animals to see, such as gorillas, giraffes, kangaroos, grizzly bear, sea lions and so forth. I recommend you bring some water for your walk around this zoo you will be doing a lot of walking especially if you want to walk across the pedestrian bridge.There are a couple different options you can take to get to and from the Zoo side and the Botanical Garden side. One way is taking the Woodland Trail beginning on the garden side. Next would be taking the walking path that runs along the Tram Road it is rather steep. Finally is the Tram with are two Ford Super Duty Pickups with three “wagons” attached behind each pickup it will take you to and from the Zoo side and the Garden side. There however is usually a wait for the Tram. We chose to walk the path along the Tram road.This Zoo was extremely crowded. It is probably best if you try to go on a weekday. We went on a Saturday it was extremely busy. I highly recommend checking out the gift shop and buying a souvenir. This is one of the best Zoos I have been to.

Jake Y — Google review

4.7

(20240)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (186)

4.5

(2961)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (187)

500 Wildlife Pkwy, Columbia, SC 29210, USA

(803) 779-8717

27

Congaree National Park

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National park

Nature & Parks

Congaree National Park boasts an expansive hardwood forest with abundant opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, canoeing and fishing. Volunteer-led programs attract weekend visitors while ranger-led programs are more frequent during peak season. While the educational sections of the park's center are partially closed, numerous items can be purchased at its gift shop. This newly developed park caters to urban enthusiasts and is highly recommended for experiencing the firefly season.

I almost hesitate to review because we LOVED it so much and don't want it to become over crowded. This is one of our favorite hiking spots! The 2.6 Mile boardwalk was easily doable with me and my elementary aged kids. It feels like an adventure but also quite safe and clean. We also picnicked in one of the many, shady spots by the lodge. After lunch we were a bit more adventurous with off boardwalk trails. There are many and they're rated by difficulty with listed distances so you can easily determine what's the best fit for you/your group. The staff was AMAZING! We availed ourselves of the gift shop for a few items. We also picked up our junior ranger books, completed the activities during our adventures, and were then sworn in as junior rangers! Including me ☺️ We got beautiful Congaree ranger badges that absolutely thrilled them. We will return as soon as we are able! It is a little more than 2 hours each way for us and totally worth it!!

Katy B — Google review

A nice national park to go to. The board walk was definitely worth it with a nice raised path and information markers along the way. A good 2.5 mile hike and took about an hour. It is in a swampy area so depending on the time of year might be a little buggy and or muggy; so come prepared with water and bug repellent. But a very nice and easy walk with great information along the way and plenty of wildlife to observe!

Paige V — Google review

Very cool National Park, right here in South Carolina. Swampy and buggy, so bring your bug spray, but its nice to see nature other than beach or mountains - this is how the entire southeastern US looked before Europeans settled here and deforested this brautiful place.

Kerri H — Google review

I had never heard of this park before planning this trip, but I am very glad that I went out of my way to come here! Very beautiful park with the informative Boardwalk Trail and easy breezy paths around the visitor center. I'm not much of a hiker, but all the trails in and around the visitor center were very walkable.

An P — Google review

Free admission National park. Good for a day-trip hike. They are known for fireflies at night. There are multiple trails to hike. Some were flooded because its low altitude. Park rangers were friendly and helpful. It’s a beautiful and serene park. It’s very close to Columbia, SC. Restrooms were clean. The famous boardwalk was nice and handicap accessible.

Wind N — Google review

Finally knocked out the Oakridge Trail. You'll need a decent amount of water. The hike took me around 4 hours to complete. There were areas that have downed trees blocking the winding trails, and also an area that has become completely submerged. I lost the trail twice. One time I had to cross swamp water on a tiny tree trunk to continue the trail so please be vigilant of trail markers. Get lost in your mind not the trails. I highly recommend you come prepared for this hike. Food, water, emergency supplies, and navigation supplies. You end up very far from anyone and isolation is very real. The hike is definitely worth it however. There is so much wildlife when you get this far out!

Jon T — Google review

The park was so popular on the weekends, which included volunteers led programs. The ranger led programs are more concentrated during the peak season. The center was partially closed, mostly educational sections, however, they have a lot of stuff for purchasing and for sales. You could tell that this park is very new and geared towards urban people. I recommend to come for the firefly season. Would love to do kayaking programs with the rangers in this park too. But it's super popular and hard for accessibility.

Aaron Y — Google review

We've visited many national parks over the years. But this was our first swamp! It was nothing like I'd ever experienced. We went late may, so the weather was perfect, and the mosquitoes were non-existent. We saw a wild hogs body, and several alligators swimming in the distance. The trails are all boardwalks, making it super easy to walk miles around the park.

Naomi C — Google review

An amazing place. Nice Ada accessible board walk. 2.8 miles. Lots to see with different animals , plants and layouts within a few biomes. Lots of hiking trails. Visitors center.

Escott B — Google review

We always see something interesting here. This time it was 3 snakes, 4 turtles, and tons of fish. There are lots of trails and they are well marked, but it is easy to get off trail if you are not careful. Staying on the boardwalk is great with small kids. We always see water snakes in the summer, but this time we saw a Cottonmouth and a Rattler. Check the website before you go - sometimes it is flooded and only a few trails will be open.

Beth M — Google review

Little known National Park that offers a lot of natural history of area vegetation and native wildlife. Great walking paths. The 2.5 mile boardwalk offers easy walking but not much to offer for younger kids.

Larry T — Google review

This place was amazing. Part of the boardwalk was flooded about 4-8 inches which made for a really cool barefoot hike ! Weather was perfect (end of march) and this place was just beautiful. Lots of little reptiles and massive trees (100+ft) very simple hike on the boardwalk. Even saw someone with an electric wheelchair out there. Absolutely recommend this place!! And entry is free !!!

Jonathon H — Google review

Beautiful boardwalk and nature trails. If you like the serenity of nature, I recommend visiting during the week. Weekends attract more families with small children and larger groups that are loud. Visitors center is beautiful and educational, clean restrooms.

Tawanna W — Google review

Took my sisters here for their first hike and their first National Park trip, and they had an absolute blast. The rangers were super kind and helpful, the hikes we found were easy to follow (especially for first-timers), and the place is absolutely gorgeous. Would definitely recommend for camping as well.It is safe to say that I have successfully recruited them into the world of collecting National Park cancellation stamps, and it's largely due to the great time exploring this awesome park.

Aniyah P — Google review

Great hidden gem! I took my young kids and we did the boardwalk trail. Felt very safe clean and sturdy for being in a swamp. It was so peaceful. Park ranger was very friendly and informative. Will definitely come back when the weather is more cooperative to explore the other trails!

Sara M — Google review

It is such a shame this is one of the least visited national parks. And its free!This park is beautiful. The cypress trees provide great shade but it can be humid and hot in the summer. But there are lots of bugs everywhere playing bumper cars with your face!There are many trails to hike depending on your level of experience and appetite for adventure. We did the boardwalk trail which was easy. We wanted to hike the weston lake trail but saw gators and water moccasins close to the banks of the lake and decided not to for precaution. Trails are marked throughout.However, I can see why this is one of the least visited parks. The visitor center was lacking pizzazz. It would be better if there were more interactions between the park ranger and visitors through educational programs or ranger talks. But rangers do not approach you and try to talk to you.I am not sure I would come back again but am glad I had the chance to stop by while in the area.

J H — Google review

We visited the park after 5pm so didn’t get to see visitor center. About 1 of 2.5 miles of boardwalk was under water but we managed to walk it all the way (barefooted, kneedeep). On the trail we saw Otters, Snakes, leaches and an Owl (real up close, see video). Despite the flood it was a great experience

Maarten L — Google review

We went for the boardwalk trail. It was a really nice walk. We saw a lot of animals on the way, including alligator and turtles! For those who are going first time, don't forget to take a paper trail guide as there are many interesting points a long the trail. There are available at visitor center.

Justyna — Google review

One of more unknown and underrated National Parks, Congaree was a pleasant surprise. Start at the visitor center, where there is free parking, picnic tables and grills, restrooms and the gift shop. The visitor center is a little dated and could use a refresh, especially the restrooms.The boardwalk trail was lovely and has a lot to look at. It does get crowded on the weekends because it’s great for families. If you want more of a secluded longer hike, we did the Weston Lake Loop, which took a couple of hours but it was worth it.

Chris L — Google review

The biodiversity is this floodplain is amazing. From trees(bald cypress) having swollen trunk base to knees(roots that rise above ground) to support trees during floods to switch canes because elevation rise by only a few inches, and tallest deciduous trees (130-150 feet) in the world, and dwarf palmetto, to how the area was used by slaves to hide away and bootleggers to make alcohol during the ban. Do hike the Weston lake and oak ridge trails to get a chance to see some wildlife.

Shalin R — Google review

Such a great park!Plenty of trails, ranging from easy to difficult, Short to long.Very clean, nice, restrooms on site at visitors center.Boardwalk trail is fantastic, shaded, smooth. Little under 3 miles but not bad at all. Wheelchair accessible.Absolutely wonderful park, kept up with.Free entry.Campsites availableKind staff & helpful people.

C P — Google review

Fun! We waded through the Swamp to make it all the way around the boardwalk. Not many people. It was nice that pets were allowed.We were grateful for the time of year we visited because I'm sure mosquitoes are terrible when it's hot!

Amanda G — Google review

A beautiful and unique national park experience - specifically if you take a canoe or kayak to explore it.. highly recommended to book a guided canoe tour, to include no worries about getting lost in the swamp!

Ryan S — Google review

Wow!! If you LOVE nature, you'll love this. We saw an owl, gator, raccoon, alligator gar, turtles, dozens of birds, butterflies, fireflies, worms, etc....The trees are AMAZING!! I love birds, trees, and plants, so I used two apps to identify them: Merlin (birds) and Picture This (plants and trees).Easy to Difficult trails. Be prepared with mosquito repellent, which you need to apply in the parking lot before leaving your vehicle (same with sunscreen) so as to protect the natural habitats.Be sure to go to the bathroom and have water with you before entering the trails. There is nothing between you and nature for miles.

Susan H — Google review

Great! Went 3/21 about a week after rain. Boardwalks were fine. You could see how high the water was! A great little place for also bringing kids and dogs! If I were to go again I would want to kayak/canoe!

A — Google review

Saw a gator, went in April and the trails were open but caterpillars were everywhere in epic paportions- wear a hat. Check the NPS website because there is regular flooding here and sometimes the trails aren't accessible. Visitor center and video are nice.

Erin ( — Google review

Congaree National Park was free to enter, and parking was plentiful. I went on a weekday perhaps, that's why it wasn't busy. The main attraction in the park is the board walk. It's about 2 miles, and it's a loop that ends where you began. I was pretty excited to see a swamp, having never seen one before. However, after the first few hundred feet, it quickly becomes redundant. The visitor center gives you a small map that tells you about the different numbered signs along the walk.I believe every national park is worth visiting. This one was probably the most uneventful national park I have been to, though. Or maybe swamps aren't my thing.

Dan S — Google review

Such a lovely national park. Part of the boardwalk trail was flooded out, but there was still plenty to see and experience. We definitely want to return!

Allison R — Google review

Went here and did the boardwalk trail, although much of it was flooded, so do be aware of park closures. It is a nice and peaceful walk in nature, although nothing outstanding like many of the other national parks are. Probably wouldn’t go back, unless I lived close by or in the area.

Gabriella — Google review

We came here during flood season but it was still fun. There's a few trails you can take while it's flooded, and it's kind of nice to see that side of the park. If you want to avoid flood season, I Believe you need to go in the summer and fall. The park rangers are so nice and helpful, and there were no mosquitos.

Dani D — Google review

A smaller National Park but a unique ecosystem. This park is basically a large swamp. The boardwalk trail is 2.4 miles and is very easy to walk. You can walk through an old growth hardwood forest that includes native bald cypress, beech, tupelo, and loblolly pine. Water was high this visit due to recent storms but not quite at flood level. The great thing about visiting in March, no mosquitoes. I hear they can be quite thick in the summer. If you are a National Park enthusiast like I am, this is a great place to experience something different. Unlike other parks, there were no crowds, and we enjoyed the solitude during the hike. There is off boardwalk hiking but did not attempt because of the high waters.

Steve K — Google review

This park isn't going to "wow" you with views and geological structures. Enchanted forest feel. Old growth trees are amazing. Very quiet and peaceful place. Boardwalk is a great hike. Entrance to the park is free.

Wayne L — Google review

Unless you're coming from Columbia, it's pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but well worth the trip. We didn't do any paddling or camping, but the boardwalk through the cypress swamp is beautiful. The visitor center is staffed with knowledgeable rangers and interesting displays. Had a great time there.

Bob M — Google review

4.7

(3330)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (192)

4.5

(447)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (193)

South Carolina, USA

(803) 776-4396

28

Old Sheldon Church Ruins

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40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (196)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (197)

Historical landmark

Sights & Landmarks

Historic Sites

Greek Revival columns, walls & a graveyard from the 1750s stand amid oaks covered in Spanish moss.

Great, Beautiful Place. The owners of the place had to place a fence around it to keep people out, due to individuals taking parts of the church home with them. Just saying... If you come to see the Church, please only take pictures.

Tony B — Google review

This place is absolutely AMAZING!!! Ruins are bigger than what I was expecting, and I was unaware that it was in the middle of a cemetery. We did have kind of a creepy experience though. In the southwest corner of the grounds we discovered a white sheet on the ground surrounded by a bunch of burned down white candles. Not sure what this was all about, but it gave me a bit of an uneasy feeling. But we enjoyed the remainder of our visit looking at all the old graves, the wickedly beautiful live oak trees and the church ruins themselves. If you like history, you'll LOVE this place! BRING MOSQUITO REPELLENT!! LOTS OF IT.

Kristyn M — Google review

A fun little stop pretty close to 95. The ruins are cool and the grounds are covered in droopy trees draped with moss. The ruins themselves are gated closed, however.

Zac H — Google review

This is one of my new favorite hidden gems in the Lowcountry. It's absolutely beautiful and so peaceful out here. And we got lucky when we stopped because the grounds keeper was there and let us in the fence!

Malissa G — Google review

Stopped along the way to view the remnants of this once vibrant building set amongst old oaks and older graves.The building was burned by the British and almost a hundred years later by the Union Army.The brick walls and columns are all that remain now along with a scattering of graves dating back as old as the Revolutionary War period. Maybe better to say Colonial Period.

Jeff S — Google review

If you love taking pictures this place is picture perfect. It was about 15 min out of our way to Savannah but worth the detour. So old and well preserved. Also a graveyard.

Sally — Google review

Gorgeous stop to or from Beaufort with picnic tables as well. This is definitely worth stopping to see, but ensure you have some bug spray during the summer months. There are a HUGE amount of mosquitos and we found other visitors getting bit up as badly as we did. I do hate that the ruins are fenced off, but I understand why they had to. The history is great to read about and the ruins and gravestones are very humbling as well. Definitely recommend!

Ben M — Google review

Beautiful! Love that this is still standing and you are able to go see it! I recommend to others to take a minute to look around the grounds at the different headstones and at the architecture of what remains of the church!

Kara C — Google review

I really liked this place. It has a special feel about it. The gates were open so able to walk around. Easy parking

Julie D — Google review

Such a beautiful place we randomly came across on our way to Savannah. Seems like an amazing place to take photos with the Spanish moss hanging from the trees and the old pillars in the background. This was a very peaceful place to stop and stretch our legs after being on the interstate for several hours.

Christopher C — Google review

This is just a very cool place. It won’t take you long to enjoy the epic scenery on this road and at these ruins. You won’t regret making the stop, it’s worth itThe area near here is so beautiful. Southern coastal beauty with tall trees that cover the road at places, dripping with Spanish moss, sun dappling through the trees.There’s lots of shaded grassy areas where you could sit on the grounds. I can’t remember if there’s picnic tables or not.Also along that road there’s a little pull off places that you can stop and take pictures or just take in the scenery.The ruins themself have markers that tell you the history behind the ruins and how they were rebuilt and ruined again.

Melissa S — Google review

An absolute must stop and see when traveling the area!Serene, beautiful and peacefulIt would have been nice to go in the ruins, but I understand why they fenced it off. You can walk around and see gravestones, too. It’s amazing the history in this place.NO restrooms at the grounds.

Sarah W — Google review

Due to selfish people who have vandalized this beautiful church in the last few years, now they have a gate around it. There is parking across the street, but beware vehicles still go 60 miles an hour down the small little road. They really need a caution light so people don’t get hit. I’m in one of the pictures giving a history lesson to some visitors.

Classy G — Google review

The ruins of thos church was first burned during the American Revolution. Then rebuilt in the 1820s. As I walkef around the church I noticed that almost all the trees wete leaning towards the church. Thete ate a number of graves dating back to the 1700s. I can recomend for a quick free stop on hwyway 17

Moving R — Google review

Amazing place to come see if you're in the Beaufort area. A lot of history in this area and a must see!

Andrew R — Google review

A nice place, on a pretty road, with interesting grave stones. In my own opinion, it's definitely worth detouring a few minutes off the road, if you're on your way to or from Beaufort. But I wouldn't make a long trip just for these ruins.

Mr. E — Google review

Super interesting historical location to check out. Dates back to the Revolutionary War when the roof was burned by the British. Wish we could have explored in more detail inside the fence, but I understand the need for protection.Make sure and know there is parking on the other side of the street, it's on a fairly busy local road that people seem to speed down and it can be hard to drive slowly to look and get your bearings.

David D — Google review

Beautiful and atmospheric. Watch the speed limits carefully when you’ll exit the freeway to get there 😉 we got the speeding ticket.

Anna M — Google review

Wow, stunning! If you're driving from Savannah to Charleston (or vice versa) highly recommend the roadside stop for a leg stretch! The ruins are absolutely haunting, well intact, and very interesting. The trees at this stop are particularly gorgeous. We ended up spending almost half an hour. I wouldn't go super far out of my way to see it, but if you're going by it, definitely take a peek :)

Robin P — Google review

Gorgeous and somber location. Well worth the stop, but make sure if mosquitoes like you, you have bug spray on! It was a rainy day and that added to the eerie feeling. You can sense the history that lies here. The building and graves tell quite the story.

Lauren W — Google review

4.8

(1298)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (198)

4.5

(528)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (199)

Old Sheldon Church Rd, Yemassee, SC 29945, USA

(843) 522-1712

29

Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park

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40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (202)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (203)

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Park

Nature & Parks

The Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park is a well-known park situated along the Beaufort River in downtown Beaufort. It offers visitors a multi-acre of beautiful green space, along with several recreational amenities including a playground and stage for performances. The park was constructed in the 1970s and underwent renovations from 2006 to 2008, providing breathtaking views of Lady's Island, Port Royal Island, Parris Island, and Woods Memorial Bridge.

Love this waterfront park in Beaufort and always visit when I'm in town. Great walking park with swings for two and picnic tables scattered throughout the park. Kids' area/playground at one end.Lots of trees and personality. Located right behind downtown and next to the parking area (pay lot). Restrooms near kids' area/playground.

Cynthia E — Google review

Absolutely marvelous!Beaufort is impeccably clean. Gorgeous views all around but downtown is a different scenery with plenty shops around, restaurants, ice cream parlors, & the park.Perfect for the little ones or to keep them busy while the rest of your party shops.The swings throughout this area are a plus to unwind & enjoy.

Iris D — Google review

Peaceful, quiet, soul soothing...the Beaufort community is protecting a way of life for visitors to enjoy. This boardwalk by the sea is a precious gem. Highly recommended.

Milton B — Google review

A huge kudos to both the town and whoever designed this park, which is one of the nicest I've ever seen. Absolutely beautiful and well worth a stroll if you're in town for dining or shopping. The "swing benches" are genius and so inviting on a beautiful day. Felt like we were on a movie set or something.

Patrick D — Google review

Even the thunderstorms are amazing. Waterfront park has been one of my favorite places to relax for more than 25 years. Ahhhhh

T. G — Google review

Lovely walkway along the water. Little shops along the way to pick up ice cream etc. Playground for the kids with lots of tables and chairs as well as benches. Love the swings facing the water. So enjoyable!

TodayIsOurAdventure — Google review

A very nice place to walk anytime of day. The views are breathtaking, the restaurants and shops are great. There was a band playing and they were great! Great place to come and relax and bring the kids to the play area and get ice cream! Highly enjoyable!

Sarah J — Google review

This is such a beautiful part of South Carolina. This park has plenty of room for the kids to run around and play, a playground that my kids both love, plenty of restaurants, Ice-cream and some great sunset views. The swings add such a charm to this quaint riverwalk. This park is very popular and can get crowded but worth the fighting. Great views of historic Woods Memorial swing bridge. My wife and I end up there quite a bit on "Date Night". With the public boat dock, this is a great place to arrive on boat, dock and enjoy! They even offer movies under the stars

Anchors C — Google review

Picturesque location. Several shaded swing’s along the waterfront to relax. Good choice of bar’s/ restaurants and picnic tables. Playground and amphitheater. There’s much to partake within a few short blocks. Paid parking available @ $1./ hr.Quaint little town.

Alan H — Google review

Such a great little park! My husband and I took a break from doing the tourist things, and strolled through this park. We sat at a table for a while and then decided to sit in one of the 'porch' swings. While enjoying the river view a gentleman a few yards from us was fishing and caught a small ray. Bathrooms are available nearby and they were clean. Families with kids were enjoying the playground area.

Robin W — Google review

The SHRIMP Festival has begun. Oodles of fun. Check out the Rotary Club of Sea Island-Beaufort tent to purchase your SHRIMP for the race tomorrow.

Ruthe G — Google review

The park is beautiful! Lots of open green lawn. Shade for when you need break from the sun. And plenty of benches! We loved that there are even bench style swings to sit and relax. There is a playground for the kids and they might even get to see the bridge turn to let a ship through. The best thing is it's all very clean!

N — Google review

Beautiful park and playground with equipment for a variety of age ranges and abilities. Several benches and a picnic table are available in the enclosed playground which is situated next to public restrooms and parking.

Elaine B — Google review

Cool place to walk around in the Beaufort area. Tons of history and decent sites to see.

Andrew R — Google review

Visited Beaufort on American cruise lines ship. What a Beautiful friendly clean waterfront. The shops are fantastic and the views are amazing. Just don't forget the Beaufort wave

Darren S — Google review

This park was absolutely beautiful. The scenery and the activities were amazing. My family and I went to the beach. It was stunning and so much fun! The price was also nice. You can beat the pwrk for hours at a time. You can leave and come back without paying anymore!! 10 out of 10 definitely recommend.

Lourdes C — Google review

This waterfront park is beautiful! It's a great place to catch a vivid Lowcountry sunset from one of the many swings, or watch boats go by, and maybe see the swing bridge open for a larger one. It's also a great venue for the many festivals that Beaufort has throughout the year.

Darcie O — Google review

It is very beautiful and relaxing, people were friendly and a great place to walk your dog or just take a leisurely walk on the waterfront.

Debbie E — Google review

Wonderful and beautiful and relaxing spot to enjoy the scenery...peruse a little history...and enjoy local bars and restaurants

Roger P — Google review

Relax. Have fun. Get food. Shop.Public restrooms available. Playground for kids.Find a bench swing at the waterfront. Great for "sittin' on the dock of the bay watchin' the tide roll away."

Mark M — Google review

4.8

(3486)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (204)

5.0

(1140)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (205)

Bay St, Beaufort, SC 29902, USA

(843) 525-7011

30

Middleton Place

40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (206)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (207)

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Historical landmark

Nature & Parks

Middleton Place, a sprawling rice plantation on the Ashley River dating back to the 1730s, is located about fifteen miles northwest of Charleston. Once home to the Middleton family, who played significant roles in South Carolina's colonial and antebellum history, this landmark suffered damage during both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Despite being ransacked by British troops and burned by Union soldiers, Middleton Place stands today as a National Historic Landmark District.

We have visited four plantations in the Charleston area. This is our favorite setting and relaxing atmosphere. The grounds are exceptionally maintained. We spent two hours walking the grounds. It is the various buildings that tell the story. One stop shows a very large number of Middleton slaves. Depicted by each location and where they determined their value to the plantations.The house tour is self guided after a short synopsis of the Middleton family and furnishings.We had lunch outdoors in a very relaxed setting. Salad with baked chicken breast, green fried tomatoes with sauce and corn fritters with honey butter.

Runnsun — Google review

Lovely grounds. You pull into the gravel parking lot and there is a Cafe/market to the left. Please know that is not the only place to grab a bite. You can access this, as well as the gift shop, prior to your paid entrance. We opted for a tour of the house for an additional $15pp. Not sure if I would do that again. We were maybe in there 15 minutes....maybe. it's self guided but there are volunteers to tell stories or answer questions. If you are expecting a grand southern plantation mansion, this is not it. Its a small 2 story home. The first thing you see upon entering the plantation is the large reflecting pond. Very beautiful. The next thing you'll notice is the livestock running amuck. Namely sheep. So be careful where you walk. 😉 they do have a lovely dining room. It was a very nice plantation. Lots of grounds to explore. Everyone was very nice. Just not that grand southern home. Not sure the livestock gets the best care. Which is why I gave it 4 stars.

Sherri F — Google review

We visited Middleton in late September 2022. Granted, hurricane Ian provided atypical weather, but in general, it’s probably not the best time to visit. Little to nothing was in bloom. The grounds were well kept and people were friendly and helpful. There were a few animals freely roaming - a handful of sheep and some swans. They had horse stables but nothing super interactive. There are some small buildings to showcase how the enslaved lived, but it’s not very detailed. The grounds had easy walking paths - mostly sand-based so if you are wearing sandals, know you’ll get a littledusty. There’s a restaurant on site which is nice. The beyond the fields tour … wasn’t a tour. You gather around under a tree, sit on benches and listen to a historian explain the enslaved conditions. It was informative, but different than how it was presented. There is a restroom, gift shop and plant shop in the parking area. It’s not a must-see for me. We spent about 2.5 hours here.

Cortney A — Google review

Absolutely gorgeous location. The oak trees are stunning, the gardens are lovely to stroll through, and I love a history lesson. We went to the restaurant last week and enjoyed the drive out, delicious food and co*cktails and friendly and helpful staff. Shout out to Maggie who helped us make memorable dish selections. Looking forward to coming back later this fall for a wine stroll. I went last year and enjoyed it so much, I am coming back with girlfriends! I would recommend it as a date or as a nice evening with friends.

BKV — Google review

Middleton Place is an absolute marvel of natural beauty! 😍❤️The breathtaking landscapes left me in awe, making every corner a picture-perfect moment. Strolling through the gardens, I couldn't help but feel a deep sense of admiration for the family behind its preservation. Their dedication and foresight in maintaining such a stunning estate are truly commendable. It's a place where history and nature intertwine seamlessly, leaving visitors like myself with a profound sense of respect and wonder.🤩

Chloe T — Google review

Restaurant had a very good steak, but the locally made cinnamon ice cream, I honestly cannot stop thinking about it. The view outside this restaurant, although "wild" not tamed, alligators were ALL OVER THE PROPERTY, was Southern thick farmland and just spectacular. The property tour was very neat and the history was rich and interesting. The Inn was very different and unique, rooms had ceiling to floor windows showing the lush grounds. An interesting property worth the visit.

Cyndi B — Google review

Breathtaking! This place was the highlight of our honeymoon. The cured gardens and ponds were like a dream. The staff are all very helpful and know their stuff or will send you to someone who does. What a pleasant and enjoyable day. Give yourself a whole day to soak in the history and experience of this estate. Enjoy!

Kevin K — Google review

Beautiful grounds and house. Wonderful restaurant on property with absolutely amazing food. House tour was very informative as were the historical interpreters around the grounds. Very relaxing and serene surroundings.

US 1 — Google review

Really beautiful and well-maintained gardens which was so peaceful and serene. Special shoutout to the tour guides Eloisa (for the garden tour) and Gary Finch (for the Beyond the Fields tour) who were so passionate and did such an amazing and engaging job with the complimentary tours! Really loved the amazing nature views and animals on the plantation too and had such a great time. Would definitely recommend for all nature and animal lovers! 🥰🌷🍀

Liu Y — Google review

Great historical place to visit. Beautiful landscapes and the old buildings are amazing. Bring bottled water as it was hot a d humid and there is a lot of walking but, worth every minute of it.

Jeff K — Google review

Absolutely beautiful! Loved getting to walk around and explore the gardens- there were tons of free garden tours or other guides that you could listen to- to learn more information about. But overall it was such a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. It’s pretty far North Charleston- and tons of walking- we got there around 9:30am and didn’t get done until 12:45pm- so allocate for a good chunk of time here!

Kelley — Google review

Absolutely loved it! Amazing grounds and scenery. The house tour was really cool, lots of history in the building. The restaurant waa nice, I didn't eat there, but it smelled amazing. Had a couple drinks at bar, beat Old Fashioned I have had in years! Huge shout out to Colby H.....kudos buddy!

Gloria W — Google review

We booked a tour van out to the estate which included transportation, tour of house and lunch. Self guided tour of grounds and gardens in between the timed tour and lunch.Beautiful place and well preserved house with interesting articles from the Middletons. Gardens are beautifully maintained. All of the staff were extremely helpful and kind. A must if visiting Charleston.

Bernadette J — Google review

This is a lovely place to spend the day. We went specifically to see the Middleton Oak. The ticket agent was helpful with directions to get to the oak on the shortest route. The grounds are lovely with lots of wooded, shady paths. We saw swans in the reflecting pond and alligators in the flooded rice fields, which my daughter was very excited about. The two gift shops are very nice and well stocked with a variety of items of different price points.

Rhonda W — Google review

Visiting from Georgia and this was such a fun outing! Bought student tickets online, quick and easy. The parking is good. The whole estate is very large and worth the price. There are some small trails around the swamp, some by the water, some around the garden. It is all well maintained and beautiful. We were not able to attend any of the tours but there are plenty scheduled throughout the day. The livestock here are very nice and obviously well taken care of. The chickens ran up to us expecting food, which kind of startled my partner. I loved the whole experience here. Though I do recommend coming when the heat of summer isn’t in full affect, we were dripping sweat by the time we were done here in July.

Unknown I — Google review

Middleton has beautiful gardens and grounds along the Ashley River. You can find period reenactment of many of the trades that used to exist on the plantation, along with animals that would have been present during the Middleton family's residency. It has also been the set for movies, such as "The Patriot."The Foundation that runs Middleton does an excellent job maintaining the property and in recent years has been very open about the tragic reality that the Middleton family owned hundreds of enslaved people. It seems they are trying to do their part to preserve history and acknowledge the failings of the past.

Scott P — Google review

Middleton Place is really special. First the staff are very helpful. And they are easy to find. Everything is well organized & with the map, it's not hard to get around. The grounds are beautiful and peaceful. There are plenty of beaches to set and enjoy the views. It's nice the restaurant is on the grounds. Having a place to set, cool off and relax helps so much.

K A — Google review

What a wonderful place to visit. It has great trails throughout the property, and it is so peaceful and beautiful. It is truly a step back in time. I loved the trails that were bordering the Ashley River.... phenomenal! A huge Osprey dove down, caught a fish, and flew right by us. So cool! We did not do the house tour, but I was perfectly content outside with the beautiful topography and interacting with all the animals, most excellent visit!

MA B — Google review

I have been to Middleton multiple times over the years. It has beautiful gardens that you can get lost in. Don't look at the pics here. Just get out and see it. I went to a Creative mornings event that was hosted here and didn't pay but there is usually a fee. There is a cute garden center where you can buy plants, but the big draw is the incredible southern landscape. Enjoy!

Descartes — Google review

Went on a Wednesday night when they were having one of their annual wine walks. Four stations with a red and a white wine as well as a cheese board and finger sandwiches at each station. The grounds were beautiful, not a lot of colorful flowers, but lots of greenery. The ponds had alligators and turtles, made for a magical night. Highly recommend.

Jaime K — Google review

Amazing plantation with knowledgeable guides and tons of history. We visited early October and the weather was spectacular. Did Beyond the Fields and Guided Garden Tour. Both were included in the admission price. Ate lunch in the restaurant which was wonderful. Our wait staff was engaging and attentive. (No tax on the bill!) Learned so much about slavery and history of the plantation. The trees alone were worth the visit. One was 1,000 years old! I highly recommend.

Robyn B — Google review

Incredible tour with lots to do! My husband and I spent 6 hours walking around the beautiful property, ate an incredible lunch and toured the main house. So many beautiful things to look at and a lot of rich history. Make sure to say hello to Arthur, the resident stable cat!

Miranda Z — Google review

Magnificent! You could spend all day here and still want to come back for more. The volunteers there are very knowledgeable and helpful, you can tell they love being there. A ton of history to absorb there. Animals are friendly and there is no shortage of picture opportunities. Restaurant on site is good but a little pricey.

Katie I — Google review

Great way to spend the afternoon in Charleston area. This place was brimming with history but had enough to keep all ages occupied. I have 4 kids aged 12-17 and they really enjoyed the grounds. The house tour is an addition that added a lot of context. They have numerous guided tours on the grounds themselves including a garden tour and a stable tour. Beautiful place and worth the trip.

Andrew J — Google review

Beautiful ❤️ and Natural Surroundings. Please check Flower Blossoms season and you will enjoy it.Yes, live alligator 🐊 all around the place.

Devang P — Google review

Huge property, nicely laid out walking tour of the gardens and working areas. The day we were here, they were doing guided golf cart tours of the rice field.There is an extra cost to see the home on this site. I would suggest going earlier in the day rather than later due to heat during this late spring and summer.

Leith B — Google review

4.7

(2566)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (213)

4.5

(4411)40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (214)

4300 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414, USA

(843) 556-6020

40 Best Stops Between Bowling Green and Charleston (2024)

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