Tennessee's Backroads
A Southern Middle Tennessee Journey

cast iron pan with photos

Welcome to Southern Middle Tennessee and the Tennessee’s Backroads Heritage area. This guide covers seven counties in Southern Middle Tennessee just a short distance south of Nashville or west of Chattanooga. Throughout the guide, you will discover historical and cultural sites, scenic areas, hiking and outdoor recreation, aviation history, artisans, lodging and camping, great restaurants and agricultural sites that showcase farmers markets, equine sites and festivals that will entice you to enjoy a slower pace and experience “off the interstate” travel.

This area is proud to boast having some of the most well-known festivals in the country such as the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, the largest music festival in the United States, RC Cola and Moon Pie, recognizing two of the great icons in food and drink, and the Jack Daniel’s Invitational BBQ Cookoff in famous Lynchburg. And, there are also unusual festivals like the Goats, Music and More festival in Lewisburg which features “fainting goats” and a culinary festival showcasing the famous “Slawburger” that is widely served in the Fayetteville area. There is never a lack of an area festival, music concert or special event in the area.

For the train history buffs, many of the communities in the Backroads area continue to enjoy the sound of the “train whistles” that trail throughout the small towns such as Bell Buckle, Wartrace, and Tullahoma. Civil War history also weaves its stories throughout the various communities with a self-driving tour featuring kiosks that chronicle the 1863 Civil War struggle for Middle Tennessee known as “The Tullahoma Campaign.”

The Backroads organization that serves as your tourism association to bring you fun things to do in the Southern Middle Tennessee area celebrated a milestone of turning 25 years old in 2017. Beginning as a non-profit organization in the early 1990s as a pilot project under the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this area has some of the best attractions and festivals as well as outdoor recreation in the state. Traveling throughout the backroads showcases quality attractions and allows travelers to truly experience traveling at a slower pace and not be in such a hurry. You are encouraged to explore the major distilleries, historical attractions, state parks, down home restaurants and enjoy the culture of the area. The Backroads area truly has “the best of the best” that Tennessee has to offer. Many of the Backroads tourists come as a visitor and return for a lifetime! We welcome you for a visit and witness true Southern Hospitality and see why our motto is “For Memories That Last a Lifetime.” We promise if you visit once, it won’t be your last!