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Weekend trip: beyond Nashville

Whether you’re looking for something to do over fall break, or just want ideas for a getaway weekend, there are plenty of places outside Nashville to visit. And we at the Vision have selected a couple options that are sure to cure the wanderlust bug, especially for those stuck in the state or feel stranded on campus.


Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium

Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium is located in Kingsport, Tenn., which is about four hours away from Belmont. The park spans over 3,000 acres and has a lake, museum, adventure course and native animal habitats.

The adventure course was added two years ago and includes high and low ropes courses and a 310 foot zip line. However, the high ropes course is a registration-only attraction, so contacting the park beforehand is a must if you want to take on the challenge.

Entrance into the park is $4 per vehicle. And most activities cost a small fee, so bring cash if you plan on doing more than enjoying the view. The most expensive activity is the zip line which costs $10 per person.

On Saturdays in October, the park opens at 8:30 a.m. and stays open until 8 p.m.; on Sundays, the park gets a later start with its gates opening at noon, but the park still closes the same time as Saturdays. Park hours will change starting in November.

And only 30 minutes away from the park in Jonesborough, Tenn. is the International Storytelling Center. While the National Storytelling Festival already happened over the weekend of Oct. 4, the center is still bringing in storytellers until Nov. 2 as part of its Storytelling Live series.

Storytelling Live is the ISC’s teller-in-residence series and features a lineup of 26 nationally-known storytellers in Jonesborough, Tenn. Tickets are $12 for adults.

The series features different artists each week in live matinee performances at the center’s Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall. Evening performances are also being presented.

Four hours is a bit of a lengthy drive, but the Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium and the International Storytelling Center offer enough activities and entertainment to make the trip well worth it.

– Rebecca Arnold

land between the lakes

Land Between the Lakes

If you’re looking for a last-minute getaway for fall break and don’t want to travel far, don’t overlook Kentucky.

Just across the Tennessee-Kentucky border is Land Between the Lakes national recreation area, where you can plan to spend a day, or even two, away from the hustle and bustle of Nashville.

Land Between the Lakes is a large and picturesque state park that offers a variety of activities for those wishing to get into nature, or even for individuals who wish to kickback and enjoy the scenery.

Located just over an hour and a half from Belmont, Land Between the Lakes is an easy enough drive for a perfect day trip.

But accommodations are available for those who are looking to get away for more than just a day with a group of friends. Cadiz, Ky. has a Super 8 Motel that offers a two bedroom suite for two nights under $150.

Although the cooler days are upon us, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy fall for its colors and perfect hiking weather.

With more than 200 hiking trails, there’s no shortage of beautiful paths to explore.

If you’re not into the nature scene, there’s still great relaxation and beautiful fall scenery on Lake Barkley in Cadiz, which has over 1,000 miles of shoreline. Although it may be too chilly to swim, there is still lots to do on the water. Fishing is year-round and with 57,000 surface acres, you can pick a quiet spot all to yourself to relax and catch a few fish.

And even if the only thing you manage to catch while fishing is a bit of driftwood, good grub is easy enough to find in the Cadiz area. Ferrell’s Hamburgers is a small, family-owned diner that’s open all day, everyday with a great burger. Make friends with the manager and he may let you taste his so-called world famous hot sauce.

There is also a Ham Festival Oct. 11-12, where Trigg County in Kentucky puts on a giant barbecue party. This is the 37th year the county has held the festival.

So whether you’re looking for a lake adventure, to explore the trails or experience some great grub, check out Land Between the Lakes and Lake Barkley in Kentucky.

– Hadley Sintic

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