Exploring ABC’s Nashville in Georgia

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are turning, the air is getting cooler, and our favorite shows are back on the air. Watching ABC’s Nashville makes me yearn for a trip to Music City. But why go so far when you can visit Nashville right here in Georgia.

The city of Nashville, Georgia is located in Berrien County just a short drive off I-75 in South Georgia. It’s a picture perfect quaint Southern town with a 100- year-old courthouse surrounded by brick sidewalks, boutiques, and a park that is a gathering place for locals. It’s the kind of place that might be the impetus for a good country song or two.

Old Berrien County Jail in Nashville, Georgia

Old Berrien County Jail | Photo courtesy of the Berrien County Historical Foundation

Johnny Cash sang about the Folsom Prison Blues, but in Nashville, Georgia, the jail included gallows. The Old Berrien County Jail was built in 1903 and now is on the National Register of Historic Places. The infamous gallows, was the site of the last hanging in Berrien County. Make a reservation for a weekday tour of the Old Berrien County Jail at the Historical Foundation office in the old courthouse. It’s free.

Horse Creek Winery in Nashville, Georgia

Photo courtesy of Horse Creek Winery

Every good country song has a bit of drinking involved. In Nashville, Georgia, visit the original location for Horse Creek Winery, which also has a second location in nearby Sparks. Come sit a spell on the rocking chair porch, or visit Wed. – Sat. for the wine tasting and tour. Take your time as you enter the lodge to admire the French mural, or sit at the handcrafted bar and look out over the 40 acres of muscadine vines. Ed and Andrea Perry make gracious hosts.

The best place near Nashville, Georgia to jot down your latest lyrics on a napkin is Rays Mill Pond. Rays is famous for fish dinners with all the trimmings. If you like to walk the line a bit, try the Gator dinner topped off with some homemade banana pudding.

To learn more about what to do in Southwest Georgia, visit Field Trips with Sue.

SueSue Rodman is Georgia’s official Smart Travel Explorer and the editor and publisher of the award-winning family travel blog Field Trips with Sue. Click here for more Smart Travel content from Sue.

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10 Must-Dos in Georgia’s Magnolia Midlands

Vidalia Onion Museum

1. Get your sweet onion fix in Vidalia: Explore the history of “America’s favorite onion” at the Vidalia Onion Museum. Adults can discover the economic impact of this famous Georgia vegetable, while children can learn to sort onions and even color their own picture of Vidalia’s mascot, Yumion the Onion. Don’t forget to pick up a bag of onions during the Vidalia onion season (April through July) because once they’re gone, these sweet onions won’t be back until 2014!

2. Experience “Southern Fusion” dining in Lyons: What began as the first movie theatre in Lyons, Georgia, is now home to Elements Bistro & Grill, a unique fine dining experience in the middle of small-town South Georgia. The menu is full of mouth-watering dishes, but I highly suggest that you order the buffalo quail. Your taste buds will thank you.

3. Buy local in Statesboro: Like fresh produce? Then you’ll love the Mainstreet Farmers Market in Statesboro! Open every Saturday from early April to the end of November, this market is the place for fresh local fruit and vegetables, meats and dairy, preserves and baked goods. Be sure to stop by the Garden Table, where you can watch local chefs prepare dishes made with produce from the market.

Little Ocmulgee State Park

Little Ocmulgee State Park

4. Go just around the riverbend in Uvalda: Experience not one, not two but three rivers when you visit the Magnolia Midlands. Kayak or canoe along the Oconee, Ocmulgee and Altamaha rivers with the help of Three Rivers Outdoors, Inc. They can help you plan any river trip – whether you want it to last two hours or two weeks!


5. Spend the night in a barn loft in Brooklet: On the hunt for an authentic farm experience? Look no further than Hunter Cattle Company in Brooklet. Feed the animals, collect eggs, swing on the front porch and spend an evening in a comfortable barn loft when you visit this family-owned and -operated farm.

6. Get a green thumb in Metter: With its cascading waterfalls, shimmering streams, flowering plants and quiet paths, it’s no wonder that people often visit Guido Gardens to find peace. Guided tours of the gardens are offered Monday through Friday, and admission is always free!

7. Discover natural wonders in Douglas: Located within Georgia’s sandy, coastal plains, the Broxton Rocks offer more than 500 species of rare plant life, cave-like crevices and a roaring waterfall. Keep your eyes peeled for unique wildlife, including flying squirrels, the threatened indigo snake and gopher tortoise.

Meinhardt Vineyards

Meinhardt Vineyards

8. Sip wine at sunset in Statesboro: Does the idea of sipping a delicious glass of Muscadine wine as the sun sets over rural Georgia appeal to you? If you said yes, then you need to plan a trip to Meinhardt Vineyards in Statesboro. Whether you prefer red or white, Meinhardt has a wine to suit all tastes. My personal favorite? The peach Muscadine — it tastes like Georgia in a bottle!

9. Fly high in Douglas: Visit the site where 10,000 young men learned how to fly in the PT-17 Stearman at the WWII Flight Training Museum in Douglas. It’s the most intact, complete and original school left in the United States with 13 original buildings still standing, including one that houses the WWII Flight Training Museum, which tells the important and often unknown story of wartime aircrew training.

10. Feed the animals in Nicholls: Kids (and adults) will love the opportunity to feed the animals at General Coffee State Park’s Heritage Farm. Animals on the property include sheep, goats, chickens, donkeys and more! Insider tip: Be sure to buy some farm-fresh eggs while you’re at the park.

541399_4742061705632_1593506690_nLauren Cleland is the voice of Explore Georgia on social media. She loves ice cold sweet tea, anything peach flavored, channeling Scarlett O’Hara in her daily life and sharing the wonders of her beloved Georgia with all of you!