During a road trip to Nashville, one of the places we stopped on the way home was the Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, TN.
The Cumberland Caverns are pretty far off the beaten path. It’s a good drive from anywhere you are coming from and you may feel as though you are lost along the back roads. Don’t worry, follow your GPS and just keep driving.
There are a few different tours you can take to go through the Caverns. They are open from 9:00am till 5:00pm and day tours leave on the hour, every hour. You can call ahead or book online, but most people, us included, just walk in and buy tickets at the counter. It’s $21.00 per adult for the regular tour that takes you a mile and a half through the caverns.
You meet your tour guide at the counter and follow them, along with your tour group, through the back door and down a path through the woods. Not too far in you will be lead to a large set of double door fastened inside a rock wall that will take you into the Caverns.
Once inside your tour guide will give you the rundown of the history of the caverns. The information give is pretty cool but be sure to check out all the nooks and crannies along your path.
Inside the caverns is an amphitheater where they have underground blue grass concerts. Check the calendar on the Cumberland Caverns website to see when they play and you can buy a ticket to see the concert.
The tour lasts about an hour, and honestly that is plenty of time. When you finish, check out the gift shop. They have a lot of neat gems, stone and souvenirs to check out and the employees can give you some great tips on what else to see around the Caverns.
After you leave the Caverns, head to the town square. It is absolutely beautiful and there is a bunch of different shops to check out. There is also a park nearby if you are looking for a place to sit back and relax for a bit, or bring out your inner child.
When you are ready for lunch, eat in town at Collins River BBQ & Café! If you are looking to eat like a local, and dive into some southern style food, this is the perfect stop!
All the food on the menu is delicious, but if you are going to get anything, the corn bread is a must! If you want to go all out, order the brisket with a baked potato and coleslaw.
The prices are cheap and the staff is awesome as well. They gave us some great tips on where to go and what to see- even though we didn’t have time to actually stop at any of the recommended places. (Ask about cliff diving around here!)
If you are looking to stay the night, there are lots of super cheap places to stay. We stayed at America’s Best Value Inn. I’m not going to lie, it’s super sketchy, but also super cheap. If you do stay here, stop in at Cruisers Bar and Grill. It’s a bar made for the locals and within walking distance. The food is OK but what you really should go there for is the open karaoke!
When we stopped in hardly anyone was there so we requested song after song and spent a few hours singing on stage to the five other people who were there and playing pool for a bit. It was completely spontaneous and a memory I will not forget.
McMinnville is a small, cozy town. So, even if you are just passing by, it’s a nice place to spend half a day or even a few hours.