Sitting in a Waco N369AS with an open cockpit, aviators take in panoramic views at up to 2,000 feet during flights with Music City Biplane Tours. From John C. Tune Airport in West Nashville, passengers embark on one of five set tours or create their own jaunt around Nashville airspace, with each excursion including 15 minutes of flight time. The roar of a 300 hp radial engine rips through air while the wind whips past eyes of eager, aerial sightseers. Self-style a flight that glides over Nashville's country music-history, scenic riverbanks, and views of Dolly Parton's biodome. Other tours include a Romantic Sunset tour and the Cumberland River tour.
As a Sugar Creek Carriages horse, Flint attends so many weddings he might as well be standing on a cake. The charming percheron draft horse sports a fair complexion and snowy mane that match traditionally white wedding dresses and the wedding carriages he often tows. He is one of 10 well-groomed, mannerly horses and ponies that provide the horsepower for an array of stylish buggies. Additionally, the animals make appearances at festivals, reenactments, and kids' pony parties. Sugar Creek Carriages also networks with the entertainment industry, a connection that recently led pop singer Justin Bieber to rent a carriage while he was in Nashville and his unicorn-drawn chariot was in the shop.
You could pour through guidebooks and reviews about hotspots in Nashville. Or you could experience them yourself inside an open-air shuttle courtesy of Joyride Nashville. That's because the touring company whisks visitors throughout the Country Music capitol, including downtown, midtown, and Germantown. Along the way, the shuttles amble past sites including Music City Center, Werthan Mills, Titan's Stadium, and downtown honky tonks. During the tour, guides divulge insider info about sites, local residents, and where banjos hang out on their nights off.
Being branded ?Roseanne Barr meets Jack Black? might be considered a slight to some, but Hick Chick Tours? guide Christy Eidson wears it as a badge of honor. The standup comedienne keeps her pub crawls, brewery tours, and bus tours light and irreverent with tongue-in-cheek asides. But since she?s a Tennessee native, there?s are also plenty of interesting historical information woven into her sassy narratives.
Dazzling formations and a remarkable register of past residents renders the Lost River Cave a tour treasure for families, history buffs, and geological geeks alike. The cave's titular river offers spectacular sights, the finest views of which emerge on the cave boat tour, the only underground cruise of its kind in the state ($3.50 for ages 1–3, $10.50 for ages 4–12, and $15 for 12 years old and up). As the daylight suddenly vanishes and things begin to glow in the dark, one of Lost River’s friendly, funny guides will fill you in on the Lost River's prehistoric Native American roots, as well as its later habitation by Civil War soldiers and outlaws like Jesse James—painting a vivid picture of the cave's hospitable environs and its 8,000-year-old bellhop. Upon disembarking, you'll continue your sabbatical from sunshine with a further 20-minute guided walking tour of the cave. Visitors have been known to spot native pipistrelle bats, cave salamanders, eyeless crawfish, and skinny-dipping gnomes.
Your Groupon grants you aerial access to a Cessna 172 ($49–$50 per half hour, depending on location). As you hop into the cockpit, study the navigational dials and instruments. Firmly grip the yoke. Then see how many witty quips you can squeeze in over the intercom before it's time to fly. Each lesson is copiloted by one of Givens' expert instructors ($20 per half hour). Having logged countless flight hours, your copilot will keep your confidence and nose up as you take in the basics. Though it may be difficult to resist showing off for friends, save the barrel rolling for professional stunt pilots and Donkey Kong.