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.
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.
After spending millions of years out of sight, wiling away the time by boring a cave deep into the earth, the Hidden River powered the town above with hydroelectricity before pollution forced it to close off from human eyes again. 50 years later, a recovery project restored Hidden River Cave, and today its depths play host to tours of the generator's remains and the underground river still flowing more than 100 feet below the ground.
Hidden River is one of the largest privately operated caves in the Mammoth Cave area, and along with hands-on exploration, American Cave Museum & Hidden River Cave spreads knowledge and awareness with two stories of educational exhibits. There, visitors explore topics such as prehistoric explorers, the history of saltpeter mining, and how to discern stalactites from walruses stuck in the cavern's ceiling.
The deposits of calcite glimmered like diamonds. It was 1859, and at the bottom of a rocky valley not far from the already famous Mammoth Cave, a slave from a local estate had stumbled upon a mysterious opening in the rock. Lowered into it on a rope, he became the first person to admire the sparkling walls of what would come to be known as Historic Diamond Caverns.
Today, the guides and geological experts of Historic Diamond Caverns lead tourists into halls of calcite-laden formations whose origins go back some 10 million years. Narrow corridors, carved out of the limestone eons ago by underground streams, open to cathedral-like chambers adorned in stalactites and stalagmites, draperies, and pipe organs that represent millions of years of slowly accumulating mineral deposits. Strategically placed lighting reveals the deposits' diamond-like shimmer as well as creatures such as salamanders, insects, and crayfish, which are adapted for life without sunlight or adequate cell-phone reception. Located close to Mammoth Cave National Park, a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve, Historic Diamond Caverns remains at a comfortable 58 degrees throughout the year.
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.