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.
Replete with ornate gardens and a brick mansion fronted by towering, white columns, Rippavilla Plantation winds the clock back to the time of the Civil War. In the fall, the smells of bonfires and steaming hot chocolate fill the sprawling grounds as they host pumpkin paintings and other old-timey, outdoor fun. The Rippavilla corn maze tests internal compasses and scarecrow-bribing techniques on a 10-acre, labyrinthine path. As they pass through the maze, guests encounter signs that boast historical facts about major Civil War battles in 1862, putting them in touch with the site's legacy. For a plus-size serving of fresh, autumn air, guests can also board the hayride to circle the grounds, which are devoid of the sinister ghouls that often emerge at many fall festivals; instead, the grounds remain family-friendly throughout the night.
In the gulches of an abandoned phosphate mine, a labyrinthine path echoes with the roar of unseen chainsaws and the rustles of hidden ghouls. Monsters and zombies lurk in the darkness at Millers Thrillers Zombie Paintball Hayride and Haunted Woods, but it isn't mere craving for blood or brains that makes them so eager to terrify––the scary staff members actually receive a bonus for making visitors wet themselves. Really. “I did always like Halloween," says founder and owner David Miller.
Miller wasn’t always in the pants-wetting business, but you might say the business of Halloween in his blood. He grew up growing and selling pumpkins with his grandfather and––though he admits he was too scared to try them as a kid––his interest in haunted houses led him to intense study in the art of scaring, including seminars and conventions. His interest in creating eerie worlds inspired him to begin his walk through haunted woods and zombie-paintball hayride––during which visitors wield mounted paintball guns to fire upon advancing zombies and blank canvases hurled by poltergeists. But landing a few paintball hits won't be enough to ease the natural terror of the haunt's surroundings. “There’s a lot of spooky stuff around all this country farmland… with no streetlights in sight,” Miller says. “We…play on the fact that people are going to feel like they’re lost in the middle of nowhere.”
Despite the fright fest’s scariness, Miller’s real aim is to give visitors a good time. Staff members go easy on little kids and the elderly, and at the end of the walk, customers can calm chattering teeth around a fire pit and rejoin the world of the living by gathering around the concession stand or a stage that hosts a nightly illusionist and zombie drum line.
Dream Adventures USA's guides lead informative, scenic tours down the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. Up to three sets of sightseeing eyes can climb aboard each Yamaha 110 jet ski for a river trek. Cumberland River voyages, which cover up to 120 miles, include an exploration of Old Hickory Lake's coves, inlets, and dam before breezing through downtown Nashville and stopping at Rock Harbor for lunch. A sampling of up to 60 miles of the Tennessee River loops around Long Island and gives riders a view of the Alabama state line, which glows like the first down marker used on NFL broadcasts. Both tours begin with a brief safety overview and conclude at the original launch site.