6 Unusual [and Cheap] Adventures near Gallatin, TN

When my aunt was visiting we created a list of “choose your own adventure” ideas for her to pick from. As we worked on the list, Angie and I thought other folks might like to join in the fun as well (and by other folks, I mean us too – we haven’t done all of these yet ourselves!) So, if you find yourself in Middle TN or Southern KY and want a cheap family outing or date day idea, help yourself to one of these.

1) 8-Sided History

Visit the famous Octagon Hall in Franklin, KY, a Civil War Era home that is unique for it’s shape, history, and hauntings. Stop for lunch at another architectural landmark – the historic Gossett House in Portland TN, home to 5 Chefs restaurant. 

Octagon Hall is open Wednesday through Saturday, 9 AM – 11 AM & 1 PM – 3:30 PM

5 Chefs is open daily (except Sundays) from 11 AM – 2 PM for lunch and Thursday through Saturday from 6 AM – 10 AM for breakfast.

2) Amish for a Day

Take a scenic drive up to beautiful Scottsville, KY to visit Habegger’s Amish Market, where you can enjoy a delicious (and humongous) deli-style lunch and shop for homemade treats. Be sure to pick up a fried pie. You won’t be disappointed. 

Habeggar’s is open daily (except Sundays) from 8 AM – 5 PM (4 PM on Saturday and Monday). For more details and other nearby attractions, see our post: Aunt Annie in Amish Country

3) Two Tickets to Paradise (Point)

Visit one of (Scottsville) Kentucky’s coolest “junk” stores where you can snap lots of fun selfies before biting into one of the “best hot dogs on the planet”. After lunch, get your Civil War groove on with a quick stop at Fort Williams.

Open hours vary seasonally at Paradise Point so be sure to check their website: http://paradisepointky.com/. Fort Williams is open daily sunrise to sunset.

4) Local Love

Learn about the history of Sumner County with a trip to the Sumner County Museum. Be sure to stop by Swaney Swifts on the Gallatin Square for lunch or dinner. This historic building was once a drug store, complete with a lunch counter. And don’t forget to save room for ice cream! The shakes at Swaney’s can’t be beat. You can even walk off those extra calories by visiting the many unique shops along the Square.

The Sumner County Museum is open Tuesday through Friday 10 AM – 4 PM and Saturday 10 AM – 2 PM. Swaney Swift’s is open daily from 11 AM – 8 PM (9 PM on weekends).

5) Where’s the Beef?

Enjoy a juicy pasture-raised burger right off the grill at Breeden’s Orchard while you shop for seasonal delights from the farm – like peaches, apples, apple cider, apple cider donuts, and more! Breeden’s Orchard also hosts story time for the little ones and live music on select dates. 

Breeden’s Orchard’s open hours vary seasonally (and cookouts are only held on select weekends) so be sure to check out their website at https://breedensorchard.com/.

6) Celebrity Cemetery Tour

Sumner County is the burial site for many famous folks, including Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, and more. A quick Google search can give you more detailed directions but a great place to start is Hendersonville Memory Gardens or Sumner Memorial Gardens.

Aunt Annie In Amish Country

My aunt Annie came to visit us from North Carolina in October/November. She’s 72 years young and always up for an adventure so we gave her a menu of fun things to do while she was here and she chose a trip to Amish Country. Technically, there are more Mennonites than Amish in Scottsville, KY but nonetheless, we set off to step back in time.

I’m firmly convinced that our GPS loves the boonies because if there’s a straight route to get somewhere, she always chooses the scenic route instead. This time, she took us on a winding and often one-lane road through beautiful rural landscapes to get to Habegger’s Amish Market. The actual route involves only one turn and two highways, but I guess you could say the GPS made the better choice because everyone really enjoyed the fall colors.

Children’s Park at Habegger’s Market

My aunt loves food just as much as we do so lunch at the Amish Deli was probably the highlight of the trip. The sandwiches are huge! And the bread is the softest thing you’ll ever sink your teeth into. Angie and I both had the special of the day, which was a roasted turkey on sourdough with cheddar cheese and apple butter. It was simply delicious! Annie had a roast beef sandwich and took half of it home for later – to save room for ice cream, of course.

I thought the cost of lunch was reasonable too. We fed four people – sandwiches, sides, drinks, and ice cream – for $32 (or $8/each). This left plenty of room in the budget to do some shopping.

Habegger’s has everything that you’d expect from an Amish Market – meats, cheeses, fresh produce (in season), bulk flours, spices, handmade soaps, maple syrup, honey, and more. Angie and I bought several spices, 2 bags of popcorn kernels (our favorite), and a couple of flavored extracts for making yogurt. My mom bought cinnamon bears and raisins. When we lived in Florida, we used to bring her 3-4 cartons of cinnamon bears from the Amish market in Venice when we’d visit, so I knew she’d go straight for them. Sadly, someone else had beat her to them though and there was only one container left on the shelf.


The Amish/Mennonite Country is about an hour and fifteen minutes drive from Nashville. Along with the Amish Market, there are several other sites to see, including a Dutch Bakery, a candlemaker, and several farm fresh produce stands. To visit Habegger’s, just plug 415 Perrytown Rd, Scottsville, KY 42164 into your GPS. If you’re lucky, maybe yours will take you along the back roads too.

Meandering Around Murphy (NC)

I will admit – Murphy, NC was not on our bucket list. It wasn’t even on our radar until we were looking for campgrounds in parts of the Great Smoky Mountains that offered even the slightest possibility of seeing a black bear. Why? Because black bears are on Angie’s bucket list. (And sadly, they will remain there, at least for now.)

Murphy, NC is a town of about 1,700 people, situated in Cherokee County, at the confluence of the Hiwassee and Valley rivers. With two casinos, I would bet most folks come to Murphy to gamble. We came to relax, to hike, and to fish. (After arriving though, we opted not to pay $66 for the privilege of pretending we know how to trout fish.)

With no bears and no trout, you might think it was a complete bust, but you’d be completely wrong. Even my mom, who was a reluctant participant to begin with, had a good time.

We spent four very relaxing days at the Peace Valley KOA, sometimes doing nothing more than sitting on the porch of our cabin reading or watching other people fish.

The nights though…now, that’s a different story. Our cabin was awesome except for the futon. We gave my mom the bedroom, thinking “oh, there’s a futon, no big deal”. Yeah, futons were great when we were in college but futons over forty, not so much. We ended up double stacking the futon mattress from the loft on the futon downstairs just to manage a bit of comfort. Which is really sad…since we sometimes sleep on a 3-inch inflatable pad when we tent camp!

Not to be outdone by a mattress, Angie and I ventured out a few times to see what adventures we could find in the area. That’s how we found the Murphy Riverwalk. This 3-mile scenic walk follows the Hiwassee River. It poured rain on us halfway through our first attempt so we came back again the next day to complete the whole walk. Completely worth it…and a great way to work out the kinks from the futon!

We also played a few rounds of corn hole and horseshoes.

And took a slog in the river. (Well, I did, anyway…)

The highlight of the trip though was foraging. As we wandered around the campground we found scores of wild blackberries and even a few apples.

Murphy might not have been a first-choice destination but it’s a place we would definitely return to.