Make the most of a brief visit.
By Hope S. Philbrick
We spent just 17 hours in Clarksville, Tennessee—eight of them asleep.
Though a longer visit to the state’s fifth-largest city is in order, if your road trip from Point A to Point B passes through Clarksville, heed our advice to make the most of an overnight layover.
Take Exit 4 off I-24 and turn left if you were heading north or right if you were heading south.
Welcome to Clarksville!
If you need gas, fill up now. In fact, even if you’ve still got some fuel in your tank, fill up anyway because prices here are significantly lower than they are across the border in Kentucky and a bit lower than you might find in Nashville.
Grab dinner at Blackhorse Pub & Brewery in Historic Downtown Clarksville. Popular with visitors and locals, this restaurant first opened in 1992. The menu features comforting favorites like pizza, steak, pasta, salads and sandwiches. Clarksville’s only microbrewery also serves fresh handcrafted ales. Get the beer sampler so you can try them all—try to choose a favorite; I liked them all.
If you feel like hanging around after dinner, head on up to The Tap Room upstairs. In addition to a bar and food menu, you’ll find drink specials, pool tables and darts. Open daily until 3 a.m., it’s reserved exclusively for people age 21 and older after 9 p.m.
21 Plus Salute!
8:30 p.m. (…or perhaps 3 a.m.?)
Check into La Quinta Inn & Suites, conveniently located at 251 Holiday Drive near I-24. The newly renovated hotel lives up to national brand expectations. You’ll feel safe here: There is one main entrance; guest room doors open into a hallway rather than the great outdoors.
-Free Wi-Fi access
-On-site fitness center
-Indoor pool and hot tub
-Pillow top mattresses
-Microwave and mini-refrigerator in all guest rooms
-42-inch flat-screen HDTV with premium cable channels
-Suites with jetted tubs available
-Rates from $92
Enjoy complimentary breakfast at the hotel. Go ahead, have another cup of coffee. Relax.
Check out of the hotel.
(Note: Opens at Noon on Sundays)
Visit Beachaven Vineyards & Winery where the goal is “simply to make the best wine we can.” The portfolio includes dry, semi-dry, sweet and sparkling wines made from a variety of grapes and other fruits.
Guided tours are free and reservations aren’t required. In about 20 minutes you’ll learn about the winemaking process, see tools of the trade like the crusher, press, bottling machine and tanks, and stroll by some picturesque grapevines.
Wine tasting is also complimentary, and pours are small so no worries about driving later. The wine tasting bar is restricted to folks age 21 or older.
21 Plus Salute!
(Note: Opens at 11 a.m. on Sundays)
Miss Lucille’s Marketplace is a must-see, whether you think you like “antiques” or not. In its 52,000-square-feet of shopping space, dozens of different vendors sell genuine antiques, brand new creations and a whole lot of stuff that falls somewhere in between. Within the eclectic assortment of goods, you may find that thing you’ve been searching for as well as a bunch of things you didn’t even know you needed. The place is super clean—way cleaner than the average antique store—plus has wide aisles and shopping carts in case that thing you found is big and heavy.
Depart Clarksville, Tennessee. Remember to buckle up and drive carefully!
Make plans to return. On my next visit, I plan to stop at Silke’s Old World Breads, a German Bakery & Café because I hear it’s fantastic.
-Photos © HSP Media LLC