Outdoor excursions, shopping, incredible restaurants and charming town squares bustling with local life await you in the towns that make up Sumner County, about 30 miles from Nashville. Explore all the entertainment, history and music found in Hendersonville, Gallatin, Portland and more.
Drive to Hendersonville and explore Historic Rock Castle. While technically not a castle, Rock Castle is one of the oldest houses in Middle Tennessee and was owned by Daniel Smith, a politician and military officer, and his family. Sign up for a tour and look through the house to see antiques and how the house was decorated in the 1800s.
If you want to have a good sweat session while in Gallatin, make a trip to Bledsoe Creek State Park. Easy hikes with picturesque views of the lake and moderate hikes that will get you perspiring can all be found here. You may even see a few deer as they also like the quiet and peace Bledsoe Creek State Park brings.
The Palace Theatre is Tennessee's oldest former silent movie theater still in operation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located on Gallatin Square, the theater now hosts live shows, movies and performances. Mark your calendar to see the Tennessee Songwriters Week Showcase event Feb. 25, 2023 at the Palace Theater where songwriters from across the nation will sing their songs for a chance to perform at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.
Enjoy an afternoon or evening of wine tasting at Sumner Crest Winery in Portland. Flights of four, two ounce pours of wine from the wine list are $8 and available every day. VIP tastings are $20 and is in a more intimate setting with a Wine Consultant and include a take-home tasting glass. The premier tastings are $30 per person which includes everything in the VIP tastings, plus hors d'oeuvres and cheeses, perfectly paired with your wine selections (perfect for a party of four or more). Take photos with the 1930s Roadster and browse the gift shop for unique wine gift baskets and local goods.
Where to Eat in Hendersonville and Surrounding Areas
Stop in for lunch at the Chocolate Covered Strawberry. Don’t be fooled by the exterior as it resembles a residence; however, inside is a boutique, gift shop, and cafe. The staff is warm and friendly and lunch is even more amazing. Order the ham and cheese on sourdough, chicken pot pie soup, chips and, of course, you have to save room for a couple of chocolate covered strawberries. You will leave stuffed.
If you're meeting someone for drinks, stop by the local watering hole, Half Batch Brewing. Order an assortment of beers for sipping and socializing. My two favorites were the Two Foot Cream Ale and Fruity Foot. They also have game night where you can find a lot of locals chatting and hanging out.
Open for the season starting in April, you can head to the lake and enjoy the view at Awedaddys, ready to splurge for dinner. Order the Cheesy Styx, stuffed mozzarella sticks coated in a light breading. The fish tacos and the burger are great choices for entrees. Live music is also performed Thursdays-Sundays. After dinner, enjoy the lake views on the pier as the sun sets for the evening.
Head to Portland for meat-and-three dishes at 5 Chefs Restaurant. You'll love the ambiance of dining in this restored Victorian home as you taste classic Southern dishes from fried chicken plates to refreshing salads like the cranberry pecan chicken salad or the spring breeze salad. Try one of the homemade desserts as well.
Boutique Shops in Hendersonville and Surrounding Area
If you enjoy antiques, art, and collectibles, go to Gallatin's town square and look around Worthington Galleries. This gallery has one-of-a-kind pieces and you can spend all day shopping through the collection. A highlight of Worthington is the Civil War-inspired chess set. Boutiques on the square include Tennessee Honey, full of on-trend fashions, shoes and gift ideas while Sassy and Brassy Boutique will help you elevate your style with their pieces. In Hendersonville, stop in Bates Boutique for their curated pieces from designers including must-have rompers, tops and more. Follow their Instagram for new arrivals and sale items.
Reader's Digest named Gallatin the nicest place in America and you can see why. If you're in Nashville for vacation, or even if you're a local, Sumner County's towns is worth seeing. You'll get a true sense of what Tennessee is made of, the true kindness of its people felt across the state.