Spiritual, Travel

Monteagle, Tennessee A Peaceful, not crowded Place to Visit

No Crowd Place in Central Southern Tennessee
Traveling I-24 south of Nashville, passing through Murfreesboro, there is a nice cluster of a place off the Monteagle exit 134. Jim Oliver’s Smokehouse Restaurant and The Smokehouse Lodge and Cabins adapted to the new Covid procedures. They added outdoor seating complete with umbrellas for shade. From Chattanooga, its not over an hour going north. The Smokehouse is known for bbq and they recently added an outdoor service window and beer to the menu.There are several state parks with too numerous to count hiking trails close by. South Cumberland State Park has Monteagle Falls, a quiet, even romantic aura in visiting the area. It is not crowed. Now on the monthly weekends that host live bands, The Smokehouse restaurant may get rowdy and crowded, but the last few times we were there including today, it was nice and sparsely populated. There is another area nice to visit near the local University of the South in Swanee, just down the road on 41 west. The Blue Chair Cafe hosts a nice breakfast. Coffee and sweet cakes are memorable. Its just off of the gorgeous campus of University of the South. Touring the campus, seeing the architecture don’t miss the cross on a huge valley bluff overlook. It was built in 1922 in honor of war veterans. The cross is sixty feet high and can be seen for miles. The Sewanee Memorial Cross. Tennessee Avenue circles the cross and overlooks the Cumberland Valley.
There is unique shopping in the Monteagle and Sewanee communities, including the Amish Hippy and Hallelujah Pottery with scripture on the handmade pieces. A favorite market and shop is the Mooney’s Market where one of a kind knitting yarn is stocked and organic, non gmo foods can be selected. If this is a family trip, Chattanooga is not too far, there are two nice lake options. Nickajack before reaching Chattanooga or Tim’s Ford twenty three miles in the opposite direction near Winchester/Estill Springs. Tim’s Ford is famous for trout tournements. Nickajack is active with barge traffic and a train wraps itself around the curves in the mountains. Fun to watch. If Nickajack is the choice there is an Italian Pizza oven and Winery with views of the water. Lookout Winery, Inc. If waterfalls are a favorite, I once knew some high school graduates who celebrated their graduation attempting to see as many water falls as they could reach in one day taking photos at each place. Cascade Falls, Monteagle Falls, Jumpoff Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Foster Falls, Laurel Falls, then the famous Ruby Falls near Chattanooga. They made six, I think, then got distracted by Starbuck’s in Manchester and ice cream near the lake. Relaxing, traditional Tennessee pleasantries in travel with scenic photos to boot.

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