7 Reasons to Make Ashland City, TN, Your Next Getaway

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A kayaker's back as he paddles across a glass river towards the sunset that has turned the sky and water pink

While Nashville may steal the attention of tourists visiting middle Tennessee, there’s something special about Ashland City, TN. This small town is a good alternative for anyone not interested in the hustle and bustle of a major city.

Today, we’re sharing seven reasons we think you should take your next getaway in Ashland City. Let’s get started!

All About Ashland City, TN

Approximately 30 minutes from downtown Nashville, Ashland City is a delightful small town. You don’t have to venture into the city to experience genuine Southern hospitality. The surrounding area offers plenty of wildlife centers, golf courses, and superb restaurants. You can quickly fill your schedule, whether you’re planning a weekend stop or a more extended trip to the area.

The city started in 1856 and is on the northeast bank of the Cumberland River. With a population of just over 4,700 people, the city has seen a slow but steady increase in population over the last decade. Those interested in small-town living but who work in Nashville find it an attractive place to call home.

You don’t have to call Ashland City, TN, home to enjoy all this town has to offer. There are ample opportunities for hiking and other outdoor recreation activities. Strolling along the pathways and enjoying the beautiful landscapes of rolling hills can be a great way to start or end your day. Come in the fall and enjoy the bright red, yellow, and purple leaves from the ash trees from which the city gets its name.

A hiker walks along a log on a path through the woods.

7 Reasons You Need to Visit Ashland City

We love finding hidden gems that get overlooked by the crowds. Ashland City, TN, is one of the hidden gems we think is worth visiting. Let’s take a look at seven reasons why.

#1. It’s an Up and Coming Destination

The metro Nashville area is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country. With tourists flocking to enjoy the country music scene, honky tonk bars, and sports, small towns like Ashland City benefit.

The city’s tourist offerings are rapidly growing as it looks to reach tourists passing through. A championship golf course, shopping districts, and plenty of options for fine dining are luring in travelers. The city will likely continue to become more and more appealing to tourists. 

Open sign hanging in the door of a small boutique shop

#2. It Has Small-Town Tennessee Charm

With just over 4,700 people, Ashland City is the definition of small-town Tennessee. Small towns like these often have a slower pace than the hustle and bustle of larger cities. You’ll feel the small-town charm as you walk down the sidewalks and shop owners greet you with a smile.

Walk the halls of the historic county courthouse built in 1869 and get a sense of how the town has evolved over the years. No matter how much it has changed, it still holds tight to its Southern charm. 

#3. The Rail to Trail Bike Path Is Gorgeous

Near Ashland City, TN, is the Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail. This is a 13.3-mile trail that provides fantastic views of the river and is open year-round.

Due to the path being a part of the “Rails to Trail” program, the elevation gain is less than 200 feet over the entire 13.3 miles. This is the perfect spot to enjoy views of the landscapes and get in a bit of exercise while enjoying the city.

See a time lapse of a bike ride on the Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail

#4. You Can Browse Local Crafts at Festivals

There’s nothing quite like a small town festival and looking at the local crafts. Ashland City has festivals throughout the year. There are plenty of festival options, including the River & Roots Festival in April, the Summerfest in June, and Music on Main in October. 

Each of these festivals is unique in what it’s celebrating, but they all offer music, kids’ activities, and local crafts. If you’re planning a trip to the area during these months, it might be worth putting one of these events on your itinerary.

#5. The Food Is Classic Southern Fare

Here you’ll find some of the best Southern-style food and beverages in the area. Establishments like O’Brien’s Southern Diner, Riverview Restaurant & Marina, and Mama D’s are great Southern options.

Whether you’re looking for a restaurant with a view of the river or some of the sweetest tea in all of the South, you’ll find it here. You can find some of the finest Southern meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Hear about O’Brien’s Southern Diner and their most popular dishes.

Don’t Miss Out: The South has so many amazing dishes to devour. Check out our top 8 foods you have to try whether you’re a foodie or not!

#6. Hiking Trails Are Everywhere

In Ashland City, TN, you’ll find a handful of great hiking trails for varying skill levels. The John C. Poole walking track is an easy 1.1-mile hike on a paved path. If you want to go a bit farther, the Bluff Creek to Cumberland River Paddle Route is 1.6-miles through the wilderness with impressive views of the river.

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, hop on over to Laurel Woods Trail. This 12-mile trail is in Beaman Park and takes approximately five hours. The most popular trail is hiking or walking along the Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail. It offers some impressive views of the surrounding landscape and the famous Cumberland River.

#7. You Can Float the Cumberland River

While enjoying views of the Cumberland River can be impressive, it’s even more fun to enjoy the views from the river itself. During the warmer months (typically May through September), you can float down the Cumberland River.

Various vendors offer tubing, kayaking, and canoeing trips. Be sure to wear your bathing suit and sunscreen and get ready for a great time!

A kayaker paddles down a river with lush vegetation on either side as the sun gently pouts over the tree tops.

Check Out Ashland City

While larger cities may have the glitz and glamor, they can’t provide the same type of atmosphere that small towns like Ashland City, TN, can. Restaurant servers, shop owners, and strangers on the sidewalk will all treat you like you’re a local. If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air and to escape the craziness of the city, visiting Ashland City is an opportunity you can’t miss.

What’s your favorite small town to visit?

1 comment
  1. I lived in nearby Kingston Springs for over 3 years and used Ashland City to pass through to drive to my parents house in Clarksville. I never knew this little town had so much too offer. Looks like I may have to look for nearby RV camping next time I’m in the Nashville area. Thanks!

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