The small town of Lynchburg is home to the best known whiskey brand in the world, Jack Daniel’s and that’s about it. In fact, it is probably more accurate to say Jack Daniels is the home of Lynchburg. It is this town’s singular purpose that makes it such a great place for a quick day trip.
Lynchburg is a short 75 miles southeast of Nashville. Head down 24 East (toward Chattanooga) to exit 81A. Then take Highway 231 into Shelbyville. Once in Shelbyville, look for the KFC. At the second stoplight past KFC turn left onto Highway 82. After about 15 miles, Highway 82 dead-ends at Highway 55. Turn right onto Highway 55 and head into Lynchburg. Don’t worry too much about getting lost, there are signs pointing the way and anyone in the area should be able to direct you if the need arises.
The must-do attraction in Lynchburg is, of course, the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. The behind-the-scenes tour is family-friendly and all ages are welcome. There is a good bit of walking and some stair-climbing, so keep that in mind for small children and people with mobility considerations.
The tour is free but you must check-in and get tickets at the front counter. The people there will assign you a tour number and let you know when you’ll be heading out. The wait will depend on how busy things are, but it has never been too long for me. You might be interested to know that not one drop of the home town libation can be served in Lynchburg. The town and the Distillery are in a dry county.
The tour begins with a short film and a bus ride to the top of the complex. The tour guides are all long-time Jack Daniel’s employees and each one has unique stories about the company to share. During the tour you will peek at the entire Whiskey brewing process, from the spring to fermentation, aging and bottling. I would recommend this tour to everyone; you do not have to be a whiskey lover to appreciate the history and passion that goes into every bottle of Jack Daniel’s.
Before you make the trip down to Lynchburg you will want to call and make reservations at the world-famous Miss Mary Bobo’s. Miss Mary Bobo’s is home cooking served in a similar fashion as Nashville favorite Monell’s. The family-style seating will thrust you into conversations with people you most likely would have never met (much less sat down to eat with). It is easy to see how this could lead to some silently awkward meals, but a hostess is seated with each table and will help get things moving along. The food isn’t exceptional but the experience pairs perfectly with a visit to the distillery as most of the dishes contain at least a little of the local product.
You can round-out your visit to town by stopping in town square and visiting Lynchburg Hardware and General Store. At the store you will find just about anything you could imagine emblazoned with the Jack Daniel’s logo. It is a truly amazing assortment of branded product. When looking for a souvenir to remember your trip by, skip the gift shops at the attractions and head straight for the Hardware and General Store.
The Jack Daniel’s Distillery
Open daily 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (excluding certain holidays)
Miss Mary Bobo’s
Service Mon. – Sat. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (and 3 p.m. during peak seasons)
Call in advance for reservations