The Ultimate Guide to a Weekend Wander in Jackson, TN
Tour the town and you just might settle down.
It’s Friday afternoon, you’ve arrived in Jackson and are looking forward to spending an enjoyable weekend here. So what’s on the agenda?
“There’s plenty to do,” says Lori Nunnery, executive director of Visit Jackson. “And whenever you get hungry, Jackson is home to 43 locally owned independent restaurants.”
The best way to craft your plan is to check out the free Visit Jackson TN! app available on Android and iOS systems and at JacksonTN.com/tourism.
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“If you’re on the website, there’s a logo labeled ‘Visit Jackson TN Plan Your Visit’ on the right-hand side of your screen at the bottom,” Nunnery says. “When you click on that, it opens up what we call an Itinerary Builder. You can then decide on your own places to visit, things to see, etc.”
Simply create an account and then begin your search in any of the 17 categories, including Stay, Eat, Attractions, Nightlife, Libations, Retail, Music, Family-Friendly, Sports/Outdoor and Venues.
The combinations are almost endless, but here’s a sample itinerary to get the wheels turning:
Friday Afternoon and Evening
A great way to unwind on the first evening of your visit is by sampling adult beverages at Century Farm Winery or Samuel T. Bryant Distillery, then capping the evening with dinner at Redbone’s Grill and Bar.
“I think of their Peach Lady wine when I hear Century Farm, and Bryant’s has a delicious coconut moonshine,” Nunnery says. “As for Redbone’s, they have a large menu of Louisiana-inspired entrees. Start with gator bites or fried pickles, followed by Cajun seasoned shrimp, ham and mushroom cream sauce over cheesy grits and topped with bacon and green onions.”
Start the day with breakfast at Woodstock Bake Shop, then it’s off to the 165-acre Cypress Grove Nature Park, which includes attractions like the Hatchie River, boardwalks, a cypress tree forest, a raptor center with eagles and many ideal spots for photo opportunities.
“After you’ve filled up with baked goods and breakfast at Woodstock, you can take a walk and burn some of it off at Cypress Grove,” Nunnery says. “Then I would take a 25-mile drive to Brownsville for lunch at Burger Basket, then see an incredible art display next door at Mindfield.”
Nunnery says while you’re in that area, travel just north of Brownsville to Nutbush, the home of Tina Turner. The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center pays homage to the famed entertainer and has hundreds of artifacts as well as her childhood schoolhouse.
“Then it’s back to Jackson for a great dinner at Chandelier, which bills itself as having sexy Southern cuisine,” she says. “Have a starter, salad and great dinner at Chandelier with a honeysuckle or two.”
Check the website or app for a nice place to enjoy breakfast, then drive north to enjoy a full day of family fun at Discovery Park of America.
“You can pretty much spend the whole day at Discovery Park,” Nunnery says. “One of the highlights is a simulator of the earthquakes that occurred back in 1811 and 1812 that shaped our land and formed Reelfoot Lake. That was the only time that the Mississippi River ran backward. You can go into the on-site theater to experience this exciting earthquake simulation.”
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Discovery Park also has attractions like a 20,000-gallon aquarium, a huge slide that is a replica of the human body, log cabins, farm buildings, a church, a train station, a livery and much more.
“It’s massive,” Nunnery says. “There is also an observation tower that provides a 360-degree look at all the grounds. It’s a perfect way to end a great weekend in Jackson and West Tennessee.”