ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.
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w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m E D I T O R ' S HOT PICKS THE CENTRAL TENNESSEE city of Nashville and counties of Rutherford, Williamson and Wilson provide the oppor- tunity to be close to Nashville and its Country Music attractions, while enjoying the benefits of meeting within smaller mar- kets. And, these three counties offer some of their own unique attractions to enjoy music, history and recreation. TOP PICKS: Rutherford County CVB (800) 716-7560 www.readysetrutherford.com "Vibrant Southern community with central location, easy access, FREE parking, conference center, brand-new hotels, world-class shopping, unique attractions, and 350+ restaurants." Country Music Hall of Fame ® and Museum (615) 416-2001 www.countrymusichalloffame.org "The Museum's galleries and event spaces are some of the most unique in the world, and it provides the quint- essential Nashville experience for guests." See Ad On Page 23 FOLLOW UP: Nashville CVB www.visitmusiccity.com Williamson County CVB www.visitwilliamson.com Wilson County CVB www.visitwilsoncounty.com CENTRAL TENNESSEE IN-DEPTH Visit www.ConventionSouth.com for more about the Central Tennessee area through our interactive Insider's Guide with maps, videos more. C E N T R A L T E N N E S S E E F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 5 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ 47 Williamson County, due south of Nashville, encompasses small-town Southern charm and scenic beauty; its northern corridor (along Inter- state 65) is loaded with contemporary stores and restaurants of all stripes. The county's crown jewel, the city of Franklin, is "a must-see," said Kellye Murphy, marketing director for the Williamson County CVB. "This beautiful 16-block historic district is a 'Great American Main Street' experience," says Mur- phy. Franklin's Main Street offers numerous shopping options including Anthropologie and the local-artist-fueled Heart and Hands. Try Mer- ridee's Bakery and Restaurant for tasty coffees, pastries and more, or Red Pony for sophisticated Southern cuisine and fine wines in an atmospheric setting. The hottest new attrac- tion is Gray's on Main, a restored original drug store now featuring a bar, music hall and South- ern dining specializing in locally sourced fare. Franklin offers historical attractions like Lotz House and Carnton Plantation. The historic, restored Carnton house is located on the site of the Battle of Franklin. As the CVB's Murphy points out, 2014 commemorated the city's Sesquicentennial anniversary of the Battle of Franklin, and special events will take place throughout the year. Elsewhere in the county you'll find attractions including Arrington Vineyards & Winery, owned by country music celebrity Kix Brooks. Murphy said it offers "breathtaking views of the rolling hills and beautiful countryside" east of Franklin. Franklin's newest event venues include Lilac Farms, a daytime-only locale adjacent to Arrington Vineyards, and the 6,000-square-foot McConnell House, a restored early 1900's jail accommodating up to 100 for dinner and 200 for a reception. For larger events, 32,000-square-foot arts- themed shopping and event venue The Factory at Franklin can handle up to 800 within well-pre- served walls that once housed industrial facilities. Southeast of Franklin lies the Williamson County AgExpoPark, a 175,000-square foot, cli- mate-controlled facility that offers stadium seat- ing for more than 4,000, and can be transformed into a carpeted exhibition/convention space. The 300-room Franklin Marriott Cool Springs provides nearly 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space under one roof (the most spa- cious of the county's 20 hotels), while the Aloft Nashville Cool Springs is a tastefully appointed option with 524 square feet of meeting space and a well-equipped boardroom seating 12. n Find The Great American Main Street In Williamson Co. W i l l i a m s o n C o u n t y C V B Due east of Nashville, Wilson County sits in the shade of the cedar glades which prevail (and thus, the city's Cedars of Lebanon State Park). Peruse the popular Lebanon Premium Outlets mall, and find local fare at Stroud's Barbeque or the tea room at Café Bevande, serving pastry and sand- wiches. In the town square, lined with 50-some local merchants, you'll see why Lebanon is known as "the Antique City of the South." If you're a viewer of country music videos, don't be alarmed if Watertown, though a good ways up the road from Music City, looks oddly familiar. Its seemingly untouched small-town surroundings have appeared in videos featuring Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and Kellie Pickler, to name but a few. A place to get away from it all, Watertown offers such charms as the White Elephant Emporium (recently featured in an episode of American Pickers), the Stardust Drive-In Theatre, Nona Lisa Pizzeria and Lulu's Coffeehouse Cafe on the town square. n Be An American Picker In Wilson County G r a y 's o n M a i n i n F r a n k l i n f e a t u r e s a b a r, m u s i c h a l l a n d S o u t h e r n d i n i n g s p e c i a l i z i n g i n l o c a l l y s o u rc e d f a r e .