Bell Buckle, TN is a charming little town set amidst the Tennessee Walking Horse farm area. I visited there while antique shopping with my family and found some great bargains, as well as nostalgia. It makes a great stop for families, couples, or travelers just wanting to explore.
The main building of Bell Buckle’s antique district was purchased for $750. This included all of the contents, which were WWII era. The owner, Mr. Phillips, refurbished the building and opened Phillips General Store and Antiques. The General Store offers antiques and gifts, but if you look above, the orginal items that were in the store hang as a memorial to a bygone time, where women wore dresses and men dressed up to go to “town”. Around the corner is Bluebird Antiques and Ice Cream Parlor that offers homemade fudge by the pound and hand-dipped ice cream in delicious waffle cones. They are all served up at the original ice cream and soda counter. An interesting fact about the place: the Ice Cream Parlor was voted Tennessee’s Ice Cream Shop of the Year. They also offer a special flavor, White Chocolate Raspberry that is made just for the shop.
I walked through downtown and admired the handmade crafts and the Southern Hospitality. I even went into the Bell Buckle Antique Mall and found out that it is owned and operated by the mayor at the time.
The kids were getting hungry, so we stopped in at the Bell Buckle Cafe to get some lunch. Every Friday and Saturday evening they offer live music with no admission charge and Thursday is songwriters’ night. This is where some of the great country music artists get their start. The ostrich burger and white chili was pretty good too. Get there early if you want a table on the weekends.
Bell Buckle was a charming weekend retreat and I am planning on visiting again to do some shopping. I may even visit for one of the annual festivals that they celebrate.
March – Daffodil Day Celebration of Spring and Arbor Day
May – Mayfest Outdoor Tribute to Music Motorcycle Day
June – RC and MoonPie Festival A Celebration of one of the South’s Finest Traditions, Moonpies and an RC Cola
September – Quilt Walk A Walking tour of Bell Buckle. View a display of quilts at churches and in homes
October – Webb School Art and Craft Festival The #1 Arts and Crafts Show in Tennessee
December – Christmas in Bell Buckle Lights and old-fashioned wreaths decorate the town.
Where to Stay
Mingle House Bed and Breakfast – A Victorian house that serves up a coutry-style breakfast. 931.389.9453 (recent traveler has slideshow available) No longer open.
Arrowlet Bed and Breakfast – Located 2 blocks from the Antique District.
The Cumberland House – A new, upscale Bed and Breakfast on Cumberland Street. 931.389.9223 (couldn’t find web listing)
Main Street Inn – Located in Wartrace, TN this B&B has a fantastic breakfast.
How to Get There
Exit 97, between Murfreesboro and
Manchester, Hwy 64 to Hwy 82
Near Lebanon, I-840 to I-24 to
Hwy 231 to Shelbyville, to Hwy 82
Exit at Cornersville to Lewisburg,
to Shelbyville, to Hwy 231 to Hwy 82
If you can’t get enough of the area, you can visit nearby Shelbyville, TN or Lynchburg, TN. Lynchburg is the home of the famous Jack Daniels Distillery. Bell Buckle also makes a great family day trip from Nashville, TN or Huntsville, AL areas. For more information, visit the Bell Buckle Chamber Website.