Activities

Sesquicentennial trips in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina
Region is steeped in blue and gray Civil War history
Explore North Carolina parks
Remember what fresh air really tastes like in North Carolina's parks
Explore Georgia parks
The state boasts many large, historic parks in close proximity
Get a Grip: four-wheelers in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina
Rocks, rivers and woods offer plenty of thrills for four-wheelers
More Bang for Your Buck - Hunting in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina
Ample hunting opportunities make the region a target for hunters tracking down all types of game

[ view more ] ×
×

Home of the walking horse

  • photo
    The opening ceremony begins at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville. (AP Photo/The Tennessean, Mandy Lunn, File)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Shelbyville and Wartrace give Bedford County, Tenn., a host of attractions that draw visitors from across the nation and world. From horse lovers to music or MoonPie fans, there's something for everyone.

-- Compiled by staff writer Todd South

BEST THING TO DO

For Those With 2 Legs and 4 -- Shelbyville holds the annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration each summer during the 11 days and nights leading up to Labor Day.

• This is the premiere competition for the breed.

• Thousands attend and compete from across the globe for the title of World Champion and more than $650,000 in prizes.

Source: Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration

BEST PLACE TO EAT AND WHY

Meat and Three -- Have an old-fashioned homemade meal at Pope's Cafe at 120 Public Square East in Shelbyville.

• At this well-known meat-and-three-style restaurant, diners like to try the hand-patted hamburger and finish off a visit with the chocolate chess pie.

• Walking horse enthusiasts say it's a must-stop tradition when they come for the show.

BEST KEPT SECRET

A Local Legend -- Strolling Jim, the first world champion Tennessee walking horse, is buried in a pasture directly behind the Walking Horse Hotel, at 101 Spring St., Wartrace, and is accessible seven days a week.

• The horse was ridden by trainer Floyd Carothers at the first Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration in 1939. • Strolling Jim died in 1957.

Source: Wartrace Chamber of Commerce

SOUNDS OF SUMMER

Wartrace MusicFest -- On the first Friday and Saturday in June, music and food lovers have a two-in-one treat of bluegrass and barbecue at the popular event.

• Kids 12 and under get in free.

• Camp sites have no hookups and ground fires are not allowed.

Source: Wartrace Chamber of Commerce

WELCOME TO PENCIL CITY

Shelbyville is the Bedford County seat and has a population of more than 20,000 as of the most recent U.S. census.

• Sometimes called the Pencil City for its industrial contribution to pencil manufacturing.

• The town also boasts that it is the home of the Golden Eaglettes, a girls high school basketball program that has brought home a dozen state championships.

Source: Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce

LOCAL ATTRACTION

Storm and fire and war, oh my

•The county’s first courthouse was built in 1810 in Shelbyville’s public square. A small wooden structure, it was replaced with a brick courthouse shortly afterward by the first permanent building in the middle of the square.

•The great storm of 1830 destroyed the building and residents erected its replacement a year later. It stood until burned by Union soldiers during the Civil War.

•The fourth courthouse was under construction from 1869 until 1873 at a cost of $1,500. A mob burned it in 1934.

•The current Bedford County Courthouse was built in the Greek Revival style in 1935.

Source: Bedford County Courts

LIST OF FESTIVALS

Box tease: Wartrace MusicFest

•On the first Friday and Saturday in June music and food lovers have a two-in-one treat of bluegrass and barbecue at the popular Wartrace MusicFest.

•Kids 12 and under get in free.

•Camp sites have no hookups and ground fires are not allowed.

Source: Wartrace Chamber of Commerce