Category: Wilson County CVB

Introducing Wander Wilson


Hi! My name is Wanda. However, my very country, very Southern grandma raised me. Good ole’ Granny. She changed the sound “uh” in any name to “er”. Therefore if you were Donna you became Donner. Not to be confused with Santa’s reindeer. Sonia morphed into Sonyer. Wanda…Wander, etc. You get the picture.

Well, Wander stuck. Since I’m a restless wanderer – this name seems to fit.



Wander Wilson is who I am and what I do in my free time and I’ve been asked to share my love of shopping, eating and wandering with you fine readers! I live and breathe Wilson County, TN. So, Dear Reader, I invite you to shop, explore, learn and dine with me as we discover exciting local hangouts together.

One fine little city in Wilson County that’s growing at a mind boggling rate is Mt. Juliet. I’m so there.


My first stop is Home for the Holidays at the Mt. Juliet Community Center. Super Wow! So many local vendors, so much to look at, so much money to be spent…

Immediately inside the door was a lovely lady adorned in crimson and white. I didn’t comment on her attire but I was captured by a gift idea as she motioned toward a display in her perfect Vanna White style.

“Anyone play Cornhole?” she asked. “Of course I do!” I answered, as if she had asked if I breathe in and out on a daily basis. This Vanna wannabe had the perfect stocking stuffer and I’m not talking about her tiny little elfin feet. She showed me mini as in “table-top” versions of Cornhole and my eye was drawn to a University of Tennessee set. On any game day at my house there is great division. Very Hot Husband is a diehard UT fan and my baby boy going-on-17 son is a relentless LSU fan. Vanna said she could order an LSU set just in time for Christmas. SOLD!!

After browsing vendors’ stalls and acting like a bull (charging everything) I slipped out the door for a bite to eat. Big Al’s Barb-B-Que on Lebanon road was my choice. As I’d never eaten there before, I asked the friendly waitperson for her suggestion. She soon arrived with a huge smoked pork sandwich, baked beans and her 4th generation family recipe of potato salad. Y’all, I love Memphis barbeque and never thought I would cheat on it, but, y’all – this was a contender. Deelish!

Next stop, Tia’s Shabby Chic Boutique on N. Mt. Juliet Rd. This is the cutest little place filled with some unique hand crafted items. I found a fabulous ornament and at least three Christmas gifts that my gal friends will love. How could I resist buying the same things for myself? As in, Merry Christmas to me?

I couldn’t. So I did. I’ve wrapped them and put them under the tree with a “From Santa” tag on them. That’ll have my husband thinking I have a secret admirer.

Better yet, it might make him believe in Santa again.

Dear Reader, this is my first mini blog. Be kind and send me your thoughts!

Until next time, wander about and see the sights. One day, a crazy CVB director may want you to write a blog for her website!

Back In Time In Wilson County


It’s more than 50 years old and the majority of its most beloved episodes appear on our digital flat screens or mobile devices in black and white, but the classic sitcom  “Andy of Mayberry” still appeals to all age groups – even those hard-to-impress Generation X’ers.  There’s a good reason for this.  It’s uncomplicated. It’s authentic. It’s based on real life without being un-nerving like the so-called reality shows which are a far cry from being real. This simple show appeals to our instincts to get back to basics when we’re surrounded by cacophony.

Watching an episode of this show is a way of stepping back to a simpler time when the biggest problem of the week was whether Thelma Lou would accompany Barney to the church social and stress consisted of having Goober working on the patrol car for the big event. The best part – these characters had it all figured out in less than half an hour.

And then, there’s that sweet town where they all lived. There’s something about that Paramount set that makes us want to visit on our day off. Sitting in the shade in that imaginary place and watching the world go by would be relaxing. Taking in the county fair and sampling Clara Johnson’s prize-winning pickles would be fun on a lazy summer afternoon.  Browsing the shops looking for vintage furniture or luxurious crazy quilts for the farmhouse would be just the thing to get your mind off the boss for a long weekend.  If you’d rather whistle on down to the fishing hole – then, you’ll have to venture into Mt. Pilot for that.  There are lakes and streams just brimming with catfish you’ve heard. Just as you’re ready to bait the hook and throw in the line, the credits roll and your escape from reality is over. Right?

It doesn’t have to be.

I’ll share a little secret:  I know of a place where a relaxing weekend or extended vacation can get you in that same relaxed, uncomplicated, authentic, southern state-of- mind and the best part – you can get a cozy room and stay as long as you like. Wilson County, Tennessee is only a short drive from wherever you live and you won’t have to take off your shoes until you get on the boat dock.

This centrally located destination consists of three great cities with amazing history, beautiful vistas, and southern hospitality. And, we’re next door to Music City, only minutes from the airport.  Before you head to 2nd Avenue with a guitar and your dreams, stay with us for a spell to perfect your craft. Jam with a talented pro in one of our music and songwriting workshops. Perform your latest collaboration in a quaint café before an adoring crowd.

Want to spend some quality time with the kids?  Be sure to ask the boss for time off in August for what USA Today claims is the best county fair in the nation. (We agree!)  You don’t have to drive all the way to Mt. Pilot for great fishing and boating. The locals go to the place Charlie Daniels calls home – fabulous Mt. Juliet – when they want to enjoy the water.  Then, there are horseback rides at Cedars of Lebanon State Park, balloon rides, food festivals, hiking and biking. All this activity would boggle Aunt Bee’s mind.

Antiquing and shopping for vintage souvenirs of your amazing trip are just a train ride away to Watertown, a location famous in its own right for movies, music videos and getaways for the stars. Did you know that Sir Paul McCartney wrote a song about his famous getaway to Wilson County?  Yep, the man could have gone anywhere in the world and he chose to relax down on Junior’s Farm.

We’re not Mayberry – we’re the best kept vacation secret in the South. We’re for real and we’re ready for you to come and see us.

Get back to basics and make plans for a “Made in Tennessee” getaway to Wilson County.  We promise you’ll go home feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready for your Monday through Friday reality – whatever that might be.

Go Back In Time with Historian Martin Frost


If you were bored in history class and didn’t understand how you would use any of that knowledge in your future life – take a magical history tour of Wilson County with Martin Frost and suddenly, you’ll “get it.” Frost, a Civil War Re-enactment enthusiast and Wilson County history tour guide, weaves the story of the area’s confederate counter-attack as if he had been watching from a safe distance, decked out in his confederate uniform.

Details of the every day lives of the Generals Morgan, Dumont and Hatton – the personalities of Captain Dartt and General Buell, the bravery of Sergeant Samuel Milmore and Company L – when this knowledgeable guide finishes your walk back in time, you’ll know more about these soldiers than you know about yourself.

In coming months, Frost will be our guide on this page with “Back In Time” – a video mini-tour and discussion of some of the events, people and places that shaped Wilson County before and after the War Between the States.

Join us here for a personal Wilson County tour sampler as Martin Frost makes history come alive with these topics:

  • The establishment of Wilson County in 1799.
  • The site chosen for the County Seat, and why.
  • Why the names of Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown were chosen.
  • The history of Cumberland College
  • The beginning of the War Between the States in Wilson County
  • General Robert Hatton, the 7th Tennessee Infantry, and many other units.
  • General John Hunt Morgan and the Battle of Lebanon.
  • The Confederate Monument on the public square in Lebanon
  • Cedar Grove Cemetery
  • Residents who made history
  • Antebellum homes and the families who lived there
  • When the railroads came to Wilson County
  • Castle Heights Military Academy.
  • The World War II maneuvers in Middle Tennessee, headquartered in Lebanon
  • The beginning of the Cracker Barrel Restaurant chain.
  • Wilson County’s Civil War and other historic tours are available to tour groups by appointment only. Contact us here for more information.

Check out our visitor's guide for Wilson County!

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