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Lebanon Tennessee — a city that shares the same name as a country! While Lebanon (the country), is a fascinating place where the Middle East and the West collide, home to lively cities, great food, beach resorts, and an incredibly complex political situation, Lebanon (the city) is a suburb and apparently the hometown of a rapper that goes by the name of Haystak. So not quite the same place. Following in the footsteps of Boring, Oregon, AllTheRooms investigates unusually named places in the United States.

By atdr | Shutterstock

Cedars of Lebanon State Park

Fun fact. Lebanon, Tennessee was named Lebanon because of its abundance of cedar trees. This is a nod to the biblical cedar trees of Lebanon, which are mentioned three times in Psalms. Cedars of Lebanon State Park is travelers’ opportunity to see the Southern version of these legendary trees. The park is actually part of the larger Cedars of Lebanon State Forest, which is a staggering 9,420-acre piece of land. The park is a great place to connect with the outdoors, as there are eight miles of hiking trails and some 117 campsites.

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By Wayne Hsieh78 | Shutterstock

Cumberland University Love Story

A small, private university in town, Cumberland is a peaceful place to walk around Lebanon. Home to only about 1,500 students, it’s easy to see the whole of the campus here and get a feel for college life. Don’t expect to see much of a sports scene though, Cumberland was on the wrong side of the biggest defeat in college football history when they lost to Georgia Tech 0-222 in the early 1900s — yikes. The nationwide fraternity Sigma Pi is based in Lebanon, but ironically, there is not a chapter at Cumberland University. Those needing extra motivation, here it is: Cumberland was featured in the music video of Taylor Swift’s absolute jam “Love Story”.

By Cumberland University | www.cumberland.edu

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Hop on Interstate 40

Interstate 40 runs through the southern border of Lebanon. The highway is the main artery between the beloved Tennessee cities of Knoxville and Nashville, and surprisingly, Lebanon is only about 25 miles from the outskirts of Music City. A drive from each downtown would take about 40 minutes. Nashville is one of the best cities in the US for music, food, and young professionals, so it’s great for Lebanon to be so close. The drive to Knoxville is a bit longer, two and a half hours.

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By OFFFSTOCK | Shutterstock

Wilson County Fair

Happening every August, the Wilson County Fair is the most popular fair in all of Tennessee. Their paid attendance is often twice that of the Tennessee State Fair. Wilson County Fair has been given such acknowledgments as “Top 50 Fair in North America”, “Best County Fair in Tennessee”, and “Best Fair” in Middle Tennessee. The fair has such attractions as carnival rides, a concert series (fingers crossed Haystak makes an appearance), ice cream eating contests, and other fun events.

By Pinterest | Wilson County Fair

Pay a Visit to Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. is a chain of restaurants and gift shops that have a very Southern theme. Each location has a large front porch with rocking chairs and stone fireplaces. They, of course, serve “down home” country comfort foods like country fried steak, mac n cheese, and greens. There are now almost 650 locations in 44 states. This is all important information because Cracker Barrel was started, and is headquartered, in Lebanon. Cracker Barrel enthusiasts and curious eaters can head to the South Cumberland Street location in Lebanon for the full experience.

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By Igor Dutina | Shutterstock

Chad’s Winter Wonderland

Who is Chad? Why does he have so much holiday spirit? Is he Ok the rest of the year? Some questions may never be answered. What is for sure is that this holiday tradition started in 1982 and has proudly continued ever since. For anyone who happens to be in Lebanon in December, drive over to Old Laguardo Road to check out the stunning lights display.

Fiddlers Grove

Fiddlers Grove gives guests the opportunity to experience life as it was “back in the day”. The early village replica includes a 1700s log cabin, a general store, sawmill, and early examples of facilities like a hospital. Fiddlers Grove also has the former law offices of Sam Houston, most famous for his role in the Texas Revolution, who was also the 6th governor of Tennessee.

By Flickr | Fiddlers Grove

Learn More About Lebanon!

Can’t get enough of Lebanon?! Well then get your buns over to the Lebanon Museum and History Center. Located inside of city hall/the mayor’s office, the museum presents the interesting history of the town amongst the dynamic and thrilling environment of small, local government.

Things to Do in Lebanon, Tennessee
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