Getting away for two nights is sometimes hard. Three nights? Next to impossible. After spending a rainy Wednesday checking out The Inn at Evins Mill, I’ve determined it provides the perfect one night getaway (and more nights if you can fit it in your schedule!) as it’s just over an hour from Nashville but feels a world away.
“One night getaway?” you say. Yes, believe me, your spouse will thank you. No spouse? Go by yourself and your soul will thank you. I bet once you do it, a short time away becomes a mainstay must.
I met with owner and Nashvillian, William Cochran. I like the fact that a Nashville family owns the Inn. They know that we Nashvillians can be a little picky, and since they have school-aged kids, they know how hectic life can be. (I’m in no way saying life without kids is not crazy, but when kids are added to the picture, trying to get away for only one night means coordinating 5 schedules, which is challenging.) That said, I like knowing a local family with a crazy life knows that when we get there, we need a honest break, and that if we don’t like our stay, they will see us in line at the grocery store! The Cochrans strive to provide a place that they are proud to tell their neighbors about.
The drive is easy. You exit in Lebanon and then drive a beautiful state highway into Smithville. The driveway and stone entrance to The Inn at Evins Mill immediately let you know to leave your stress behind – it seems to roll away as soon as you park your car. The Main House, where you arrive, feels very much like the mountains. I found out why: Smithville is situated the western edge of the Eastern Hemlock Forest, so you do indeed capture that mountain feeling. In fact, there is an easy hike to a gorgeous waterfall on the The Inn’s 40 acre property. Center Hill lake is just minutes away. With the pond, large creek, waterfall, mountainous foliage and rustic charm, you do feel further away from Nashville than just an hour and 20 minutes.
There are 12 cabin rooms, four within three separate cabins. Each room has a separate outdoor entrance and it’s own covered porch. The Inn is about to enlarge and screen these porches to provide more spacious accommodations. The rooms are by no means large, but I’ve stayed in much smaller, higher-end places for 5 times the price. I suggest booking one of the top floor rooms (each cabin has two top floor rooms and two underneath), as the vaulted ceilings add a sense of spaciousness and the lofts in each of these rooms are perfect if you bring your kids — ones old enough to climb a ladder without fear, that is.
During my afternoon of wandering around at The Inn, I ran into a lady from Oklahoma who was at the end of her three-day stay. “I don’t want to leave. This place is amazing. My company has had us here for a conference and it’s perfect.” I quizzed her more about the food, the beds, the staff. She could not have been happier. Her glowing endorsement made me think maybe I should start coming here regularly for a night or two away. I ran into another man having lunch and peppered him with questions, as well. Again, 100% pleased and his favorites included the day trip opportunities for hiking, caving and golf. Like my Oklahoma pal, he also plugged the food — he loved every meal.
I enjoyed a BBQ lunch that Chef Jason Evans put together. In the summer I have heard his homemade pickles are to die for. But, I can tell you that as far as a traditional BBQ lunch goes, I give it a big thumbs up. I asked about the dinner menu: it changes nightly and is a four-course gourmet meal. Local meats and vegetables are incorporated into the menu with The Inn’s effort to support local farmers. To read more about the Inn’s “farm to table” approach, click here.
Added to the hiking trails, a sincerely nice staff, good food and a location just over an hour away, the price tag is another plus. One night, including all meals, starts at just $265, with the most expensive accommodations being just $325.
- one night’s accommodation
- hearty breakfast buffet & omelet station
- four-course gourmet dinner
- social hour preceding dinner with delicious hors d’oeuvres
- boxed lunch with sandwich, chips, salad, fruit, cookies & drink
- unlimited access to non-alcoholic beverages and light snacks
- wireless DSL internet access in the Grand Lodge and Gristmill
- exclusive access to forty-acre property
- access to videos, board games, CDs and books
You can also plan ahead for a massage, which I’ve heard is worth every penny.
Remember, you can leave home at 6:00 PM, arrive in time for dinner and still be home the next day in time to pick up the kids from the hookup line… Sounds pretty perfect. Snag me two nights and I’ve arrived at blissdom. Did I mention ping pong? Oh, I love me a ping pong table….
Call for details: http://evinsmill.com