Shapard Tower is seen on the campus of the University of the South.

Nestled between Chattanooga and Nashville, Sewanee, Tenn., is a small town known for its Old English charm.

While you're there, don't miss the opportunity to visit The University of the South. It has often been compared to the University of Oxford in England because of its Gothic-style architecture, and it's a good jumping-off point for hiking and exploring. The University of the South, along with the adjacent private middle/high school St. Andrew's-Sewanee School, also hosts concert series, art exhibitions and lectures that are open to the public.


*Founded: 1857

*Population: 2,380

*Time zone: Central


*Sewanee Summer Music Festival: Every year, young students from around the world come to learn about orchestra, chamber music and piano at The University of the South — that and the performance experience. Concerts are open to the public and streamed online. (

*58th annual Festival of Lessons and Carols: The annual festival was featured in Southern Living magazine and attracts people from all across the South to experience traditional carols and scripture readings in the university's All Saints' Chapel. This year's event will take place Dec. 2-3. (686 University Ave.; 931-598-1274)


*Shenanigans: A popular dining destination, so expect long lines, but it'll be worth it. Though the unassuming eatery is known for its sandwiches, the varied menu promises something for everyone, and the reviews promise you won't be disappointed. (12595 Sollace M Freeman Hwy.; 931-598-5774)

*Crossroads Cafe: This well-ranked restaurant serves up some highly touted dumplings — Asian dumplings, that is. Contrary to what its name implies, the restaurant offers a fresh take on Asian fare sourced from Singapore, the owner's homeland. Those dumplings share a menu with slow-braised Indian pork vindaloo and other exotic dishes, but you can only sample them Wednesday-Saturday. (38 Ball Park Road; 931-598 9988;


Sewanee has a variety of trails for those who love the outdoors. Trails range in difficulty from a vigorous cardio workout to an easy hike to see some stunning views of the Cumberland Plateau.

*Bridal Veil Falls Trail: This 3-mile round-trip hike features a view of falls cascading about 50 feet down the side of a mountain.

*Mountain Goat Trail: The Mountain Goat Trail adopts the path of a former coal and passenger railroad dating back to 1856 and links Sewanee to Monteagle with a 5-mile paved path perfect for running, walking or biking. The trail begins in downtown Sewanee and is accessible from Highway 41A at Hawkins Lane. The trail will eventually be expanded to stretch 35 miles and connect seven towns. Work on several miles between Monteagle and Tracy City is planned to begin this year and early next yaer. (

*Perimeter Trail: This trail is a series of connecting paths that surround The University of the South and extend a total of 20 miles. Running alongside the western bluff of the Cumberland Plateau, this trail goes across two lakes and features overlooks such as Green's View. Access the trail at the Memorial Cross or at Lake Cheston.


*During World War II, The University of the South served as a V-12 Navy training site.

*The university was also one of the original members of the Southeastern Conference and still uses the oldest college football field in the South.