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Small Town: Leiper’s Fork, Tn – Where to Stay

moonshine hill news atlanta magazineMusic City’s Country Cousin

Fifteen minutes south of Nashville, deep in the wooded hills, the creative spirit of Music City is distilled to its rustic essence. Leiper’s Fork is barely a wide spot in the road, but this village of wood-framed country cottages lures Nashville royalty with its authentic musical offerings. It isn’t uncommon to find Winona Judd or Justin Timberlake eating fried chicken and playing alongside locals at Open Mic Night at Puckett’s Grocery, and everyone from grocers to Grammy winners shows up at the Lawnchair Theatre for live music and free movies. At Serenite Maison, strum a tune on priceless instruments such as a vintage 1944 Martin B28 guitar or a 1930s Gibson mandolin. (Alas, these instruments are not for sale, though many a would-be buyer has tried.) Leiper’s Fork is also home to more than its share of world-class art, thanks to galleries including Copper FoxLeiper’s Creek, and David Arms—the eponymous studio of the renowned painter housed in a refurbished barn.

Where to Stay

Moonshine Hill Inn / Situated on twenty-one private wooded acres, this luxurious inn features a pond, vegetable garden, tree house, and its very own music barn honoring the town’s place on the Americana Music Triangle.

Where to Play

Lawnchair Theatre / Bring a chair or quilt and enjoy live music or free Friday-night movies all summer at this outdoor theater, complete with a tin-roofed pavilion.

Where to Eat

Puckett’s Grocery / Over the last sixty-plus years, this country store has grown into a classic meat-and-three and now operates several locations throughout Tennessee. But this is the original.

Meet the Neighbors

In 1995, when developer Aubrey Preston returned from Colorado to his home state of Tennessee to raise his family, he discovered Leiper’s Fork. At the time, the burg was little more than a hollowed-out timber town that had long been left to its ghosts. He fell in love with the place, the hills and rural wilderness reminding him of East Tennessee, where he grew up. Preston, fifty-seven, bought up much of the village and encouraged Nashville artists to refurbish and set up shop in some of the abandoned buildings he’d acquired. One of his rules was that every business had to have a front porch, fire pit, or some place where people could congregate, rock in their chairs, and most importantly, play guitar—one of Preston’s passions. “The community takes a lot of pride in letting anyone who wants to play participate,” Preston says. “Music is a way of life here.”

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The Perfect Getaway – Mud & Magnolias


Moonshine Hill encompasses 21 private wooded acres in the Leiper’s Fork community of Franklin, Tenn. The property features a two-bedroom cottage, treehouse, cedar twig pavilion, log cabin, a firepit, a wood burning fireplace, a pond and a garden with seasonal vegetables to be harvested and eaten by guests. A reservation at Moonshine Hill gets you (and up to five guests) the run of the place. Bonus: your furry family members are welcome, too.

Ann Johnson, the original owner, built her paradise from the ground up, starting with a dilapidated shack on a priceless piece of land. In July, she sold to Richard and Gloria Broming, with full confidence that they would preserve the magic of Moonshine Hill. They plan to do even more by bringing their farm-to-fork expertise with them all the way from Laguna Beach, Calif.

Moonshine Hill Inn’s self-described “hillbilly opulence” has earned it a spot in Harper’s Bazaar’s Top 10 Bed & Breakfasts Across the Country and other accolades. The interiors are well appointed with rustic wood paneling, modern creature comforts and a heavy dose of southern charm. Details are everything, from the flour sack pillows lining the couches in the cedar twig pavilion to the Americana Music Triangle Mural painted by John Turner in the Moonshine Still room. The mural—and triangle—actually highlights both Nashville and Tupelo, linking our area with the stately Moonshine Hill Inn.

In Leiper’s Fork, enjoy live music, southern cuisine and curated shops, or drive into Nashville for the day; or stay put at Moonshine Hill and enjoy the breathtaking views and warm fires.

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The Culture Trip

Where to stay in Nashville:

by Kate Harrington

There is certainly no shortage of accommodation possibilities in the capital of Tennessee. There are options to experience the downtown aspect of Nashville or the off-the-beaten-track B&B adventure. Either way, the South’s history and hospitality is evident in every location.

Moonshine Hill Inn

Positioned about twenty-five miles outside of Nashville, the Moonshine Hill Inn is a cottage get-away that offers the option of a city experience. It’s tasteful and humble with its log-cabin décor. Moonshine Inn sticks with the theme of the ‘log-cabin’ as each room is comprised of wooden floors, walls, and bed frames. Although the touch of paisley tablecloths and bed sheets remind you that you’re in the South. Offering all homemade meals, the Moonshine Hill Inn is the quaint bed & breakfast for a humble cottage stay.

Best Fireplace Award in the HomeAway Best Space Showcase

Best Space Showcase 2016 competition! This time around we asked our owners and travelers to vote on their favorite cabin, fireplace and living room. The competition was fierce, but the votes are in: Cabins should always be covered in snow, fireplaces are best when handcrafted, and living rooms with a view make all the difference!


The Moonshine Hill Inn looks and feels like it should be in a story book with its whimsical style. Lucky for us, it’s just right down the road in Franklin, Tennessee! As the numerous 5-star ratings explain, this cottage has everything travelers need and has unique charms that make for a marvelous trip. “You will be hard pressed to find another luxury country cabin so close to all of these wonderful amenities,” says owners Richard and Gloria.

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If Downton Abbey Crossed with Little House on the Prairie…

the result would probably be Moonshine Hill.

Owner Ann Johnson modestly calls her Leipers Fork property “a slice of hillbilly heaven.” But aside from the rolling hills lined with split-rail fencing, the thatched roof over the pond-side gazebo, and the reproduction log cabin at the top of the property, you’ll be hard pressed to find any resemblance to the usual definition of hillbilly.



A sprawling hillside property tucked into a remote stretch of Tennessee’s Natchez Trace highway, Moonshine Hill combines the palatial with the rustic. The main building is a stone-and-timber edifice that is built in the style of a cabin, but has the proportions of a country lodge. Step inside to find a vaulting fireplace roaring with hickory logs, surrounded by overstuffed leather and brocade furniture flanked enticingly by footstools and fur blankets.


The cook’s kitchen is flanked by a set of cheery red Dutch doors that look out onto the flagstone-paved patio, which boasts two (yes, two!) fire rings, both positioned under oak trees    strung with café lights. Follow the lights up the hill, and you’ll reach the treehouse – an open loft built around an old tree that Ann couldn’t bear to cut down. Go a little farther, and you reach the gazebo, a shady retreat with cushy seating that overlooks the koi pond below. Whether you’re just a pair looking for a romantic retreat, a family with children and pets in tow, or a large party, Moonshine Hill’s grassy acreage is a historically rooted wonderland that plays powerfully on the imagination.


There are three beds in the main house, the best of which is the one built into the east wall. It’s hard to know what to be more awed by: the custom beveled oak panel construction or the 1000-thread count silk sheets. However, for daytime lounging purposes, the sweetheart-shaped bathtub and the light-flooded window seat vie for the title of the most comfortable place in the house.


Ann Johnson is a consummate hostess, seeing to a thousand little details that give Moonshine Hill all its incomparable homey elegance: outdoor seating areas stocked with candles and cushions, bathroom cabinets stocked with perfumed bath salts and locally made soap and lotion, cupboards and drawers filled with everything you could want, from parlor games to picnic blankets to stationery. What’s more, being a guest of Moonshine Hill means a personal introduction to the wonderful community of Leipers Fork. Ann will point out (if not personally introduce) the town local luminaries – artists, musicians, shopkeepers, historians, all of whom are natural storytellers proud to welcome strangers to their perfectly preserved little piece of history.


For the truest experience of what makes the Nashville area legendary, eschew the bright city lights for the warm country charms of Leipers Fork. Enjoy the famous Puckett’s Grocery open mic night, eat a farm-to-table lunch at Joe’s, and relax into the sweet, simple routine of life at Moonshine Hill.


Our Man on the Ground: OMOTG – Chelsea Batten is an itinerant journalist and photographer  View Article>