Go With a Purpose.
A blog about connecting through places that matter.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And the Winner of the Heritage Travel “Reviews” Contest is…

Heritage Travel Inc. is proud to announce the winner of the Heritage Travel “Reviews” contest! Congratulations to Heather Bailey, whose review of Winchester, Tennessee, was selected from hundreds of reviews and 25 finalists. Read Heather’s review below, titled “An Authentic Southern Town.”

As the winner of the contest, Heather and her mother, Melody Bailey, will travel to New York City this fall for a theater tour that will include some of the city’s finest theatrical gems. Together, they will see a private performance by current Broadway entertainers, experience a behind-the-scenes tour of the legendary Apollo Theater, enjoy two Broadway shows of their choosing, and receive hotel accommodations and more.

Heather has visited Winchester at least once during each of the past four years. Most notable are the weeklong summer visits she wrote about in her review, when she joined old friends for a reunion. For Heather, Winchester’s appeal spans diverse architecture and Tims Ford State Park to delectable snacks at the San Miguel Coffee Company and shopping at Hammers.

Heather is particularly interested in the role people play in history and preservation. A Ph.D. candidate, Heather says her experiences doing research and field work throughout Franklin County add even more appeal to her Winchester visits.

“My mom says I got my love of history from my dad. He was always taking us on vacation to landmarks, historic sites and battlefields,” Heather said. “I am already doing some blogging about my heritage travel experiences, so it made sense for me to submit shorter reviews on GoWithaPurpose. But I confess that I am a little light-headed over this. It is very exciting!”

Now, without further delay, here is Heather’s winning review of Winchester, Tennessee.:

An Authentic Southern Town

I spend a week in Winchester every summer and take friends on a roadtrip there at different times of the year. It is close enough to the interstate that it is easy to get to, but far enough away that the historic downtown has managed to keep a lot of its character without being overrun by sprawl.

The historic courthouse square is memorable. The buildings on the square are mostly Gilded Age and Progressive Era, but the courthouse is a striking Art Deco. In addition to just being a beautiful setting, Winchester's historic downtown features unique shopping. No trip to Winchester is complete without a trip to Hammers. There's no way to miss it, the store takes up an entire side of the square and the historic buildings that the store is in are painted in true Victorian fashion: LOUD. The strip of purple-ish blue buildings, with yellow accents is Hammers and as you roam through each building, you find more shopping opportunities in basements, second floors, and tucked around corners. Part of the fun of shopping there is discovering just where everything is. The other part is finding the amazing bargains.

I can never leave Winchester without at least one trip to the San Miguel Coffee Company (catacorner to Hammers). It is in an adapted 1890s bank building but the interiors have been remodeled to reflect a trendy coffee house while also weaving in historic Italian features. They have stunning coffee, treats, and soups. The brie and mushroom soup in a bread bowl is my idea of heaven.

After shopping in the historic downtown, I always like to meander through the historic residential neighborhoods. Lately the town has seen a revival and many of the older houses are in better shape than they have been in for years, so the drive is gorgeous and heart warming (I love that people invest in the townscapes that typify their unique town brand). Finally, if you set aside enough time to make a vacation of it, you must visit Tim's Ford State Park and take advantage of the swimming and boating that is available right there in Winchester. It is a beautiful lake, TVA keeps it well maintained, and you can feel like you're out in the middle of nature only a short way out of town.


  1. Jacqueline Gaulin, Heritage Travel, Inc.June 23, 2009 at 8:10 AM

    Congratulations Heather! I enjoyed reading your review and look forward to hearing about your trip to New York City. I hope you will share your New York City Theater Tour experiences (and photos) with everyone in the Gozaic community!

    All the best,

    Jacqueline Gaulin
    Manager, Web Content & Customer Experience

  2. Congratulations, Heather! We're all really excited for you, and appreciate that you've shared your experiences with this winning review.

    Have a great time in New York City!

    Drew Schneider
    Director, Customer Experience



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