Say Beans! Family travels leads to bean adventure, but no secret recipe

Bush's Best Beans 1.jpg

By Jennifer Primrose

In July, I took a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for a family vacation. Little did I know that en route to our destination, would we pass the Bush's Beans visitors center. There's nothing I love more than going on a road trip and finding new and interesting places to visit. On our way home, we did just that. We stopped at the visitors center not knowing what to expect and it actually ended up being one of the highlights of the trip. 

As we walked in, we noticed the Bush's Theatre, where they were getting ready for the next showing of a short film with a history on the Bush family. Normally, these things tend to bore me, but to my surprise, it was extremely interesting. And, of course, anything with Jay and Duke (the sidekick talking Golden Retriever) is always entertaining.

There we learned about how the company got its start over 100-years ago as a tomato cannery in Chestnut Hill, Tennessee, and how they later grew, saw its struggles through the wars and persevered to what we see today sitting on our grocery store shelves. The company started as a family run business and remains so to this day.

After the film, we walked through the museum and through a giant replica of a can of baked beans that depicts a bean's journey ... OK, just walking through a huge can of beans was cool! Next, we got to weigh ourselves in beans, which by the way, would be the only way I would weigh myself in a public place! We walked through the timeline of the Bush brothers and how the company has changed over time and then had our photo taken with Duke (not the real Duke, just a photograph!).

We shopped around and picked up some beans we have not seen back home and some novelty items and hit the road again. There is a restaurant onsite as well, serving up Pinto Bean Pie, but we did not have time to check it out this visit. I would definitely go back to this travel/tourist destination next time we head to Gatlinburg. Why not?