Wait, the UK and New Hampshire don't have the complete monopoly on Manchesters! The Tennessee (that state where Jack Daniels is made) version is a sleepy little town of around 10,000 people with no visible sign of anything to do -- even the Dairy Queen closed down in 2000. Supposedly, Manchester, TN, was named after the New Hampshire town because the original founders thought they'd build it on a river (the Duck), name it after a success story, and the textile industry would instantly take off! Alas, they had no clue. Wispy legends proclaim Manchester to have once been The Pajama Capital of the World, but this glory is past -- the last of the three pajama factories closed in the early 1990s, ending all possibility of an interesting field trip that didn't involve going out of town. Today, many of the town's residents work at the Arnold Engineering and Development Center nearby.

The feature Manchester is most known for locally is probably its plethora of hotels and motels. Billboards proclaim the number of available rooms from miles away, all up and down the interstate highway between Nashville and Chattanooga. While no one is quite sure, there are most likely more hotel rooms in Manchester than there are residents. The proximity to the interstate also means lots and lots of fast food restaurants. This is the only uncreative dating activity in town, unless you count going to softball games - which might explain why most romantic couples are seen heading up the road.

Should you ever get stuck in Manchester and tired of the hotel room, local attractions include Old Stone Fort State Park and... well, that's about it. The park's centerpiece is a vague mound that was probably made by Native Americans, but a neat little book in the local library includes theories about everything from early Welsh explorers to Vikings. It's a really nice place, though - lots of forest, and a couple of rather nice waterfalls. (But don't drink or swim in the water! It's gross)!

And, if anyone cares, it's about a 20 minute drive over to the Jack Daniels distillery. Which is in a dry county, so you might just want to come back to Manchester if you're wanting to buy any of the whiskey!

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