Traveling With Nashville's Jessica Campbell

Amid her album tour, Jessica Campbell dishes on travel, including East Nashville, Tennesse getaways, Moab, Honduras and the British Virgin Islands

Jessica Campbell got an early start with road trips. "We grew up making trips to our family vacation house in Cherry Grove, S.C., just outside Myrtle Beach," says the Nashville-based singer-songwriter. "I loved it! Knowing that it was a house my grandpa built for our family to enjoy made it a very special place." Currently on tour to promote her album "The Anchor and the Sail," Campbell's single "Be You" is available via free download from Crate and Barrel's "Get the Download." Fans may follow Campbell on Twitter (@jcampbellmusic). For current tour dates, check her website.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. So far, my favorite has been our honeymoon to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We spent a full week there and discovered lots of the island's nooks and crannies.

Q. To someone who was going there for the first time, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?
A. Hire the world-renown Chef Ted (of Ted's Supper Club) for a night to come cook an amazing gourmet meal for you. He came to the house we were staying at in his bare feet, with fresh local groceries in hand—some from his very own garden—and whipped up a four-hour, seven-course meal. It made for an incredible evening without having to leave the house!

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A. Moab, Utah. We took a three-week road trip out West last summer and made a stop to see Arches National Park in Moab. It's a really neat small town and the landscape is breathtaking in the park.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Gatlinburg, Tenn. The Great Smoky Mountains. University of the South. Arrington Vineyards.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?
A. Copan, Honduras. The natural hot springs are incredible and way off the beaten path! It's such a perfect small town with lots of charm.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?
A. I actually love and bed and breakfasts. Not only do I prefer these for the cozy factor, but I've also found it to be a great way to meet locals and learn more about the culture of the area.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. Chicago; Santa Monica, Calif.; Fairhope, Ala.; Asheville, N.C.; Missoula, Mont.

Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?
A. Dalton, Ga. One of my best friends from college lives there and the people remind me of my hometown crowd. Lots of back roads, great local meat-and-three restaurants, gardening and hunting.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. Traveling on the road has simplified this list. Origins face wash, dark chocolate bites, TOMS shoes, my comfy sunglasses, fashionable scarf, big barrel curling iron, a good book.

Q. What would be your dream trip?
A. New Zealand. I'm a big fan of "The Lord of the Rings" movies, so I've desperately wanted to visit the country after seeing them.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. Locally owned places always top my list. Since I'm an entrepreneur myself, I love to explore menus that have creativity and have been hand-crafted by passionate owners. We have some amazing local restaurants here in East Nashville: Marche Artisan Foods, Margot Cafe, Husk and Five Points Pizza.

Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?
A. I'll circle back around to our honeymoon in St. John. We enjoyed watching the Kentucky Derby with a packed local crowd at a local and quite delicious burger joint called Skinny Legs. We sat with locals who had just come off of their boats from fishing, enjoyed a few mint juleps and waited along with the sun-tanned crowd to see the horse race. About an hour after leaving the restaurant, I started noticing an itch on the insides of my forearms. Within a few more hours a rash covered most of my body and continued onto my face for our trip back home. Fortunately, it was the last day of our trip because it took a full seven days to return to normalcy. I'm blaming it on the intensity of that fresh, locally grown mint!

Jae-Ha Kim
About the author
Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author, travel writer and syndicated columnist. You can respond to this colum...