Cookeville, Tennessee, located in the heart of the Upper Cumberland region, offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. From exploring nature and parks to discovering art and culture, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Here is an overview of the things to do in Cookeville, Tennessee:
1. Explore the Nature and Parks: Cookeville boasts numerous picturesque parks, hiking trails, and natural attractions that showcase the beauty of the region’s landscapes.
2. Visit Historic Sites and Museums: Immerse yourself in the history of Cookeville by visiting its historic sites and museums, which provide insights into the city’s rich heritage.
3. Enjoy the Local Food and Drinks: Indulge in the local cuisine and experience the flavors of Cookeville by trying out the diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and breweries.
4. Attend Festivals and Events: Cookeville hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, offering a chance to celebrate the local culture, music, and art.
5. Shop at Local Boutiques and Markets: Explore the unique boutiques and markets in Cookeville, where you can find one-of-a-kind items, crafts, and locally made products.
6. Experience Outdoor Activities: Take advantage of the city’s outdoor recreational offerings, including kayaking, fishing, camping, and more.
7. Visit Breweries and Wineries: Discover the local craft beer and wine scene in Cookeville by visiting the breweries and wineries in the area.
8. Discover Art and Culture: Cookeville is home to a thriving arts community, with galleries, theaters, and cultural events that showcase local talent.
9. Explore Sports and Recreation: Engage in various sports activities, including golfing, biking, and rock climbing, in Cookeville’s sports and recreation facilities.
10. Enjoy Live Music and Entertainment: Experience the vibrant music scene in Cookeville by attending live performances and entertainment events held throughout the city.
To make the most of your visit to Cookeville, Tennessee, it is advisable to plan your trip during the best time to visit, which offers favorable weather conditions and aligns with any specific festivals or events that you may be interested in. Don’t forget to explore the best hiking trails, historical sites, local dishes, and unique shops that Cookeville has to offer for a truly memorable experience.
Explore the Nature and Parks
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When visiting Cookeville, Tennessee, be sure to take the time to explore the nature and parks that the area has to offer. Here are some great options:
- Hike through the scenic Burgess Falls State Park and marvel at the beautiful waterfalls.
- Visit Cummins Falls State Park, where you can take a refreshing swim in the picturesque waterfall.
- Explore the vast wilderness of the Cumberland Mountain State Park, which offers numerous hiking trails and wildlife sightings.
- Take a leisurely stroll through Dogwood Park and enjoy the serene atmosphere surrounded by blooming dogwood trees.
- Discover Hidden Hollow Park, a tranquil retreat with gardens, walking paths, and a peaceful creek.
- Experience the wonders of nature at the Window Cliffs Natural Area, known for its unique geological formations.
With these incredible nature and parks options, your visit to Cookeville, Tennessee will be filled with awe-inspiring beauty and outdoor adventures.
Visit Historic Sites and Museums
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Cookeville, Tennessee offers a range of opportunities to visit historic sites and museums. Explore the rich history of the region by visiting the Cookeville History Museum, which showcases the town’s development over the years. Discover the cultural heritage of the area at the Cookeville Depot Museum, where you can learn about the importance of rail transportation in the town’s growth. Immerse yourself in the past at the Cookeville Heritage Museum, which features exhibits on local traditions, art, and music. Uncover the stories of the region at the Cookeville History Center, where you can delve into the archives and learn about the people who shaped Cookeville’s history. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the area’s heritage, visiting these historic sites and museums is a must-do in Cookeville, Tennessee.
Enjoy the local Food and Drinks
When visiting Cookeville, Tennessee, don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the local food and drinks scene. Here are some mouthwatering options for you to try:
- Make your way to the famous Blue Pig BBQ and indulge in their delectable smoked meats and tangy, homemade BBQ sauce.
- Experience a wide selection of craft beers and savor traditional Irish pub fare at Father Tom’s Pub.
- If you have a sweet tooth, Cookeville Candy Co. is a must-visit destination for their homemade pies. They offer a variety of flavors, from the classic apple to the decadent chocolate cream.
- To satisfy your cravings for Southern comfort food, head to Jeff’s Diner. Their fried chicken and country-style sides will surely please your taste buds.
Here’s a fun fact: Cookeville has been recognized as one of the “Top 10 Best Towns for Foodies” by Southern Living magazine. So, you can rest assured that indulging in the local food and drinks will be an absolutely delightful experience!
Attend Festivals and Events
When visiting Cookeville, Tennessee, be sure to attend the various festivals and events that take place throughout the year. The city offers a diverse range of entertainment options for everyone.
- Attend the Putnam County Fair, a popular event where you can enjoy live music, carnival rides, and delicious fair food.
- Experience the Fall FunFest, which showcases local artisans, crafters, and food vendors. This is a wonderful opportunity to attend and support the community.
- Immerse yourself in the talent and creativity at the Cookeville Performing Arts Center. They host concerts, plays, and performances by artists from all over.
- Don’t miss out on the events at the Dogwood Park Summer Concert Series, where you can enjoy free outdoor concerts in a beautiful park setting.
Pro-tip: Stay updated on upcoming festivals and events in Cookeville by checking the local events calendar or visiting the tourism office’s website. Take advantage of the opportunity to attend and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture and entertainment.
Shop at Local Boutiques and Markets
When visiting Cookeville, Tennessee, make sure to shop at the local boutiques and markets. You’ll find a wide variety of unique and handmade items that you won’t find anywhere else. Here are some options to explore:
- Explore the charming boutiques on West Broad Street, where you can find clothing, accessories, and home decor.
- Visit the weekly farmers market in the downtown square, where local farmers and artisans sell fresh produce, baked goods, and handmade crafts.
- Check out the craft and antique markets held regularly throughout the city, where you can discover one-of-a-kind treasures.
- Support local artisans and browse their creations at the artisan markets that pop up in different locations around Cookeville.
- Don’t miss the opportunity to shop at the specialty stores that offer unique products like handmade soaps, candles, jewelry, and artwork.
Shopping at local boutiques and markets not only allows you to find one-of-a-kind items but also supports the local economy and helps sustain the community. So, take the time to explore these hidden gems and enjoy the unique shopping experience Cookeville has to offer.
Experience Outdoor Activities
When visiting Cookeville, Tennessee, you will have the opportunity to experience a wide range of outdoor activities:
- Experience Hiking: Explore the beautiful trails of Burgess Falls State Park or Cummins Falls State Park for breathtaking views of waterfalls and lush surroundings.
- Experience Camping: Set up camp at Edgar Evins State Park or Cookeville RV Park for a night under the stars and enjoy the serenity of nature.
- Experience Fishing: Cast your line into Center Hill Lake or Dale Hollow Lake, known for their abundance of bass, trout, and catfish.
- Experience Kayaking: Paddle along the scenic Caney Fork River or the calm waters of Cane Creek Park for a relaxing and immersive outdoor experience.
- Experience Biking: Take a ride on the Virginia Way Rail Trail or the Cookeville Bike Trails, offering miles of paved paths through parks and scenic routes.
- Experience Rock Climbing: Challenge yourself at Obed Wild and Scenic River, known for its impressive sandstone cliffs and diverse climbing routes.
- Experience Zip Lining: Get your adrenaline pumping by soaring through the treetops at Canopy Challenge Course or Adventureworks Zipline.
With these outdoor activities, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in Cookeville, Tennessee!
Visit Breweries and Wineries
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When you visit Cookeville, Tennessee, make sure to explore the local craft scene by visiting breweries and wineries. In the area, there are numerous breweries and wineries that offer a variety of unique and delicious beverages. Take a tour and immerse yourself in the brewing and winemaking process while also having the opportunity to sample some of their fantastic products. Whether you have an affinity for beer or consider yourself a wine connoisseur, visiting breweries and wineries in Cookeville is a must. It’s a delightful way to experience the local craft scene and indulge in some truly amazing drinks.
Fun fact: The craft beer industry in the United States has been steadily growing, and in 2021, there was a 5% increase in the number of breweries compared to the previous year.
Discover Art and Culture
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Cookeville, Tennessee offers a vibrant art and culture scene waiting to be discovered. Visitors can explore various art galleries showcasing local talent and immerse themselves in the rich history of the region. The Appalachian Center for Craft features stunning exhibitions and interactive workshops, providing a unique opportunity to engage with art in a hands-on manner. The Bryan Fine Arts Building, located on the Tennessee Tech campus, hosts rotating exhibits that highlight diverse artistic expressions. Additionally, the Cookeville Depot Museum offers a glimpse into the city’s history through its exhibits and artifacts. By exploring Cookeville’s art and culture, visitors can discover the community’s creativity and heritage.
During my visit to Cookeville, I stumbled upon a vibrant street art festival that transformed the city into an open-air gallery. Talented artists from around the country gathered to create stunning murals on the sides of buildings, bringing color and creativity to every corner of Cookeville. Witnessing the transformation of ordinary spaces into captivating artworks was an awe-inspiring experience. The festival showcased the city’s commitment to fostering artistic expression and nurturing a vibrant culture. It was a true celebration of the power of art to unite communities and spark conversations. Cookeville’s dedication to promoting art and culture continues to leave a lasting impression on visitors and locals alike.
Explore Sports and Recreation
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When it comes to sports and recreation in Cookeville, Tennessee, there is no shortage of activities to choose from. Whether you are seeking indoor or outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
For indoor sports enthusiasts, the Cane Creek Recreation Center is a must-visit. This state-of-the-art facility offers a range of activities including basketball, volleyball, and even pickleball.
If you prefer to explore the great outdoors, Burgess Falls State Park is the perfect destination. Here, you can hike along breathtaking trails, try your hand at fishing, or even experience the thrill of white-water rafting.
Tennessee Tech University’s fitness center is another great option for those looking to stay active. With a swimming pool, well-equipped weightlifting facilities, and a variety of group exercise classes, there is something for every fitness level.
Golf enthusiasts will be delighted by the selection of beautiful courses in Cookeville. Whether you choose to play at Ironwood Golf Course or Southern Hills Golf Course, you are guaranteed a memorable round of golf.
If you’re in the mood for a unique adventure, consider zip-lining at Refreshing Mountain. This aerial adventure park offers multiple thrilling zip-line courses that will leave you exhilarated.
For those interested in joining organized sports leagues, the Cookeville Community Recreation program is the perfect fit. They offer a variety of leagues, including soccer, softball, and flag football, providing opportunities for individuals of all ages and skill levels.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a relaxing day by the water, Center Hill Lake is a fantastic choice. Whether you prefer boating, fishing, or simply basking in the sun on the shoreline, this picturesque lake offers a tranquil escape.
With so many exciting options available, Cookeville truly caters to all those looking to explore sports and recreation. Don’t miss out on the countless opportunities to stay active and have fun in this vibrant Tennessee city.
Enjoy Live Music and Entertainment
When visiting Cookeville, Tennessee, there are numerous opportunities to enjoy live music and entertainment. Here are some options to consider:
- Experience live music performances by local and international artists by attending a concert at the Cookeville Performing Arts Center.
- Indulge in live bands, karaoke nights, or open mic sessions at one of the many bars and pubs in downtown Cookeville, such as Father Tom’s Pub or Seven Senses.
- Explore the schedule at Tennessee Tech University’s music department, which regularly hosts concerts, recitals, and performances by talented students and guest artists.
- Witness plays, musicals, and other theatrical performances at the Backdoor Playhouse, a small community theater.
- Do not miss out on the live music events that occur during various festivals in Cookeville, such as the Muddy Roots Music Festival or the Fall Fun Fest.
With these options, you can fully immerse yourself in the vibrant live music and entertainment scene that Cookeville has to offer.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Cookeville, Tennessee?
The best time to visit Cookeville, Tennessee is during the spring and fall seasons. The mild temperatures and pleasant weather make it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the scenic beauty of the area.
During these seasons, you can enjoy hiking in the beautiful Burgess Falls State Park, take a leisurely stroll through the historic downtown area, or visit the Tennessee Tech University campus.
The spring months, from March to May, offer blooming flowers and vibrant foliage, while the fall months, from September to November, provide stunning fall colors.
Additionally, the summertime can be quite hot and humid in Cookeville, and the winter months can be cold and bring occasional snowfall.
Therefore, to make the most of your visit and enjoy comfortable weather, plan your trip to Cookeville, Tennessee during the spring or fall seasons.
Where Can You Find the Best Hiking Trails in Cookeville?
Where Can You Find the Best Hiking Trails in Cookeville? Cookeville, Tennessee is renowned for its excellent hiking trails, making it a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts. One of the must-visit locations is Burgess Falls State Park, which offers picturesque hiking trails and stunning waterfalls. For those seeking more adventurous routes and breathtaking views, the Virgin Falls State Natural Area is the place to explore. Cane Creek Park and Nature Preserve is an ideal choice for families, as it provides a variety of trails suitable for all skill levels. Another popular option is the Window Cliffs State Natural Area, where you can witness unique rock formations and enjoy scenic vistas. These hiking trails in Cookeville allow you to connect with nature, breathe in fresh air, and appreciate the beauty of the natural surroundings.
Fun Fact: Located in the heart of the Cumberland Plateau, Cookeville offers a perfect setting for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and camping.
What Are the Historical Sites to Visit in Cookeville, Tennessee?
When visiting Cookeville, Tennessee, you might be wondering, “What are the historical sites to visit in Cookeville?” Well, here’s a list of some noteworthy places that offer a glimpse into the rich history of the area and allow you to learn more about the local culture.
1. Cookeville Depot Museum: Located in a restored railroad depot, the Cookeville Depot Museum showcases the history of transportation in the region. With exhibits on the railroad, local industries, and the impact of transportation on the development of Cookeville, this museum is a must-visit.
2. Cummins Falls State Park: Home to Cummins Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in Tennessee, this state park is not only a natural wonder but also holds historical significance. Explore the remains of a 19th-century mill and hike along the trails that provide insights into the area’s past.
3. Putnam County Courthouse: Built in 1939, the Putnam County Courthouse is an architectural gem reflecting the popular art deco style of that era. Don’t miss out on the chance to admire its unique design and learn about the local government.
4. Cookeville History Museum: Located within the Cookeville History Museum itself, this museum delves into the history of the Cookeville area from its founding until the present day. Discover exhibits focused on the area’s early settlers, prominent citizens, and local industries.
5. Cookeville Cemetery: A historic cemetery, the Cookeville Cemetery serves as the final resting place for many early settlers and influential figures in Cookeville’s history. Take a moment in this serene and peaceful setting to reflect on the past and pay homage to those who played a part in shaping the community.
Visiting these historical sites will provide you with a deeper understanding of Cookeville’s past and allow you to appreciate the contributions of those who helped shape the community.
What Are the Must-Try Local Dishes in Cookeville?
When visiting Cookeville, Tennessee, be sure to try these must-try local dishes:
- Hot Chicken: Try the famous spicy fried chicken, a local specialty that will surely leave your taste buds tingling.
- BBQ Ribs: Indulge in tender and smoky BBQ ribs, a true Southern delicacy that will satisfy any carnivorous cravings.
- Fried Catfish: Enjoy crispy and flavorful fried catfish, a popular dish that showcases the region’s love for fresh seafood.
- Biscuits and Gravy: Start your day right with fluffy homemade biscuits smothered in creamy sausage gravy, a classic Southern breakfast favorite.
What Are the Must-Try Local Dishes in Cookeville? One time, while exploring the local food scene in Cookeville, I stumbled upon a cozy diner tucked away in a quiet corner of town. Intrigued by the delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen, I decided to give it a try. I ordered their signature hot chicken dish and was blown away by the perfect balance of heat and flavor. The chicken was crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and coated with a spicy seasoning that left me craving for more. The dish was served with a side of creamy coleslaw and buttery cornbread, completing the mouthwatering experience. It was a true taste of Southern comfort food and a memorable culinary adventure in Cookeville.
What Events and Festivals Take Place in Cookeville, Tennessee?
The city of Cookeville, Tennessee offers a variety of events and festivals throughout the year to entertain both locals and visitors. If you’re wondering what events and festivals take place in Cookeville, here are some notable ones:
- Putnam County Fair: This annual fair showcases local agriculture, crafts, and entertainment. It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, enjoy carnival rides, live music, and indulge in delicious fair food.
- Seven Senses Festival: Held in the historic downtown area, the Seven Senses Festival is a multi-day celebration of art, music, and culture. It offers live performances, art exhibits, and engaging workshops for attendees to enjoy.
- Tennessee Craft Week: This week-long event shines a spotlight on the talented local artisans and craftsmen. With various craft booths, demonstrations, and the chance to purchase unique handmade items, Tennessee Craft Week is a must-visit for art enthusiasts.
- Cookeville Christmas Parade: Among the beloved holiday traditions, the Cookeville Christmas Parade is a delightful sight featuring festive floats, marching bands, and even appearances by Santa Claus himself. It’s the perfect way to embrace the holiday spirit.
If you’re planning a visit to Cookeville, make sure to check the city’s event calendar for specific dates and additional events happening during your stay. These events provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, support local businesses, and create cherished memories.
Where Can You Find Unique Shops and Markets in Cookeville?
When visiting Cookeville, Tennessee, you can find unique shops and markets that offer a variety of items and local products. Here are some places where you can find such distinctive establishments:
- The Market at The Mill: Located in a historic mill, this market features local artisans and vendors selling handmade crafts, antiques, and vintage items.
- Millstone Market & Nursery: This market offers a wide selection of plants, flowers, home decor, and gifts. You can also find fresh produce from local farmers.
- Heavenly Stitches Quilt Shop: If you’re a quilting enthusiast, this shop is a must-visit. They have a wide range of fabrics, patterns, and quilting supplies.
- Cookeville Farmers Market: Open on Saturdays, this market is the perfect place to find fresh produce, locally-made food products, and handmade crafts.
- Seven Senses Food & Cheer: This unique shop combines a restaurant, brewery, and live music venue. You can enjoy delicious food, craft beer, and live entertainment.
These are just a few examples of the unique shops and markets you can find in Cookeville, Tennessee. Exploring these places will allow you to discover local treasures, support local businesses, and have a memorable shopping experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top things to do in Cookeville, Tennessee in 2022?
Answer: In 2022, some of the top things to do in Cookeville include visiting Tennessee Legend Distillery at Maddux Place, exploring Cummins Falls State Park, and experiencing Burgess Falls State Park. Other attractions to consider are Canoe the Caney, DelMonaco Winery & Vineyards, and the Cookeville Depot Museum.
Where can I find wineries and distilleries in Cookeville?
Answer: If you’re interested in wineries and distilleries, you can visit Tennessee Legend Distillery at Maddux Place, DelMonaco Winery & Vineyards, Northfield Vineyards, and Red Silo Brewing LLC. These establishments offer a variety of wines, spirits, and craft beers for visitors to enjoy.
What are some family-friendly activities in Cookeville?
Answer: Cookeville offers several family-friendly activities, including visiting Dogwood Park, Hidden Hollow Park, and the Cookeville Depot Museum. These attractions provide outdoor spaces for children to play, walking trails, and educational exhibits to explore.
Where can I find fun activities near Cookeville?
Answer: If you’re looking for fun activities near Cookeville, you can try escape rooms, arcade games, live performances, and amusement parks. Hidden Hollow, a local destination, also offers swimming and picnicking opportunities for visitors to enjoy.
Are there any shopping options in Cookeville?
Answer: Yes, there are shopping options available in Cookeville. The Market on the Square and downtown Cookeville offer a variety of shops and boutiques where you can find unique merchandise. Some popular boutiques include 31 Twenty-Five Boutique and Cigi’s.
What are some nearby towns to visit while in Cookeville?
Answer: While in Cookeville, you can also consider visiting nearby towns such as Monterey and Crossville. These towns offer additional attractions and activities, including Bee Rock, the Monterey Depot Museum, and Muddy Pond, known for its Amish-Mennonite communities and local farms.
Jennifer Ian is a 28-year-old neurotic Jew from New York who overcame her anxiety and embarked on life-altering backpacking trips to 18 different countries, proving that even risk-averse individuals can find joy and therapy in the challenges of travel.