Spend the Day in the Small Town of Cookeville, TN (2024)

May 8, 2022

Featured in this Article:

Cookeville Weekend Itinerary
Additional Upper Cumberland Stops
4th of July in the Upper Cumberland

Cookeville, Tennessee is a small town getaway tucked within the Upper Cumberland regionof the state with upscale fashion, delicious culinary creations, music and hidden murals throughout. It’s about an hour from Nashville and the drive to Cookeville is a pretty one. Here's how to spend the perfect weekend trip from Nashville that includes Cookeville and nearby towns Monterey and Crossville if you have time.

Where to Eatin Cookeville

Poet's Coffee

Start your trip with coffee and breakfast at Poet's Coffee, located in the Historic Putnam County Courthouse Square. Enjoy thelaid back atmosphere and pull up a chair in front of the large windows to watch the world pass by. Get your caffeine fix with an Americano, Cuban or Espresso. If you love tea, Poet's has a variety of selections from green tea tropical to white orchard and the classic Earl Grey. The Avo Bagel with avocado, cream cheese, everything seasoning, arugula and tomato makes for a great breakfast as does the Morning Magic Cheese bagel topped with sausage, provolone, spicy mustard and herb cream cheese. You can always opt for a classic meal with sausage, egg, cheese and herb cream cheese on a bagel.

If you need something sweet while hunting for the cool murals around downtown Cookeville or strolling the square and its shops, go to Cream City Ice Cream & Coffee House for a scoop or two of creamy ice cream. You'll want to try every flavor from peanut butter cup, Tennessee fudge, black cherry, caramel cone, cookies and cream, butter pecan and cake batter. Cream City also can make you a milkshake, smoothie, banana split, Affogato or sundae.

serves Southern and American-style dishes with fresh, local ingredients. Stop in for lunch or dinner for starters like fried pickles, poached shrimp co*cktail or the boneless chicken wings. The menu includes salads, sandwiches, tacos, burgers and wraps as well as entrees like chicken mac - grilled chicken over elbow macaroni in white cheddar sauce with bacon, tomatoes and scallions on top. The shrimp & scallops will have you wanting more and the Tennessee meatloaf is a favorite with two loaves of meatloaf, Parmesan mashed potatoes and green beans.


Crawdaddy's West Side GrillPhoto Credit: @amybnew

Step into Crawdaddy's for New Orleans-inspired cuisine like crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, gumbo and po boys stuffed with fried shrimp, crawfish or oysters. The bar serves up craft co*cktails, local beers and an extensive wine and liquor list. Check out one of their weekly special events like Sunday Brunch with Jazz to performances by local bands.

Father Tom's Pub

Spend the Day in the Small Town of Cookeville, TN (5)

Photo Credit: @joy_of_fall

Soak up the classic pub atmosphere at Father Tom's Pub while enjoying wine, spirits, local brews and incredible food. Savor large sandwiches, fish 'n' chips, the signature quesadilla or The Bernie Mac - house-made white cheddar mac and cheese topped with hot chicken. The pub is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays.

Things to Do in Cookeville

The Market on the Square

Poke aroundThe Market on the Square, a multi-level shopper's paradise. The street level is full of different types of foods, condiments and have-to-have kitchen decor. Venture downstairs for the cute home decor and even a whole room dedicated to Christmas decor. Here's where you can get all your holiday shopping done at on stop.

Shopping in Downtown Cookeville

Historic Downtown Cookeville Boutiques, murals, history. Cookeville has it all. Photo Credit: Greta Hollar

Continue your shopping spree bypopping into the cute boutiques in the downtown area. Start at PLENTY Downtown Bookshop to browse the stacks for your favorite and new-to-you authors. Revamp your home with gifts and florals from Glass Tangerine, where you're sure to be welcomed by shop dog, Elsa. You can then visit Cigi's. This boutique has such a great selection and a wide range of sizes. They also have the cutest accessories and decor.After Cigi’s, head to the WestSide Cultural Districtwhere you'll find shops likeBroadway Boutique MallandLuxe Boutique.

Cookeville Depot Museum

Cookeville Depot Museum Explore the history of train travel in Tennessee. Photo Credit: Greta Hollar

The Cookeville Depot Museumis listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to many artifacts from the Tennessee Central Railway. Originally built in 1909, the Depot hosts a 1912 Baldwin steam engine, a 1920's classic red caboose, a 1960's caboose and two track cars which were used to move track workers to repair or work on the railroad tracks. Have fun learning about Tennessee railroad history and marveling at the HO scale replica of what Cookeville looked like in 1955.

Outdoor Experience

Outdoor Experience Get outfitted for a memorable adventure. Photo Credit: Greta Hollar

If you are planning to embark on some outdoor adventure while in the Upper Cumberland region,Outdoor Experienceis where you should go. This is your go-to place for all your outdoor equipment and gear. Kayaks, canoes, hiking boots and more are available for your next climbing, fishing or hiking excursion.

Dogwood Park

Get some fresh air atDogwood Parkwith walking trails, a rose garden and plenty of places to set up a picnic.If you're traveling with kids, they’ll love the imaginative playground and water feature during the summer.You'll also spot some great murals around this area and the whole of downtown. Allot an hour to go mural hunting for plenty of photo opportunities.

Red Silo Brewing Company

Red Silo Brewing Company Get a local taste from Red Silo Brewing Company.

Pull up a seat at Red Silo Brewing Company to try their small batch beers. A variety of beers are brewed including brown ales, pilsners, stouts, soursand even a lemon hard seltzerand their own root beer. Watch the world go by on the outdoor patio and enjoy live music from thesilo stage.

Tennessee Legend Distillery

Spend the Day in the Small Town of Cookeville, TN (12)

Photo Credit: Melissa Corbin

Sip some Tennessee spirits at Tennessee Legend Distillery in downtown Cookeville. Free tastings are offered every day and you can try in-house drinks made with Tennessee Legend spirits. Hang out at this location that has a chill atmosphere and bartenders who can steer you toward a great spirit while talking about Tennessee's famous state parks and other fun things to do around the area.

Add These Upper Cumberland Stops

Bee Rock - Monterey

Bee Rock Overlook Take in gorgeous views from Bee Rock in Monterey Photo Credit: Greta Hollar

Take a short drive to Monterey (about a 23-minute drive from Cookeville) to hike Bee Rock. It's a short hike up, but has incredible views of the mountains and valleys of the region. Take a few photos or just soak up the quiet and enjoy the sounds of nature.

Monterey Depot Museum

Monterey Depot MuseumPhoto Credit: Robert Melgar

Learn the origins of this charming small town at the Monterey Depot Museum. The replica depot and visitors' center has artifacts, photos and stories on early settlers as well as Native American history. Locals share the unique things to do in the area and can point you in the right direction on how to make the most of your time in Monterey.

The Lovely Brew Coffee Shop & Boutique- Monterey

Get your coffee and a a new dress in the same place at The Lovely Brew Coffee Shop & Boutique. You'll find casual, fashion-forward pieces from dresses to tops to jewelry. Grab a coffee, breakfast, lunch and homemade ice cream. Signature coffee flavors include raspberry white chocolate, chocolate, maple and caramel mix, chocolate and marshmallow for a s'mores twist and chocolate orange. Get a drip coffee, espresso, Boba tea, smoothie or a lotus energy drink (plant-based caffeine). Bagels, breakfast sandwiches, power bowls with chicken, quinoa, guacamole, salsa black beans, corn and queso, shredded chicken salad and turkey sandwiches on sourdough are great grab-and-go options.

The French Market - Monterey

Spend the Day in the Small Town of Cookeville, TN (15)

Photo Credit: The French Market

The new boutique in downtown Monterey, The French Market is full of luxury home decor, kitchen and bathroom items, designer items and more. You'll love their curated pieces, including must-have cooking ingredients, all the things you need to make your home feel like Paris or the French countryside.

Muddy Pond Amish Community - Muddy Pond

Muddy Pond Sorghum MillPhoto Credit: Dawn Majors

Travel the winding, country roads from Monterey to Muddy Pond where you'll find some of the best sorghum and fried pies around. The area is home to several Amish-Mennonite communities and local farms. You'll love the shopping and gorgeous natural sights of the area. Do some shopping at the Muddy Pond Sorghum Mill and Variety Store, Muddy Pond General Store, The Leather Shop, have a meal at The Country Porch and more.

4th of July in the Upper Cumberland

Red White & Boom - Cookeville

Celebrate America withCookeville’sfun, festive and freeRed, White & BOOM July 4th CelebrationJuly 4, 2023. Cookeville knows how to put on a show for our country’s independence through a variety of activities. A classic car cruise-in, parade, patriotic program and performances by Jake Hoot, The Smoky Nights and Resurrection - A Journey Tribute. Then,the second largest fireworks show in Tennessee lights up the night sky.

It's clear Cookeville and nearby towns are some of the best small towns to visit in the U.S.A. Full of shopping, fun murals and memorable food, the area is also close to outdoor activities and family-friendly attractions. Check out more small towns that make great day trips from Nashville.

Spend the Day in the Small Town of Cookeville, TN (2024)


Spend the Day in the Small Town of Cookeville, TN? ›

With more than 150 area waterfalls, 1,200 miles of nearby lake shoreline and world-renowned sports/fitness opportunities, Cookeville is "A Natural Fit" for your next escape from everyday life.

Is Cookeville, TN worth visiting? ›

With more than 150 area waterfalls, 1,200 miles of nearby lake shoreline and world-renowned sports/fitness opportunities, Cookeville is "A Natural Fit" for your next escape from everyday life.

What famous person is from Cookeville Tennessee? ›

J.J. Redick was born on 24 June 1984 in Cookeville, Tennessee, USA. He is a producer and writer, known for The Old Man and the Three with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter (2020), The NBA on TNT (1988) and Detail (2018). He has been married to Chelsea Kilgore since 26 June 2010.

Does Cookeville, TN have a downtown? ›

Downtown Cookeville is a destination for antiquing and boutiquing. Grab a local craft beer and amazing meal at one of the many local restaurants on the downtown square and the WestSide cultural district.

Is Cookeville, TN a small town? ›

Cookeville is a small town right in the middle of the State. Despite its size, it is bustling with fun activities and new opportunities.

What is the number one tourist destination in Tennessee? ›

Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

What is the violent crime rate in Cookeville Tennessee? ›

Cookeville Annual Crimes
Number of Crimes89906
Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents)2.4725.18

What is the biggest little town in Tennessee? ›

Adamsville's nickname is the "Biggest Little Town in Tennessee" and was the home of Sheriff Buford puss*r. Location of Adamsville in McNairy County, Tennessee.

What are some fun facts about Cookeville, Tennessee? ›

1930: Highway 70N, the first modern highway in Putnam County, was completed. 1946: The city's first water filtration facility was constructed on the Falling Water River. 1950: Cookeville General Hospital was opened. 1952: The city's first sewage disposal plant was constructed.

What is the ethnicity of Cookeville Tennessee? ›

Cookeville Demographics

White: 85.66% Two or more races: 6.18% Black or African American: 3.59% Other race: 3.04%

Is Cookeville, TN expensive to live? ›

The cost of living in Cookeville, TN is 1% lower than the state average and 11% lower than the national average. Cookeville, TN housing is 24% cheaper than the U.S average, while utilities are about 13% less pricey.

What is the least populated town in Tennessee? ›

Saulsbury is a town in rural Hardeman County, Tennessee. It is located along State Highway 57 in southwest Hardeman County. The population was 99 at the 2000 census and 81 at the 2010 census showing a decrease of 18. Saulsbury is the least-populated incorporated municipality in Tennessee.

What Tennessee town is known as a scenic city? ›

If so, you should definitely put Chattanooga on your radar. Known as the "Scenic City," it is a hidden gem in the southeastern United States. With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant community, it's no wonder that more and more people are choosing to call this city home.

What's the nicest part of Tennessee? ›

The best cities in Tennessee include Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, and Memphis. See what other towns comprise the best places to live in TN.

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