Cookeville, nestled in Tennessee’s picturesque Upper Cumberland region, boasts a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1854.
Originally a stop on the Nashville-Knoxville Railroad, Cookeville’s growth was fueled by its strategic location and the development of nearby industries.
Today, the city’s fame as a tourism hub stems from its blend of natural beauty and cultural attractions. The scenic Cummins Falls State Park, known for its stunning waterfalls and hiking trails, draws outdoor enthusiasts from afar, making it a beloved Natural destination.
Cookeville’s charm extends to its vibrant arts scene, with local theaters, galleries, and festivals showcasing the area’s creative spirit.
The city’s historic downtown exudes Southern charm, featuring unique shops, restaurants, and events that captivate visitors.
Besides exciting things to do in Cookeville, TN, this place is also recognized as the “Hub of the Upper Cumberland,” symbolizing its central role in the region’s economic, educational, and healthcare sectors.
The city is also home to Tennessee Tech University, contributing to a dynamic academic environment.
Intriguingly, Cookeville holds the world record for the largest square dance, a testament to its community spirit.
Cookeville experiences a temperate climate with four proper seasons. Spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) offer pleasant temperatures and vibrant foliage, making them ideal for outdoor exploration.
Summer (June-August) brings warm days, while winters (December-February) are mild with occasional snowfall. The best times to visit are April-May and September-October for comfortable weather and scenic beauty.
With its captivating history, natural wonders, and cultural allure, Cookeville is a landmark to the beautiful tapestry of Tennessee’s past and present. It can be your high priority if you ever seek a place of historical significance.
1) Cookeville Depot Museum
The Cookeville Depot Museum preserves the captivating history of Tennessee through a diverse collection of artifacts and exhibits.
Housed in a historic railway depot, the museum showcases the town’s evolution from a small railroad stop to a thriving community.
Visitors can explore the area’s past, including its significant role in the Civil War, railroad expansion, and local industries.
The museum offers an engaging glimpse into Cookeville’s heritage, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and curious minds.
This Museum offers a delightful experience with remarkable activities and things to do in Cookeville, TN. You can wander through the well-preserved historic railway depot and immerse yourself in the rich history.
Discover captivating exhibits showcasing the town’s role in the Civil War and railroad expansion, along with displays highlighting local industries.
Enjoy interactive displays that provide insights into the past, making learning fun for visitors of all ages.
With its charming atmosphere and educational value, the museum is an exceptional journey through time. It’s the perfect destination to uncover hidden gems from Cookeville’s past and create lasting memories for everyone.
116 W Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
2) Cane Creek Park
Indigenous communities initially inhabited Cane Creek Park and became a cotton plantation during the 19th century. The area gained significance during the Civil War, serving as a supply depot.
In the 20th century, it evolved into a recreational space, offering outdoor activities and things to do in Cookeville, TN. The park’s history reflects a journey from Native American roots to a vital Civil War site and finally to a cherished modern-day recreational haven for the community.
From camping sites surrounded by nature’s beauty to serene fishing spots dotting the lake’s edge, outdoor enthusiasts can find their haven here.
The sprawling green spaces invite picnics, sports, and strolls. Adventure seekers can explore hiking trails while kids can revel in playgrounds—boating and kayaking in the lake can also add water-based excitement to your journey.
The park’s rich history adds an intriguing layer to the experience with its amalgamation of nature, recreation, and heritage. Cane Creek Park is a fulfilling escapade for visitors of all ages, ensuring memories to treasure.
201 C C Camp Rd, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
Crawdaddy’s was established in the 1990s and quickly became a popular local eatery known for its Cajun and seafood dishes. Over the years, it evolved into a hub for live music, hosting numerous bands and events.
With its vibrant atmosphere and diverse menu, Crawdaddy’s remains a beloved spot where locals and visitors gather to enjoy good food and entertainment in the heart of Cookeville’s cultural scene.
Crawdaddy’s offers a delightful blend of amenities and fun things to do in Cookeville, TN. Are you feeling hungry? Immerse yourself in the lively ambiance while savoring their signature Cajun and seafood delights.
Live music enthusiasts can groove to the rhythms of local bands, adding a vibrant touch to the evening. The spacious outdoor seating is perfect for enjoying the weather and people-watching.
Whether you’re relishing the mouthwatering dishes, tapping your feet to the tunes, or simply soaking in the energetic vibe, Crawdaddy’s is a place where flavors, music, and camaraderie intertwine, creating cherished memories with every visit.
53 W Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
4) Cream City Ice Cream & Coffee House
Cream City Ice Cream & Coffee House began as a small family venture and became a local icon renowned for its artisanal ice creams and aromatic coffee blends.
It is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Cookeville, thriving through generations, fostering community gatherings and cherished memories.
Its commitment to quality and innovation continues to delight patrons, making it a timeless destination for indulgence and connection, providing relaxing things to do in Cookeville, TN.
The cozy interior, adorned with vintage decor, creates a nostalgic atmosphere while comfortable seating nooks invite conversations over creamy scoops and aromatic brews.
Board games and a mini-library provide entertainment, appealing to all ages, while outdoor seating lets you bask in the sun while savoring treats.
There’s always something fun to engage in, from waffle cone-making workshops to coffee-tasting events, and live music nights amplify the vibrant ambiance. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or lively gatherings, Cream City has it all in one captivating spot.
119 W Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
5) Poet’s Coffee
Poet’s Coffee, founded in the heart of Cookeville in 1950, quickly became a literary haven for artists, writers, and thinkers.
With its cozy ambiance and aromatic brews, the café nurtured creative discussions and inspiration. Over the decades, its walls absorbed conversations from Hemingway, Sartre, and countless others.
Despite changing trends and fun things to do in Cookeville, TN, Poet’s Coffee has maintained its classic charm, attracting modern intellectuals while preserving its rich history.
As a historic hub of culture, it remains a testament to the enduring connection between caffeine, camaraderie, and creativity.
Have you ever seen a nostalgic place? The rustic decor will transport you to a bygone era while the aroma of freshly brewed coffee dances through the air.
With cozy nooks and ample seating, it’s an ideal spot to pen your thoughts, read, or engage in lively debates.
Vintage board games beckon playful spirits, while live acoustic sessions every Friday stir the muses, and free Wi-Fi and plentiful power outlets cater to digital nomads.
Whether you’re a wordsmith, an artist, or a coffee fan, Poet’s Coffee invites you to savor every sip and soak in inspiration’s embrace.
230 E Broad St, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
6) Backdoor Playhouse
The Backdoor Playhouse boasts a captivating history as a hidden gem in the city’s heart. Founded in the early 1900s, it began as an underground theater for avant-garde performances, gaining a reputation for pushing artistic boundaries.
Over the decades, it evolved into a haven for emerging talents, hosting groundbreaking plays and fostering creativity. Despite challenges, the Playhouse survived and thrived, now proof of the enduring power of artistic expression and innovation.
The Backdoor Playhouse offers a range of top-notch facilities and things to do in Cookeville, TN, ensuring a memorable experience for all visitors. From state-of-the-art sound systems to cozy seating arrangements, every detail is designed to enhance your enjoyment.
Immerse yourself in captivating performances that span genres, from thought-provoking dramas to side-splitting comedies.
Take part in interactive workshops and meet fellow art enthusiasts, fostering a sense of community.
As the curtains draw to a close, you’ll leave with a heart full of inspiration and a mind enriched by the magic of the arts. Therefore we’ll encourage you to discover, engage, and create lasting memories at the Backdoor Playhouse.
805 Quadrangle, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
7) The Market on the Square
The Market on the Square boasts a captivating history that spans centuries. Founded in the 16th century, it was a bustling trade and cultural exchange hub.
Over time, it witnessed social changes and economic shifts and even survived wars; the market’s iconic architecture, influenced by various eras, is evidence of its rich past.
Today, it continues to thrive, blending tradition with modernity, attracting visitors worldwide to experience its vibrant atmosphere and storied legacy providing many shopping things to do in Cookeville, TN.
The options are endless; you can find everything here, from charming stalls showcasing local crafts to diverse culinary delights. Engage in interactive workshops highlighting the area’s heritage, or simply revel in the lively ambiance while savoring delectable street food.
Children can enjoy designated play zones, while art enthusiasts can explore galleries that narrate the market’s history through captivating exhibitions. Also, don’t forget to have an empty cart, as you’ll love shopping from here without any doubt!
6 N Jefferson Ave, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
8) Paradise Games and Arcade
Paradise Games and Arcade boasts a captivating history that traces back to its inception in the early 1980s. Founded by gaming enthusiasts, it quickly became a local hotspot for gamers of all ages.
With a diverse range of cutting-edge arcade machines and a welcoming atmosphere, it grew into a nostalgic haven.
Its legacy lives on through cherished memories of intense competitions, friendships forged, and the evolution of gaming culture, making it a timeless symbol of gaming’s golden era.
Paradise Games and Arcade offers a treasure trove of entertainment with state-of-the-art facilities and things to do in Cookeville, TN. The sprawling arcade houses an impressive collection of classic and modern gaming machines catering to old-school aficionados and new-generation players.
With cozy lounges, vibrant neon lights, and a retro ambiance, it’s an immersive experience for every player. Enjoy multiplayer battles, high-score challenges, and VR escapades.
If hunger is disturbing you, savor delectable snacks at the retro-themed diner, perfect for refueling between games.
Regular tournaments and events amp up the excitement, fostering a sense of community because Paradise Games and Arcade is an unmissable delight, from nostalgic gaming to cutting-edge fun.
8 S Washington Ave, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
9) Cummins Falls State Park
Cummins Falls State Park, nestled in Tennessee, boasts a captivating history. Native Americans once inhabited the area, leaving behind their rich heritage.
In the 19th century, settlers established a bustling mill community, and remnants of this era can still be seen.
The park’s main attraction, Cummins Falls, has drawn visitors for generations, offering a picturesque waterfall cascading into a scenic gorge. Today, the garden demonstrates the harmonious coexistence of natural beauty and human history.
Cummins Falls State Park offers many facilities and things to do in Cookeville, TN, ensuring a delightful visit. Well-maintained trails wind through lush landscapes, leading to the breathtaking Cummins Falls, perfect for hiking enthusiasts.
Picnic areas invite families to enjoy the serene surroundings while swimming in the cool waters, bringing refreshing joy during warm months.
Adventure seekers can explore the scenic gorge or fish along the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River. With its captivating history, natural charm, and recreational offerings, Cummins Falls State Park is a haven for nature lovers and those seeking unforgettable outdoor experiences.
390 Cummins Falls Ln, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
10) The Slice Pizza and Games
Slice Pizza and Games is a beloved establishment that opened in 2005, blending the joy of pizza with a gaming twist. Located in downtown Cookeville, it quickly became a local hotspot, offering a wide range of delicious pizzas and an impressive collection of board games for patrons to enjoy.
Over the years, it hosted countless game nights and gatherings, creating a vibrant community of food and game enthusiasts.
Its welcoming atmosphere and unique concept with exciting things to do in Cookeville, TN, have made it a staple in the city’s entertainment scene.
Slice Pizza and Games offer a captivating experience with its delectable pizzas, ranging from classic Margherita to adventurous BBQ Chicken.
Dive into an extensive library of board games that cater to all tastes, making every visit a playful adventure.
The cozy ambiance, adorned with vintage game memorabilia, sets the stage for unforgettable game nights with friends and family.
The venue also hosts trivia nights, tournaments, and themed events, adding excitement.
Whether savoring mouthwatering slices, strategizing over a game of Settlers of Catan, or joining in lively events, Slice Pizza and Games is an enticing haven for all.
408 W Jackson St, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
11) Cookeville Antique Mall
Cookeville Antique Mall, steeped in captivating history, is a treasure trove of bygone eras. Nestled in Cookeville, Tennessee, it houses various vintage artifacts, each with its own story.
With an enchanting ambiance and carefully curated pieces, the mall offers visitors a nostalgic journey through time, showcasing the charm and allure of yesteryears.
It’s a destination where history comes alive, inviting exploration of things to do in Cookeville, TN, and learning about discovering the past in every corner.
Cookeville Antique Mall offers a delightful experience with its exceptional facilities and amenities. Explore the vast collection of antique treasures, from exquisite furniture to charming trinkets.
Engage in a fascinating journey through time, discovering unique stories behind each artifact. The mall provides a cozy ambiance, perfect for leisurely browsing and shopping.
Friendly staff members are always ready to assist and share their expertise while you enjoy special events and workshops, adding an educational touch to your visit.
Whether you’re an avid collector, history enthusiast, or simply seeking a one-of-a-kind outing, Cookeville Antique Mall is an enriching and captivating adventure.
402 Dubois Rd, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
12) Outdoor Junction
Outdoor Junction boasts a captivating history that intertwines with nature’s allure. From its humble origins as a trading post for fur trappers to its pivotal role in westward expansion, the town became a popular hub for outdoor enthusiasts.
The echoes of pioneering spirits and indigenous cultures can be felt through preserved landmarks and stories passed down.
Today, Outdoor Junction is a testament to the harmonious blend of heritage and the great outdoors, captivating all who visit.
Outdoor Junction offers various things to do in Cookeville, TN, and amenities that cater to every adventurer’s desires. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of lush parks, perfect for picnics and leisurely walks.
Explore well-maintained hiking trails from beginner to advanced levels, providing breathtaking views of rolling hills and sparkling rivers.
For water enthusiasts, kayaking and fishing are essential in the pristine lakes, and the town’s charming downtown area boasts eclectic shops, local eateries, and cultural events celebrating its rich history.
With a calendar full of festivals and outdoor markets, Outdoor Junction is known for its enticing blend of relaxation and excitement.
1999 E Spring St, Cookeville, TN 38506, United States
13) Malco Produce Farm
Malco Produce Farm boasts a history rooted in generational dedication; established in the early 1900s by the Malco family, this idyllic farm started as a modest plot and blossomed into a thriving agricultural hub.
Through hard work and innovation, the Malcos diversified crops, weathered challenges, and embraced sustainable practices.
Their legacy continues as a cherished local landmark, embodying a century of perseverance, growth, and community nourishment.
Nestled within Malco Produce Farm’s picturesque expanse are numerous facilities and things to do in Cookeville, TN, that promise an enriching experience. Explore the bountiful orchards, where you can handpick seasonal fruits and enjoy nature’s bounty.
The farm-to-table restaurant offers delectable dishes crafted from the freshest produce, tantalizing your taste buds with authentic flavors.
Engage in immersive workshops on organic farming, or embark on guided tours that unveil the farm’s history and sustainable practices. For families, the petting zoo and hayrides provide endless delight. Take your family, friends, or kids here for an amazing outdoor day.
870 S Willow Ave, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
14) Canoe the Caney
Canoe the Caney, flowing through Tennessee, the Caney Fork River has been a vital place for transportation and commerce since Native American times. Used by pioneers and traders, it played a role in the Civil War as well.
The construction of Center Hill Dam in the mid-20th century transformed its landscape, creating a recreational haven and outdoor adventurous things to do in Cookeville, TN. Today, Canoe the Caney allows visitors to paddle its storied waters, immersing themselves in the river’s rich and fascinating history.
Ready to be lost in nature? Visitors can rent canoes, kayaks, and tubes, embarking on scenic journeys down the Caney Fork River.
The site offers well-maintained launch points and shuttle service, picnic areas, and campgrounds nestled in picturesque surroundings that cater to outdoor enthusiasts.
Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines for trout and bass, while birdwatchers can spot diverse avian species. The river’s tranquil waters and occasional rapids make for an exciting ride.
With historical sites, breathtaking landscapes, and recreational opportunities, Canoe the Caney promises a delightful escape for all.
17055 Smithville Hwy, Silver Point, TN 38582, United States
15) Cookeville Children’s Theatre
Founded in 1985, Cookeville Children’s Theatre (CCT) has enchanted audiences for nearly four decades. This Tennessee-based theater company has showcased countless young talents, fostering creativity and confidence in children.
CCT’s dynamic productions, ranging from classic tales to contemporary works, continue to captivate families and nurture a love for the performing arts within the community.
Through vibrant performances and dedicated education programs, CCT has etched a remarkable and enduring legacy in children’s theater.
Cookeville Children’s Theatre offers various modern amenities and things to do in Cookeville, TN, that enhance the theater experience. Its state-of-the-art auditorium boasts comfortable seating, excellent acoustics, and advanced lighting technology, ensuring a visually and audibly immersive show.
The theater’s spacious lobby welcomes guests with concessions and interactive displays, adding an element of engagement.
Beyond performances, CCT hosts workshops, acting classes, and meet-the-cast events, allowing visitors to interact with performers and gain insight into the production process.
With its blend of captivating shows, interactive features, and educational opportunities, Cookeville Children’s Theatre is a hub of entertainment and enrichment for all ages.
46 S Cedar Ave, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
16) Spokes Sculpture
The Spokes Sculpture boasts a captivating history as a testament to human creativity and innovation in 1960; its intricate metalwork symbolizes progress and connectivity, reflecting the era’s fascination with technological advancement.
The sculpture’s dynamic design captures movement and unity, echoing the community’s spirit. Over time, it has become an iconic landmark, resonating with locals and visitors as a symbol of artistic expression and the enduring legacy of the past.
Immerse yourself in a world of endless possibilities at this exceptional destination providing entertaining things to do in Cookeville, TN. Unwind in luxurious accommodations that offer modern amenities and breathtaking views, catering to every comfort.
Indulge your senses with diverse dining options, from exquisite international cuisines to local delights crafted by renowned chefs.
Adventure awaits with various activities, including invigorating hikes, serene spa treatments, and thrilling water sports.
Unleash your competitive spirit on world-class golf courses or rejuvenate by lounging at pristine beaches. As the sun sets, vibrant nightlife comes alive, entertaining as captivating as the day’s adventures.
053G A 03002, 00001053G, Cookeville, TN 38501, United States
17) City Lake Natural Area
City Lake Natural Area was once a reservoir supplying water to the city; it transformed into a serene haven for wildlife and nature enthusiasts.
The reservoir’s remnants add a touch of nostalgia to the lush surroundings, reminding visitors of its crucial role in the past. Trails wind through the area, allowing explorers to connect with nature and the echoes of a bygone era.
City Lake Natural Area offers a range of facilities, captivating activities, and things to do in Cookeville, TN. Hike through picturesque trails, discovering diverse flora and fauna.
Are you a fishing enthusiast? Then cast a line in the serene lake while birdwatchers delight in spotting various avian species. There are also picnic areas that invite families to relax amidst the scenic beauty.
Educational programs and guided tours provide insights into the area’s rich history and ecology. Capture stunning photos of the historic reservoir remnants that dot the landscape because with a blend of natural wonders and historical charm, City Lake Natural Area promises an enchanting experience for every individual.
2010 Bridgeway Dr, Cookeville, TN 38506, United States
18) The Lost Sea Adventure
The Lost Sea Adventure unveils a captivating history beneath the earth’s surface. Located in Tennessee, USA, it’s the largest underground lake in America.
This ancient cavern system served as a shelter for Native Americans during the Civil War. Today, visitors can explore its stunning limestone formations and take boat tours on the mysterious blue waters, connecting with a fascinating and inspiring past.
The Lost Sea Adventure offers many facilities and things to do in Cookeville, TN, that ensure a memorable visit. Begin with an informative guided tour of the mysterious caverns, where you’ll marvel at intricate rock formations.
Then, hop onto a glass-bottom boat and glide over the enchanting underground lake illuminated by dazzling lights.
The charming gift shop showcases unique treasures, while the Cavern Kitchen serves delicious meals. For adventure seekers, gem mining and nature trails are enticing options. Now do and conquer the world of The Lost Sea Adventure for a wonderful trip.
140 Lost Sea Rd, Sweetwater, TN 37874, United States
Best Hotels To Stay In Cookeville TN
Cookeville offers a range of comfortable and convenient hotel options for visitors. Some of the best hotels to consider for your stay in Cookeville include.
- Fairfield Inn & Suites
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites
- Comfort Suites
- La Quinta Inn & Suites
- Country Inn & Suites
- Hampton Inn Cookeville
Remember to check for reviews, availability, and specific amenities to choose the hotel that best fits your preferences and needs.