10 Amazing Things To Do In Cookeville TN

Trip Ideas May 13, 2024

Cookeville offers a unique blend of charm, natural beauty, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. As you explore this vibrant town, you’ll find a myriad of activities and attractions that cater to all tastes, making it a perfect destination for both adventure seekers and those looking to unwind in Tennessee.  

Cookeville’s charm is evident the moment you arrive, with its picturesque downtown area and friendly locals. The town exudes a quaint, small-town feel while offering the amenities and attractions of a larger city. As you stroll through downtown Cookeville, you'll be captivated by its historic architecture, charming boutiques, and the inviting aroma of local eateries. The downtown area is home to some of the best restaurants in Cookeville TN, where you can savor a variety of culinary delights. 

From its charming downtown and diverse culinary scene to its beautiful natural attractions and vibrant events, there are countless things to do in Cookeville TN.  

Cookeville, TN
Source: Newday Property

1. Cummins Falls State Park

Cummins Falls State Park is one of the must-visit destinations for outdoor enthusiasts in Cookeville, TN. Known for its stunning waterfall and inviting swimming area, this park offers a refreshing escape into nature, just a short drive from the heart of Cookeville. If you’re planning a trip from Cookeville to Knoxville or even Nashville, adding Cummins Falls to your itinerary is a decision you won’t regret.

The star attraction at Cummins Falls State Park is undoubtedly the waterfall. Plunging 75 feet into a serene swimming hole, the falls are a perfect spot for a summer adventure. The water cascades over a series of rock ledges, creating a mesmerizing sight and a cool, natural pool at the base that’s ideal for swimming. It's a popular spot for both locals and visitors, offering a picturesque backdrop for relaxation or a bit of adventurous fun in the water. With the backdrop of lush greenery and the soothing sound of cascading water, it's easy to see why Cummins Falls is a top pick for those seeking things to do in Cookeville.

Cummins Falls State Park
Source: Cumberland River Basin

Exploring the hiking trails at Cummins Falls State Park is another way to experience the park's natural beauty. The main trail, a moderately challenging hike, takes you through scenic forested areas and along the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, leading you to the base of the waterfall. Along the way, hikers can enjoy the rich biodiversity of the region, spotting various plant and animal species native to Tennessee. For those looking for fun things to do in Cookeville, the hike offers a rewarding blend of exercise and natural splendor. 

2. Burgess Falls State Park

Burgess Falls State Park, a gem among Cookeville attractions, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, showcasing a stunning sequence of waterfalls along the Falling Water River. This park, a favorite for both locals and visitors, offers a blend of natural beauty and recreational opportunities, making it a must-see in Cookeville, TN.

Source: Wikipedia

The highlight of Burgess Falls State Park is undoubtedly its breathtaking waterfalls. The park features a series of four waterfalls, each more impressive than the last, culminating in the grand spectacle of the 136-foot main waterfall. The sight of the water cascading over the rugged cliffs into the gorge below is nothing short of mesmerizing. The park provides several vantage points, allowing visitors to appreciate the falls from different angles and heights. Whether you're an avid photographer or simply enjoy the tranquility of nature, the scenic beauty of Burgess Falls is bound to captivate you.

3. Cookeville Depot Museum

The Cookeville Depot Museum, a beloved local landmark, invites visitors to step back in time and experience the charm of early 20th-century rail travel. Located in the heart of downtown Cookeville, this museum is housed in a restored train depot dating back to 1909. It serves as a testament to Cookeville's significant role as a transportation hub in the region, particularly during the height of railroad expansion.

The museum’s historical journey began with the Tennessee Central Railway, which played a crucial role in the development and growth of Cookeville and the surrounding regions. The depot itself is an architectural gem, with its original red brick exterior and charming wooden details that evoke the golden age of rail travel.  

Cookeville Depot Museum
Source: Juridiconline

For families visiting Cookeville, the museum is a treasure trove of interactive displays that engage both young and old. Kids can delight in the model train exhibit, which showcases a detailed miniature replica of the Tennessee Central Railway, complete with tiny trains chugging along the tracks. This exhibit is particularly popular during local events in Cookeville TN, such as the Bacon Festival Cookeville TN, where the museum often features special activities and extended hours.

So, next time you’re in the area, make sure to add the Cookeville Depot Museum to your list of things to do in Cookeville TN.  

4. Cookeville History Museum

The Cookeville History Museum is a gem that offers a delightful dive into the rich tapestry of Cookeville, TN's past. If you're exploring Cookeville attractions and wondering what to do in Cookeville, this museum should be at the top of your list. Situated conveniently downtown, the museum is a treasure trove of historical artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that vividly portray the town's evolution from a humble settlement to a vibrant community.

As you step into the museum, you’re greeted with an engaging array of exhibits that tell the story of Cookeville’s heritage. The museum's collection spans various periods, providing insights into local history that are both educational and fascinating. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for things to do in Cookeville TN, the museum offers a captivating experience.

Cookeville History Museum
Source: Trip

One of the key highlights is the exhibit on Cookeville’s early days. It features artifacts from the 19th century, showcasing the tools, clothing, and household items used by the town's first settlers. This exhibit paints a vivid picture of the challenges and triumphs faced by those who laid the foundations of what would become modern-day Cookeville. For those interested in Cookeville events, the museum frequently updates its exhibits to keep the experience fresh and informative, making it a great spot to visit multiple times.

5. Cane Creek Park

Cane Creek Park is a gem in Cookeville, TN, perfect for those who enjoy the great outdoors and a variety of recreational activities. This expansive park features a serene lake and a host of amenities that make it a favorite spot for both locals and visitors.

The lake at Cane Creek Park is the centerpiece of the area, offering a tranquil setting for various water-based activities. Paddle boating is a popular pastime, allowing visitors to glide across the calm waters while taking in the scenic surroundings. Fishing enthusiasts will find the lake well-stocked with a variety of fish, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing day of casting lines. Whether you're an experienced angler or just looking to enjoy a peaceful afternoon, the lake provides ample opportunities for a great catch.

Cane Creek Park
Source: Carolina Thread Trails

6. Dogwood Park

Dogwood Park in Cookeville, Tennessee, is a vibrant hub for family fun and community events, making it a must-visit spot for locals and travelers alike. Whether you're looking for a place where the kids can play to their heart's content or you want to enjoy some live music in a picturesque setting, Dogwood Park has got you covered.

One of the standout features of Dogwood Park is its impressive playground. It's designed to be a haven for children, with a variety of equipment that caters to different ages and abilities. The playground is spacious, with climbing structures, slides, and swings that invite kids to explore and play. There’s a section specifically for younger children, ensuring that even the littlest visitors can join in on the fun safely. The design of the playground is both colorful and engaging, sparking imagination and creativity. Parents will find plenty of seating areas around the playground, making it easy to keep an eye on the kids while relaxing or catching up with friends.

Dogwood Park
Source: Village of Orland Park

7. Historic WestSide District

The Historic WestSide District in Cookeville, TN, is a vibrant hub brimming with unique shops, charming boutiques, and delightful dining spots. If you’re wondering about fun things to do in Cookeville, this district should be at the top of your list. It’s a perfect blend of historic charm and modern allure, offering a rich experience for locals and visitors alike.

Start your exploration by strolling through the quaint streets lined with eclectic boutiques. These shops are a treasure trove for unique finds and local crafts. From handmade jewelry to vintage clothing, there’s something for everyone. The Children’s Place Cookeville TN is a must-visit for families, offering a wide range of kids’ clothing and accessories. For those looking to take a piece of Cookeville home, the local artisan shops provide an array of handcrafted items that capture the spirit of the region.

Historic Westside District
Source: Homes

For pizza lovers, Slice Cookeville is a must-visit. This cozy spot offers a range of gourmet pizzas that are sure to satisfy your cravings. The Slice Cookeville is known for its creative toppings and relaxed atmosphere, making it a great spot for a casual meal. If you’re in the mood for something different, head over to World Kitchen Cookeville TN, where you can enjoy a diverse menu inspired by flavors from around the globe.

8. Cookeville Performing Arts Center

The Cookeville Performing Arts Center (CPAC) is a cultural gem that offers a vibrant mix of shows and performances, making it a must-visit for anyone exploring Cookeville, Tennessee. Whether you’re a local or just passing through on your way from Cookeville to Nashville or Knoxville, CPAC provides an array of entertainment options that cater to diverse tastes.

At CPAC, you can expect a dynamic lineup of theatrical productions, from classic plays to modern dramas. The center is a hub for local theater groups and often showcases talent from nearby Tennessee Tech University, adding a youthful and energetic vibe to the performances. If you’re planning to check out Cookeville events this weekend, CPAC is likely to have something exciting on its schedule. The variety of shows ensures there’s always something for everyone, making it one of the standout Cookeville attractions.

Cookeville Performing Arts Center
Source: Wikipedia

Music lovers will find CPAC’s concert series particularly appealing. The center frequently hosts musical performances ranging from classical ensembles to contemporary bands. It’s a great spot to catch live music without needing to venture to the bigger cities.  

9. Tennessee Tech University’s Appalachian Center for Craft

The Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Tech University is a hidden gem in the heart of Cookeville, TN. It’s a vibrant hub for art enthusiasts, offering a unique blend of galleries, craft exhibits, and hands-on workshops that make it one of the top Cookeville attractions.

The center’s art galleries are a feast for the eyes, showcasing a diverse array of contemporary crafts. Each gallery visit is an exploration of creativity, with pieces ranging from intricate ceramics to stunning glasswork, wood, metal, and fiber art. These exhibits rotate regularly, ensuring there’s always something new to discover, making it one of the best places to visit when looking for things to do in Cookeville, TN.

Appalachian Center for Craft
Source: The Maker City

Visitors often marvel at the craftsmanship and detail in the displayed works. The Appalachian Center for Craft doesn’t just exhibit art; it celebrates the artisans’ dedication and skill, offering a window into the creative process. This makes it a must-see among Cookeville, TN attractions, especially for those interested in the arts.

10. Red Silo Brewing Company

Cookeville, TN, offers a variety of unique experiences for visitors, and one standout destination is Red Silo Brewing Company. This local gem is a must-visit for beer enthusiasts and anyone looking to immerse themselves in the local culture.

Red Silo Brewing Company is a hub for craft beer lovers, offering a diverse selection of brews that cater to a range of tastes. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, the brewery prides itself on its innovative and high-quality beers. Visitors can embark on a brewery tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process, learn about the ingredients used, and even meet the passionate brewers who craft these delightful beverages.

Red Silo Brewing Company
Source: Trip

For families, while the brewery itself is more suited for adults, Cookeville offers a range of family-friendly activities nearby. You can enjoy a day at the brewery and then explore other Cookeville attractions such as the Children's Place Cookeville TN or head over to Bowling World Cookeville for some family fun.


Cookeville, TN, is a charming town with a wealth of attractions and activities that cater to a wide range of interests, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking diverse experiences. This conclusion wraps up our exploration of Cookeville’s offerings, highlighting why it should be on your travel itinerary.

From outdoor adventures to cultural and historical sites, Cookeville has something for everyone. Nature enthusiasts will find a haven in places like Cummins Falls State Park and Burgess Falls State Park, where stunning waterfalls and hiking trails provide a perfect escape into the great outdoors. These parks are among the top Cookeville TN attractions, offering breathtaking views and a chance to reconnect with nature.

For those wondering what is there to do in Cookeville TN, the answer is a lot! Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer stay, Cookeville TN things to do are abundant and varied, ensuring that every visitor finds something to enjoy. From exploring the outdoors to indulging in culinary delights and participating in local events, Cookeville offers a rich and memorable experience.

In summary, Cookeville is a destination that promises a blend of adventure, culture, family fun, and culinary delights. Its attractions and activities cater to all types of travelers, making it a must-visit town in Tennessee.  

If you are looking to visit Cookeville, Karta has some amazing deals on Cookeville Vacation Rentals for you. 


1. Are there any lesser-known places to visit near Cookeville, TN?

Venture to Burgess Falls State Park for stunning waterfalls and hiking trails, or head to Window Cliffs State Natural Area for a unique rock formation experience. The Appalachian Center for Craft is also a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

2. What are some insider tips for visitors to Cookeville, TN?

For a taste of local flavor, try the delicious barbecue at Ralph's Donut Shop or catch a live music performance at Red Silo Brewing Company. Additionally, consider exploring the nearby towns of Sparta and Livingston for additional hidden treasures.

3. Can you recommend any off-the-beaten-path activities near Cookeville, TN?

Embark on a kayaking adventure down the Caney Fork River or go gem mining at the Hidden Hollow Resort. Take a scenic drive to Rock Island State Park for picturesque views and unique rock formations.


Emily Carter

With over 10 years of experience, Emily has extensive experience planning bespoke tours across the United States and Canada, specializing in eco-tourism and adventure travel.