Not even a half an hour down I-24 from Nashville, Murfreesboro sits as the Rutherford County seat with the Stones River snaking its way right through the heart of this mid-sized city. It's also home to the state's largest college, Middle Tennessee State University.
Looking for an easy afternoon getaway a few minutes from Music City? Here's how to spend a day in Murfreesboro.
See & Do
Originally called Cannonsburgh, Murfreesboro's history can be best understood through a series of visits to historic sites.
Stones River National Battlefield is the site of the Battle of Stones River, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, with the highest percentage of casualties on both sides.
An early 19th century home, Oaklands Mansion is a prime example of plantation life, including the hardships faced during the war, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Not far from the battlefield, Cannonsburgh Village is staged to highlight early Tennessee life beginning in the 1830s and is outfitted with a gristmill, one-room schoolhouse, town hall, log home, church, doctor's office, museum, general store, caboose and a working blacksmith's shop to reflect the pioneer times. Self-guided tours are free, and guided tours are available for a small fee.
For families, there's no better way to spend an afternoon than the Discovery Center with its interactive exhibits—Invest, Design and Tinker is back at the Makerspace through Jan. 8—and themed events like the upcoming Harry Potter Day (Nov. 19).
Eat & Drink
Owned by Peter Demos (of Demos' fame), Peter D's is a casual American eatery amid the bustling Avenue retail center that offers a mix of burgers, sandwiches, and dinner entrees like pan-seared triggerfish on the menu in addition to a decent selection of beers and wines. Lovers of Asian fusion will want to nab a table at Lemongrass Sushi & Thai and take some time perusing the tome of a menu to order a mix of maki, sashimi, curry and fried rice dishes.
(Photo credit: Mayday Brewery)
The Boro's first brewery, Mayday, debuted in 2012—after previously operating out of owners' Pamela and Lee "Ozzy" Nelson's home—and immediately attracted a following thanks to whimsical names like the Angry Redhead, Velvet Hustle and Evil Octopus. Nowadays, it's a popular hangout for locals and those passing through on Wednesdays through Sundays. The brewery frequently plays host to events like yoga classes and has food trucks parked out front on weekends. For a happy hour or late night spot, look no further than The Goat, a local watering hole with frequent live music, pool and more.