Cookeville, Tennessee is a town tucked within the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee. Walk the small town streets to discover upscale fashion, delicious culinary creations, music and hidden murals throughout.
It’s about an hour from Nashville and has an estimated population of 32,622. But after spending time in this city, you’ll realize that it feels much smaller than that as it still possesses a small town vibe. Here’s where you should go when you visit Cookeville for the day.
The drive to Cookeville is a pretty one in the fall with leaves changing and minimal traffic. Friday morning is the perfect time to drive up since weekend traffic comes later and all the University of Tennessee fans are usually heading to Knoxville the next day.
The trip started with coffee at Poet's. Poets, located in the Historic Putnam County Courthouse Square area in Cookeville, had a laid-back vibe that almost made it feel like time stood still. There were people at tables having business meetings, students writing midterm papers and men in the corner cutting up over the others football team. Pull up a chair to sit next to the window and people watch as you enjoy a hot chocolate and blueberry muffin.
After a light breakfast it’s time for some shopping! Start at the shop next to Poet's called The Market on the Square. The street level is full of different types of foods, condiments and cute kitchen decor. Venture downstairs for the cute home decor and even a Christmas room! I did a little Christmas shopping and got a Nutcracker coffee mug.
The rest of the morning can be spent in all the cute boutiques in the downtown area. Start at 31 Twenty-Five Boutique, where many of their merchandise in the window will lure you in for hours of shopping. 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 District. You can start at Caravan. Caravan was probably my favorite since they carried some of well-known brands like Free People, Knot Sisters and Show Me Your Mumu. They also have the best selfie lighting in their dressing rooms. In the same strip you'll find other boutiques like Broadway Boutique Mall, Luxe Boutique and Old Town T-Shirt Company. The best thing about this collection of shops is that there's something for everyone. No matter your age or style, one of these shops will speak to you and you'll find a great local item.
Shopping works up an appetite. So next door to these shops is Cream City Ice Cream & Coffee House. They have snacks, ice cream, coffee and smoothies. Order a yummy strawberry banana smoothie and it’ll be the fuel you need for the rest of the day.