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Spend the Day in the Hidden Gem Town of Cookeville, TN

Spend the Day in the Hidden Gem Town of Cookeville, TN

Come and discover upscale fashion, delicious culinary creations, music and hidden murals throughout Cookeville, located just an hour away from Nashville.

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.

Inside Poet's Coffee, Cookeville, TN
Grab a pumpkin spice latte, hot chocolate or baked good at Poet's, Cookeville, TN
Poet's coffee cups as souvenirs, Cookeville, TN
Purchase a mug as a souvenir at Poet's.

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.

Market on the Square, Cookeville, TN
Shop all the stalls at The Market on the Square in downtown Cookeville.

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 boutiques like Broadway Boutique MallLuxe 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.

Luxe Boutique in Cookeville, TN
Luxe Boutique in Cookeville, TN
Old Town T-Shirt Co., Cookeville, TN
Old Town T-Shirt Co. in Cookeville, Tennessee

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.

Cream City Ice Cream, Cookeville TN
Head to Cream City Ice Cream for a sweet treat in Cookeville. 


Across the street is the Cookeville Depot Museum and event area. Sometimes there’s live music playing and you can bring your lunch and enjoy the day! You can also walk around and see the cool trains.

Fried chicken at Seven Senses in Cookeville
Savor a fried chicken lunch at Seven Senses in Cookeville

After a busy morning it’s time for lunch. Seven Senses serves up a delicious meal of mashed potatoes, green beans and fried chicken.

Outdoor Experiences in Cookeville, TN
All your outdoor needs are met at Outdoor Experiences in Cookeville.

After a satisfying lunch, head to Outdoor Experience. This is your go-to place for all your outdoor equipment and gear. They have anything you could think of for your outdoor experience. Next to Outdoor Experience is Dogwood Park. This is a great place to walk around, pack a picnic or sit and reflect on the day. If you have kids, they’ll love the imaginative playground and water feature during the summer.

Kids will love the playground at Dogwood Park in Cookeville
Kids will love the playground at Dogwood Park in Cookeville.

One of my favorite things about Cookeville is the cool murals. Allot an hour to go hunt for murals around town to find some great ones.

Coca-Cola Cookeville mural
Coca-Cola Cookeville mural
Cookeville pride mural
Cookeville Proud mural


Bonus: Take a short drive to Monterey (about a 23-minute drive from Cookeville) to hike Bee Rock. It's a short hike up to Bee Rock and the view is gorgeous. The leaves hadn't reached peak fall season when I visited, but there was some color scattered in the view. There were couples up there hanging out, picnicking and enjoying the epic scenery.

If you’re in the mood for some more fall fun, go to Autumn Acres in Crossville, about 24 minutes from Monterey and 42 minutes from Cookeville. This family-friendly farm has hay rides, a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and so much more. Autumn Acres also had food, a general store, and the prettiest barn area where weddings take place. Test your luck in the corn maze, using clues from a variety of categories to choose from like U.S. trivia and Disney questions to guide you through the maze. Being a Disney lover, I picked the Disney songs. I had the best time singing the songs around the maze and trying not to get lost!

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