Between Memphis and Nashville is the small town, Henderson, Tennessee. It's the perfect town to stop in when you're on your way to either big city. Relax and unwind with shopping, history, hiking and more. Here's how to spend a few hours or a weekend trip around Henderson.
While downtown, grab a coffee and spend some time learning about Henderson’s music history. A Tennessee Music Pathways marker is erected to honor Eddy Arnold, a pioneer of what’s considered “the Nashville Sound.” His first recording session in Nashville was the first in the city since 1928, laying the groundwork for Nashville to become the recording paradise of country music it’s known as today. Snap a photo at the commemorative guitar, fashioned by metal canisters by students of Freed-Hardeman University.
Shop local at the amazing boutiques located in the town square. Do some retail therapy at Hello Gorgeous Boutique where you’ll find dresses, cardigans, jackets, accessories, tops and bottoms. At Front Street Farmhouse, learn the stories behind the pieces available in-store. Find vintage, industrial and farmhouse décor that will elevate your home. Step into Back in Time Antiques and Boutiques for 18,000 square feet of multiple rooms and a lower level filled with treasures. Timeless pieces and unique décor wait for you.
Set out on hiking trails for birding (over 100 species of birds), biking, horseback riding and more at Chickasaw State Park. Saddle up with the help of The Chickasaw Riding Stables, a family-owned and operated concessionaire offering guided tours, horse rentals and stall rentals if you’re bringing your own horse. Rent a canoe or kayak to paddle on Lake Placid, a gorgeous 54-acre lake. Hit the green at the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Design Golf Course that offers challenging and rewarding holes among a tranquil setting.
A quick drive will take you to Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park which is home to at least 15 Native American mounds which archaeologists suggest the mounds were used for both burial and ceremonial purposes. Visit the museum filled with Native American history and artifacts. Then, take a short walk to Sauls Mound, climb the stairs at the rear of the mound to the observation deck on the top. Take the additional paved loops from Sauls Mound to see archaeological features like Duck’s Nest, the barrow pit and several additional mounds.
Where to Eat
Every corner of Besso’s Coffee is photogenic as it was designed to inspire Freedman-Hardeman photography students. Now, it inspires everyone who walks in their doors. You’ll love the warm and cozy European-inspired décor. Order up your favorite coffee or try one of their seasonal and themed drinks (they’ve had a menu inspired by Taylor Swift songs). Grab a variety of tasty pastries and desserts, soups and sandwiches.
Settle into UrbanHouse if you need to get some work done or want to spend a morning reading and sipping your favorite coffee. It has a ‘home away from home’ vibe from the comfortable furniture to the great hospitality. Savor bagel sandwiches, organic teas, specialty coffees, French press coffee, lattes, cortados and lattes, smoothies, smoothie bowls and other handcrafted foods.
Grab a table at The Wall for burgers, pasta, loaded baked potatoes, wings and more. Enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night and try your voice at karaoke every Thursday. The Wall is a great hangout spot for good food and great company.
If you’re craving pizza, put in an order at Amazing Pizza & Wings where the name says it all. Try one of the specialty pizzas like the chicken bacon ranch pizza, veggie pizza or the taco pizza topped with ground beef, onions, diced tomatoes, cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Start with bone-in or boneless wings, cheese bread or garlic breadsticks. Salads, sandwiches, pasta and even cauliflower pizza are also available.
Where to stay
Enjoy the serene acres of Stillwaters Farm with a boutique farm stay while in Henderson. The cottage includes spacious living areas furnished with antiques, an eat-in kitchen, outdoor lounging area, free critter tour and more. Soak in the sounds of quiet farm life from the bray of a donkey to a horses’ whinny and a cow’s lowing. Stillwaters Farm also has two properties close to downtown Henderson including The Urban Cottage and The Urban Farmhouse.
If you want to spend more time in Chickasaw State Park (who wouldn’t?), reserve a standard two-bedroom cabin for a weekend full of hiking, paddling, fishing and swimming. The standard cabins are nestled among tall pines and sleep up to six people. Enjoy a kitchen with full-size appliances, a living room with a wood-burning fireplace (wood is provided October – March) and comfortable sleeping quarters. The Historic WPA cabins are rustic with beautiful views of Lake Placid. You’ll enjoy a full kitchen, wood-burning fireplace, satellite TV and a patio overlooking the area with a picnic table, fire ring and grill.
Explore more destinations while on a Tennessee road trip.