Surrounded by beautiful landscape with hills, lakes and streams is Cookeville and the rest of the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee offers holiday fun, good eats, shopping and history. Plan the perfect holiday getaway.
When looking for affordable accommodations, look no further than Hampton Inn & Suites. Conveniently located on “Restaurant Row” and only a couple of miles from downtown, Hampton Inn & Suites offers spacious rooms with their signature Hampton beds® which are custom-designed plush mattresses, free WiFi, and a 40-inch HDTV. The hotel also provides complimentary hot breakfast daily that features an assortment of cereals, juices, waffles and more.
Holiday Hot Spots in Cookeville
During the holiday season, Dogwood Park is transformed into a Christmas wonderland that is fun for all ages. In the center of the park is a 35-foot Christmas tree with thousands of lights. As traditional and pop renditions of holiday classics play over the park speakers, the lights flash in mesmerizing patterns and colors synching to the music. Take a night drive around Cookeville to see some of the best homes decked for the holidays. See the map here. Enter Christmas Forest at Cookeville's History Museum to see fantastic trees decorated with different themes now through Jan. 4, 2022
The Christmas Light Spectacular at Hidden Hollow Park is the largest drive-through light display in the region. Hidden Hollow Park is the perfect attraction for family fun because not only do they have the light display, but they also have pony rides, photo opportunities with Santa and Frosty, and a snack bar that offers up hot chocolate, cheesesteaks, corndogs and a few other tasty options.
Where to Eat in Cookeville
Nestled in the heart of the historic West Side District of Cookeville is Back Room Bistro, a restaurant that offers breakfast and lunch options using the freshest and highest quality foods. Their breakfast options range from avocado toast and oatmeal bowls to stuffed French toast and omelettes. If you are looking to stop by for lunch, you can choose from items including various soups, salads, burgers and more. For those looking to keep it healthy, a fitness-inspired menu is also available.
37 Cedar is a local restaurant known for their great drinks, great food, and wonderful atmosphere. With an extensive drink menu, the restaurant offers a wide selection of beer and wines along with signature cocktails and mules. Lunch and dinner options are on the menu daily with items like their whiskey fondue, ribeye sandwich and chipotle chicken flatbread. Brunch is available on Saturdays and includes delicious offerings like steak & eggs, spicy shrimp andouille, and buttermilk pancakes.
While visiting Cookeville, Father Tom’s is the pub where you will find the locals. Not only is there a sizeable drink menu featuring craft beers, cocktails & scotch but their selections of American pub grub include traditional classics like pork sliders and juicy burgers, linguini pasta and grilled corned beef.
When looking for memorable dishes that are delicious yet affordable, Seven Senses is where you need to eat. The tasty southern cuisine is prepared by executive chef Chad Combs who is a World Food Competition Winner. The restaurant, located in Cookeville’s historic West Side District, offers lunch and dinner options prepared with the freshest ingredients. The menu has a wide range of selections from boneless wings and yellowfin tuna to pasta Florentine and filets. If you have room for dessert, be sure to order one of their signature cheesecakes to complete your meal.
Shopping in the Upper Cumberland
In Cookeville’s historic West Side District is Poppie’s Boutique offering a wide variety of women’s clothing including dresses, jumpsuits, and denim. Along with clothing, Poppie’s Boutique has accessories and shoes as well. They also carry a Chosen Girl line which are comfort tees with sayings like “Chosen” “Forever Free” and “Made for More.” These tees are for women who want to remind themselves and others to live with purpose.
The Market on the Square is a locally-owned business in the heart of Cookeville. In the upstairs portion of the store is a vast array of kitchenware and items ranging from pots and pans to a large selection of spices. Downstairs you will find home decor, kids and adult clothing and more. The Market on the Square is a one stop shop for anyone on your holiday and Christmas lists.
Located right outside of Cookeville in Baxter, Tennessee is Lenny & Eva, a jewelry boutique that was founded in 2009. Originally, the boutique offered interchangeable bracelets and has grown to specialize in beautifully hand-crafted necklaces and earrings as well. The mission of Lenny & Eva is to inspire women and many of the pieces have quotes and power words on them to extend encouragement.
The Painted House offers a wide array of products ranging from home & gift to furniture and even items for the little ones. Owner Kim Johnson takes pride in selecting the perfect pieces to add to the shop for locals and tourists. She also offers a variety of classes like Foundations of Chalk Paint, Paint Your Floral Masterpiece and more.
Museums in the Upper Cumberland
Cookeville is rich in history, and if you are looking to learn more about the city, then visiting the Cookeville Depot Museum is a must. The Depot was originally constructed in 1909 and is in the heart of the historic Westside District. As you walk through the museum, you will see a replica of what Cookeville looked like in the summer of 1955. There is also historical memorabilia throughout.
The Monterey Depot Museum located in Monterey, Tennessee east of Cookeville houses the rich history of the town which was established in 1893 by the Cumberland Mountain Coal Company. The depot is not just about trains. Inside you will find items and information from Native Americans to coal miners. Residents of the town have loaned numerous items from decades past for visitors to view.
Just west about 10 miles outside of Cookeville, Tennessee lies Baxter, a town named after the founder of Tennessee Central Railroad, Jere Baxter. The Baxter Depot Visitor Center and Museum is a replica of the original railroad depot. Inside you will find black and white photos from the Baxter Seminary School, a 1950s phone and switchboard along with other items that tell of the town’s history. The Center also hosts various events throughout the year.