Select Page

All the Best Things to do in McMinnville TN

Great Things to do in McMinnville Tennessee

McMinnville, Tennessee is known for being as the Nursery Capital of the world.  Plants and trees are big business in this town, but there are a few more things that McMinnville has to offer. From great live music, to outdoor adventure and spiritual retreats, this town has a little bit of everything. Check out these 10 great things to do in McMinnville TN! This post contains affiliate links.



McMinnville Tennessee Historic Sites

Falcon Rest Mansion

Falcon Rest Mansion is an 1896 Victorian tour mansion “where history is fun.”

Built by entrepreneur Clay Faulkner in 1896, to entice his wife to move next to the woolen mill where he made Gorilla Pants, it had all the “modern conveniences” — electric lights, indoor plumbing, central heat and more. The mansion operated as a hospital and nursing home from the 1940’s until 1968 when it was essentially abandoned.  Since its purchase in 1989 by the current owner, it has been restored to  its former glory and awarded by the National Trust.

You can tour the mansion, shop, and have lunch in the Victorian Tea Room between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special entertainment and meals are available for groups of 20 or more by advance reservation. Check out “Murder at the Mansion” or one of the other great shows that proprietors, George and Charlien McGlothin, entertain their visitors with. If you are in the area around Halloween, participate in one of the Tag a long Ghost Hunts.

Falcon Rest Mansion

Falcon Rest Mansion is an 1896 Victorian tour mansion “where history is fun.”

Built by entrepreneur Clay Faulkner in 1896, to entice his wife to move next to the woolen mill where he made Gorilla Pants, it had all the “modern conveniences” — electric lights, indoor plumbing, central heat and more. The mansion operated as a hospital and nursing home from the 1940’s until 1968 when it was essentially abandoned.  Since its purchase in 1989 by the current owner, it has been restored to  its former glory and awarded by the National Trust.

You can tour the mansion, shop, and have lunch in the Victorian Tea Room between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Special entertainment and meals are available for groups of 20 or more by advance reservation. Check out “Murder at the Mansion” or one of the other great shows that proprietors, George and Charlien McGlothin, entertain their visitors with. If you are in the area around Halloween, participate in one of the Tag a long Ghost Hunts.

The Black House McMinnville Tennessee

The Black House

The Black House is the oldest remaining house in McMinnville, Tennessee.

This federal style house was built by Jesse Coffee in 1825 on land that was originally outside the city limits of McMinnville. A year later he moved with his family to Viola, a neighboring town of McMinnville, and this historic building was later home to a Revolutionary War solider, Lt. James Sheppard, and to Samuel Laughlin (a close friend of President James K. Polk) and to Judith Harrison. A civil war surgeon purchased the home after returning from the war, and set up his clinic and office there. Later his grandaughter deeded the property to the Eagle Fund for restoration in the mid 1980’s.

The Black House is now open to the public for tours by appointment. For more information or to schedule a tour visit their website here: http://theblackhouse.tripod.com/

The Birthing Tree

Steeped in local folklore, the Birthing Tree was a well known meeting place for travelers. Many of them were people traveling from North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia along old trails that converged at Rock Island. From Rock Island the trail passed under the shady branches of this stately old tree before heading south to Alabama. Often these travelers were delayed for long periods of time, either waiting on their party, supplies, or the weather to change.

Lots of local families also have stories of grandparents or great grandparents  who knew someone born at the tree due to the extended delays. For some time,  it was thought to have been part of the infamous “Trail of Tears”, but local historians disagree. What is agreed upon though is the tree has been well known for over 150 years is the subject of many local stories and rumors.

The Birthing tree is located across the street from McMinnville River Park Hospital at 1559 Sparta Highway.

Birthing Tree McMinnville TN

McMinnville Tennessee Outdoors Adventure

Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park is located in Rock Island, TN, just outside of McMinnville.  This 883 acre park located at the headwaters of Center Hill Lake, and the confluence of the Collins, Rocky, and Caney Fork Rivers. Its swift waters are a huge attraction for advanced kayakers, and its beautiful landscape offers something for hikers, and families alike.

One of the highlights of the park is Great Falls, a 30 ft horseshoe cascading waterfall located below a cotton mill from the 1800’s that it once powered. You can often watch thrill seekers kayaking over the falls. If waterfalls are what you are there for, be sure to check out Twin Falls too, just a little further down river.

Rock Island State park is one of my favorite things to do in McMinnville TN. They have two campgrounds with 20 of the sites open year round. 50 of the campsites can accommodate RVs, and there are even some tent only sites. Along with camping the park has facilities for boating, hiking, fishing, swimming, and birding.

Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park is located in Rock Island, TN, just outside of McMinnville.  This 883 acre park located at the headwaters of Center Hill Lake, and the confluence of the Collins, Rocky, and Caney Fork Rivers. Its swift waters are a huge attraction for advanced kayakers, and its beautiful landscape offers something for hikers, and families alike.

One of the highlights of the park is Great Falls, a 30 ft horseshoe cascading waterfall located below a cotton mill from the 1800’s that it once powered. You can often watch thrill seekers kayaking over the falls. If waterfalls are what you are there for, be sure to check out Twin Falls too, just a little further down river.

Rock Island State park is one of my favorite things to do in McMinnville TN. They have two campgrounds with 20 of the sites open year round. 50 of the campsites can accommodate RVs, and there are even some tent only sites. Along with camping the park has facilities for boating, hiking, fishing, swimming, and birding.

Smooth Rapids

McMinnville has two great rivers for kayaking with easy launch sites throughout town. The Barren Fork and The Collins both provide nice relaxing trips for kayakers of every skill level, and Smooth Rapids makes those trips much more accessible with rental kayaks and transportation.

Along with the kayak rentals, Smooth Rapids has a small campground, a place to eat, and even an annual reggae music festival!

Prices are affordable, and they have float trips ranging from 2 miles to 8 miles. If you are travelling to McMinnville, this is a must do.

Cumberland Caverns

Cumberland Caverns is a great McMinnville attraction. With more than 32 miles of caves and underground passageways, incredible rock formations, underground waterfalls, gleaming pools, it is worth the trip.

There are different tours available at Cumberland Caverns, starting with the daily guided scenic walking tour for most of us. Tickets for this tour are available online or at the gift shop if you don’t want to make early reservations. It lasts about an hour and a half and is rated as moderately difficult. It takes you deep into the cave where you can see underground waterfalls, a saltpeter mine, and incredible natural rock formations.

Looking for something more adventurous? Cumberland Caverns offers more intense daily caving tours and some overnight adventures as well!

Cumberland Caverns is also home to a live music series, but we’ll talk about that later on.

Cumberland Caverns

Cumberland Caverns is a great McMinnville attraction. With more than 32 miles of caves and underground passageways, incredible rock formations, underground waterfalls, gleaming pools, it is worth the trip.

There are different tours available at Cumberland Caverns, starting with the daily guided scenic walking tour for most of us. Tickets for this tour are available online or at the gift shop if you don’t want to make early reservations. It lasts about an hour and a half and is rated as moderately difficult. It takes you deep into the cave where you can see underground waterfalls, a saltpeter mine, and incredible natural rock formations.

Looking for something more adventurous? Cumberland Caverns offers more intense daily caving tours and some overnight adventures as well!

Cumberland Caverns is also home to a live music series, but we’ll talk about that later on.

Isha Institute of Inner-Sciences

Another outstanding attraction in Warren County is Isha Institute of Inner-Sciences. Rural McMinnville is hardly the first place you think of when you think of a huge spiritual center, but that is where you will find it.  Tucked away in the mountains, you will find The Isha Institute of Inner-Sciences a beautiful “mountain retreat for stress relief, rejuvenation, and complete well-being”. The retreat offers experiential classical yoga and meditation classes.  There are also amazing consecrated meditation spaces such as the Adi Yogi: The Abode of Yoga and Mahima, the largest meditation and Yoga hall in the Western Hemisphere.

Along with spiritual practices, Isha is also set on an amazing 1400 acre landscape. There are around 15 miles of hiking and biking trails there that will take you to unbelievable overlooks and dazzling waterfalls.

McMinnville Tennessee Entertainment

Park Theater

The Park Theater is a historic performing arts facility located on the square in McMinnville, TN.  This theater features live music, live theater, film screenings, and just about any other performance art that you can fit on a stage. Past performances include artists like: The Steel Drivers, Davina & The Vagabonds, Henry Cho, Killer Beaz, and David Ball.

The Theater was originally built in 1939, and was severely damaged in a fire in 1947. It was renovated and reopened the next year, but closed in 1986 and turned into office space.

In recent years, the City of McMinnville purchased the building and the Park Theater Group was formed with the goal of restoring this gorgeous theater it to its former glory. The Park Theater was reopened May 15, 2015 and has become a mainstay of this great community.

Check out whats coming to the Park soon!

Park Theater

The Park Theater is a historic performing arts facility located on the square in McMinnville, TN.  This theater features live music, live theater, film screenings, and just about any other performance art that you can fit on a stage. Past performances include artists like: The Steel Drivers, Davina & The Vagabonds, Henry Cho, Killer Beaz, and David Ball.

The Theater was originally built in 1939, and was severely damaged in a fire in 1947. It was renovated and reopened the next year, but closed in 1986 and turned into office space.

In recent years, the City of McMinnville purchased the building and the Park Theater Group was formed with the goal of restoring this gorgeous theater it to its former glory. The Park Theater was reopened May 15, 2015 and has become a mainstay of this great community.

Check out whats coming to the Park soon!

Cumberland Caverns Live

The former home of Bluegrass Underground, an award winning televised concert series held 333 ft below ground in the Volcano room of Cumberland Caverns since 2008. Cumberland Cavers has featured concerts by The Steel Drivers, St Paul and the Broken Bones, Old Crow Medicine Show, the Civil Wars, Jason Isbell  and many more. 2016 features shows by Keller Williams, Allen Stone, Del McCoury and David Grisman, and other incredible artists. Even though the television series has moved to a different location, live music still carries on in the cave. Couple the incredible artists with such a unique venue, and you have a concert experience that should be on every music lovers bucket list! Be sure to check Cumberland Caverns Live for upcoming artists and ticket information!

McMinnville Tennessee Restaurants

Depot Bottom Country Store

Just a short walk from Main Street, this popular country store and deli offers up some seriously delicious food. Don’t miss out on these great burgers, sandwiches, and great southern food. Check their Facebook page for daily specials  Depot Bottom Country Store

215 Bridge St McMinnville, TN 

Hours
Mon-Fri: 5:30 am – 2:00 pm | Sat & Sun: Closed

Cumberland Biscuit Company

Incredible breakfast and brunch in a great setting. They have an amazing breakfast menu with everything from omelets to grilled ham & pimento cheese biscuits! Located on the square right across from the Park Theater. Visit their website to see a full menu https://www.cumberlandbiscuitcompany.com/

114 W. Main St., McMinnville, TN

Hours
Thurs – Sun: 7:30 am – 1:30 pm 

Collins River BBQ

Collins River BBQ is a local favorite! Not only do they have great BBQ, but they also specialize in craft beers, friendly service, and live music. Classic pulled pork, smoked wings, huge salads, and much more fill the menu. Visit their website to see a full menu http://www.collinsriverbbq.com/

117 E. Main St., McMinnville, TN

Hours
Tue-Thu: 10:30 am – 9:00 pm | Fri-Sat: 10:30 am – 9:30 pm | Sun-Mon: Closed

Topz Frozen Yogurt & Metro Deli

“A locally owned and operated hip place in the heart of historical downtown McMinnville where family & friends can connect through great food, sweet treats, & good times!” With a menu featuring Brick Oven Pizza, hot & cold sandwiches, soups, and of course great frozen yogurt, Topz is a favorite with locals.  Visit their website to see a full menu https://www.topzfrozenyogurt.com/

104 W Main St McMinnville, TN 

Hours
Mon-Thurs: 11:00 – 8:00 pm | Fri & Sat: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Annual Festivals & Events Near McMinnville, Tennessee

  • Warren County A&L Fair: County fair with carnival rides, games, pageants, and agricultural competitions.
  • Movies in the Park:  Free family movies played under the stars throughout the year.
  • Chase the Ace:  A hole in one disc golf tournament held at Pepper Branch Park.

Best Places to Stay in McMinnville, Tennessee

CARRIAGE LANE INN

Rock Island Log Cabin

Located near some of the best things to do in McMinnville TN, this incredible log cabin has 2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, and can sleep up to 6. It has an incredible view of the Caney fork river, large windows and decks, an outdoor fire pit, and all the amenities you need to make a great family vacation perfect!

CARRIAGE LANE INN

Cabin on the Collins River

You will Love this stunning Cabin on the Collins River. With 2 beds and 2 baths and room for the whole family this cabin is everything you need for an incredible vacation. Enjoy an afternoon on the wrap around porch or an evening around the fire pit. Go for a swim or do a little fishing off of the new pier. This great retreat has it all!

CARRIAGE LANE INN

Green Acres Farm

Relax in this gorgeous farmhouse on Green Acres Farm. Located 5 minutes from McMinnville on a 23 acre plot of land that has been owned by the same family since the civil war. This place is a great retreat from city life. Walk down to Charles Creek and do some fishing, enjoy a cup of coffee on the covered porch, or just relax and watch a sunset on this gorgeous property.

Cities & Attractions Near McMinnville, Tennessee

There are a lot of great things to do in McMinnville TN, but there are a lot of great nearby towns and attractions that are just a short drive from McMinnville. If you visit McMinnville, these places are worth the short drive to add to your trip.

Our Latest Blog Posts

All the Best Things to do in Sewanee TN

All the Best Things to do in Sewanee TN Middle Tennessee is full of breathtaking locations. Sewanee is one of my favorites.  There are few places where I feel more connected than this mountain town. It has it all, from outdoor recreation to some of the most beautiful...

Nashville Fall Festivals, Haunted Houses, and Fall Fun

Nashville Fall Festivals, Haunted Houses, and Other Fall Fun! Fall is upon us.  Soon, football will be on every channel, nights will start cooling down, and Halloween decorations will start going up.  This is my favorite time of year, and there is no place I would...

10 Breathtaking Scenic Drives in Middle Tennessee

  Scenic Drives in Middle Tennessee One of my favorite ways to explore Middle Tennessee is taking the scenic route. The back roads of Tennessee have it all, from rolling hills and lush green farmland, to mountains, forests, and waterfalls. Just about every back road...

All the best things to do in McMinnville TN. From historic homes to kayaking and exploring some of the most beautiful landscapes you will find anywhere, #McMinnville has something for everyone. It is one of my favorite small towns in #Tennessee

0 Comments

Pin It on Pinterest

Share this post with your friends

Shares