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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 architecture in the state.  The campus of the University of the South is truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. There are so many things to do in Sewanee, but I’m going to give you a run down of my favorites. Please Note: This post contains Affiliate links.

Things to Do in Sewanee TN

Outdoors

Perimeter Trail

Running for 20 miles around “the domain”, the perimeter trail is excellent for hiking, biking (in select areas), and trail running.  This trail has enough to keep you busy for a long time.  Take the 3.5 mile loop hike through Shakerag Hollow, or hike from the Memorial Cross to Morgan’s Steep.

Mountain Goat Trail

rail to trail project to convert an abandoned railroad right-of-way into a multi-use trail running straight through Sewanee on its way to Grundy County.  Currently approximately 5 miles between Sewanee and Monteagle and is accessible to bikes, runners, and hikers.  The ultimate goal for this trail is a 35 mile connector between Franklin and Grundy Counties.

Golf

The Course at Sewanee is a 9 hole course right on the campus that was renovated in 2013 by Gil Hanse.  Play a round in this picturesque setting and you will see what keeps bringing people here year after year.

Outdoors

Perimeter Trail

Running for 20 miles around “the domain”, the perimeter trail is excellent for hiking, biking (in select areas), and trail running.  This trail has enough to keep you busy for a long time.  Take the 3.5 mile loop hike through Shakerag Hollow, or hike from the Memorial Cross to Morgan’s Steep.

Mountain Goat Trail

rail to trail project to convert an abandoned railroad right-of-way into a multi-use trail running straight through Sewanee on its way to Grundy County.  Currently approximately 5 miles between Sewanee and Monteagle and is accessible to bikes, runners, and hikers.  The ultimate goal for this trail is a 35 mile connector between Franklin and Grundy Counties.

Golf

The Course at Sewanee is a 9 hole course right on the campus that was renovated in 2013 by Gil Hanse.  Play a round in this picturesque setting and you will see what keeps bringing people here year after year.

Shopping in Sewanee

Lemon Fair

The Lemon Fair is the longest continually owned business in Sewanee. Originally opened shortly after women were permitted to attend the University of the South, as a needlework shop.  Today they carry dorm decorations, beautiful cards & fabric, premium chocolate & snacks, local pottery, jewelry, tapestries, and angels (You must have a Sewanee Angel).

Woody’s

Buy new or used bikes, rent a bike, or have your bike serviced here. Woody’s is the go to place for cyclists in the area.

Mountain Outfitters

Located just outside of Sewanee in Monteagle, Mountain Outfitters has all of the gear you need for outdoor recreation.

Mooney’s Market & Emporium

Natural Foods, yarn, antiques, this unique little stop on the road between Sewanee and Monteagle is definitely worth checking out.

Amish Hippie

Located just a few minutes from Sewanee, The Amish Hippie is a neat little gift shop specializing in handmade goods, vintage & hippie jewelry, coffee & incense, and lots of other far out stuff!

Sight-seeing

Natural Bridge

The Natural Bridge is a natural sandstone arch with a span of 50 feet that provides a scenic overlook of Lost Cove.  This area is part of the South Cumberland Recreation Area managed by the State of Tennessee. You may get a little light headed crossing this bridge (I do).

Memorial Cross

Located at the end of Tennessee Avenue is the Memorial Cross erected in 1922 to honor WWI soldiers who did not return home, now it honors every soldier from Franklin County died in war.  Set over an amazing view of Cowan below, this is a must see.

Greens View

Located at the end of Green’s view Road you will find Green’s View overlook.  This parking area also serves as a trail head for the Perimeter Trail.  As much as I enjoy hiking, my favorite thing to do here is just sit and think.

Sight-seeing

Natural Bridge

The Natural Bridge is a natural sandstone arch with a span of 50 feet that provides a scenic overlook of Lost Cove.  This area is part of the South Cumberland Recreation Area managed by the State of Tennessee. You may get a little light headed crossing this bridge (I do).

Memorial Cross

Located at the end of Tennessee Avenue is the Memorial Cross erected in 1922 to honor WWI soldiers who did not return home, now it honors every soldier from Franklin County died in war.  Set over an amazing view of Cowan below, this is a must see.

Greens View

Located at the end of Green’s view Road you will find Green’s View overlook.  This parking area also serves as a trail head for the Perimeter Trail.  As much as I enjoy hiking, my favorite thing to do here is just sit and think.

Sight-seeing Continued

All Saint’s Chapel

If you find some quiet time during your trip check out this Gothic Style Chapel.  The inside is unbelievable, and word on the street is that there may be a Volkswagen Beetle in one of the pieces of stained glass (I have to go again to see this).

Lake Cheston

Perfect for a short walk around the lake, or a Summer swim, Lake Cheston is right off of Texas Ave. I have never seen this lake crowded, in fact we were just there during Homecoming weekend and only saw 2 or 3 other people at the lake.

Abbo’s Alley

Abbo’s Alley runs parallel to University Ave and Florida Ave and is almost magical. It is at its most beautiful in the Spring when the Dogwoods are in bloom, but worth visiting in any season.  Stroll through during the Summer Music Festival, you might even get to hear some of the musicians. Do not miss this if you visit Sewanee.

University Cemetery

Across the street from Stirling’s is the University Cemetery. This beautiful moss covered cemetery is the final resting place for bishops, generals, and university officials. Take some time to learn the storied history (good and bad) of this beautiful university.

Best Places to Eat in Sewanee

Pearls

Pearls is not to be missed. The longest running fine dining restaurant on the mountain, Pearls has an incredible menu, a cozy atmosphere, and serves fresh and local ingredients. The braised beef brisket is unbelievably good. Make sure to try the dessert too!

Shennanigans 

This iconic Blue Building has been a local favorite for years.  Great Sandwiches, Cold Beer, and Good pie, what else could you want?  How about a great atmosphere too!  You can dine inside or enjoy your meal on the spacious upper level deck.

Blue Chair Cafe, Bakery, & Tavern 

Tuesday Night Trivia, Craft Beer, free wifi, and Milk Shakes are all staples of this great little joint. They also sell Out of the Blue Granola which supports Blue Monarch, a long-term residential program for women and their children recovering from abuse and addictions.

Stirling’s

Owned by The University and staffed by students, Stirling’s Coffee Shop keeps the mountain supplied with great coffee drinks!  My favorite is the All Saint’s.  They also have sandwiches and small snack items.

The Smokehouse Restaurant

The Smoke House Restaurant is family owned and operated by since 1960. They offer home style meals served by friendly folks everyday. You can order from the full menu or just have the buffet. Either way, you will have a great meal.

High Point

Fine dining with an amazing story! The 1929 mansion was, rumored to be financed by Al Capone, was put on the National Register of Historic Places in December of 1997. The three-story home is said to have had escape hatches on the roof and underground tunnels in the basement used transferring liquor during prohibition. Today you can enjoy an incredible meal in the elegant surroundings.

Mountain Goat Market

Great Sandwiches, Pizzas, Salads, and more are on the menu at this cafe. After you try some of the great food, check out the unique items in their store. They have all kinds of fun stuff: greeting cards, local hand made goods, jewelry and more!

Best Places to Stay in Sewanee TN

Sewanee Inn

Located next to a golf course, tennis courts, and hiking trails, the Sewanee Inn is a great place to stay.  This hotel was renovated recently and has unbelievable views. Rooms start at around $170 per night and have amenities ranging from wireless internet to complimentary loaner bicycles.

Smokehouse

This family owned property is conveniently located and has a restaurant on site.  At the Smokehouse, you can stay in either a hotel room with all of the standard amenities, or a cabin if you want something a little more private. Rooms start around $80 nightly, but this price may vary depending on season.

Monteagle Cabins

Another family owned rental property you should definitely check out is Monteagle Cabins. Home to Lil’ Bear and Monteagle Cabin, the cabins are spacious with high beam ceilings, large windows, an open loft and breathtaking bluff views. This is a great place to relax after spending a day on the trails or out sight seeing.

Sewanee Treehouses

CARRIAGE LANE INN

The Hummingbird

The Hummingbird is tucked away onto seven acres of woods. Park and Follow the path that leads you to our tree-house. Open concept offers Queen size bedroom area with wardrobe and of course bedside tables. Living room area has a convertible futon and tables if you need a little more sleeping space or just cuddle up with a good movie and fireplace for those chilly mountain nights
CARRIAGE LANE INN

The Dove

Tucked away in a beautifully wooded area and standing all alone, you will find this private retreat into the woods, The Dove. Built with couples in mind, the Dove has all the right romantic touches. You will sleep great on the queen canopy bed with a cool gel memory mattress. Relax in the hot tub on the deck overlooking the hillside and woods. All you have to do is step out the door.

CARRIAGE LANE INN

The Eagle

Relax and soak in the hot hub, or around an evening fire at The Eagle. This incredible tree house with a dedicated bedroom with a queen bed and reading space, a daybed that converts into a queen bed in the living room with a gas fireplace, and a cool round bed in the loft, has plenty of room for the family. Spend the day hiking nearby or enjoying the amazing scenery surrounding this beautiful space.

Annual Festivals & Events Near Sewanee TN

Sewanee Summer Music Festival: One of the nations premiere orchestra and chamber music training festivals.

Sewanee Fourth of July:  A true small town Fourth of July Celebration with a Parade and fireworks by the Lake

Sewanee Angel Festival:  All day family fun with live music  to support local charities

Cities & Attractions Near Sewanee TN

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All the best things to do in Sewanee, from outdoor recreation to sight seeing and fine dining. Everything you need to know about this great Middle TN mountain town #sewanee #ysr #tennessee

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