Things to do in Rutherford County











Rutherford County is quite literally the “heart of Tennessee.” The county seat, Murfreesboro, is located right at the exact center of the state. When you’re in Rutherford, you’ll have all sorts of cool things to do in every direction!

Connect with history

Going around Rutherford County is like traveling through time. The past blends into the present as important articles of American history are preserved and restored for everyone to appreciate today. Civil War Trails: Murfreesboro is home to nine stops of this interstate driving tours program, a showcase of key events, characters, places, and untold stories from this pivotal chapter in the nation’s history. These stops include the Murfreesboro and Rutherford County Heritage Center, Stones River National Battlefield, Fortress Rosecrans, and the homes of historic figures such as Sam Davis and Mary Kate Patterson.

  • Cannonsburgh Village: A reproduction of a pioneer Tennessee village, circa 1830-1930 featuring a gristmill, school house, blacksmith shop, and other places of interest.
  • Black Cat Cave: The site of a former speakeasy and nightclub that dates back to the Prohibition era.
  • Bradley Academy Museum & Cultural Center: A historic school building which honors Rutherford County’s African-American heritage.

See Rutherford County exclusives

Aside from a colorful history, Rutherford County boasts one-of-a-kind attractions that are worth visiting.

    • Murfreesboro Obelisk: A landmark indicating the geographic central point of Tennessee. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be at the center of the universe, this will bring you one step closer… sort of.
    • The World’s Largest Cedar Bucket: Another Cannonsburgh Pioneer Village attraction, this one is a reconstruction of an 1887 artifact which measures six feet tall and weighs more than 1,500 pounds.
    • Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU): The state’s fastest growing undergraduate university welcomes visitors to walk around its beautiful, sprawling campus.

Taste the local flavors

Rutherford County is synonymous with good food. Here are some of the places
where you can treat your palate to the best that this area has to offer:

  • Miller’s Grocery: Experience authentic Southern home-cooking matched with the perfect ambience in this antique-filled country café.
  • City Café: An icon located in Downtown Murfreesboro where nobody’s a stranger.
  • Julia’s Homestyle Bakery: Visit this hometown favorite in the Boro for its award-winning fudge pie and custom cakes
  • Kleer-Vu Lunchroom: Discover the wonder that is hot-water cornbread here at this popular meat-and-three.

Have a family day out

Planning a fun weekend with the whole family? Rutherford County has plenty to offer, from natural attractions to high-tech works of wonder.

  • Creature features: Want to get friendly with local animals? We recommend the petting zoo at Lucky Ladd Farms, Murfreesboro’s Bark Park (‘nuff said), and the beautiful MacGregor Stables’ finest Walking Horses.
  • Museums and exhibits: Stop by the Discovery Center for an entire day of learning and exploration. Wonder at the future of automotive technology at the Nissan North America plant. Enjoy all sorts of fun and games at the Lanes, Trains, and Automobiles Entertainment Depot.
  • The Arts: Appreciate the local scene by visiting galleries and watching performances at the Center for the Arts in downtown Murfreesboro and Springhouse Theatre in Smyrna.
  • Sports: Take a few swings at Rutherford County’s six public golf courses, go for strikes at the Smyrna Bowling Center, or get adventurous and discover footgolf!

Explore the great outdoors

Hit the road and get some sun at these outdoor destinations!

  • Trail hikes: Lots of scenic trails to choose from here, top-billed by the state-sponsored Jack Trail, the handicap-accessible Murfreesboro Greenway, and the Barfield-Crescent Park & Wilderness Station. Oh, and you have to check out the local corn mazes during the fall!
  • Cool down here: If you’re looking to beat the heat during the warmer seasons, Percy Priest Lake offers 265 miles of shoreline that’s calling you to hike, swim, boat, and fish. Stones River is also a great destination, ideal for kayaking.
  • Behind the wheel: Fancy a drive around town? Check out the Middle Tennessee countryside’s lush, green pastures; head to the tallest natural point in the Boro, Tiger Hill; or simply marvel at the architecture on display along historic Main Street.

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