Less than an hour from Nashville, Tennessee (TN) there is a city that has grown in the last two years what others dream about growing in ten. If I were you, I would visit it while you still can enjoy its historic downtown without having to deal with traffic, and while you can still be one with nature enjoying ‘the river life’ without having to worry about the crowds. Only a day visit is not enough to see all there’s to see and to do all there’s to do, which is why I present to you the ultimate weekend guide to Clarksville, Tennessee.
Montgomery County Courthouse – Clarksville, TN
Before you keep reading: GoldenAgeTrips.com is making use of affiliate links, which in some cases will end up in a commission for purchases originated from this website. However, all referred companies/products/accommodations have been tried out or researched by us first. This post was also created with the help of Visit Clarksville, who hosted us for a weekend.
Clarksville, TN is a city where most of its economy relies on blue-collar jobs, how close it is to Fort Campbell (United States Army base), and in the presence of the Austin Peay State University. Nonetheless, it will be the future home of what Google calls their ‘most advanced data center worldwide’.
It is also a city that is investing time and money into preserving its history in world-class museums, scheduling community events, building public and art spaces, and where new restaurants and stores appear to be popping up every few months.
At this point, I know you are starting to pay attention (if not, you should!), so let’s start with the basics.
Water feature inspired on the geology of the Clarksville region at the Downtown Commons.
How do I get to Clarksville, Tennessee?
By Car: As mentioned earlier in the article, Clarksville is only 50 minutes away from Nashville. The city exits can be found along Interstate 24 which starts in Marion, Illinois and ends in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
By Bus: There is a Greyhound bus stop in Clarksville. A Greyhound bus from Nashville to Clarksville does not take more than 1 hour 10 min.
By Plane: The closest airport to Clarksville is Nashville International Airport (Code: BNA – No, it’s not a typo. The airport’s original name was Berry Field.)
What to do in Clarksville, Tennessee?
Arrive on a Friday and start strolling through Downtown & Franklin Street. This area has seen tornadoes and floods, but today is the place to be seen. Historic buildings line the streets, and architecture lovers will be delighted.
On your self-guided walking tour don’t miss:
- Montgomery County Courthouse
- First Presbyterian Church of Clarksville
- Trinity Episcopal Church
- Downtown Commons
It is the perfect day for some cocktails and light bites. Keep reading to find out where to eat and drink in Clarksville.
Customs House Museum and Cultural Center
Wake up early, because there are lots to do. If you’re visiting during late May and early October you can even eat breakfast at the Clarksville Downtown Market. There are baked goods, crafts, and produce. I also found Horchata. Across the street from where the market is located there is the Downtown Artists Co-op, displaying the work of local Clarksville artists. Don’t overlook it.
While you are still downtown, pay a visit to the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center. This place does not only looks good on the outside but also the inside. It is Tennessee’s seconds largest museum, and one of the things I liked the most was how interactive it was. Kids will love it.
Then, visit Dunbar Cave State Park or Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretative Center. If you want to book a cave tour, they are offered seasonal, and you better book them in advance because they sell out quick.
In the afternoon visit Beachaven Winery and consider ending your night by catching a show at the Roxy Regional Theatre, and intimate and dazzling venue.
Miss Lucille’s Marketplace
Start your day with a walk at the McGregor Park Riverwalk where you cannot skip the River Flows Museum. While you are in the area, visit Journey’s Eye Studio. Here, everything has been designed in-house, or it’s hand chosen. I don’t remember seeing anything here I did not like.
Now your shopping appetite is probably open, so it’s the perfect time to visit Miss Lucille’s Marketplace. This marketplace is over 52,000 sq. and has over 200 booths. I could confidently say there is a booth for everyone. Me? Well, I’m still dreaming about the vintage silverware and the furniture collection. It’s one of those places I really wish it was closer, but my pockets are probably relieved it isn’t.
To end your visit, take a tour through Old Glory Distilling Co. The gift shop has some of the best souvenirs you could gift your friends and family, and their bourbon does not disappoint.
Where to stay in Clarksville, Tennessee?
Cumberland River View from the McGregor Park Riverwalk
I cannot think of a better place to stay than near Clarksville’s historic downtown. It felt great to park the car and be able to walk to stores, restaurants, the Downtown Market, and art galleries from our room at the Riverview Inn (Book It Here!).
Aside from its location, the Riverview Inn has unbeatable views. Our room was facing the Cumberland River, and one of the highlights of this trip was to be able to see the steamboats cruising down the river. The hotel is also across the street from the Cumberland RiverWalk and the Upland Trail, which is excellent for a morning walk.
Another option is to stay on an Airbnb. Click here to receive $40 off your first trip of $75 or more after signing up.
What to eat in Clarksville, Tennessee?
Key Lime Mason Jar from Strawberry Ale Works
To my surprise, Clarksville does not lack almost any type of food. Korean, Japanese, Mexican, you name it. Whatever food craving you might have, there might be a place for you to satisfy your palate. I personally enjoyed Roux AmeriCajun very much. Their fried green tomatoes and beignets were delicious (I might have eaten my dinner leftovers for breakfast on the next day). Their cocktails also did not disappoint.
Another place to try is Strawberry Ale Works. They have a nice beer menu (including house brews), a vibrant atmosphere, and they cook everything from scratch.
For made to order breakfast and coffee just how I like it (the Spanish coffee is a winner) there is Yada Yada Yada. A New York style Deli in Downtown Clarksville.
Other places you should consider visiting are Silke’s Old World Bread, Plumb Line Coffee, Smokin Chikin, and Blackhorse Pub & Brewery. Make sure to plan where you want to eat, because some of the previously mentioned places are closed on Sundays. As with every location mentioned in this article, always check their websites or their hours on Google for their updated information.
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