15 Best Things to Do in Hendersonville, TN

Hendersonville, TN
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The city of Henderson, Tennessee, attracts tourists from everywhere because of its closeness to the grand Old Hickory Lake, which also gives the place its nickname, “City by the Lake.”

Visiting this lake at least once is imperative for tourists because it provides many recreation and adventure options.

You can fish, go on a boat, kayak, or simply soak in the natural ambiance.

You’ll know Old Hickory Lake is important to Hendersonville because various celebrities over the years have built homes on the lake’s banks.

For example, country music legend Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash lived in Hendersonville for more than 35 years.

Today, you can see the “House of Cash” still standing on Johnny Cash Parkway.

Taylor Swift is also a world-famous resident.

Besides celebrities, Hendersonville offers other attractions and amenities, such as parks, greenways, restaurants, and high-quality boutiques.

You’ll never run out of things to do in town, and you’ll never regret stopping by, even for a short while.

Do you want to know more about Hendersonville, TN?

Here’s a list of the best things to do in town:

Go Back in Time at the Historic Rock Castle

A Crowd at Historic Rock Castle
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In the 18th century, one of Tennessee’s founding families built this historic residence in Hendersonville.

Daniel and Sarah Smith settled down in this house, still standing today.

As a pioneer, Daniel Smith has contributed significantly to the establishment of Tennessee.

For example, he surveyed the frontier area, drew the state’s first map, and even gave the name Tennessee.

People at Historic Rock Castle
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When you enter this house, you’ll find period-accurate antiques and original furnishings belonging to the Smiths.

The house stands in an 18-acre property sitting on the shores of Old Hickory Lake.

You can join a tour of the house, the historic smokehouse, and even the family cemetery.

Likewise, you can savor the aromas of the herb garden or explore the wooded nature trail.

Front view of Historic Rock Castle
Sassy Countess, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Check Out Masterpieces at the Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center

The Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center stands on property that dates back to 1783.

That year, a man named Henry Ruyle received the land, along with 640 acres, in recognition of his service during the American Revolutionary.

Years passed, and Leonard B. Fite bought the property in 1850.

During the Civil War, he had to leave the place where Union soldiers turned his home into a field hospital.

However, the gallery building got its name from Mont Bliss Comer, a Nashville resident and VP of the Washington Manufacturing Company, who bought it in 1936.

He loved the place so much his family started calling the house “Monts Haven.”

In 1986, a development company bought the house and deeded the property to Hendersonville because the city uses it only for the arts.

Today, the Monthaven Arts & Cultural Center provides Hendersonville residents a chance to appreciate art and learn about various cultures in the world.

Spend the Day at the Rockland Recreation Area

If you just want to spend a peaceful afternoon in the company of nature, bring your family or friends to the Rockland Recreation Area.

Sit back and enjoy the splendor of Old Hickory Lake, or do fun activities with your companions.

You can enjoy a great picnic at the picnic shelters before going out to play volleyball.

Besides volleyball, you can play a game of horseshoes, or you can even try your hand at archery.

Otherwise, you can try fishing for your lunch at the lake from the fishing access.

Every facility in Rockland is handicap-accessible, too, so everyone can explore the place freely.

Immerse Yourself in the Trinity Music City

The house of country music icon Conway Twitty in Hendersonville also doubled as a country music entertainment complex, which got Twitty City.

Likewise, Conway’s mother and children also had houses on the property.

The complex appeared on popular TV programs like Robin Leach’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and the BBC series Entertainment USA during its heyday.

After Conway died in 1993, the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) bought the complex at an auction.

The station has been renamed the property Trinity Music City. Today, you’ll find different buildings on the property.

You’ll see a TV studio, a bookstore, a few scenic gardens, and a restaurant.

You can also join a live church service or revivals inside the Trinity Music City auditorium.

Otherwise, you can just join a tour of the facilities and see how the network produces its programs.

The facility’s crowd favorite is a life-sized replica of the old city of Jerusalem, where you can also watch a short movie on the life of Jesus Christ.

Sample Craft Beer at Half Batch Brewing

In 1995, Nathan Newton brewed his first beer inside his college apartment in Baton Rouge.

That’s when he realized that he could turn his first beer into a business.

Since Nathan didn’t look forward to graduate school after college, the future entrepreneur hustled in the craft brewing industry.

Despite some setbacks, he continued brewing beer.

Today, Nathan has realized his dream of opening a brewery.

His goal is to brew the best beer he can, and you can taste it in his products.

The brewery offers various beers, such as IPAs and ales, which you can try inside the Half Batch Public Room.

So, if you’re thirsting for delicious handcrafted beer, Half Batch Brewing is the place for you.

Bring Your Family to Veterans’ Park

Your kids will surely love playing at Veterans’ Park, which you can spot from the Vietnam Veterans’ Boulevard.

Of course, this unique park isn’t just for kids.

Even adults will find something enjoyable to do in this place.

Bring your friends to the park for some baseball or softball while you let your kids play at the park’s two playscapes.

Otherwise, you can take your mountain bike and ride along the park’s many trails.

If your kids love skating, they’d love the skate park inside the property, too.

You can then have some snacks at the concession stands while waiting for the day to end.

Explore Old Hickory Lake with Sweetwater Pontoon Rentals

Since 2012, Sweetwater Pontoon Rentals have provided explorers of Old Hickory Lake the opportunity to go on the water.

They rent out only the newest and best boating equipment to ensure every guest has a fun and safe time on the lake.

Likewise, they also offer boat rentals at the best and most affordable prices.

Spend a nice day with your family and friends at Old Hickory Lake through Sweetwater’s pontoons.

You can find their docks at the Creekwood Marina by the lake.

Go Fishing at the Old Hickory Reservoir

You wouldn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to catch some fish at Old Hickory Lake.

Just head over to the Old Hickory Reservoir for the best fishing spots in the vicinity.

The reservoir spans 22,500 acres, featuring 44 public boat access sites that are free of charge and 11 marinas with gas, food, and boat rentals.

The reservoir also has eight fishing piers for the public.

You can find one of them at Hendersonville’s Rockland Recreation Area.

Once you’re out on the lake, you can cast your line and wait for a bite from the largemouth bass, crappies, striped bass, and the channel catfish that live there.

Roll a Strike at the Hendersonville Strike & Spare Family Fun Center

The Hendersonville location of the Strike & Spare Family Fun Center provides volumes of entertainment for the whole family.

You can also bring your buddies for a fun night of bowling and beer.

When you’re tired of bowling, you can hit up Conway’s Bar & Grill for a hearty mill, a glass of beer, or some cocktails to help you wind down.

This bowling alley also offers bookings for birthday parties and corporate events.

They also offer party services for adults. So, remember Strike & Spare Hendersonville for your kid’s next birthday.

Unleash Your Creativity at Painting with a Twist

Don’t let your kids’ brilliant imaginations go to waste.

Bring them to Hendersonville’s Painting with a Twist, an art studio located off Indian Lake Boulevard.

It’s inside the same shopping center as Dunkin’ Donuts and Taziki’s.

This studio aims to help kids and adults exercise their imaginations and creative muscles.

Every day, they feature paintings, which students must replicate after a step-by-step teaching process.

Your media are canvas and wood, with acrylic paints.

Even if you have zero painting experience, you will learn how to paint here.

Never think you’ve got zero artistic ability.

The Painting with a Twist studio will help you release them.

Savor the Day at the Sanders Ferry Park

This place is perfect for day-trippers who just want to revel in the wonders of nature for a day.

Go wild at the Sanders Ferry Park’s various activity options.

For example, you can play basketball or disc golf while your kids make new friends at the playgrounds.

You can even fly your model airplanes here!

When your stomach starts grumbling, put your toys aside and start grilling at the picnic shelters available.

These shelters can accommodate 40 to 50 people, so don’t worry about bringing a crowd.

You’ll need to reserve one if you want a guaranteed spot, though.

A large pavilion also stands inside the park, which can fit up to 250 people.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore Middle Tennessee at the Historic Mansker’s Station

View of Historic Mansker’s Station
Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock.com

Just 12 minutes away from Hendersonville lies the city of Goodlettsville, where you can visit the Historic Mansker’s Station.

This compound features a log station circa 1779 and the Bowen Plantation House, supposedly the oldest brick structure still standing in Middle Tennessee.

Experience the lifestyle of an 18th-century pioneer on the Tennessee frontier at this historical site.

You can join a guided tour that will explain how these pioneers lived in the wilderness back then and how a working plantation operated.

Everyone of all ages can enjoy and learn something from these tours, as well.

Spend the Night at the Cages Bend Campground

If you drive 18 minutes from Hendersonville, you’ll reach the city of Gallatin.

This place hosts the Cages Bend Campground, where you can pitch your tent along the banks of Old Hickory Lake.

Even if you don’t plan to spend the night there, you can still enjoy the peaceful lakeside surroundings.

The lakeshore provides a beautiful setting for a nice picnic.

Besides water activities, you can also do some wildlife photography and birding at Cages Bend.

Various species like white-tailed deer, waterfowl, and migratory songbirds appear here, so bring your binoculars and cameras with you.

Learn State History at the Bowen Plantation House

Front View of Bowen Plantation House
Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock.com

Captain William Bowen received land grants in recognition for his military service in the American Revolutionary War.

Thanks to this land, he brought his wife Mary and their four little children to the Tennessee Frontier, building their house in 1787.

Today, the Bowen Plantation House is a major historical landmark in Goodlettsville.

As a hardworking and ambitious man, Capt. Bowen became a rich man who owned more than 2,000 acres of land.

Front View of Bowen Plantation House
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The Bowens lived in the house until William’s son, William Russell Bowen, sold it in 1835.

Today, the restored Bowen house contains 70% of its original woodwork, while nearly all floorboards are original.

Restoration efforts also included the original doors, with one door still retaining its original look.

The house began accepting tours in 1980, five years after the Goodlettsville American Revolution Bicentennial Commission began restorations.

Step Inside History at the Douglass-Clark House

Front View of Douglass-Clark House
rossograph, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1786, Elmore Douglass built a home in Gallatin, Tennessee, when the state still belonged to North Carolina.

Douglass also turned the house into a courthouse where young lawyers from the county could practice.

A few American historical figures passed through the house, including American president Andrew Jackson.

He joined court hearings at the Douglass house from 1788 to 1790.

Reuben Douglass, Elmore’s brother, bought the house and land he gave to his daughter, Emma Clark.

During the Civil War, four of Emma’s sons joined the Confederate Army.

Meanwhile, Emma saw one of her slaves free himself and fight for the Union Army.

The National Register of Historic Places listed the house in their records.

Final Thoughts

Hendersonville is not only a place to get to know legends of American music, but it’s also a terrific nature destination, thanks to Old Hickory Lake.

You can also venture to nearby cities from the “City by the Lake” and enrich your adventure.

What are you waiting for?

Book your trip to Hendersonville today!