30 Best Things to Do in Murfreesboro, TN

Murfreesboro, TN
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The county seat of Rutherford County, Murfreesboro is one of the biggest cities in Tennessee.

It has a population of around 136,000.

The city is largely known for its historical significance in the events of the American Civil War.

Owing to that, this place has some of the finest historical and heritage museums, centers, mansions, and houses for travelers to explore.

The famous Stones River is located beside the historic cemetery where 6,000 soldiers of the war rest in peace.

The Stones River is a major source of attraction, primarily because of the beautiful scenery surrounding it.

On top of that, the city boasts a natural charm, scenic beauty, and fun and eventful lifestyle.

Murfreesboro is home to animal centers, lip-smacking breweries, a breathtaking Buddhist temple, numerous nature and activity parks, and fresh fruit farms.

There are also art galleries, beautiful malls, monuments of immense historical value, hydroelectric stations, deep forests, and beautiful avenues for you to discover.

Are you looking forward to exploring this fascinating city?

These are the best things to do in Murfreesboro, Tennessee:

Visit the Historic Stones River National Battlefield

Canons at Stones River National Battlefield
Jeffrey M. Frank / Shutterstock.com

One of the most humbling experiences waits for you at the Stones River National Battlefield.

The entire area is a significant heritage site and is extremely well-maintained.

The Civil War of 1862 had a major Tennessee base here.

Stone pillar at Stones River National Battlefield
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

A tall stone pillar stands erect, and there is a canon that was used during the war.

The lush and long-spread fields were used for firing and fighting in the war, where as many as 81,000 soldiers were involved.

Memorial at Stones River Battlefield
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

The rock stamp of the National Military Park still exists.

The Stones River Battlefield is worth a memorable visit.

Spend a Day at the Discovery Center

One of the sweetest places in Murfreesboro, the Discovery Center will charm you along with your kids.

It is a kind of a park, museum, and garden combined in one.

Hence, the Discovery Center offers visitors triple the fun.

It comprises lush vegetation, walking trails, and mini waterfalls.

There are beautiful animals, like cute otters, pretty little turtles swimming seamlessly in the water, and much more.

In addition, there are playgrounds for children, too.

A beautiful variety of birds lives here, so birdwatching is a popular activity here.

You can also sit by the green lake and enjoy the views.

Witness the Beauty of the Cannonsburgh Village

One of the most interesting places in Murfreesboro, the Cannonsburgh Village covers an area of more than six acres and beautifully represents Tennessee's countryside life.

Models are created with greenery and gardens around the entire area to complement the whole aesthetic of the place.

The lifestyle represented comprises a time span of around 100 years in Tennessee.

There are guided tours for a minimum fee, while you can enjoy self-guided tours free of charge.

The Cannonsburgh Village comprises a gristmill, schoolhouses, a museum, a caboose, a small white wedding chapel, general stores, doctor's offices, wells, and many other classic Tennessee lifestyle artifacts.

Feel Royal at the Historic Oaklands Mansion

Grand architecture of Oaklands Mansion
rossograph, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is a must to get a proper taste of royalty if you are traveling through Murfreesboro.

The historic Oaklands Mansion is the perfect location to do that.

This prestigious mansion is located on N Maney Avenue.

Between the years 1815 and 1862, this mansion practically symbolized Middle Tennessee's prosperity.

Presently, it is a heritage site with well-maintained interiors that give the feeling of a palace.

This house museum serves the entire Tennessee community as a heritage tourism destination with its precious collections of artifacts, furniture and decor, war memorabilia, and furnishings.

Its ambiance, artworks, and valuables make it unforgettable.

Visit the Middle Tennessee Museum of Natural History

This intriguing museum is located on Old Salem Road, and it is considered the first natural history museum in Middle Tennessee.

The displays in the museum come from all over the world.

A unique possession here is the skeletal system of the larger-than-life dinosaur.

Other items include valuable gems and stones and an extensive range of fossils and minerals.

The Middle Tennessee Museum of Natural History is a favorite among tourists because, apart from touring the place, there are also areas where you can participate in exhibits, projections, and other activities.

The museum also has a pretty gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs.

See Peace and Beauty at the Wat Lao Buddhist Temple

The Wat Lao Buddhist Temple is located on Old Nashville Highway.

It is a deep point of interest for travelers due to its oriental ethnicity and intricate beauty.

The temple's ambiance will give you goosebumps with the rolling scriptures, lit-up lamps, and ringing bells.

There is a green lawn and garden in which the golden sculptures of Buddhist deities are bound to take your breath away.

A peaceful air rightly surrounds the entire temple.

The members are very welcoming to visitors.

The paintings and Asian architecture, with its colorful intricacies, are among the many things that make this temple worth visiting.

Take a Nature Walk by the Stones River Greenway

Narrow fenced pathway at Stones River Greenway
Jeffrey M. Frank / Shutterstock.com

The Stones River Greenway is located on Cason Lane.

This natural paradise will surely make you see the true geological possessions of Murfreesboro.

There is an endless list of things to do and views to cherish here.

Calm water of Stones River flowing along the Stones River Greenway
Casey Fleser, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Stones River Greenway is home to a beautiful lake, a mini waterfall, lush green valley-like areas, and softwoods with trees on the sides of the river that mostly stay amber or brown, giving the landscape a perennial autumn-like feel.

There's also a beautiful wooden bridge and a vast park for visitors to explore.

You can go cycling, biking, hiking along the paths, fishing by the lake, birdwatching, or skating here.

Have a Tasty Sip at Mayday Brewery

All that traveling will surely make you yearn for a good sip.

Mayday Brewery is just the place to quench your thirst for an ice-cold beer.  

It's located on Old Salem Road and regularly draws the attention of locals and visitors.

There is the brewery, of course, offering various types of quality beer.

Apart from this, the eating area serves delicious food.

Mayday Brewery usually hosts live music performances, making it an even more fun place to enjoy a night out.

You can take a tour of the brewery or simply sit at the restaurant with family and enjoy your drink along with the live music.

Pay Your Respects at Stones River National Cemetery

Tomb stones lined perfectly at Stone River National Cemetrery
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

Located beside the Stones River, this is a significant cemetery in the history of America and its wars.

The Middle Tennessee front was based in Murfreesboro, and thousands of soldiers bravely gave their lives during the war.

Aerial view of Stones River National Cemetery
Robert Sarnowski / Shutterstock.com

This cemetery is now a resting place for those brave countrymen.

Stones River National Cemetery is therefore referred to as the bravest soil of Tennessee.

Once you enter the area, you will see white tombs as far as the eyes can go.

Tomb stones decorated with wreath and ribbon at Stones River National Cemetery
William C Bunce / Shutterstock.com

Shop for Fresh Produce at Batey Farms

It is time to see the organic, fresh face of Murfreesboro.

Batey Farms is located near the medical center.

It's open to the public, and once you reach the place, you are sure to believe that this is what a glimpse of heaven looks like.

There are exceptionally fresh fruits and berries available here all around the year, and locals usually crave these flavors.

The strawberries from Batey Farms are one of a kind.

It's also home to stunning sunflower valleys.

Enjoy the Day at Old Fort Park

Sign board at the entrance of Old Fort Park
Coinmanj, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A beautiful way to get to know the city of Murfreesboro is by visiting its many parks.

Old Fort Park is one famous park in the city with a calming ambiance.

At the same time, it presents visitors with a lot of fun-filled activities to choose from.

The park is pet-friendly, and you will often find adorable dogs roaming around with their owners.

There are tons of rides, like tunnels, a slide-away, swings, and gaming grounds for children to enjoy.

Couples or families can sit in the garden amidst the greenery and spend some quality time amid nature.

Learn More about the City at the Avenue Murfreesboro

A true traveler knows how to tour a city by becoming a part of it and not merely as an outsider.

Hence, the right way to experience the authentic flavors of Murfreesboro is to walk around the city and soak in its beauty and atmosphere.

What better place than the most active and bustling part of the city?

Avenue Murfreesboro is overflowing with fancy cafes, shopping malls, luxury shops, restaurants, and multiplexes.

There are beautiful sculptures all around the avenue.

Here, you get to enjoy the aesthetics and ambiance of the town while shopping until you drop.

Have Fun at the Center for the Arts

One of Murfreesboro's top entertainment attractions, the Center for Arts is located on College Street.

It is technically a theater but offers much more than that.

There are, of course, live shows held here in the form of traditional musicals and dramas.

However, apart from all this, the Center for Arts also puts on magic shows.

Dance performances, art exhibits, and projects, both educational and recreational in nature, are held regularly.

Avant-garde performances are another interesting attribute.

Theater camps and audition-based participations are available as well, making the Center for the Arts an all-in-one entertainment destination.

Take Your Pets to Barfield Crescent Park

Turtle at Barfield Crescent park
samray / Shutterstock.com

Barfield Crescent Park is a cozy nature park located on Veterans Parkway.

The area it covers is vast, and after the initial site, the park starts taking deeper routes into thicker greenery.

Hence, the gardens and lawns are usually used by children, as there are many rides on the playground that keeps the toddlers busy.

This nature park is pet-friendly, so your furry friends are welcome here as well.

You can also go for a nature hike or a leisurely stroll around the provided paths.

Different types of birds are often seen here, making it an excellent birdwatching destination.

Pay a Visit to the Hazen Brigade Monument

Hazen Brigade Monumen
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

This is another holy monument and the historical destination where the bodies of American soldiers of the 1862 Civil War rest in peace.

The cemetery, heritage monuments, and surrounding gardens create a calming, beautiful, and respectful atmosphere.

Beautiful path leading to Hazen Brigade Monument
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

The historical detail of the events leading to the war and how it affected the city and these people is all engraved in stone.

The Hazen Brave Monument is a worthwhile place to visit on your trip to pay homage to the martyrs and soak in the historical depth of the city.

Cemetery at Hazen Brigade Monument
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

Find Yourself Amidst Nature at Fortress Rosecrans

Entrance of the Fortress Rosecrans
Coinmanj, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After spending time at the restrained and simplistic parks, you may want to go for some thrilling adventure someplace else.

Fortress Rosecrans is where you should go.

It is rugged, edgy, boundless, and completely free with nature in its truest form.

Curtain wall at Fortress Rosecrans
Coinmanj, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Come here and surround yourself with untamed trees, deep woods, brooks flowing by, little bushy sand dunes, and hilly platforms.

Since the fortress is a historic place, the signs are still there, which may give you an almost eerie and thrilling feeling as you explore the area.

It is great for simplistic activities like biking, hiking, and picnicking, too.

Get to Know about Murfreesboro from Bradley Academy

Exterior of Bradley Academy
Brian Stansberry, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Are you interested in finding out more about Murfreesboro's background story?

There is no better place than the prestigious Bradley Academy if you want to dig a bit about the city.

The academy opened its gates back in 1806.

The academy that you can see today is not the same as the original one, as it was destroyed entirely and had to be rebuilt.

Now, you will find a museum inside, too.

It houses an exhibition that deals with the Civil War period in the city.

Take a Walk along the General Bragg Trailhead

If you are looking for some adventure amidst beautiful nature, the General Bragg Trailhead offers a nice change for you.

Parking is not an issue, as an oversized lot is available just before the trail starts.

Pack your lunch before you start this hike because there will be picnic spots along your way, too.

There are even playgrounds where children can stop and play.

Are you looking for a shortcut to the battlefield?

The answer lies along this trail.

There is an extra trail that makes its way straight to the Stones River National Battlefield.

Read Some Old Stories at the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro

If you have not realized it by now, the Civil War played a significant role in shaping history and the backbone of the city of Murfreesboro.

Even the neighboring Rutherford County has been through plenty of ups and downs due to the Civil War.

Are you interested in finding out more about the history of the area?

Make sure to add the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro to your itinerary.

They hold a lot of programs and exhibitions for visitors.

The heritage center even arranges historical tours; they provide you with a guide to take you out on a city tour.

The guide shares little-known tales that you wouldn't get to hear elsewhere.

Treat Your Sweet Tooth at Hattie Jane's Creamery

Is there a sweeter way to enjoy a vacation than by sampling some ice cream from a famous local creamery?

Hattie Jane's Creamery has its milk delivered from the local Hatcher Family Dairy.

Offering some of the best flavors in the city, the ice cream parlor has made quite a name for itself.

You can even get your hands on some seasonal flavors while you are here.

Donut, coconut, and pudding-flavored ice cream are all offered here.

Hattie Jane's Creamery comes up with some unique flavors that are well-liked by everyone in town.

It's a must for tourists to try out this ice cream parlor.

Escape from the City's Hustle and Bustle at the Gateway Island

A mini getaway from the main town of Murfreesboro, the Gateway Island is located on College Street.

It can be called a park, but its visuals are very different from those of a conventional park.

The Gateway Island is a go-to location when you do not want to leave the city but still want the feeling of being somewhere far off.

There is a lake, and in the middle of it is an island-like feature with a well-built monument for you to sit with your family and enjoy the calming view all around Murfreesboro.

Play at 60 Minute Escape Game

Escape Room Games are fun, exciting, and invigorating; it’ll let you test your skills and intelligence and give you the opportunity to hang out with your friends and solve puzzles together.

60 Minute Escape Game, located at 167 Mall Circle Drive, is one of the best out there, and make sure to try one of their escape rooms out while you’re in the city.

The Frankenstein Room is one of their most popular attractions, so try out the puzzles as you race against the clock to awaken Victor Frankenstein’s monstrous creation.

There are other rooms you can try out as well; the only limit is how much fun you’re willing to have in a single day!

Visit the Patterson Park Community Center

If you’re looking to do some recreational activities while you’re in Murfreesboro, then the Patterson Park Community Center is one of the best places to go.

It has a ⅛ mile indoor track along with two exercise studios and various fitness equipment if you’re looking to get a workout while on vacation.

You can also try out the game room and indoor pool if you’re looking to do other things; there are various basketball courts in the outside area as well.

There’s also a theater that can seat more than 500 people, and you can catch an event or cultural presentation there if you’re lucky.

Go Sightseeing at Oaklands Park

Oldest oak at Oaklands Park
Kabbri / Shutterstock.com

This one is a 47-acre neighborhood park at the corner of North Maney and Roberts.

The park itself is gorgeous and is full of so many lovely sights that you’d have to see for yourself to believe it.

One of its main attractions is Maney Spring area and the nature trails around it.

There’s also an arboretum containing trees native to Tennessee, giving you a treat for the eyes and a glimpse of the natural world’s beauty.

Pay a Visit to the Geographic Center of Tennessee

The Geographic Center, which marks the state’s literal geographical center, is located just half a mile away from the campus of Middle Tennessee State University.

Professor James Hamilton was commissioned in 1834 to find the center of the state so they could place the capital as close there as possible, and thus this marker was born.

However, due to a lot of political circumstances, the capital remained in Nashville instead of being moved to Murfreesboro.

A visit to that place is a quaint and unique experience, so be sure to leave some room for it in your travel itinerary.

Have Fun at Thompson Lane Trailhead

You’ll find this trailhead northeast of Broad Street, and it has a wide array of amenities that travelers will surely appreciate.

There’s a large day-use park on your way, so you can take a break there and just relax with your traveling companions.

There are also a lot of picnic tables scattered around the area; take a meal with your friends and family if you’re not too keen on exploring anymore.

You can also access the McFadden farm, a site where one of the bloodiest engagements in the battle of Blood River happened, from there.

Pet Cats while Sipping Coffee at Catfeine Cat Cafe

When it comes to adorable cafes in the city, nothing beats Catfeine Cat Cafe.

Opened in 2019, Curtis and Taura Byrd—the owners of the cafe—have at least given 500 cats their forever homes since the place's establishment.

This cafe is not your regular cafe with a large menu for snacks and drinks.

Instead, it has a self-serve coffee bar and limited pre-packaged goodies for sale, so be on the watch out for that.

You don't even have to make a reservation for a spot at this cat lounge.

If, however, you're visiting with a large group, you can actually rent the place, and reservations are a must.

You can find Catfeine Cat Cafe on Cason Lane.

Gear Your Bike for a Run along Manson Pike Trailhead

Located along Searcy Street, Manson Pike Trailhead is your guaranteed nature escapade.

It runs parallel to the West Fork Stones River.

This makes the route a relaxing spot with scenic river vistas.

The trail also has a play area for the little ones joining in on the recreational hiking or biking.

The place is also home to a variety of birds, so bring your binoculars to get ready for a day of birdwatching.

Manson Pike Trailhead also leads you to Ransom Mill's Dam, a popular tourist and historical landmark in Murfreesboro.

Look out for Wildlife at Murfree Spring Wetlands

Craving an immersive wildlife exploration in Murfreesboro?

Murfree Spring Wetlands is a city park spanning 32 acres.

Its amenities include a boardwalk that winds down the natural area and paved walking trails for the adventurous nature learners.

Along the boardwalk are historic interpretive markers that detail the local flora and fauna you can find within this site.

There's also a History Wall that takes you back years in the past of the wetlands.

Discover more about the area when it was still home to a Coca-Cola bottling plant, as well as a swimming hole, before becoming a preserved property in 2000.

Murfree Spring Wetlands is right next to the Discovery Center on Southeast Broad Street.

Practice Your Balance at The Climb Gyms

Take your exercise regimen to the next level when you come by The Climb Gyms.

This spacious gym takes pride in its climbing classes and test-outs.

With colorful climbing walls and challenging steps, everyone can have a fun time pushing past their body's limit.

Your kids may also like the uneven climbing structures.

This center also comes with a yoga center and gym equipment, among many other amenities.

The Climb Gyms is on Memorial Boulevard inside Parkside Shopping Center.

Groove to the Music on the Rollerskating Rink at SkateCenter West

Whether you're only learning how to skate or an expert at the sport, you'll find SkateCenter West a worthy stop.

But did you know that this rollerskating rink has been around since 1960?

With its modern facilities and arcade machines, you wouldn't think so.

But this skating center—once called Mid-State Roller Rink—has existed in the 60s, featuring a 9,000 square-foot facility.

Now, several years later, the rink has captured the hearts of many locals and visitors with its nostalgic music and all-around entertainment.

The center is also available for rent for private events.

SkateCenter West is on West College Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Get Your Share of Enjoyment at Long Hunter State Park

Tall trees at Long Hunter State Park
KennStilger47 / Shutterstock.com

Located in Hermitage, just 30 minutes outside Murfreesboro, Long Hunter State Park will at least take a day for you to explore.

Bryant Grove, Couchville, Baker's Grove, and Sellars Farm are the main parts that make up the park.

You can pursue a lot of activities here, and children love this park.

Beautiful flowers at Long Hunter State Park
KennStilger47 / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy fishing or just put on your adventure shoes and explore.

The hiking trails stretch across for 20 miles, and the presence of the J. Percy Priest Lake makes things even more beautiful.

If you want to learn about the natives of this area, Sellars Farm State Archaeological Area is your ideal destination.

Campsite at Long Hunter State Park
Brian Stansberry, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Want to enjoy some scenes of the lake?

Check out the Volunteer Trail, which goes around the water scenes.

Final Thoughts

While it’s mostly known for its significance in the Civil War, there’s no denying that there are also a lot of prime attractions in Murfreesboro from the modern world.

Take the time to explore the city, and learn about the intricacies of something so entrenched in history and tradition.

Book your trip today!

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