Conveniently located between the vibrancy of Downtown Nashville and the serenity of the Great Smoky Mountains lies Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a charming community home to Middle Tennessee State University. This sprawling city has a lot to offer, including local boutiques and specialty stores, a popular craft brewery, and plenty of historic sites for all the history buffs out there. With so much to do, it can be hard to narrow down your choices on a Saturday spent in the city. So we did the hard work for you. Here are some of the must-visit sites in and around Murfreesboro.
Murfreesboro has strong ties to the Civil War, and the city has maintained some of the historic battlegrounds that are still open for visitors. We recommend a trip to the Stones River National Battlefield and Cemetery, where the Battle of Stones River occurred. Tours of the battlefield are self-guided and the park is only closed two days of the year - Thanksgiving and Christmas. Better yet, the park is free and open from sunrise to sunset, giving you plenty of time to walk around and learn more about the site.
While you’re in a historic mood, head over to the Oaklands Mansion for a tour of the historic plantation home. Built in the early 1800’s, the home was the primary residence of Dr. James Maney and Sally Murfree Maney. Sally’s father was Revolutionary War Colonel Hardy Murfree, for whom the town of Murfreesboro is named. Museum tours are just $15 for adults and are held Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-4pm and Sunday from 1pm-4pm. If you’re in the area during the holidays, definitely keep this on your short list. It’s beautifully decorated and they host annual events with food, music and other festivities.
Time to Eat
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, let’s get to one of our favorite parts of this Saturday to-do list: the food. You can find a ton of great local spots while you’re out and about, but The Alley on Main and The Goat (clearly a personal favorite of ours), are worth a visit.
The Goat offers custom crafted cocktails, an extensive bourbon and craft beer list, and some of the best tots you’ll have this side of the Mississippi - just to name a few. Once you’ve tackled the main course, you can stop for a bite of dessert at The Alley on Main where all the treats are made in-house. We highly recommend the cobbler, but you really can’t go wrong.
Remember that popular craft brewery we mentioned earlier? Well, this is it. Mayday Brewery opened in 2012 under the watchful eye of owner and longtime Rutherford County resident, Ozzy Nelson. This family business truly prides itself in bringing a sense of community to everything it does, and that’s evident as soon as you step through the doors.
In addition to some really good beer (the Boro Blonde is a favorite), this spot regularly hosts everything from karaoke and music festivals to food trucks and yoga. The latter is a $10, one hour yoga and beer session held every Saturday at 1:00pm. Beer included.
Where to Shop
Murfreesboro might be most known for The Avenue, an open-air shopping center with an abundance of big name stores, but we’d rather tell you about shops you can’t find on every street corner.
You’ll find quite a few locally-owned favorites around the city. Trendy Pieces on the historic square of Murfreesboro is a good place to start, featuring women’s apparel, handcrafted jewelry, candles, shoes and handbags, and more. It’s also located in the oldest building on the square - built in 1810.
Once you’ve filled your bags there, try Tiffany Lane, just a quick 10-minute drive to the northwest. A favorite with locals and visitors alike, the shop offers dresses, tops, shoes and accessories. This boutique is also family-owned, opening its doors to the public in November 2013. They have online shopping available, too, if you can’t make it to the store but still want to shop the goods.
That should do it for your Saturday in Murfreesboro! Some history, good food, drinks, and end-of-the-day shopping - sounds like a day well-spent to us. As always, feel free to share your favorites with us on Instagram and Facebook, @lifestylecommunities. We’re always looking for new things to do.