Things to do in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

From History to Adventure: Things to Do in Murfreesboro for a Memorable Trip.

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is located in the heart of the state, approximately 35 miles southeast of Nashville.

It is the county seat of Rutherford County and is home to Middle Tennessee State University, the largest undergraduate university in the state.

With a population of around 152,000, Murfreesboro is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and offers a unique blend of southern charm and modern amenities.

One of the most notable features of Murfreesboro is its rich history, which is visible throughout the city in its numerous historic sites and landmarks.

For example, the city played a vital role in the Civil War, and the Stones River National Battlefield preserves the site of one of the most significant battles of the conflict.

Things to do in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Other notable historic sites include the Oaklands Mansion, Cannonsburgh Village, and the Rutherford County Courthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In addition to its historical attractions, Murfreesboro offers a vibrant arts and culture scene with numerous museums, galleries, and theaters.

In addition, the city is home to the Center for the Arts, which hosts a variety of live performances, as well as the Discovery Center, an interactive children’s museum.

The Main Street district is a popular destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment, with various local boutiques, restaurants, and bars.

Murfreesboro is also known for its natural beauty, with numerous parks and outdoor recreational areas throughout the city.

The Greenway system offers over 12 miles of paved walking and biking trails, and Barfield Crescent Park features a variety of sports fields, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

Things to do in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

With its rich history, vibrant culture, and beautiful natural surroundings, Murfreesboro is a unique and exciting destination for visitors and residents alike.

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Stones River National Battlefield

Stepping onto Stones River National Battlefield grounds, visitors are transported back to the harrowing days of the American Civil War.

The 570-acre park in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is a solemn tribute to the brave soldiers who fought and died on these grounds.

The park’s visitor center offers an immersive experience, with exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of the Battle of Stones River, one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles.

The park’s marked trails and interpretive signs guide visitors through the battlefield, providing a tangible sense of the scope and scale of the conflict.

As visitors walk the park’s trails, they are surrounded by the natural beauty of the Tennessee landscape, with rolling hills and the tranquil flow of the Stones River.

But the serene surroundings belie the horrors on this land more than a century ago.

The park’s preserved fortifications, cannons, and monuments remind us of the violent struggle that once consumed this tranquil setting.

However, the most striking monument is the Hazen Brigade Monument, the nation’s oldest intact Civil War monument.

Erected in May 1863 by William Hazen’s brigade at Hell’s Half Acre, the memorial is a haunting tribute to the soldiers who fought and died on this hallowed ground.

Stones River National Battlefield is not just a place of remembrance; it is also a place of reflection.

As visitors explore the park and learn about the Battle of Stones River, they gain a deeper understanding of the cost of war and the sacrifices made by those who fought for their beliefs.

The park’s tranquil setting and thought-provoking exhibits offer a poignant reminder of preserving history and remembering those who came before us.

A visit to Stones River National Battlefield is a powerful experience that will impact all who walk its grounds.

Discovery Center at Murfree Spring

Nestled in the heart of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring is a must-visit destination for families with children.

As you enter the museum, you’ll be greeted with a vibrant atmosphere encouraging curiosity and exploration.

The museum is a perfect blend of fun and learning, with more than a dozen exhibits designed to engage the curious mind.

So whether you’re splashing around in the water play area, experimenting with science, or playing pretend in the town life exhibit, you will have a memorable experience.

The Discovery Center isn’t just a museum, nature center, and wetlands boardwalk. With 20 acres of wetland to explore, the center allows visitors to learn about the environment and its inhabitants.

Walk through the boardwalk and observe the native plants and animals that call the wetlands home.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot the state’s largest population of sessile water-speedwell, a rare plant species found only in a few places in Tennessee.

The Discovery Center is more than just a fun and educational destination for families – it’s a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives.

The museum’s origins can be traced back to a group of young parents who came together with a shared vision of creating a hands-on education center for children.

Today, the Discovery Center continues to serve as a vibrant community and tourism center, welcoming over 130,000 visitors annually.

Earth Experience – Middle Tennessee Museum of Natural History

Nestled in the heart of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Earth Experience – Middle Tennessee Museum of Natural History is a true gem among museums.

As you step inside, you’ll be greeted with an impressive display of archeological finds, fossils, and unique relics worldwide, showcasing Tennessee’s rich and diverse natural history and beyond.

From the majestic Trex and Triceratops fossils to the fascinating mineral collection, Earth Experience is a feast for the senses.

One of the museum’s most unique features is the working paleontology laboratory, where real dinosaur bones are cleaned and repaired, allowing visitors to witness the meticulous process of uncovering the secrets of the prehistoric past.

As you go through the museum, you’ll also encounter a molding and casting operation, where skilled artisans create stunning displays and souvenirs that pay tribute to these ancient giants.

The museum’s interactive exhibits invite you to touch and feel dinosaur bones, petrified wood, rocks, and minerals, tangibly and excitingly bringing the natural world to life.

At Earth Experience, visitors can participate in jewelry-making workshops sponsored by the Mid Tennessee Gem and Mineral Society, which is housed inside the museum. And, of course, no visit to Earth Experience would be complete without meeting Frank.

This 38-foot-long T. Rex skeleton stands proudly as a testament to the museum’s dedication to sharing the wonders of natural history with visitors of all ages.

With its engaging exhibits, dynamic atmosphere, and commitment to ongoing research, Earth Experience is a unique museum experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for our fascinating world.

Cannonsburgh Village

Nestled in the heart of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Cannonsburgh Village is a fascinating historical place museum that transports visitors back in time to experience pioneer life in the early 19th century.

As you wander through the village, you’ll encounter many well-preserved buildings and structures that showcase what life was like for early Tennessee settlers.

Everyone has something to marvel at, from the charming one-room schoolhouse to the quaint general store and the impressive World’s Largest Cedar Bucket.

One of the standout features of Cannonsburgh Village is the gristmill, a working reproduction of an 1830s mill that was once a vital part of the community’s economy.

Visitors can observe the water-powered mill and learn how it was used to grind corn and wheat into flour. The Wedding Chapel is also a popular attraction and offers a beautiful backdrop for weddings and special events.

Cannonsburgh Village
Cannonsburgh Village” by sbluerock is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The village offers self-guided and guided tours for a small fee, providing visitors with ample opportunities to learn about Tennessee’s rich history in an immersive and engaging setting.

Cannonsburgh Village is not just a museum but a living history experience. Visitors can step back and interact with costumed interpreters who bring the village to life.

From grinding corn at the gristmill to attending class in the schoolhouse, guests can experience what life was like for early Tennesseans.

The village also hosts various events throughout the year, such as the Pioneer Days festival, which features crafts, music, and demonstrations of pioneer skills such as blacksmithing and spinning.

Oaklands Mansion

Nestled in the heart of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Oaklands Mansion stands tall as a testament to the region’s rich history.

Visiting this museum is an unforgettable experience, as guests are transported back to the antebellum era of the mid-19th century.

Oaklands Mansion is a stunning example of Italianate architecture, with its distinctive red brick facade, ornate cornices, and elegant archways.

The mansion’s interior is just as impressive, featuring exquisite period furnishings, art, and decor that give visitors a glimpse into what life was like in the South during this era.

Visitors to Oaklands Mansion can take a self-guided tour of the property and explore the many historical artifacts and exhibits on display throughout the house.

As they wander from room to room, they can learn about the lives of the mansion’s former inhabitants, including the Maney family, who owned the property for over a century.

Guests can also stroll through the mansion’s sprawling gardens and park, which feature a stunning collection of native trees, plants, and flowers.

But Oaklands Mansion is more than just a museum. It’s a living testament to the region’s cultural heritage and a vital community resource for educational and cultural events.

The mansion hosts a variety of programs and events throughout the year, including lectures, concerts, and art exhibits, all designed to promote an appreciation for the rich history and unique culture of Murfreesboro and its surrounding communities.

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Comments: 6
  1. Avatar of Dylan Walton
    Dylan Walton

    I recently visited the Stones River National Battlefield and was deeply moved by the historical significance. However, I felt that the visitor center could benefit from some technological upgrades to make the exhibits more interactive.

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      Thank you for your thoughtful review. The Stones River National Battlefield is indeed a poignant place that holds immense historical value. Your suggestion about incorporating more interactive technology in the visitor center is well-taken. Modernizing the exhibits could indeed enhance the educational experience while retaining the solemnity of the site.

  2. Avatar of Todd

    I enjoyed reading about the historical and cultural sites, but I wish the article had more information on the natural parks and outdoor activities in Murfreesboro.

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      That’s an excellent point, and I appreciate the suggestion. Murfreesboro is not just rich in history and culture; it’s also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The Greenway system, for instance, offers over 12 miles of scenic trails perfect for walking, jogging, and cycling. Barfield Crescent Park is another outdoor attraction featuring sports fields, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Your input is valuable, and I’ll make sure to include more about these natural attractions in future updates.

  3. Avatar of

    I’ve lived here for years, and I still think Cannonsburgh Village is one of Murfreesboro’s most underrated attractions. It’s like stepping back in time!

    1. Avatar of Spencer Walsh
      Spencer Walsh (author)

      Your enthusiasm for Cannonsburgh Village is contagious! The village is indeed a hidden gem that offers an immersive experience into 19th-century life. From the gristmill to the schoolhouse, each building is a snapshot of a bygone era. It’s a living museum that offers both residents and visitors a chance to connect with the rich history of Tennessee.

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