Things to Do in McMinnville, TN

McMinnville TN

McMinnville, TN is a charming town nestled in the picturesque Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee. This delightful destination offers a plethora of activities that capture the essence of the area’s natural beauty, culture, and history. From exploring the stunning landscapes of Fall Creek Falls State Park to indulging in local cuisine, McMinnville welcomes visitors to immerse themselves in a world of adventure and discovery.

One of the must-visit attractions in McMinnville is the renowned Fall Creek Falls State Park. With its cascading waterfalls, captivating hiking trails, and breathtaking views, this park is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or an adrenaline-pumping hike, Fall Creek Falls State Park offers an array of options to satisfy every explorer’s desire for natural wonders.

McMinnville History

But McMinnville has so much more to offer beyond its spectacular outdoor landscape. History buffs will delight in discovering local attractions like Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee’s largest show cave, where they can delve into the fascinating underground formations that have been millions of years in the making. For those with a penchant for Victorian charm, a visit to the Falcon Rest Mansion is a must. This beautifully restored mansion offers a glimpse into the town’s rich history and provides the perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll through its splendid gardens.

When it comes to dining and shopping, McMinnville’s Main Street is a treasure trove of unique boutiques, antique stores, and delightful culinary experiences. Indulge in the warm hospitality and mouthwatering dishes of the Cumberland Biscuit Company, or savor the flavors of local barbecue at Collins River BBQ. With its mix of delectable cuisine and charming shops, Main Street McMinnville invites visitors to savor every moment and find hidden gems to take home as cherished mementos.


McMinnville is also a place where history comes alive. Take a stroll around Courthouse Square, where you’ll find historic churches, notable landmarks, and statues honoring influential residents. Delve deeper into the town’s rich heritage by visiting the Black History Museum, which showcases the stories and contributions of African Americans in McMinnville, or explore the Southern Museum & Galleries of Photography, History & Culture, where you can immerse yourself in the legacy of photography in the region.

From scenic landscapes to captivating history, McMinnville, TN is a destination that embodies the spirit of adventure and promises unforgettable experiences. Pack your bags and embark on a journey to this enchanting town, where natural wonders, local charm, and rich heritage converge to create an itinerary filled with endless possibilities.

If you have time for a day trip, the surrounding areas of McMinnville offer even more opportunities for adventure and exploration. Rock Island State Park, with its majestic waterfalls and rugged river gorge, beckons outdoor enthusiasts to witness its breathtaking beauty. Just a short drive away, Fall Creek Falls State Park entices visitors with its stunning vistas and extensive range of outdoor activities. And for those in search of a city experience, the vibrant city of Chattanooga is within reach, offering attractions such as the Tennessee Aquarium and the scenic Lookout Mountain.

Explore the Outdoors

McMinnville is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re seeking thrilling adventures or peaceful walks in nature, there are several attractions that showcase the region’s beauty.

Fall Creek Falls State Park

If you’re looking for a breathtaking outdoor experience, look no further than Fall Creek Falls State Park. Just a short drive from McMinnville, this park offers a plethora of hiking trails, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque views. Marvel at the majestic 256-foot waterfall, explore the lush forests, or enjoy a picnic with your loved ones. Fall Creek Falls State Park is a must-visit for nature lovers of all ages.

Rock Island State Park

If you’re a fan of fishing, serene river views, and hiking through scenic gorges, Rock Island State Park is the place to be. Located at the confluence of the Collins and Caney Fork Rivers, this park offers a blend of natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Cast your line and try your luck at catching some fish, take a refreshing swim in the river, or hike along the trail to witness stunning waterfalls and impressive rock formations.

Barren Fork Greenway

For those seeking a more relaxed outdoor experience, the Barren Fork Greenway is the perfect choice. This peaceful walking trail winds along the banks of the Barren Fork River, providing a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take a leisurely stroll, breathe in the fresh air, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding nature. The Barren Fork Greenway is an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts looking to reconnect with the great outdoors.

Whether you choose to explore the awe-inspiring Fall Creek Falls State Park, venture into the rugged landscapes of Rock Island State Park, or enjoy a peaceful walk along the Barren Fork Greenway, McMinnville offers an array of outdoor experiences that will leave you in awe of the natural wonders of Tennessee.

Discover Local Attractions

McMinnville is home to several unique attractions that showcase the history and culture of the area.

Cumberland Caverns

Cumberland Caverns, Tennessee’s largest show cave, offers guided tours and the opportunity to explore underground formations.

Falcon Rest Mansion

Falcon Rest Mansion, a Victorian mansion built in 1896, offers guided tours of its beautiful gardens and an insight into the town’s history.

Southern Museum & Galleries of Photography, History & Culture

The Southern Museum & Galleries of Photography, History & Culture preserves the legacy of photography in McMinnville and features exhibits on local history and notable residents.

Whether you’re interested in exploring underground wonders, stepping back in time at a Victorian mansion, or immersing yourself in the area’s rich history and culture, McMinnville has a variety of local attractions to offer.

Experience Local Cuisine and Shopping

Downtown McMinnville is a vibrant hub for dining and shopping, offering a delightful blend of local flavors and unique treasures. Whether you’re a food lover or a shopaholic, Main Street McMinnville has something to satisfy every craving.

Start your day off with a hearty breakfast at the renowned Cumberland Biscuit Company. Known for their country cooking, they serve up delicious biscuits and other comfort food classics that will leave you wanting more. The charming atmosphere and friendly staff make it a must-visit spot for both locals and tourists alike.

After a satisfying meal, take a leisurely stroll along Main Street where you’ll find a variety of boutiques, gift shops, and antique stores. These hidden gems offer a unique shopping experience, with one-of-a-kind items that can’t be found anywhere else. Whether you’re searching for handmade crafts, stylish fashion, or vintage treasures, Main Street has it all.

Collins River BBQ,

One standout establishment is Collins River BBQ, a local favorite for mouthwatering barbecue. Their classic dishes like ribs, brisket, and pulled pork will tantalize your taste buds and satisfy your cravings. Don’t forget to sample their delectable side dishes and homemade sauces to complete your barbecue feast.

Indulge in the flavors of McMinnville and explore the eclectic shops that line Main Street. This delightful combination of local cuisine and unique shopping experiences is what makes McMinnville a destination that truly has it all.

Recommended Experiences:

  • Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Cumberland Biscuit Company for a true taste of the region.
  • Explore the charming boutiques, gift shops, and antique stores along Main Street McMinnville for unique finds.
  • Treat yourself to the mouthwatering barbecue at Collins River BBQ.

Immerse Yourself in Local History

Discover the rich history of McMinnville and delve into its fascinating past. Explore the historic Courthouse Square, a charming area filled with beautiful churches, buildings, and monuments paying tribute to notable individuals. Take a leisurely stroll and immerse yourself in the architectural beauty that has stood the test of time.

Black History Museum: Preserving Stories, Honoring Contributions

Step into the Black History Museum and uncover the captivating stories of African Americans who have shaped the community of McMinnville. Through exhibits and displays, the museum celebrates the contributions of local residents and sheds light on their experiences throughout history. Gain a deeper understanding of the African American heritage in this engaging museum.

Southern School of Photography: A Legacy of Creativity

The Southern School of Photography, established by William “Dad” Lively in the early 20th century, played a vital role in the development and promotion of photography. Discover the school’s legacy and its impact on the art form as you explore captivating exhibits chronicling the history and evolution of photography.

Nearby Day Trips

If you have more time to explore the surrounding area, consider taking day trips from McMinnville. One must-visit destination is Rock Island State Park, known for its stunning waterfalls and rugged river gorge. Immerse yourself in nature as you hike the scenic trails and take in the breathtaking views. For those seeking an even more adventurous experience, you can swim, fish, and kayak in the park’s clear waters.

Another nearby gem is Fall Creek Falls State Park, just a short drive away. This state park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with its expansive forests, cascading waterfalls, and challenging hiking trails. Take a refreshing dip in the cascades or capture the perfect photo of the majestic falls. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply looking for a serene escape, Fall Creek Falls State Park is sure to mesmerize.

If you’re in the mood for a city experience, head to Chattanooga. This vibrant city is within reach and offers a range of attractions to explore. Dive into the wonders of the underwater world at the Tennessee Aquarium or embark on an adventure atop Lookout Mountain, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Chattanooga also boasts a vibrant arts scene, delicious dining options, and a friendly atmosphere.

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