Regular vacation destinations can be boring, so why not try something out of the usual, to somewhere particularly designed to bring out the youth in you and make you feel more alive? Visit Columbia, Tennessee.
This small town in the Nashville metropolitan area has a lovely welcoming atmosphere, with locals willing to welcome guests and visitors.
The city was the birthplace of the 11th President of the United States, James Knox his pork and you can visit his ancestral home and museum.
Colombia’s culture is also diverse and vibrant, with Southern hospitality and community pride you’ll want to experience.
Explore this vibrant part of town through attractions such as art galleries, museums, breweries, and parks.
Just so you don’t miss out, we’ve put together some of the most exciting things to do in Columbia (TN) during your stay:
Fun Things to Do in Columbia (TN)
1. Experience Nature at Yanahli Park
This ecologically diverse park is a tourist destination worth visiting! The park has a lot to offer.
The three sides of this 474-acre park border the Duck River and are home to rare and endangered fish.
You can also walk or bike two miles of paved trails.
The site also includes culturally significant features such as burial grounds, ancient rock walls and terrain, and historic settlements.
Yanahli Park is a beautiful place where nature, education, and recreation come together.
2. Check Out the Higher Pursuits
Higher Pursuits offers a variety of water excursions and activities, including guided tours, paddle lessons, and canoe and kayak rentals.
Higher Pursuit’s Duck River Canoe Base is just minutes from downtown Columbia, Tennessee.
The paddle course is in easy class 1 water with few first spots.
Kayak and canoe tours navigate the Duck River as it meanders through the Duck River State Natural Area, Yanari Wildlife Management Area, and Morley County.
Higher Pursuits also offers fishing trips on the Duck River from April to October.
These include fishing for bluegill, largemouth, and smallmouth bass.
3. Experience the Thrill of Panic in the Woodhouse Games
Woodhouse Games is a fun activity for young and old, perfect for friends, family, and colleagues as well.
The immersive setting and special effects take escape games to the next level.
Make your next escape game adventure unforgettable.
Work together to follow clues, solve puzzles, crack codes and find hidden objects. Your goal is to leave the room within an hour. Tick tock!
Things to Do in Columbia (TN) at Night
1. Grab a Bottle at Asgard Brewing Co. & Taproom
Famous for its beer, the brewery boasts a large selection at affordable prices.
The brewery also strives to attract tourists with its high-quality craft beers made with local, natural ingredients.
Inspired by the customs of the Vikings, this brewery sets itself apart with its farm-to-barrel initiative in how it treats its beer.
The company has two buildings: the brewery and its main production area. Please enjoy the delicate taste of beer.
2. Have Dinner at Stan’s Restaurant
Before being called Stan’s Restaurant, the name of this long-standing eatery was Stan’s Cafe and Service Station.
The door was opened in 1947 and it is run by Stan and his wife, Myrtle.
Back then, it had a country-style kitchen, a soda bar, and 24-hour curbside service.
Then, in 1971, a new location opened, including a gift shop, country store, and antique museum.
Almost 45 years later, he opened the new Stann’s restaurant in 2015. New features include gas pumps, supermarkets, and hotels.
Despite changes over the years, the dining experience at County Kitchen has always remained the same.
3. Hang Out With Friends at Marcy Jo’s Muletown
The original location known as the “Mealhouse,” this eatery was the brainchild of country artist Joey Feek (of country duo Joey+Rory) and her sister-in-law, Marcy Gary (sister of Rory Feek).
Inspired by their legacy of family recipes, this roadside attraction is a must-stop for locals and travelers along the I-65 corridor.
In keeping with tradition, Rory and his youngest sister Candy opened Marcy Jo’s Muletown in the fall of 2019.
The new restaurant, just off the beautiful square in Columbia, Tennessee, seats nearly one hundred guests and adds several new healthy options to the menu.
While retaining some customer favorites, Marcy Jo’s Muletown offers an intimate stage to showcase the best local songwriters and storytellers, as seen on RFD-TV’s Muletown In The Round.
Sisters Marcy and Candy, who now own and operate sister restaurants, know firsthand how home-cooked food and a smile can truly “change a life… one bite at a time.”
Marcy Jo’s MULETOWN is located in downtown Columbia, TN.
Things to Do in Columbia (TN) For Couples
1. Shop For Collectibles at the Bleu 32 Vintage Marketplace
An antique shop with a wide variety of products such as used clothing, artwork, and miscellaneous handmade goods!
This marketplace in downtown Columbia has expanded over the years to accommodate more people and vendors.
Initially a tiny building, Blue 32 Vintage Marketplace now houses a restaurant and 25 additional vendors, expanding the mix of goods and services they offer.
This much larger building has over 12,000 square feet of vintage delights to find and buy for yourself or a loved one. It’s a shop.
2. Visit the W7thCo Vintage Photo Gallery
Also known as “West 7th Company,” this vintage photo gallery has a great collection of images of Columbia, Tennessee, dating back to the early 1900s and taken by various photographers who lived in Columbia, Tennessee.
The building housing this gallery was constructed in the 19th century and renovated over time to create a vibrant workspace to display these photographs.
It is an art gallery displaying a selection of artworks and beautiful objects that attract visitors to the city.
This facility is a means to ensure that future generations will enjoy these works of art.
The paintings inside are also unique in this part museum, part conservation project. Some images can also be purchased for yourself.
3. Shop For Fresh Items at Columbia Farmers Fresh Market
Find fresh, locally grown produce at the Columbia Farmers Fresh Market, just a short walk from Town Square.
Open only from May to October, this market works with vendors to take advantage of surrounding farms and sell high-quality fresh produce to consumers.
In addition to fresh produce, the vendor sells various products, including B. Handicrafts, baked goods, and flowers.
A wet market that has been around for over 30 years!
Things to Do in Columbia (TN) For Kids
1. Take Them to Chickasaw Trace Park
The Chickasaw Trace Park is an outdoor park with many attractions.
It is a park best known for its cycling and hiking trails, but it was initially built for mountain biking.
The trails here are suitable for all skill levels, with flat trails for beginners and more challenging trails called ‘tear trails’ for advanced riders.
This course is also designed with several entries and exit points.
Gazebos, cabins, mini shelters with outdoor grills, and electricity are available if you’re not a big biker or hiker and prefer a relaxing place to unwind.
Other park facilities include a playground, boat ramps, a radio-controlled car track for model cars, and an airfield for model planes.
2. Let Them Play at aMuse’um
This children’s museum is a great place to spend time with your children.
The main priority of this facility is to provide a safe play environment for children of all ages and provide them with hours of fun.
aMuse’um offers a variety of activities, from interactive exhibits to educational materials aimed at stimulating children’s brain development through programs and events.
Children will have hours of fun at this dramatic play center, including hospitals, cafés, farms, and shops.
aMuse’um is also a ‘museum without walls, an open space for extra-curricular learning for local schools in Tennessee.
There is so much to learn and see at this downtown museum.
3. Visit Pumpkin Paradise
Pumpkin Paradise is a farm adventure and family fun destination in Columbia, Tennessee.
If you’re looking for a place for your kids to burn off energy, a place for a fun birthday party, or a place to hang out nearby, this unique place is for you.
Pumpkin Paradise includes gravel fields, flying pigs, sit-and-play, indoor hay mazes, climbing hoops, treadmills, corn boxes, slides, swings, and more.
Guests can watch cows, ride hay, and visit the cottage garden. Signs also provide information about life as a farmer.
Indoor Activities to Do in Columbia (TN) For Adults
1. Visit the Original Residence of the 11th President of the United States at the President James K. Polk Home & Museum
This mansion is the ancestral home of James Knox Polk, the 11th President of the United States.
The property contains personal and private property that belonged to him and his family and a museum dedicated to him in the building opposite his home.
A visit to this historic site allows visitors to learn more about the life of one of these lesser-known presidents.
This modest building hosts daily guided tours of his House of Maine, featuring traveling exhibits, top-notch artifacts, and extensive educational materials on the life and ministry of James K. Polk.
You are free to explore the gardens, museum, and kitchen buildings.
The mansion management also works with public libraries to host events and talks to provide audiences insight into Polk’s America, his presidency, and more.
The presidential collection here is worth a visit when visiting the city.
2. Explore Art Columbia Arts Building at the Columbia Art District
This facility is a haven for artists to meet and showcase their contemporary creative skills, located in the Arts District of Columbia, Tennessee.
This historic industrial building is used for all forms and types of art in all forms of artistic activity.
A magnet for craftsmen to explore and discover a range of masterpieces, including paintings, photography, music, and ceramics.
The art building also hosts courses for aspiring artists who are interested and want to develop their skills in their medium of choice.
In a welcoming community, the artisans and artists here are happy to create unique experiences for everyone involved!
3. Learn Something New at Needle & Grain Crafted Home
Needle & Grain is the Colombian home of curated goods for purposeful living.
What began as a humble craft store selling goods and supplies from local and regional producers has grown into a veritable retailer of quality everyday items handpicked by the owners.
Quilting (Needles) With roots in woodworking (Grain), Bryson and Susan Leach sold their products online for several years before retiring to open a retail store in their hometown.
You can still pick up original Needle & Grain quilts, blankets, and a collection of Needle & Grain lifestyle-inspired homewares.
It is one of the best places in Colombia to buy truly unique gifts and souvenirs.
Needle & Grain is also a great place to learn something new.
There’s something to plan your trip with, as craft classes are held almost every week, from quilting to macrame to floral designs to prints.
Romantic Things to Do in Columbia (TN)
1. Grab a Meal at Dotted Lime
Dotted Lime is a family-owned restaurant located in Columbia, Tennessee.
Gluten-free, peanut-free, and tree-nut-free menus to accommodate guests with special dietary needs.
The primary mission of this restaurant is to provide safe food for you and your family, regardless of allergies or dietary restrictions.
Plus, it’s so delicious you won’t believe it’s gluten-free.
This restaurant uses high-quality, non-genetically modified ingredients to make your stomach happy!
2. Appreciate Art at Pryor Art Gallery
The Pryor Art Gallery, named after LaRue V. Pryor, designs thought-provoking programs and exhibits to entertain, challenge, enlighten, educate and inspire employees, development and presentation.
Faculty, students, residents, visitors, and local community members.
The gallery hosts regular exhibitions and events throughout the year and also serves as a premier venue for viewing art in all its forms.
The Pryor Art Gallery is an art gallery that welcomes everyone and is open to the public with no admission fee.
3. Relax at Maury County Park
Occupying more than 240 acres in Columbia, Tennessee, Morley County Park is located in the heart of the city and offers a variety of community amenities.
The park also hosts several annual festivals and events, including the Morley County Fair and Mule Day.
The district park includes restrooms, a multi-use playground, playground, pavilion, eight pavilions, three playgrounds, an ADA-accessible trail called Tony’s Trail, two miles of paved trails, and one mile of nature trails which has outdoor classrooms and Storybook trail – the largest miniature railroad tracks in the country.
Free Things to Do in Columbia (TN)
1. Explore Downtown Columbia Public Square
This historic downtown is accented by a beautiful town square and the main street, where you’ll find trendy shops, boutiques, breweries, and great restaurants!
You’ll never run out of work to do in this public square with restaurants and cafes to entertain.
You can even learn about the history of this cute little neighborhood by spending a day in this authentic downtown area.
2. Worship at St. John’s Episcopal Church
This stunning cathedral is another must-see attraction just a 10-minute drive from central Colombia.
Before the Civil War, this church was very active in ministry and ministry and had a vast congregation in its early decades.
When war broke out, St. John’s Anglican Church was used as a hospital for the wounded.
Today the cathedral is not in use but is a tourist attraction where visitors can admire the altar, towers, and other elements of the church.
There is also a small cemetery outside the building, where several of Tennessee’s Anglican bishops are buried.
This historic church has a contemplative yet pristine atmosphere, immersing you in the fascinating history of the cathedral and adjacent cemetery.
3. See the Duck River
Winding through Middle Tennessee for 290 miles, the Duck River is one of the longest rivers to flow entirely within the state boundaries.
It is often said of the most biodiverse river in America; it is rich in fish and mussel diversity and is also a source of drinking water for the people of Central Tennessee.
The Nature Conservancy says the Duck River has more species of fish than all rivers in Europe combined, and it has more species of fish per mile than any other river in North America.
Overall, the Duck River supports a fantastic diversity of freshwater fauna in its waters, including 151 species of fish, 60 species of freshwater mussels, and 22 species of aquatic snails.
Rare species inhabiting Duck River include crustaceans such as swallow mussels and fish such as barrens topernoe and pygmy toms. Smallmouth bass is also standard in rivers.
In addition, the river is home to numerous large mammals, reptiles, and birds, including otters, beavers, minks, hawks, ospreys, and herons.
Freshwater mussels have disappeared from most of the United States.
However, the Duck River is one of the few rivers in Tennessee that has survived and is still thriving.
Mussels are sensitive to pollution, so their presence is a reliable indicator of human water quality.
Cheap Things to Do in Columbia (TN)
1. Learn About Local History at Elm Springs
Historic Elm Springs is a vast, lush land named after the many elm trees and springs that line the area.
It was built in 1837 by two brothers as a gift to their sister, this home has survived the wars between America.
Passed down from family to family in the late 20th century, Elm Springs has undergone extensive renovations to restore its original condition.
Elm Springs was purchased by his sons of Confederate veterans in 1992 and has since become a major tourist attraction in the city.
This stunning facility introduces visitors to the home’s history before, during, and after the Civil War, including historical events in the American South.
Elm Springs is on the National Register of Historic Places and is steeped in history.
2. Check Out the Historic Athenaeum
The historic Ansenaeum is the remnant of two famous girls’ schools that towered in the 1830s.
Construction of this Athenaeum began in 1832 and was completed in 1837 for the nephew of Samuel Polkwalker, the next 11th President of the United States.
Unfortunately, girls’ schools closed during the Great Depression.
The building is now a historic site and tourist attraction open for tours.
This museum is by appointment only, so book early.
3. Check Out Maury County Archives
The Morley County Archives is a government-owned building that houses the original and authentic documents of Morley County.
One of the main features is the original Morley County Court Minutes 1, which chronicles the birth and chronology of this unique county in the early 19th century.
This historic site is a great place to learn about Morley County and surrounding counties and is a rich source of information as various original documents have been collected and preserved.
Add this historic gold mine to your travel must-see list.
Cool Places to Visit in Columbia (TN)
1. Ted’s Sporting Goods
In 1955, with just a few boxes in stock and a doorway welcoming all customers, Ted Davis founded what is now a Columbia landmark building.
Ted’s remains committed to its founding goal of providing the best products and better service as the premier destination for your hunting, sports, and outdoor needs.
Initially, Ted’s was his one-room selling military surplus goods.
However, as his business grew and the store filled up, he got a new store. Ted’s is now across the street from its original location.
2. The Homestead Festival
Don’t miss this first-of-its-kind outdoor event premiering June 3-4, 2022, at the 100-acre historic Rory Feek Farm in Columbia, Tennessee.
This unique event features a variety of essential homesteading activities, talks, and demonstrations throughout the day, followed by a musical performance on the main stage at sunset.
The Homestead Festival was created for people new to the idea of homesteading (or thinking about sustainability).
Combining both music and meaningful educational experiences, the Homestead Festival features musical performances over the two-day event, including headliner Kevin Costner and Modern West, as well as lectures by leading homestead community leaders such as Drs. Temple Grandin, Joel Salatin, Justin Rhodes, and many more.
In addition to Costner and his band making rare stops on the Tales from Yellowstone 2 tour, the main stage musical lineup includes Isaacs, Jimmy Fortune, Bradley Walker, Mike Rogers, Jimmy Fortune, and Ben Isaac.
It also includes a quartet combo with The Brotherly Love Project and other bands.
3. Mule Town Tours
Tour Mule Town, Tennessee, with Mule Town Tours, Columbia’s oldest and most trusted tour operator.
Join him on one of two historical cemetery tours and stroll among the tombstones.
Stroll through historic streets searching for hidden gems on a Columbia Ghost Tour. Or follow in the footsteps of Union and Confederate soldiers on a Civil War tour of Morley County.
Enjoy these tours are both educational and fun.
Our Mule Town Tour Guides are all Morley County locals who love showing off and sharing local stories.
No group is too small!
This small town, Columbia, Tennessee, is full of informative and beautiful attractions.
The city ensures you have everything from museums and galleries to farmers’ markets and restaurants.
Book your ticket to this vibrant and historic downtown today. It will surely be an unforgettable memory as our guide of exciting things to do in Columbia (TN) guarantees that.