Clarksville has created the perfect blend of southern-style and modern amenities that have locals raving about their hometown and newcomers excited to see more. You could easily find yourself engulfed by the plethora of history but Clarksville has even more to offer than that.
The small town is filled with charm – and is actually one of the most affordable vacation destinations because of it. You don’t need to empty your pockets to have a good time in Clarksville!
Check out these popular attractions for the best free or inexpensive options you’ll find in Clarksville, TN.
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1. Customs House Museum
Considered to be one of the largest museums in Tennessee, the Customs House Museum is housed in the historic Federal Post Office and Customs House.
The building was created to deal with the influx of international trade, thanks to the growing need for tobacco – and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
Located in the center of the Historic Downtown of Clarksville, the museum works as a non-profit establishment and strives to teach visitors about the importance of history and to preserve as many artifacts as possible.
There are five exhibits that can be observed at any time of year, and there are also many rotating exhibits added into the mix so that guests can learn something new with each visit.
The museum houses over 20,000 artifacts, photos, and pieces of art that reflect on Tennessee’s rich history and give insight into what life was like in the late 1800s.
Tickets to the museum cost as little as $12/person with added discounts for military, seniors, and college students, making it an affordable place to spend time with family, meet up with friends, or venture off on your own.
2. McGregor Park Riverwalk
Nestled along the Cumberland River, the McGregor Park Riverwalk is a FREE, scenic place to escape from the busyness of the world and take in the views. The paved path makes it easy to go for a leisurely walk or ride your bike with views of the water every step (or pedal) of the way.
The trail is 1-mile long and is completely flat, with no strenuous sections whatsoever, and is also wheelchair accessible – so it’s something everyone can enjoy.
Along the trail, you’ll notice many picnic tables to stop for lunch along the water, restrooms so that you never have to travel too far out of your way, and a playground that is founded by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If you have your boat in tow or come prepared with kayaks, check out the boat launch at the end of the trail to get your boat out onto the river for another perspective of the beautiful views.
You’ll also find the As the River Flows Museum along your travels so feel free to stop in and learn more about Clarksville’s history with the river.
3. Clarksville Greenway
Another free activity in Clarksville, nature enthusiasts will love the peaceful setting of the Clarksville Greenway with its lush greenery, active wildlife, and river views. The greenway has many different entrance points, so regardless of where you are in town, you’ll never be too far from an entrance.
The largest parking lot for the trail can be found at Heritage Park, so head to this location if you don’t want to be bothered with finding a parking spot.
The paved trail sees many visitors a day, whether they’re walking, running, biking, skating, and/or accompanied by their furry friends.
Forgot your bike at home? Clarksville’s BCycle bike share program allows tourists and locals alike to share bicycles through an automated system, so if you’d like to rent a bike for the day head over to Pollard Road trailhead.
The trail system is made up of 7 different trails ranging from 1-5 miles in length – that can also be combined if you’d like to spend more time with nature.
4. D&D Mini Golf
More than just your average mini-golf course, D&D Mini Golf has a wide variety of attractions to keep both kids and adults entertained time and time again.
The indoor mini-golf course uses black-lights and paint to create a 3D world of jungle animals and strange creatures that intrigue visitors as they make their way through a game that gets more challenging as it goes.
After you’ve enjoyed some friendly competition, head over to the arcade to play some of the latest games or keep the good times rolling with a game of pool.
You’ll need to channel your inner spy as you make your way through a laser maze that’ll make you feel like you’ve just broken into a top-secret lair. There’s also a surprise waiting for you at the end.
If you’d prefer something more relaxing, hit up the paint room to create your own masterpiece using black-light paint. When you turn the lights off, it glows in the dark!
The cost of mini-golf is $9.50/person, and you can buy access to each attraction separately. If you’re interested in trying it all, an all-inclusive ticket costs only $13.00/person, with even more discounts for children.
5. Dunbar Cave State Park
Dating back to prehistoric times, Dunbar Cave State Park is an important part of Tennessee history with evidence that the cave has been in use for over a thousand years – and visiting is, of course, free!
While traveling within the park, keep your eyes peeled for cave art that provides proof that Native Americans once called this area home in the early 14th century. In fact, the Mississippian people that once lived here are said to have considered the cave a holy place, with direct access to a world unknown.
Although it’s unclear exactly what the ancient symbols mean, it is a wonder in itself to see the combination of carvings and charcoal drawings that still survive to this day.
Spend the day exploring the 144-acres that make up the park by taking one of the 5 designated trails, partaking in a ranger-led event, or going on a cave tour to see the drawings in all their glory.
The longest of the trails is about a mile and a half, but the rest are under 1 mile long – making them suitable for all skill levels.
Stop for a picnic to take in the views, visit the gift shop to buy something to commemorate your trip, and make your way over to the museum to learn more about the park’s history.
6. Liberty Park & Clarksville Marina
Bordering the Cumberland River, you’ll find Liberty Park & Clarksville Marina – with its large statue of the native Olympic Gold Medalist welcoming guests as they enter the park’s gates.
A few different bronze statues peppered throughout the park were built to honor successful women who were born in Tennessee and have made a name for themselves.
At the center of the park lies a massive 10-acre fishing pond where visitors can enjoy a relaxing day of fishing or simply watching the calm waters.
A 4-lane boat ramp makes it easy for boaters and kayakers to access the Cumberland River for a thrilling day on the water, and the Clarksville Marina is a lovely place to store your boat.
Go for a walk along one of the trails totaling out at a little under 2 miles to stretch your legs and enjoy a scenic lunch under one of the four pavilions. Best of all, this scenic activity is completely free!
7. Roxy Regional Theater
Providing entertainment since the beginning of the 18th century, the Roxy Regional Theater has lived through two fires, the Great Depression, and 3 years of vacancy before Tom Thayer and John McDonald came to the rescue. Officially reopened in 1983, the theater hasn’t closed its doors since – providing guests with over 500 main productions, matinee screenings, fundraisers, and more.
By 1995, The Roxy Regional School of the Arts was established to motivate young people to join the arts and to teach them the ways of theater. Since then, many of the students have become talented actors and actresses for a variety of theatrical productions at the Roxy Regional Theater.
The main goal of the theater is to enrich its viewers and encourage a new generation of theatrics through the use of both classic and new productions.
Check out their website to see when the next performance will be taking place, or to simply enjoy a classic movie screening like Grease or The Goonies.
Tickets cost as little as $15 and never exceed $30, making it one of the more affordable attractions in the area.
8. Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center
Once inhabited by Native Americans before becoming a trading center for settlers, the hilltop where the Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center stands has been an important part of history for over two centuries.
Because the hilltop is located atop a 200-foot bluff overlooking both the Red and Cumberland River, it was chosen as a point of defense during the Civil War, when the fort was built. By 1862, the fort was invaded by Union troops and became a safe haven for runaway slaves – who were then rightfully employed to maintain the fort.
It wasn’t until 2008 that the state decided to add an interpretive center and open this historic landmark to the public, teaching visitors about the fort’s significance in the war.
Those who visit the fort today will be impressed with how well-persevered the grounds are, from the fort itself to the finer details like its gun platforms.
Aside from the freedom to explore the fort and the interpretive center, there are also nearly 2 miles of trails to hike at your leisure.
9. Historic Collinsville
Travel back in time to the pioneer settlement of Historic Collinsville, and imagine what life was like before the Civil War. Collinsville is rich with history from Native American settlements to famous Civil War battles, so there’s much to learn.
The entire village of log homes dating back to the early 1830s has gone under extensive restoration so that visitors can see just what life was like, thanks to the commitment of the Weakley family. In 1974, they began their mission to bring the pioneer settlement back to life, allowing visitors to appreciate how our ancestors spent their days and to provide knowledge with a hands-on experience.
For as little as $8/person – with military discounts and free children admission, you can’t pass up an opportunity to explore the 16 restored log homes. Sitting on 40 acres of land, this pioneer settlement is stunning in every way, and many authentic artifacts from both before and after the Civil War remain within the homes to this day.
10. Downtown Artists Co-op
Get a feel for the community by planning a visit to the Downtown Artists Co-op, where local artists gather to showcase their work. Although shopping for pieces of art can get pretty pricey, you can always visit the co-op for free to simply appreciate the artwork and mingle with some of the locals.
Located within the historic downtown building, you’ll be immersed with art from the second you enter its doors with its ancient architecture and surrounding local shops.
With over thirty local art artists promoting their art, you can easily spend the entire day checking out paintings, pottery, jewelry, crafts, clothing and so much more. Artists have rotating merchandise and displays, so you’ll be in for a new treat regardless of how many times you visit.
If you happen to be in town on the first Thursday of the month, be sure to stop at the ArtWalk held in the streets of downtown showcasing even more local art – as well as tastes from local restaurants.
11. L&N Train Station
Built in 1890, the L&N Train Station is a historical landmark and an important part of Tennessee history. The train station was the hub of society in Clarksville, and the transportation made it easy for soldiers and civilians alike to travel from one location to another – aiding the city’s economic growth.
The train tracks have witnessed a number of tragedies like the derailing of a train in 1906, which led to the drowning of many men in the Cumberland River, and the head-on collision between two trains in 1951 that killed 6 crewmen.
Today, the station is used to host farmers’ markets on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, where you can buy fresh produce, artisan goods, and crafts from local vendors.
Even if you’re visiting the train station on a different day, it’s still a great place to visit to see the historic station and take a leisurely stroll along the tracks.
12. Port Royal State Historic Park
The Port Royal State Historic Park may be small, but it’s jam-packed with history – and its prime location along the Red River guarantees breathtaking waterfront views that you can see for free.
Clarksville made a name for itself as one of the leading distributors of tobacco in the early 1800s, and the economic growth that came as a result led to the development of a thriving little village. Soon, Port Royal would be home to the first and only sawmill in Tennessee as well as an abundance of storefronts, taverns, hostels, churches, warehouses, and more.
In 1838, over 10,000 Cherokee spent their last nights in Tennessee on the grounds of Port Royal before being forced to continue along what we know today as the Trail of Tears.
Walk one of the few trails that are spread out amongst the 30 acres of parkland and reflect on the tragic events that took place here, as well as the significance of Port Royal to Tennessee and the country as a whole.
13. Spring Creek Campground
Spend some time with nature and set up a tent at Spring Creek Campground for an enriching experience that won’t cost more than $25.00 to set up camp.
Located right along the creek, the sounds of running water and active wildlife will bring peace to your mind as you drift to sleep each night.
On the campground, you’ll have access to a large, heated, extremely sanitary bathhouse for when you need to freshen up, and a portion of the creek is dedicated to swimming. There’s also a dedicated space to launch kayaks or canoes, so you can get out on the water to relax, go fishing, or both!
Bring your furry friend along for the journey, as the campground is pet-friendly, but make sure to keep them on a leash at all times, per campground rules.
The campground is open year-round, so grab your tent and get ready for an adventure!
14. Miss Lucille’s Marketplace
With over 52,000 square feet of space, you can spend all day walking through the aisles that make up the famous Miss Lucille’s Marketplace.
The moment you enter the front doors you’ll be engulfed by the smell of fresh brewing coffee at The Coffee Shop, so do yourself a favor and grab a locally roasted cup before you start exploring. Not a coffee fan? The Coffee Shop is also known for its unique teas, refreshing smoothies, and tasty baked goods – so there’s really something for everyone.
Right next to The Coffee Shop, you’ll find The Café – with southern-style meals hot to order and a delicious selection of sandwiches to curb your appetite before browsing through the market.
Get a feel for the community as you walk amongst the many stalls of local vendors promoting their best work.
Amongst the 200+ vendors that line the marketplace, you’ll find antiques, handmade crafts, furniture, jewelers, rare items, artisan goods, and so much more.
Don’t forget to grab a shopping cart because you’ll never know what hidden treasures you’ll find along the way – but you don’t even need to spend money to enjoy the marketplace.
15. The City Forum
The Knott family is proud of their roots and spent years dedicating time, money, and effort to make visitors love Clarksville as much as they do. One of their greatest creations is The City Forum. Locals and tourists rave about this extensive amusement venue, with go-karts, mini-golf, bowling, an arcade, laser tag, and more!
- The 10-lane bowling alley is modern and sleek, and bowlers can play in style while enjoying the luxury of high-end lanes and projector screens.
- Get ready for some friendly competition on the go-kart course designed for high-speed and competitive races, or opt for the lower speed option to bond with friends or family.
- Keep the adrenaline going on the 2-story laser tag playing field with 4,500 square feet to duck, cover, and shoot your way to victory.
- Add in an 18-hole indoor mini-golf course and an arcade with over 50 of the latest games, including virtual reality options, and you’ll never want to leave!
Check out some of their weekday specials, like the eat and play option, which includes 2 attractions, 2slices of pizza, and a medium-size soft drink for only $18.99.
16. Rotary Park
Located right off of Rotary Drive in the Sanford neighborhood, Rotary Park boasts 111.3 acres for nature lovers to explore. You’ll find 6 miles of trails for hikers and bikers to enjoy the dense forestry, with one wheelchair-accessible option – so there’s truly something for everyone.
Throw some burgers on the grill and have a seat at one of the many picnic tables at any of the 3 pavilions spread out around the park for a relaxing lunch with scenic views.
Spark up some friendly competition at one of the sand volleyball courts or pump some iron at the outdoor fitness center. Partake in a good, old-fashioned game of horseshoe or disk golf as you look for wildlife in an open field spanning over 25 acres.
17. History Hunt
As one of the first official states of the United States, Tennessee is oozing with history – and much of its late 18th-century life can be found right in Downtown Clarksville.
Because the downtown area is lined with historic landmarks, the city created a History Hunt so that new visitors could understand the importance of each building and locals could see their home from a new perspective.
To participate in the hunt, visit the Clarksville website for an official list of each landmark as well as a bit of history clarifying the importance of each one.
The hunt is completely self-led, so take time to admire the architecture and feel free to stop in at any of these historic buildings – many have been transformed into shops, museums, bars, and entertainment venues.
18. Upland Trail
Stretch your legs on a scenic stroll along the popular Upland Trail for an expense-free source of entertainment.
The trail takes you through a neighborhood of historic homes and other unique buildings and you’ll even be able to walk across a former railroad bridge that has since been abandoned. You’ll be led right into the heart of downtown by the Roxy Theater, but if you’d like to keep walking, the Upland Trail connects to the iconic RiverWalk trail.
The paved path is accessible to all skill levels and there are many places to hop off if you’re only interested in a short walk.
19. Downtown Commons
The Downtown Commons serves as a meeting ground for friends and families and a place to unwind, make new friends, and enjoy the day. Numerous events and activities happen here year-round that enrich the community and create a sense of togetherness for residents and visitors alike.
The Grove is a picturesque place to relax, with vibrant-colored seating, lush greenery, and water features that are both artsy and fun for kids to play in.
You’ll find six historical landmarks scattered throughout the commons with markers that dive deeper into the history tied to Clarksville. You’ll also notice iron art sculptures, an imagination playground, and a trail that takes you through a collaboration of local artwork known as the Tennessee Discovery Trail.
20. Downtown Murals
The people of Clarksville, Tennessee are very proud of their city, and it shows in the detail and care that has gone into the many murals that decorate the streets of downtown.
Spend the day walking around hunting for murals hidden on the side of buildings, down side streets, and out in plain sight for everyone to see. Get your camera ready for a Insta-worthy shots of you and your friends in front of any (or all) of these beautiful pieces of art, while also helping promote local businesses.
On your mural journey, you’ll come across a dramatic 10,000 square foot mural that depicts the historic downtown area, the Vincent van Gogh-inspired mural on the Customs House, and a fine selection of smaller murals like the ones found on small establishments like Mildred & Mable’s and The Thirsty Goat.
21. Old Glory Distilling Company
This small-time distillery is making a name for itself through its commitment to fine-aged whiskey and its dedication to keeping its products completely local.
There’s a good chance you’ll meet the owner, Matt, who was born and raised in Clarksville, and couldn’t be more proud of it. He works directly with local farmers for all the products needed to create his high-quality whiskey, and refuses to cut corners for faster production – putting quality above everything else.
Because of this, their famous whiskey hasn’t hit the shelves yet – but you can enjoy a tasty sample produced by one of the smaller barrels that’ll get you excited for more.
If whiskey isn’t your style, Old Glory has also created their own special take on vodka that uses maple charcoal to create a taste unlike any other vodka you’ve tasted before.
Pull up a seat, have a couple of drinks, take in the rustic vibes, and keep coming back for more!
22. Beachaven Vineyards & Winery
If hard liquor doesn’t tickle your fancy, head over to the Beachaven Vineyards & Winery where you can explore one of the oldest wineries in Tennessee.
The winery is open year-round, and you can enjoy a flight of wine tastings for as little as $5.00/5 samples. Bump things up a bit by tasting the 5 samples and then heading out to the vineyard for a tour of the grounds, without spending more than $10.00/person.
23. Governor’s Square Mall
Located right in the center of town, the Governor’s Square Mall is the perfect place to pass the time or escape bad weather. The mall is filled with over 50 name brands that we all know and love, and a variety of fast food and sit-down dining options for when you’re feeling ravenous.
If you’re not looking to spend too much money, opt for some window shopping and take in the views of the mall’s beautiful skylights.
24. The Clarksville City Arboretum
Nestled along the Cumberland River you’ll find Fairgrounds Park – and within that, the quaint and peaceful City Arboretum – the perfect place for visitors looking for a quick and simple walk that allows them to get out and enjoy time with nature without having to go on a long journey.
Take a relaxing walk and admire over 30 different species of trees that stand tall around you. Check out the Clarksville website for an exclusive list of the trees, and see if you spot each one along the way.
25. Strawberry Alley Ale Works
Kick back and relax with a few beers and some fancy bar food at the Strawberry Alley Ale Works, where locals and tourists come together in an overly social setting.
The brewery has a rotating selection of 10 beers on tap with IPAs, pilsners, ales, stouts, and porters to keep all kinds of beer drinkers happy.
Pair this with one of their surprisingly affordable meals served up by their executive chef, with fan favorites including the Steak Burrito Bowl, the Bourbon Burger, and Blacked Fish Tacos.
Get your creative juices flowing at Horsefeathers, where you can create your own piece of art after feeling inspired by the many art pieces located around Clarksville. Step right inside the adorable art studio, pick a piece of beautifully sculpted pottery to work with, and go to town on your masterpiece.
The studio assistants are extremely friendly and can answer any questions you may have along the way or offer suggestions when requested.
Take as much time as you’d like working on your piece, as you only need to pay for your piece at the end – but be courteous of closing times.
27. Silke’s Old World Breads & Cafe
Known as the best bakery in Clarksville, you can’t pass up an opportunity to visit Silke’s Old World Breads & Cafe – and no one will judge if you end up taking five loaves of bread to go.
Serving up authentic Italian-style bread, pastries, cakes, tarts, and more – all made completely by hand – you’ll be impressed from the moment you walk in the door.
The bakery only ever uses the freshest ingredients, with zero use of additives or preservatives, and you can taste it with every mouth-watering bite.
Sit in the cafe and sip on a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee while the smell of baked goods intoxicates you.
28. Blackhorse Pub & Brewery
Have a couple of drinks at Blackhorse Pub & Brewery, where beers have been served to locals and tourists alike since its grand opening in 1995.
Its cozy atmosphere and friendly vibes make this brewery a fan favorite for guests who like to make new friends and spend a few hours just hanging out.
Although the brewery doesn’t have the largest selection of beers on tap, the tap selection that they do have is top notch – and everything is brewed in-house. Whether you like your beers light, dark or hoppy, Blackhorse has something for you.