From a hip, event-filled downtown to relaxing country drives framed by extravagant fall color, Clarksville, Tenn. is a favorite Mid-South fall getaway. These festivals, events and scenic spots may inspire you to plan a trip to this thriving river city.
1. RiverFest, September 5-7. This three-day music and arts festival held along the banks of the Cumberland River is in its 32nd Montgomery Gentry is the 2019 headliner and best of all -- it’s free! The end-of-summer blowout features food, activities for kids of all ages and multiple stages of live entertainment. Learn more at clarksvilleriverfest.com.
2. Welcome Home Veterans Celebration, September 18-22. This free five-day event is Clarksville’s salute to veterans. Remember and honor America’s heroes with exhibits like the American Traveling Tribute Wall, Field of Honor flag display, Traveling Korean Memorial, and 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit. Celebrate our freedoms and those who preserved them with a parade and free Lee Greenwood Concert. Learn more at welcomehomeveteranscelebration.com.
3. Patio Dining. Cooler temperatures and lower humidity mean dining outside becomes a pleasant experience again! Two local restaurants recently added outdoor seating. Roux Americajun opened a back patio along Strawberry Alley in downtown where they feature crawfish boils and other menu items fresh off the grill. Strawberry Alley Ale Works opened a main floor balcony overlooking the Cumberland River. Facing west and overlook the marina, Liberty Park Grille is a perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a river sunset.
4. Artisan Fair and HarvestFest at Historic Collinsville Pioneer Settlement, October 5 and 26. Fall and art naturally go together! Enjoy demonstrations and displays from artisans and crafters around the region at the Historic Collinsville Artisan Fair October 5 from 10a.m. – 2p.m. HarvestFest on October 26 celebrates the end of the 2019 regular season with pumpkins, activities for kids, food trucks, docents, music and more. Tour the property’s 16 authentically furnished homes dating from 1860-80. Bring a picnic and enjoy time in the lush rural setting. See details at historiccollinsville.com.
5. Miss Tennessee USA® and Miss Teen Tennessee USA®, October 11-12. Celebrating its 20th year in Clarksville, these prestigious pageants are preliminary events for the 2020 Miss USA competition. Each year, dozens of ladies prepare for the opportunity of a lifetime to represent Tennessee, and potentially the USA, around the world. Tickets available at misstennesseeusa.com.
6. Greenway vistas. Soak up the splendor of fall color along the nine-mile Clarksville Greenway. The paved trail is ideal for walking, running, biking (bring your equipment or rent on-site), or skating. Hop on the converted railbed at multiple access points. Enjoy creek and river views, open fields and dense woods, bluffs, hills and long straightaways -- nature at its finest! Dogs are welcome, just make sure to keep them on a leash. Visitclarksvilletn.com/outdoors.
7. Country backroads with smoking barns. Even Tennessee’s fifth-largest city with a population of more than 200,000 (total county) still offers plenty of rural highways and backroads. Fields are being harvested and tobacco barns can still be found firing the crop that made Clarksville one of the wealthiest cities in the nation in the mid-19th You can learn about how the tobacco trade influenced Clarksville’s history at the Customs House Museum and Fort Defiance Civil War Park.
8. That’s right, “fests” plural. First is the Wags and Wings Family Fun & Oktoberfest September 28-29 at the Clarksville Regional Airport. A portion of this multi-faceted event is a fundraiser for the local Humane Society. Enjoy German food and beer provided by the Bavarian Bierhaus. The Downtown Commons Oktoberfest is October 5 with a Bavarian Bier Garden with a variety of fall and German brews.
9. New Seasonal Craft Brews & Wines. Clarksville’s 33-year-old winery, 7 craft breweries, distillery and meadery will all unveil new seasonal offerings. Wicked Harvest and Nut Brown from Blackhorse Pub & Brewery are samples of what tasters can enjoy in the fall season.
10. Mountain Biking. From beginning to advanced, find your cycling thrill along one of Clarksville’s designed mountain biking trails. Rotary Park and North Ford Mountain Bike Trail offer exhilarating hills, jumps and tight switchbacks.
11. Frolic on Franklin with A New Season at the Roxy Regional Theatre
This celebration of the arts on September 14 is an intimate street festival featuring demonstrations and work from 30 regional artists, plus a variety of entertainment from local choirs, dance troupes and bands. At sunset, the street transforms into an elegant gala setting with silent and live auctions and an up-scale dinner, followed by a preview of the Roxy’s Season 37 with scenes from “A Chorus Line.”
12. Summer Music Series Final Concerts. The curtain closes on the city’s outdoor summer concerts series’ in late September and October. Friday Night Live at Old Glory Distilling wraps up on September 27. Catch the last of Downtown @ Sundown at Downtown Commons on October 18. Saturday, October 19 is the seasonal finale for Jazz on the Lawn at Beachaven Winery.
See these event details and more on our website, visitclarksvilletn.com. Click the Build Your Trip icon for more ideas to start planning your ideal getaway.
Photo Credits: Brandy Davis (header), Sean Flaharty (2), Lucas Ryan Chambers (4,12), Houston Menser (7), Bori Photography (8), Linda Ebel (9), Michelle Dickerson (11).