As the crisp breeze of autumn rolls in, Clarksville transforms into a captivating haven for outdoor enthusiasts and leisure seekers alike. Nestled in the heart of Tennessee, this charming town offers an array of exciting things to do during the fall season. With such a mild climate, those visiting Clarksville can comfortably enjoy outdoor recreation activities through November. Whether you are wanting to learn about our rich river and tobacco history, sip your way through our artisanal coffee shops and craft breweries, or enjoy the changing leaves, there is something for everyone in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Yada on Franklin
You have arrived! After getting settled in at your cozy Airbnb or hotel room, head downtown to start your trip off the right way. Savor the meatball skillet and Italian sausage bolognese at Yada on Franklin or chow down on a juicy burger or butcher's butter steak at The Mailroom.
Rise and shine, friends! If you are anything like us, you prefer to start your day with a dose of caffeine. Clarksville certainly has no shortage of coffee shops with many of them offering seasonal creations like Plumb Line Coffee, Atlas Coffee & Co., or Sanctuary on Main. Need a quick bite? Stop into Parlor Doughnuts for one of their original layered doughnuts or other artisanal breakfast offerings, or visit The Amsterdam Local Cafe for a seasonal menu boasting local ingredients.
Once you have your morning pick-me-up in hand, it is time to take in the fall foliage. The trees in Clarksville truly put on a show from the middle to the end of October when their leaves turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and gold before they bid us farewell for the season. Locals know one of the best places to enjoy their beauty is at the Clarksville Greenway, a 9-mile paved trail crossing creeks and winding through the forest. Begin your morning with a walk or bike ride on this popular leaf-peeping spot and be sure to stop for a picture at the Raymond C. Hand Pass, a 600-foot pedestrian bridge, before continuing your journey.
Fort Defiance Civil War Park and Interpretive Center
After your morning stroll, visit Fort Defiance Civil War Park and Interpretive Center, located atop a bluff at the confluence of the Cumberland and Red Rivers, to learn about Clarksville’s involvement in the War Between the States. Visitors of this historic spot can see the original outer earthworks, a powder magazine, and gun platforms. The 1,500-square-foot interpretive center gives guests a glimpse into the lives of several people who called Clarksville home during the Civil War and tells even more of the history of the area.
Spend some time exploring the arts and culture scene in Downtown Clarksville. Start your journey at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center. This 35,000-square-foot museum is partially housed in the architecturally noteworthy 1898 Federal Post Office and features several permanent and traveling exhibits for guests to enjoy. Children will especially love the newly renovated and interactive Explorers Landing and Bubble Cave located on the lower level of the museum.
Blackhorse Pub & Brewery
Once you have learned the history of Clarksville, take a stroll down Franklin Street to admire the public art and historic buildings. Take special note of the Then and Now panels on each storefront. This project shares the stories of businesses that have occupied the buildings over the years.
Stop for some pizza, craft brews, and beer cheese dip at Blackhorse Pub and Brewery before continuing on to the Downtown Artists Co-op. This creative space allows local artists and artisans to showcase their works to the community and gives patrons an opportunity to purchase pieces for their collections. If you are feeling inspired, head just a block over to ArtLink to create your own work of art or create some pottery at River City Clay.
The crisp fall weather makes us want to curl up under a big cozy blanket with a good book, a warm drink, and some vinyl playing in the background. Find all your fall essentials at our downtown shops. From records and classic reads to chunky throws and sweaters, you are sure to find everything you need for the perfect autumnal day.
When you have shopped until you dropped, head on over to Johnny's Big Burger, a true Clarksville classic since 1965, for a burger and their signature Bun N Cream (a fried honey bun topped with vanilla ice cream).
Port Royal State Historic Park
Serving the community for nearly four decades, Boyd’s Pumpkin Patch has certainly earned the title of a Clarksville fall staple. Pick the perfect pumpkin, navigate your way through the corn maze, and snap a photo on the Insta-worthy wagon. Once you’ve had your fill of pumpkins and straw, head down the road to Port Royal State Historic Park. Take in all its autumnal beauty on a nature walk and learn about Port Royal’s connections to the tobacco trade and the Trail of Tears.
After all the fall outdoor fun, you are sure to have worked up an appetite. Head back into town and order some homemade creamy potato soup at The Gingham Café or try the Palette of Biscuits with your choice of jams at Dock 17. And what’s a perfect ending to a weekend getaway without something sweet? Before you head out of town, stop by Golly G’s for one of their fresh giant cinnamon rolls, a scoop of ice cream, and a coffee for the road.