With five interstate exits, a major interstate and multiple state highways crisscrossing through it, Coffee County is easy to reach no matter which direction you're coming from in Tennessee. The county includes the cities of Tullahoma and Manchester and is located halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga on Interstate 24. If you find yourself with one day in Coffee County, Tennessee, you’ll discover an abundance of entertainment, shopping, dining and history.
Photo: Phillip Fryman
Breakfast and coffee will energize you
Start your day in Manchester. Known for hosting Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in June, Manchester boasts plenty of entertaining, educational, outdoor and child-friendly activities any time of the year. If you’re an early riser, your one day in Coffee County should start with breakfast at Emma's Family Restaurant, which offers a choice of Southern-style breakfast buffet, as well as a menu with traditional breakfast items. Good Karma Cafe on the square also opens at 7am; if a combination of a waffle and coffee sounds good to you, the café is a perfect starting point for your day.
Explore Manchester’s downtown
While you’re on the square, explore Manchester’s downtown area, home to a historic courthouse and a vibrant shopping scene with antique stores and gift shops as well as fashionable boutiques. If you happen to stroll the area on the weekend, check out the Manchester Community Market, with vendors presenting crafts around the courthouse from 9am to 1pm, every Saturday, May through October. Just a minute walk from the courthouse will take you to the Coffee County Farmers Market, where you can purchase fresh produce.
Photo: Odinn Media
Hike in Manchester's parks
You can walk from the square to Fred Deadman Park, which features trails along the river, a playground and some of the best murals in Manchester, including Matt Willey's Good of the Hive and Ivan Roque's Southern Eel. If you’d like to spend more time in nature, head to Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, with scenic trails meandering through trees and bushes along the Duck River. Have a picnic at the pavilion and visit the museum to learn about the Old Stone Fort, built about 1,500-2,000 years ago.
Photo: Phillip Fryman
Dig in at a family-owned restaurant
When you’re ready for lunch, J&G Pizza and Steakhouse will welcome you with its cozy atmosphere and a flair of Greek tradition. Order a meal from the extensive menu, including pizza, pita, pasta and grilled chicken, pork and steak. The family-owned eatery has served Manchester since 1973. J&G Pizza and Steakhouse is just one of the many eateries in Manchester, though. Another popular family-owned restaurant is Jiffy Burger, with the famed Bonnaroo Burger on its menu. Antiques, vintage signs and other collectibles adorn the walls of Jiffy Burger.
Tour a local winery
If you are a wine lover or just interested in the winemaking process, stop by Beans Creek Winery for a wine tasting and a tour. Using locally grown grapes to produce wine, the winery has welcomed locals and tourists since 2004.
Visit museums and galleries in Tullahoma
A 20-minute drive on State Route 55 will lead you from Manchester to Tullahoma, where museums, arts, dining and entertainment await you. The Tullahoma Fine Arts Center and Mitchell Museum at South Jackson Civics Center display exhibits showcasing local artists and history, and a few blocks away there are more than a dozen murals in downtown Tullahoma.
Photo: Odinn Media
For a fun lesson in aviation, stop by Beechcraft Heritage Museum. The museum preserves the past of Beechcraft models from 1932 until today. The 60,000-square-foot facility houses more than 35 aircraft and numerous original historical artifacts and treasures, including the first Beechcraft "Staggerwing." The collections in the exhibits have been accumulated over many years for the enjoyment of visitors.
If you’re traveling with children and looking for more educational activities, stop by the Hands-on Science Center, where little ones can play with interactive exhibits and learn about concepts of aerodynamics, pressure, sound, light, geology, electricity and space.
Imbibe at Tullahoma's distillery and brewery
For a distillery tour and tasting, head to Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., nestled in green hills about 10 minutes from Tullahoma’s downtown. The history of Cascade Hollow, which makes George Dickel Whisky, dates back to 1818, the year one of the industry's earliest distillers was born. Take a tour to learn more about the past of the distillery and browse the gift shop. The third Friday of every money is Cascade Hollow's popular Front Porch Friday music series in which the distillery stays open late.
Photo: Odinn Media
If you prefer craft beer to spirits, stay downtown and go to Ole Shed Brewing Company.
Take a break with coffee and sweets
When ready for a sweet treat, sip coffee and have dessert at Celtic Cup Coffee House or Fuel So Good. Grab a latte or mocha to go with your cupcake at Fuel So Good. In addition to an assortment of coffee drinks, cupcakes, muffins and cookies, Fuel So Good also serves gluten-free desserts.
Browse the shops in Tullahoma’s downtown area near the 1964 L&N caboose along the railroad tracks, where the original Tullahoma depot sat until World War II. The railroad history is rich, playing a vital role in the history of Tullahoma, with the city’s location between Nashville and Chattanooga making Tullahoma a significant railroad terminal.
Grab dinner in downtown Tullahoma
Many restaurants in Coffee County offer lunch, dinner and entertainment to boot. One of them is Daddy Billy’s, with live music, karaoke, bingo and trivia, a restaurant that has been serving customers for more than 75 years. Around the corner, London’s Restaurant and Bar also provides a stage for karaoke and is known for its burgers, as well as its creamy cheesecake.
Stay longer in Coffee County
With so many places to visit in Coffee County, including natural areas, arts, dining and shopping, one day in Coffee County is not enough to explore everything the area has to offer. Make plans to stay longer and come back.