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How to Spend One Day in Maury County, Tennessee

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Tennessee’s Maury County encompasses Columbia, known as “Muletown” and the homeplace of President James K. Polk, as well as Mount Pleasant and Spring Hill. Maury County bursts with museums, hiking trails, breweries, wineries, eateries and shops, as well. If you find yourself with one day in Maury County to explore, prepare for a dynamic time of appreciating history, arts and natural areas in addition to shopping and dining experiences.


Photo: Dominic Gialdini


Columbia


With easy access from Interstate 65, Columbia is about 45 miles south of Nashville. Before making a play for your one day in Maury County, check the calendar to find out if you’re in the area during one of the events in Columbia, including Cars and Coffee, the farmers market or any holiday events.


Photo: Odinn Media


Events in Columbia


Known as the Mule Capital of the World, Columbia has officially held Mule Day since 1934, a tradition which goes back to the 1840s. Mule Day is celebrated throughout the course of a week in April and is just one of the many annual events entertaining visitors.


Photo: Dominic Gialdini


The First Friday Phenomenon has also earned a top spot in the list of popular festivities in Columbia. The First Friday events are held on the first Friday of each month and liven up the historic downtown with music, dancing, shopping and food.


Eating in Columbia


To enjoy all the dining experiences Columbia has to offer, you’ll need much longer than just one day in Maury County. From BBQ, Japanese and Italian cuisine to coffee shops and ice cream, Columbia has it all, in addition to breweries like Asgard Brewing Company and Bad Idea Brewing.


Photo: Odinn Media


The downtown area brims with restaurants, including Southern Tré Steakhouse, which serves seafood, pasta and steaks, and Square Market & Café, a cozy place to enjoy soup, sandwich and dessert. Puckett’s is also in the heart of Columbia, welcoming guests to enjoy Southern staples, comfort food classics and slow-smoked BBQ. After a hearty meal at Puckett’s, stop next door at Hattie Jane’s Creamery for some ice cream, where you’ll find flavors such as Cream Cheese Cinnamon Roll, Maple Bacon Crunch and Biscuits & Strawberry Jam.


If you are a wine lover, drop into Farmstead Community Market for wine tasting. You’ll also find a wide selection of gourmet foods, fresh produce, dairy, pasture raised meats, farm-fresh eggs, bread and Amish crafts. If you prefer coffee, head to Muletown Coffee Roasters.


Photo: Odinn Media


Shops in Columbia


While you’re in downtown Columbia, stroll the area, entering boutiques, as well as the bicycle shop and bookstore on the square and chat with shopkeepers. If you love shopping, you might just spend the entire day browsing stores in Columbia, stocked with anything from fashionable apparel and gifts to unique collectables and antiques.


Stop into Bleu 32 Vintage Marketplace for antiques and home décor items and Smith & York Co. for wall décor, candles, furniture, gifts and accessories. For men’s, women’s and children’s comfortable and stylish apparel and accessories, visit Southern Exposure. Factory at Columbia houses several boutiques.


Photo: Odinn Media


Arts, education and history in Columbia


Columbia draws artists and art lovers with its booming arts and culture. From public art and murals to museums and arts events, Columbia ensures a rich cultural experience. Take your children to the aMuse’um Children’s Museum to learn and play. The interactive exhibits of the museum include a veterinary clinic, bank, grocery store, nursery, farm and ice cream shop. And of course, you must visit the home of the 11th President, the President James K. Polk Home & Museum, and tour the Historic Athenaeum, which was built in 1837 and served as the rectory for two girl schools.


Photo: Odinn Media


The area also features numerous Black history sites, including African American schools, cemeteries and churches. Among these historic sites are Fountain Creek United Primitive Baptist Church, College Hill School and Carver-Smith High School, Clarke Training School, Maury County Colored Hospital and Freedman’s Bank.


The outdoors in Columbia


From canoeing, fishing, biking and hiking, the river, parks and farms invite you to explore nature and relax. Farms in the area include Liberty Grace Farms and Kindred Farm. Learn more about parks in Maury County.


Mount Pleasant


The trip from Columbia to Mount Pleasant—a smaller town with a population just shy of 5,000—takes about 15 minutes by car.


Photo: Odinn Media


Shopping, dining and entertainment in Mount Pleasant


Once there, you’ll find several shops, including Too Much Stuff Emporium, J.J. Ashley's Mount Pleasant and Bellissima Boutique. Eat and drink options include Towne Coffee, Mt. Pleasant Grille, and Twisted Copper Brewing Company offers not only a variety of brews, such as Chocolate Stout and Sweet Potato Ale, but also music events.


History and arts in Mount Pleasant


While you’re in the area, find the art installation honoring the people who walked the Trail of Tears, featuring colorful flower sculptures named after Cherokee women. Visit Mount Pleasant History Museum to learn more about local history.


Art: Whitney Herrington / Photo: Odinn Media


Spring Hill


Spring Hill is due south of Franklin and straddles both Maury and Williamson counties. To reach Spring Hill from Mount Pleasant, it takes about 30 minutes, and less than 20 minutes from Columbia. The town boasts locally owned boutiques, such as Vintage 615, which offers clothing, accessories, jewelry, art and home décor, as well as eateries.


One of Spring Hill's most popular restaurants is Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint with indoor and outdoor seating and where “West Tennessee-Style Whole Hog BBQ is a labor of love;" everything on the menu is made from scratch daily. Learn about Spring Hill history and the Civil War and take a tour of Rippa Villa, a home built in 1855.

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