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Clarksville (Tennessee)

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Clarksville[1] is the county seat of Montgomery County, in Central Tennessee. Founded in 1784, Clarksville is one of the south's most historic cities. Today, visitors can experience that history through memorable attractions, unique historic architecture and a variety of annual festivals and events.

Steeped in history, Clarksville began as a settlement along the banks of the Cumberland and Red Rivers by Revolutionary War hero John Montgomery in the early 1780's. In 1785, Clarksville became Tennessee's first incorporated city.

Get in[edit]

Clarksville is conveniently located on I-24, at the Tennessee-Kentucky border, just 40 minutes from Nashville International Airport. Interstate exits 1, 4, 8 and 11 serve as city gateways. Several US and state highways also intertwine throughout the city, making the community easily accessible from any direction.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

From the countryside to the riverside, the great outdoors or indoors, visitors to Clarksville have discovered top-quality amenities and natural resources that provide something enjoyable for most everyone. As Tennessee's oldest incorporated city, the community is steeped in history. Celebrating the heritage of the Cumberland River and its rich tobacco trade, unique downtown architecture and a living-history pioneer settlement are a few ways that Clarksville showcases the significance of its past.

Coupled with the city's fascinating history is a present-day community that is a progressive, vibrant and culturally diverse. The influence of Austin Peay State University, a regional liberal arts campus, and Fort Campbell, home of the 101st Airborne Division's Screaming Eagles, is evidenced through performing arts, festivals and events, shopping and dining.

Read on and explore what thousands of leisure travelers, groups and all sorts of event participants have discovered: Clarksville's hospitality, central location, scenic beauty and abundance of family-friendly attractions provide an enjoyable and memorable experience!

Historic Downtown[edit]

Restored brick sidewalks and intersections, period lighting, benches and planters, the Franklin Street thoroughfare represents the centerpiece of a re-emerging downtown district. Explore the area at your leisure by taking the self-guided Walk Clarksville tour. The area features:

  • Shopping at a number of antique shops and boutiques.
  • Locally-owned restaurants offering everything from gourmet pizzas and burgers to German cuisine.
  • Professional productions at a 1940's modern art theatre.
  • Stunning architecture dating to the early 1850's.
  • Austin Peay State University, Emerald Hill and Archwood, one of the cities finest representations of Italianate Revival architecture, as well as the Mabel Larson Gallery.
  • Public Art scattered throughout downtown.
  • Cumberland RiverWalk, McGregor Park, Riverside Drive, 931-645-7476. Any season of the year, the Cumberland RiverWalk is a site to behold. The 15-acre park features a RiverCenter with permanent historical displys, a playground, performance stages, picnic areas, and amphitheatre and a pedestrian over walk to historic downtown Clarksville. From events like summer's Riverfest of winter's Christmas on the Cumberland to meandering walks adorned by spellbinding sunsets and colorful autumn foliage, the Cumberland RiverWalk offers something for the entire family all year long.
  • Historic Collinsville, 4711 Weakley Road, Southside, 931-648-9141, [2]. Hours: May 17-October 14, Th-Su 1PM-5PM. Other times/dates by appointment. Sprawled over 40 rolling acres, Historic Collinsville is a restored pioneer settlement featuring outbuildings that date from 1830 - 1870. The 30-minute drive from downtown along winding rural backroads provides some of the best countryside scenery in Montgomery County and makes the trip an experience of its own. Scheduled special events make the visit even more educational costumed docents perform day-to-day takes. The grounds include picnic areas and walking trails. Admission Charged.
  • Beachaven Winery, 1110 Dunlop Lane, 931-645-8867, [3]. Hours: May-Sept, M-Sa 9AM-7PM, Su Noon-5PM,; Oct.-April, M- Sa 9AM-5PM, Su Noon-5PM. Enjoy free tours and tastings at one of Tennessee's foremost commercial wineries. Known for production award wining wines and champagnes, Beachaven provides a glimpse into the centuries old art of wine making. Hundreds of distinctive gift items and a large shaded picnic area ensure that your visit is complete. Free.
  • Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum, Tennessee Avenue, Building 5702, Fort Campbell, 270-798-3215, [4]. Hours: 9:30AM-4:3OPM, M-Sa. Closed Sundays, and Christmas and New Years. The Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum, located within Fort Campbell, traces the history of the "Screaming Eagles" from World War II engagements to Vietnam to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Just outside the museum, various aircraft, military equipment and monuments are on display. These massive machines are sure to capture the imagination of every child and child-at-heart. Free.
  • Customs House Museum & Cultural Center, 200 S. 2nd Street, 931-648-5780, [5]. *Hours: Tu- Sa 10:00AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Closed Mon. tennessee's second largest general museum, the Customs House Museum is a "must" for family and history buffs alike. Built in 1898 for the flourishing tobacco trade, this architectually fascinating structure is one of the region's most photographed buildings. Located in the heart of the historic downtown district, the Center features both permanent and rotating exhibits and an Explorer's Floor - a special area for the entire family to solve puzzles and play games. Admission Charged.
  • Roxy Regional Theatre, 100 Franklin St., 931-645-7699, [6]. The Roxy Regional Theatre, Clarksville's oldest professional theatre, offers patrons a combination of professional company shows and community offerings. Housing in a 1947 art modern theatre, the Roxy produces 10 mainstage productions annually. the Roxy's "Other Space" produces four new scripts a year in its 40 seat black-box theatre.


  • Emerald Hill Mansion, 751 N. 2nd St., 931-221-7979. Hours: M-F 9AM-4PM. This building began as a farmhouse in the 1820's and has undergone two major renovations in 1900 and 1909. Containing many of the original furnishings, it is currently the home for the Pace Alumni Center at Emerald Hill-Alumni Relations and Development Offices of the Austin Peay State University. Free.
  • Fort Defiance, End of Walker Street, New Providence Area, 931-648-5780. Hours: Daily, Dawn-Dusk. Fort Defiance is a well-preserved Civil War outpost used by the Confederate Army. Overlooking both the Cumberland and Red Rivers, Fort Defiance was surrendered without a shot by the Confederates following the fall of Fort Donelson.
  • L & N Train Station, Commerce and 10th Streets, 931-553-2486. Hours: Tu,Th,Sa 9AM-1PM. Built in 1890, the L & N Train Station is the scene for the [Monkees'] hit, Last Train To Clarksville. This was once one of the busiest locations in Clarksville, with soldiers and civilians departing and arriving daily.
  • Mabel Larson Gallery, Harned Hall, Austin Peay Campus, 931-221-7333. Hours: M-F 8AM-5PM. Mabel Larson Gallery is house in Harned Hall on the campus of Austin Peay State University. On exhibition is selected art from the University's permanent art collection.
  • Public Square / Eternal Flame, Between Franklin and Main Streets, Downtown, 931-645-7444. Free. The facade of the former City Hall Building with it sweeping Romanesque arch was constructed in 1941, although the building is much older. Erected in the median in 2004, an Enternal Flame stands to honor the sacrifices of soldiers and their families.
  • Millennium Plaza & Public Art, 1 Millennium Plaza, 931-648-5787. The Montgomery County Courthouse and Courts Center feature photographic displays illustrating Montgomery county's fascinating history and heritage. In addition to the bronze fountain in the Millennium Plaza, two bronze statues are located at 1st and Franklin Streets and 2nd and Commerce Streets. A mural depicting Clarksville architecture is located on Franklin Street. Free.
  • Sevier Station, 120 Duncan St Clarksville, TN 37040, (931) 472-3351. This site is where Fort Defiance stood during the Civil War before the Confederate forces burned it down. It was initially built by the Confederacy and captured by the Union in 1862. The outer earthworks are still in great condition and gun platforms are even still discernible.
  • Smith-Trahern Mansion, 1st & McClure Streets, 931-648-9998. Hours: Weekdays, 9:30AM-2:30PM. Evenings and weekends by appointment. Built in 1858 by wealthy tobacconist Christopher Smith, this materpiece overlooks the Cumberland River. Constructed during the troubled Pre-Civil War era, the home reflects the transition between Greek Revival and Italianate styles, which were so popular at that time. The home boasts grand hallways, an exquisite curved staircase and a "widow's walk" on the roof. In March 1988, the Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Admission Charged.
  • Wilma Rudolph Statue, McGregor Park, Riverside Drive, 931-645-7476. To honor one of America's most outstanding Olympic atheletes and her legacy, a bronze statue of Clarksville native Wilma Rudolph was hand-crafted in her likeness by local sculptor Howard Brown. The statue of her three-time gold medalist resides at the base of the Pedestrian overpass at College Street and Riverside Drive. Free

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Clarksville StormPay.com Speedway, 1600 Needmore Rd., 931-645-2523. Hours: F,Sa nights, March-October. 1/8 mile Drag Races for bracket racing on Friday nights. 1/4 mile high bank clay oval track for late model, open wheel, mini sprint, pro-street, street stock and mini-mode cars. Fenced park area for children. Admission charged.
  • Dunbar Cave State Natural Area, 401 Old Dunbar Cave Rd., 931-648-5526, [7]. Hours: Park open daily 8AM-sunset. Visitor Center Daily 8AM-4:30PM. Tours by appointment. This 110-acre park is one of Clarksville's most scenic areas. The cave and surroundings were a mineral springs resort at the turn of the century. In the 1930's and 40's, the huge cave entrance served as a naturally air-conditioned venue to Big Band performances. Later, the cave was owned by country music legend Roy Acuff and hosted some of Nashville's biggest names in entertainment. Admission to park: Free. The cave is closed except for paid guided tours. However, these tours have been suspended indefinitely. The grounds have several hiking trails, ranging between just over a half-mile loop and just under a two-mile loop. Fishing is allowed on premises, but not swimming or boating due to the lake’s small nature.
  • Historic Downtown Walking & Driving Tours, 931-647-2331. See the best of historic downtown Clarksville and it perimeter through self-guidd walking or driving tours. Brochure maps are available at the Visitor Information Center, Chamber of Commerce, Customs House Museum, Montgomery County Courthouse, and Cumberland RiverCenter.
  • Swan Lake Sports Complex, 2002 Sanders Rd Clarskville, TN 37043, (931) 647-6511. Wide range of sports in this center. It includes several softball fields, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a playground, and a large pool. Encompassing over 50 acres.

Golf[edit]

Clarksville is a golfer's paradise witha climate that makes golf virtually a year round sport. "11th Best City in the U.S. for Public Golf" by Golf Digest, Clarksville courses offer beautiful greens at affordable prices.

  • Clarksville Country Club, 224 Fairway Drive, Clarksville, 931-647-5674.
  • Cole Park, 1610 101st Airborne Division Blvd, Ft. Campbell, KY, 270-798-4906.
  • Eastland Green, 550 Clubhouse Lane, Clarksvile, 931-358-9051.
  • Eastland Green South, 4674 Sango Road, Clarksville, 931-358-9052.
  • Mason Rudolph, 1514 Golf Club Lane, Clarksville, 931-645-7479.
  • Swan Lake, 581 Dunbar Cave Rd, Clarksville, 931-648-0479.

Bowling[edit]

Clarksville has a variety of bowling centers to choose from with standard to black light bowling. All offer bowling times and shoe rentals. The centers also offer snack bars and evening entertainment. Call the centers for open times and events.

  • East Gate Bowling Center, 1770 Madison St., Clarksville, 931-647-6541.
  • Hooper Bowling Center, 5380 Tennessee Ave., Ft. Campbell, KY, 931-431-6347.
  • The Pinnacle Family Entertainment Center, 430 Warfield Blvd., Clarksville, 931-647-2695.
  • Skyline Lanes, 201 Kraft St., Clarksville, 931-645-2456.

Water Sports[edit]

The bounty of the Cumberland and Red Rivers is a haven for water enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy water skiing, jet skis fishing or just cruising the river, the area offers a beautiful setting for fun in the sun. The area's Cumberland River was named on of the top catfishing spots in the U.S. by Field and Stream.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Whether your preference is a large department store or a unique bargain haven - or something in between - Clarksville offers a full gamut of shopping opportunities. Some widely recognized anchor stores in or around Governor's Square Mall include Border's, Old Navy, T.J. Maxx, Hobby Lobby, PetSmart, and Linens & Things. If antique hunting is your ideal excursion, or you're looking for a truly unique gift or collectible, Clarksville has lots to offer in the historic downtown district or along Fort Campbell Boulevard. Fireworks can be purchased along main roads of Tennessee, and particularly on Fort Campbell Blvd. There are dozens of tents and full firework stores as you travel down the road. Fireworks are legal in Tennessee.

  • Briar & Bean of Clarksville, 105 Fairview Ln Clarksville, TN 37040, (931) 552-6465. This is a coffeehouse featuring a smoking room in the back of the house. It has moved from the mall and is now a stand-alone location. They sell fine handmade cigars and there is a gift shop with flasks, pipes, and other tobacco paraphernalia. Coffee products are extensive and they have many gourmet options besides the standard hot cup of joe.
  • CD Warehouse, 1631 Fort Campbell Blvd Clarksville, TN 37042, (931) 920-0051. This retro nook is great for buying and selling all types of music and films, or just plain browsing. They carry both new and pre-owned items like CD's and vinyl records if you are looking for music and DVD's and VHS tapes if you are looking for films. They are also home to video games dating back to Super Nintendo. Average prices and a lot of fun to look around in!
  • Governor's Square Mall, 2801 Wilma-Rudolph Blvd Clarksville, TN 37040, (931) 552-0289. Besides a movie theatre with reasonable pricing and many dining options, this moderately-sized mall has plenty of shopping options. Dillard's, Sears, Belk, and JC Penney are the present department stores. There is a standard set of other stores including beauty/health stores, children's stores, men's/women's stores, sports stores, electronics stores, craft stores, home stores, and even Firestone Auto Care. 

Eat[edit][add listing]

Clarskville is home to every major American chain and Southern chains as well. Sonic Drive-In restaurants and Waffle House restaurants can be found in abundance along with Popeye’s, Charlie’s Subs, Chik-fil-A, Jack-in-the-Box, Long John Silvers, and Five Guys Burgers and Fries fast food chains. Smoking is still allowed in some sections of certain establishments.

  • Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake, 1571 Fort Campbell Blvd Clarksville, TN 37042, (931) 55-2210. <http://papamurphys.com/Home> This pizza restaurant prepares the food right in front of you for you to take home and cook, and everything is very fresh and clean. They proudly offer a military discount. Everything is delicious!
  • Robyn’s Diner, 110 Dean Road Clarksville, TN 37040, (931) 647-8990. This diner doesn’t have a website but is noted by many locals and visitors. The service is top-notch and prices are low, always under $10 per entree. They are closed on Sundays. On open days, they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner foods all day.
  • Sam's Gyros Cafe, 3095 Fort Campbell Blvd Ste H Clarksville, TN 37042, (931) 431-4886. This casual cafe offers tasty gyros among other menu items in very large portions. There is no website or menu offered online, but the pricing is relatively low. It is a great value for your money. The location is great, being on a main road of the area with lots of shopping and sight-seeing around.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Blackhorse Pub & Brewery, 132 Franklin St., Clarksville, TN, 931-552-3726. Get the pretzels with the beer cheese dip and the Whitehorse pizza. There are many different unique Blackhorse beers available as well as more well-known bottled beers.  edit
  • The Coup, 1148 College St Clarksville, TN 37043, (931) 292-2687. A little bit of a grungy place, The Coup is all about music. They have a full bar and a vegan-friendly menu, which is unique to the area. Live indie bands play and the scene is far from mainstream.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • America's Best Inn, 3080 Wilma Rudolf Blvd., +1 931 648-8800, Fax: +1 931 920-3400, [8].
  • Best Western Executive Inn, 250 Holiday Drive, +1 931 552-3330, Fax: +1 931 552-3485, [9].
  • Clarksville Microtel Inn & Suites, 241 Holiday Drive, +1 931 905-1505, Fax: +1 931 905-2505, [10].
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Clarksville, 110 Westfield Court, +1 931 551-3200, Fax: +1 931 551-4066, [11].
  • Holiday Inn, 3095 Wilma Rudolph Blvd., +1 931 648-4848, [12].
  • Holiday Inn Express, 700 Sango Road, +1 931 358-5800, [13].
  • MainStay Suites Fort Campbell, 115 Fairbrook Place, +1 931 648-3400, [14].
  • Ramada Limited, 3100 Wilma Rudolph Blvd, +1 931-552-0098, [15].

Get out[edit]

Just a few miles away is the beautiful national park Land Between the Lakes, (situated between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley) which annually draws multitudes of sportsman & vacationers from all around the country.

Great Family activities in Land Between the Lakes include the Woodland's Nature Station, the Homeplace, and the Elk and Bison Prairie.

The Nature Station, which has 43 species of native animal is a great family activity. Animal programs are conducted daily and the Nature Station hosts amazing weekend kids events, like the Cool and Crawly Critter Weekend. The Homeplace is an 1850's living farm with a homestead and fully functional farm. The Elk and Bison Prairie is a drive through attraction that lets you get up close to the largest animals in Land Between the Lake.


Routes through Clarksville
PaducahGrand Rivers  N noframe S  NashvilleChattanooga




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