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Bonnaroo Music Festival: A Lodging, Restaurant, and Shopping Guide for Manchester, TN

Updated on October 12, 2012

Bonnaroo Music Festival

Enjoying The Zac Brown Band at the 2010 Bonnaroo Music Festival
Enjoying The Zac Brown Band at the 2010 Bonnaroo Music Festival | Source

A Travel Guide to Manchester, TN

Born and raised in Manchester, TN, it is still hard for me to believe when someone actually recognizes my hometown's name. It is definitely that typical small town - you know the kind where everyone knows your name. If you had ever asked me back in the day if major celebrities and musical artists ever visited our town, I probably would have laughed and said not a chance. Of course, today is a much different story. There is usually not much to do in this part of middle Tennessee 361 days of the year. Then you have those special four days where over 100,000 people from all over the world come to Manchester to attend the Bonnaroo Music Festival.

What is the Bonnaroo Music Festival?

Bonnaroo is a four day music festival held on a huge 700 acre farm in Manchester, TN. No matter what kind of music you are into, this festival hosts a variety of artists ranging from rock to country to folk and everything in between. With four main stages and many other special tents set up on the farm, a different genre of music and many other fun activities can be enjoyed at any hour day or night. To get the most out of your Bonnaroo experience, a camping area with RV access is set up outside the main gates so you never have to leave the festival area.

But what if you don't want to camp or just want to venture outside of the gated area to our great little hometown? What kind of lodging does Manchester offer? Where can you pick up more food or toiletries? Where are the best places to eat? If you are asking some of these questions, here is a handy guide to our small town.

100,000+ People Enjoy Bonnaroo

Lay back and enjoy the music!
Lay back and enjoy the music! | Source

Fun at Bonnaroo

You never know what you are going to see at Bonnaroo. Here my favorite "Rooer" sporting a tutu!
You never know what you are going to see at Bonnaroo. Here my favorite "Rooer" sporting a tutu! | Source

Local Campgrounds

Don't feel like camping with all the other Bonnaroo attendees? There are other camping options in the Manchester area:

  • KOA Campground - 586 Campground Rd Manchester, TN 37355
  • Barton Springs Campground - 158 Barton Springs Rd Normandy, TN 37360

Lodging in Manchester, TN

Strangely for a small town, Manchester has 18 hotels to choose from. This may stem from the fact that we have four exits off of I-24 and that we are a good halfway point for those who live in the north traveling south to the beach.

Whatever the reason, if you are even thinking about reserving a hotel room, you better make the reservations as soon as possible. Most of these rooms get booked as soon as Bonnaroo announces the festival dates. Here is a list of hotels that you can try:

  • Comfort Suites
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Microtel Inn & Suites
  • Sleep Inn & Suites
  • Comfort Inn
  • Country Inn & Suites
  • Quality Inn
  • Ambassador Inn & Luxury Suites
  • Hampton Inn
  • Greeneleafe Inn
  • Super 8
  • Days Inn & Suites
  • America's Best Value Inn
  • Scottish Inn
  • Best Western Old Fort Motor Inn
  • Econo Lodge
  • Knights Inn
  • Manchester Motel

I wish you the best of luck if you are trying to book a hotel room for the event. If you don't have any luck reserving a room, broaden your hotel search to include the seven counties (Bedford, Cannon, Franklin, Grundy, Moore, Rutherford, and Warren) surrounding Manchester and the Coffee County area.

Grocery Stores and Restaurants

show route and directions
A markerWalmart -
2518 Hillsboro Blvd, Manchester, TN 37355, USA
get directions

B markerFood Lion -
944 Hillsboro Blvd, Manchester, TN 37355, USA
get directions

C markerJ&G Pizza & Steak House -
520 McMinnville Hwy, Manchester, TN 37355, USA
get directions

D markerJiffy Burger -
1001 Hillsboro Blvd, Manchester, TN 37355, USA
get directions

E markerEl Molcajete -
1308 Hillsboro Blvd, Manchester, TN 37355, USA
get directions

Shopping in Manchester, TN

Hopefully you are not looking for places to shop for clothes, because unfortunately, we do not have a mall in our small town. If you need to pick up the neccessities such as food, water, toiletries, or just more beer, feel free to shop at any of our convenience stores/gas stations located at every corner of town. If you want a larger selection of items and willing to fight the large crowds, you have two choices in the town of Manchester - Walmart or Food Lion.

Restaurants in Manchester, TN

As far as fast food restaurants goes for the south, you name it - Manchester probably has it. Off exit 114 on I-24 we have McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Subway, Arby's and so many more. If you are looking for nicer, sit down chains we have O'Charley's and Logan's off that same exit.

If you enjoy eating at the local favorite hometown restaurants, here are my top three picks for the Manchester area and a few suggestions of what to order. You can usually eat at any of these restaurants for $5 - $10 per meal.

  1. J&G Pizza & Steak House - This restaurant has a wonderful mix of Greek and Italian food. If you visit, I suggest one of their delicious pizzas or mouth watering cheesesteak sandwiches. They also have steak, shishkabobs, chicken, and pasta dishes. I worked at this restaurant for several years and let me assure you everything on the menu is great!
  2. Jiffy Burger - If you are in the mood for a great cheeseburger and batter dipped fries, this is the place you need to go. Seriously, hands down this is the best burger place in town! You will also enjoy looking at some of the antiques and pictures of Manchester history on the walls of the restaurant.
  3. El Molcajete - If you are craving some mexican food, this one is my favorite in Manchester. You will definitely have to try out the fajitas or chimichangas - two of my favorites. Don't forget to try out a frozen margarita or two! There is a great outdoor patio to enjoy your meal if the weather permits.

Highlights of Bonnaroo 2010 - My Favorite Year of this Music Festival

Celebrating our Anniversary at Bonnaroo

My husband and I celebrating our wedding anniversary at Bonnaroo!
My husband and I celebrating our wedding anniversary at Bonnaroo! | Source

The Experience of Bonnaroo

Out of the past 10 years, I have had the pleasure of attending the Bonnaroo Music Festival five times. Many have complained that the festival has become too commercial, but I believe that this event has gotten better each year I have attended. The headliners have become more well known, while still keeping true to highlighting the up and coming musical artists. Bonnaroo is truely a once in a lifetime experience.

Once you have purchased your tickets for the upcoming June event, be sure to take advantage of the spots I highlighted in Manchester. Whether you need a place to stay, eat, or shop, my hometown will be happy to assist you with any and all of your needs.

I hope this guide has been helpful in finding your lodging, restaurant, and shopping needs in Manchester, TN. If you have any other questions or comments about my hometown, please feel free to add these in the comment section below. Enjoy yourself at this year's Bonnaroo Music Festival!

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This looks like an exciting adventure and one that will prove worthwhile. I love Tennessee with all its mountains and valleys. It looks like this is in summer so I am sure the weather would be just right compared to the rest of the nation. You've listed some great restaurant choices (I am leaning towards the Mexican) and the hotel options are many. Looks like a great time is to be had for all.

    • alissaroberts profile image
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      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Bonnaroo is alot of fun. I don't think I could camp out there all four days but I do enjoy going out to listen to all the great music. It's funny that you chose the Mexican restaurant because we just ate their last night and it was so good! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

    • AtlasSue profile image

      AtlasSue 2 years ago

      I'll tell you what! I just wrote a hub on Bonnaroo and volunteering there. I am not a camping type person, but when you camp out on site and rough out the heat, in the end its totally worth it and adds to the overall experience! Awesome Hub!

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