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6 Cool Things to Do Near Bonnaroo That Won't Break the Bank

Updated on February 7, 2017
Kim Bryan profile image

I'm a Tennessee-based freelance writer with a passion for true crime, a thirst for knowledge, and an obsession with lists.

Some of you read the title and thought, "Who needs a break from the music?" Believe it or not, some folks do. The loud music, bright lights, stifling humidity, and crowds can be a little overwhelming to some and they just need to get away for a little while.

Inside the gates of Great Stage Park, it can be easy to forget you're on a farm in the middle of nowhere. So what is one to do when they need to escape for a bit but don't have a lot to spend? As a life-long resident of the area, I have the answer.

Manchester Recreational Complex
Manchester Recreational Complex | Source

1. Manchester Recreational Complex

Because I know many of you found this article because you're looking for ideas to beat the heat and humidity, I want to tell you about the Manchester Recreational Complex first.

This recent addition to the city offers visitors use of a gymnasium. yoga and aerobics rooms, two racquetball courts, an indoor walking track, two indoor pools, and an outdoor pool featuring a lazy river, water slides, an aquatics playground, and designated area for toddlers.

Admission to the complex and use of all of its features is $6 per visit. A ten visit pass is available for $35.

Old Stone Fort Archaeological State Park
Old Stone Fort Archaeological State Park | Source

2. Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park

For 500 years Native Americans lived on and worked the land now known as Old Stone Fort State Park. Visitors can visit a thousands year-old mound now used as a free museum with site information and shaded walking/biking trails which leads to beautiful waterfalls. These waters serve as a popular swimming hole for locals during the summer. There is no fee to enter the park.

Rutledge Falls
Rutledge Falls | Source

3. Rutledge Falls

Just a few miles off Highway 55 between Manchester and Tullahoma, Rutledge Falls offers a perfect summer escape. The cold waters of the falls and crisp waters below are a favorite swimming hole for locals during the summer.

To get to the falls, type in the address of Rutledge Falls Baptist Church (see map below) into your maps app. Go 0.1 mile past the church to a small gravel road on your right, marked by a white wooden fence.

While Rutledge Falls is open to the public - at no cost, it is on private property. Please do not abuse our privileges and obey the posted rules.

Beans Creek Winery
Beans Creek Winery

4. Beans Creek Winery

Just outside the park gates is the combined efforts of nine local families, Beans Creek Winery. Tours are offered 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. These folks are so passionate about their award winning wines, there is no fee for the tour of facility.

5. Jack Daniel's Distillery

Jack Daniels is one of North America's leading makers of whiskey and it's all done just a few miles down the road from Bonnaroo.

Two years after he learned the art of making whiskey from a Lincoln County preacher, Jack Daniels opened his now famous distillery. Today it's open to the public for tours.

A menu of tours are available, vary in length from half an hour to three hours; the latter includes a visit to the distillery's restaurant. Included with every tour is a sampling of whiskey to guests age 21 and over.

Cumberland Caverns
Cumberland Caverns | Source

6. Cumberland Caverns

Just a 30 minute drive from the park, Cumberland Caverns is a perfect place to get away from the heat and crowds with its year-round 56 degrees (Fahrenheit).

America's second largest commercial cave was discovered in 1810 when Aaron Higgenbotham was surveying the Choctaw Trail. Since then, the caverns have played an active role in the War of 1812, the Civil War, and housing Prohibition Era illegal distilleries.

Today, Cumberland Caverns is open daily for tours. Check out the kayaking and caving packages available at Smooth Rapids to add a little excitement to your spelunking adventure.

Manchester Recreational Complex:
Manchester Recreation Complex, 557 N Woodland St, Manchester, TN 37355, USA

get directions

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park:
Old Stone Fort State Park, 732 Stone Fort Dr, Manchester, TN 37355, USA

get directions

Rutledge Falls:
1289 Rutledge Falls Rd, Tullahoma, TN 37388, USA

get directions

Beans Creek Winery:
426 Ragsdale Rd, Manchester, TN 37355, USA

get directions


Jack Daniel's Distillery:
133 Lynchburg Hwy, Lynchburg, TN 37352, USA

get directions


Cumberland Caverns:
1437 Cumberland Caverns Rd, McMinnville, TN 37110, USA

get directions


© 2017 Kim Bryan


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