Things To Do in Crossville, Tennessee

Nestled on the Cumberland Plateau in east Tennessee, Crossville offers visitors a surprising variety of attractions, recreation and entertainment for a small city. From museums and golfing to lively downtown shopping and dining, Crossville overflows with rewarding things to experience. The natural beauty of the surrounding Cumberland County also beckons outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in adventures. Whether you seek culture, nature, or just friendly local charm, you’re sure to appreciate the diverse array of things to do in Crossville, Tennessee.

What to Do in Crossville

Play Golf on Award-Winning Courses

Crossville brands itself the “Golf Capital of Tennessee” with 10 top-ranked courses in the area, earning it accolades like being named among America’s Top 75 Golf Destinations. Play a round surrounded by the breathtaking plateau scenery at Stonehenge Golf Club, designed by golf legend Greg Norman and home to the annual National Tom Sawyer Days Invitational. Heatherhurst Country Club features lush Kentucky bluegrass and manicured bentgrass greens. River Run Golf Course offers a scenic layout following the Obey River with limestone rock walls and mature forests throughout. With so many pristine courses, it’s easy to see why golf has thrived in Crossville for nearly a century.

Visit the Cumberland County Playhouse

Known for outstanding musical and theatrical productions, the Cumberland County Playhouse offers big city entertainment with small town charm. This professional performing arts center puts on lavish Broadway musicals, comedies and dramas in two indoor theaters. During summer months, enjoy concerts under the stars at the outdoor amphitheater. See a Christmas show during the festive season. With acclaimed shows, talented performers and welcoming hospitality, an evening at the Cumberland Playhouse promises smiles and inspiration.

Explore the Obed Wild and Scenic River

Just north of Crossville lies the Obed Wild and Scenic River, perfect for scenic float trips, hiking, fishing and climbing amid unspoiled wilderness. Gentle Class I and II rapids make rafting or kayaking the Obed enjoyable for beginners and families. Hike through old-growth forests along the Point Trail to vista overlooks. Try your hand trout fishing as you soak up the peaceful atmosphere. With so much outdoor recreation set against stunning backdrops, the Obed River provides an easily accessible wilderness escape just minutes from Crossville.

What to See in Crossville

Cumberland County History Museum

This museum located inside the historic Crossville Railroad Depot chronicles the county’s fascinating past and culture. Peruse collections related to Native American heritage, pioneering settlers, the lumber industry, and Crossville as a railroad town. See relics from the Civil War battle fought at nearby Dyersburg. Other exhibits feature vintage clothing fashions, antique vehicles, indigenous wildlife, and a replica of Martin Gage’s revolutionary log cabin. After your visit, enjoy an ice cream treat from the Frosty Favorites old-fashioned soda fountain inside the depot.

Cumberland Homesteads Museum

During the Depression, the federal government created Cumberland Homesteads resettlement community near Crossville as an experiment in cooperative living and rural planning. Today the historic buildings that remain have been converted into a museum showcasing artifacts of rural life in the 1930s. Wander through the charming cabins, schoolhouse, flick house, auditorium and typical homestead house while learning about the social history of Tennessee’s planned communities. Talk with costumed interpreters demonstrating traditional crafts like quilting or blacksmithing.

Gallery at the Carnegie

Housed in Crossville’s historic 1908 Carnegie Library, the Gallery at the Carnegie exhibits artworks from local, regional and national artists. Mediums on display range from paintings to mixed media, sculpture, pottery, photography and fiber art. The gallery serves as an arts hub, hosting regular exhibitions, artist receptions, art classes, lectures and community events like live music performances all open to the public. Browse the latest creations while admiring the graceful Carnegie building architecture.

Where to Eat and Drink in Crossville

  • Palace Cafe – Diners flock for delicious Southern comfort food like fried chicken, country fried steak, mac and cheese, and turnip greens served in a casual, welcoming atmosphere. Don’t miss their famous coconut cream pie.
  • Grinder House – Made-from-scratch pizzas, subs piled sky-high with quality meats and cheeses, wings, salads and more keep this casual joint hopping. Locals rave about the freshness.
  • Romo’s Mexican Resturant – Enjoy all your Tex-Mex and Mexican favorites like enchiladas, fajitas, tacos, and Margaritas made with care at this cheerful family restaurant.
  • Café 27 – Coffeehouse by day, wine bar by night, with paninis, crepes, pastries, tapas, craft beers and regular live music. Relaxing vibe.
  • Frosty’s Frozen Yogurt and Coffee – Build your own creamy yogurt creation from over 20 rotating flavors and 50+ toppings. Located in the historic Crossville Depot.

Where to Shop in Crossville

Downtown Crossville offers a nice collection of boutiques, gift shops and specialty stores.

  1. Teri’s Log Cabin Gifts – Rustic home décor, gourmet food items, jewelry, quilts, blankets and more handcrafted by regional artisans.
  2. Kilgore’s – Old-fashioned candy store brimming with sweets like homemade fudge, giant lollipops, and every nostalgic treat imaginable.
  3. The Craft Corner – Local crafters sell jewelry, pottery, paintings, candles, photographs, quilts and more at this downtown maker’s collective.
  4. Antique City – Antique mall with treasures from over 90 dealers, including furniture, china, toys, books, jewelry, glassware, art and collectibles.

Where to Stay in Crossville

  • Copper Basin Inn – Charming log lodge rooms and cabins on a scenic country property with an outdoor pool, fishing pond, and complimentary breakfast.
  • Lake Tansi Village Resort – Spacious cottages and villas overlooking the lake, with a private beach, indoor and outdoor pools.
  • Hampton Inn – Reliable, affordable chain hotel with complimentary breakfast, fitness facilities, outdoor pool and tennis courts.
  • Crossville RV Park – Nicely landscaped campground with full hook-ups and amenities like a clubhouse, laundry, pool, and mini golf course.

How to Get to Crossville

By car: Crossville sits at the intersection of Interstates 40 and 65, making it an easily accessed east Tennessee destination. It’s about a 2 hour drive east from Nashville or 2 hours north of Chattanooga.

From Nashville: Take I-40 East 75 miles before exiting onto Highway 127 South into Crossville.

From Chattanooga: Take I-75 North to I-40 West, continuing on I-40 into Crossville, approximately 120 miles total.

By air: The nearest major airport is Nashville International Airport (BNA), located 75 miles west of Crossville. Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) is 95 miles away.

By bus: Greyhound provides bus service to Crossville from Nashville, with transfers available from nationwide locations.

So whether you love arts, history, outdoor adventures, or golfing spectacular courses, Crossville delivers a welcoming small town atmosphere coupled with things to do suited for just about every interest.

Final Thoughts

Boasting natural splendor, cultural attractions, and no shortage of recreation, Crossville, Tennessee proves an ideal home base for experiencing the Cumberland Plateau’s charms. Marvel at the artistic talents on display at the Cumberland County Playhouse and Gallery at the Carnegie. Learn about bygone eras while exploring the Cumberland Homesteads and county history museums. Tackle championship golf courses blessed with breathtaking scenery. Find boating, hiking, and climbing opportunities around the wild Obed River. Crossville’s friendly atmosphere, walkable downtown, and scenic setting beside massive Lake Tansi make enjoying all these attractions easy and memorable. With its diversity of museums, performing arts, outdoor assets, and accessibility off I-40, Crossville offers big city fun with small town warmth.