11 Best Things to Do in Hendersonville, Tennessee

Twenty miles northeast of Nashville, Hendersonville, Tennessee is a destination on its own.

Hendersonville, Tennessee
Photo: Memories by Murray

The largest city in Tennessee's Sumner County, with 58,000 residents, is located along the Cumberland River and Old Hickory Lake. It's only 20 miles northeast of Nashville but has plenty of attractions to make it worth a visit as a day trip or an overnight destination on its own, from Historic Rock Castle to Hendersonville Memory Gardens, local boutiques, a homegrown brewery, tasty restaurants and more. Don't miss the chance to stay in Spring Haven Mansion, a favorite of Taylor Swift's. Here's what to add to your list when visiting Hendersonville, Tennessee.

What to Do

Veterans Park is a great stop to add to your agenda if you want to spend some quality time outdoors in Hendersonville, especially if you have children in tow. It's home to walking trails, bike trails, picnic tables, baseball fields and even a skate park, along with the area's first all-inclusive playground, Mary's Magical Place.

Marys Magical Place
Marys Magical Place. Richard Suter Photography

Hendersonville is known as the "City by the Lake," and the body of water that refers to is Old Hickory Lake. Many country music stars own homes on the lake, including the late Johnny Cash, who had a 14,000-square-foot home on the water. Book a floating tiki bar experience with Cruisin' Tikis to get out on the water and enjoy the day. Rather stay land side? Check out one of six different parks around the lake.

Homeowner boats and docks on Old Hickory Lak
Education Images/Getty

Built by Daniel Smith, a surveyor from North Carolina who's credited with creating the first map of Tennessee, Historic Rock Castle is the oldest home in the state — and incredibly, remains in the same condition in which it was originally built. Many events are hosted here, but visit anytime to take a tour of the home, explore the surrounding gardens, check out the visitor's center, have a picnic or walk through the historic cemetery.

Rock Castle
Memories by Murray

Visit the graves of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, along with several other music icons, at Hendersonville Memory Gardens. It's not as morbid as it sounds: Fans from around the world have come here to pay their respects, leaving behind an interesting collection of items from guitar picks to coins.

Hendersonville Memory Gardens
Richard Suter

The premier art gallery in Sumner County, Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center has various exhibits throughout the year that are worth checking out. Built in the 1800s, the historic home it's housed in has important ties to the Civil War, which you can learn about inside. Check the center's website for information on frequent events and upcoming exhibitions.

Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center
Courtesy of Sumner County Tourism

Where to Shop

For a wide range of home goods, women's apparel, jewelry from brands like Pandora and Kendra Scott, and adorable gifts, visit Trendy Trunk. The local boutique is owned by Dana Williams, wife of a member of the country music group Diamond Rio. Want to take a piece of Tennessee home with you? Pick up cute stationery, candles, magnets, placemats, food items and more made locally.

Trendy Trunk
Trendy Trunk. Memories by Murray

Bates Boutique specializes in helping women find clothing they'll feel confident in, with uniquely curated collections for teachers, working from home, pool time, running errands and even dressing for a Nashville concert (cue the sparkly skirts and statement jean jackets).

Modeling Bates Boutique
Bates Boutique. Courtesy of Bates Boutique

Where to Eat and Drink

Half Batch Brewing, Hendersonville's first and only brewery, serves up delicious locally crafted brews at area events and their taproom on Main Street. Try ales like the Cheeky Pete, with toasty malt flavors, or Two Foot, a refreshing cream ale, and scoop up a six-pack to take home on your way out of town.

Half Batch Brewing
Half Batch Brewing. Courtesy of Sumner County Tourism

Originally in downtown Nashville, Sea Salt relocated to Hendersonville to become a friendly neighborhood spot — and that's exactly what they've created at their location on Indian Lake Boulevard, open seven nights a week. Grab a reservation here to feast on ocean-to-table cuisine like fresh oysters, scallops and the catch of the day, and enjoy a lively piano bar while you dine.

Sea Salt interior
Sea Salt. Memories by Murray

Named after President Andrew Jackson's adopted son, the laidback Lyncoya Café is a local favorite dining spot famous for its poutine, but you can't go wrong with its firecracker chicken, flavorful salads, perfectly grilled steaks and decadent brownies.

Lyncoya Cafe salad
Lyncoya Cafe salad. Memories by Murray

Where to Stay

Spring Haven Mansion was built nearly two centuries ago as a private estate and today serves as a place to stay and an event venue. The home's Instagrammable grounds even caught the eye of recording artist Taylor Swift, who once had a photoshoot on the swing outside. Book Spring Haven's Suite accommodations, which sleeps two, to spend a night inside the historic property, or the Cabin on the back of the estate for a romantic getaway.

Spring Haven Mansion
Spring Haven Mansion. Courtesy of Spring Haven
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