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Exploring Cookeville, Tennessee

This past July, my family and I did a weekend trip to Nashville.  We ended staying in Cookeville for the weekend.  Cookeville sits off of Interstate 40 about one hour east of Nashville.  It is the home of Tennessee Tech University and has a charming downtown.

When you visit Downtown Cookeville, you can't help but notice the large neon sign for Cream City Ice Cream.  Since 1950, Cream City has been the ice cream spot for residents and visitors to Cookeville.  Typically serving 30 flavors of ice cream, Cream City is one of the many examples of small town charm found with the town.

The pagoda-style Cookeville Depot is a town gathering spot.
Across West Broad Street from Cream City is the historic Cookeville Depot.  The depot was built by the Tennessee Central Railway in 1909.  Today, the Cookeville Depot is home to the Cookeville Depot Museum and a number of historic trains.  The depot also serves as a central gathering space for the town as the trains are a great place for kids to explore while adults can sit outside the depot possibly enjoying their ice cream.

The Cookeville Rail Depot is also the western terminus for the Tennessee Central Heritage Rail Trail.  Currently, the Tennessee Central Trail runs about five miles east to the town of Algood.  It is envisioned that the trail will run a total of 19 miles to the town of Monterey.  The trail follows the historic routing of the Nashville and Knoxville Railroad.  That railroad, which was founded in 1884, was eventually absorbed into the Tennessee Central.

Along both West and East Broad Street in Cookeville, one can find numerous restaurants, candy and gift shops, boutiques, and more.  For dinner, we ate at Crawdaddy's West Side Grill, an excellent Cajun/New Orleans restaurant along East Broad Street.

Cookeville is a great central location if you want to explore the Cumberland Plateau and Central Tennessee.  An hour outside of Nashville, it is very close to some of Tennessee's more popular state parks.  Fall Creek Falls is about one hour south along TN 111.  Standing Stone State Park is about a 30 minute drive north on Highway 136.

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