Cookeville, in Putnam County is one of the smallest cities in the Southeast to have a professional symphony orchestra, the Bryan Symphony Orchestra, and a public television station, WCTE-TV. The Bryan Symphony Orchestra performs regularly at Tennessee Tech University as well as at outdoor venues such as Dogwood Park. Adjacent to Dogwood Park is the Cookeville Performing Arts Center (CPAC), a professionally equipped, 458-seat performance facility. CPAC is also home to the Cookeville Children’s Theatre and the nationally recognized Backstage Series. World-renowned artists such as Brad Sells (one of the top 5 woodworkers in the world) call Cookeville home. The Appalachian Center for Craft offers added arts and cultural value to this quaint university town.
In a region rich in culture, history and heritage, Cookeville is home to three train depot museums (Baxter, Cookeville, & Monterey), various history museums, a veterans hall memorial, and walkable downtown historic districts. Surrounded by 16 state parks and natural areas, plus lakes, wineries, organic farm tours, and many other outdoor amenities, Cookeville offers a host of natural attractions.
Festivals and activity options are year round, such as Wine on the WestSide, Fall Fun Fest, Picasso Arts & Music Festival, Blues & Brews and Taste of the Town. You can feel yourself becoming a part of the area during these celebrations, including Nature Fest, Algood Bluegrass Festival, Cooking on the Square and Window on the World. Driving the Upper Cumberland Quilt Trail in Putnam County’s beautiful countryside, you’ll see historic barns, owned by local farm families, displaying gorgeous quilt squares, each quilt pattern a replica of a treasured family heirloom.
Recreational opportunities are limitless here: golfing (Cookeville Golf Club, Ironwood Golf Course, Belle Acres Golf Course, Southern Hills Golf Course & White Plains Golf Course); hiking (trails in 16 state parks and natural areas, including Tennessee’s newest state park, Cummins Falls); fishing (Cookeville City Lake, Cane Creek Lake, Blackburn Fork Scenic River, Caney Fork River, 3 Army Corps of Engineer lakes—including Dale Hollow, Center Hill and Cordell Hull lakes); racquet sports (tennis, racquetball, pickleball, walleyball—Racquet Masters, TTU Fitness Center, Cane Creek SportsPlex); and motorsports (Baja-Hyder Burkes Pavilion, Thunder Valley Motocross, home to the Tennessee State H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) Rally, Middle Tennessee Dragway). Pick from a variety of spectator collegiate sports at Tennessee Technological University—volleyball, soccer, men & women’s basketball, football, tennis, softball, baseball, men & women’s golf, track & field and cross country.
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