Exploring Manchester On a Budget

Exploring Manchester On a Budget


Manchester may be best known for Bonnaroo, but there’s so much more to discover, especially when you want to keep things on the cheap!


Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park has some fantastic ruins that were built between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago during the Middle Woodland Period where Native Americans used the area for about 500 years before abandoning it. The current park provides many outdoor activities such as sightseeing, hiking, and great photographic spots. 


May Prairie Natural Area. With nearly 350 acres of gorgeous grassland, this natural area offers visitors trails for hiking and birdwatching. There are over 300 species of plant life and 3 distinct types of grasses. Although there are no developed trails, it is a great spot for exploring.


Arrowheads Aerospace Museum. With the goal of preserving and sharing artifacts from the Civil War, the Native American people, and World War II, this museum is best known for its antique doll and spinning looms exhibits. A great place to take the kids to learn a bit of local history. Admission is only $10 for adults and $5 for students. 


Short Springs Natural Area. Located in nearby Tullahoma and spread out over 400 acres, this is one of the best wildflower locations in Tennessee. With two fantastic cascading waterfalls and several hiking trails, it is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with the family or a loved one.


Hand-On Science Center. Tullahoma’s Science Center is equal parts museum, educational center, and visitor attraction. Great for kids and adults alike, it offers an amazing variety of hands-on exhibits, all designed to teach about science in an engaging and fun way. 


Tullahoma Bowling Lanes. Offering both standard and cosmic bowling, Tullahoma Lanes also features a gaming room and hosts several local bowling leagues spanning different ages and skill levels. They also have a small menu with burgers and sandwiches, and is a great place for parties.


Places to Eat in Manchester


The Mercantile Café / Sweet Simplicity Bakery. If grandma is too far away and you miss her cooking, come here. Located on the historic square in Manchester, they specialize in traditional southern cooking and desserts. 


Bites of Europe. This is a unique and laid-back spot with a nice selection of European fare in a fun environment. The menu is affordable, with wood fired brick oven pizza, burgers, steaks and chops, seafood baskets, salads, and more. 


J&G Pizza and Steak House. This long-time local hangout has a fun medieval theme and offers delicious pizzas, pastas, hot sandwiches, and steaks. Salads, seafood, and pitas round out the full menu, with a kids’ menu and desserts. 


Ole Shed Brewing Company. A great brewery and taproom in nearby Tullahoma, with a large selection of porters, ales, stouts, and IPAs. They also have a rotating selection of seasonal brews. These guys are all about the brew, but do offer tasty snacks to pair with your beer.


Freddie’s Restaurant is a hot local spot offering top quality food and affordable prices. Come here to watch the big game and tuck into some great menu items such as scrumptious chicken wings, raw or steamed oysters, steaks, burgers, BBQ, chicken, loaded nachos, salads, and more. Drafter beer is on tap. 


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