36 Hours: Murfreesboro
Today’s my wedding day! There’s a big white tent waiting for a night full of celebration at my childhood home, my bridesmaids are about to come over to get ready with me all day, and at 6:00 PM, I get to marry the love of my life. How fun! Today is just the coolest.
We feel so loved that our friends and family have traveled from near and far to celebrate with us in our hometown, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. To welcome everyone and give them an idea of some fun things to do over the wedding weekend, we paid tribute to our favorite travel series—The New York Time’s 36 Hours—and distributed our own version to out-of-town guests. I know the blog has been a bit sleepy lately with wedding planning, so I wanted to share 36 Hours with you here as well! Without further ado…
36 Hours in Murfreesboro
The county seat of Rutherford County and geographic center of the state of Tennessee, Murfreesboro is the fastest growing city in Tennessee and the home of the MTSU Blue Raiders, Stones River Battlefield, and Uncle Dave Macon Days. Chances are, if you’ve come this far this weekend, you must really love JM and B. Or perhaps you have been wondering what Murfreesboro is all about. Or—hopefully—both! Read on to see how to spend a weekend in what locals call The Boro.
1. Nothing but Clear Views Ahead | 5:00 p.m.
An unassuming restaurant open to all walks of life, Kleer-Vu Lunchroom is a Murfreesboro institution. Waiting in the cafeteria-style line, you’ll read daily specials on the chalk board — including BBQ ribs, chicken and dressing, and pigs feet on Fridays. Pick your meat and three, and don’t miss the fried chicken and hot water cornbread. Settle in for a hearty meal of Southern-cooked soul food.
2. Square Dancing | 6:30 p.m.
Home to law offices, government buildings, boutiques, and bars, Murfreesboro’s downtown Square is where hip meets historic. The focal point is the beautiful antebellum Courthouse which dates back to 1860. Underneath her watch, the Friday Night Live concert series kicks off on June 2 at 6:30 p.m. with a free performance by the Pilots. Looking for air-conditioning? Murfreesboro’s versions of Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint and Puckett’s Grocery are top notch places to kick it, and the Alley on Main offers great appetizers, beer, and spirits with patio dining.
3. A Warm Southern Welcome | 8:30 p.m.
Head down Church Street to B. McNeel’s, a relaxed eatery brimming with Southern charm, exposed brick, and outdoor patio space. Wine, beer, and a warm Southern welcome await you at a reception for out of town guests.
4. Boot Scoot and Boogie | 10:00 p.m.
If you’re looking for late night options, head back to the Square for a selection of local haunts, including Wall Street—a family-owned business that’s always a good time.
5. My Goodness Gracious | 8:00 a.m.
Explore a bit of Tennessee countryside in Readyville, Tennessee, the tiny town where the bride’s father was born and raised. The Readyville Mill, established in 1812, was converted into the charming Goodness Gracious restaurant, where you can dine on pancakes, pimento cheese, or tomato pie. If antiquing is your thing, there are plenty of shops in nearby Woodbury, or you can enjoy the beautiful farm views as you drive back to the Boro.
6. Farm Fresh | 10:00 a.m.
Didn’t get your fill of the Square? Main Street Saturday Market opens for the season on June 3. Real Farmers, Real Food, Real Community.
7. Ghost Tour | 11:00 a.m.
Get some exercise and a history lesson at the Stones River Battlefield, where trails take you past canons, cemeteries, and monuments. The Greenway is also a lovely place for a walk or run by the Stones River.
8. Good Food and Fun | Noon
Chances are, if you’ve hung around the bride and groom long enough, you’ve heard of Toot’s. Known for good food and fun, Toot’s comes highly recommended for their wings, fried chicken tenders, and pickle chips.
9. Wine Not? | 2:00 p.m.
Arrington Vineyards—owned in part by country music star Kix Brooks—is actually quite close to Murfreesboro. Drive on down to the beautiful vineyard for a sweet afternoon picnic to set the tone for the fun, romantic evening ahead. For a more centrally-located refresher, head to Mayday Brewery and pour out a Boro Blonde for your favorite Boro blondes.
10. Don’t Miss The Bus | 5:00 p.m.
Head to the lobby of the hotel at 5:00 p.m.; you’ve got a bus to catch! Forgot to sign up? No worries—there should be plenty of room to hitch a ride on the bus to go watch the couple get hitched.
11. Going to the Chapel | 6:00 p.m.
Enjoy the wedding ceremony at the bride’s home church, First United Methodist. Silence your cell phones, bring an extra tissue for your neighbor, and get ready to watch the couple say I do!
12. Twisting the Night Away | 6:45 p.m.
I hope you brought your dancing shoes because these families sure know how to party! Ladies, wear or pack a pair of wedges or flats for the outdoor reception. The Bride’s Childhood Home awaits you for an evening of dinner, dancing, and delight!
13. The Morning After | 10 a.m.
Don’t hit the road without missing Sunday gospel brunch at the bride’s family’s house with the newly minted couple. Be sure to bid them farewell before they are Africa-bound for their honeymoon!