Lebanon is the city in Wilson County, Tennessee, about 25 miles east of downtown Nashville. Lebanon is part of the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city was named after the biblical cedars of Lebanon, which grow in the Cedars of Lebanon State Park, in the heart of the massive Cedars of Lebanon State Forest. Fiddlers Grove Historical Village, located on the grounds of the James E. Ward Agricultural Center, has more than 50 preserved buildings and artifacts that bring to life the history of the Wilson County. Fairgrounds Speedway is a racetrack located at the Nashville Fairgrounds, the oldest track in the United States operating continuously. The best time to visit Lebanon is in May, during the annual Southern Smoke BBQ championship.
We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
1.Cedars of Lebanon State Park, Lebanon, Tennessee
Cedars of Lebanon State Park is a 900-acre state park in Wilson County, Tennessee, in the heart of the 9,420-acre Cedars of Lebanon State Forest. The park and forest are located about ten miles from Lebanon, Tennessee. Cedars of Lebanon State Forest is famous for its cedar glades, unique ecosystem that has adapted to the thin soil layers or no soil at all. That often happens in the eastern Central Basin. These glades are usually surrounded by thick stands of red cedar, a type of juniper that can survive in soil too thin to support most trees. Cedars of Lebanon State Park is situated in the eastern Central Basin and has 117 campsites, 11 picnic shelters, 8 miles of hiking trails, a group lodge, and a meeting hall. The Merritt Nature Center is a small museum that displays some of the natural features of the forest. The park also has a disc golf course.
328 Cedar Forest Rd, Lebanon, TN 37090, Phone: 615-443-2769
2.Don Fox Community Park, Lebanon, Tennessee
The Don Fox Community Park in Lebanon, Tennessee has a range of amenities for its residents. It has four pavilions that can be rented out. It has one large pavilion that is 54-feet long and 27-feet wide and three smaller pavilions that are 36-feet long by 18-feet wide. The pavilions have an electrical outlet, a grill, and at least eight picnic tables. There are also 61 other picnic tables throughout the park, and about 17 other grills. The park also has a 60-foot wading pool for small children and two larger playgrounds. There is a 2.5-mile long track that goes around the park and can be used for walking, biking, and skateboarding. There is also a smaller walking quarter-mile cinder track in the park’s center. The park also has a nine-station fitness center.
955 W Baddour Pkwy, Lebanon, TN 37087, Phone: 615-449-0303
3.Things to Do in Lebanon, Tennessee: Fiddlers Grove Historic Village
© Fiddlers Grove Historic Village
Fiddlers Grove Historical Village is located on the grounds of the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon, Tennessee. Fiddlers Grove preserves and showcases the history of the Wilson County, Tennessee by preserving buildings, artifacts, and oral and written histories. Visitors can easily imagine the life of early pioneers by visiting a one-room log cabin, a one-room school, a small quaint church, a blacksmith’s shop that used to make cooking utensils and farm equipment, a doctor’s office, the buggy he used to make house calls, Sam Houston’s law office, an old cobbler’s shop, a 1700’s log cabin and grist mill. There is also a funeral home, drug store, post office, hardware store, sheriff’s office, jail, barber shop, sawmill, farm equipment museum, model train museum, caboose, train station and more. In total, there are over fifty-five buildings representing the entire Wilson County. The Village offers interpretation, exhibitions, education, publications and hands on experiences.
945 E Baddour Pkwy, Lebanon, TN 37087, Phone: 615-547-6111
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4.James E. Ward Agriculture Center
Who knew that when the County Court decided to purchase a 104-acre expanse of land called the Baddour Estate 1974, that it would eventually turn into one of the busiest and most popular recreational centers in Tennessee? In fact, the agriculture center is so popular it has become the permanent home to a ton of fun activities like the Wilson County Fair, the Whip Crackin’ Rodeo, and the annual Dancing Lights of Christmas. In addition to the mainstay events, the James E. Ward Agriculture Center also regularly hosts consumer fairs, carnivals, trade shows, and exhibitions. Oh, did we mention that the center is also open to people who want to go camping?
945 East Baddour Parkway, Lebanon, Tennessee 37087, Phone: 615-449-9077
5.Things to Do in Lebanon, Tennessee: Southern Smoke BBQ
© Southern Smoke BBQ
Southern Smoke BBQ is an annual championship event that takes place in May, in the Wilson County Exposition Center and Grounds, Lebanon, Tennessee. More than 40 BBQ Pitmasters will compete for $12,000.00 cash prize and the honor of being crowned Grand Champion. The event is free and everyone is invited to check-out some world-class cooking and enjoy the smell of Hickory Smoke in the air. There will also be plenty of kid-friendly activities and activities for the whole family, including: ZIP line, rock climbing wall, bouncy toys and more. The event is organized by the Greater Rotary Clubs of Wilson County and is sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society.
James E Ward Agricultural Center, 945 E Baddour Pkwy, Lebanon, TN 37087, Phone: 404-414-6855
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6.Fite-Fessenden House Museum
© Fite-Fessenden House Museum
Travel back in time to the 1800s the moment you step onto the grounds of the Fite-Fessenden House. Built in 1870, this private residence turned house museum was listed on the National Historic Register by 1987 and features artifacts and various furnishings originating from the past 150 years of the city’s history. While it is first and foremost, a house museum, the Fite-Fessenden House has opened its doors as a community gathering spot for Wilson County thanks to the Margaret Gaston Chapter and the History Associates. Some noteworthy items to see at this house museum include a completely restored Miss Sallie’s Playhouse which dates back to 1870.
236 West Main Street, Lebanon, Tennessee 37087, Phone: 615-444-2275
7.Lebanon History Museum
© Lebanon History Museum
Despite being one of Tennessee’s smaller cities, Lebanon is oozing with charm and a well of history. For visitors who would like to get to know more about Lebanon’s past, one of the best places to do so is the Lebanon History Museum. Located in the Castle Heights Military Building, a building with just as much history on its own, the museum contains several galleries that tell stories of the city’s humble but auspicious beginnings. The museum’s exhibits are also distinct in that they feature real-life stories and experiences from the individuals, places, and other things that have shaped Lebanon, Tennessee into the city it has become today.
200 N Castle Heights Avenue, Lebanon, Tennessee, Phone: 615-443-2805 (ext. 2320)
© Capitol Theatre
Looking to catch a fabulous live performance, movie, or just want to enjoy a great theatre? The Capitol Theatre, located in Lebanon, Tennessee’s historic city square, is the go-to for locals who are looking forward to a great night of entertainment. The theatre was opened in 1941 and seats 1,000 people. Capitol Theatre stages regular film showings of the latest releases, and also regularly hosts musicals, concerts, comedy shows, and much more. Additionally, the Capitol Theatre is a much-sought-after events venue, with many spectacular weddings having taken place within its walls as well as private performances or dance recitals. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend a special day in a theatre with a spectacular ambiance?
110 West Main Street, Lebanon, Tennessee 37087, Phone: 615-784-4014
9.Imagine That Art Studio
© Imagine That Art Studio
Step into an art studio that encourages you to let your creativity run wild at the Imagine That! Art Studio. The studio’s motto, “Be Creative, Be You”, is a testament to their approach to budding artists, no matter what the age. Come with your children to try various crafts or bring yourself and some friends who want to grow in their skills. While there are plenty of do-it-yourself activities to enjoy, like their paint-your-own pottery and canvas painting parties, the studio also offers workshops and camps for individuals who want to seriously take their skills to the next level. With friendly staff, fantastic teachers, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere, visitors to the studio won’t just be creating art, they’ll be creating memories.
1342 West Main Street, Lebanon, Tennessee 37087, Phone: 615-784-4494
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9 Best Things to Do in Lebanon, Tennessee
- Cedars of Lebanon State Park, Lebanon, Tennessee, Photo: Jake/stock.adobe.com
- Don Fox Community Park, Lebanon, Tennessee, Photo: Surachetsh/stock.adobe.com
- Things to Do in Lebanon, Tennessee: Fiddlers Grove Historic Village, Photo: Fiddlers Grove Historic Village
- James E. Ward Agriculture Center, Photo: Ivan/stock.adobe.com
- Things to Do in Lebanon, Tennessee: Southern Smoke BBQ, Photo: Southern Smoke BBQ
- Fite-Fessenden House Museum, Photo: Fite-Fessenden House Museum
- Lebanon History Museum, Photo: Lebanon History Museum
- Capitol Theatre, Photo: Capitol Theatre
- Imagine That Art Studio, Photo: Imagine That Art Studio
- Cover Photo: City of Lebanon
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