The town of Monteagle is far from one of the bigger urban areas in Tennessee, but its small size belies impressive impact in a number of fields. Not least of these areas is music, where this town of approximately 2,000 inhabitants has made its mark by being mentioned in songs by no lesser figures than Johnny Cash and Jerry Reed; the former wrote an entire song about Monteagle Mountain. Another point of interest located here is the Highlander Folk School, a social justice and campaigning centre which was a major contributor to the civil rights movement from as early as 1931. Among other alumni from the centre, Rosa Parks, undertook some of her training here. Along with these essential notes, we have set out below a list of the best things to do in Monteagle, Tennessee.
1. Witness jaw-dropping scenery at South Cumberland State Park
An expansive park covering space in four separate counties, South Cumberland is one of the most incredible spots in all of Tennessee and it offers the kind of views that put one in mind of fairytales. There are plentiful hiking trails and a lot of space for camping, and perhaps most stunning of all the areas of the park can be found at the Greeter Falls. Steep, stunning waterfalls that provide incredible atmosphere and a superb photo opportunity, they’re a genuine wonder. The Park’s visitor centre, located in Monteagle, is endlessly beneficial for those looking to find the best areas of this park.
South Cumberland State Park
Address: 11745 US 41, Monteagle, TN 37356
Website: South Cumberland State Park
2. Enjoy a brush with infamy at High Point Restaurant
Along with its other historical claims to fame, one of Monteagle’s finest restaurants was once a preferred stopping-point of the famed mobster Al Capone. This 1929-built mansion house sits roughly equidistant between Florida, where he lived the high life, and Chicago where he ran his Mob syndicate, and it is said that he used to dine on the patio with John Dillinger. Today, aside from this historical curiosity, the High Point is best recognised for its superb culinary creations which include perfectly grilled steaks and tenderly baked fish dishes.
High Point Restaurant
Address: 224 Main St, Monteagle, TN 37356
Website: High Point Restaurant
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 5pm - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 5pm - 10pm
3. Pay tribute to the civil rights movement at Highlander Folk School Library
Founded in 1932 by the activist Myles Horton and educator Don West, the Highlander Folk School is a social justice leadership training centre that is indivisible from the civil rights movement that arose in the late 1960s. It was here that Rosa Parks - who knew the impact her refusal to go to the back of the bus would have - took her first steps in activism, and to this day its contributions on issues from environmental concerns, worker rights, and LGBT matters are held in high esteem by anyone with an eye on making America better for future generations.
Highlander Folk School Library
Address: 120 Old Highlander Ln, Monteagle, TN 37356
Website: Highlander Folk School Library
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
4. Drink and sway to the tunes at The V
In a city with such impeccable progressive credentials as Monteagle, it makes sense that one of the most popular bars would be a gritty, but happy location such as The V. Happily answering to the tag of “dive bar”, this is a music-focused venue which hosts regular open mic nights and has a dancefloor which hops to rock'n'roll sounds. It’s also just a very fine place to come for a cold beer on any night of the week, and stays open late - so if you’ve been filling your head with history during the day, you can enjoy a long evening in agreeable company here.
Address: 8135 US Hwy 41N, Monteagle, TN 37356
Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 2pm - 12am; Thu - Sat: 2pm - 2am
5. Admire the rushing water at Monteagle Falls
So much of Monteagle’s charm comes from the rustic setting in which it finds itself, and this setting is never better encapsulated than with a look at Monteagle Falls. A serene walk by the Cumberland River offers you the chance to get close to nature and let your concerns melt away, and with gentle waterfalls that enhance the relaxing vibe, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another world.
Address: Monteagle Falls Rd Tennessee 37356
6. Find unique local art at Hallelujah Pottery
Out on West Main Street, you’ll find a very unassuming log cabin which might be easy to ignore under normal circumstances. But let’s be clear, ignoring Hallelujah Pottery would be a huge mistake. In keeping with the outsider vibe that you’ll find around much of the city, this store sells bowls, vases and other pieces made by local artisans. You’ll also be perfectly placed to check out the sister store, Full Circle Candles, which offers a wealth of pretty-looking and sweet-smelling candles that will make an excellent gift option for friends or family.
Address: 1202 W Main St, Monteagle, TN 37356, United States
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 11am - 4pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
7. Pick out a perfect gift from The Amish Hippie
The Amish Hippie is a fascinating store in Monteagle, TN, which sells something for every taste and preference. You can browse the clothes and accessories collection to see if you find something of your taste, or browse the fantastic range of non-clothing items which range from Amish-made soaps and candles to journals and glassware. Eclectic and welcoming, the store is a pleasure to visit and you’re sure to find something interesting nestled amongst its wares.
The Amish Hippie
Address: 808 W Main St, Monteagle, TN 37356
Website: The Amish Hippie
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 10am - 6pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 7pm
8. Light up at Highland Bluff Studio
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Candles, and particularly scented candles, have become increasingly popular over the past five years. Therefore, to stand out in such a crowded market takes some doing - but it’s a task that Highland Bluff Studio is more than capable of achieving. The store offers candle products that are as natural as they can possibly be; no dyes or parabens are used in the finished products, and the soy candles the store is famous for have gained a reputation for outstanding fragrance and incredible clean-burning, making them a great and healthy gift option.
Highland Bluff Studio
Address: 16 Laurel Lake Dr, Monteagle, TN 37356
Website: Highland Bluff Studio
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)
9. Take a tour of Sam H. Werner Military Museum
Sam H. Werner Military Museum is a relatively youthful museum - opened in just 2017 - located in Monteagle, TN, and features an incredible array of military-focused artefacts, equipment, displays, and vehicles - the latter of which includes Jeeps and tanks. Should you choose to visit, you can take a private tour with one of the knowledgeable guides, who will lead you through each exhibit, so you can learn about the history behind each piece, and ask any questions that you may have; a wonderful day out that is a great choice for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the history of military.
Sam H. Werner Military Museum
Address: 1148 W Main St, Monteagle, TN 37356
Website: Sam H. Werner Military Museum
Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 10am - 3pm (closed Sun - Thu)
10. Get some tasty bites at Mountain Goat Market
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
The Mountain Goat Market in Monteagle, TN, is an incredibly charming, American establishment that will definitely bring a smile to any visitors face. You can shop the market section if you wish, or take a seat on one of the rustic tables to try an on-site meal. Choose the latter and you’ll be able to pick speciality sandwiches such as Rajun Cajun or Go Greek, incredible pizzas with great names such as Kale Yeah and Goodfella, custom choices, and plenty of different sides and salads - so you’ll definitely be able to find an incredible meal that suits your taste perfectly.
Mountain Goat Market
Address: 109 Main St, Monteagle, TN 37356
Website: Mountain Goat Market
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9am - 8pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Marvellous Monteagle will keep you captivated
Whether it’s the town’s importance to the history of Civil Rights in America, or its commitment to the modern outsider Art Movement, Monteagle is a wonderfully radical town that wears its heart on its sleeve. Your time in this unassuming part of Tennessee will bring forth plenty of opportunities to enjoy as well as intellectual nourishment, and not a moment of your visit will be wasted. While Monteagle may not be a sprawling metropolis, its positive role in the story of USA can never be undermined.
Get Trip101 in your inbox