July 24, 2023
If the busyness of life has you running in circles, refresh your body and mind with a relaxing getaway to Livingston-Overton County, a peaceful retreat in the Upper Cumberland region.
Located just a short drive from Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga, Livingston-Overton County boasts breathtaking views, plenty of outdoor activities, genuine Southern hospitality and a charming downtown full of shops, restaurants and cozy places to stay.
Visit Downtown Livingston’s Courthouse Square
Stroll around downtown Livingston's Courthouse Square, and you’ll discover an impressive mix of retail stores and boutiques, each with its own specialty. Local merchants offer antiques, jewelry, women’s clothing and accessories, home goods and much more.
Don’t miss the 1806 General Store, a combination museum, antique store and barbecue restaurant that’s a favorite among the locals. The building originally housed the Speck Brothers Hardware Store constructed in 1937, and the 1806 in the store’s name reflects the year Overton County was formed after the American Revolution. The restaurant serves up mouthwatering barbecue plates, nachos, salads, sandwiches and made-from-scratch desserts.
Just off the historic courthouse square, Central Park Livingston invites visitors to soak up the outdoors with an open grassy area, playground, walking trail, restroom facilities and a kid-friendly water feature with a splash pad to cool off in the summer months. The park is also the place to be for Live in Livingston, a summer music series with free live music for the community and fun for the whole family.
Outdoor Recreation in Overton County
One of the most-visited outdoor recreation spots near Livingston is Standing Stone State Park, located in Standing Stone State Forest on the Cumberland Plateau. Standing Stone State Park has more than 8 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous. The park also has 36 campsites, 17 historic cabins and seven modern cabins that visitors can rent for overnight stays.
Standing Stone’s 69-acre Kelly Lake provides excellent fishing and birding opportunities, as well as canoes, kayaks and fishing boats that can be rented year round. When you need to cool off, take a dip in Standing Stone State Park’s Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Plan a hike to Waterloo Falls, a gorgeous waterfall tucked at the end of an unassuming gravel road about 15 minutes north of Cookeville. Waterloo Falls is located off Highway 136 along Spring Creek and is dog-friendly. There’s even an event center called Waterloo Venue & Events, a picturesque destination for weddings, family reunions, birthdays and other celebrations.
When you buy a day pass at Cub Mountain ATV Park in Crawford, you can enjoy fishing, hiking and ATV riding past waterfalls, creeks, old coal mining areas and scenic overlooks. The family-friendly ATV park also offers RV and tent camping for overnight guests.
Outdoor enthusiasts also flock to Dale Hollow Lake, known for its crystal-clear waters and renowned fishing opportunities. It’s an excellent destination to hook Smallmouth bass, as well as rainbow and brown trout.
Agritourism in Overton County
Sample some of Tennessee’s best fried pies and sorghum in Muddy Pond, a mountain community that’s home to several Amish-Mennonite families and lots of small farms. Shop for Amish-made goods at the Muddy Pond General Store, and if you visit during September and October, you can watch the sorghum-making process.
At Holly Ridge Winery, visitors can sit back and enjoy the beautiful Tennessee landscape while sipping award-winning wines. The family-owned winery in Livingston has been producing a variety of wines since 1997, both from grapes grown on-site and -purchased from other growers. Holly Ridge Winery is one of nine stops along the Upper Cumberland Wine Trail.
Unique Places to Stay in Overton County
When it comes to overnight lodging, Livingston and the surrounding area have an impressive number of options, including 36 different Airbnbs. Downtown Livingston’s Courthouse Square has seven Airbnb rental properties alone. Livingston Lofts are in the heart of the small-town square and within walking distance to restaurants, shopping and Central Park. The 10 lofts are in five different buildings, one dating back to 1896.
The Gill House in Livingston invites travelers to relax in the comfort and charm of a newly remodeled 1950s cottage. This home away from home is located a short 15-minute walk from the town square and offers fun add-ons such as a S’mores Night Package, Charcuterie Package, Girls-Night-In Package and more.
South Church Studios in Livingston’s core are modern second-floor lofts just off the town square, equipped with all the comfortable amenities travelers need for short or long stays.
Livingston, Tennessee Restaurants
When you get hungry, The Steel Coop near the downtown square serves up high-quality cuisine such as whiskey-glazed salmon, hand-cut steaks and fresh seafood in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. The Steel Coop has live music on Friday and Saturday nights and an outdoor patio for dining al fresco.
Wayne’s Grill is another hometown favorite celebrated for “good food and good times.” Wayne’s offers a full bar and serves traditional American cuisine, including daily food and drink specials.
Overton County Day Trips & Mural Trail
Driving through Overton County, you can’t miss the abundance of colorful hand-painted murals that decorate the community. To see them all, follow the Livingston Mural Trail, which starts at the “Greetings from Overton County'' mural on the historic downtown square. Stop by Waffle Licious for a scoop of your favorite ice cream. And don’t miss the Livingston Post Office mural called “Newcomers,” which was painted in 1940 and depicts life in Appalachia welcoming new pioneers to the land.
Need more inspiration to plan a day or weekend trip to Livingston-Overton County? Visit discoverlivingstontn.com for pre-planned themed itineraries featuring everything from historical stops and craft beers to children’s activities, girls’ trips and couples’ escapes.