Tullahoma TN - South Jackson Performing Arts Theater

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Tullahoma TN: Things to Do

Tullahoma TN - South Jackson Performing Arts Theater

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Things To Do In Tullahoma TN


Tullahoma, Tennessee, a charming city nestled in the heart of southern Middle Tennessee, offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. This article explores the rich history of Tullahoma TN and highlights some of the best activities and attractions the city has to offer.  


The History of Tullahoma TN

Tullahoma's story begins in the early 19th century. The city was founded in 1852 and named after a Choctaw word, which translates to "red rock." The city's history is deeply intertwined with the American Civil War. In 1863, Tullahoma was the site of a significant but often overlooked campaign. The Tullahoma Campaign, led by Union General William Rosecrans, was a series of maneuvers that forced the Confederate army out of Middle Tennessee. This strategic victory set the stage for the Union's subsequent advances into Chattanooga and beyond.

Post-Civil War, Tullahoma TN transitioned into a peaceful, thriving community. The city's location along the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad played a crucial role in its development. In the 20th century, Tullahoma became known for its association with the aerospace industry. The Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), established during the Cold War, has been a significant contributor to the U.S. Air Force's research and development efforts.


An interesting note about AEDC also known as Arnold Air Force Base, is that before it became the nations high-tech wind tunnel development organization for the military, it had a very important role in the nations history.  Arnold AFB began as Camp Forrest, an Army training camp during World War Two. Camp Forrest's training facilities included William Northern Field, used for training Army Air Force pilots - this airfield eventually became the Tullahoma Airport. Camp Forrest was declared surplus after the war, and secured by the new Air Force as the site for the Air Engineering Development Center in 1949, and named the Arnold Engineering Development Center in honor of General Henry "Hap" Arnold, one of the founding fathers of the US Air Force.


Tullahoma TN Railroad Station 1930s
Tullahoma TN Railroad Station circa 1930s - note most buildings remain as seen behind the train


Tullahoma is located in the 931 area code.


Exploring Tullahoma TN: Things to Do

There are numerous things to do in Tullahoma TN -- from outdoor activities like hiking and watersports to indoor activities like a historical performing arts theater, movies, and other things.  Just a short drive away other cities in the area offer even more things to do.

 Historical Attractions

The Tullahoma Campaign Civil War Trail: Visitors interested in history can explore various sites related to the Tullahoma Campaign. This trail provides a glimpse into the city's pivotal role during the Civil War.

Beechcraft Heritage Museum: An absolute must-see for aviation enthusiasts, this museum showcases the history of Beechcraft and general aviation through a remarkable collection of aircraft and memorabilia.


Beechcraft Heritage Museum
Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma TN



Outdoor Activities

An outdoor lover's paradise, Tullahoma offers a multitude of outdoor activities.  The Tullahoma Weather tends to be moderate. During the winter, they say if you don't like one week just wait until the next ... we could see single digit temps during one week, then 60's the following.


Short Springs Natural Area: Offering some of the best hiking trails in the region, this area is a paradise for nature lovers. The highlight is the Machine Falls, a stunning waterfall that's a perfect backdrop for a day of exploration.  The trails in the Natural Area meander over shallow streams (most with bridges), up and down hills.  The trails are marked and very picturesque.  There is very limited parking.


Machine Falls in Tullahoma TN
Machine Falls in Short Springs Natural Area - Tullahoma TN


Tims Ford State Park: Known for its beautiful lake, Tims Ford State Park is ideal for boating, fishing, and swimming. The park also features miles of hiking trails and excellent camping facilities as well as cabins to rent.


Tims Ford Lake:  Tims Ford Lake was built in 1971 by TVA into a 16 square mile lake that is 30 miles long with 250 miles of shoreline.  The lake offers numerous water based activities including boating, swimming, fishing, and more.  You can rent pontoon boats for your family at most of the marinas.

Tims Ford Lake
Tims Ford Lake - Eastern Side


Cultural Experiences

South Jackson Performing Arts Theater: This historic theater, originally built in 1887, now serves as a cultural hub, hosting various performances, concerts, and community events throughout the year.

Tullahoma Fine Arts Center: A center for the arts in southern Middle Tennessee, this venue showcases local artists' work and offers workshops and classes for those interested in developing their artistic skills.


Local Breweries and Distilleries

George Dickel Distillery: Just a short drive from Tullahoma, this world-famous distillery offers tours and tastings, providing insight into the fine craft of Tennessee whiskey-making.

Ole Shed Brewing Company: For craft beer enthusiasts, a visit to Ole Shed Brewing Company is a must. Their locally brewed beers offer a taste of Tullahoma's vibrant local craft scene.  During the warmer months they hold activities in an outdoors tent in the evenings that typically include local bands, and other fun events for adults.

Community Events

Make sure to check the community calendar for the many events that happen throughout the year.


41A Music Festival: Held annually, this festival celebrates music, food, and culture, showcasing local and regional talent in a vibrant community setting. 

Tullahoma Christmas Parade: A beloved holiday tradition, the Christmas parade brings together the community to celebrate the festive season with floats, music, and cheer.


Fireworks for 4th of July:  The city holds fireworks on one of the local parks every year.  They create an amazingly memorable experience for everyone in the area.


Tullahoma, Tennessee, is a city rich in history and brimming with activities for everyone. From its Civil War heritage to its natural beauty and vibrant cultural scene, Tullahoma TN offers a unique glimpse into the heart and soul of southern Middle Tennessee. Whether you're a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, or culture seeker, Tullahoma is a destination that promises memorable experiences and warm southern hospitality.


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