Culturally, Tennessee is known for its whiskey, hot sauce on chicken, and as the birthplace of country music. Most people probably associate Tennessee with the cities of Memphis and Nashville for good reasons. Those cities are terrific places, but others are worth mentioning in Tennessee too. As a western Tennessee hub, the city of Jackson has lots to offer for people who are looking for fun activities to do.
Jackson is known as “Hub City.” That moniker makes sense. While it’s only the 8th-largest city in the state, with a population of a little over 67,000, it is a place that’s connected to the rest of the state in multiple ways. In the mid-1800s, the city was an agricultural center, producing a large percentage of the region’s cotton crop. Later, it would become a hub of the railroad system, creating connections to major cities in all directions and fueling economic growth.
Today, Jackson offers an affordable cost of living and plenty of amenities for its citizens to enjoy. Whether you’re a young professional, a parent, or a retiree, the fun activities in Jackson are some of the bests in the entire state.
Here are 22 fun things to do in Jackson, Tennessee.
Table of Contents:
- 1. Samuel T. Bryant Distillery
- 2. Century Farm Winery
- 3. Crown Winery
- 4. Local Restaurants
- 5. West Tennessee Farmers Market
- 6. Jackson Bowling and Skating Family Fun Center
- 7. The Ballpark at Jackson
- 8. Carl Perkins Civic Center
- 9. Jackson Symphony Orchestra
- 10. Jackson Scavenger Hunt
- 11. Jackson Escape Rooms
- 12. Casey Jones Village and Old Country Store
- 13. Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum
- 14. Sky Zone Trampoline Park
- 15. Rusty’s TV and Movie Car Museum
- 16. Carnegie Legends Museum
- 17. Butler’s Antique Mall
- 18. Cypress Grove Nature Park
- 19. Jackson Downtown Dog Walk
- 20. Pinson Mounds State Archeological Park
- 21. Chickasaw State Park
- 22. Jackson’s Public Parks
1. Samuel T. Bryant Distillery
Jackson’s locals know Bryant Distillery is the place to go for terrific locally-made spirits. They serve various types of alcoholic drinks such as whiskey, gin, and moonshine, and their products aren’t typically sold in most stores. They’re open seven days per week and give $10 tours at the top of every hour during business hours. Tour guests also get a few free samples during the tour, making this place a must-stop for anyone visiting Jackson.
2. Century Farm Winery
The vineyard at Century Farm is located amidst rows of other crops, such as corn and cotton, making it feel like a quintessential West Tennessee farming experience. The same family has run the farm for generations, and it was a typical farm for much of that time.
The winery started due to the current owners’ love of wines, which soon became a desire to share with the community. Over the last decade, the winery has been recognized with multiple awards. People come from all over the county to enjoy the products made here.
3. Crown Winery
Crown Winery separates itself from its peers around town by adding various events to the venue along with its fantastic wine. Live music and yoga nights are held here weekly, providing a more social aspect to the wine-tasting experience for its customers. Regulars swear by this place as a terrific option for local wine.
4. Local Restaurants
For being a lesser-known Tennessee city, Jackson is home to a surprising number of quality restaurants with dining for all tastes and preferences. Regardless of which type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, you can find it directly downtown or just a stone’s throw away.
A walk downtown will take you past plenty of options for pizza, steakhouses, sandwich shops, Jamaican, Italian, and African food, and local southern BBQ with a side of hospitality.
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5. West Tennessee Farmers Market
Get your food fresh from the people who grow it at this famous market located in downtown Jackson. Fruits, vegetables, meats, and baked goods are available here at reasonable prices. What’s more, you can also meet plenty of community members and also feel like you’re supporting small business owners while you’re there. Food trucks are typically parked here for some deliciously prepared meals.
6. Jackson Bowling and Skating Family Fun Center
The Jackson Bowling Center has so many activities that guests can enjoy themselves for an entire day. Bowling is just the beginning. They also have a skating rink, a large arcade, laser tag, bumper cars, go-karts, and miniature golf. One of the unique attractions here is the virtual roller coaster, which is a fully enclosed machine that makes the user feel like they’re soaring along the tracks of a real-life ride.
7. The Ballpark at Jackson
The Ballpark at Jackson is a 6,000-seat baseball stadium home of the Jackson Generals, a minor league affiliate club of the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball. Throughout the spring and summer months, locals can come here to watch some quality minor-league action. Additionally, the ballpark hosts college games, concerts, live professional wrestling, and other events designed to bring Jackson’s community together.
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8. Carl Perkins Civic Center
Jackson’s Civic Center is a multipurpose facility that can accommodate a diverse array of activities and events. An auditorium area seats 2,200 spectators and is used most often for the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. The center also has plenty of space for trade shows, expos, meeting rooms, and banquet areas. Events are held here constantly throughout the year, so if you’re in Jackson, have a look at the schedule.
9. Jackson Symphony Orchestra
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Jackson Symphony Orchestra here. It was founded in 1961 as a way to bring classical orchestra music to the citizens of Jackson and West Tennessee in general. They play at the Perkins Civic Center, usually putting on six shows per season in both the classical and “pops” styles. They also focus on community outreach, introducing local children to the art, and providing educational opportunities for interested students.
10. Jackson Scavenger Hunt
If there were ever a unique way to get to know a city, a scavenger hunt would be it. This organized walking game takes visitors around Jackson, allowing them to solve clues and find famous landmarks as they get to know the lay of the land. It’s an enjoyable way to make new memories with friends or family or as a bonding experience with coworkers.
11. Jackson Escape Rooms
These escape rooms will challenge your problem-solving skills and provide you with hours of fun suitable for the whole family. In Jackson, each escape room experience is built around a story, fully immersing guests in the narrative as they try to figure out the puzzles that lead to escape.
What makes this particular venue unique is the creative storytelling of the staff. They are constantly dreaming of ways to embed more profound mysteries into the fabric of each narrative, meaning return customers can get a new experience every time.
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12. Casey Jones Village and Old Country Store
Walking into the Old Country Store is like stepping into a bygone era. The restaurant/shop serves up an extensive country buffet each day that you can follow up with a freshly baked dessert or in-house ice cream. While there, you can see all types of turn-of-the-century antiques that will make you feel like you’re driving a train with the folk hero Casey Jones himself.
13. Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum
Legend has it that when Casey Jones was killed in a horrific train crash, he had one hand on the whistle and the other on the brake. That’s just one of the many tales of folklore visitors can learn when they visit the Casey Jones Railroad Museum. Here, people can learn about the famous locomotive engineer’s life and times by walking through his original home, watching a short film about his life, and viewing some of his personal artifacts.
14. Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Sometimes you need a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. At Sky Zone, you can get that along with the thrill of soaring through the air in a wall-to-wall trampoline venue. Sky Zone opened in 2013 with a mission to provide the community with a place to experience fun and entertainment at reasonable prices. They’re always looking for ways to improve and change so the facility is well-maintained and clean. It’s tremendous fun for the kids, but adults will secretly love the excitement!
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15. Rusty’s TV and Movie Car Museum
A Delorean Time Machine. The General Lee. Lightning McQueen. These are just a few of the iconic vehicles that have been featured in popular cinema and television throughout the 20th century and beyond. Rusty’s TV and Movie Car Museum has over 50 recognizable cars, trucks, and motorbikes that have entertained the masses over the decades. This attraction is quirky and unique and fun for all ages.
16. Carnegie Legends Museum
The legendary country singer Johnny Cash released the song “Jackson” in 1967 about this very city in Tennessee. Many know the song, but fewer people know that rock and roll music was actually born there. Blues and rock used to dominate the local scene around town, and the Carnegie Legends Museum still operates today as a tribute to the good old days. Music lovers won’t want to miss this attraction while they’re in town.
17. Butler’s Antique Mall
Butler’s is a family-owned vintage shop that features some of the area’s best-hidden hand-me-downs and antiques. All of their merchandise is collected from others and has a one-of-a-kind style. The clothes will lend a retro look to the wearer. The furniture is sure to give any room its unique new perspective. If you’re someone who likes to shop for second-hand clothing or old used furniture or browse for that treasure, Butler’s Antique Mall has something just waiting to be found.
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18. Cypress Grove Nature Park
Operated and maintained by the city’s parks and recreation department, Cypress Grove attracts thousands of visitors each year. It immerses guests in the natural landscape of the area with a mile-long raised boardwalk through the cypress forest.
The walk also includes an observation tower and multiple bodies of water to enjoy. Just beware: the park is located in the midst of a flood zone, so it may need to be closed at various times throughout the year.
19. Jackson Downtown Dog Walk
The dog lovers around Jackson may be disappointed to find that not many of the parks are pet-friendly. The Downtown Dog Walk is their solution! This is a park designed specifically for the dogs with a play area, water bowls, plenty of waste receptacles, and restrictions on rabies vaccines and leashes to keep all of the furriest members of your family safe and happy.
20. Pinson Mounds State Archeological Park
The “mounds” referred to in the name of this state park are a reference to the 15 Native American mounds of earth uncovered in archeological digs over the last century. It is believed that these mounds were used for burial ceremonies for the dead, making this area a protected landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.
The park itself is gorgeous, covering more than 1,200 acres. Through the Tennessee State Park Department, guests can participate in interactive educational experiences with park rangers, visit the on-site museum, or show up to hike or bike the scenic trails.
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21. Chickasaw State Park
Chickasaw is named for the tribe that inhabited West Tennessee. It became a state park in 1955 and since then has been one of the more desirable destinations for outdoor lovers in the region. It features higher terrain than most other areas, giving it some stunning views of Lake Placid and the surrounding landscape. Lake Placid itself offers rentals of paddle boats and rowboats.
22. Jackson’s Public Parks
In addition to the larger national and state parks located around the area, Jackson itself maintains several public spaces for its residents to enjoy at all times per year. The highlight is Liberty Garden Park and Arboretum, with its beautiful walking trail, gazebo, and veteran memorial.
Other parks around the city provide various outdoor activities for the entertainment of visitors, including Bemis Mills Park, with its summertime splash pad and multiple playgrounds throughout the city.
With a great diversity of activities and amenities, Jackson, TN, is one of the best places in its state for entertainment. Whether you’re looking for great dining options, family-friendly fun, or a beautiful place to enjoy the natural landscape, Jackson and its surrounding area can satisfy your desire. It’s no wonder that the great Johnny Cash recorded a song about it all those years ago.
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