A growing list of amenities – cultural venues, historic attractions and recreational assets, just to name a few – are drawing professionals and their families to Rutherford County. Along with its welcoming neighborhoods and friendly people, the county offers a low cost of living, affordable housing, top-rated schools with high graduation rates and continuing education opportunities.
Murfreesboro’s Stones River National Battlefield, where one of the Civil War’s bloodiest conflicts took place, is a major draw for history buffs, as well as destinations like the Oaklands Mansion and Cannonsburgh Village. Another popular attraction, Smyrna’s Historic Sam Davis Home and Plantation, recently opened a new arboretum and will soon offer a nature trail.
“The Historic Sam Davis Home and Plantation is an important part of Rutherford County because it allows us to step back in time and remember our history and our beginnings,” says Executive Director Debbie Shaw. “In the middle of a constantly bustling urban expansion, this cultural site offers a glimpse into the world and the people who helped to shape our lives today.”
At the Old Jefferson Site, located near Smyrna, a section of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail is open to the public, and a recently discovered Native American cemetery at Murfreesboro’s Black Cat Cave is undergoing preservation efforts.
A Cultural, Retail and Entertainment Destination
Drawing art lovers from across the county, the Boro Art Crawl takes place on Friday evenings bimonthly in and around downtown Murfreesboro and provides opportunities to browse works created by both well-known and emerging local artists. Murfreesboro’s Center for the Arts also showcases local art in addition to presenting plays and musicals, and the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra entertains audiences at the First United Methodist Church throughout the year. Kids can find plenty to explore at the Discovery Center, and the museum’s partnership with the Confucius Institute offers activities and displays about Chinese culture for visitors to enjoy.
Rutherford County’s festivals also bring the community together, including staples like Uncle Dave Macon Days, Main Street JazzFest and the Greenway Arts Festival, as well as inaugural events like the Southeastern Young Adult Book Festival and Eagleville’s Kickoff-To-Fall Festival.
When it comes to shopping and entertainment, residents have plenty to choose from with complexes like The Avenue Murfreesboro, Oaks Shopping Center, Stones River Mall and Colonial Town Park, plus gathering spots like Murfreesboro’s Mayday Brewery and Green Dragon Public House. In La Vergne, a new farmers market is giving residents easy access to locally grown and produced foods like fresh honey, free-range chicken eggs and organic meats.
In Smyrna, residents will soon enjoy an Outdoor Adventure Center, thanks in part to a $900,000 grant from the Christy-Houston Foundation. Scheduled for completion by summer 2016, the 11,000-square-foot center will be located in the former fitness center space at the Smyrna Town Centre and include an activity room, rock-climbing walls, a lecture hall, exhibit space, a gallery, party rooms and a pro shop. The facility’s outdoor pool area will also be updated to include a kids’ area, splash pad and a tower slide, and the volleyball courts and large pool will undergo renovations.
“This facility will introduce Rutherford County residents to many types of outdoor recreation while also giving them a place to go indoors,” says Mike Moss, director of parks and recreation for the Town of Smyrna.
Murfreesboro’s greenway system also offers opportunities to get active, with 12 miles of paved trails located along the Stones River and Lytle Creek. The system, which includes 11 official trailheads and connects users to parks, historic destinations and neighborhoods, is expected to gain four to five additional miles of trails by the end of 2016.
“Businesses looking to relocate consider amenities such as our greenway when evaluating the quality of life for their employees,” says Melinda Tate, greenway program coordinator for the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department.
Rutherford County is also home to several high-quality golf courses, including Murfreesboro’s Old Fort Golf Club, along with a wealth of public parks, bikeways and access points to Stones River and Percy Priest Lake.