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Find Your Ideal Hometown in Rutherford County, TN

From local cafes and breweries to shops galore, Rutherford County has something for everyone.

By Erica Buehler on June 20, 2022

A couple walks across a wooden bridge over the West Fork Stones River on the greenway trail in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Jeff Adkins

It’s a place for the young and young at heart, business owners, students, sports enthusiasts, artists, music fans, outdoor lovers, fitness fanatics – the list goes on. A place where anyone can find their niche and fill their days with things he or she loves. A place that’s truly one of a kind.

What makes one county perfect for everyone, you might ask? It’s the diverse offerings it provides to residents. Whether you’re a homebody in need of an activity to do on a Friday evening, or a busy bee looking for something to fill your every minute, Rutherford County has just the thing to meet your needs. Ready to check out a few of its offerings?

Five Senses Restaurant
Courtesy of Five Senses
Five Senses Restaurant

Food & Drink

For those looking to indulge in the local cuisine and drink scene, there are numerous establishments, especially in Murfreesboro, the beating heart of Rutherford County. Hop Springs Beer Park and Panther Creek Brews are two thriving breweries that offer a variety of local brews as well as live music and other entertainment, like disc golf or bingo nights.

Murfreesboro is also home to beloved restaurants like Camino Real and Five Senses Restaurant and Bar, which provide a small taste (pun intended) of the area’s wide-ranging food options. For Ernie Fabian, the local restaurant selection plays a role in making the county a great place to live, even though becoming a food destination is a much more recent development.

“There’s a lot of local food that’s popped up in the last five to 10 years,” says Fabian, the cafe manager and booking coordinator for Carpe Artista, an organization that works to build community through the arts in nearby Smyrna.

And, with Carpe Artista also functioning as a cafe, it should be noted that Rutherford County is no stranger to independently owned coffee shops.

“Each side of the county has different offerings. All kinds of local small businesses, boutiques, two malls … ”

Ernie Fabian, Carpe Artista

Visitors walk past Puckett's Grocery and Restaurant in downtown Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Jeff Adkins

Other coffee establishments include Red Bicycle, which has locations in Smyrna and Murfreesboro, and Just Love Coffee Cafe, which has three locations in Murfreesboro and recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Brass Horn Coffee Roasters, also based in Murfreesboro, is another local favorite. To say Rutherford County loves coffee is probably the understatement of the year – but the appropriate fuel is necessary for tackling the many features this area has to offer.

“Each side of the county has different offerings,” Fabian says. “All kinds of local small businesses, boutiques, two malls … within those areas, it’s really done up and beautified, but the local businesses have been able to create a presence, as well. The mom-and-pop shops are doing just as well as the chains.”

Visitors walk past shops along North Church Street in downtown Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Jeff Adkins

Shops Galore

Speaking of boutiques, the shopping opportunities here are just as plentiful. Specialty shops like Brohalla, a men’s consignment and memorabilia store, and Trendy Pieces have effectively cornered the community’s niche markets and continue to thrive. The number of locally owned businesses and their wide selection of offerings are part of the reason Tracy Toy, owner of Quinn’s Mercantile, says Rutherford County is the first place she’s lived that really feels like home. Quinn’s Mercantile opened almost six years ago, and Toy says the area has changed tremendously since then.

“When the business opened, we wanted to be downtown. Everything that’s down here is just very cozy and comfortable,” she says. “I love the old buildings. There is a lot of architecture reminiscent of the Civil War.”

Like Fabian, Toy notes that Rutherford County’s diverse entertainment options and restaurant scene, in addition to its pleasant hometown atmosphere, are huge aspects of its popularity for longtime residents and newcomers.

“Downtown has a really nice atmosphere and is a safe place to be, and it is well-promoted by the chamber and main street group,” Toy says. “I like to shop, so I enjoy finding small boutiques, and there’s quite a few. I also like the fact that there are a lot of independently-owned businesses in this area.”

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