Customs House Museum and Cultural Center: The 35,000-square-foot Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is housed in what was once a booming tobacco customs office. It tells the story of Clarksville and the region. Exhibits include notable sports accomplishments from Olympic medals to successful summits of Mt. Everest by area residents; art galleries featuring works by local and regional artists; historical exhibits and an interactive kid's area. (200 South Second Street; 931-648-7-5780; open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday)
Fort Defiance Interpretive Center and Park: Built in 1861 to protect the rivers around Clarksville, Fort Defiance was occupied by both Union and Confederate troops. Soon after it was constructed, Union troops seized Clarksville and enlarged the fort over a seven-month period; then Confederate cavalry recaptured the town and fort briefly until the Union retook both and held them until the war's end. Today, an interpretive center tells the full story and walking paths lead across the property. (120 Duncan Street; 931-472-3351)
Downtown Shopping: In downtown Clarksville you'll find several galleries, shops and boutiques selling everything from home goods to outdoor clothing to chic fashions. At Journey's Eye Studio (131 Franklin Street; 617-901-3374) you'll find a curated set of vintage pieces as well as home goods and art made from upcycled antiques. Binks Outfitters (111 Franklin Street; 931-896-2114) carries a good selection of upscale outdoor brands like Patagonia, Columbia and Yeti, and a fun bit of Tennessee-centric shirts and accessories. Couture Crush (101 Franklin Street; 931-802-8945) offers upscale women's clothing.
Blackhorse Pub & Brewery: With a draft and bottle list of a dozen house-brewed beers --including a pair of great stouts, a very good IPA and a light blonde ale -- as well as a menu of pub favorites, this is an easy spot to rest for a pint and a flatbread or some shared appetizers. (132 Franklin Street; 931-552-3726; open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday)
Yada Yada Yada Deli: This spot serves up your caffeine needs with an offering of drip coffees and espresso drinks, and satisfies your sweet tooth with their smoothies, cookies and baked goods. The folks here are friendly and happy to recommend other places to visit for shopping and dining in town. (100 Strawberry Alley; 931-919-2599; open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday to Saturday)
Roux Americajun Restaurant and Bar: Though they're just a little ways up the river from New Orleans, the Cajun influence is strong at Roux. Their menu features standards like burgers and salads, but their specialty is po'boys, crawfish, jambalaya, etouffee, shrimp and grits, and other dishes that put you in the New Orleans spirit. In the evenings, their speakeasy-style bar serves up some excellent cocktails. (125 Franklin Street; 931-896-2113open for lunch 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday to Saturday; speakeasy open from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, and 4:30 p.m. to midnight or later on Friday and Saturday)