Serendipity In Crossville, Tennessee

Bridge/Dam at Cumberland Mountain State Park built by CCC

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you heard about the Great American Eclipse visible on August 21. The path through North America was to begin in Oregon, leaving the continent in South Carolina. With 100% totality within a couple hours drive, reservations were made for a long weekend in Crossville, Tennessee,  an area I’d never explored.

A Culinary Surprise in Crossville, Tennessee

A picturesque drive had us pulling into Crossville around lunch. The Pour House was the first in a weekend of culinary surprises. A fun, fresh menu awaited with handcrafted burgers, farm-fresh salads, and more. Our server offered samples of craft beers and they had an excellent selection of wines. Not to mention really good food! Who would have thought you’d have great Korean BBQ tacos in a smallish town in middle Tennessee?

Tacos from Pour House Crossville, Tennessee
Korean BBQ Tacos and Homemade Chips

You probably wouldn’t think you’d find authentic Cuban cuisine either. You would be wrong. Culinary surprise number two was Abuela’s Cuban Cafe. They’re the real deal. Delicious!

Pork, Rice Beans from Abuelas Cuban Cafe Crossville Tennessee
Pork, Rice & Beans, and Fried Plantains

Beer and Wine in Crossville, Tennessee

Having sampled an excellent craft beer from Calfkiller Brewery we learned they were located in Sparta, Tn., a short drive from Crossville. Off we went. Greeted by cats, chickens, and the sounds of The Band we found our way inside for free samples (not unlimited in case you’re getting any crazy ideas). Purchase or rent a growler, get it filled with your favorite beer, and head outside to enjoy the day. You just can’t  beat the Calfkiller Deadhorse, an excellent porter with brown sugar and oatmeal. Yum! You see what I did there, right?

From of Calfkiller Brewery in Sparta Tennessee
Calfkiller Brewery
Deadhorse Porter

Beer doesn’t get to have all the fun! The Stonehaus Winery offers both tours and tastings. Stonehaus makes all of their wine on site, however they purchase the grapes elsewhere. Some from as far as California, allowing them to make wines other than the expected muscadine. A delicious Cabernet Franc was our first choice, followed by a nice red blend. Served with cheese from the local award-winning Sweetwater Valley Farm,  we sampled everything right up to the so-sweet-it-hurts-your-teeth Hillbilly Shine Wine which they claim can be used in place of tequila in margaritas and mixed drinks.

bottle of red wine and glass at Stonehaus Winery Crossville, Tennessee
Reds at Stonehaus Winery

What To Do Around Crossville, Tennessee

The Cumberland Mountain State Park, home to Byrd Lake, is the star of the Crossville, Tennessee area. Offering fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoes, you can easily spend a day on the water. With  14 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to overnight treks, you’ll have plenty of  chances to reconnect with nature on the trail. Cool off in the Olympic sized swimming pool afterwards. The stone bridge/dam is the most well known landmark and is also the largest masonry structure built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Cabins, campsites, and a restaurant make it easy to spend the weekend there. I haven’t met a state park I didn’t love and Cumberland Mountain was no exception.

View of CCC bridge/dam at Cumberland State Park Tennessee, Crossville, Tennessee
View of Bridge From Hiking Trail

Interested in history? Stop by the Homesteads Tower Museum. This cool little museum originally housed the Works Progress Administration (WPA) offices and showcases FDR’s New Deal and its effects on the area. Climb the octagonal water tower to the top for amazing views of the area. Don’t miss a side trip to one of the original Homestead Homes located right outside the state park.  The Military Memorial Museum is downtown and free to visit. Consider adding it to your list of stops.

Water Tower at Homestead Museum Crossville Tennessee
The Water Tower at Homestead Museum

Three other state parks are within 40 miles of Cumberland Mountain State park. With a mild climate, the Cumberland Plateau area is perfect in all four seasons. But don’t take my word for it….go see for yourself!







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