15 Things to Do in Bradley County, Tennessee
Bradley County offers loads of southern small town charm, a college community and lots of outdoor mountain activities.
1. Halloween block party. Every Halloween Bradley County throws a giant block party on Main Street, complete with trick or treating, live music and a few scares. You never know when a zombie will jump on you! Literally.
2. Grape picking at Morris Vineyard. The vineyard, beautifully nested in the Appalachian Mountains, is a great activity for the end of the summer. You can relax under their pavilion, taste their specialty wine or pick your own fruit right off the vines!
3. Take a trip to the Ocoee River. The Ocoee runs right through the Chilhowee Mountains, and it’s the perfect way to escape from campus (for free!). You can go all year round to relax on the riverbank, but the summer time is best for swimming.
4. White Water Rafting. Right along the river is the Ocoee White Water Center, where the water sports for the 1996 Summer Olympics were held. You can swim, hike, bike or jump in a kayak and float down the river. It costs $3 to park for the whole day.
5. Taco Tuesday. Every Tuesday at Tres Hermanos is Taco Tuesday, and you can get as many hard shell tacos as you want for $0.79. Lee University students and professors meet at Tres Hermanos for meals and meetings all the time, and you can’t miss a Taco Tuesday.
6. Shop locally at farmers markets. Bradley County has three farmers markets open at different times, so you can almost always get locally grown fruits and vegetables during the week. You have to pay a little more than you would at the supermarket, but buying locally and exploring the markets are worth it.
7. Hiking or camping on Chilhowee Mountain. Chilhowee Mountain, part of the Great Smoky Mountain Ridge, has over 20 miles of hiking trails and plenty of campgrounds for overnight adventures. This is another great free activity that works all year round, but it’s prettiest in the fall when you’re surrounded by changing colors and crunchy leaves.
8. Concerts at Inman Street Coffee House. Inman is Bradley County’s best study spot and java provider, but the atmosphere completely changes when a local band shows up. Students pack into the small shop, lit with Christmas lights, and settle in for a night of music, coffee and community. Inman has great prices for their coffee and pastries, and all proceeds go to the Salvation Army. Check their schedule on the Facebook page.
9. Perkits Frozen Yogurt. Perkits is by far the BEST place to satisfy your sweet toothe in all of Bradley County. The yogurt isn’t just your typical froyo; there’s something unique about that makes it a Bradley County specialty. Prices range from $2 to $5, and Lee students get a 10% discount.
10. Walk on the Greenway. The Bradley County Greenway runs for four miles through the town of Cleveland, and it’s completely free. It’s great for running, walking dogs and relaxing or doing homework.
11. Drink Blackberry Lemonade at Gardners Market. I am not kidding when I tell you that this blackberry lemonade is the best thing that exists in all of Bradley County. Gardners Market is a local family owned diner that doubles as a grocery store in the heart of downtown. And if you think the blackberry lemonade is good, wait until you try their deluxe grilled cheese. Prices run from $5 to $10.
12. Go to the Rivermaze. Along the banks of the river is Bradley County’s fall farm and corn maze, the Rivermaze. For $10 you can go through the maze, take a hayride, milk cows, corn toss and a few other activities. You can also buy tokens to shoot corn from a canon or eat at their concession stand.
13. Screen on the Green. Once or twice a semester a club from Lee University will turn the campus into a drive-in movie theater and show a movie for the whole community. It’s a great time for students and families to come out and enjoy a movie and popcorn all together, and it’s completely free! To find out when the next screen on the green takes place, click here.
14. Eat at the Taco Truck. The best food comes from the back of a sketchy looking truck, right? On the side of Lee Highway sits Tacos El Cunao, where they serve up legendary (well, at least in Bradley County) burritos, tacos, rice, beans and other Spanish dishes. Prices are typically in the $5 range, and there’s plenty of seating room outside of the truck.
15. Free yoga on Saturdays. On the south side of Inman St. is the 5ive Point Yoga and Massage, where you can take a free community yoga class on Saturdays at noon. Besides the free yoga class, your first class at 5ive Points is also free, and after that you can buy a membership card to keep up your Zen.