Things To Do in Columbia

Only 45 minutes south of Nashville, discover a quaint Tennessee town brimming with history, culture and fascinating architecture. Columbia is a destination that plays host to spectacular parades and lively festivals like the famous Mule Day, and features an abundance of well-preserved homes, plantations and intriguing museums. In downtown Columbia, enjoy the slow pace of things as you step into one of the charming shops and restaurants that line colorful Main Street.

James K. Polk Home

Built in 1816, the Federal-style brick home of the eleventh president of the United States is a landmark for history buffs. Discover 19th-century, furniture, paintings, silver and china, plus family daguerreotypes, campaign memorabilia and personal items. Tour the 1820 Sisters' House featuring temporary rotating exhibits, gift shop and museum room, before heading to the separate kitchen building to learn how cooking 19th century cooking was accomplished.

Mule Day

Each April, thousands flock to the small Tennessee town for a week of riveting mule presentations, great food and entertainment. The centerpiece are fantastic mule shows like the log pulling and loading competitions, the mini mania showcase and driving show. The festival schedule is packed with fun entertainment and activities like the canasta, pool and corn hole tournament. Music lovers will love tapping their toes to rhythmic bluegrass, or letting loose with group line dancing and clogging.

Athenaeum Rectory

Discover the remains of one of the most prestigious educational institutions for girls. Between 1852 and 1904, when courses in math, physics, science, business were taught to students at the Columbia Female Institute. Today, the rectory is maintained by the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities. Marvel at the Moorish Gothic architecture, or tour the halls and rooms with original chandeliers and features. Throughout the year, the rectory plays host to an array of fascinating presentations and exhibits.