Many interesting sites and activities in Lebanon, Tennessee

The college town of Lebanon(population 24,648) sits proximate to the busy I-40 corridor in North Central Tennessee.  Located just 30 miles from the large city of Nashville, and close to Cedars of Lebanon State Park, it represents a quiet oasis of gracious living in a rapidly developing region. Historic Murfreesboro lies some 20 miles to the southwest.

Businesses in Lebanon

Lebanon supports retail outlets, dining establishments and several hotels. The community serves as the county seat for Wilson County. It is also the site of historic Cumberland University’s main campus.

Residents can access many different types of professional services, and the real estate sector remains strong, too.  Businesses in Lebanon attract commercial contacts and customers from surrounding areas: Martha, Mount Juliet, Belinda City, Gladeville, Bairds Mill, Norene and Watertown.

Historic Tennessee town

Lebanon was founded in 1802. For over two centuries, the community has contributed significantly to the local area. Consequently, history buffs enjoy visiting the town and nearby cultural attractions.   

Attorney Sam Houston, the former President of the Republic of Texas and later a Governor of the State of Texas, as a young man actually commenced his legal career in Lebanon.  He opened his law office there in 1818.

Later, Lebanon’s historic Public Square served as the site of a battle during the Civil War between Union and Confederate cavalries.  Both sides occupied the town and different times during the conflict.

In 1996, the community celebrated the restoration of its most famous monument, a statue commemorating General Hatton. Tourists today can admire this work of art free of charge.

The Lebanon Historical Museum maintains an exhibit open to the public on weekdays. It remains a wise idea to call first to obtain dates and hours of operation.  Tour guides will assist larger groups upon request.

Cumberland University

Lebanon for many years has benefited from its role as the site of a leading private coeducational liberal arts college.  In 1842, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church founded Cumberland University in the community. This four year institution eventually expanded and now includes three additional campuses in other locations.  However, Lebanon continues to host the main campus and library.

Cumberland University’s alumni have included some figures of national stature. Reportedly, at least thirteen former state governors and two United States Supreme Court Justices numbered among the institution’s graduates.

Today, visitors to the Dorris and Harry Vise Memorial University Library at Cumberland University in Lebanon may view a collection of artifacts from the World War II era.

Community recreational activities

Residents and visitors to Lebanon can participate in a wide variety of recreational pursuits: biking, hiking, walking, jogging and picnic facilities afford many opportunities to relax. 

The town maintains the Don Fox Community Park, a sprawling landscaped area surrounding a quarter mile long walking trail. In addition to picnic tables and grills, the community park includes four rental pavilions equipped with multiple tables and electric grills.  Children can play in two playgrounds located on the park grounds.

Additionally, a private recreational, meeting and exercise facility is located nearby. It offers periodic classes available to everyone in the community for a small fee. Activities range from Mat Pilates to Yoga to water aerobics and Karate. 

The Wilson County Fair   

Every August people from Nashville and other surrounding communities flock to the outskirts of Lebanon to attend the Wilson County Fair. The James E. Ward Agricultural Center usually hosts this popular event. The attractions offered at the fair have drawn interest from an increasingly wide area.

The event typically involves both on-site entertainment, such as carnival rides, musical performances and dances, plus numerous livestock, baking, and talent competitions.  A bluegrass competition attracts considerable interest. 

Many visitors decide to commute to the Wilson County Fair by train. The Music City Star departs from Nashville’s Riverfront Station and stops at several stations along the way before reaching Lebanon. 

Other events in Lebanon occur from time to time, including hikes along the nearby Appalachian Trail.   

Surrounding attractions

Lebanon also offers proximity to a variety of other sites of interest in the North Central Tennessee region. Some visitors to the community take day trips to see the Tennessee Performing Arts Center or Ryman Auditorium or the Hermitage (the home of President Andrew Jackson) in Nashville. 

Tourists interested in history may also want to visit nearby Cedars of Lebanon State Park (some 12 miles south along Highway 231) or the Stone River National Battlefield near Murfreesboro.  

In conclusion, Lebanon offers a variety of amenities and attractions. Although the community has preserved its small town atmosphere, it possesses a vibrant cultural life.