If you are looking for a charming small town to visit in Tennessee, look no further than Martin, Tennessee!
This small Tennessee town is the largest city in Weakley County and has been welcoming visitors for generations.
Known for the University of Tennessee at Martin, I am here to tell you that Martin is much more than a typical university town.
Whether looking for great food, fun festivals, or boutique shopping, Martin, Tennessee, has you covered.
I discovered Martin on a road trip through Northwest Tennessee; this town stole my heart!
Let me introduce you to all the great things to do in Martin, Tennessee, so you can add it to your Tennessee vacation itinerary.
During a recent press trip, I had the opportunity to visit Northwest Tennessee. Since I was a guest of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and the City of Martin, my trip was fully sponsored. As always, all opinions are my own.
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Tennessee Soybean Festival
As I drove through the countryside surrounding Martin, Tennessee, I couldn’t help but notice the acres of farmland dedicated to soybeans!
Since the soybean is such a staple crop for this area of Tennessee, it only makes sense that the city celebrates it in a big way. The town of Martin, Tennessee, does this every year in September when they host the Tennessee Soybean Festival.
Weakley County has celebrated the soybean for over three decades with this lively festival.
People come from all over the country during the first week of September to enjoy delicious fair food, great live music, and loads of unique vendors. Of course, you can’t leave the city without trying some of the unique soybean products at the festival.
To start planning your trip to the Tennessee Soybean Festival in Martin, visit the festival’s website for complete details.
Blake’s Southern Milling
I must admit, I was surprised to find a place in Tennessee serving up Texas-style barbeque instead of Tennessee-style barbeque, so, of course, I had to try it during my time in Martin!
Blake started his barbeque business by selling smoked meats from a food truck. After selling out daily, he decided it might be time to open a stand-alone restaurant.
He found an old mill site that he transformed into one of Martin’s favorite restaurants. They preserved the site’s history by leaving exposed brick, beautiful stained glass, and tall ceilings inside.
With the support of the Martin, Tennessee, community, Blake has turned his passion into one of the successful businesses in the area.
One taste of his melt-in-your-mouth smoked meat, and you will see why. Not only does Blake’s Southern Milling serve up traditional barbeque food, like brisket, sausage, and pork, but they also offer some delicious sides. One of the best things to eat here is the homemade pimento cheese paired with seasoned crackers. This and the brisket were my favorites during my visit.
Blakes is located directly near downtown Martin, so it is the perfect place to fuel up before a day of shopping and fun!
The Grind Mac and Cheese Burger Bar
Another fun restaurant in the Martin community is The Grind Mac and Cheese Burger Bar.
Walking into The Grind, I knew I was in for a treat. This restaurant was clearly unlike any other I had ever visited.
The lively 80s rock music and the fun sayings around the room screamed fun to me from the moment I stepped foot into the site. I was even more intrigued when the waitress told me that subliminal messages were hidden throughout the sayings. You get a special treat if you find and mention one of these messages to the staff!
The fun and quirky vibe doesn’t stop at the atmosphere, though. It continues with the food! The Grind Mac and Cheese Burger Bar has some of the most unique flavor combinations you have ever seen!
One perfect example is the Luther Vandross burger, which consists of a patty between two hot, fresh-glazed donuts!
Don’t fill up on the burgers, though, because the highlight of this restaurant is the huge, over-the-top milkshakes they serve.
Get ready because these aren’t your ordinary milkshakes. The Grind milkshakes are works of art. Each shake is piled high with an extraordinary amount of crazy ingredients. These extras include candy bars, cake frosting, sprinkles, cereal, cake, and more.
These shakes make you feel like you have been transported to the world of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with their whimsical nature. They truly are a treat for all of the senses!
I’m sure the university students love visiting this Martin favorite! Don’t miss it during your time in Weakley County.
Shop at the Boutique Shops
One of my favorite things about visiting small towns is all the boutique shops that call them home. Of course, Martin has its fair share as well.
After filling your stomach with some of the delicious food we mentioned, why not work off some calories with a shopping spree in Downtown Martin, TN?
If you want the perfect outfit or accessory, head to Sugar and Spice Clothing, 310 Broadway Street. This was one of my favorite stores in the city. The total area of the store makes up about 5,000 square feet, so you know they will offer some great choices. I found a really unique skit during my visit!
Another great store to check out is located on Martin’s Main Street, Five Seasons. Five Seasons specializes in modern clothing for men. Whether looking for the perfect tie or a fun pair of quirky socks, Five Seasons has you covered!
Shopping in Martin, Tennessee, makes for a great day out, no matter what store you choose!
Martin Recreation Complex
In addition to great events, Martin offers visitors some of the area’s best parks and outdoor activities.
Living an active lifestyle and enjoying recreational activities is important to the families and students who call Martin, TN, home.
You can discover the parks and land dedicated to living this active lifestyle during your time in Martin.
One way to do so is to visit the Martin Recreation Complex. This complex in the heart of town hosts numerous events and is home to the city’s baseball and softball fields, a playground, a lake, and more!
No matter your age or interest, something about the complex appeals to everyone.
This is a great place to bring your family to spend a day outdoors enjoying recreational activities on the weekend!
C.E. Weldon Public Library
I wouldn’t usually encourage you to visit the library in cities during vacation, but I will make an exception for Martin, Tennessee, and tell you that you really should explore their library!
If you are traveling with your family, your children will love the C.E. Weldon Public Library! Explore the expansive children’s area before curling up with the perfect book.
The library has quite a history in the city. It was started in 1925 and has grown into a place of pride for the families and residents of the city.
As you explore the library, notice how they have created little living areas. I love that no matter what age you are in life, the library seems to have been designed with you in mind.
I’m sure students love the Martin Library. There are areas to gather research data, rest and unwind with a board game or good book, and areas to practice their fine arts skills like a full production studio.
White Squirrel Winery
Another Weakley County place to visit is the White Squirrel Winery. The winery, located just outside Martin, was named after the population of white squirrels found in this area of the city.
This family-owned vineyard and winery opened in 2014 and has welcomed visitors from Martin and the surrounding community for years.
Over 20 acres of the 100-acre family property are dedicated to vineyards that produce over 180,000 pounds of wine grapes annually, according to owner Bill Sanders.
The farm also contains over 100 fruit trees that produce everything from peaches to blueberries, all used in wine production.
You can enjoy tasting their various wines in the open-air tasting room during your visit. With wines ranging from dry to sweet, White Squirrel Winery will surely have something to suit your taste and will interest you.
A visit to the White Squirrel should definitely be on your Martin itinerary!
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About the Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through creative content creation and her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel and accompanying social media accounts. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.