From tomato festivals to blueberry farms, there are tons of great ways for families to get out and enjoy Tennessee’s summer bounty with healthy foods.
Find 10 of our favorites below.
Lauderdale County Tomato Festival — Ripley
The annual Lauderdale County Tomato Festival is a 2-day celebration honoring Ripley’s local tomato growers. Highlights include tomato tastings, a 5K, live music, carnival rides and contests of all kinds including tomato eating, baby crawling and beauty.
Memphis Caribbean Jerk Festival — Memphis
Benefiting the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee, the Caribbean Jerk Festival takes place in the heart of Memphis at the Liberty Bowl’s Tiger Lane. The festival offers a variety of Jamaican jerk and Caribbean foods, not all of which are spicy, so it’s kid-friendly. Enjoy live entertainment from local Caribbean musicians, a domino tournament and other fun activities.
Bottom View Farm — Portland
At Bottom View Farm, families can do it all: fish in Catfish Larry’s Paylake (you only pay for what you catch), pick fruits including berries and peaches, eat a home-cooked meal at the country restaurant and even explore the farm’s mini old Western town.
Johnson’s Honey Farm — Goodlettsville
July is peak honey harvesting time in Tennessee. Stop in at Johnson’s Honey Farm and talk to Paula Morton whose family has kept bees on their farm since 1918. Learn about honey harvesting and taste wildflower, sourwood and clover varieties to get all the health benefits of local honey. If you can’t make it to Goodlettsville, you can also find Morton (and her honey!) at the Franklin Farmers Market.
Pratt’s Orchard — Lebanon
Pratt’s Orchard is one of Tennessee’s few pick-your-own peach farms. The orchard has more than 1,500 peach and apple trees (though you’ll have to wait for fall for apples). You can also purchase fresh fruit already picked if you want to visit the orchard but are worried about little hands bruising your fruit.
Tomato Art Fest — Nashville
The Tomato Art Fest has been an East Nashville tradition for 15 years, and it just keeps growing. Located in historic Five Points, this free event encourages costumes and tomato-related attire, setting the tone for a wacky day for all ages. An estimated 60,000 people come together to enjoy the beloved tomato and the local art scene, with parades, contests and vendors celebrating all weekend long.
Thedford’s Blueberry Patch — Spring City
Thedford’s Blueberry Patch is one of the many places you can pick fresh blueberries near Chattanooga. They have a variety of blueberry plants including Rabbiteye, Brightwell and Ozark Blue, a delicious late-season berry. A visit to the patch is a great way to get the whole family active, and afterward you can cook a healthy meal at home using your haul.
Fruit harvesting — Charleston
Don’t let the name fool you: Morris Vineyard is more than a winery. They grow all of the fruit for their products on their farm, including grapes, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Many visitors come to pick their own fruit; others just come for a nature walk to enjoy the beauty of the rolling hills.
Knox Asian Festival — Knoxville
The Knox Asian Festival celebrates traditions from all over Asia, bringing together people of all backgrounds to promote peace and a healthy lifestyle. Each participating country showcases its unique music, dance, food, fashion and crafts, so it’s a great learning and eating experience for the whole family.
Santa’s Berry Farm — Tellico Plains
If you’re looking for a different fruit-picking combo, this small family owned U-pick farm is a great option. You can pick blueberries but also muscadine grapes right off the vine at Santa’s Berry Farm and grab some other goodies while you’re there. They sell delicious local honey, jams, jellies, natural soaps and fresh eggs.