Welcome to Cookeville Putnam County


Prepare to be charmed by our matchless mountains, rich historical heritage, art and cultural events, unique downtown shops, cosmopolitan cuisine, and outdoor opportunities at many state and local parks and lakes.

Cookeville-Putnam County is one of the smallest cities in the Southeast to have a professional symphony orchestra, the Bryan Symphony Orchestra, and a public television station, WCTE-TV. The Bryan Symphony Orchestra performs regularly at Tennessee Tech University as well as at outdoor venues such as Dogwood Park. Adjacent to Dogwood Park is the Cookeville Performing Arts Center (CPAC), a professionally equipped, 458-seat performance facility. CPAC is also home to the Cookeville Children’s Theatre and the nationally recognized Backstage Series. World-renowned artists such as Brad Sells (one of the top 5 woodworkers in the world) call Cookeville home. The Appalachian Center for Craft offers added arts and cultural value to this quaint university town.

In a region rich in culture, history and heritage, Cookeville is home to three train depot museums (Baxter, Cookeville, & Monterey), various history museums, a veterans hall memorial, and walkable downtown historic districts. Surrounded by 16 state parks and natural areas, plus lakes, wineries, organic farm tours, and many other outdoor amenities, Cookeville offers a host of natural attractions.

Festivals and activity options are year round, such as Wine on the WestSide, Fall Fun Fest, Picasso Arts & Music Festival, Blues & Brews and Taste of the Town. You can feel yourself becoming a part of the area during these celebrations, including Nature Fest, Algood Bluegrass Festival, Cooking on the Square and Window on the World. Driving the Upper Cumberland Quilt Trail in Putnam County’s beautiful countryside, you’ll see historic barns, owned by local farm families, displaying gorgeous quilt squares, each quilt pattern a replica of a treasured family heirloom.

Recreational opportunities are limitless here: golfing (Cookeville Golf Club, Ironwood Golf Course, Belle Acres Golf Course, Southern Hills Golf Course & White Plains Golf Course); hiking (trails in 16 state parks and natural areas, including Tennessee’s newest state park, Cummins Falls); fishing (Cookeville City Lake, Cane Creek Lake, Blackburn Fork Scenic River, Caney Fork River, 3 Army Corps of Engineer lakes—including Dale Hollow, Center Hill and Cordell Hull lakes); racquet sports (tennis, racquetball, pickleball, walleyball—Racquet Masters, TTU Fitness Center, Cane Creek SportsPlex); and motorsports (Baja-Hyder Burkes Pavilion, Thunder Valley Motocross, home to the Tennessee State H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) Rally, Middle Tennessee Dragway). Pick from a variety of spectator collegiate sports at Tennessee Technological University—volleyball, soccer, men & women’s basketball, football, tennis, softball, baseball, men & women’s golf, track & field and cross country.

If gardening is your passion, find new friends among these groups: Cookeville Rose Society, Putnam County Master Gardeners, Waters Farms, 3 Sisters Farm, Muddy Pond Mennonite Community, various other farm-to-fork groups. Or, if you relish historical studies, join similar-minded folks among Friends of the Cookeville History Museum, Friends of the Depots, Friends of White Plains Plantation, Daughters of the American Revolution, First Families of Putnam County.

Cookeville-Putnam County is more than Southern charm and hospitality. The region offers a rich variety of cultural and entertainment options, reinforced by Cookeville’s status as a Main Street community and a Seal of Approval community with the American Association of Retirement Communities (AARC).


The Cookeville-Putnam County and Highlands region offer unprecedented quality of life. Surrounded by rolling hills and scenic landscapes, Cookeville-Putnam County offers a blend of small-town southern hospitality and big-city amenities, making it the ideal place to live, work, play, raise a family and retire. The housing market and cost of living are among the most affordable in the Southeast.

Examples of 200k Homes

image description Spacious Yard $200,000 2,182 square feet
image description Beautiful Brick Home $200,000 2,133 square feet
image description Gorgeous Views $200,000 2,100 square feet

The Council for Community and Economic Research has consistently ranked Cookeville in the top 10 most affordable communities in America. Recognized as the retail center for 14 counties, retail sales gross more than $1 billion annually. Among the top 40 micropolitan areas in the nation, Cookeville is the largest micropolitan area in Tennessee, with more than $100 billion in bank deposits annually. The approximate 200 manufacturing companies in the region provide more than 11,000 jobs.

Cookeville-Putnam County is home to excellent medical, educational and cultural facilities. Cookeville Regional Medical Center is the premier healthcare provider for many residents of the region. More than 140 physicians, who cover 36 medical and surgical specialties, staff CRMC, a 247-bed municipal facility. The hospital, a partner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, provides inpatient, outpatient and emergency care for patients in the Upper Cumberland area. CRMC has specialty centers, including The Heart Center, The Cancer Center, The Women’s Center, The Imaging Center, The Sleep Center, The Rehabilitation Center, The Diabetes Center, The Neurosciences Center, and The Birthing Center.

Tax & Living Expenses

Recently, Tennessee earned a number-one spot among states considered prime retirement locations in a Bankrate.com study. Ranked by data such as climate, tax rates, cost of living and access to healthcare, Tennessee has a cost of living 9.6% below the national average.

Our state and local tax burden is the third lowest in the nation, with residents enjoying no income tax except on interest and dividends. State sales tax is 7%; 5% for food.

Tennessee has no state property tax. Property taxes are locally determined and collected.

The median home value for a three-bedroom home in Putnam County is $130,000.

Higher Education

Retirees can advance their education at the following regional institutions:

  • Tennessee Technological University
  • Nashville State Community College
  • Fortis Institute
  • MedVance
  • Cookeville Senior Center


Experience Living in Putnam County

We love it here! We moved here from Florida 12 years ago and, I tell ya, we didn’t get here fast enough! - John, Florida
For us, it was more than just the weather and relaxing lifestyle. It was about the people. The hospitality here is what really sold us on moving to Cookeville. - Victoria, New Jersey


Putnam County can take some of the hassle out of your lifestyle visit. We have arranged discounts with select hotels and have coordinated VIP treatment for our visitors with participating development partners (subject to availability).

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Discover Tennessee Tour

Tennessee’s array of amenities will please any interest. Whether you enjoy a active lifestyle or prefer a more leisurely pace, Tennessee provides natural beauty, a mild climate, urban conveniences and rural peacefulness.

Contact us for your personal tour of a Retire TN county.

Download the Discover (Putnam Co.) TN Tour PDF »