Hofken Hub
Find all the insider travel tips you need to help you own the moment
Ultimate Traveler’s Guide To Bonnaroo 2023

Bonnaroo 2023

Bonnaroo, though held in what may be considered a random location, is one of the most popular music festivals in the world. Taking place in Manchester, Tennessee, Bonnaroo is known for its stacked music lineup that is arguably the best out there (sorry, Coachella). With headlining artists such as Kendrick Lamar, ODESZA, and Foo Fighters, it’s not hard to see why this is one of the biggest festivals in the U.S. 

Whether you’re a seasoned pro when it comes to music festivals or this is your very first one, Hoken wants to make sure that you’re prepared. That’s why we’ve put together this traveler’s guide to Bonnaroo 2023. We’re breaking down tips and tricks, the best hotels to stay at, what to do in Manchester, and some of the best eats. 

Tips For Bonnaroo 2023

Book Your Accommodations As Early In Advance As Possible

Because there are an average of 70-90,000 people in attendance, it’s crucial that you book your accommodations as early in advance as possible. While many choose to camp, we understand that living in a tent for four days isn’t for everyone. Luckily, there are multiple hotel options around. Manchester is a smaller town, though, so hotels fill up quickly. This means you should be snagging a room as quickly as you can. The festival offers different camping options, including General Admission camping, VIP camping, and RV camping. If you’re interested in camping, be sure to purchase your camping pass as soon as possible since they tend to sell out quickly.

Plan How You’re Getting There In Advance

There are a few different options for getting to the festival–the most popular being driving. Getting in is a breeze if you’re renting a car or driving your own. However, if you’re going to be without a car for the weekend, don’t fret. There are shuttles that depart from different hotels that take you to the festival grounds. No matter which option you choose–whether it be driving or taking a shuttle–booking them ahead of time is recommended, as parking sells out. You can also take a taxi or ride-sharing service, but keep in mind that traffic can be heavy, and there may be long wait times for these services.

Arrive Early

If there’s a specific artist that you’re interested in seeing that is playing early in the day, it’s advised to get there early in the day. This gives you plenty of cushion for finding parking and/or hopping on the shuttle, going through security, and making your way to the stage. Lines can sometimes take up to an hour to get in, and there’s nothing more frustrating than missing your favorite band because you didn’t give yourself enough time.

Be Prepared For All Types Of Weather

Unfortunately, the weather in Tennessee is unpredictable. It’s not uncommon to experience rainstorms and chilly evenings. This is why you should pack warm layers and a poncho in your Camelbak, just to be safe. On the other hand, it can also be sunny and warm, in which case you’ll want a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen. Regardless of the weather, ensure that you bring plenty of water.

Dress Comfortably

You’re going to spend hours on your feet, so dressing comfortably is a must. We understand that Bonnaroo is known for its fashion in the same way that Coachella is. However, blisters can easily ruin your experience, so either pack an extra pair of comfortable shoes to change into as the days go on or dress adequately from the get-go. Wear comfortable shoes, and consider bringing an extra pair in case of blisters. Dress in layers so you can adjust to the temperature, and bring a backpack or Camelbak to carry your essentials.

Stick With Your Group

The chances of getting lost amongst the crowd are high. And cell phone service has been known to be spotty due to the large number of people in one central location. To ensure you don’t lose your group, stick together as much as you can. If you do want to split up to see different acts, take at least one buddy with you. Though this may sound ridiculous, it can be a lifesaver if you’ve had too much to drink or you end up with a dead phone battery.

Pack All The Essentials

Last but certainly not least, it’s imperative that you pack all of the essentials to get you through a 12-hour day. This includes a clear backpack or Camelbak, sunglasses, a camera, extra cash, a blanket, a battery-operated fan, and a battery pack for your phone. You’re not allowed to bring your own food or drinks in, but countless vendors offer options, so you never have to worry about going hungry. 

Where To Stay For Bonnaroo 2023

Comfort Suites 

Rating – 3-Star Hotel

Located just seven minutes away from the park where the festival is held, Comfort Suites Manchester is one of the closest hotels you can find. The hotel features a heated indoor pool, complimentary breakfast (great to chow down on before heading to a busy day of concerts), free Wi-Fi, and laundry, an absolute must-have when you’re outside sweating for hours.

LX Hotel 

Rating – 2-Star Hotel

If you’re looking for a hotel that offers a long list of amenities, it’s the LX. With everything from unlimited fiber internet connectivity to made-to-order complimentary breakfast and complimentary beer and wine every night from 5-7 PM, this is the perfect place to come back and relax after a long day.

That’s not all they offer, though. You’ll also find that all 47 rooms have Egyptian cotton bedding, smart TVs, and designer toiletries. And the best part? These amenities don’t come with a high price tag. 

Grand Lux Inn

Rating – 3-Star Hotel

Though the Grand Lux Inn is farther away from the festival grounds–15.4 miles away, to be exact–it’s a must for anyone who wants to stay somewhere with charm. The home was built in 1905 and sits amidst beautifully aged trees. The Victorian B&B has a wrap-around porch that makes for an incredibly romantic place to wake up and enjoy a cup of coffee, as well as a garden and bar where you can sip on a cocktail when it’s time to unwind.

There are only six rooms–all of which feature flat-screen TVs, full private baths, and queen-size beds–so if you’re looking for a hotel that is the epitome of quaint, it’s best to book ahead of time.

The Sewanee Inn

Rating – 3.5-Star Hotel

This is another option for those looking to branch out of Manchester. Although it’s a 30-minute drive to the festival, the Sewanee Inn has amenities that are well worth the drive. Situated on the grounds of the University of South, here you can enjoy scratch-made cocktails, Southern comfort food, hikes up the Appalacian trails, complimentary bicycles, and a 9-hole golf course.

We know what you’re probably thinking. How are you supposed to enjoy this if you’re going to be spending a weekend at a music festival? The minute you step foot on the property, you’ll understand why it’s worth taking an extended vacation to soak it all in.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Manchester

Rating – 2.5-Star Hotel

For a no-frills stay that won’t break the bank during an already expensive weekend, stay at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites. It’s located right in between Nashville and Chattanooga, making it a great spot for anyone flying in for the festival.

Complimentary breakfast is served every day from 6 AM to 9 AM, there’s an indoor temperature-regulated pool, and the bedrooms feature black-out curtains, which we know you’ll greatly appreciate when you’re trying to catch up on sleep after nonstop fun. Although it’s a traditional hotel in every sense of the word, its location and affordable pricing can’t be beat.

Things To Do Around Bonnaroo 2023

Beans Creek Winery

Beans Creek Winery opened its doors in 2004 and has been a must-visit spot in Manchester ever since. They offer an extensive list of award-winning wines, many using local grapes. Here you can sip on everything from sweet white wines to bold, full-bodied reds while enjoying the beautiful summer weather. 

Jack Daniels Distillery

If wine isn’t your drink of choice, you’re in luck. Jack Daniel’s has a distillery in Lynchburg. Tours take place every day and are free, although if you’re looking to do any sampling, it will cost you $10. Though Lynchburg isn’t a hot vacation spot like Nashville, the distillery still pulls about 300,000 visitors a year. Where else can you go to experience the only place they distill all of Jack Daniel’s around the world, after all?

Rutledge Falls

The summer heat in Tennessee can be no joke. To cool down and get in touch with nature, visit Rutledge Falls. The beautiful waterfalls are by far one of the best ways to beat the humidity and get away from civilization for a bit. Just be mindful that there is a bit of a hike down to them, though it is short. We’re talking about a quarter of a mile. We also highly recommend wearing water shoes if you plan on going for a swim, as the rocks can be very slippery.

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park

Built in the Middle Woodland Period over 1,500 years ago, Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park is home to an array of activities. There are several miles of hiking trails, multiple spots that offer great fishing, and you can even stay the night at one of the 51 campsites if you feel like enjoying the great outdoors overnight. There’s nothing quite like sitting by a bonfire and stargazing.

Escape to Nashville

Of course, we couldn’t put together this list without mentioning heading to Nashville. Manchester is a short hour’s drive from the city, making it an easy stop for a day trip. While a day trip should suffice–if you have the time–extend your trip and see what Music City, USA has to offer. Jump from bar to bar and soak up the music scene on Broadway, or find your new favorite restaurant in East Nashville. There are options for everyone.

Where To Eat Around Bonnaroo 2023

Jiffy Burger

One of the coolest parts about visiting a small town is the small-town eats. And no matter where you visit, they always seem to have a 50 ’s-inspired diner. Manchester’s is Jiffy Burger. It’s one of the top-rated restaurants on Trip Advisor and offers eats like burgers, grilled cheese, hot dogs, and more. The minute you step through the doors, you’ll feel as if you’ve taken a step back in time. Who doesn’t like enjoying a burger with a side of nostalgia?

The Mercantile

Southern comfort food meets a home-cooked meal at The Mercantile. With an almost perfect rating on Trip Advisor, this gem is beloved by locals and travelers alike. The menu is constantly changing, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for daily updates on what they’re serving. And whatever you do, save room for dessert. 

J and G Pizza and Steakhouse 

Proudly serving Manchester since 1973, there’s a reason that J and G Pizza and Steakhouse has been around for 50 years. The family-owned restaurant makes everything from scratch, including its pizza dough, pizza sauce, and pasta. They also have a killer salad bar, which tends to be the talk of the town. 

Ready To Book Your Stay?

Now you’re ready for Bonnaroo 2023–which means it’s time to think about the next event! Hoken is the go-to destination to get great prices on hotels closest to all of the world’s biggest events. From Coachella to Lolapalooza, check out our events page to find your next hotel stay. And don’t worry, the prices are just as good as the locations.

Related Posts

Leave a comment