I know that most of my pages are about exotic destinations, and you may think that we are in Greece, but I must admit that I love to travel throughout the US as well. One of my favorite destinations is Nashville and I don’t know why I have not written about it before. The photo above is of the Parthenon in Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee, the only replica of the Parthenon in the world.
We revisited Nashville in April of 2021. On our most recent trip we drove up from Huntsville, Alabama. I am not going to talk about arriving at the airport in Nashville other than to say that for the past trips to this beautiful town, the airport was very convenient and easy to navigate. We generally stay somewhere close to the Grand Old Opry rather than downtown so I will start with some of our favorite sights in that part of town. In fact, to get there from the airport, you are on the Donelson Pike as you leave the airport. Take I-40, towards downtown Nashville, after a mile or two, go north on the Briley Parkway, Highway 155, and get off at McGavock Pike. You are in Opryland country. If you are staying at the Wyndham Resort, continue down the parkway, past the chaos around the Opry, and you will find it at the end of the road, on the right.
Of course, we booked an evening at the Grand Old Opry. It was great, but kind of unusual since they were spacing out visitors like we have seen in churches. One family on the end of each row then on the next row a family group in the middle. Staggered so that we were not very close to any other music lovers.
The Saturday night show we attended was the first public live show since the start of the pandemic. Great show! We saw Ricky Skaggs along with several show regulars including the Riders in the Sky & Jeanne Sealy. Since we stayed at the Wyndham Resort, just a couple of miles away, we could have walked, but we didn’t.
On another day, we did the General Jackson Show Boat for a dinner cruise. It is located very close to the Opry. It usually goes into town before turning around and heading back to the dock. Because of high water this Spring, they did not go all the way to downtown Nashville, but it was still a nice boat trip with dinner and entertainment.
Also, on the east side of town is the Hermitage Farm. Andrew Jackson’s home. We did a tour of the property, not the home, and it was absolutely beautiful. We were able to download the walking tour info to our phones and see the grounds at our own speed. Well worth the time. Not too expensive either.
Another thing to remember if you are staying at this resort is that they have a shuttle service to downtown Nashville. One of the reasons that we took the shuttle service to downtown was so that we could do our own walking tour to see some of the things that Tracey had seen online. We walked from downtown to the state capital building, then down the other side to see the Bicentennial Mall State Park. It was awesome, especially the long history wall and the clarion bells. Halfway through the history wall, we stopped in at the farmers market for a smoothie to quench our thirst. Check out this map. What we did not notice during our visit to the Park was the Tennessee Map Plaza. We saw it later in the week during our nighttime city photo stop tour and I wish we had noticed it on the map when we were there during the daytime.
We used the shuttle service a couple of times to go to town and back, but did take our rental car into town on the day that we were going to spend all day and evening in town. We wanted a place to leave a jacket, etc… so that we didn’t have to carry everything with us all day long.
On that day, we spent part of the day at the Country Music Hall of Fame, then had dinner and then did the night time trolly tour with photo stops. We did sleep in and got into town after lunch. Bad idea! It will take a full day to see all of the Hall of Fame. Looks like we have to go back sometime to finish that tour.
The other fun thing that we did after we got kicked out of the Country Music Hall of Fame was to do a Nashville Night Time Trolly Tour with photo stops. Some of the things that we saw at night we had already seen during the day, which really made everything fit together. During this tour we saw the Centennial Park with the lit up replica of the Parthenon as well as the Bicentennial Park and the Tennessee State Map that I mentioned earlier. Of course, the tour took us through downtown as well as music row, to all of the iconic sights that you would expect to see. We also drove through the area surrounding the Titan Stadium with time for photos looking across the river to downtown Nashville.
Let’s not forget about eating and even having a beer or two. As you walk along Broadway during the evening, there is music coming out of almost every storefront on both sides of the road. You can listen from the street or go inside for a cold beer and some great food. You have to check out Tootsies Orchid Lounge for a beer and to listen to music. Jack’s Bar B Que and Rippy’s Honky Tonk has good BBQ.
If I am closer to the Wyndham Resort at dinner time, I like to eat at the Santa Fe Cattle Company. If I feel like an Oktoberfest, then I go to the Bavarian Bierhaus. We tried the Caney Fork but I was not impressed. It had been recommended to us by friends, but the day we were there, it was just so-so.
We almost always order our tickets from Viator at the links below. Some vendors/tours do not have them available from Viator. For example, we ordered our tickets for the Hermitage directly on their site that is noted above.
We hope you have as much fun in Nashville as we did!