6 thoughts on “Are you visiting Nashville

  1. No matter what kind of outdoor activity you enjoy, you’ve got plenty to pick from in Nashville. In the past six years or so, our extensive city park system has been dramatically enhanced by the greenway system, connecting civic spaces and parks with hiking trails and green spaces.

    The Warner Parks were already incredible for hiking, scenery and quiet views, as was Radnor Lake.

    Slightly farther out, surrounding counties offer many excellent state parks with year-round inexpensive recreation. Middle Tennessee is beautiful and while you’re here you should see some of it, preferably on foot or bike. Stone Door and Old Stone Fort are two of my favorite parks and they have interesting stories/histories as well. Great hiking at both.

  2. The article is a pretty good “best of” list.

    Forget Opryland Hotel unless your convention is staying there or you like staying in massive structures. Then, I imagine, it’s great. But for getting a taste of Nashville, it’s, well, like another planet. Think Las Vegas without the slot machines.

    Places to eat not mentioned: the Pancake Pantry…a must. For great sandwiches, try Provence, Bread & Company, Corner Market or McCabe Market (office favorite).

    If you’ve never been to Nashville and you want to experience something that you THINK is Nashvilley, then visit the Station Inn. You’ll hear some of the world’s greatest bluegrass artists while hanging out in a really seedy-feeling environment. (UP

    Stroll through the Bicentennial Mall and visit the adjacent Farmers Market. Other great strolling spots: Vanderbilt and Centennial Park. Great walking spots: Shelby Bottoms, Warner Parks. Best retail experience: (Slim pickins in this dept.) Davis-Kidd Bookstore. Best movie theater: Green Hills Common Regal.

    Must see and free: Downtown Public Library. I’m not kidding. This building was designed by Robert Stern, the noted “postmodern” architect and is a recent and remarkable addition to the city’s downtown area.

    Go to a concert, any concert, at the Ryman Auditorium.

    Wait a minute, I don’t have to do this. You can go check out the Nashville Scene’s “best of” list.

  3. Visit the growing Nashville Zoo on Nolensville Road. The Zoo has begun an aggressive fifteen year expansion, which will make it one of the largest zoos in the country. There is an offsite breeding and quarantine facility in Joelton, TN, but it’s closed to the public. Currently the Zoo Director is in Thailand and is presenting three clouded leopard cubs to a zoo there.

    Also for a great drive or bicycle ride, check out Natchez Trace Parkway which begins or ends at Highway 100 in Bellevue at the Loveless Motel, mentioned in the NYT article. Just don’t eat the Loveless before a bike ride on the Trace.

  4. If you’d like some exercise, check out the park at Shelby Bottoms in revitalized East Nashville. On a nice day, you’ll find a hefty number of bikers, rollerbladers, walkers and runners circling the 1.5 track, or venturing out the 8.5 trail that winds along the Cumberland river. Rumor is this trail will eventually go all the way out to Opryland Hotel. During baseball season, you might watch any number of little league teams slugging it out, and don’t forget the breadcrumbs to feed the ducks at the pond.

    And yes, as you’ve heard, there’s a lot more to music in Nashville than country. If you want to see what the songwriters are doing, you’ll catch the best variety every Monday night during 12 at 12th at 12th & Porter in the Gulch. For indie rock, the Slow Bar is the place to be, located on Woodland Street off the river’s east bank (and, incidentally, right across the street from one of the best chef-owned restaurants in town, Margot Cafe and Bar). Summertime boasts the Uptown Mix, a free concert series that spans from late June to September bringing national acts and promising locals every Wednesday night.

    Shakespeare in the Park, Movies in the Park, the Belcourt Theater, the Villager Tavern, Predators hockey games, the recent explosion of independent and chef-owned restaurants, Love Circle for the best view of the city… I could go on, but you get my drift.

  5. I’ve thought of some more uniquely Nashville things to see. There’s a snuff museum. We have one of the first of Ted Turner’s bison burger restaurants that he hopes will soon be a giant chain. Speaking of chains, on West End you can eat at the very first Houston’s Restaurant if you’re so inclined and want to be in a line. Come to think of it, Ted’s is kind of a Houston’s lite w/ bison meat.

    I need some help in suggesting non-chain Nashville restaurants that are truly special. Great contemporary southern food can be found at a restaurant called Martha’s that is located above the guest shop at Belle Meade Plantation. For traditional southern food, you can eat at one of Nashville’s many “meat and threes” (one meat and choice of three vegetables). The best of this category include Arnold’s, Sweatts and Sylvan Park (which is also the name of a neighborhood).

  6. How could I have forgotten to include Prince’s Hot Chicken on this list. On Saturday, I went for the first time in years (with a couple visiting from Los Angeles) and was reminded once more of how unique a place it is.

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