It’s no wonder so many people are attracted to Nashville. We are fortunate to have something for everyone, so, whether you like indoor or outdoor activities, we have you covered. I thought it would be fun to share some of the big attractions in and around the city and the region that I like to introduce people to. I have left many off of this list and would love to hear from you about your favorites too.
Looking at area museums, I like to start with the Parthenon. Built in 1897 for the state’s 100-year statehood anniversary, it is a precise replica of the Greek Parthenon. This magnificent building houses a full-scale, gold-plated statue of Athena. The Parthenon’s museum houses permanent and traveling exhibits, as well.
If you haven’t yet, I’d recommend spending a few hours in the downtown Nashville Public Library. Not only is it full of reading material, you also can explore Nashville’s history, in particular in the Civil Rights Room, which documents the Civil Rights Movement in the city.
The Country Music Hall of Fame has rotating installations throughout the year. Although I didn’t pick up an affinity for country music until later in life, I have always enjoyed stories about our celebrities. Some of the firecracker stories I’ve now heard, as the result of tidbits I picked up in this museum, will have me grinning for a long time.
Since we are known as the Music City, my two favorite venues that are attractions in their own right are the Ryman Auditorium and The Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Take a tour, or just buy tickets to the next show. They’ll give you goosebumps.
Other spots to see on a rainy day include the Adventure Science Center, the Frist Art Museum, the new Tennessee State Museum (don’t miss this one), The Hermitage, Cheekwood, Belle Meade Plantation, and Lane Motor Museum.
Moving outdoors, Nashville offers more than 190 miles of trails, of which 80 miles are specifically off-street, multi-use greenways. Nashville Parks & Recreation’s goal is to have a greenway trailhead within two miles of every community.
Beyond the city, the 444-mile-long Natchez Trace Parkway, which starts in Mississippi and traverses Alabama, terminates just south of Nashville. When we travel “The Trace”, we start near the Loveless Cafe, drive for a bit, pull off at one of the many stops, hike a little, and then drive some more until we find another scenic spot to get out again. We usually go for less than 90 miles before heading back to Nashville, although I would like to make the whole trip someday. It’s also popular with cyclists.
Middle Tennessee is also home to innumerable Civil War sites. Of all the states, Tennessee had the second most battles during the war, which provides history buffs with ample opportunities to explore this era of our country’s history.
If you like to get out on the water, we have lots of kayaking in the region. Nearest the city, the Harpeth and Duck Rivers provide relatively easy rides most of the season, excepting times of heavy rainfall. If you prefer a greater challenge, head east, well outside of Nashville, to the Hiwassee River, or take a guided ride down the Ocoee, which has up to Class IV rapids.
Myriad state parks provide opportunities for camping, hiking, and even golf (at Montgomery Bell State Park). Some of my favorites are Fall Creek Falls, Cedars of Lebanon, Long Hunter, and Burgess Falls. There are many more I haven’t seen yet!
Speaking of golf… We have courses (over 40 in the region) for all skill levels. I’ve played many of these, each time getting my money’s worth, usually scoring at least 25 strokes more than I should! Seriously, Nashville has some very good golf. Hermitage Golf Course is a favorite of mine, as is the municipal course, Two Rivers.
As you might expect, seeing the many historic homes and buildings in the area is one of my favorite activities. Oak Hill, Belle Meade, Old Hickory Village, Edgefield, Lockeland Springs, Inglewood, Vanderbilt and the Vanderbilt Peabody Campus, Germantown, and Fisk University all offer proud examples of historic architecture in the styles of Victorian, Neo-classical, Tudor, and Mid-century modern. I love finding new gems throughout the city and sharing them with my clients.
The many attractions in our great city can keep you out & about all year long, as you discover the places that continue to attract travelers and transplants. Country music may be the bedrock, but there’s way more than that to discover! As you find your favorites, tell me about them @bslnashville on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn!
Emily Benedict is a Realtor working with buyers, sellers, investors, and developers throughout Middle Tennessee.