by the opry.com Q & A Lady
Nashville has something to offer everyone. If you're a huge music fan or a history buff traveling alone or with like-minded friends, you're obviously in luck here. If you're travelling as part of a family, I'm convinced you'll also love Tune Town, as this burgeoning city with the small town feel really does offer something for everyone. In my role answering mail and email from fans across the country and round the world, I'm always amazed at the wide range of places people report having enjoyed in Nashville, from the top attractions everyone would expect to see on a "must-do" list to some places I'll admit I hadn't heard of previously- places offering everything from one-of-a-kind antiques and curiosities to delicious fried chicken.
I have a husband, an adult daughter, and a son-in-law here in Nashville as well as an adult daughter and young grandchildren out of town who visit frequently. None of us-no mater the age-are ever at a loss for something fun to do in town, either separately or as a group.
Some family-oriented notes I recommend you hit during your visit:
Grand Ole Opry: Just as the Opry showcases three generations of artists on almost every show, so too, can you always spot a grandparent, child, and grandchild in the audience. I love that entire families come to the Opry, with each person perhaps finding something different he or she most likes about the show.
The General Jackson Showboat: Just a few steps away from the Opry House, the Jackson cruises down the mighty Cumberland offering both daytime and evening cruises with pleasant scenery every mile of the way and a variety of shows inside. It can be a pleasant float for us adults and a fun learning experience for the younger set.
Downtown Franklin, Tennessee: Unique shopping in a picturesque setting.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: Lots of interactive displays aimed at children as well as a variety of fun educational programming throughout the year. You know you're in Nashville when you can walk into a building such as the Hall of Fame and meet the person who penned or played on one of your favorite hit records!
Adventure Science Center: This great spot is all about igniting a sense of wonder and curiosity in children. I'm delighted when a member of a younger generation asks to go, because I thoroughly enjoy a trip there myself.
Professional sports: Music City is also a football/baseball/hockey town. Check the schedules to see who is playing when you're scheduled to visit. I love how music makes its way into our games, from the sounds of Tim McGraw's "I Like It, I Love It" playing when our beloved Predators score a goal on the ice to the strains of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" getting the crown worked up for a big Titans defensive play. The Nashville Sounds, meanwhile, have America's only baseball scoreboard shaped like a guitar.
Water fun: The area surrounding Music City is a wonderful water playground for folks, no matter how they most love to hit the waves. Nearby Dale Hollow and Center Hill Lakes were recently listed in U.S.A. Today's article showcasing "10 great places to go float your houseboat." Closer still are Percy Priest and Old Hickory Lakes as well as others offering superior fishing-- everything from largemouth and smallmouth bass to catfish, says my fishing husband - in addition to boating, skiing, and camping along scenic shorelines. The pretty waters of the Harpeth and other nearby rivers are perfect for Middle Tennessee canoeing and kayaking. And just a few miles from the Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville Shores'gates are swung open all summer long with fun of both the high and dry as well as wet and wild varieties. The park features seven water slides including one rather ominously named "The Big Scream." A quick and sure-fire way to beat the summer heat is the Shores' Giant Bucket of Fun. The enormous bucket tips over every two minutes and drops hundreds of gallons of water on kids of all ages. Close your eyes and you can hear the squeals and laughter right now! Wave Country located across Briley Parkway from the Opry House is also good for a summer cool down, per my grandchildren.
A Country Christmas: If you plan a visit to Nashville around the holidays, you'll want to fully experience A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland, where special events and shows take center stage and where two million lights create a spectacle like nothing you've seen in your life. A Country Christmas is frequently cited as one of the top family destinations for the holidays.
For more information about some of these attractions as well as valuable offers can be found on our Attractions & Accomodations page.