Gaylord Opryland isn’t just a place to stay when you come to the Grand Ole Opry. The resort is a destination all its own.
7 Things You Can Only Do at Gaylord Opryland Resort
1. Wander the jaw-dropping gardens
You can’t miss Gaylord Opryland’s lush gardens — literally. Tropical vegetation covers more than nine indoor acres. The resort’s cascading waterfalls, the tallest of which is 44-feet high, make you feel as if you’re on a faraway island. Lose yourself in wonder as you discover giant palms, stunning orchids, and even banana trees. You won’t find those growing natively in Tennessee, but thanks to the atrium’s glass ceiling and horticulturists’ meticulous control of the building’s humidity, these plants thrive as if they were in the jungle.
2. Hop aboard the Delta Riverboat …
Sailing all the world’s rivers would take years, but you can conquer many in a single ride aboard the Delta Riverboat. The resort’s quarter-mile-long indoor Delta River contains the water of more than 1,700 rivers from around the globe. Hop aboard a fun-filled cruise and learn about the interesting origins of the hotel, one of the largest in the world. Be on the lookout for resort’s finned guests. Catfish, carp, and koi can all be found in the Delta River.
3. … or take a cruise on the General Jackson Showboat
If you want an even grander adventure on the water, look no further than to the General Jackson Showboat, which is docked just a short distance away from the resort. This stately steamboat harks to its 19th-century predecessors that sailed along the Cumberland River, putting Nashville on the map as a trading center.
On the popular midday Taste of Tennessee cruise, get a sampling of the many styles of music that made this state famous — from bluegrass to country to rhythm and blues — all while enjoying a three-course meal and views of iconic Nashville landmarks along the way.
4. Splash around at SoundWaves
In true Nashville fashion, music and water blend harmoniously at SoundWaves, the city’s only resort water experience. If you’re a thrill-seeker, jump in a mega raft and enjoy the ride on Rapid Remix, a waterslide that pumps out the jams as you take on vortex loops. Looking for a mellower experience? The Down Tempo Lazy River has got you covered with relaxing music that you can float along to. When you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Decibels where you can enjoy live music every weekend through September on the restaurant’s patio.
5. Come see us at the Grand Ole Opry
When you stay at the resort, you’re also staying next door to where country music lives. The Grand Ole Opry is “the show that made country music famous,” featuring your favorite legends, today’s superstars, and tomorrow’s hit-makers. Eight to 12 artists take the stage at each show, and luckily for resort guests, Nashville’s best entertainment is just a short complimentary shuttle ride or leisurely stroll away.
But don’t wait until showtime to experience the Opry magic. The brand-new immersive theater experience, now part of the daytime tour, is a moving tribute to the country music artists who’ve walked across Opry’s iconic 6-foot circle of wood, which sits centerstage. “I’ve always said that the circle still contains the dust from Hank Williams’ cowboy boots,” Opry member Brad Paisley has said. Now your boots can walk across it, too.
6. See WSM broadcast live at its fish-bowl studio
Have you ever wondered to yourself if your favorite radio personalities look the way they sound? You won’t have to anymore when you swing by the WSM fishbowl-style studio just off the Magnolia lobby. The radio station that gave birth to the Grand Ole Opry in 1925, 650 AM WSM, still broadcasts live from Nashville inside the Gaylord Opryland.
You’ll get an intimate peek of the radio show’s operations. Start your day with some early-morning banter courtesy of country radio sentinel Bill Cody and Charlie Mattos’ on Coffee, Country, and Cody — you never know when one of your favorite artists might be in studio — and close out your evening with some classic country tunes that Eddie Stubbs is spinning on The Eddie Stubbs Show.
7. Pose next to your idols at Madame Tussauds
Madame Tussauds has a number of locations around the world, but its Nashville wax attraction located inside Opry Mills Mall is the only one that’s completely themed around music, featuring more than 50 wax figures, 30 of which are unique to Music City. In the Opry Finale exhibit, you’ll get to make your debut alongside Opry members Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, Keith Urban and more. Don’t forget to take a selfie!