Centennial Park is a large urban park close to downtown Nashville. Beautiful park - has a 1-mile loop for walking/jogging around the man-made lake. Centennial Park hosts many events throughout the year including festivals and concerts, and is a nice place to get away from the concrete and steel of downtown.
132-acre park was originally farmland which was turned into the state fairgrounds after the Civil War. From 1884 to 1895, the site served as a racetrack. In 1897, it was the site of the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition and was renamed Centennial Park. After the exposition ended, most of the building and exhibits (with the exception of a full-scale model of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece) were dismantled, leaving in its place a landscaped open area with a small artificial lake.
Centennial Park is the site of the climactic scene in Robert Altman's Nashville, a picture beloved of many film critics.
On November 11, 2005, Centennial Park became Nashville's first wireless internet park by offering free Wi-Fi internet access to park patrons.
This comedy tour of the "seamy underbelly" of Nashville was an absolute HOOT! Conducted via a big pink schoolbus by the Jugg Sisters ("with a g, not a d") Sheri Lyn and Brenda Kay, these big-haired, bawdy gals sang and told jokes while driving around Nashville, pointing out where Reba eats, where the Possum rode his lawn mower to after Tammy took away his car keys, where Elvis and the Beatles swam in a guitar-shaped swimming pool - and pointed out the many celebrities we passed on the street! Of course, most of them didn't look like themselves, being as how they were "incognito"... ;-)
We laughed until our stomachs hurt - it was a great time! I would very much recommend this tour, especially if you've already done the "Homes of the Stars" type tours in the past. To be honest, I spent most of the tour being entertained by the Jugg Sisters instead of looking out the windows at the sights, and that was OK by me!
The tours fill up fast, so be sure to book your tour in advance via the website. They take a credit card to secure the reservation, but you pay when you arrive on the bus.
$29.50 age 13 & over ($32 with driver tip*)
$27.31 age 55 & over ($30 with tip*)
From Wikipedia: Owen Bradley (c. October 21, 1915 - January 7, 1998) was an influential American record producer, who, along with Chet Atkins and Bob Ferguson, was one of the chief architects of the popular 1950s and 1960s "Nashville Sound" in country music.
A small public park between 16th Avenue South and Division Street honors Owen Bradley, where his bronze likeness sits at a bronze piano. Owen Bradley Park is at the northern end of Music Row.
Originally opened as a casual restaurant with some live music, the Bluebird Cafe has become a music club first and a restaurant second. In 1985 Songwriters Night was added every Sunday night, to show off new writers auditioning and performing followed by a special guest writer. In 1987 dinner shows were added. The point of this was to encourage the crowd to come in for dinner and stick around to see some aspiring writers and musicians play. If you go to Songwriters Night on Sundays, be sure to go early! This place is very small, 21 tables and a few bar stools, and they fill up FAST! Also, during performances, the cafe asks for complete & total quiet. If you're out for a night of conversation, this isn't the place to be. Their motto is "sssshh!" Also, Bluebird is non-smoking.
Belle Meade area is what is considered Nashville's "Old Money" side of town.
You can read about the history of the Belle Meade Plantation on the website listed below. $14 will get you a 45-60 minute tour of the mansion (no pictures, please), and you can also walk around the plantation and view the carriage house as well as the other buildings such a the slave cabin, smokehouse, and a few others. Not all houses are available for walk-through.
If you are in Nashville on the 2nd Saturday in May head for the races! The Iroquois Steeplechase is a nationally sanctioned horse race held every year (since the 1940's) at the beautiful Warner Parks' Steeplechase Course. Take a cooler of your favorite adult beverage, along with a picnic lunch and blanket, find a spot on the hill and prepare for a day filled with beautiful scenery and beautiful horses while watching The Sport of Kings. Races begin around 1pm with the last race, The Iroquois, ending around 6pm. Hard core fans begin arriving at sunrise and tailgate all day. The Steeplechase is a great mix of Nashville upper crust society and the rest of us. You'll see women's hats that rival those seen at Ascot as well as college kids, families, etc, not to mention some of the world's most beautiful horses. Bring a sweater and sunscreen. It's been know to get a little chilly in May so expect anything from 60-90 degrees Ferenheit. You'll also be doing a little charity work as proceeds benefit the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
THE CITY PAPER is very good, free local paper that covers both current affairs, news, plus entertainment and eating guides, job seeking info, real estate, etc. Even if one does not want to read up about local news, from the large number of advertisements inside one can plan what wants to do while visiting. Also visit www.nashvillecitypaper.com for more information about where to find it, seems both most hotels, restaurants offer the paper free in racks at front doors.
ALL THE RAGE is more for the younger crowd it seems, more concert information, local bands, live music, celebrations, carnivals, festivals, that sort of thing. I really enjoyed the many terrific articles and interviews with local merchants and restauranteurs, to help one decide where they wish to go. Its very colourful, happening, chic. Some of the regular headings are: "Fashion Victim", "Chew On This", "Eat Beat" and "Why I Rock" covering male vs. female issues. You´ll notice the staff of the paper are all young people for the most part, didn´t see any I would guess over 35.
SOME UPCOMING OR RECENT EVENTS IN NASHVILLE:
September 10th, Motley Crue was at Starwood Amphitheatre
Sept. 9-11 The Australian Festival took place at Centennial Park. Also I think there was a Greek Festival this same time, but at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, everyone was welcome to attend.
Sept 18th Coldplay and Riley Owens will be at Starwood Amphitheatre also. All ticket info for this location can be found at www.ticketmaster.com or call 615-255-9600.
An Upcoming Event I would LOVE to see is Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age, October 31 at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
Oh wow, its so many to try to list. But if you are going to be in Nashville soon or before the year end, be sure and pick up a copy of ALL THE RAGE for all information for concerts: bluegrass, rock and roll, punk, local bands, classical, R&B, cause its all inside a great free paper.
The Park (at the far end of The Boulevard) is one of the larger city parks in the South. While mostly forested wilderness, the Park is full of picnic spaces, meadows for flying kites or playing a pick-up game of soccer, golf courses, and even a steeplechase course. I spent many an evening illegally in the Park during my youth. Most Nashvillians I know sigh with nostalgia when the Park is mentioned. It just happens that way.
If you ever get a chance to catch a Titans game, DO IT! While Nashville might be a relative newcomer to the NFL world, they have taken to it like a moth to flame. The Coliseum is a beautiful riverfront arena, the Titans are a solid team (in the playoffs usually), and the fans are the loudest in the country.
The Shelby Street Bridge has been recently restored and turned into a pedestrian mall. There are a some great views of the city from it as seen in these images.
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