Outdoor Activity In Nashville – Thinking of visiting the music capital of the USA? There really is more to Nashville than its country music roots and ‘Nash Vegas’ heavy reputation.
However, if you need another reason to visit this blossoming city, know that it’s an example of raw, organic musical talent and the perfect blend of cityscape meets natural green space.
Outdoor Activity In Nashville
While there are many different experiences in Nashville, my recommendations are all outdoor activities, just because this Canadian loved spending time outside in a warm climate and getting some vitamin D, so if you’re still with me, buy one Check out some summer deals in Nashville below!
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If you’ve never been to downtown Nashville before, you can expect to encounter many characters from authentic cowboys in top hats and belt buckles, to tourists with cameras in hand, or bachelor parties disturbing the peace. In matching t-shirts – and of course the locals who blend in flawlessly or go crazy all together.
With the Cumberland River running alongside the downtown core, it was easy to get lost in nature and forget the hustle and bustle of being just a stone’s throw away on Broadway. On a sunny day, take a few miles along the river and walk to the Cumberland Footbridge, also known as Nashville’s “pedestrian-only bridge.” Here you will have scenic views of the river and back to the city area.
Be sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water! I always travel with my Platypus water bottle because it folds flat when empty to save space.
Enjoy the warm weather and sunshine with lunch on the rooftop patio! Maybe it’s the Canadian winters I endure every year, but there’s something about enjoying a good meal while basking in the sun. During my time in Nashville, I visited “ACME Feed and Seed” two separate times for food and drink!
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They have a large rooftop patio located on the corner of Broadway and 1st Avenue S where you have the option of looking out over the river or down on the main strip. If you need to seek out some shade, ACME also has 2 low tiers of indoor seating.
Escape the tourist crowds and head across the river to East Nashville for a local experience. If you’re looking for quieter dining or an alternative setting to the live music venues downtown, look no further—East Nashville has plenty of great restaurants. We went to “Wild Cow” for a vegetarian/vegan meal and it was honestly some of the best vegan grub I’ve ever had…ever!
If that’s not your thing, how about sipping lime margaritas in a charming courtyard surrounded by colorful artwork and Japanese lanterns? Check out Rose Pepper on the large patio (or indoors) for Mexican food, Mexican beers, and margaritas. Their margaritas are believed to have been voted the best in town for the past ten years.
I was feeling a little thirsty after the long road trip from Ontario to Nashville, so I got off the ‘Honky Tonk Highway’ and headed to Tootsie’s Famous Orchard Lounge. Everyone seems to know about Tutsi or is interested in going to Tutsi – but to be honest, the place is so busy it’s a bit claustrophobic.
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That said, the atmosphere was good and it has a great rooftop patio so I think it’s worth a visit – just go early to get a seat so you don’t have to wait through standing room or crowds. Don’t worry about moving.
If you walk around the city, you’re sure to see plenty of bike bars running up and down the main streets, pouring beer and playing live music.
If beer, bikes and music sounds like your thing for a few hours in the sun, definitely check out ‘The Sprocket Rocket’. Like the souped-up version of the soapbox racer you rode as a kid, the Rocket has a BYOB-style model where bartenders put your drinks on ice and serve them to you while you ride.
?”… Don’t worry, you barely even have to pedal – there’s a motor that does the trick. For $30 I had a lot of fun with this thing!
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Like most major cities, Nashville has many lodging options ranging from comfortable apartments to unique or themed hotels. Some of the best boutique hotels in Nashville are located near major attractions like the Grand Ole Opry or in up-and-coming neighborhoods like The Gulch.
Of course your choices will depend on your budget and the purpose of your trip! Back in my backpacking days, I usually opted to stay in a hostel where I was sure to be right in the middle of the action and meet other travelers, but these days AirBnb is my kitchen on the go. Roaming and Wi-Fi access
We traveled to Nashville by car so getting around was relatively easy for us. However, if you plan to stay in the city, it can be tiring to drive and park all the time due to the traffic and flooding of the streets with incredible pedestrians. If you need to park downtown, you can find parking on Gay Street along the river for $1.50 an hour – note that it’s Monday-Saturday and free on Sunday nights. Free from 6am to 7 a.m. There is also council parking opposite these meters on Gay Street, which is also free at weekends.
Otherwise, Uber is a great option to get around relatively cheaply when you don’t want to drive or want to have a few moments. Our Uber drivers were local and very knowledgeable about the city, sharing history and local culture in conversation while picking us up.
Outdoor Activities In Nashville
If Uber isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll also see golf carts zipping around town—they just operate in a way that makes the trip a few blocks cheaper and faster than a regular taxi. There are also large, green electric buses that run frequently in the city center and are free hop-on, hop-off trips.
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This goes towards the cost of maintaining an ad-free site and creating free content for readers like you! Within minutes of downtown Nashville, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether your outdoor sport is biking, hiking, or horseback riding, the Nashville area’s rolling hills, long trails, and majestic lakes won’t disappoint. Fish in a calm, beautiful lake, canoe on a lazy river, or start your groove in the state-of-the-art wave action pool. Check out our picks for the best outdoor attractions in the Nashville area.
Just 9 miles from downtown Nashville, you’ll find Tennessee’s largest municipal park. Edwin and Percy Warner Parks, known as “Warner Parks”, span 2,684 acres. Get your bearings at the Warner Park Nature Center, which offers public nature programs for all ages. Then look away. The parks offer hiking trails with extensive wildlife and nature preserves, as well as horse trails, 2 golf courses, a dog park and an 11-mile winding road popular with cyclists. Another popular attraction is the “Full Moon Pickin Parties”. Held May through October, this family-friendly fundraiser features bluegrass music under the moonlight.
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Just 15 minutes from downtown Nashville is the area’s largest lake. Percy Priest on 14,400 square acres, with 265 miles of coastline. Visitors can choose from a variety of activities including boating, camping and picnicking on this pristine lake. Fishing opportunities are also plentiful. The most popular fish are large and small bass, crappie, striped bass and catfish. After all that outdoor activity, you’ll have plenty of ways to unwind. The lake has 4 marinas that offer guests luxurious restaurants and snack bars. And Hamilton Creek Park on the west shore of the lake offers a recreation area for swimmers and a nice sandy beach.
Paddle, swim or float down the historic Harpeth River, a Class 1 river just 15 miles from Nashville. From March to October, you can rent a canoe and paddle in Harpeth. If you didn’t come with paddle gear, don’t worry. Canoe Organizers is located on Highway 70 near Kingston Springs and will outfit you with canoes and gear. They also take you back to your car.
While in Nashville, make a day of horseback riding. About 40 minutes from downtown Nashville is Lebanon State Park Riding Stables. Enjoy a 2.5-mile guided ride through this state park on a gentle horse. On your way, you might spot deer, elephants and even the occasional fox. If you want to spend the night and camp under the stars, there is a 1000 acre park