A Day Around Nashville {Tennessee}

Nashville has no shortage of fun things to do. And with my younger brother in town this last weekend we were trying to decide what of that wealth of things to do we should take him to. But with only the one day to spend with him in the Music City we managed to share with him a lot of the favorites for visitors.

We started out in the morning where we went a little east of Nashville to visit the home of President Andrew Jackson- The Hermitage. Andrew Jackson served as the country’s 7th president during 1829-1837, in the time period where the country was still new and reeling in their independence. He was a man of solid, decisive, and immovable beliefs and values, which the people either loved or hated to equal extreme, and earned him the first presidential nickname of ‘Old Hickory’.

The Hermitage

Before becoming president, he had fought on the battlefields of the Revolutionary War at the young age of 13. From that beginning he continued in his military career leading him to become a general, and then serving in both houses for the U.S. Congress, and then onto his presidency. President Jackson focused on the rights of the common man and fought against what he considered the corrupt villainy of the aristocracy that was in power at the time. Because of this he has often been called ‘the Peoples President’. After his two terms as president, he returned to his home in Tennessee and still played an active role in politics while also overseeing the business of his plantation.

We made a brief stop to see the famous home of the Grand Ole Opry where people flock to listen to their favorite country artists perform. To sing at the Grand Ole Opry is considered the highest honor for any artist.

The Grand Ole Opry

We spent a couple of hours at The Hermitage so we were ready for lunch. And there is no better place to dine in the Nashville area than the Loveless Café. This café is an institution in itself here in Nashville and they have been serving their homemade Southern comfort food since 1951. Started by Lon and Annie Loveless, they would open the door to their house and serve fried chicken and biscuits to the travelers on the road outside. The popularity grew until soon they turned their house into a restaurant and now it is one of the most popular spots in the state.

The Loveless Cafe

While their food has reached acclaimed status, the feel of the place still retains the warm welcoming atmosphere of being in someone’s home. The walls are adorned with the pictures of celebrities big and small that have enjoyed the home cooked food of the café. And visitors can still go watch their famous biscuits being made. {Know if you go :: These days this has become such a popular spot that you should make a reservation if you want to visit, otherwise you may find yourself waiting for hours on end being tempted with the amazing smells from within}

Still munching on the remainder of biscuits, we then made our way to the more central area of Nashville starting with Centennial Park. This park is home to the Nashville version of The Parthenon where they have recreated that great Greek temple with exacting detail. Because Nashville is such a central point of trade from one part of the country to another, and because of this area’s focus on education, it became acknowledged as an ‘Athens of the States’. So in honor of that, the Parthenon was constructed in the middle of the park. A walk through the towering columns and stopping to marvel at the intricate detail along the top of the building is an incredible tribute to that idea.

But it is not just the outside that resembles the Greek Parthenon, the Nashville Parthenon is also home to the giant statute of the Goddess Athena. This is a full scale replica of the Athena Parthenos of Athens that was created in 1897 as part of the Centennial Exposition of Tennessee. With Victory in one hand and her shield in the other, she looks down on the puny mortals of Nashville who are left speechless at her grandeur.

Nashville Parthenon’s Athena

We visited the State Capitol building where all aspects of the state’s history, geography, environment, and counties are displayed around the park. The building itself sits on top of the hill while below are geysers representing each of the rivers in the state, and a large road map where visitors can trace their path through the state, and plaques for each country and area of the state. And on the hour, the bell strikes and the music of the Tennessee Waltz plays over the grounds. There is such a pride in all that makes up the state here and so visiting it is an important part of Tennessee.

We had thought to end our day with a stroll through the downtown area known as The Honky Tonks. But we were unfortunate enough to get stuck downtown as masses of post Tennessee Titan football fans were streaming out of the stadium into the streets and flooding the bars. It was hard to figure out which team had won since all the bars were full to bursting with fans of both teams either celebrating or commiserating over the game. But with the stadium right next to the Honky Tonks, and the game just ending, we knew that this was probably too busy a time for us to really see anything of this popular area. So we decided to leave it for another time.

If you would like to read some more on some of these places consider checking out some other posts from around Nashville.

The Grand Ole Opry ; Tennessee State Capital ; Nashville Parthenon ; The Hermitage

We certainly packed in a lot of these Nashville favorites in one day and there is so much more to see. But we were happy to have had day getting in touch with some of the places that make this such a wonderful city.

12 thoughts on “A Day Around Nashville {Tennessee}

  1. If and when we get round to doing a States tour, Nashville would be on my list entirely because of its connections with music history. Although now I’d probably have to add Loveless Cafe to the wish list!

    1. I think you would love Nashville and seeing all the music sites and museums. It’s home to so many musicians from every genre. And you will definitely be glad to visit Loveless Cafe-it’s the best of what southern comfort should be 🙂

  2. Really enjoyed this piece Meg! A great start to this chilly morning in Sarajevo in bed with coffee. I have been to the Loveless Cafe! And The Hermitage is another one I missed, ach, next time.

    1. Thanks Leighton 🙂 Yay for another shared location! So glad you have experienced the Loveless Cafe- if I could I would send you some of their hot biscuits to accompany your coffee for that chilly morning. My dad lived in Sarajevo for awhile and says it is one of his absolute favorite places so I’m hoping to see it someday.

        1. He was in the navy and served there first during the Bosnian war and then later returned and lived there for more than a year. Obviously his first visit there was a difficult one, but when he came back he was amazed at the change and the beauty of the place. He has lived and worked all over the world and I blame him for this incurable sense of wanderlust I have.

          1. Wow, wow, wow. Some incredible and exceptionally contrasting experiences no doubt. One day, probably several years from now, I will get round to writing up this month in Sarajevo. Would be curious to see how much of it your dad recognises and how much/little it’s changed.

  3. I absolutely loved Nashville on our visit there in 2019 – we aren’t huge music fans but were totally drawn in by it. And the ice hockey! Such a great city with so much to do 🙂

    1. Oh I am going to have to put ice hockey on my Tennessee to-do list! Nashville certainly draws you in! I had a younger brother who came to Nashville for school. He left home hating country music and came back wearing cowboy boots and bragging about all the country artists he had met. 🙂

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