If you have been watching the new television show, “Nashville”, you might be getting a hankerin’ to visit Music City and hear some country music. Nashville, Tennessee is the best place in the world to do just that but this lovely southern city also has tons of other things to offer for a fabulous girlfriends getaway.
Don’t even think about staying at any other hotel in Nashville but the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, a sumptuous, gorgeous resort perched on the banks of the Cumberland River with a sprawling nine acres of indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls and an unbelievable, complete indoor river with a Delta flatboat for cruising along. Remember, this is all INSIDE the resort. Step into the luxurious, huge lobby with several check-in desks, stroll into the climate-controlled glass atrium and you could easily think you have stepped into another world. Be sure to request a Premium Garden View Room which overlooks the gardens and has a balcony because you will want to relax out there with a southern sweet iced tea and just marvel at the incredible beauty of this place.
Once you have settled in, pick up the phone and make a reservation for a day at the incomparable, 20,000 square foot Relache Spa. When you enter though the beautiful glass doors of this spa, you are entering a world of pampering like no other – we never wanted to leave! Indulge in a soothing massage and facial or their famous pink pearl firming body wrap, and then have a tropical paradise manicure to get ready for your evening out. I have visited many spas but have never had the personalized and detailed tour I received on this visit; for the first time it was explained to me the benefits of actually using the steam room and sauna and how helpful they are for your skin. I relaxed in both before my massage!
The spa also has a lovely indoor pool and a fitness center which we used as well, and the resort has two huge, outdoor pools as well which are beautifully landscaped. There is also a bar and grill by the pool where you can order a drink and sip it by the pool as you marvel at this wonderful place, as we did.
When you are ready for a meal, the Gaylord Opryland Hotel will not disappoint as they have plenty of restaurants available, from casual to formal. Try the barbecue at Jack Daniel’s or sample the great steaks at the Old Hickory Steak House.
When you can finally tear yourself away from the hotel, there’s still plenty to see and do right in the area. Grab a shuttle to the nearby Opry Mills mall, an enormous outlet mall with hundreds of stores and plenty of restaurants for a quick lunch in the middle of your shopping frenzy. It’s close enough to the hotel to walk but the shuttle will come in handy since you will be carrying so many packages!
You can also take a shuttle from the hotel to the world-famous Grand Ole Opry, the longest running radio show and one that made country music popular all over the world. Tickets are available online or you can purchase them at the hotel. Different performers are featured each week and you may be lucky enough to catch one of the local celebrities performing, like Taylor Swift.
For even more musical entertainment and a surprisingly delicious dinner, take a cruise on the General Jackson Showboat. An original paddlewheel riverboat and the largest showboat in the country, it has four roomy decks and a lovely Victorian theater located in the center of the boat where you will dine and see an excellent show about the history of country music in Tennessee. We were truly impressed with the food, the music, and the atmospheric cruise down the Cumberland River.
But the best place to find some really great country music and some undiscovered talent is in downtown Nashville. There are plenty of places to park in several large parking lots, so just park and stroll around to the different honky-tonk clubs and bars. Many will have their doors propped open, especially on pleasant summer evenings so just listen to what sounds good, stroll in, order a drink and enjoy listening to someone who might be the next famous country music singer!
When you are downtown, plan to have dinner at Demo’s which is just a short stroll from the downtown area. Demo’s is a family-owned and run restaurant which specializes in Italian food, although they offer a variety of choices. Everything is delicious, although I personally recommend the mushroom burger which comes on some delicious, fresh Ciabbata bread and is wonderful.
By far one of the most interesting and unique places to visit in Nashville is the Parthenon. That’s right, the Parthenon – just like the one in Greece. You simply will not be able to believe this place exists as you drive up to in the center of Centennial Park, a lovely urban park. Originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, it was so popular that they rebuilt it as a permanent building. The 42-foot statue of Athena inside is something to see and the building also serves as Nashville’s art museum, so there are plenty of statues and paintings to peruse as well.
You should also spend an afternoon at another unique fixture in Nashville – the Fontanel Mansion. Not your typical mansion, this 27,000 square foot log home was once the residence of Barbara Mandrell and is now open for tours. Plan lunch at the Café Fontanella where you can order a hot and delicious calzone.
Once you have experienced some of the highlights of Nashville, you can enjoy the television show even more because you know how this place makes a truly wonderful girlfriend getaway!
Jan Ross is a freelance travel writer who has been traveling the world since way back before she can even remember. Her dad was in the Marine Corps so she is used to packing up at a moment’s notice! She loves writing hotel and restaurant reviews since it means she gets to stay in fabulous places and eat wonderful food. She especially loves writing spa reviews because that means she gets phenomenally pampered and, seriously, who does not like that? She has visited lots of places but still gets a thrill of excitement when she boards a plane, steps into a new hotel room, or sees a new location for the first time. And she hopes that thrill never, ever goes away.
For more information on Jan, visit her website at WanderlustWonder.com.