Fun for Free Nashville

Opryland Resort
http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bnago-gaylord-opryland-resort-and-convention-center/

Up for a lovely stroll inside a beautiful greenhouse? The Opryland Resort will keep you entertained for as long as you like.  Bridges, waterfalls, beautiful flowers and plants accent every step of your walk.  You might even run into a Minnie Pearl lookalike. Or, you may bump into characters from DreamWorks films as they provide interactive adventures with kids. If you feel like dropping a few dollars, you can also take a boat ride on their indoor canal.  Planning your visit for Christmas time? Then you’re sure to enjoy the array of decorations that have been carefully displayed throughout the hotel.

Centennial Park
http://www.nashville.gov/Parks-and-Recreation/Parthenon.aspx

Centennial Park has so much to offer.  The beautiful green lawn in front of an exact replica of The Parthenon (tours are available for a fee), an old train, a retired United States Air Force plane, gardens of gorgeous flowers in the spring, swings for both young and old, a running track, and a lovely pond accented by ducks are charming aspects that won us over as fans of this park.  Hang around long enough and you may see some pretty cool stuff, like an antique car show, music corners, dancing, a movie in the park, or even Shakespeare being performed.

Bicentennial Park
http://www.tn.gov/environment/parks/Bicentennial/

This is a great place to just stroll and hang out.  The Farmer’s Market is here as well, so if you get hungry, problem solved.  Pillars etched with historical facts about the city of Nashville line the edges of the lush grass, while framing the nearby State Capitol building sitting on a hill.  Grab a Frisbee, a book, or a picnic blanket and head on over for some serious chillaxin.

Get your picture taken with the painted guitar outside of Legend’s Honky Tonk on Broadway AND with Elvis…just down the sidewalk. 

While taking in the sites and sounds of our potential new home, on our inaugural visit to Nashville, this is just what we did.  Just about every visitor that we had in our home wound up getting their picture made with this guitar and Elvis as well.  Such a fun spot for kicks and giggles.

Union Station
http://www.unionstationhotelnashville.com/

I highly recommend that you go sit in the lobby of Union Station and stare at the ceilings. Seriously. They are gorgeous.
The whole building is gorgeous.  Just sit, cool off, and enjoy.

Shelby Avenue Pedestrian Bridge
http://www.nashvilledowntown.com/go/shelby-street-pedestrian-bridge

Walking up on the Shelby Avenue Pedestrian bridge across the Cumberland River overlooking The Titan’s LP Field was one of our favorite past times.  The cool breeze off the river made hot summer nights far more bearable.  One of the best times we had was standing on the bridge, while watching and listening to the Country Music Festival…for FREE!  You could definitely do this with a Titan’s Game too.  Or, on a “slow” night for Nashville, just soak up the beautiful cityscape with the rolling river in the foreground.

The Billy Graham statue on LifeWay’s property
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/15806

I always find it fun spotting statues of famous people…especially ones I admire.  The statue of Dr. Billy Graham preaching with his open Bible in front of the cross is a great reminder for what life is really about: knowing Jesus and making Him known.

Festivals in Downtown Franklin
http://www.historicfranklin.com/

There were times when I felt like I lived on the set of Gilmore Girls because of Downtown Franklin. As if it wasn’t full of enough charm already, they have amazing festivals! My personal favorite was always the fall festival because you’d see all sorts of people and dogs walking around town in costumes as if it was perfectly normal.   Some of my other top moments were spent at The Main Street Festival and the Dickens of a Christmas.  There’s nothing quite like taking a horse drawn carriage ride around the square.

Stroll down Music Row
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g55229-d108399-Reviews-Music_Row-Nashville_Tennessee.html

Want to see where a lot of the music making actually happens? Then take a stroll on Music Row.  Some of the studios are open for tours as well. But for good, free fun, simply wander around.

Radnor Lake
http://radnorlake.org/

If you love nature, you’ll love Radnor Lake.  Friends of Radnor Lake have made it their mission to carefully preserve the wildlife and natural beauty of this little gem nestled in South Nashville.  For a nice hike or serene promenade, you’ll enjoy a wonderful time at Radnor Lake.

Percy Priest Lake
http://www.tennesseelakeinfo.com/percypriest/

Want to spend a day at the lake? Speed boating, pontoon boating, swimming, fishing, tubing, jet skiing…you’re in for fun if you’re headed to Percy Priest Lake.

Harlingsdale Dog Park
http://www.franklin-gov.com/index.aspx?page=161

This was our doggy’s favorite place to come.  The beautiful farmland, complete with old barns and meadows now is the final resting ground for several outstanding equines.  Life still flows here, though, as canines run freely in the dog park section of this great property.  Not only do the dogs get to run free, play, and make new friends, but there also are fire hydrants! What dog wouldn’t enjoy such a place?  Top that with the beautiful country backdrop and hey, what human wouldn’t enjoy such a place?

People Watch in Hillsboro Village
http://hillsborovillage.com/

A favorite past time for my husband and me is people watching.  Hillsboro Village is a great place to plop down on a bench and just watch the world go by.  There are all sorts of people who will tread those sidewalks in front of you.  Some are famous, some look like they should be famous, some will look like you, and some will look the complete opposite of you.  Just take it in.  Your day will be decorated with unique individuals created by the same God.

Live Music at Puckett’s Grocery, The Franklin Mercantile, and other Venues

There are some nights that local restaurants and other venues such as parks, town festivals, etc. have a cover charge for live music.  But, there are many nights where the live entertainment is free.  Check the music schedules of places like Puckett’s Grocery, The Franklin Mercantile, and other local venues for priced and non-priced music events.

Leipers Fork
http://www.visitleipersfork.com/

Want to feel like you’re walking right on the streets of Mayberry? Look no further than Leipers Fork.  You’ll find old men swapping stories outside the old grocery while smoking some barbecue, hillbilly bands pickin on banjos, fiddles, and basses, old timey cars including a General Lee look alike, and just plain ole good, Southern hospitality from each passerby.

Ellington Agricultural Center
http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/general/agcenter.shtml

This is a great place to get some exercise, take a little picnic, snap a few photographs, and enjoy the beauty around you.  Rolling hills and blooming blossoms decorate this terrific treasure in South Nashville.

Take a drive on the Natchez Parkway
http://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm

How bout a nice, Sunday afternoon drive?  The Natchez Parkway is a fine destination and byway for such a past time.  Speckled with historical markers, wildlife, and beautiful scenes, this roadway is a true piece of American pride.

WSM Opry Signal Tower
http://www.wsmonline.com/events/wsm-tower-open-house/

Interested in seeing the tower that casts the signal for the Grand Ole Opry every week to thousands of radio stations? Be sure to see the WSM signal tower.  Just a glance is all you need, really, but you’ll be glad that you’ve seen the structure capable of transmitting music legends clear across the globe.

Drive on Franklin Road and see the many mansions.
One of our favorite things to do with out of town guests was to drive them past the many mansions on Franklin Road and remark, “Well, I’ve got a mansion too.  It’s being built for me in Glory.”  Seriously, though, these stunning architectural wonders are something else to look at.

Visit one of the great churches in Nashville. (I’m a little partial to Judson Baptist!)
 http://judsonbaptist.com/

There are so many wonderful, evangelical, Bible-believing churches in Nashville.  (There are also a good handful of non Bible-believing assemblies in Nashville too, so check out whatever church’s info you’re looking to try before head over).  Worship and hearing the Word of the Lord preached are so important.  I hope you’ll find a great place to visit on your trip to Music City.  If you’re looking to check out a friendly, welcoming, come as you are church where the Holy Spirit makes His presence known every week, then stop on by Judson Baptist Church.  You’ll be right at home.

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