Nashville's Outdoor Fun
This is Music City, if it feels good outside, then we are playing outside. Mark your calendars for the big music festivals happening each month, find out what the many Nashville attractions are doing outside, play at any of our bountiful parks, enjoy the weather while discovering the past, come ride Music City's Greenways, or enjoy a sporting event right here in Nashville.
There is A LOT to do in Music City, so you can either follow along, or click on the links below to jump around.
Take a look at what Ms. Cheap from The Tennessean has planned for the summer with: Ms. Cheap's Guide to Summer with FREE music, outdoor activities, movies, family fun, and more.
There's nothing better than getting together with hundreds of friends and listening to some great live music in Music City. Plenty of major music festivals happening during the summer months starting with CMA Music Festival. The music is played outside including the free live music at Riverfront Park, and the nightly concerts at LP Field. Next, join the 80,000 fans during Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Then mark your calendars for the biggest party of the year, Let Freedom Sing: July 4 in Music City. Last year's lineup included Martina McBride, Mikky Ekko, and the GRAMMY-winning Nashville Symphony. Finish the summer with free concerts every Thursday evening starting in August, and a three day festival in September during Live on the Green.
Outdoor concert series are happening throughout Nashville. Head over to Centennial Park for Musicians Corner presenting free family friendly live music every Saturday in May and June. Then check out Bluebird on the Mountain, an annual summer concert series presented by the Bluebird Cafe. Hit songwriters play their best and your favorite songs on the portico of the Dyer Observatory. Bluebird on the Mountain is each month starting in May and ending October. Take a trip out to Cumberland Caverns for Bluegrass Underground, a radio show recorded live 333 feet below ground at a natural amphitheater. The Nashville Symphony presents Free Community Concerts at parks around town on select days in June. June also begins the annual Frist Fridays as patrons are invited to enjoy an evening of live music every last Friday of June, July, and August behind the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. The Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel opens up during the summer nights, and each year offers a great line up to see! And don't forget to stop by Nashville's state-of-the-art outdoor venue, the Ascend Amphitheater, to see an awesome show under the stars in Music City. The beautiful Arrington Vineyard hosts Music in the Vines, a free live concert event every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Make sure to check out some of the other concerts going on in Music City by visiting: www.visitmusiccity.com/upcomingconcerts.
Outdoor Attractions & Activities
Enjoy the outdoors at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, and see over 400 different species including clouded leopards, red pandas, elephants, giraffes, and more. Then witness the 55 acres of beautiful splendor at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art. Take a stroll through the lovely botanical gardens and sculpture trail while you're there. Everyone loves miniature golf, and go-karts! Grand Old Golf & Go Karts holds three award winning miniature golf courses and an outdoor go-kart track that equals fun for the whole family. Cumberland Caverns is open year round, seven days a week with daily scenic walking tours, daytime adventure trips, and overnight spelunking with camping in the cave just 2 hours outside downtown Nashville. Lost River Cave & Valley is Kentucky's only underground boat tour just one hour north of Nashville. The tour begins with a walk along the river's edge, and then arrive at the massive cave entrance where you will board a boat and glide along the river into enormous cathedral-like passages.
We can't forget about the water parks! Check out the Nashville Shores, a 385-acre water-filled play area for the entire family. Water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, OH MY! The little ones will LOVE Kowabunga Beach, a massive water treehouse and spray ground, multiple water slides, three pools, and so much more! Nashville Shores is also home to Treetop Adventure Park! An aerial adventure through the woods. After you are done flying on zip lines, enjoy the 100 different obstacles which is great for families to come together. Make sure to check out Adventureworks, an amazing zip line experience with over 40 acres of forest. Have fun at Wave Country where you can ride the waves, and relax in the sun. Feel free to browse through all of Music City's great attractions here: www.visitmusiccity.com/attractions.
Special Outdoor Events
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Treetop Adventure Park at Nashville Shores
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Have an Adventure
Music City has plenty for those who enjoy exercising, and exploring. Groups will love to pedal around Nashville and see the sights on the Nashville Pedal Tavern. This awesome tour is a party on wheels. Perfect for having fun in the sun, and stopping at various locations around Music City. Families and friends will love Sprocket Rocket Tours. It's like riding around in your own personal night club. It fits 16 people, pedal-powered, and has neon lights! A great way to tour historic downtown Nashville. Pioneer the trails with Bike the Greenway. They operate from Two Rivers Park, and will actually provide transportation for those in need. Enjoy a guided tour of the city with Green Fleet Bicycle Tours. Make your own special day and borrow a Nashville B-cycle. This gives you the chance to go at your own pace, and explore each corner of the city. Discover what has just won best little Southern town by Garden and Gun on foot with Franklin on Foot, just south of downtown Nashville.
Music City's Parks
We are proud of our open spaced parks so people can appreciate all the beautiful weather Music City has to offer. The Warner Parks (Edwin and Percy), in West Nashville, combine to make 2,684 acres to include picnic areas, hiking trails, running courses, and so much more. Talk a walk on Nashville's Greenways which connects neighborhoods to schools, shopping areas, downtown, recreation areas, open spaces, and other points of activity. Centennial Park is 132 acres and features The Parthenon, a full scale replica of the Athenian original. Inside the Greek temple is a 42-foot statue of Athena just like the Parthenon in ancient Greece. Centennial Park also has a one-mile walking trail, and many other historic shrines to see. Bicentennial State Park, in Midtown, is a great area to enjoy the outdoors, and discover Tennessee's rich history with the numerous monuments around the park. Eastland Park, in East Nashville, is an awesome patch of land with plenty of playgrounds, and hosts a lot of special events throughout the year. East Nashville visitors will also want to check out Shelby Bottoms Park filled with 5 miles of trails perfect for hiking, biking, running, and wildlife watching. Fannie Mae Dees Park, or Dragon Park, located in Hillsboro Village, is beloved by locals. It is called Dragon Park because of the large mosaic serpent sculpture that slithers through the landscape. Children love it, and adults relish in its beauty. Children love to spend time at Cumberland Park, in Downtown Nashville, a one-of-a-kind nature and play area that includes a sand play, stepping-stone path with mist, stone climbing ropes, climbing nets, exploration trail, and a fountain to cool you off during those extra hot days. Take a walk through Walk of Fame Park to see the stars from different genres who have contributed to the world through the music industry, and hold a special connection with Music City. Inductees include Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Reba McEntire, Emmylou Harris, Little Richard, Hank Williams, Vince Gill, The Crickets, Kings of Leon, Barbara Mandrell, Wynonna Judd, Roy Orbison and more. We have not forgotten about our four legged friends. Warner, Shelby, and Centennial Parks all welcome dogs. Please visit www.nashville.gov/Dog-Parks for more information on rules and policies.
Radnor Lake is a 1,200-acre lake and perfect for observing wildlife in their natural habitat including river otters, beavers, mink, muskrats, bobcats, coyote, and the white-tailed deer. Percy Priest Lake is a 42-mile long 14,000-acre lake and just a short 15-minute drive from downtown Nashville. Percy Priest Lake offers a wide range of recreation activities for locals and for those just visiting Music City. If you are looking to do some fishing then make sure to check out Ed Martin's Striper & Hybrid Fishing Guide Service. They will point you in the right direction, offer advice, and help both novice & expert anglers catch fish in Music City. Plus, those 16 years old and under fish for FREE! Old Hickory Lake, just north of Nashville, offers a variety of outdoor fun including camping, hiking, picnicking, boating, and water skiing. After your fun on Old Hickory, finish your night at Barefoot Charlie's Restaurant right off the lake, and always having a party. Don't forget about the adventures to be had on the Harpeth River. Paddle, swim, or float the day away on the historic Harpeth River which offers canoe rentals from March to October. Exploring Music City's waterways has never been so easy with the Nashville Paddle Co. They offer short and long term rentals for stand-up paddleboards so you can cruise along Nashville's rivers and lakes. And just in case you don't know how, don't worry, they offer how-to-classes, intermediate technique instructions, and more to show you the ropes. River Queen Voyages is Nashville's first kayak rental company on the Cumberland River. They provide a beginner level tour-guided kayak route that goes from Shelby Park to Downtown Riverfront Park and an intermediate level self guided kayak route from Lock Two Park to Shelby Park. Make sure to check out Defiance Flyboard. These crafty folks allow you to soar above the water using the propulsion of a jet ski. Water pushes down, and you go up in the sky like a spaceman with a jet pack.
Into the Past
The Spring and Summer months are a perfect time to explore Nashville's many outdoor historical sites. Check out the beautifully preserved grounds and home of our nation's 7th president at Andrew Jackson's Hermitage: Home of the People's President. Enjoy the 1,100 acres of the original farm owned by Andrew Jackson, and learn about life during the 19th century. The Belle Meade Plantation is a 19th century historic Greek Revival mansion commissioned by John Harding in 1845. Guests are welcome to explore the 30 acres of the Belle Meade Plantation which includes the dairy, horse stable, carriage house, mausoleum, gardens, and a log cabin. Learn about Nashville's role during the Civil War at The Battle of Franklin Trust as you explore the Carter House, and Carnton Plantation. Next, immerse yourself into the past at Travellers Rest Plantation the home of John Overton, one of Nashville's first political leaders. Make sure to browse through the other great historical sites and museums Nashville has to offer here: www.visitmusiccity.com/nashvillehistory.
Enjoy the thrill of baseball with the Nashville Sounds. Peanuts, home runs, Cracker Jacks, and a game almost every single day. Golf lovers will need to check out the Hermitage Golf Course, voted #1 Rated Public Course in the State by Golf Digest, or Gaylord Springs Golf Links, named Middle Tennessee's Top Public Course by GolfWeek Magazine.
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