The quiet city of Nashville loves the tranquil aura that radiates from its Centennial Park. A perfect retreat for avid nature lovers, the park offers a wide range of entertainment and relaxation options for one and all. Take a calming walk in the park, attend cultural events and local fairs, picnic with family and friends or simply lounge around the sprawling green land. Admire the beauty of Lake Watauga or simply enjoy the splendor of the rose arbor. The Parthenon replicates the structure of the ancient citadel right in the heart of the park. The park is famous for its TACA Fall Crafts Fair, which is a fantastic outdoor event that showcases and sells the work of American fine craft artists at the park. You can also buy souvenirs for your loved ones at the park as you discover unusual visual treasures.
This 200-acre walk-through zoological park is home to the rare and beautiful. You'll encounter cougars, black bears, Bengal tigers, zebras, cheetahs and playful river otters. Kids can even go a bit wild on the Jungle Gym playground. The Croft Center, named for the sisters who left the estate to Grassmere, houses the Unseen New World exhibit and a variety of reptiles. There is also a working farm exhibit and a petting zoo.
Tucked away in the Belle Meade neighborhood of the city, about 9 miles (14.48 kilometers) from downtown, the Percy Warner Park offers an expansive area of green respite for the residents of the city. Together with the Edwin Warner Park, these two are known as the Warner Parks and cover an area of 2684 acres (1086 hectares). One of the most visited parks in the state, the Percy Warner Park has picnic areas, walking trails, an equestrian center, horse trails, golf courses, and more. Plus, the park has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places because of the rich heritage it preserves.
Set in the luscious hills of Davidson County, this tourist hot spot is as close as you can get to natural wilderness. Go on a hiking trail in the forest area or catch the wildlife in its most natural form. If you're lucky, you may be able to observe some of the rarest species of wild birds here. Don't forget to see some of the most exotic floral wonders the park features. The sprawling 85-acre (34.398-hectare) lake provides the perfect centerpiece for this tourist haven, which is at its best in autumn. They have a strict no-dogs, no-jogging and no-biking policy, though it is allowed on Otter Creek Road. Radnor Lake State Natural Area is open to the public everyday starting at 6am.
This serene 42 mile long, 14,000 acre lake was created thanks to the J. Percy Priest Dam, completed in 1968. A convenient 15 minute drive from downtown Nashville makes this lake popular among outdoor enthusiasts. The vast array of recreational activities include boating, fishing, swimming, camping, hiking, biking, horse back riding and much, much more. With marinas located around the lake, boaters will find easy access to the water.
A part of the huge, heritage Cheekwood Estate, the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens lay spread in patches all over the estate, some located along the path leading to the Cheekwood mansion, and some placed surrounding the majestic building. Visitors will be enchanted by the beautifully landscaped gardens, like the Martin Boxwood Gardens, Robertson Ellis Color Garden, Japanese Garden and the Wills Perennial Garden. One of the best ways to discover these gardens is by hiking along the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail. The gardens are also home to the Botanic Hall, which plays host to a range of events. See the website for further information.
Few cities in the landscape of America's music culture have a more pronounced influence than Nashville, the nation's original capital of country music. Located on the Cumberland River, this musically charged city has a storied past that begins at the very end of the American Revolution, continuing to the Civil War, where it was the first capital overtaken by Union forces. After the end of the war, the city's position along an Ohio River tributary made it even more of a transit hub, and the population boomed within from 1860 to 1900. The city is most famous for its country music history, the original home to the Grand Ole Opry and the site of numerous recording studios that launched the careers of figures like Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. Then again, Nashville flirts with a modern culture too, evident from its prized contributions to the visual arts in the Frist Center and the LeQuire Gallery. Home to hot chicken and historic Germantown, a district with a renewed spirit that accommodates culinary treasures and retail pundits, Nashville is so much more than its country music origins.
Doubling up as a recreational park, the Two Rivers Park is spread over 374 acres (151.3 hectares). Home to a skate park, wave pools, water slides, a golf course and even a skate park, Two Rivers ensures you a rollicking time within its borders. The park is also the location of a historic mansion, now a popular venue for weddings and events. There are also numerous picnic shelters dotting the park, a disc golf course and a gorgeous pedestrian bridge spanning across the Cumberland River. Explore the huge park by cycling or simply taking leisurely strolls.