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Probably Nashville, Tennessee's most iconic event space, the Ryman Auditorium has been standing proudly on the edge of 5th Avenue North since its inception in the year 1881. Named after its founder, renowned local businessman Thomas Ryman, the building's stunning red sandstone walls and grandiose Gothic-Revival facades enable it to stand out above the rest in the very heart of the city's pleasant urban landscape. Drenched in history, the auditorium's vintage-style wooden stage is no stranger to superstars having hosted the likes of Johnny Cash and the legendary Charlie Chaplin back in the early periods of the 20th-century. The venue's popularity really gained momentum the day it started hosting the Grand Ole Opry radio show, earning it the title 'The Mother Church of Country Music'. Historic site by day, the auditorium transforms into a happening venue for enthralling bluegrass, jazz, classical, country and gospel performances in the evenings.
Known as one of the top studios in Nashville, the Historic RCA Studio B is where some of the music industries greatest hits were recored. With over 35,000 songs recorded here, not to mention over 1,000 of those being top American hits, this Music Row attraction is a bonafide Nashville landmark. Daily tours allow guests to get a firsthand look where the music, stories and the magic were made. Close your eyes and you can almost hear Elvis with his Southern accent or Dolly Parton belting out Jolene.
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.
When the world-famous Ryman Auditorium closed its doors to country music performances, a section of the stage was removed and installed here at the new home of the Grand Ole Opry. Country music artists, past and present, consider performing on this stage as one of the highest of honors that can ever be bestowed upon them, which is why many of the American music industry's all-time greats have graced the Opry at some point in their careers. The 45,000 square foot (4,180 square meters) building seats 4,400 people. The stage markets itself as 'The Show That Made Country Music Famous' and plays host to the prestigious Country Music Association Awards. Bluegrass, gospel, Americana and folk music concerts are also held here.
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.
The Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory is a beautiful observatory located in Brentwood. This fantastic observatory is a great place to get your kids along, so that they can learn more about Space and Astronomy. This place is sure to interest them in taking up Science and Engineering later on in their careers. The Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory also features a well-equipped Library and a Computer Center where students can learn about telescopes and Space Exploration. Also used as a Venue, some famous artists including the likes of Marshall Chapman, Jeff Hanna, Chuck Cannon and Judy Collins have performed here.
It is fitting that the "Athens of the South" is home to the world's only full-size replica of the ancient Parthenon. Forty-six Doric columns encircle the building. The largest bronze doors in the world, weighing 7.5 tons each, stand at the East and West entrances. Featured is Athena Parthenos, the tallest indoor sculpture in the Western world. Sculptures and friezes are modeled from Elgin Marbles at the British Museum in London. There are also four art galleries. While the prices are reasonable, you can avail discounts for groups of ten or more with a reservation.
Loved by locals and tourists alike, this 1853 mansion was once the centerpiece of a 5,400-acre (2,185 hectares), 19th-century thoroughbred farm and nursery that back then sheltered president Andrew Jackson's thoroughbred. Awash in a stately Greek Revival style, the plantation boasts a dramatically-picturesque landscape that is dotted by many plantation remnants like a stable, the Hardings Cabin and the restored slaves quarters. Still referred to as the “Queen of Tennessee Plantations,” the present 30-acre (12-hectares) environs includes many of the original outbuildings and an antique carriage collection. The plantation has also played host to many famous guests including Presidents Grover Cleveland and General Sherman. Lending insights into the indelible plantation legacy left behind by John Harding, the Belle Meade Plantation is deeply entrenched in a long-standing lineage which has been an important part of the cultural history of America.
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.
Relax among the serene beauty of three nationally acclaimed indoor gardens: The Conservatory, The Cascades, and The Delta. The Conservatory covers two acres and is devoted solely to tropical plants. The Cascades also covers two acres and features waterfalls cascading into a 12,500 square-foot indoor lake. The Delta covers 4.5 acres and features restaurants, shops and a fountain that sends out jets of water 85 feet into the air. A breathtaking river runs through it with passenger-carrying boats. Admission: Free.
This legendary attraction is more than just a supernatural story. The Bell Witch Cave is an adventure not for the faint of heart. Explore the caves of the fabled bell witch and maybe even take a canoe ride while you are here. A replica of the hand hewed log cabin where the Bell family resided in the 1800s is also one of the star attractions of this place. Day time tours of the cave and cabin are available from 10:00a to 5:00p at USD12 for the cave tour and USD8 for the cabin tour. Special daytime and nighttime tours can be booked 48 hours in advance. The best time to visit would be close to Halloween where the witch is honored at the Bell Witch Fest. Tour timings and dates may vary as per season.