7 Mar

Nashville. Not Just for Country Music-Loving Folk Anymore

By Libby Esterle

Senior Account Executive

Needing a change of scenery, we recently took a weekend trip to Nashville. Not being a native Southerner or country music fan, I was a bit skeptical of how we were going to entertain ourselves, despite the trip being my idea in the first place.

What we (happily) discovered is that while the country music scene still reigns supreme, there are many other attractions in and around Nashville that made for a very historical, educational and enjoyable visit. Our recommendations are below:

The Parthenon in Centennial Park.  I had the opportunity to visit the real deal back in college while in Europe as an exchange student and have always loved antiquities, ancient art, architecture and humanities, so this was right up my alley. An impressive, full-scale replica as it would have been in its heyday, complete with a 42-foot statue replica of Athena covered in gold leaf. Luckily, this Parthenon was also recently featured in “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” movie, making it fun for our young daughters as well.

Belle Meade Mansion and Plantation. By far the highlight our visit to Belle Meade was the 45 minute tour of the Greek-Revival mansion led by a trained and period costumed guide (we were fortunate to have the great and talented Margaret lead our group through the mansion, complete with an engaging historical account of the family). But that’s not all. Your admission also includes a complete tour of the plantation’s grounds (think dairy house, horse stable, carriage house, smokehouse, barn, log cabin, gardens, mausoleum and wine tasting).

Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Closer to a cruise ship than a hotel, this sprawling resort features nine acres of indoor gardens, stunning glass atriums, excellent live entertainment, top-notch restaurants, bars and lounges. This hotel has something for everyone, to suit every age and every taste.

Hermitage- Home of President Andrew Jackson, our nation’s seventh (and controversial) president. Similar to Belle Meade with a mansion inspired by classical Greek architecture and featuring other historical buildings on its impressive grounds, including Jackson’s tomb, slave quarters and the original cabin dwellings, Hermitage pays homage to our American political history.

So, round up your horse and buggy, lace up your corset and travel back in time to an intriguing and colorful part of our nation’s history.


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