Looking for a quick, weekend getaway that’s super close to Knoxville? Look no further than our state’s capital, Nashville, TN, also referred to as Music City. Whether you are going with your family or your spouse, you are sure to find something to entertain everyone of all ages.
Where to stay
- Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. This luxury resort doesn’t even feel like a hotel. With stunning gardens and waterfalls, you can easily get lost exploring the property. There are multiple restaurants and bars, an indoor and outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness center, several shops, entertainment in the Cascades lobby, two nightly water shows at the Delta Fountain, and Soundwaves, which is an indoor water park for hotel guests. They often offer special packages, especially during the holidays, as they are known for their spectacular Christmas lights and decor as well as their annual ICE event. This year will be Polar Express themed and will include bumper cars, ice tubing, ice skating, and more! Also, for any teachers, they offer Educator Appreciation rates, subject to availability and blackout dates. You will have to show a valid educator ID at check-in.
- Franklin, TN. Franklin is about 20 miles south of Nashville and it’s a great option if you do not want to stay close to downtown. They have the cutest downtown area, which reminds me a lot of downtown Lenoir City and downtown Maryville. Here are a few hotels I recommend in the Franklin area:
What to do
- Grand Ole Opry. This is located within walking distance to the Opryland Hotel. You can take a backstage tour during the day or check the schedule ahead of time and buy tickets, as you never know who might be performing.
- Opry Mills Mall. This is also located within walking distance to the Opryland Hotel. It has over 200 stores (some of them are outlets, with great discounts), a Regal movie theater, a Dave and Buster’s, an Escape Room, and a wax museum.
- The Mall at Green Hills. If you are into luxury shopping, this is the mall for you. Located about 10 minutes south of downtown Nashville, this mall has all of the regular mall stores, but it also has upscale stores such as Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany and Co.
- CoolSprings Galleria. This is a shopping mall in Franklin. It has all of the regular stores, plus Macy’s. Target is also in the area.
- Ryman Auditorium. In the heart of downtown, this is one of the most famous music venues in the area. You can take a tour as well as buy tickets to performances.
- Broadway. This is the main strip in downtown Nashville and the city’s most famous street. With flashing neon signs, music can be heard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I recommend checking this out during the day if you are with your family/young kids, as many families cannot enter into the bars and restaurants at night. If you are with your spouse, it is worth checking out at night, as it gives off loud, party-scene vibes.
- Bridgestone Arena. Located downtown (on Broadway), this is the home of the Nashville Predators professional hockey team during the winter. This is also where all of the big time performers perform concerts. Check the schedule before you go and maybe you can score some tickets to a game or a concert.
- Nissan Stadium. This is located within walking distance of downtown and is home to the Tennessee Titans NFL team. The University of Tennessee football team has played several home openers here. In addition, some outdoor concerts are also performed here. During football season, be sure to check the schedule, as you might be able to catch a game.
- Geodis Park. Located about four miles south of downtown, this is home to Nashville FC, Nashville’s professional soccer team. If you are a soccer fan, be sure to check this out. Inter Miami (Lionel Messi’s team) recently played here, so if you are lucky, you might be able to see one of the world’s most famous players play here.
- Golf. There are lots of golf courses around the Nashville area. Here are some of the ones we recommend, especially for young golfers and families:
Where to eat
- Assembly Food Hall. In downtown Nashville, close to the Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena, and Broadway, this food hall offers a variety of foods such as burgers, sushi, chicken, tacos, pizza, crepes, doughnuts, and edible cookie dough. You can place your order on your phone, find a table, and will receive a text when your food is ready. In addition, there are bars and live entertainment.
- Boqueria. This is located beside the Assembly Food Hall. If you have ever been to Spain, you are familiar with tapas. This is the ultimate tapas bar and all of the food here takes me back to my trips that I have taken to Spain.
- Mattheessen’s Ice Cream, Cookies, Fudge. Located close to Broadway in downtown, this is a must stop, especially if you are with your family. The cookies are not only delicious, but they are gigantic and can be shared by everyone in your group.
- Another Broken Egg Cafe. Also located downtown, close to Broadway, this is the perfect place for breakfast or brunch. If you are catching an early football game or other early event, I highly suggest checking this place out.
- Rainforest Cafe at Opry Mills Mall. This is a great place for families with young kids. It’s not just a restaurant — it is also decorated like a rain forest and has animatronics with a talking tree. It makes you feel like you are eating in the middle of a rain forest.
- Party Fowl. There are multiple locations in the Nashville area. One location is at CoolSprings Galleria in Franklin. This place is known for Nashville Hot Chicken, their adult slushies, and brunch. They also have big screen TVs, which are perfect for game days.
- Hattie B’s. There are multiple locations in the Nashville area. This place is also known for Nashville Hot Chicken, their southern sides (green beans, grits, baked beans, black eyed pea salad), and their desserts (banana pudding and peach cobbler). While this started in Nashville, they have expanded to Atlanta, Birmingham, Dallas, Memphis and even Las Vegas!