In some parts of the country, trees are already creating a mosaic of beautifully hued foliage. From cranberry-speckled branches to pathways lined with golden gorgeousness, nature stirs our hearts and speaks to our souls. It’s a time for coziness and reminiscing and hearing the crunch of leaves beneath our feet.
Many of us love to travel during this time of year. The temps are starting to drop and a winsome sense of wonder inspires us to explore. If you’re looking for a place to experience fall in all of its brilliant glory, try Nashville, Tennessee. This colorful city is known for being like a big small town, and has been drawing record numbers of visitors and new residents over the past few years. Whether you want to visit every tourist attraction or just chill with a drive through the countryside, there’s so much to see and do. And that’s just the sightseeing. Wait ‘til we talk about the food!
Autumn In Music City
A longtime, well-kept secret, Nashville is a pretty place to go in the fall. Its backdrop of gentle, rolling hills and wide, open fields creates a scenic Southern retreat. Stay in the city or dare to venture down a country road or two. The Natchez Trace Parkway is a magnificent, calming (and free!) drive with a slower speed limit, so you can take it all in. There are lots of bicyclists, too, so take a spin on your bike, to soak in the soft sunshine. Percy Warner Park and Radnor Lake both provide lovely locations to hike. They each cover large areas, so bring a map so you don’t get too turned around. You’ll also find plenty of friendly folks who’ll gladly recommend areas to see and point you in the right direction. Plus, an afternoon drive is an economical way to have your own unique adventure.
For another view of the tender Tennessee landscape, take a mini road trip out of the city to Arrington Vineyards. Partly owned by legendary musician, Kix Brooks, this charming vineyard prides itself on being a sparkling gem in a comfy little corner of the South. Bring a picnic, settle in under a blanket, and enjoy their delicious wines. You won’t want to leave.
If you’re staying in the downtown vicinity and want a glimpse of how the professionals do fall, check out Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. The grounds are picturesque and you’ll likely want to take your sweet time strolling through each garden path. Prices are reasonable, too. Adult tickets are $20 and they provide discounts for youth and seniors They also have seasonal festivals and exhibits that appeal to all ages. It’s a must-see for all you green-thumbs out there!
A great midtown locale to take photos and leisurely saunter along is Centennial Park. With a nod to both nature and history, this one-of-a-kind community gathering place impresses with a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. It’s a total showstopper, and free to take pictures outside. During museum hours, there’s a small fee to visit the inside. $6 for adults and discounts for children and seniors.
Any sports enthusiasts out there? Fall is a football fan’s dream. If you can score tickets to see the Tennessee Titans, you should take the opportunity while you’re visiting the Volunteer State. Order some cider, get your cheer on, and see how much pride Nashvillians have for their home team.
Chilly Days. Hot Meals.
With a plethora of restaurants to choose from, you’ll be making some tough decisions, dining-wise. Nashville has a range of options, from contemporary cuisine to homegrown cooking. The Loveless Café is well-known for its Southern dishes and hospitality.
If you like pizza, DeSano Pizza is truly authentic, wood-fired deliciousness. It’s got a casual vibe and mouth-watering pies.
If you enjoy a ladies’ lunch type of place, head out to the suburbs to Puffy Muffin. They’re known for their cranberry salad, pimento cheese, and decadent baked goods. They also get friendliness points!
Need breakfast? The Pancake Pantry has been a delish destination for years. You may have to wait in line, so wear comfortable shoes because the pancakes are definitely worth it.
For a little local flavor, try Puckett’s. They have several locations, with the original being in the heart of Leiper’s Fork, off the beaten path. Take in the laid-back ambiance and have some good ol’ comfort food.
For a grandiose venue to walk around, eat out, and marvel at holiday decorations early on, the Marriot's Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is a Tennessee treasure. The shimmering twinkling lights and magical décor debut November 10th. And it’s free to walk around—just don’t forget money for parking!
Nashville is brimming with great places to go. This is a super small sampling, so keep your ears open for tips from the locals. Oh, and don’t forget the music. We hear they’ve got a little bit of that, too.