One Day in Nashville: What do you do?

Are there any Nashville dopers who can recommend a place to go, a thing to do, to someone with a Sunday to kill? It’s important to know that (a) I will not have a car, (b) it will be nearly 100 freaking degrees outside, and © will be staying downtown. I’m going to the country music hall of fame on Monday, but Sunday is pretty open – thinking I would just “see the town,” so I’m looking for a neighborhood or street where there might be interesting things to see, a good place to eat, and maybe do a little shopping without being in Tourist Trap hell.

Well, you won’t have a car, and it depends on where you stay downtown. There are country music bars down on Broadway (Legends and Tootsie’s), and there are some decent restaurants (Jack’s Barbecue, Demos’). I’m not sure what all is open on Sundays. If you can get to Hillsboro Village(just up broadway, about 3 miles from downtown), then you’ve got many more restaurants and shops, a good arthouse movie theater(Belcourt), and it’s not so touristy. That’s in the Vandy area of town, so it’s more collegy.

Thanks. My girlfriend looked up Hillsboro Village in the book, and we think we’ll like it. Interesting movie at the Belcourt, too, so I’m sure we’ll end up there.

diku has good points: it will depend on what part of “downtown” you’ll be staying in. The term is rather loosely applied hereabouts. The downtown library is very new and is excellent, if that sort of thing suits you. The Frist Center is a fine arts museum and is just next door to the Union Station hotel, which is a historically significant piece of architecture and which has an above average restaurant, too.

The Riverfront Park may have some activities and Fort Nashboro (on the river) is also of historic significance. The clubs and bars along “Lower Broad” may not have much action on Sunday, but I can’t attest either way.

Do you know which hotel you’ll be in? That could help with recommending attractions.

We’re staying at the Renaissance Hotel, 611 Commerce St.

Thanks. You’ll be in the traditional “downtown” area and in easy walking distance of the library, Frist, Lower Broad, Riverfront Park and Fort Nashboro. In addition to Hillsboro Village, which is not an easy walk from you (cab ride?), you could also consider Music Row just to see some of the recording district. That’s in the 16th Avenue area, out toward Vandy. If you do decide to try Hillsboro Village by cab, it’s not that much further (another three miles or so) to Green Hills Mall. Other shopping malls are considerably further from downtown.

If the pay-for bus tours run on Sunday, they might interest you. Homes of the stars and historic sites are the sort of thing they include.

One other site in the other direction (in the general vicinity of the airport) is Opry Mills, which is humongous and loaded with stores and eateries of all descriptions. Cab would be needed for sure, though.

One more question… and thanks for all the ideas. Apparently there’s some kind of trolley? What do you know about that?

Also, how far from Hillsboro Village is Music Row?

I have heard of the trolley but don’t know specifics. The concierge or hotel manager ought to be able to give you details and times.

Hillsboro Village is on 21st Ave. South and Music Row is between 16th and 17th Ave. South. Music Row is much closer to Broad/West End. My guess is that they’re 2-3 miles apart.

You could use Yahoo! Maps and tour the city that way. See if this link helps.

Thanks. This link is cool too. :slight_smile:

Right you are. Just an “in general” comment about one day sightseeing in Nashville: The city’s commerce has moved out to the suburbs and malls that are at least 5 miles from the business district of downtown. The college area (Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb, Meharry, Fisk) is west and south of downtown. The more exclusive residential areas (Belle Meade, Hillwood) are well to the west of downtown. Many of the more well-known music venues are scattered in the outlying areas. Bluebird Cafe, for instance, is in Green Hills. However, there are still quite a few in the “Lower Broad” section (lower in the sense of near the river and near the lower-numbered crossing streets First through Seventh Avenues).

If you’re into historic sites, and want to spring for the cab rides to get there, most of the more impressive ones are miles from downtown. Traveller’s Rest, The Hermitage, Belle Meade Mansion, Cheekwood, just to name a few.

One thing you might consider is to check the phone book. There’s a neat quick reference there that’s not bad.

Good luck!

We’re going to the Bluebird on Tuesday – we have tix and everything. Cricetus’s companion is excited to see where Gillian and Emmy Lou have neen known to show up now and again.

There’s also just the regular bus to get you around. It doesn’t run as often on Sundays but you should be able to get from downtown to Hillsboro Village easily. Take the #7.

Opryland Hotel, next door to Opry Mills, is also a nice place to visit. Acres of gardens, all under a glass ceiling, lots of waterfalls and fountains so it’s cool and soothing, it’s one of my favorite places to go in Nashville. But you’ll definitely need to take a cab to get there.

Oh, and if it’s not too terribly hot Centennial Park is a very nice place to stroll around in. Go check out the Parthenon.

I think it’s supposed to be brutal again this weekend. Cancelled going out to Cedars of Lebanon to ride horses cause of the heat.

Anyway, all of the recommendation so far are really good. If you get to Hillsboro Village early enough, check out Pancake Panty. Don’t worry if there’s a line to get in, if it’s to the corner, that’s a 15 minute wait. Provence across the street is a great place to eat as well. Good sandwiches, good pastries.

We’re all about pancakes. We’ll get up early and head over.

Sigh. PANTRY! Not panty. Pancake Pantry.

My wife swears by the sweet potato pancakes, but not for me. Yuck.

Well, we’re back. We did go to the Pancake Pantry, and the Bluebird, and loved both of them. We saw most of the touristy stuff except Oprlyland – the Ryman, CM HOF, any number of honky tonks and gift shops, music row, giant naked people, etc. It’s a nice city, but I have to level with you guys – it’s damned hot there.

If you didn’t make it to Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, you don’t know from hot!

If you’ll make that was hot, I’ll agree. We had a nice cooling front move through yesterday and it’s down to “hot” from “damned hot.”

Glad you liked your visit.