When hearing or reading about Nashville, Tennessee, it’s a safe bet that most people’s minds will naturally think: Music City. Country, bluegrass, rock, jazz, R&B, and folk are all genres of music that have had important parts of their history entangled with the city.
But for the been there done that crowd, good news! Not only of musical landmarks is Nashville made, after all. These scenic parks are green, living, breathing proof that there is still much to discover in beautiful, cosmopolitan Nashville even if you know all about the city’s musical history.
8 Gaylord Opryland
With a name like Gaylord Opryland Resort Gardens, expectations already pile high, and this garden resort hotel hybrid does not disappoint. Gaylord Opryland is an indoor botanical garden paradise, hosting a collection of tens of thousands of plants and flowers, both local and international.
From the glass and wire structures to the million-color plants, Gaylord Opryland Resort is always sure to be an exquisite experience. A tour around the resort gardens would take around 2 hours, but if you simply fall in love with it, book a room at the hotel and stay a while longer!
- Location: 2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville
Cheekwood is a botanical garden and art museum in just one place! Cheekwood gardens have miles and miles of lush green fields, vibrant trees, and centennial estates. Visitors can see the paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts that make up the Museum of Art, then stroll through the flower fields and marvel at the art of the natural world!
Depending on when travels are booked, visitors can catch one of Cheekwood’s seasonal festivals, too.
- Location: 1200, Forest Park Drive, Nashville
- Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 9 AM to 4 PM
6 Lockeland Springs Park
For any travelers whose idea of a great time is strolling through a fairy forest, Lockeland Springs Park is a must-visit destination. The park is located in the Lockeland Springs neighborhood and its area is only 3 acres, but it’s a gem among Nashville: A biking and walking trail winds through naturally overgrown shrubs and trees, wildflowers, streams, rocks, and fairy houses left there by local residents (or, you know, fairies!). A perfect place to take kids to enjoy nature and magic.
- Location: 1800, Woodland Street, Lockeland Springs, Nashville
5 Centennial Park
Nashville’s Centennial Park is old farmland of a wealthy family in the city’s early history, turned into a public park after the American Civil War, and was the stage for the Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition in 1897, which is where its name comes from. It is close to Vanderbilt University in the center of Nashville, and its lush green area surrounding the Parthenon - built for the Exposition as to recall Nashville’s title as the “Athens of the South” - and framed by Centennial’s wide lake truly embody that academic feeling.
- Location: 2500 W End Avenue, Nashville
4 Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
If the Centennial Park made it to your travel guide, it's logical the Bicentennial should too! The Bicentennial is really a museum on the history of Tennessee - under the open air and sky. It’s located near the Tennessee State Capitol building and features a granite Tennessee map, sculptural panels detailing the history of Tennessee, an official Amphitheater, and the Court of Three Stars, a column framed plaza representing the Three Great Divisions of the state of Tennessee. History lovers, ahead!
- Location: 600 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville
- Hours: 8 AM to 6:30 PM
3 Radnor Lake State Park
The Radnor Lake Park is a large natural preserve area in the State of Tennessee. It became a wildlife sanctuary in 1923, preserving Radnor Lake, the surrounding flora, and local Middle Tennessee fauna like river otters, minks, coyotes, and white-tailed deer. Hiking and birding are popular activities with visitors.
- Location: 1160 Otter Creek Road, Nashville
- Hours: 6 AM till right after sunset
2 Fannie Mae Dees Park
Fannie Mae Dees Park has a second name, Dragon’s Park, which could say everything needed to know about this park. A ludic, playful atmosphere awaits visitors at Fannie Mae Dees Park, it’s greenery dotted with toys and artworks full of color. A perfect place to take kids features a colorful mosaic plaza whose centerpiece is a 200-foot sea dragon winding in and out of the ground, by sculptor Pedro Silva. There’s also a large playground, tennis courts, soccer fields, grassy picnic area, and accessibility-minded playground for kids with disabilities and on wheelchairs. Parents, know there are also plenty of benches to sit and enjoy nature while kids enjoy playing.
- Location: 2400 Blakemore Avenue, Nashville
- Hours: 5 AM to 10 PM
1 Warner Parks
The Warner Parks are in actuality two parks located in Nashville, Edwin Warner Park, and Percy Warner Park, separated by a single road. The Warner Parks are popular destinations for hiking, cross country, horse riding, picnicking, and generally escaping the hustle and bustle of urban Nashville. The parks feature long fields of grassy land, the Burch Reserve old-growth forest, Nashville’s largest cave, ponds, meadows, and trails.
- Location: 7311 Highway 100, Nashville
- Hours: 6 AM to 8 PM