(Ed. Note: Kathryn Bennett joined the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee this past summer, as the GivingMatters.com Associate. Fresh out of college in New England, and new to Nashville, she’s been experiencing the city with fresh eyes, like many of the estimated 82 people who move here every day. When we found out her family was coming to visit for the first time, we were curious what someone with fresh eyes might gravitate toward. She came back with this dispatch.)
Like many of you reading this, I am a Nashville transplant. The music scene, nightlife, and the buzz that surrounds a growing city were irresistible to me as a recent college graduate. Since I moved here from Boston in May, I’ve loved exploring Nashville’s bars, restaurants, and music venues, but was recently stumped when faced with the challenge of entertaining my parents and grandparents for a week. I wanted to show off all of my favorite Music City spots, but couldn’t exactly take my grandma to the honky tonks. So, here’s what I learned:
My family doesn’t share my love for country music. But since Nashville is a community of artists, there is a wide variety of music, theater, and fine art being created here. You can take in an exhibit at The Frist Center, see a touring Broadway show at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, or learn about the local artists that inhabit 5th Avenue during a First Saturday Art Crawl.
Jack Daniel’s Black Label was introduced in 1911.
Tennessee is filled with American History, and museum tours are something the whole family can enjoy. Some of my family’s favorites were The Hermitage , the home of President Andrew Jackson, The Carter House, where the Battle of Franklin famously took place, and the Belmont Mansion.
If you don’t mind traveling a little ways outside the city, the Jack Daniel’s Distillery is about an hour and a half south of Nashville in the quaint town of Lynchburg, Tennessee. The free walking tour takes you through the distilling process and teaches you about the history of Jack Daniel himself. You can even opt in for tasting at the end of the tour.
Turtle Anarchy Brewery
Nashville is known for its wide variety of craft beer, and since it is brewed here, you don’t have to fight your way through a crowded bar in order to try it! Taprooms and brewery tours were perfect for my family, because we love sampling different types of beer and learning about the brewing process. Here’s a full list of all the craft beer brewing in Nashville: http://nashvillebreweries.com/
Parks, Recreation, and Festivals
Centennial Park, located in Nashville’s West End neighborhood, is a must see. Get some exercise along the walking paths, visit the Parthenon, and enjoy the beauty of the gardens. There are also dozens of festivals held at Centennial Park throughout the year. It’s the perfect hangout for family members of all ages.
Bicentennial Park, located Downtown near the Capitol Building, serves as a monument to Nashville’s history. Take in some history and nature, and then head next door to the Nashville Farmers’ Market- open seven days a week!
A complete list of parks and festivals can be found on NowPlayingNashville.com