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Nashville, Tennessee

Updated: Feb 26

We drove from Atlanta to Nashville,Tennessee, the hometown of county music. It is a very easy drive from Atlanta. After Chatanooga, there are very few places to stop for bathrooms and food so be prepared.

We always stop at Bucc-ees at exit 310 of I 75.


157 Rest area

158 Food/Gas

134 Food/Gas

Where to stay:

Gaylord at Opryland Marriott Hotel

We had a wonderful stay at the Gaylord a few days before Christmas. My son was at the age where Santa is not as magical and he really got the holiday spirit back here. As we were walking to the elevator to leave after a 3 day stay here, he reached over and hugged me and said thank you mom for a great trip! That was worth every penny.

The hotel is very large and really in 4 sections: think main hotel and then 3 sections that were gradually added on. If you do self parking, it can be a far walk, so drop off your luggage with a family member at the front door.

When you check in at the front desk, they will tell you which section you will stay in and then a room number. FYI all 6th floor rooms have no balconies. Some rooms have the atrium views and some outside views. We love the atrium view. Make sure to check around for the closest elevator as sometimes there is one closer the opposite way.

We stayed in Cascade section. They have a small arcade as you walk to the Garden Conservatory section. Their hours are 9:30-7 Sunday to Thursday, till 8pm on Friday and Saturday. There is a restaurant, Cascade Cafe and bar and area in which to sit.

We ate at the Cascades both nights as it was a great buffet. Get here early as the lines grow long.

The next area is the Delta. It has the boat ride, lots of restaurants, a Starbucks, shops and the water show at 6,7,8,9 pm, behind the pizza shop.

Boat Ride

Light Show

Next up is the Magnolia section which is the original hotel. They have the Jack Daniels Restaurant, a holiday bar/normal bar, and a few upscale shops and easy access to the water park,

The other section is the Garden Conservatory, with lots of plants. Behind it is the water park and this is where we had the Brunch with Rudolph.

The water park needs to be included when you purchase your room since they only open a few extra tickets each day and are difficult to get. They have a gift shop there and a larger arcade. If you have an elderly person who would like to watch the kids in the water park and not pay to go in, have them go in the arcade and in the back are tables and chairs that view into the water park.

I suggest you bring a cell phone water case (Amazon Affiliate Link) for the water park. They also have an outdoor water park, for warmer months.

The hotel has a bus that runs to the Opry Mills Mall, dowtown and to the river boat, and may charge a fee.

Holiday Fun!

We went a few days before Christmas. Due to covid they could not do the ICE exhibit they usually do and changed it to en Elf experience. You purchase tickets ahead for any of the extra fun activites you want to do, and most are for anytime during the day. You show your tickets at each area. It is for one time, so tubing is a one person, one time tubing per ticket. You need to purchase tickets ahead of time as if you wait till that day they are usually sold out. Most activities open at 10 am.

They also have carriage rides and trees lit up outside the Magnolia area.

We did the following experiences:

The Elf Experience


Bumper Tubes

Ice Skating


Boat Ride

Rudolph Brunch

Other hotels in Nashville I suggest:


W Nashville

JW Marriott


Goo Goo Cluster

We found this place while walking around off Broadway and fell in love with the Goo Goo Cluster. This store has traditional ones already made or we loved making our own special one. It was about $17 and while it deosn't seem big, you could easily share it.

You go up the computer and pick the carmels, chocolate and fillings. Pay with a a charge card and then you can go and watch them make it in person.

Old Towne Trolly

We took the trolly around Nashville to learn the history of the city. We parked downtown, but I suggest you park elsewhere as it was about $40 for 4 hours and we saw other lots cheaper on the ride.

It was about an hour and half ride total and we just stayed on for the tour, but you can get on and off all day long. They come by about every 30 mins.

Ryman Auditorium

My husband and I went to a concert here years ago and this auditorium has so much history and character!


Places to eat and shop

Wildhorse Saloon alllows all ages till 10 on Friday and Studay and they teach line dancing.

Ole Red is also a family friendly one.

Places we ate at:

Farmers Market

We enjoyed looking around at the different places to eat here. We were not real hungry so we just grabbed a pizza from Bella Nashville. It was great wood fired pizza.

Lukes 32 Bridge (corner of street where Goo Goo Cluster is) We had a great meal here and loved the live music! Luke Bryan is who it is named after.

Opry's Backstage Grill This is right outside the Gaylord and we grabbed lunch here the day we left and so glad we did. They had great food and live music from their singing servers.

White Limozeen at the Graduate Hotel101 20th Ave N

Nashville, TN 3720, is an indoor outdoor rooftop driven by local farmers with a french presentaion. Get a reservation here 14 days before you want to go.

After 7:00 PM it is 21 plus and you will need to show ID.



Monday - Friday

3:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Saturday - Sunday

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Other sites to see:

Johny Cash Museum (across from Goo Goo Cluster)


Bluebird Cafe (taylor Swift began here)

Hattie B's Chicken

Laurel Street has the mural of the wings

Belmont Mansion

Music Row

Marathon Motors

Nelson Burbon tour for $10

Musicians Hall of Fame

Fun Facts:

*Woolworths building- where sit-ins happened in the 60's

*Oprah started at Channel 5 as did the show HeeHaw

For those driving from Atlanta, check out info about Chatanooga here!

Check us out on Facebook and Instagram!

Check back every Tuesday for a new fun place to take a family vacation!

Check here for other vacations we have taken.

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