5 Parks in Nashville That Locals Love
Posted by Gary Ashton on Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 at 10:31am.
Nashville has a surprising amount of green space and waterways for a city with nearly 700,000 residents. The Cumberland River winds its way through northern Nashville, and the large Percy Priest Reservoir is just to the east of town. These waterways and the trees in and around Nashville homes set a very high bar when it comes to outdoor activities in Nashville. The city has about 120 parks encompassing more than 12,000 acres of space. Read on to discover some of the best neighborhood parks in Nashville.
Centennial Park Amenities
- Walking trail
- Lake Watauga
- Volleyball and tennis courts
- Dog Park
- Frequent events
Located in the West End neighborhood, Centennial Park is large, beautiful, and busy. A must-see landmark in this park is the replica of the Greek Parthenon. Nashville's other nickname is "Athens of the South," due to the numerous colleges and universities here, so it seems fitting that the city would have a full-sized copy of the Parthenon. There is also a Civil War memorial on the park's grounds, which is surrounded by a one-mile walking trail. A small body of water called Lake Watauga sits in the middle of Centennial Park.
There are volleyball courts on the west side of the park and the Centennial Sportsplex Fitness and Tennis Center to the east. The far west end of the park is a large fenced-in Nashville dog park, with plenty of shade, trees, walking paths, and benches. Its size and central location make Centennial Park the perfect place for events. There are frequent festivals and live music events in the park. Centennial Park tends to draw a lot of people, so it can sometimes be difficult to find a parking spot!
Cumberland Park Amenities
- Outdoor amphitheater
- Walking path
- Play area
- Splash pads
Cumberland Park is one of the most beautifully designed parks in all of Nashville. It's located in the Downtown Nashville neighborhood on the east side of the Cumberland River. The fountains in this park are often crowded with children as they cool off during the summer heat. The 6.5-acre park has a large outdoor amphitheater that can host up to 1,200 people for events. Although it is smaller than many other parks in Nashville, Cumberland Park is a truly beautiful green space. A walking path through the park attracts butterflies during the summer months.
A play area for children and families at the park is called "The Hollow." It has an area where kids can play in the sand and a "green maze" for kids to find their way through. There are also tandem see-saws for parents and kids, as well as a rock-climbing wall with embedded fossils. There are plenty of watery splashing adventures to be had as well, with a "cloud bridge," a rainbow area, and designated splash pads. Everything about this park is designed to appeal to all ages and help locals cool off during the Nashville summers.
Fannie Mae Dees Park
Fannie Mae Dees Park Amenities
- Play area
- Tennis courts
- Picnic areas
Fannie Mae Dees Park is located near the Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood. The park is named for a Nashville woman who grew flowers to deliver to hospital patients and nursing homes in the community. The park's nickname is "Dragon Park" because of the large and colorful dragon statue that weaves its way through the children's play area. In addition to the dragon and the typical playground equipment, this park has a "fort" for kids to play on. There's also a small dragon fountain that sprays mist on those who want to cool off.
There are tennis courts here for residents who want to get some exercise, as well as sheltered picnic areas for those who want to enjoy lunch in the shade and some gazebos in the north end of Fannie Mae Dees Park. The park enjoys a surprising number of residents taking Tai Chi classes on a regular basis. The south end of Vanderbilt University is right across the street from this park, so there are a lot of students that enjoy this green space as well.
Shelby Bottoms Amenities
- Near Shelby Golf Course
- Four miles of trails
- Cumberland River viewing area
- Nature play area
- Baseball fields
The Shelby Bottoms Nature Center & Greenway is located near the Porter Heights and Rosebank neighborhoods in east Nashville. This large green space runs alongside the Cumberland River. Just north of the park is the Shelby Golf Course, surrounded by lovely Nashville golf course homes. Shelby Bottoms has four miles of paved trails for walking or biking. It provides some great wildlife viewing opportunities along the way. Residents can view chipmunks, squirrels, butterflies, and sometimes deer wandering into the green space. There are raccoons that live in the park, but they tend to be more reclusive. The best chance to view wildlife is on the wooded dirt trails that branch off from the paved trails.
Visitors can sit and watch the Cumberland River at the viewing area right at the entrance to the park, and a bridge near mile marker 3 along the paved trails provides an elevated spot to catch a great view of the surrounding area. In addition, there is a nature play area near the west entrance of Shelby Bottoms. There are also several baseball fields near the entrance to the park, as well as public restrooms.
Bicentennial Capitol Mall
Bicentennial Capitol Mall Amenities
- Views of Downtown and state capitol building
- Hosts events
- Granite map of Tennessee
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park offers stunning views of downtown Nashville and the State Capitol building. This park is located in the Germantown neighborhood. It encompasses 19 acres just to the north of the Capitol building and is surrounded by the Nashville Farmers' Market (Saturdays only), the First Tennessee Park, and the Capitol steps. This park hosts numerous important city events throughout the year, including the annual New Year's Eve celebration. Due to its location, this is another park that tends to be very busy throughout the year.
There is a lot for residents to see and do at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Its main feature is a 2,000-seat amphitheater for major events. At the south end of the park, there is a 200-foot granite map of the state of Tennessee. This incredibly detailed feature includes all the state's roads, rivers, and county lines. Toward the north end of the park, visitors will find the Tennessee World War II Memorial, which is well worth seeing. The stone columns at the Bicentennial Carillon at the far north end of the park are also a frequent draw for visitors.
Nashville is Home to Truly Dazzling Parks
The amazing parks on this list will barely scratch the surface of everything that Nashville's 120 parks have to offer. Since this is "Music City," it's not uncommon to find live music performances in the parks throughout the year. One notable thing about many of the parks is that they offer water features for cooling off in the summer. Whether a resident wants to attend local events and festivals or find a quiet spot to walk through the trees, there's a park for everyone near Nashville's most popular neighborhoods.
If the opportunities of Nashville excite you, contact The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage with Nashville's MLS at (615) 603-3602 to get in touch with local real estate agents who can help find the perfect Nashville home for you today.
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