Staycation Nashville: Vacation Tips for Locals & Tourists Alike

Nashville has plenty of great attractions that make it an ideal destination for a vacation. Learn more about how to plan the best vacation or staycation in Nashville.

Staycation Nashville: Vacation Tips for Locals & Tourists Alike Close
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Staycation Nashville: Vacation Tips for Locals & Tourists Alike

Posted by Gary Ashton on Thursday, December 1st, 2022 at 11:24am.

Nashville Vacation and Staycation Guide

Known for its music, the city of Nashville, TN, is a special place to call home. For current residents or those planning a visit, the best way to get to know the area is to dedicate some time exploring during a staycation or vacation. From lodging and restaurants to places to visit, take a closer look at all the city offers to plan your Nashville vacation or staycation.

Nashville Resorts

Nashville welcomes guests from around the world. As a result, there are a number of resorts in the city that offer a wide range of accommodations. While there are dozens of hotels to choose from, there are a few unique locations that many should experience when visiting the city.

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is an excellent place to start. There are many activities and amenities here to explore, from Winterfest during the colder months to the resort's share of water recreation in Nashville. SoundWaves is an aquatic attraction right at the resort. There are also nine acres of indoor garden atriums to explore. Onsite restaurants, the Relache Spa & Fitness Center, and onsite shopping make this a full-service experience. Concierge service may be able to help book events and get tickets to local activities, as well as help with all in-room needs.

The resort also offers large meeting spaces to accommodate most needs. There are 176 suites here, along with 2,712 guest rooms. It's also within walking distance of condos for sale in Downtown Nashville and famous sights, including the Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium. This luxury resort aims to provide everything guests need to explore the city and relax. It's also only a short drive to the Nashville International Airport.

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center Amenities

  • Spa and fitness center
  • Planned activities throughout the year
  • SoundWaves water park
  • Meeting spaces
  • Onsite restaurants

Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort

For some fun, consider a trip to Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort. It's open throughout the year, though some attractions within it are seasonal. This is a full-service resort with comfortable rooms and suites but some outstanding amenities to go along with it. The Treetop Adventure Park has guests climbing through a wilderness of fun. The water also offers everything from a lazy river and large, welcoming pools to water slides of all types. There are also cabanas to rent and various attractions, including lots of lake fun.

Also, because it is right on the lake, guests can bring their camper in for their stay or use one of the 20 deluxe cabins near the lake. There are over 100 RV sites to use during the season, too.

Nashville Shores Lakeside Resort Amenities

  • Waterslides
  • Lake activities
  • Big Kahuna raft slide
  • Treetop Adventure Park
  • Playground area
  • Beach area along the lake

Hotels and B&Bs in Nashville

Where to Stay When Visiting Nashville

Some may wish to stay in a more intimate setting or a homelike space. There are several B&Bs located in Nashville and the surrounding areas. These offer a bit more of a relaxed environment with far fewer tourists on a routine day. The city also has some notable hotels that are worth exploring.

The Hermitage Hotel

The Hermitage Hotel is perhaps one of the city's most notable options. This luxury hotel, built in 1910, focuses on offering genuine Southern hospitality. It is a local landmark with cultural significance, including some of the best local accommodations. There's history around every corner, from the iconic rooms to the gravesites of notable Nashville residents in the back.

The suites are impressive, with luxurious appointments like granite bathrooms and large, open seating areas. The rooms feature furniture imported from Europe. There's even a Pampered Paws Program for pets. Other amenities include concierge services, private car services, a fitness center with Peloton cardio bikes, onsite boutiques for gifts, and afternoon tea service on weekends. Onsite dry cleaning, nanny services, and babysitting services are also available. Expect to pay $200 or more per night for a stay here.

The Hermitage Hotel Amenities

  • Cocktail bar
  • Onsite dining
  • Luxurious and spacious rooms
  • Onsite hosted events, including weddings and corporate events
  • In-room dining
  • Pampered Paws Program

The Union Station Nashville Yards

The Union Station Nashville Yards experience is like no other. Visitors experience a feeling of traveling back in time to an early-1900s historic hotel. The hotel used to be a train terminal filled with incredible architecture, as it was an important stop during the gilded era. Today, it offers boutique accommodations for those with the finest of tastes.

Each of the rooms here is unique, with custom fixtures throughout. It's also just a short walk to nationally recognized restaurants, from fine dining to takeout. This hotel is a part of a large urban community that stands out for its retail and restaurant options. It's also the hub of music, activities, events, entertainment, and office space. Costs vary significantly but can run $150–$250 per night.

The Union Station Nashville Yards Amenities

  • Within walking distance of the Entertainment District
  • Business center
  • Onsite spa and fitness facilities
  • Onsite bar and restaurant
  • Pet friendly
  • Dining and spa privileges at Grand Hyatt Nashville

Belle Air Mansion

The Belle Air Mansion is a sophisticated destination well-loved by the community for its history and charm. It is an authentic bed-and-breakfast experience that is representative of the antebellum South. From the elegant appointments in each room to the historic architecture in the building itself. There are 13-foot high ceilings, antiques throughout, and fireplaces and porches in each bedroom.

Belle Air Mansion's location outside the most densely populated and visited parts of the city make it an ideal jumping-off point for anyone looking to enjoy some of the best golf courses in Nashville.

The Belle Air Mansion hosts various events throughout the year and is a top-rated wedding venue. The 200-year-old rose garden and outdoor porches are ideal for a relaxing evening. While the accommodations are fantastic, they are also limited in number at 10 bedrooms, so it is common to find mid-week pricing around $280 per night here.

Belle Air Mansion Amenities

  • Less than six miles from Downtown Nashville
  • Modern luxuries with big-screen TVs and WiFi
  • Breakfast available
  • Large meeting rooms for training
  • Jetted tubs in each suite

Food and Dining in Nashville

Best Restaurants in Nashville, TN

Nashville is known for its food scene. It offers everything from upscale dining experiences to local favorites, perfect for Sunday brunch. It's impossible to list all of the options here, but there are a few must-try locations with some of the best food in the region.

Butcher and Bee

The Butcher & Bee offers a seasonal menu filled with delicious comfort food. This scratch-made menu features fresh ingredients from local providers with sustainability-raised meats. The menu is diverse, offering everything from fresh, in-house-made breads and pastries to sandwiches such as vegan Reubens.

That's not all. There's a full menu of wines to enjoy and fun cocktails such as the Hipster Handshake, Cherry Rafferty, and Seasonal Gazoz. Beer, cider, and special tea are also available. A full after-dinner menu includes favorites such as Chocolate Crème Brulee, Nguyen Coffee Malabi, and Winter Citrus Olive Oil Cake. Keep in mind this menu changes often. It is well worth coming in and checking out one of the best southern-style restaurants in Nashville.

Popular Dishes at Butcher and Bee

  • Roasted Pork Loin
  • Butterkin Squash
  • Bacon Wrapped Dates
  • Mushroom Panzanella
  • Duck Fat Potatoes

The Mockingbird

Another destination to explore is The Mockingbird. It's a modern diner that offers fun meals, all crafted by Executive Chef Brian Riggenbach. The menu is diverse in bringing together various culturally significant dishes in new and exciting ways. The location offers pastries and baked goods, all made from scratch, along with brunch entrees and drinks. They also provide prixe fixe menus, which are seasonally based on the availability of local ingredients.

For dinner, find options that are all scratch-made meals, choosing by large or small plate choices. There are also desserts, including cakes and pies, all made at the bakery. For those who also want to enjoy a great happy hour, there are smaller plate options and numerous drink specials. There is reason to celebrate, from cocktails to local beers to a glass of champagne.

Popular Dishes at The Mockingbird

  • Barbacoa
  • Seoul Purpose
  • The Mockingburger
  • Belly of the Feast
  • Hash Yo Mouth
  • Flock Yes

Kayne Prime

Kayne Prime is the ideal spot for those looking for an authentic local steakhouse. It calls itself a chef-chic boutique with roots in classic style and modern interpretations of classics. The food is fresh, farm-to-table creations. There's no doubt the complete dining experience is extraordinary here, too, with five private dining rooms ideal for small gatherings and a wine-centric intimate dining experience.

The menu here changes daily, with specials available based on the local availability of products. Guests are sure to enjoy starters like Cold Water Oysters or Housemade Bacon. They also offer a number of salads for those looking for something lighter. Regarding steak, choose from a wide range of options, including Wagyu Strips from Australia, Filet Mignon, NY Strips, and Bone-in Ribeye. There's also an extensive collection of wines to enjoy here and dessert for those with room for it.

Popular Dishes at Kayne Prime

  • Progression of NY Strip
  • Verlasso Salmon
  • Scallops
  • Baby Brussel sprouts
  • Kennebec Fries
  • Macaroni Gratinee

Attractions in Nashville

Once in the city, it's time to see some of the most impressive attractions in the region. Nashville sees 13.1 million tourists, which is why Music City has many things to do. It's impossible to explore them all here, but these destinations are essential to check out on any trip to the city.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is one of the largest research centers and museums dedicated to this area of music. It was first chartered in 1964 and, since that time, has grown to have one of the most extensive collections in the world. Every visit here is unique, with various exhibits and displays that change frequently. 

Live events often take place here, along with the induction ceremony of new members each year. Educational programs are designed for people of all ages, along with interviews from many performers throughout the year, available digitally.

Being elected a member of this Hall of Fame is a recognized honor. The first members, inducted in 1961, include Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose, and Hank Williams. Since then, notable names in the industry have been added, including Bill Anderson, Alabama, Eddy Arnold, and Roy Acuff, among many others.

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) is a destination to go for all things music and arts-related. This nonprofit organization in the heart of downtown Nashville provides a performing arts venue that welcomes various types of groups and events throughout the year. It was first established in 1980, and the educational programs have reached many local school districts and professional organizations.

Since its founding, it has hosted the HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series and several special engagements, including the Nashville Operate, Nashville Repertory Theatre, and the Nashville Ballet. 

Music City Hot Chicken Festival

Nashville has numerous festivals throughout the year, some of which are sewn into the fabric of the city. Several events and festivals are held outdoors in some of the best parks in Nashville. One of those events is the Music City Hot Chicken Festival, which takes place on the 4th of July each year. The event brings together the community to celebrate the city's most recognized dish: Hot Chicken.

The festival happens each year in East Park. Most often, it starts with the Fire Truck Parade. Then, those in attendance can enjoy hot chicken from numerous hot chicken providers in the city. There are also various other vendors offering side dishes and other foods as well. For those who want to cool it down, there's cold beer provided by Yazoo.

The event isn't just about the chicken, though. Live band performances and contests for eating and cooking up hot chicken in various ways are great entertainment at the Music City Hot Chicken Festival.

Adventures in Nashville

Things to Do in Nashville, TN

As a city with so much to do, finding an available adventure to take on isn't hard. Consider these options if you're looking for the some of the best places to visit in Nashville.

Centennial Park

Visiting Centennial Park on West End Avenue is a fantastic way to explore the outdoors and the city. This 132-acre park has a few key attractions, including the Parthenon. There's also the Centennial Art Center and Lake Watauga—one of the top lakes in Nashville—to explore. Throughout the park are several historical monuments, and there's a beautiful sunken garden, depending on the season.

The park brings thousands of people to explore these amenities yearly, including its summer festivals. There are also the museum's rotating art displays worthy of exploring. Additionally, there's a large dog park, volleyball courts with fresh sand, and an exercise trail for those who live nearby and want to explore it. The park is open from dawn through 11 p.m. each night, while the buildings and activities here have different times, some based on seasonal availability.

Nashville Zoo

A day at the Nashville Zoo can be both educational and enjoyable. This is a fun experience for people of all ages who want to see animals, learn about conservation, and participate in various activities. The zoo's hours of operation are seasonal, but they are open most days of the year. Several exhibits are present throughout the year. The traditional walking exploration of the zoo at one's own pace is just one option. There's also a backstage pass tour that's often held to help visitors see what's the zoo's operation is like. School group trips, camps, overnight events, and classes take place, too. There's also a virtual program available.

The Nashville Zoo also often has attractions to explore. That may include dinosaur exhibits with animatronics or lighted attractions during the cooler months. There's also a train ride and the Soaring Eagle Zip Line to try out.

Cheekwood Estates & Gardens

Cheekwood Estates & Gardens is a beautiful place to spend some time for those who want to explore nature and history. It's a 55-acre botanical garden that also features an art museum. The estate was built by Leslie and Mabel Cheek in 1929, and is an excellent example of American Country Place Era homes. In 1960, it was converted into an art museum and botanical garden, where it continues to bring awe to visitors.

Each year, people visit the location to see the blooming gardens as well as the art exhibits. Antiques and numerous displays tell the local history of this region as well. More than 250,000 blooming bulbs reveal their beauty each spring, and there are holiday light displays here in the cooler months. Designed to be a place to learn and explore, numerous educational programs are available at the location. It's even possible to rent the facility for a special event.

When to Visit Nashville

Best Time of Year to Visit Nashville

There's no wrong time to visit Music City—there are always tons of things to do in Nashville. While the summer months can be hot (and sometimes humid), this is when many of the area's attractions and events become most readily available. Other ideal times to visit are the spring and fall, when it's not as hot or cold, and there are fewer crowds. Plus, there's still ample to do during that time of the year. 

Finding Things to Do in Nashville

For vacationers stopping by for a weekend or those thinking about buying one of Nashville's luxury homes for sale, having a good idea of what the area offers can be beneficial and a lot of fun. Nashville is a beautiful place to call home while also offering activities to meet the needs of most residents.

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.


Gary Ashton

The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage

The #1 RE/MAX team in the World!

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