The haze begins to clear in the distance and there, emerging from the fog like some hero from a comic book, the top of a building affectionately nicknamed the Batman Building. It’s like the city below is calling us to get out of this car after a long drive and stretch our legs. We’ve finally made it. Music City USA – Nashville, TN.
If you’re going to Nashville you’ll want to visit Broadway and see all the music shops, bars, and restaurants downtown, and of course visit the Country Music Hall of fame. The Grand Ole Opry might draw you in for a show, or you may want to visit one of the city’s museums. You might also want to head over to the former home of Opry Mills Amusement Park to visit the Opry Mills Mall.
We will start at the Opry Mills Mall. This place is huge to say the least, but you’re sure to find almost anything you could want inside. There’s food, clothing, electronics, shoes, outdoors, home wares, jewelry, fine fashion, a movie theater with Imax and so very much more. To see everything in this mall one time you’ll walk 2 miles for one trip and that’s if you don’t visit any stores.
Once you’ve finished shopping you can decide whether you would like to visit a sit down type restaurant and eat a meal with the family or just grab a quick bite at one of the fast food establishments. I personally recommend the Aquarium Café. The kids will love it, and you don’t even have to admit that you like the scenery as much as they do, and the food is really quite good. No worries if you’re not a fan of fish, they have pasta, steak, and burgers as well. The atmosphere is different from anything I had experienced, having never eaten in an aquarium before and the wait staff was attentive and friendly.
In fact EVERYONE was friendly. It was something my wife and I noticed within an hour of arriving in Nashville. Everyone that we spoke with was friendly. Genuinely so. Everyone seemed to have time to speak with you, some would just walk up and talk to you as though they knew you. While this caught us off guard at first, it didn’t take us long to appreciate the welcoming atmosphere of this city.
We stayed near the airport in a Red Roof Inn. Again I was put off at first, worried that the roaches might kidnap my child in the night. I have never associated a Red Roof Inn with comfort or cleanliness, but again, I was shocked. The rooms were clean, tidy, and looked to have been recently remodeled. For a price tag of $66 before taxes, the Red Rood Inn on Claridge Dr off Donelson Pike absolutely gets my stamp of approval!
After a good night’s rest we were up and caught a quick breakfast next door at Waffle House. Nothing great to report here, but they had posted their last health inspection which was 97%. I’ve never felt so safe eating Waffle House before. Then we hit the road and went downtown to see some of the sights.
Unfortunately that’s not what happened. I couldn’t help but notice that downtown Nashville is in the middle of a boom! There were 6 LARGE buildings being constructed within my eye sight and all looked to be future skyscrapers. I had to investigate some, but it seems that the population here is set to grow by 50% in the next 2 years. This means a ton of new housing is going up right now, and I wanted to get a look at some of them.
We stopped by a new building called the Stacks on Main and a young gentleman named Andrew was nice enough to give us a quick tour of one of their larger apartments. After seeing the complimentary coffee lounge and fitness center, and the salt water pool he took us up to the fifth floor. There we were welcomed into a modestly sized apartment (I believe he said 984 Sq Ft), but the setup was such that it didn’t feel that small. It was a 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment, with an eat-in kitchen and a decently sized living area. The selling point was the balcony, though. The view overlooking downtown was breathtaking to say the least. It was a little pricier than expected with a price tag of around $2200, but realistically – for the location and amenities offered – it wasn’t that bad.
After that we went to the Adventure Science Center to entertain our son for a few hours. If you have children and are going to be in Nashville this place is a must for kids of all ages. There are tons of displays, and some are interactive for the older children. There was a virtual reality ride, which we did not use, but might when we return in the future. Also there is an exhibit where the kids can be harnessed in to see what it’s like to work in the space station with no gravity and the center has one of the most impressive planetariums I’ve seen.
After the Science Center we were running low on time, but drove down Broadway to look at the shops before we left and decided we would be making another trip in a few months when we had more time.
As we left the music city I couldn’t help but notice a new apartment building up on a hill and told my wife that with that view I wouldn’t mind living here. It’s become an actual discussion now as we loved our short time in Nashville. I couldn’t recommend this city more as a place to visit. It’s inexpensive, clean, the people are friendly and I guarantee you won’t get bored with or without the children!
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