You don’t have to be a country music fan to enjoy a family vacation in Nashville, TN. However, you and your family probably will be one by the time you leave your Nashville family vacation! Called Music City, Nashville is rich with culture, history, and attractions to please even the pickiest member of the family on a family vacation. Family vacations are often about compromise. Since each member of a family is unique and different in their abilities, it is not often you find a family vacation destination that appeals to all. On a Nashville family vacation, however, you will find no family compromise needed. Everyone in the family will have the time of their lives on a Nashville family vacation; swinging to the country twang, checking out historical sites and tasting authentic Southern cuisine. One thing is for sure– everyone in the family will have a Yeehaw! on their lips as you drive away from this amazing family vacation destination.
Nashville Music Scene
The heartbeat of a Nashville family vacation is music. Music is a great consolidator– people from different walks of life can often congregate over some great music. Music can often bring families on a family vacation together as well. And whether you are in a small, dimly-lit restaurant listening to honky-tonk music or at a front-row seat at the Grand Ol Opry, there is plenty of music to be found on a Nashville family vacation. No music lover in the family would find a Nashville family vacation complete without a trip to the Country Music Hall of Fame, located in the famous Nashville downtown. This is much more than a traditional Hall of Fame—it is also a museum and an architectural wonder. Shaped to both metaphorically and literally resemble the sinuous curves of melodies and instruments, your camera will be snapping from the second you arrive. Inside the building is a museum-worthy of being bestowed with accreditation by the prestigious American Association of Museums. But you will find on your Nashville family vacation that it is not a stuffy, dry museum. There is plenty for a family with children to enjoy as well. At the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, you will find hands-on exhibits for the kids and exhibits that teach you American history the fun way– by tracing the roots of country music. Of course, if it is live music you are looking for on your Nashville family vacation, then the Grand Ol Opry is a must stop for the whole family on a family vacation to Nashville. From its humble roots as a radio show broadcast from the fifth floor of an office building, it is now one of the most visited concert venues in the United States, and a great place to catch the hottest, the newest, and the oldest acts in country music. From Elvis Presley in 1954 to Taylor Swift in 2009, the Grand Ol Opry has always embraced the past and present of country music — and attending a concert at this historic venue on your Nashville family vacation will make you feel a part of it all. Your feet will be tapping and you might even sing along! The whole family will smile, sing and dance their way through a performance at the Grand Ol Opry.
Although rooted in down-home music and tastes, you will discover on your Nashville family vacation that Nashville is a true cosmopolitan city and has a worldly, sophisticated side that can appeal to the whole family on a family vacation. The Tennessee Performing Arts Center opened in 1981 and has quickly become the cultural epicenter of Tennessee. With four performance venues, ranging in size from small and intimate to large and majestic, there is definitely something to catch the interest of your family on a Nashville family vacation. The Tennessee Performing Arts Center hosts the Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Opera and Tennessee Repertory Arts Center. But do not think that just because the TPAC is cultured that there is no room for the kids in the family to enjoy the Nashville cultural offerings on a family vacation: every year, more than 100,000 children from across Tennessee are brought to the TPAC to gain access to world-class art. It is safe to say that the TPAC knows how to entertain children and will be a hit on your Nashville family vacation.
Nashville Historical Sites
Some families think no family vacation is official until their children have learned something new. This is easy to fulfill on a Nashville family vacation. There are many sites of significant American history to discover on a Nashville family vacation. Located dead center between North and South in the Civil War, Nashville saw its share of heartbreak through loss and war, and redemption in the way it quickly bounced back and embraced the new world. Fort Nasborough and Fort Negley are two popular historical destinations that showcase the history of Nashville and are great stops for family vacations. The former is an authentic replica of the first Anglo settlement in the Tennessee area, which dates back to 1770. The latter is the site of a former Civil War camp, where you can see videos depicting the “Fall of Nashville,” when it was captured by the Northern Armies, and how Nashville became a major supply depot for the Union. The beautiful architecture of the building and the depth of history associated with that spot will move the whole family and spark new interest in old stories. One more historic site that will teach a good dose of American History to the family is a family vacation visit to the Hermitage, the former residence of Andrew Jackson. It even contains the tomb of President Andrew Jackson and his beloved wife, Rachel. This is a must-stop for your Nashville family vacation.
Outdoor Activities in Nashville
Family activities abound on a Nashville family vacation. Parents know that on a family vacation sometimes their kids just need to get outside! Romping around the outdoors together is one of the great American pastimes for family vacationers. Nashville has plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained for your entire family vacation. Within the Nashville area, there are more than 10,200 acres of parks to discover on your Nashville family vacation. The largest park to explore on a Nashville family vacation is Warner Park, which has hiking trails, horseback riding trails, and is home to the annual Iroquois Steeplechase, which is a fun, rowdy horse-race the whole family will enjoy. There are also two lakes around Nashville, Old Hickory Lake and Percy Priest Lake, which offer fishing, water skiing, sailing and boating. So no matter how your family prefers to stretch their legs while on a family vacation, Nashville has the venue for you to do it!
Family Dining in Nashville
When taking a family vacation, dining is often one of the most fun and most stressful activities. Depending on the age of your family, eating out on a family vacation can range from a time to laugh and share stories about your day to noisy and rowdy situations with tired kids and cranky parents. Luckily, Nashville has restaurants that appeal to whatever mood your family might be in. If you are looking for real authentic Southern barbeque in a relaxed atmosphere, where your jeans are just fine and your kids can hop around, try the Wildhorse Saloon on your Nashville family vacation, where you are likely to catch a live performance of the newest musical act climbing up the country music charts. If you are looking for a quick bite to settle your family down in the middle of the day, one popular family vacation spot is Arnolds Country Kitchen, where the prices are inexpensive and the food is made with Southern love. And, if you and your spouse want to sneak away from the whole family for a night on your family vacation, then try The Capitol Grille, which is a traditional, candle-lit restaurant located in the historic Hermitage Hotel.
Family Fun in Nashville
Family vacations are the highlight of the year for a busy family. Because of this, where you choose to take your family vacation should be a deliberate, well-thought-out choice. That is why Nashville is such an ideal place to plan your family vacation. Wherever you choose to go, you will find entertainment for the whole family. You may even sneak in a little learning with the kids! On a Nashville family vacation, your bellies will be full, a melody will be on your tongue, and your senses will be stimulated by all that Nashville offers.