Steve is all about parks, even when we go to cities. Truthfully, we really don’t care for cities, but I’ve always wanted to check out Nashville. Of course, what I really wanted to see in Nashville, was Luke Bryan!! I figured that the only way that might happen was if we went to his restaurant and/or downtown Nashville. Fortunately, we were able to agree on a few locations.

Just outside the city, after traveling for 6 hours, we stopped at Long Hunter State Park and did a four mile hike to stretch our legs. The trail provided views of a large lake near Nashville.

We grew up watching the Duke’s of Hazzard, where Steve thought Daisy Duke was hot, and I thought Bo Duke was kind of cute, so we had to visit Cooter’s Place, the Duke’s of Hazzard Museum (free admission) and Gift Shop.

Steve wanted to check out the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, which is a Marriot Owned resort that actually has buildings, gardens, waterfalls, and even a riverboat in three large hotel atriums. Of course, this is NOT our hotel for the night. Frugal Steve has us booked into a Rodeway Inn outside of Nashville, but since our goal is to do this trip on a budget, that is no surprise. This place WAS something else, however. Maybe when we win the lottery…. Meanwhile, here is a little slideshow if you want to see this extravaganza!

We were pretty tired after so many hours on the road, plus the clocks change, and a busy afternoon, so it was a very early night for us. This morning, we headed into Nashville fairly early, to the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, which is between the Tennessee State Capitol and the Tennessee State Museum. This museum is also free (notice a theme here…). The Bicentennial Capitol Mall had some nice outside exhibits that we checked out before heading into the museum.

We spent a couple of hours in the museum, which focused mainly on the history of Tennessee. Just a couple of pictures below…

Finally hungry, we headed down to Honky Tonk Highway (a section of lower Broadway St. in Nashville). We still hadn’t caught up with Luke Bryan but we found his restaurant!

It turns out he doesn’t actually own the restaurant with his name. In fact, at least half the restaurants bear the name of a country star. It was only noon, but already, bands or solo artists were playing in many restaurants and bars. We wandered around the downtown area to check out the scene and got lunch at Honky Tonk Central, where I got a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich. I had been checking out recipes for Nashville Hot Chicken recently, but was scared off by the ingredient list, which involved TABLESPOONS of cayenne pepper. Well, I got my sandwich, having been warned by the waitress that I might regret it. I can’t say that I regret it, but I won’t be cooking it myself, or ordering it again! I almost died! Speaking of almost dying, you should have seen Steve when we got the bill. His two PBRs came to $18!!!

After lunch, we wandered around a little more, but didn’t go into any other bars, because Steve was still a bit annoyed at the beer prices…. party pooper. It is definitely a party area, and not really our scene, but I’m glad we saw it. Check out the slideshow below for more pictures.

By mid-afternoon, we had enough of the city, and hit the road to drive partway to Little Rock, Arkansas, stopping at Radnor Lake State Park for a three mile hike.

We are now about 1.5 hours out of Nashville for the night. Tomorrow, we travel 4 hours to our next destination, Little Rock, Arkansas. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is not favorable, but we’ll find things to do!

About Author

Karen is a retired software developer, now exploring our beautiful country with her husband, Steve.

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