The hubby and I have started a tradition of going on a trip together instead of exchanging gifts at Christmas. We are always in need of some quality time around this time of year. Last year we went to one of my FAVORITE cities in the US…Nashville, TN! To me, Nashville screams (or sings) southern hospitality. The people are kind and the music is amazing. Christmas is the perfect time to visit Nashville. There is so much to do. The city is simply magical.
Things to do in Nashville at Christmas time:
Downtown Christmas parade: This is usually the first weekend in December. This parade is a mix between the big floats of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and a small town community parade. You can stand along the packed street to watch or you can also stand in one of the local bars to watch. Tootsies is a local favorite with a rooftop area to watch the parade (if you get there early).
2. Gaylord Opryland Resort: You can certainly stay at this hotel, although it is quite pricey, but most people just come to walk through and experience the majesty of this resort. At Christmas, the resort has an abundance of activities, such as an ICE land full of sculptures and slides. You can also go snow tubing and ice skating, or take a magical carriage ride around the resort. We simply ate dinner there and walked through the resort to marvel at the breathtaking decorations (it has a river running through it for goodness sake!).
3. Grand Ol’ Opry: Country music lovers unite! This is where all country stars hope and pray to perform one day. Shows book well ahead of time, so plan ahead if you want to see a headliner. You can visit this site any time of the year, but they do a Christmas show during the holidays. The Grinch Musical is currently there.
4. Belle Meade Plantation: This is a plantation that dates back to the early 1800s. At Christmas they decorate the main house and grounds to depict “A Century of Christmas”. They tell the story of the Belle Meade Plantation families, while showing you how Christmas traditions in the American South changed over the years. Bonus: The tour ends with a complimentary wine tasting from the Belle Meade Winery. Tip: Go on Groupon for discount tickets to the plantation.
5. Wildhorse Saloon: This is a must-have for any trip to Nashville, no matter the time of year. You can go for lunch or dinner and simply sit back and enjoy the live music. However, the most fun is in the evenings Friday and Saturday. They have a huge dance floor and teach line dancing to the crowd throughout the evening. SO fun! I even got my hubby up there for a bit!
6. Bluebird Cafe: This is another one you can do anytime of year. The Bluebird is where country stars go to be discovered or simply to try out their music on a crowd. This is not your typical bar. It is a sacred little country haven. You need to book your tickets ahead of time or else you will be standing in a very long line. The cafe is small and quaint, and they pack it as full as humanly possible. We stood in line for the show and were the last 2 allowed in to the show. The hubby and I had to sit on opposite sides of the cafe, but we totally didn’t care because you are there for the music. We went for Artists in the Round, which is four artists who simply sit in the middle of the cafe and take turns playing their own music. It is a magical experience where you don’t dare to move or speak for the whole 2 hours. I was lucky enough to literally sit IN the artists circle because that was the last seat available. The artists are real and raw, and you really get to know them in a short period of time. This was our favorite activity of our trip!
If you haven’t visited Nashville yet, you need to put it on your bucket list. You won’t regret it. It is a city filled with life, love, and hospitality.
Signing out in true southern fashion….