Thursday, June 24, 2010

What to Do When You're in Nashville

Sorry I've been MIA recently, but I just got back from a quick trip to my hometown. Even though I like Boston, there is a lot I love about Nashville. Although Nashville is probably best known for country music (sigh), it is far from the only thing worth visiting in the city. If you are headed down to Tennessee but have no idea what to do once you get there, here are a few humble suggestions:

Take a stroll through Centennial Park: Not only is the park beautiful, but it is also home to a replica of the Parthenon, complete with a statue of Athena. While someone had the terribly misguided idea to gild Athena at some point during my high school/college years, standing at the foot of the statue is still an awe-inspiring experience (just don't look at her too long - you might be blinded). As an added bonus, Centennial Park also has some great programs in the summer, including Movies in the Park and Shakespeare in the Park.

Spend some quality time in the main branch of the Nashville Public Library: The Nashville Public Library holds a special place in my heart. Besides being gorgeous, the main branch has a great non-fiction section and a wonderful cafe. Even though parking can be a bit tricky, spending the day there is definitely worth the minor hassle.

Visit the Frist Center for the Visual Arts: Another beautiful building in the city, the Frist hosts a number of rotating exhibitions as well as some work by local artists.

Window shop in downtown Franklin: One of my friends once said that downtown Franklin has a quaint, almost Mayberryish feel to it (with a little Stepford thrown in for good measure). While she didn't mean it in a complimentary way, I actually like downtown Franklin's square and their assortment of (mostly) independent shops. My personal favorite place to visit there is Bathos, which is like a less aggressive version of Lush (which I love but find too fragrant sometimes).

Pet the kittens and puppies at Love at First Site: Before I got a cat, I got my kitten-fix at this kitten and puppy adoption center in Sylvan Park. The staff is super-friendly, and the kittens and puppies are beyond cute.

Stay tuned for my favorite places to eat in Nashville!