Outdoor Activities in Nashville, TN
Nashville's greenways are more than just parks. Instead, they're areas of open greenery that provide pedestrian-friendly paths between residential areas, schools, shopping centers and more. This makes them popular spots for walks with friends, bike rides, jogging and canine recreation. Take the Richland Creek greenway from Sylvan Park to Target or the Belle Meade shopping district--no gas needed. Or just get some exercise. The path is paved and lined with shady trees, making it a welcome relief on hot days. It also winds around McCabe Golf Course, a public 27-hole course complete with putting green and clubhouse – round up some friends and stop by if you're feeling competitive.
Even the most committed pacifist can enjoy shooting, if the target is a clay disc. At Nashville Gun Club, you can tesk your skill with skeet, trap and clay shooting -- three similar sports where shooters aim at clay "pigeons" launched from spring-loaded traps. And you can hone your aim outdoors by the banks of the Cumberland. The club has ample facilities (20 stations for the golf-like game of sporting clays, 13 stands for trap shooting), and is open to non-members. If you'd like to learn the sport, book a lesson with their shooting instructor. Already got killer aim? The club hosts the state championships and other competitions. No reservations are required, but you do need your own shotgun. Bring some friends, and release some stress in the great outdoors!
Instead of spending your lunch hour on another fast casual dining experience, enjoy a peaceful escape from city stresses at the Scarrit-Bennett Center. This retreat and conference center has 10 idyllic, tree-filled acres open to the public. Stop by to wander the grounds (it's in walking distance from Vanderbilt and Music Row) and you can explore the gardens, pay a visit to the on-site art museum, admire gothic architecture, or just read under a shady tree. Invite inner peace by walking the labyrinth – a winding circular path laid out in grass and stone that people traditionally walk from periphery to center and back as a meditative exercise. Public events at the center include concerts, film screenings, artist talks and more.
Taking a long walk is a great way to stay healthy, but sometimes it's hard to get motivated. Unless you combine it with one of life's great joys--shopping. At Nashville's monthly flea market, there's a lot of retail therapy to be had. Browse over 1300 booths selling clothes, furniture, antiques, home goods, food and more. Round up some friends, and spend the day exploring--you'll find great deals on everything from homemade fudge to vintage boots, estate jewelery or a knockoff designer purse. The market is open the fourth weekend of every month, and admission is free. With rock-bottom deals and the chance to try before you buy, it beats shopping online.
You've already seen Tennessee's natural wonders, in the form of magnificent mountains, rivers and lush forests. But there's more to the Volunteer State than meets the eye. The rolling hills hide miles of caves, formed over millennia as the acid in groundwater eats away limestone. Cumberland Caverns is one of the state's longest caves, and holds fascinating and eerie displays of underground beauty. Like the spectacular flowstone “Cathedral” -- a huge chamber formed of liquid-looking calcium deposits, the Crystal Palace with “flowers” of sparkling gypsum, the narrow tunnels known as the Devil's Backbone, and the enormous Hall of the Mountain King (one of the country's largest cave rooms). Scenic walking tours are held multiple times a day, and for the non-claustrophobic, try an overnight spelunking trip. Or attend one of their weekly "Bluegrass Underground" concerts.