When Bryan and I got married and talked about having kids we always hoped that we’d be able to take them everywhere with us. Even a city like Nashville that has a reputation of being more of an adult playground, has tons of awesome family friendly activities that we love! We’ve been twice, and I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface of all it has to offer, so we’ll definitely be back soon!
(We have another Nashville with kids blog post HERE with other activities and ideas as well).
One day we will get to Nashville just the two of us, but we have really enjoyed taking our little family there and exploring. It’s about a 4.5 hour drive from Indianapolis which we find pretty do-able. Louisville is about halfway, so it’s a good spot to stop and take a break. We really enjoyed the pizza and space to play at Garage Bar.
One of the primary reasons that we have really come to enjoy traveling to Nashville with kids is the hotel – the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. We’ve stayed in a lot of hotels, this is ‘up there’ amongst the best we’ve ever brought the kids to. I could give you 100 reasons why we love it, but I’ll try and keep it to just a handful:
- You could come here and literally never leave the hotel. I wouldn’t recommend it because the city is so cool, but this hotel has everything you need for an amazing family vacation (and more).
- Soundwaves. It’s an indoor/outdoor water park (outdoor doesn’t open until May) at the hotel and it is incredible. Eloise and Henry could have spent all day, everyday at this park. Side perk, they were absolutely exhausted afterwards and we had an awesome dinner, ha! It’s great for all ages, yes even your teenagers will love it! You do need to make a separate reservation to go, or book a hotel package with Soundwaves included. There’s a restaurant, a full bar, an adults only level and pool, lazy river, slides, a Flow Rider, and a separate area that is perfect for little kids.
- The Food and Drinks. When we came last spring, there were only a handful of restaurants open (covid). Now there are at least 10 or 12 spots where you can eat, drink, and hang out. We had an awesome meal at Solario Cantina and the happy hour at the Falls is perfect along with an amazing view of all of the waterfalls and live music. There are coffee shops, wine bars, a steakhouse, Italian, a sports bar, Jack Daniels Bar, sushi, burger bar, pizza, Auntie Annes, Cinnabon… it just keeps going!
- The rooms. We book ‘interior’ atrium view rooms. They are a bit more expensive, but we think it’s totally worth it. You will get a balcony that is perfect to hang out with a morning coffee and overlook whatever is going on in your atrium. Cascades atrium has live music most of the day, everyday, and we absolutely loved it. Our room this time was in the Garden Conservatory and overlooked the skywalk, some really beautiful trees and lights, and a couple of the restaurants. There’s enough of a murmur of white noise that you can have a private conversation or take a fussy baby outside if you needed to.
- Climate Control. Need to escape the cold at home? This is the place. The resort has an amazing indoor/outdoor feel where you kind of feel like you’re outside because it’s so light, bright and airy. You are inside and it is comfortable enough to walk around in shorts and sandals year round. If you get too close to a door that leads outside you’ll be reminded quickly of the weather, but this is easy to avoid.
- Make sure you get to the Delta atrium at some point. They have a really fun marketplace with a handful of restaurants, a boat ride with a tour guide, a fountain show that happens every hour, and some fun shops!
A couple of hotel “cons” if you want to call it that. All in all, we’d highly recommend the Gaylord for a family getaway or a very relaxing trip as a couple.
- We had a morning where we really needed a quick cup of coffee and an easy breakfast to get the crew moving so we ordered room service. It was not very good. There are way better food options in the hotel and elsewhere.
- The hotel is not downtown. This works for us, but if you don’t want to drive 10-15 minutes to get to Broadway, this isn’t the spot for you. The hotel does have shuttles that will take you to a few different spots.
A few of our favorite spots that we ate in Nashville outside of the hotel:
- The Hampton Social – We had a blast at this place, and will be back for sure! They have a handful of other locations (Chicago, Naples, etc), but this was our first time here. Amazing list of cocktails, fun menu, and awesome atmosphere! Loud enough to take the kids. Parking garage is connected and cheap with validation. We did not order the smash burger, but a lot of other people did, it must be good!
- Sixty Vines – We have been to their location in Dallas and love it so much we had to try it here. The name reflects 60 different wines they have on tap – a lot to choose from! It’s located downtown at Assembly Food Hall which is a must visit. There are 30+ places to eat and a few stages for live music. Lots of fun. Sixty Vines has an awesome wine list. We like to do the 2.5 oz pours and try 2 or 3 wines side by side as a tasting. Find one you like and order a glass with your dinner. Their bacon wrapped dates are among our favorites!
- Wild Horse Saloon – We wanted to try and get the kids into a “Nashville” style restaurant/bar with some live music and dancing. We knew Eloise would love it, which she absolutely did! There is live music all the time (check their calendar on the website) and they take breaks to teach line dancing. It’s not too loud for kids, comfortable for families, and a ton of fun. Try the fried pickles!
Outfit Trip Details:
We love the city and will definitely be back soon. You can read about our previous trip HERE! Please let us know where in the city we should visit next time around!