Renowned for its music-centric attractions and events, Nashville also boasts a wide range of scenic views that include historic architecture, panoramic sunset vistas and the colorful fall foliage. After experiencing Music City’s honky tonks, museums and other cultural attractions, relax and soak in the Country Music Capital of the World’s wonderful scenery. Many of the following scenic overlooks are easily accessible from various stops on the Old Town Trolley Tour.
Some of Nashville’s most popular attractions also provide
wonderful photo opportunities.
There is a marvelous view of the Greek Revival-style Tennessee State Capitol Building from the Bicentennial Mall State Park. Looking south from the northern end of the park across the amphitheater, the majestic capitol sits on a hilltop framed by the city’s modern skyline.
These three spots provide a range of panoramic views as the sun ascends and descends over Music City and the Cumberland River. The bridge connects the two parks located on the western and eastern banks of the river respectively. Each setting provides a different perspective of the city skyline that includes the iconic Batman Building, the lights reflecting off the water and the scenic shoreline that features the Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks sculpture. Featured in the hit television show “Nashville,” the bridge is a prime location for viewing the city skyline and the setting sun.
Located two miles west of downtown, the 132-acre Centennial Park features lush gardens, broad green expanses and the tree-lined Lake Watauga. In addition to the scenic nature trail, the park affords a wonderful photo opportunity of the Parthenon, which is situated across the lake.The building and its famous Athena statue are dramatically illuminated at night.
Featuring hundreds of different plant species, Vanderbilt University’s stunning campus is listed as a national arboretum. The profusion of trees and open green space provide a wonderful backdrop for the campus walkways and heritage architecture. The Bicentennial Oak on Vanderbilt’s grounds predates the Revolutionary War. The campus is also the setting for numerous architectural treasures like the Mechanical Engineering Building and the Memorial Gymnasium, which are listed on the National Historic Register.
After exploring the exhibits in the George Jones Museum, head upstairs to the rooftop bar, which is the longest venue of its kind in Music City. In addition to live music, the terrace offers sweeping views of the city’s downtown skyline and the Cumberland River.
Situated atop one of the highest points in the city, Love Circle is a popular venue for couples. This small recreation area offers some of the best views of the Music City skyline. Surrounded by trees, the outlook is enhanced by the contrast between Nashville’s modern and historic architecture. The park is located in the Hillsboro West End neighborhood near Vanderbilt University and Natchez Trace. It is also a popular spot to watch the Independence Day fireworks display.
Accessible year-round, the Stones River Greenway is a 5.7-mile-long multi-purpose trail. Cloistered by trees and other natural vegetation, it is perfect for walking, hiking and mountain biking. The trail also provides scenic views of the Cumberland River.
While the exterior is reminiscent of the antebellum period, the interior of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel features nine acres of lush gardens, majestic fountains and serene waterfalls. As the Delta Riverboat travels down a lazy river through 4.5 acres of verdant garden, an experienced guide shares interesting details on the surrounding vegetation and fish inhabiting the water. During the holiday season, the hotel is aglow with a festive display that includes more than two million twinkling lights.
Radnor Lake is an expansive 1,200-acre nature reserve with a peaceful ambiance. Hike one of the unpaved trails and explore the grounds. You can enjoy the spring and fall colors as well as the year-round light show when the sun descends and the multicolored rays reflect off the shimmering water. The area is also a habitat for native wildlife like beavers, otters and white-tailed deer.
Following a historic migration and commercial route, the Natchez Trace Parkway is a scenic drive south of Nashville. In addition to the opportunity to view native wildlife as well as the spring and fall colors, you can visit overlooks situated along the route. Spanning Birdsong Hollow, the award-winning Double Arch Bridge was the first span of its kind in the nation. The segmental design provides unobstructed views of the valley and surrounding hills.
After the sun goes down, take the Old Town Trolley night tour.
Leave the kids, kick back, and cruise through Music City enjoying scenic nighttime views and classic Nashville tunes. On this tour, you’ll not only be taken to popular points of interest, but talented guides will dazzle you with their musical talents and extensive historical knowledge of the city.
During the tour, you’ll stop at a world-famous honky tonk and enjoy a drink with new friends. It’s a perfect choice for date night or a group outing and a definite must-do when in Nashville!