Parks and Gardens

Nashville parks offer a breath of fresh air while traveling and sightseeing in Tennessee’s lively state capital. The variety of parks here provides green space, areas to relax, beautiful landscaping, and recreational activities for both locals and visitors; these fantastic parks are particularly busy during the more temperate weather and when the farmer's markets are in full swing. Although Centennial Park Nashville and the Cheekwood Botanical Garden are two of the most popular (and crowded) parks the city has to offer, there are a slew of other smaller areas perfect for relaxing. A stop in a few of the Nashville parks is crucial to get a full glimpse at the beauty of this Southern city, and they also offer the chance to learn about the history of Nashville.

The Nashville Parthenon is definitely the most-visited site out of all the parks in Tennessee's capital. Situated in the lovely Centennial Park, the Parthenon is an icon of the city and is surrounded by lush gardens. The park sprawls out over 132 acres and includes walking trails, Lake Watauga, various monuments, an arts activity center, a concert venue, and a variety of recreational courts. The Nashville Parthenon stands in the midst of a lovely natural setting and is quite a site to see. The building and that statue of Athena are both full-scale replicas of the famous ruins in Athens, Greece. The architectural beauty is also home to Nashville's art museum, which features paintings by American artists and hosts a variety of traveling exhibitions each year. A visit to this wonderful structure, museum, and beautiful park should certainly be included during your vacation in Nashville.

The Cheekwood Botanical Gardens are also a popular and lovely stop. The Cheek mansion is situated on a breathtaking 55 acres of gardens, flowers, and landscaping. This historical mansion was purchased with the family fortune from the Maxwell coffee company and now houses an art museum. A walk through the various gardens here will sooth any soul with a gorgeous view of the Tennessee hills in the background, and the flower gardens are dotted with pools, statues, and boxwood plantings. There are also a few specialty gardens at the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. The Japanese Garden, a toast to Japanese creativity and serenity, water garden, wildflower garden, and perennial gardens are all worth a visit. Allow at least a half a day to explore this oasis right outside the heart of Nashville—it’s a great spot for a picnic.

There are also several other Nashville Gardens that are worth stopping by. The Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park sits on nineteen acres in the shadow of the capitol building, and it’s filled with monuments, memorials, and great landscaping. The park is ideal for walking, bringing a picnic, visiting the Farmer's Market next door, or going to see one of the shows at the 2,000-seat amphitheater. The best time to enjoy the park here is during the spring when the gardens are in bloom, but during any month the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park is worth the walk around just for the picturesque view of the state capitol situated at the end of the mall.

Although Nashville is famous for being the Music City and providing visitors with lots of country tunes and live entertainment, the Nashville parks are something that shouldn't be forgotten. Visiting the Nashville Parthenon and Cheekwood Botanical Garden will enhance any visit to the city and provide visitors with fresh air and great photo opportunities. While enjoying the busy atmosphere of Nashville, be sure to take time out and enjoy the peace and serenity the city’s parks and gardens have to offer.

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