Country music? Yes! World class amenities? Absolutely! But Nashville is not just another pretty face.
Look past all the Music City glitz and glamour, and you will find what all Nashvillians already know…that our city is a natural beauty. Davidson County boast over 100 parks! Not one to sit on her laurels, Nashville has even more parks in development and upgrades planned to complement our already beautiful park system. Nashville has parks for every age and taste. Whether you want to traverse a playgrounds monkey bars, swim some laps, play a set of tennis, or take a brisk walk with your furry family members, there’s something for everyone.
So, without further ado, here are 5 of the most beautiful parks that Nashville and its surrounding area has to offer.
1. Centennial Park
Centennial Park is located 2 miles west of Downtown Nashville and near the campus of Vanderbilt University. This is one of the most beautiful and well known parks in the Nashville area. With over 132 acres of park area, the possibilities are endless. No matter what you are in the mood for, Centennial Park has you covered. Feeling competitive? Check out the Centennial Sportsplex. It has Olympic caliber swimming pools, ice skating, tennis courts and a fitness center. In the mood for a walk? There is a 1 mile trail for your enjoyment. Or, do you just want to get back to the basics, grab that picnic basket and blanket out of the closest, dust it off, and get some mileage out of that checker board pattern? Well, just kick off your shoes, put those toes in the grass, lay back and feel the warm sun on your face! Many visitors enjoy taking in all the green space with its trees, ponds, and sunken gardens. You may even want to stop and socialize with the ducks and Canadian Geese that live there.
The children will love the playground, old steam locomotive and airplane within the park. Your dog will take great delight in the dog park. There are exhibits and art festival year round, so check the parks calendar before a visit. Currently, there is an exhibit “If Trees Could Sing”, a web video installment where Nashville music artist discuss and sing about their designated tree.
Finally, for a wonder of Olympic proportions, how about a full-size scale replica of the Parthenon? Yes! Right in the middle of Nashville, get your Greek fix by visiting this epochal structure. It was constructed in 1897 to celebrate the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Inside, you will find the jaw dropping statue of Athena, a 42 foot full size replica of the original. The Parthenon also serves as Nashville’s Art Museum. Don’t forget your camera! Selfie and photo ops are around every corner!
2. Fannie Mae Dees Park / Dragon Park
South of downtown Nashville and across the street from Vanderbilt University, is Fannie Mae Dees Park. Officially named after beloved Nashville civic leader, Fannie Mae Dees, this children’s park is affectionally known to local children as Dragon Park. The name derives from a 200 foot long sea serpent that twist through one of the parks play areas. This mosaic creature was created by artist Pedro Pablo Silva. Silva is credited for developing a technique that allows for hundreds of inexperienced people to participated in the creation of an arts project to achieve a unified pleasing esthetic. This methodology also brought people from different socioeconomic backgrounds together to create something for their communities. The artist enlisted more than 1,000 local people to help him cut and shape the tiles. The end results are stunning! There are several other pieces of playground equipment scattered throughout the park to make this a great play destination for children of all abilities…even the adults get in on the fun! There is also a hill and fort area with a underground tunnel for play. If you’re feeling a little more laid back and just want to sit and “little “ people watch, there are many shaded areas and picnics spaces to accommodate you. And on those hot days, don’t forget to stop by the mist breathing dragon for a cool off. The leashed furry members of your family are welcomed as well. If they happen to work up a thirst, that’s ok! There is a pet watering station along the trail. The park is free and never closes. There is free music on Sundays during the summer. Small public restrooms are located near the play areas.
3. Crockett Park
Venture a little south out of the city into one of Nashville’s favorite communities, Brentwood. There you will find Crockett Park and its 164 acres of open fields. If you’re a sports fan, this might be a perfect destination for you! This park features 8 multipurpose fields, 8 lighted baseball diamonds, and 7 lighted tennis courts. Not in the mood for sports? Well that’s ok, because this park has many faces. Crockett Park has beautiful, sweeping meadows as well as many adorable nooks and crannies. You will discover these treasures as you meander through the many paved walkways and trails. This park is a favorite for runners. Got a bike, skateboard or scooter…well bring those too! The trail also connects to the Concord Road YMCA, where you will find a really cool skate park.
Children will also enjoy the fantastic community playground with two separate play spaces for age appropriate play. Parents will appreciate that both are fenced in completely, with only one entrance gate. The park also has concessions and restrooms.
Have you ever tried your hand at playing Disc Golf? Well, this park just might be the par-fect one to start with. It has been reviewed as having a well-designed 18-hole Disc Golf course. And Crockett doesn’t leave out its history buffs and musically inclined guest. It is the home of the Historic Cool Springs House and Eddy Arnold Amphitheatre.
(select Crockett Park Amphitheater from the category tab above the calendar, and toggle the months to preview scheduled events)
4. Seven Oaks Park
East of Nashville you will find Seven Oaks Park. This park has a playground for children, baseball fields, and a lot of open space. So throw caution to the wind and be creative! Use your imagination with this beautiful open space! Bring all manner of balls, bubbles and imaginary friends. This place is popular with the juice box and goldfish cracker set. The park has beautifully wooded and moderately hilly walking trails. There are also many covered picnic areas and lots of shade from the trees during those warm Tennessee summer days.
But what this park is most popular for is its 18-hole Discs Golf course. This course is a very poplar design, enjoyed by most Disc Golf enthusiast. It is considered beautiful and competitive. Groups hold tournaments at the park for every level of play. It even has an extra 3 holes on an inner course! So don’t be shy, sign up on the play schedule! Or, just show up! The park holds events for beginners and professionals alike. Be sure to check out their calendar for upcoming events!
(go to the “play schedule” tab at the bottom of the web page to sign up or the Tournaments tab at the top)
5. Pinkerton Park
Want to go to the most visited park in the Franklin park system? Well, take a short trip down to Franklin, for a day at Pinkerton Park. South of Nashville, this park has over 34 acres to include 3 baseball diamonds and 3 pavilions. Children will get to choose from two wonderful style play parks. A children’s playground and a Tinkerbelle playground. There are picnic tables throughout and public restrooms. The parks wide open spaces make it perfect for football, frisbee, lacrosse, soccer or flying a kite. Or, follow your whimsy with an impromptu game of chase or spontaneous cartwheels! This park is near Franklin venues and is connected to the Franklin downtown area via the Susan Douglas Berry Memorial Pedestrian Bridge.
For the history buff, be sure not to miss the trail to Fort Granger. Designated as a National Landmark, Fort Granger was important to both the Union and Confederate armies for its strategic location in middle Tennessee. Besides the amazing views, you’ll be able to see dirt trenches dug out by Civil War era soldiers more than 150 years ago! You can literally reach out and touch history! Its recommended that you read a little bit about Fort Granger, Ropers Knob and the Franklin Civil War Battles before your visit. Knowing the history before your visit makes it come alive for you.
So…be bold! Grab some good shoes, a bottle of water and a sense of adventure! Take your time and experience the natural beauty of our city. Take advantage of everything Nashville has to offer!