Nashville in 3 days with toddlers!
Nashville is Fun for Adults
The downtown area is amazing and you will, literally, hear live country music coming out of every door and window. The food is great, the people are crazy and nice, and the city is full of rich history. I’ll admit, this was a city that I did not have on the top of my list as “Places I Want to Visit”, but my husband had work there – so we all made a trip of it! The nightlife is wonderful here, and there is always a concert going on to attend. I’m 100% glad we went.
Nashville is Fun for Toddlers
There is a lot to see just by walking. I always love walking trips with the toddlers because they can stroll and look at all the new sites, and we can stop every few blocks at a new, entertaining, location. They are easy to please at this age – especially when you are outside! They were never bored and never ready to go home.
My Favorite “Secret” of Trips with Toddlers
As always, my biggest tool is my double stroller with a deep recline and large canopies! Every single day they play their hearts out in the morning and then they’re ready to take a good, long, nap mid-day, which we love to take advantage of by stopping for a QUIET lunch, or going on a QUIET tour, etc – we just use these few hours to have ADULT TIME. It is such a nice break and it’s what keeps all of our sanity on trips. DON’T SKIMP ON YOUR STROLLER ON VACATION! TAKE THE BIG ONE! (This is my favorite double).
I have a lot of information about flying with young kids, but one note about this particular flight is that we had to CHECK our double stroller (American Airlines has a weight limit on gate-checking), so we used the Airport Cart as a stroller and luggage carrier. It held both car seats, carry-on luggage, and sweet toddlers. They let us take this cart through security and all the way up to the gate!
Our Itinerary, Basically:
- Day 1: Fly in, Dinner at the Omni, Sleep at the Omni
- Day 2: Breakfast at The Diner, the Cumberland River, Riverfront Park, Country Music Hall of Fame, Dinner at Bajo Sexto
- Day 3: Tennessee Supreme Court, Capitol Building, Centennial Park, The Pantheon, Driving tour of Nashville TV Show, Hard Rock Cafe, Carriage Ride
- Day 4: Grand Ol’ Opry, Fly Home
The Omni Nashville is a newer hotel (opened in 2013) that is a perfect expression of the city’s music culture. It is conveniently located downtown and is literally connected to the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum (which is wonderfully educational and exciting for kids of all ages)!
We chose this hotel for it’s location, pool, and “Omni Kids Crew”. Omni Kids Crew gives every child a backpack filled with fun items upon a check-in, milk & cookies on their first nights, and a special cup at their restaurants. Sometimes they have little activities in the lobby for kids, as well.
BARLINES is one of the hotels restaurants. This one offers live music and/or sports tv. We sat in here for dinner on our first night and the kids enjoyed the loud atmosphere; they have great food!
Depending on when you visit, this hotel is on average $450/night.
OUR FIRST FULL DAY
Most things we did were within walking distance from our Hotel (The Omni Nashville) since we stayed downtown. On our first morning, we walked about 4 blocks to The Diner Nashville. This place offered a great breakfast and was a really neat atmosphere. It was fun to sit at a table by the open windows and people-watch. Our favorites were: the Belgian Waffle with Fresh Fruit, the Biscuits & Sausage Gravy, and the So-Bro Breakfast… they have amazing Homestyle Potatoes!
Our next adventure was a long walk along the Cumberland River in “Riverfront Park”. This was just a few more blocks away. At the river, you can see some really neat sculptures, including Light Meander, which is a 45-foot sculpture that mimics the path of the Cumberland River! The bottom of the statues includes tons of guitar picks that make sound in the wind. We enjoyed swinging on the swings right at the riverside.
We ended our day of touring at the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum. This is connected to our hotel (The Omni Nashville). This Museum has a TON of exhibits that are geared towards children, and even those that are not specifically geared towards them are generally appealing. They also have pop-up exhibits that are kid friendly, so you can look for the extra fun ones to come to the museum, like the “Musical Petting Zoo”! We spent about 3 hours in here, but could’ve spent a lot more. Oh, and we made our own recording in a mini recording studio there!
We had a late lunch/early dinner at the Bajo Sexto Taco, which is also connected to the museum – and therefore is connected to the hotel. The kids took a nap and we enjoyed some adult beverages and a few quiet hours! They napped in the stroller. They were 2- and 3-years-old at the time, and I never take a vacation without my big double stroller. It’s a sanity saver for nap-time-on-the-go!
OUR SECOND DAY
Today we drove around the city. We visited the Tennessee Supreme Court and the Tennessee Capitol Building. We didn’t go inside these buildings, but we had fun walking around the grounds and climbing the stairs and columns. The Tennessee State Capitol is a National Historic Landmark! We drove around a little more, viewing Centennial Park and the Pantheon. The Pantheon is pretty neat… it’s a full-scale replica of the Parthenon in Athens. It is located in Centennial Park, which is a very cool place – but we didn’t have time to visit it much. It is a walking trail on a lake with historical monuments and gardens, and they host festivals often.
We are fans of “Nashville” the television series, so we decided to drive around view a few of the locations from the show. This was cool because (1) it forced us to drive to an area of the city that we otherwise would not have, and (2) we loved seeing the real-life versions of these places from our show! We used this website to go to a few of the places that we wanted to see.
After our morning driving-tour, we parked back at the hotel and walked to the Hard Rock Cafe. Walking around this city is easy, fun, and interesting. There are people walking around all the time, and all of the downtown streets have interesting places on them. We had lunch outside on the patio and watched people ride by on party-busses powered by pedaling! Afterwards, we rode a horse carriage tour around the downtown area. I highly recommend this because we learned a lot that we wouldn’t have otherwise learned, and it was nice to have a break from walking.
OUR FINAL DAY
On our final day, we had breakfast at a place called Fido’s, that I learned form Taylor Swift! It is in Hillsboro Village. “Fido has such a great atmosphere, and you can wander around browsing the shops in Hillsboro Village once you’re there.” – Taylor Swift.
Before we went to the airport we made a stop a the Grand Ole Opry. This was one of my favorite parts. It was right in the middle of nap time so the kids both napped in their double stroller and we got to enjoy the entire tour! This took a few hours, and it is right next door to a huge mall (The Opry Mills Mall) that has a multitude of stores and restaurants.