Since we were in Nashville for the Nashville Boogie festival, we decided to take a guided tour of the city on the Old Town Trolley the following day. The trolley stops at 15 sites around town, and we could get off and on whenever we wanted throughout the day for one price of $34 each. The drivers are knowledgeable about the city and the attractions. Old Town Trolley operates in many other cities across the country, including San Diego, where we lived for 12 years. We would always take the trolley there when we had visitors. It’s an easy way to see a city.
We started our tour in the honky tonk district downtown. We had a great lunch at the Wildhorse Saloon, and then did some window shopping along Broadway as we headed toward the pedestrian bridge to walk across the Cumberland River. The bridge was a wonderful break from the crazy busy downtown sidewalks. It is nice and wide, plenty of room for everybody. We had awesome views of the city on one side and Nissan Stadium on the other, with the river below.
We are not big country music fans, so when we got back on the trolley we decided to let the guide tell us about places such as the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame, but get off and explore only those sites that interested us the most.
We spent over an hour at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. I wanted to see the 95-Bell Carillon that plays a portion of the Tennessee Waltz every quarter hour and the entire waltz on the hour. It also plays other songs by well-known artists associated with Nashville. When we were there, it played Love Me Tender by the King. In addition to the carillon, the park has a really cool 200-foot long granite map of the state embedded in the ground. We took a picture that shows the map with the Tennessee State Capitol on a high hill in the background.
We spent another hour or so at the Parthenon at Centennial Park, which was something that David especially wanted to see. The Nashville Parthenon is the world’s only 1-to-1 replica of the original temple to the goddess Athena that was built in 438 B.C. This replica was built in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. It’s an impressive structure from the outside, but what blew our minds was the 42-foot high gilded statue of Athena inside the temple. The statue was started in 1990 and completed in 1998. Athena gives visitors the impression of truly being inside an ancient temple. It’s the largest piece of indoor sculpture in the western world.
Nashville is an exciting city with too much to do in one day. If we had it to do over, we would have skipped the Boogie Vintage Festival and bought a two-day pass on the trolley.