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Tuning into Tennessee

With its New South mix of music, food and revitalized waterfronts, Tennessee is practically tailor-made for fun on and off the shoreline.

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General Jackson showboat in Nashville.
The General Jackson showboat in downtown Nashville.

Courtesy of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp

 

NASHVILLE
Country music put Nashville on the map, but it’s not this northwestern Tennessee city’s only talent. A wide assortment of attractions paint a different picture of this destination from what you might expect — stately Southern mansions, vibrant shopping and cuisine, exciting outdoor activities, inviting museums, galleries and performing arts institutions. But, of course, if country music is your thing, УMusic CityФ will not disappoint with its unequaled venues and events.

You can’t miss Riverfront Park, which connects the Cumberland River with the city’s bustling downtown area. The Nashville waterfront is wrapping up a decade-long restructure and expansion project, and Riverfront Park reaps the benefits with increased green space, boardwalks, overlooks and plazas.

Already arguably Nashville’s favorite outdoor entertainment venue, Riverfront Park now offers more acreage for festivals, concerts, fireworks and other special events. In addition, new docking facilities for the General Jackson showboat mean its daytime country music shows and elegant three-course dinner cruises are here to stay.

Tie up at the Nashville Municipal Dock in the shadow of the Shelby Avenue Bridge, which ties the Coliseum side of the Cumberland River with downtown. There’s electric and water on the west bank dock; electric only on the east bank. Step off the boat here and the Hard Rock Café is just up Broadway.

About 15 miles downriver, in an old quarry, Rock Harbor Marine offers gas and diesel, electric, water, pump-out, guest restroom and laundry, and a season restaurant.

Mark your calendar for four days of music from hundreds of artists including live concerts, meet and greets, autograph signings, celebrity sporting events and more. It’s all part of the CMA Music Festival to be held from June 6 to 9 on the banks of the Cumberland River.

On August 23 and 24, Nashville is set to host the Music City Festival & BBQ Championship, combining more music and a barbeque cook-off. Attend the Уdelightfully tackyФ Swine Ball, where pig noses are encouraged, enter the hog calling contest and check out the music on the Grand Ol’ Porker Stage. There will be cool car and hot bike contests, too.

Visit nearby J. Percy Priest Lake, just 10 miles east of downtown Nashville. Measuring 42 miles long, this body of water is well known for its fabulous fishing (largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, striped bass, catfish, bluegill, bream, trout) and also for Nashville Shores, a first-class waterpark with a 310-slip marina, mini golf, boat and Jet Ski rentals, campsites and lake-view cabins. Sounds like the great place for a vacation from your vacation to us!

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