City Orientation Walk I, Nashville (Self Guided)

Nashville, Tennessee, listed among the top 10 Places to Live and Work in the U.S, is the city of epic concert venues and countless music clubs which have largely contributed to its nickname, “Music City, USA”. Adding to the city's appeal further is the number of museums, theaters, art galleries and other cultural sights. Take this orientation walk to discover some of the most popular attractions of Nashville!
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City Orientation Walk I Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk I
Guide Location: USA » Nashville (See other walking tours in Nashville)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.1 km
Author: mary
1
Centennial Park

1) Centennial Park (must see)

Centennial Park is a large urban park located approximately two miles (three km) west of downtown Nashville, across West End Avenue (U.S. Highway 70S) from the campus of Vanderbilt University and adjacent to the headquarters campus of the Hospital Corporation of America. The 132-acre (0.53 km2) park was originally farmland that had belonged to Anne Robertson Johnson Cockrill. She was the first teacher in the state and sister of General James Robertson.

Centennial Park is the site of the climactic scene in Robert Altman's "Nashville", a picture beloved of many film critics. The park's bandshell is also the site of the annual "Shakespeare in the Park" presented by the Nashville Shakespeare Festival from late August to early September. From out-of-towners on tour buses to locals just coming to chill, from free concerts to a replica of the Parthenon, Centennial Park has it all. Great place to go eat lunch and walk a little if you're having a stressful day, or for a family picnic and recreational activities.

Tip:
The lake has lots of geese and ducks – bring some snacks to feed them – and the squirrels.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
The Parthenon

2) The Parthenon (must see)

Nashville's Parthenon is a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. It was built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. Nashville's moniker, the Athens of the South, influenced the choice of the building as the centerpiece of the 1897 fair. A number of buildings at the Exposition were based on ancient originals; however, the Parthenon was the only one that was an exact reproduction. It was also the only one that was preserved by the city.

Today, the Parthenon, which functions as an art museum, stands as the centerpiece of Centennial Park, a large public park just west of downtown Nashville. Alan LeQuire's 1990 re-creation of the Athena Parthenos statue is the focus of the Parthenon just as it was in ancient Greece.

As an art museum, the Parthenon's permanent collection is a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists donated by James M. Cowan. Additional gallery spaces provide a venue for a variety of temporary shows and exhibits.

In the summertime, local theatre productions use the building as a backdrop for classic Greek plays such as Euripides' "Medea" and Sophocles' "Antigone", performing (usually for free) on the steps of the Parthenon. Other performances, such as Mary Zimmerman's "Metamorphoses", have been done inside, at the foot of Athena's statue.

The Parthenon got a full makeover in 2002 with a much-needed cleaning and restoration to the exterior. The exterior lighting was upgraded to allow the columns of the building to be illuminated with different colors than the facade, allowing a uniquely versatile display of effects for events.

Why You Should Visit:
Almost like being at the original! You can go inside for a small price or just enjoy it from the outside. Fun to take pictures with.
This is also a perfect spot to stop for a picnic lunch. Nice tree coverage, lake and picnic area as well as walking trails.

Tip:
You can also buy tickets inside the gift shop to save time if the ticket line is a bit long.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 9am-4:30pm; Sun: 12:30-4:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Cathedral of the Incarnation

3) Cathedral of the Incarnation

The Cathedral of the Incarnation, located at 2015 West End Avenue, is the cathedral seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nashville. It is the third Catholic cathedral church for Nashville. The first was the Holy Rosary Cathedral which is now demolished and occupied the site of what is now the Tennessee State Capitol. The second was Saint Mary's Cathedral which still stands on the corner of Fifth and Church Streets.

Construction of the church began in 1910 under the direction of Bishop Thomas Sebastian Byrne. It was completed and dedicated July 26, 1914. The church has undergone two major renovations in 1937 and 1987. The latest renovation was supervised by Father Richard S. Vosko, a liturgical design consultant and priest of the Diocese of Albany who has overseen the redesign and renovation of numerous churches and cathedrals around the country. The church's architecture is modeled after the traditional Roman basilica. The primary architect was Fred Asmus.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
RCA Studio B

4) RCA Studio B (must see)

RCA Studio B is a noted recording studio situated at 1611 Roy Acuff Place and originally known simply as RCA Studios. It became famous in the 1960s for being a part of what many refer to as the Nashville Sound. Built by Dan Maddox in 1956, it was constructed at the request of Chet Atkins and Steve Sholes to facilitate the needs of RCA Victor Records and other record labels. According to Chet Atkins, the plans for the studio were drawn up on a napkin by Bill Miltenburg, RCA's chief engineer and recording manager.

The recording studio is a single-story building with offices occupying the front but the area of the studio and control room has a second story that contains an echo chamber. The studio itself measures 42.5' by 27' by 13'. In 1960 and 1961 an addition was built to provide office space and rooms for tape mastering and a lacquer mastering lab.

A larger studio was built on 17th avenue in 1964 that became known as Studio A; the existing studio was referred to as Studio B from that point on. In 1977 the studio was made available to the Country Music Hall of Fame for tours, and in 1992 it was donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame by the late Dan Maddox. Until 2001, it was operated as an attraction when the new home for the Hall of Fame was built in downtown Nashville.

Why You Should Visit:
This is a really cool guided tour (about as good as it gets) you can add on to your visit at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
See the piano that Elvis recorded on, and antique recording equipment... has a unique aura about it.
Obviously, you can also learn the process of recording live music and producing records.

Tip:
Tours sell out quickly so make an online reservation early or go first thing in the morning to get a tour time.
Remember to use the facilities inside the Country Music Hall of Fame because you won't find a bathroom at the studio.

Tour Hours:
Daily: 10:30am-2:30pm
Tours depart hourly from the Country Music Hall of Fame
Sight description based on wikipedia
5
Musica Statue in Buddy Killen Circle

5) Musica Statue in Buddy Killen Circle

Musica is a bronze statue unveiled in 2003 that sits in a grassy knoll at the center of a traffic rotary where Division Street meets 16th Avenue North/Music Square East (known as the Music Row Roundabout or Buddy Killen Circle across from the Owen Bradley Park in the Music Row area of Nashville. It was built as part of an urban renewal project for the Music Row neighborhood.

Musica is Alan LeQuire's largest sculpture commission to date, and currently the largest sculpture group in the United States. It features nine nude figures, male and female, dancing in a circular composition approximately 38 feet (11.5 m) tall. The scale of each figure is fourteen to fifteen feet, or more than twice life-size. The dancers and part of the base are cast in bronze. The other part of the base is composed of massive natural limestone boulders, which are prevalent in the Nashville area. The sculpture weighs approximately 10 tons.

The $1.1-million project, funded by local arts patrons who gave on the condition of anonymity, is being offered as a gift to the city to highlight that very point. Such a permanent tribute, since approved by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and Metro Council, is what project backers sought originally when they approached LeQuire several years back.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Union Station - A Wyndham Historic Hotel

6) Union Station - A Wyndham Historic Hotel

This building was originally the main train station in Nashville, opened in 1900, and was a hub of several railroads. In 1986, Union Station was reconstructed and became a hotel. It is designated as a National Historic Landmark.
7
Frist Center for the Visual Arts

7) Frist Center for the Visual Arts

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is housed in what used to be the main post office designed by Marr & Holman Architects for the city of Nashville, which had been built in 1933-34 near Union Station, since most mail at that time was moved by train. As the city grew, the need for a more up-to-date main facility was obvious. When a new main post office was built in 1986, the historic old facility became a downtown branch using only a small portion of one floor.

In the early 1990s Thomas F. Frist, Jr., and his family, through the charitable Frist Foundation, took up the task of converting the old post office into an art museum. They implemented an interesting public/private venture between the Frist Foundation, the U.S. Postal Service, and the city of Nashville. The museum opened in April 2001. In 1999 the City of Nashville took ownership of the building from the U.S. Postal Service for the purpose of creating the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. A renovated post office branch was opened in the basement in 1999.

The art center consists of approximately 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) of gallery space, used to present visual art from local, state and regional artists, as well as major U.S. and international exhibitions. As a non-collecting museum, the Frist Center does not have a permanent collection in the truest sense; rather, the museum focuses on creating exhibitions as well securing traveling exhibitions from around the country and the world.

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursday and Friday: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Sunday: 1:00–5:30 p.m.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Tennessee State Capitol

8) Tennessee State Capitol (must see)

Designed by architect William Strickland (1788–1854) of Philadelphia and Nashville, who is buried within the walls, the Tennessee State Capitol was built between 1845 and 1859 and is one of Nashville's most prominent examples of Greek Revival architecture. The building, one of 12 state capitols that does not have a dome, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and named a National Historic Landmark in 1971.

Monuments on the Capitol grounds include statues of two of the three Tennessee residents who served as President of the United States: Andrew Jackson by Clark Mills and Andrew Johnson by Jim Gray. The second President from Tennessee, James K. Polk, is buried in a tomb on the grounds, together with his wife, Sarah Childress Polk. Other monuments on the grounds include the Sgt. Alvin C. York Memorial by Felix de Weldon, the Tennessee Holocaust Commission Memorial, the Sam Davis Memorial, the Sen. Edward Ward Carmack Memorial, and the Memorial to Africans during the Middle Passage. The Charles Warterfield Reliquary is a group of broken limestone columns and fragments removed and saved from the State Capitol during the mid-1950s restoration, located near the northern belvedere on Capitol Drive.

Why You Should Visit:
Great place for a quick rest and sightseeing. The major rooms are open if not in session. The building sits on top of a hill which allows for very pretty views of downtown.

Tip:
Be prepared to go through a metal detector and security before entering but once inside you can wander around on your own.
There is a brochure for self-guided tours, but going with a guide is also an option and is definitely the way to see this beautiful, historic building.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm
Free guided tours: 9-11am / 1-3pm (every hour, on the hour)

Walking Tours in Nashville, Tennessee

Create Your Own Walk in Nashville

Create Your Own Walk in Nashville

Creating your own self-guided walk in Nashville is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Jewels of African American Education in Nashville

Jewels of African American Education in Nashville

As a part of its great history, Tennessee is proud of its institutions of higher education for African Americans. This sightseeing tour will guide you to Nashville's famous Fisk University and its legendary Jubilee Hall, Tennessee State University and its glorious Gentry Complex. Take this tour to discover some of the most significant pages in American history.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
City Orientation Walk II

City Orientation Walk II

Nashville has always been about country music. Places like the Grand Old Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Country Music Hall of Fame are among the city's main landmarks. Still, other than country music, there's more to Nashville than one can imagine. Find out yourself by taking this orientation walk and explore these and other top attractions of Nashville.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Downtown Daily Life

Downtown Daily Life

Enjoy a good local beer at the Yazoo Brewing Company and walk down Lower Broadway to the Shelby Street Bridge. Visit the honky-tonk bars, listen to great live music on your way and watch the sunset on one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
A Walk on Tennessee Capitol Hill

A Walk on Tennessee Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is the site of Tennessee legislation. It is a spectacular combination of the past meeting the present, with open-air museums, modern towers, state buildings, bridges, and other attractions. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the heart of Tennessee.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Music City Landmarks

Music City Landmarks

Due to its legendary sites, Nashville is well-known all over the world as Music City, USA. This is a tour guide of the historic places where many music hits were born, including RCA Studio B on Music Row, the Exit/In club, the Sommet Center and many others.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Vanderbilt Neighborhood Walk

Vanderbilt Neighborhood Walk

In this area you will find Vanderbilt University, Peabody College and Belmont University. Visit the neighborhood of National Historic Landmarks and learn about the history of the state's educational system. Enjoy a game with the Vanderbilt Commodores at the university's stadium!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Nashville for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Nashville has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Nashville, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.