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What to do in Nashville

FruitNinjaFruitNinja Posts: 7Registered User New Member
edited April 2011 in Vanderbilt University
Hey guys,

My parents and I are heading down to Nashville for the Open House on the 23rd, but I thought it'd be fun to come a few days early to check out the city and Vandy's campus. What are some restaurants in Nashville that we should check out? What's there to do? :)

Same with Vandy's campus. I'll be going on the official tour of the place, but I'd love to hear what students REALLY love about the place.

We'll be in the city for four days (but one of those will be for the Open House), and any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
Post edited by FruitNinja on

Replies to: What to do in Nashville

  • zmoose27zmoose27 Posts: 252Registered User Junior Member
    Check out a Vanderbilt baseball game, #1 ranked in the country. They play LSU at Hawkins Field that weekend:

    04/22/11 vs. LSU Nashville, Tenn. 6:00 p.m. CT
    04/23/11 vs. LSU Nashville, Tenn. 2:30 p.m. CT
    04/24/11 vs. LSU Nashville, Tenn. 2:00 p.m. CT
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,528Super Moderator Senior Member
    I strongly suggest walking all over campus & checking everything out on your own. Stop students & talk to them. That helped my daughter decide to attend Vandy.

    We like to eat at Firefly in Green Hills for dinner. We also like Jackson's in the Hillsboro Village area near Vandy for a casual dinner. Try breakfast at Pancake Pantry (weekdays - because weekends are crazy). Lunch at Fido is fun. Both PP and Fido are also in Hillsboro. Popsicles at Las Paletas are a must. If you like BBQ, there is Hog Heaven behind the McDonald's across from the Holiday Inn (near the Parthenon). It's a little carry out place.

    The Parthenon is cool to check out, and it is in a nice park across from campus. Downtown is touristy but fun to walk around. You can check out the Opryland Hotel, which is pretty wild. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is another fun tourist spot.

    We enjoy just walking along Music Row and soaking in the atmosphere. We love music, and we had a good time at Simon Ripley's music store, chatting with Simon. Grimey's Music is a great stop for new & used music.

    We have spent most of our time in Nashville moving our D in & out of dorms/her condo, so we haven't done a lot of fun stuff. We hope to see a few more things in May when we go for her graduation, so I look forward to seeing what others post here!
  • midmomidmo Posts: 3,720Registered User Senior Member
    If you are looking for an outdoors break, take a walk around Radnor Lake.

    You can do a tour and a self-guided tour of Andrew Jackson's plantation.

    Belle Meade mansion and grounds are west of town. Once upon a time, it was a famous horse breeding operation.

    Country music at the bars downtown, but they are not all available to the under-21 crowd.

    Dare I mention Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman?

    The town of Franklin is not far. I visited it for a few hours recently with my 19-yr. old daughter and we enjoyed ourselves, but guys who don't like quaint shops might not see the appeal.

    Frist Museum (Visual Arts Center) is between campus and downtown. The current major display is Vishnu. I thought it was interesting. There aren't a lot of permanent exhibits at the Frist, though.

    I've suggested a few things some parents might like to do. I'm sure there is a different set of activities for college age visitors who don't have their parents along.
  • frazzled1frazzled1 Posts: 4,978Registered User Senior Member
    I know we've had some similar threads here but I can't find them now - maybe you'd have better luck searching than I did!

    Restaurants near campus:
    Pancake Pantry (a local institution) - there may be a line but it's worth the wait
    Bound'ry - pricey but outstanding
    Cabana - fun, great food, near Pancake Pantry in the Hillsboro Village section (walking distance of campus)
    J. Alexander's - near the stadium
    Bread & Co. - in the plaza near the Marriott, adjacent to the stadium - great variety of sandwiches and salads to take and go (think there are also tables inside)

    I always enjoyed walking through Centennial Park and visiting the Parthenon. It's great to walk around the perimeter of campus - gives you a real idea of the diversity of the area.
  • FruitNinjaFruitNinja Posts: 7Registered User New Member
    @zmoose27 -- Ah, I wish I'd had known about this before! I've made plans with a friend on the 22nd. The 23rd is the Open House, and we're leaving on the 24th. Damn. I'll make sure to catch a game next time I'm down though. Thanks for the suggestion!

    @kelsmom -- I plan to spend an entire day just walking around campus and talking to students. I'm hoping it'll give me a more personal insight into the school. Maybe it'll convince me too :)

    Thanks for the restaurant recommendations. My father's been dying to try some good BBQ, so I'll have to bring him to Hog Heaven. And I love popsicles!

    I'll be sure to see Centennial Park and the Parthenon. The only major park I've seen is Central Park, so it'll be interesting to see the comparisons. Centennial looks gorgeous.

    What's so wild about the Opyrland Hotel? And my touristy self had already planned to see The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Glad to hear it's fun.

    Music Row sounds great too. I know that there's a lot more than country music in Nashville, but I've never really listened to country before. Seems like a good a time to start.

    @midmo -- Thank you! I love the history in major cities, so I'll definitely be checking those spots out. My parents aren't quite as...enamored, but I'm sure they can survive a day.

    As for the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman, while we won't be able to see an actual concert, maybe a tour of the place would be just as good.

    Thanks for the suggestions! I plan on spending a day just walking around on Vandy's campus. I think I'll send my parents off to some of the places on your list. I doubt they'll be interested in following me around all day.

    @frazzled1 -- Oh, is there a thread similar to this one? I looked through the 2012-2015 forums, but I couldn't find anything. I'll take another look to make sure.

    Wow. I looked up some of these places, and they sound great. The Pancake Pantry, in particular, sounds amazing. It's also the only place to be recommended more than once.

    Have you heard of McDougal's by any chance? My friend was down at Vandy for MOSAIC, and that's the one thing he says I have to try.


    This may seem like a strange question to ask, but what're the streets like in Nashville? I got a rental car to make commuting easier, but I'm from New York City....where the natural death is getting run over by a taxi. Alright, I'm kidding, but the streets ARE a bit crazy here.
  • frazzled1frazzled1 Posts: 4,978Registered User Senior Member
    If you love the history of major cities, you have to visit my favorite place in Nashville - Bi-Centennail Mall State Park: TSP: Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park Historical Aspects

    This is a different park from Centennial Park - it's located farther downtown, near the state capitol. It's among the most creatively designed historical attractions I've ever seen. There's a fantastic farmers market nearby - but our favorite activity is walking around, reading the historical timeline etched into the granite walls and seeing the various monuments and fountains.

    Found a few of the earlier threads:
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/vanderbilt-university/846743-visiting-vanderbilt.html?highlight=restaurant
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/vanderbilt-university/744888-must-eat-resturant.html?highlight=restaurant
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,528Super Moderator Senior Member
    The Opryland Hotel is just very unique: Gaylord Opryland Photo Gallery - Interior Photos - Exterior Photos. Touristy, but that's the beauty of Nashville. :)

    Hopefully what you WON'T see is any of the crazy weather the city sometimes sees this time of year. If you hear tornado sirens, take them seriously.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,528Super Moderator Senior Member
    P.S. Commuting is slow, but nothing like NYC! Many times the traffic is fine, but other times it can be frustrating.
  • FruitNinjaFruitNinja Posts: 7Registered User New Member
    Thanks for the links to the other threads. There's a TON of restaurants listed. I've also been using google images to check out all the places that you guys have brought up, and can't wait to see them in person next week!

    Hopefully, the weather won't be too bad. It's supposed to rain, but if I'm lucky, it won't rain throughout my entire stay.
  • twoby2013twoby2013 Posts: 120Registered User Junior Member
    FruitNinja;

    We just returned from a visit to Nashville and Vanderbilt. You have been given great suggestions (definently get the Mexican Popsicles and the frozen yogurt place near Pancake Pantry is great too), but I will add one more.

    If you like music, go to the Bluebird Cafe. Check out their web site and you will see they offer a couple of options, one of which is an "in the round" singer/songwriter showcase. This is what we did. It was "free", but we paid $2/person for ticket handling fees and there is a $7.00/person food/drink charge, i.e. you have to spend this much.

    The catch is you have to book in advance as it is very small and sells out. Tickets go on sale one week prior to each show. Adjust for your time zone and go online one week in advance. You can pick your own table when you book.

    It was a great experience, four guitarists, each singing one of their songs, one after the other and telling stories about the songs or themselves. It was a lot of fun. Both of my sons, neither if which are country music fans, enjoyed it.

    Have a good trip.
  • the o dadthe o dad Posts: 130Registered User Junior Member
    Many great suggestions. McDougals has great fried chicken. It is in Hillsboro (near Pancake Pantry). Centenial park is very nice but much smaller with less activity than Central Park. Hope you have a great time, Nashville and Vanderbilt are really great places.
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