Outdoor Escapes for Quiet Respite

Need a Respite from Too Much Stimulation?

Too many hours in a meeting room, convention hall or trade show? Overwhelmed by the crowds on Broadway? Have sensory issues that require breathing room? Here are some fine escapes within a 10-minute walk of the central business district.

Courtyard at the Frist Museum of the Visual Arts. One block from Music City Center, it’s a quick respite from reconditioned air. There’s even a café. (Admission charged to enter exhibits.)

The Pedestrian Bridge. Two blocks south of Broadway on Third Avenue, South. It offers a great view of the city, the Cumberland River and Nissan Stadium. The TV show “Nashville” used this location for dramatic, confidential encounters; no one local does that. Often there’s a nice breeze above the river.

Cumberland Park. Once your cross the Pedestrian Bridge to its eastern bank, look below and you’ll see a park featuring paved walkways, a climbing wall for kids, a playground, sprinklers and a stage.

Ascend Amphitheater. Even without live music, the grounds are a nice little getaway. However, the trees are young so there’s not a lot of shade. Still it’s a great spot to watch pooches in the dog park and the Music City Star rumbling down the tracks.

Riverfront Park. Located where Broadway meets the Cumberland, you’ll get a great view of the football stadium and the bright-red sculpture “Ghost Dancing” (which resembles an unfinished roller coaster track) as well an up-the-hill view of Lower Broad’s world-famous honkytonk district.

Music City Walk of Fame Park. Not the most nature-rich environment but it IS outdoors and you can take a look at our version of Hollywood’s famous walk. Between the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Downtown Hilton.

Downtown Library. Ascend the elegant marble stairways and head into the courtyard with little bistro tables, a fountain and modest landscaping. A respite among books, delightful. Sometimes music performances are held there during the lunch hour. Right across from the front entrance of the library is…

Church Street Park. A pretty little park with lovely murals between 6th Ave. N. and 7th Ave. N. You’ll need to share the space with homeless folks who sometimes congregate there.

Need more room for respite? Discover Nashville’s greenways and trails.

Capitol Hill. Tucked into the side of the hill are a few gardens with statuary and a fountain or two beneath tall, shady trees. Great views from up on top.

Legislative Plaza. More marble than grass, it’s a great place to people-watch. It’s next to the War Memorial Auditorium, bordered by 5th and 6th Avenue N. between Charlotte Avenue and Union Street.

Bicentennial Mall. Meander down the state’s timeline etched in stone, watch kids playing in splash park, listen to the carillon and walk over to the Farmers’ Market right next door with a dozen or so eateries. You can also tour the marvelous Tennessee State Museum on the same property. A grand respite indeed. (top photo)

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