4 reasons Nashville should be your next urban getaway

Nashville may be known as Music City, but Tennessee’s top travel destination has evolved to include a bevy of entertainment options that have transformed it into the perfect place for an urban vacation. From boutiques to coffee shops and unique eateries, getting into the fun is an easy task. But there are four particular activities you really shouldn’t miss:

ExploreWarm up the whole family with an early vacation to one of these top Southern beaches

The Parthenon

As Centennial Park’s centerpiece, the Parthenon is Nashville’s greatest park. A 42-foot statue of the goddess Athena commands visitors’ attention in this full-scale recreation of Athen’s famous temple.

“Originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, this replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture,” Nashville’s website reported. “The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures, which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon dating back to 438 B.C. The originals of these powerful fragments are housed in the British Museum in London.”

Nashville’s Parthenon also serves as the city’s premier art museum, housing paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists donated by James M. Cowan.

Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery

Located eight miles southwest of downtown Nashville, Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery is a unique experience that any local history buff would enjoy. The site offers a look into the lives of Tennessee residents through the 19th century.

The site’s Greek revival mansion was built in 1853 and features guided tours, which are also offered across the site’s 32 acres of manicured grounds. According to U.S. News, a visitor favorite is the hourlong “Journey to Jubilee” tour. The tour offers an inside look into the lives of the enslaved workers that lived at Belle Meade.

The site also features a winery that produces muscadine, blackberry, red, white and sparkling wines. Visitors can even schedule private tastings with food pairings.

ExploreBest places to pull over on your next road trip through Georgia

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a can’t-miss stop for Nashville visitors. Known as the Smithsonian of country music, the downtown Nashville hotspot features an “unrivaled collection of historically important artifacts related to country music.”

“First opened in 1967 on Nashville’s Music Row, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum launched its current downtown location in 2001,” the museum’s website reported. “In 2014, the Museum unveiled a $100 million expansion that doubled its footprint. The Museum now encompasses 350,000 square feet of exhibition galleries, archival storage, retail stores, and event space. In addition, the Museum offers the Taylor Swift Education Center for students, teachers, and families, and dedicated performance spaces in the CMA Theater and Ford Theater, both of which regularly host nationally recognized live music and cultural events.”

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is just six miles south of downtown Nashville, making it a quick stop after visiting the Belle Meade Historic Site & Winery. It’s the 9th largest zoo in the country — making it a top tourist attraction each year.

“Since opening its doors in 1991, Nashville Zoo has grown from a small, private operation located 30 minutes northwest of Nashville to an AZA-accredited facility that welcomes more than one million visitors each year, while being involved with international conservation and research efforts to save threatened species,” the zoo’s website said.

“The Zoo moved to its current 188-acre location in 1997 and has developed just under half of its land, which was generously donated to the city by the Croft family under a condition that it had to be used as a ‘nature study area’. City leaders struck a 40-year lease with Nashville Zoo in which the land would be city-owned but operated by the Zoo’s private non-profit organization.”