During a previous trip to Nashville a few weeks after moving to the US (which was more business than pleasure – yet again providing fingerprints to prove I am who I say I am) I got a chance to visit Gaylord Opryland Hotel. My mother in law had suggested it and made an attempt to describe the place. It sounded nice.
It was incredible.
So during a proper, non-fingerprinting trip to Nashville more recently, I was eager to visit Gaylord Opryland again with my husband who has a slight obsession with waterfalls and water features, and without my kids, who have a slight obsession with throwing themselves into waterfalls and water features.
It is a huge hotel, with a total of 2881 rooms and suites, and stunning indoor gardens and waterfalls. We didn’t stay at the hotel, opting to stay at a place downtown instead, but you can certainly visit it even if you aren’t a guest. We were there in winter, so didn’t really get a chance to see what the outside grounds of the hotel might offer. It didn’t matter, though. The inside was enough.
The parking is expensive – close to $30. I’d decided after my last look at the place that it was completely worth it, but we were pleasantly surprised while dining at a restaurant in the Cascades area called Cascades American Cafe that they could validate our parking and it would be free! So if you intend to eat there it would be worthwhile asking about parking. And the Cascades is a beautiful area in the hotel, among several.
A boat ride around an artificial river sounds pretty tacky, but it was wonderful-tacky and I highly recommend. The info the guide provides is interesting enough, and even if it had not been, spotting the large fish including catfish and just taking in the sights was very enjoyable. It cost us about $9 per person from memory.
It was great feeling like we were stepping into a tropical paradise after freezing our butts off outside, but regardless of the weather I would have stopped by. So much work has been and continues to be put into this place – there were gardeners and others concerned with maintenance of the gardens and water features all over the place.
And it was especially great to visit Gaylord Opryland with someone who didn’t try to throw themselves in the water. Not even once!
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