Whether you’re looking for food or fun, there are still plenty of things to do and see inside and around the extravagant Gaylord Opryland Hotel.
Paddle along the Cumberland River on the General Jackson Showboat (615.458.3900). Known for its live shows performed in a two-story Victorian theater, the showboat is a 300-foot paddlewheel riverboat with four huge decks. Midday cruises bring the Peking Acrobats show and casual lunch. When the sun goes down, enjoy an elegant dinner and production show featuring a wide range of music genres. Complimentary hotel shuttle service is available.
Another Cumberland River gem is Gaylord Springs, an ace golfing destination. Designed by former U.S. Open and PGA champion Larry Nelson, the Scottish links-style, par 72 layout has 18 challenging holes bordered by limestone bluffs and enchanting wetlands. On the fourth hole, golfers will discover the course’s namesake—a century-old springhouse. Tee times may be booked up to 30 days in advance (615.458.1730).
For a slice of the outdoors indoors, stroll through Gaylord’s four glass atriums. Explore the 9 acres of lush gardens, winding paths and dazzling waterfalls. Be sure to stroll through the Garden Conservatory, a tropical garden paradise abundant with fragrant and exotic flowers, tantalizing greenery and trickling fountains. Or head over to The Delta for a short cruise on a Mississippi-style flatboat along a winding river.
The Gaylord also has an abundance of shopping opportunities—from souvenirs and bar-b-que sauce to high fashion and jewelry. The unique boutiques are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you’re looking for relaxation, book a massage or facial at Relâche, the Spa at Gaylord Opryland. The 27,000-square-foot spa features indoor and outdoor pools, 12 treatment rooms and a fitness center.
The Wildhorse Saloon, on the other hand, is all about action. Located in nearby downtown Nashville, Wildhorse (615.902.8200) features live music, food and dancing. Gaylord hotel guests receive free admission when they flash their room cards. Shuttle service is available for a small fee.
You don’t have to spend a lot to see a lot in Nashville. The city’s rich history provides the backdrop for a number of free venues. Head over to the Jack Daniel Distillery (931.759.6357), the oldest registered distillery in the United States. Take a guided tour and observe the world-famous whiskey-making process perfected by Jack Daniel in 1866. Open daily 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.