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Nashville’s Great Outdoors and Sculptural Wonders

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Centennial Park Parthenon Getty Images

Nashville, often celebrated for its rich musical heritage, also boasts an array of outdoor beauties and sculptural marvels. This article delves into the scenic parks, lush greenways, and captivating public artworks that adorn the city, revealing a different yet equally enchanting side of Nashville.

Parks and Lakes: Nashville’s Natural Canvas

Nashville’s landscape is dotted with parks and lakes, offering a serene escape from the urban hustle. These spaces not only provide scenic beauty but also a chance to reconnect with nature.

Tennessee’s State Parks: A Short Drive from Downtown

A short drive from downtown Nashville lies the untouched beauty of Tennessee State Parks. Each park offers unique natural landscapes, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

The Heart of Nashville: City Parks

  • The Warner Parks: A natural haven for hikers and wildlife enthusiasts.
  • Centennial Park: Famous for its full-scale Parthenon replica.
  • Eastland Park: A community-focused park with vibrant green spaces.
  • Shelby Bottoms Park: Offering expansive trails and rich biodiversity.
  • Fannie Mae Dees Park: Known for its iconic dragon sculpture and family-friendly atmosphere.
  • Cumberland Park: An innovative play space overlooking the river.
  • Music City Walk of Fame Park: Celebrating Nashville’s musical legacy.
  • Riverfront Park: Offering stunning views of the Cumberland River.

Nashville’s Greenways: Connecting the City

Nashville’s Greenways link neighborhoods, shopping areas, downtown, and more, with nearly 100 miles of paved pathways perfect for walking, biking, or skating.

Immersing in Nashville’s Public Art

Nashville’s public art collection, consisting of 178 permanent artworks, is a testament to the city’s creative spirit. These sculptures, found in parks, libraries, and other public spaces, add a layer of cultural depth to the city’s landscape.

Iconic Sculptures in Nashville

  1. Chet Atkins: A tribute to the legendary musician, located at Fifth Avenue North and Union Street.
  2. Ghost Ballet: A dynamic sculpture by Alice Aycock at the East Bank of the Cumberland River.
  3. Musica: Alan LeQuire’s largest sculpture, celebrating musical diversity at Music Row Roundabout.
  4. Owen Bradley: Honoring the influential country record producer at Owen Bradley Park.
  5. The Recording Angel: A majestic figure at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, representing the power of music.
  6. Stix: Christian Moeller’s striking installation at the roundabout of 8th Avenue and Korean Veterans Boulevard.
  7. Threshold: Joe Sorci’s installation on the East Bank Greenway, symbolizing the city’s industrial heritage.

Bonus Sculptural Marvel: Athena at the Parthenon

In Centennial Park stands Athena Parthenos, a full-scale reproduction inside the Parthenon. This towering sculpture is a must-see, representing Nashville’s connection to classical art and history.

Accessibility

Nashville’s dedication to inclusivity and accessibility is evident in its outdoor spaces and cultural landmarks. The city strives to ensure that its natural beauty and artistic treasures are accessible to all, regardless of ability. From wheelchair-friendly paths in its parks and greenways to accessible viewing options for its public sculptures, Nashville is committed to providing an inclusive experience for every visitor. Remember to check specific accessibility details for each location to plan a comfortable and enjoyable visit.


Nashville has diverse outdoor experiences and sculptural beauty of Nashville, inviting visitors to explore beyond its musical boundaries. From tranquil parks and bustling greenways to awe-inspiring public artworks, Nashville offers a unique blend of natural and artistic splendors that captivate and inspire.

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