Nashville with Teens: A Perfect Family Day

by Katie Arvidson, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Aug 16th 2010 11:44 AM

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Nashville with Teens: A Family Vacation

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Music City, USA (aka Nashville) provides the perfect venue for a family vacation. Home to some of the best musical landmarks in the world and Jack Daniel's whiskey, Nashville caters to teens and adults alike, allowing families to explore every aspect of this modern Southern city's charm.



Morning


The perfect start-up for a family breakfast here in Nashville is Pancake Pantry. Famous for a line that wraps around the block every Saturday, Pancake Pantry offers up a menu of delicacies such as "Sweet Potato" and "Sugar and Spice" pancakes that will start you and the kids off on the right foot. Pancake Pantry is located on 21st Avenue, next to various shops; wander into those afterward. Pancake Pantry is open at 6AM CT every day of the week and the earlier you get there, the better. The line usually starts to form by 9AM CT daily. Read the history of Pancake Pantry and see the full menu at http://www.thepancakepantry.com/.

Your next stop should be the Parthenon of Nashville. The only full-scale replica of Athens' Parthenon is right here in the South. You can visit and tour the Parthenon year-round Tuesday through Saturday, 9AM to 4:30PM CT, with additional hours during the summer. The interior features an exact replica of the original's 42-foot statue of Athena and is surrounded by busts of Parthenon remnants. You can explore the Parthenon before you go by visiting http://www.nashville.gov/parthenon/.

If your family is into music, the Country Music Hall of Fame is a must. It is one of the few museums in town accredited by the American Association of Museums. Though exhibits here change often, the instruments and costumes from artists like Hank Williams, Dolly Parton and Waylon Jennings are always showcased here. Small faux studio spaces also wrap around you along the tour, so you can listen to original recordings of country classics. The museum features guitars from Les Paul and Mother Maybelle Carter. You can find cheap parking closer to Broadway and then walk to the museum on Fifth Avenue. Tickets for the self-guided tour run $19.99 for adults ($17.99 with an AAA card) and $11.95 for youth aged 6-17. You can also check out the current exhibits by visiting http://www.countrymusichalloffame.org/.



Afternoon


For a fun lunch in Nashville with your teens, hit up Hot Diggity Dog, located on 614 Ewing Avenue. You can order local favorites like the "Boston" and get your dog dressed in baked beans, onions and cheese, or build your own. It's a quick lunch that will give you time to relax, but not take valuable vacation time out of your day. Check out the full menu at http://hotdiggitydogstn.com/.

If you need a post-lunch treat, there's no better place than Sweet Cece's Frozen Yogurt & Treats at the Hill Center, located at 4322 Harding Pike. Here, you can choose from a wall of ever-changing yogurt flavors and a plethora of toppings. The yogurt is priced based on weight, so pile on the marshmallows but beware the gummy bears. You can check out current flavors and toppings at http://sweetceces.com/.

Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is the perfect spot for an early afternoon wind-down. The 200-acres of zoo is home to Bengal tigers, African elephants and countless reptiles. And the historic Grassmere Farm House still stands from the 1880s and serves as an additional exhibit at the zoo. Adults and teen tickets are only $14 and parking is free. March 15-October 14, the zoo is open from 9AM to 6PM CT and October 15-March 14, the zoo is open from 9AM to 4PM CT. You can visit the website at http://www.nashvillezoo.org.

Another great afternoon trip is the Adventure Science Center. The center features a planetarium, walk-in guitar exhibit, heart crawl and a bicycle elevator that allows teens to explore the science behind space, sound, body and energy. The Adventure Science Center is open Monday through Saturday, 10AM to 5PM CT and Sunday 12:30PM to 5:30PM CT. Admission is $12 for adults and teens. Find out more at http://www.adventuresci.com/.

If you're looking to get out into the country a little bit, a trip to the Jack Daniel's Distillery provides a beautiful drive to the city of Lynchburg, about an hour (75 miles) south of Nashville. It is the oldest registered distillery in the U.S. and well worth the trip. You and your teens will get a first-hand look at how Jack Daniel's whiskey is born. If you're feeling brave you can even get a huge whiff of the whiskey as it is dripped through the trademark maple charcoal. Tours are about an hour and a half and run all day from 9AM to 4:30PM CT; the distillery is open pretty much every day except for major holidays. All tours are free to the public. Learn more and find directions by visiting the Jack Daniel's website at http://www.jackdaniels.com/TheDistillery/.

If your teens like to hike, Nashville has multiple areas for pleasant hikes around the city. Edwin and Percy Warner Park, totaling about 2,500 collective acres, are two of the best. Edwin Warner Park features trails of various lengths and hikes that range from easy to moderate. The park also features an old homestead site and a nature center. Percy Warner Park also houses various trails to wander through, as well as an excellent bike routes that wind through the trees. Both parks are nine miles from downtown Nashville. You can learn about each of the parks, print maps and plan your trip by visiting http://www.nashville.gov/parks/locations/warner.asp.



Evening


Unwind at dinner time by heading over to Monell's, a true Nashville staple. Dine on classic country dishes served family style while sitting at a large table filled with other travelers and locals. Fried chicken is served at every meal, but each day features its own special dishes. Dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday 5PM to 8:30PM CT. You can check out the daily specials and find directions at Monell's website, http://monellstn.com/.

To find additional information and see the event calendar for Nashville, you can visit the Nashville Visitor's Bureau at http://www.visitmusiccity.com/.

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