by TJ AndersonThere’s a lot to celebrate about the Nashville food scene, and rightly, folks from around the country have been celebrating us more and more, for years now. The New York Times
6 Ways To Make The Most Of Spring In Middle Tennessee
by TJ Anderson
Every year come spring, I do my best not to let the season roll by without making the most of it. For me, that usually means golf, kickball, getting out on the water, getting in plenty of outdoor dining.
If you’re new to the area, I figure you might still be hunting for the best all-around ways to make the most of spring in Middle Tennessee. You have plenty of options, of course, but I think these six activities are key:
Catch Music In The Vines
I mentioned recently that having a picnic at Arrington Vineyards was a great way to enjoy yourself while spending very little. Let’s get a little more specific: From April through November, the vineyard hosts Music In The Vines, with live outdoor jazz in the courtyard. You can listen, enjoy their wine, enjoy a picnic you brought, enjoy the scenery, enjoy the weather… and it’s free. Hard to think of a more enjoyable way to spend a spring evening. Vines events starting in May are Friday and Saturday 5 to 9 p.m., Sundays 2 to 6 p.m., and the Vineyards are located at 6211 Patton Road in Arrington.
Take a pontoon boat out on the lake
If you moved here from one of the coasts, I know: You miss the water. We may be landlocked, but there’s plenty of lake fun to be had — and it really is worth exploring if you haven’t. Good way to start: Grab a few friends and rent a pontoon boat with a gas grill and swim ladder (some of the bigger ones have slides and bathrooms) from Elm Hill Marina in Donelson. Grill out, hang out, forget for a while that we’re missing out on beach access.
Catch a Nashville Sounds Game
Love baseball? Then I'm preaching to the choir. Not a fan of baseball? It’s not really my game either, but that’s no reason to skip checking out the new First Tennessee Park, which opened in Germantown on April 17 with the Sounds’ first 2015 season home game. The ballpark is really beautiful, and it’s a great excuse to have a drink and some hot chicken in the sunshine while supporting one of Nashville’s home teams. Check out the schedule at the Nashville Sounds website.
Catch an outdoor movie
Once the weather warms up, we get quite a few great outdoor movie opportunities around Nashville, and they’re usually cheap or free, kick off around sunset and feature a classic or kinda-classic movie — Brat Pack favorites or great silver-screen musicals and the like. I’m a fan of Grassy Knoll Movie Nights in East Nashville (pictured here), since they kick off in spring, take place in a cool grassy knoll right around Five Points and usually feature a bunch of food trucks. The Belcourt Theatre’s free Second Saturday Outdoor Cinema screenings (in their parking lot) and Wednesday Movies in the Park at Centennial usually start in June, which is great, but we always run the risk of summer weather by then.
Hit a Farmers Market
With spring comes a bounty, and the best places to snag your share of that bounty are our area’s many great farmers markets. I rounded up a bunch of Middle Tennessee farmers markets, from Franklin to Amqui Station in Madison, as the 2014 season was winding down, and they’re all great choices. A good way to double up on spring fun: the East Nashville Farmers Market (Wednesdays 3:30 to 7 p.m., responsible for the above photo), since it’s held in a park (Shelby Park, to be specific).
Take a Cheekwood gardens stroll
If we’re talking about making the most of the season that brings on all the blooms in Nashville, it kinda goes without saying that you can’t skip Cheekwood’s botanical gardens around Belle Meade, with 55 acres of breathtaking bits of natural beauty. New and special on the grounds starting this spring, too: Human Landscape, an indoor and outdoor exhibition of large-scale sculptures by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, opening May 22.
What are your thoughts on these spring-in-Middle-Tennessee suggestions? Anything you think I should’ve had in here? I’d love to get some more ideas — weigh in on our Facebook page.
Top flower photo: Domenico Salvagnin
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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