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Budget Friendly Nashville

By AAA Travel Editor Laurie Sterbens
December 06, 2018
With its legendary music venues and attractions, along with a growing food scene, great shopping and sports events, Nashville is a destination that’s packed with fun things to do. But if you’d like to give your wallet a rest, there are plenty of places to go that don’t cost a thing. Here are just a few.
AAA/Katie Broome

Centennial Park

2500 West End Ave.
(615) 862-8400
Centennial Park is where you'll find The Parthenon, Nashville's renowned full-scale replica of the Athens original. While there is an admission fee to tour the art gallery inside the building, there’s no charge to snap a selfie on the steps of the iconic structure. If you’re visiting in the summer months, you may catch a local theater group performing a classic Greek play on the Parthenon steps. The surrounding 132-acre park includes a 1-mile walking trail, historical monuments and a sunken garden. Look for signs with QR codes for the “If Trees Could Sing” project and watch videos featuring Nashville music artists talking about different types of trees.
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Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

2800 Opryland Dr.
(615) 889-1000
You don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy the lush indoor gardens at Gaylord Opryland Resort. It takes a team of 20 full-time horticulturists to maintain the resort’s 9 acres of botanical displays, which feature 50,000 tropical, international and Southern species set amid cascading waterfalls, fountains, koi ponds and a canal. Parking at the resort is a bit costly, but you can park for free at the northern edge of the Opry Mills Mall parking lot and follow the sidewalk that leads to the hotel.
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John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

3rd Avenue South
The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge spans the Cumberland River and connects the downtown attraction area to a landscaped pedestrian plaza surrounding Nissan Stadium. The bridge was slated for demolition after nearly 90 years of vehicle traffic, but its historic and aesthetic appeal—it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its unique truss design—led to it being converted to a pedestrian and bicycle overpass. At a little more than half a mile across, it’s a great way to burn off some calories while enjoying spectacular views of downtown Nashville.

Tennessee Agricultural Museum

440 Hogan Rd.
(615) 837-5197
This museum has a large collection of farm and home artifacts from the 19th and 20th centuries, along with a farmhouse, log cabins, gardens and a nature trail. You can also see the stables where Nashville’s mounted police[LS1] keep their horses. If you’re visiting in the summer and looking for fun things to do with kids, don’t miss Summer Saturdays, a free event with farm activities such as grooming and riding miniature donkeys, milking goats and soap making.

Tennessee State Capitol

600 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
(615) 741-0830
Take a free self-guiding or guided tour of this 1859 Greek Revival building, where you can visit the Governor’s Reception Room, the legislative chambers and the state library. The surrounding grounds feature monuments including an equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson and the tombs of President James K. Polk and his wife, Sarah. Be warned, parking around the capitol building is scarce, but there are a number of paid parking lots nearby.
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