Local Arrangements Welcome
Welcome to Nashville, Music City USA, for AAPM 1999!
Though Nashville is known the world over as the capital of the country music industry, there's a lot more to see and do here. We enjoy a variety of entertainment, including professional sports and, oh yes, other styles of music. There are good restaurants, in and near the meeting site at Opryland Hotel. There are activities from touring antebellum mansions to golfing, water sports, and hiking. If you rent a car, you can reach many more attractions in Tennessee. In this newsletter we will try to give you a sample of all there is to see and do here. And if you want to explore Nashville for yourself from your computer, just log on to citysearch.com on the World Wide Web.
Let's start at the meeting site in the Opryland Hotel and then sample the activities in bigger and bigger circles around it. When you get to the Opryland Hotel, you'll find it's not just a luxury hotel, but a huge indoor resort as well. It has tropical plants, several dancing fountains, plenty of eateries and gift shops, and even a little water ride.
After you explore Opryland Hotel itself you (and especially the kids) may be looking for more vigorous activities and you needn't go far to find them. Golf, both miniature and full-sized, is close by. Just a few blocks north of the hotel (at 2444 Music Valley Drive) is the Grand Old Golf miniature golf course. A few miles away (at 18 Springhouse Lane) is the hotel's own 18 hole golf course, the Spring House Golf Club. As soon as you leave the hotel's air conditioning, you may notice that our summers are a little warm and moist. So the water slides at Wave Country a few miles south on Briley Parkway will definitely appeal to any kids you bring with you and maybe even to you.
Downtown Nashville, a popular tourist destination, is as close as a ride on a shuttle bus and a water taxi. From the taxi landing, you can walk a few blocks to dozens of places where you can eat, listen to music, buy tee shirts, or even play laser tag. The Nashville arena is just a little farther. A shuttle bus will even take you as far as the Vanderbilt University area.
Farther out in Nashville you can get the whole beach experience on the lakefront at the Nashville Beach resort. There are several good golf courses, such as the Riverside Golf Center (10 minutes from the hotel at 640 Old Hickory Blvd.) and the Hermitage Golf Course (3939 Old Hickory Blvd. in the Old Hickory section of Nashville). There are many historic homes; tours of several are part of the companion program. The most famous is the Hermitage, the home of President Andrew Jackson, but there are also the Belle Meade Plantation, Travelerís Rest and more. You can hike in Edwin Warner and Percy Warner Parks (Warner Golf is also in Percy Warner Park), and in the park around Radnor Lake. You can rent a jet ski and ride it on Percy Priest Lake, or just west of town you can canoe down the Harpeth river.
The surrounding counties are all within a one hour drive and have many historic sites. About 25 miles south of downtown Nashville is the city of Franklin, which has preserved its charmingly traditional downtown area as well as the historic Carter House and Carnton plantation. The beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway begins off Highway 96 just west of Franklin. A little farther south is a civil war battle site in Spring Hill, and the home of President James Polk in Columbia. The Saturn automobile plant in Spring Hill is open for tours Monday through Friday; just call ahead to reserve your places.
About an hour east of Nashville, just off Interstate 40, is Cedars of Lebanon State Park, where you can hike. After less than one more hour of driving east and a little south, you can hike around the beautiful waterfalls of Falls Creek Falls State Park.
Traveling southeast on Interstate 40 for less than an hour will bring you to Murfreesboro, home of Middle Tennessee State University and the Stones River civil war battlefield site, where there are civil war cannons, which civil war reenactors sometimes fire for tourists.
If you have the time to drive about two and a half hours, you go directly south on Interstate 65 across the Alabama border and then follow the signs east a few miles to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. You can see full-sized mockups of a space shuttle, a moon lander, and parts of the new space station. You can see an SR-71 spyplane and a Saturn moon rocket. You can tour astronaut-training facilities.
Or you can go southeast on Interstate 24 for two and a half hours to Chattanooga where there is an excellent aquarium with an Imax theatre. Civil war battle sites near Chattanooga include Lookout Mountain. A good whitewater-rafting river, the Ocooe is close to Chattanooga; of course, if you want to bring children whitewater-rafting, be sure to ask how old they should be.
For civil war buffs, the Shiloh valley, site of another major battle is just off Interstate 40, a few hours west of Nashville. A few more hours west on Interstate 40, on the Mississippi river, is Memphis, home of Elvis Presley and Memphis blues music. Knoxville is a few hours east of Nashville on Interstate 40. Nearby are: the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where there is a tour of an early (now shutdown) reactor; Pigeon Forge, with the Dollywood amusement park, country music theaters, and amusement rides; whitewater-rafting on the Pigeon River; the home of President Andrew Johnson; Gatlinburg, with an assortment of gift shops, curiosity museums, and arcades; the beautiful Smoky Mountain National Park, with scenic driving and hiking. A few hours northwest of Nashville on Interstate 24 is the large Land Between the Lakes park. A few hours north on Interstate 65 are Bowling Green, with a Corvette assembly plant, where there are also public tours, and the Corvette museum. A few hours farther north is Louisville and the Six Flags amusement park, Kentucky Kingdom.
So, if you can allow a little extra time to explore Nashville and its neighborhood, youíll find it very rewarding (and by the way, country music fans, if you plan to see the Grand Olí Opry, itís only performed on Friday and Saturday; so make your travel plans accordingly).