7 Things to Do in Nashville During a Pandemic
And a Few More Ideas for Staying Sane while Staying at Home
When Tom Adkinson wrote 100 Things to Do in Nashville Before You Die, people were doing more things. Now that we are all Safer at Home for the time being, a lot of us are close to going out of our minds living, working, playing, and parenting at home. We asked Tom to revisit his book to give us some ideas that could hold us over just a little longer at home.
“The Great Pause,” as Tom has taken to calling this time, has been an incredible time to watch the internet shine. Several of the 100 Things have shifted to an online format while it’s unsafe to gather in person.
1. Grand Ole Opry
While we think of it as a live performance to watch in person, Tom reminded me that the Grand Ole Opry is a live radio show. “Tune into WSM on your terrestrial radio! Right now you can listen on the radio or watch online, and it is still one of the special things about Nashville.”
2. Belcourt Theatre
Maybe you’ve always wanted to watch more films… and no, I’m not talking about binge-watching more Too Hot Too Handle or Tiger King. The Belcourt, Nashville’s Nonprofit Film Center, has created a great online experience. As Tom points out, if you have never been to the Belcourt, you can “check it out now in anticipation for going to the place in real life.” Join the Living Room Film Club in partnership with the Nashville Scene that meets on Wednesday nights.
3. The Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Like all great zoos around the country, the Nashville Zoo has turned to broadcasting on its social media channels. Tom pointed out that the Zoo’s offerings are for “adult education and child amusement alike.” So, whether your first grader loves porcupines… or, you love porcupines… turn their next live video into your next homeschool science lesson for all ages.
Outside the Norm
“Nashville is fortunate to have so much open space,” Tom reflected. Three of the 100 Things are out in the fresh air, and you can enjoy them at a safe social distance without any trouble. For an added bonus, all of these trips can be turned into a history lesson!
4. Nashville City Cemetery
Tom noted that the Nashville City Cemetery “is full of interesting people—none of whom you have to interact with!” Their website has all sorts of maps and lists of people interred on their grounds, so you can go prepared to find anyone from our famous citizens to your own distant relatives.
5. Fort Negley
“This is an amazing Civil War structure,” says Tom. “I went out for a walk and saw a grand total of five people.” Though the visitor center is closed right now, you can still visit the outdoor portion of the Fort Negley park. “The walk was easy, enjoyable, outdoors, and with no human contact.” Sounds like a win for Nashvillians of all ages who are eager to get some fresh air and move around!
6. Nashville Greenway
Tom notes that the Greenway is easy access and utilize without risking contact. “The system is so extensive, if you are careful, you can find parts of it to enjoy at a safe distance.” One of the spots along the Greenway Tom highlights in the book is Dutchman’s Curve, a location on the railroad tracks by the Richland Creek Greenway accessible from White Bridge Pike, where a deadly train wreck occurred in 1918. “I’ve been out twice [during the COVID-19 outbreak]. Just watch to see if the parking lot is full.” While there, enjoy the exercise and the historical marker highlighting the wreck.
Eat Your Fill
And what would this quarantine be without #quarantinesnacks?
7. Battle over BBQ
Everyone has their favorite barbeque joint in town. And if you don’t yet, consider this your time to do a taste test. Tom highlights four of the town’s best barbeque restaurants in the book: Jack’s, Peg Leg Porker, Martin’s, and (rest in pork) Hog Heaven, which has closed since the last edition of the book was released. All three remaining restaurants are offering curbside pick-up during the pandemic. Have your own safer at home barbecue battle and don’t forget to add some Puckett’s BBQ Sauce.
Tom, a seasoned travel writer and traveler, told me he’s “feeling constrained, but not bored” during this Great Pause and, in addition to enjoying these 7 Things to Do in Nashville During a Pandemic, has been filling his days with writing, tending a vegetable garden, and watching classic movies. (“The Creature from the Black Lagoon is so bad, it’s hilarious,” he reports.) “My vocation and avocation have always involved travel. A peculiar sensation is caused by not being able to go.” What bugs him most is “the idea of knowing that things are still out there, but I can’t get to them.” Amen, Tom. Amen.
Are you, like Tom (and me), fantasizing about the next time you’ll get to leave your house? How about the next time you get to leave town?! Start dreaming up your next trip post-pandemic! Check out Tom’s blog, Corners of the Country, for cool location inspiration and maybe even sock away some travel-related goods from Batch. Start with the Local Economy Travel Set, ABLE Alem Passport Wallet, and Brittany Fuson Luggage Tag, so your overnight bag is packed and you’re ready to hit the road when we get the “all clear.”
Note: All images in this post are from the Spirit of Nashville series by Anderson Design Group. They are sold in the Batch store during normal operating times.