We’re more than halfway through summer, sure. But there’s still plenty of time to have some summer-y experiences before the season comes to an end and it’s back to the grind. If you’re looking for some fun to have either right here in town or a short drive away, then add these ideas to your summer bucket list.
Updated: July 19, 2017
Head to the drive-in.
Catch a first-run flick in an old-school setting at the Stardust Drive-In in Watertown. Open seven days a week, this is a unique and affordable way to spend a night at the movies. Grab dinner at the concessions stand, where you can get anything from a sno-cone to a Philly cheesesteak — and a big bucket of popcorn is just $5! The box office opens at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 6:30 p.m. every other day of the week. Each of the two screens shows double features, with the first one starting at 8:35 p.m. Admission is $8 for ages 12 & older, $6 for ages 6-11, and ages 5 and younger are free. The Stardust is located at 310 Purple Tiger Drive, Watertown, TN 37184. See the movie roster and learn more at stardustdrivein.com.
Get your row on.
Pick a day to play hooky, and paddle away the day on the Harpeth River. Book a canoe or kayak from Canoe Music City, pack a cooler and enjoy a laid-back float — options include 2-, 5-, 7-, 8.5- and 9.5-mile trips. The SB team recently went for a company outing and had a blast! Prices start at $40 plus tax.
If you’re looking for a rowing experience that’s a little more intense, the July 22-23 weekend is your chance — it’s the final Adult Learn to Row class with Nashville Rowing Club on Percy Priest Lake. Cost is $85 for the two-day class. Find out more details and sign up here.
Watch the eclipse.
On August 21, 2017, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse. Given that we’re in the path of totality, that means the moon will completely block the sun, allowing a spectacular viewing experience. In Nashville, the eclipse begins at 11:58 a.m. and ends at 2:54 p.m. with totality from 1:27 p.m. to 1:29 p.m. Make sure you purchase your glasses for safe viewing, and make plans to attend one of the many viewing parties taking place around town. Check out your options here.
Take a day trip.
Make a quick trip south to Huntsville to check out Harmony Park Safari, a drive-thru safari experience that is absolutely hysterical. The educational, agricultural working ranch is home to emus, giraffes, buffalo, ponies, zebras, alpaca and other animals, each of whom roam freely on the property and love to interact with visitors. Purchase a cup of feed to offer them, and they’ll be your best friends for life! Or make your way to Mentone, AL, where you can see stunning waterfalls and amazing sights. And then there’s always Mooresville, AL, home of 1818 Farms. If all else fails, See Rock City!
See the newly re-opened Fort Nashborough.
After three years, phase 1 of the Fort Nashborough recreation is complete. Four new cabins were recreated and are nearly identical to the originals that were built by James Robertson and his crew in 1780. The entire complex and interpretive center offers a realistic view of what life was like for Nashville’s earliest settlers, while the Native American Plaza at the south end of the property acknowledges the tribes who also called this land home. Admission is free.
Take in a Nashville Sounds game.
There are still a handful of opportunities to see your hometown baseball team at the First Tennessee Park this summer. (The final home game is on August 30.) Catch a fireworks Friday game on July 28, or August 11 or 25. Or better yet, make your ballgame outing a once-in-a-lifetime experience by attending the game and solar eclipse party on August 21. Get the details here.
Fans can also have fun supporting their team while participating in a few sideline games as well. The Band Box, which offers 4,000 square feet of outdoor bar, restaurant and lounge space in the ballpark, has ping pong, board games, corn hole, table hockey and shuffle board to enjoy amidst the excitement of the Sounds games. Not only is the entertainment top notch, but the dining options are as well, including gourmet hot dogs and smokey barbecue nachos. Learn more about The Band Box here.
Check out a Maroons game.
If you prefer your baseball of the old-school variety, then you definitely need to attend a Nashville Maroons baseball game. This Nashville vintage baseball league keeps the experience authentic, sweating their way through each game in uniforms that are, shall we say, not of the moisture-wicking type?? The Maroons take on teams from all over the state, playing mostly at the Bicentennial Mall, making it easy to grab some lunch at the Farmers’ Market before heading out to catch the action. See the remaining summer schedule here.
Check out Nashville’s fringe artists.
The Sideshow Fringe Festival is coming up and offers a feast of activities for all. From circus performance and aerial arts to puppetry, storytelling and everything in between, this festival offers an opportunity to check out a side of Nashville’s performing arts scene you may not even know exists. Learn more and purchase tickets here.
Attend a Telescope Night at Dyer Observatory.
The Dyer Observatory is a Nashville treasure offering a highly educational, wildly fascinating experience for casual stargazers and wanna-be astronomers alike. Tickets are available a month in advance for the monthly viewing nights. Find a current schedule for the remainder of the 2017 here.
Ride/walk/bike/skate an unfamiliar greenway or trail.
Nashville has more than 80 miles of greenway paths, mostly paved. If you take advantage of your nearby greenway on a regular basis, try venturing out and exploring one you’re not familiar with to get a different view of Nashville. Or if you prefer the unpaved trails, Music City delivers there as well, offering more than 190 miles of trails in Davidson County. Peruse your options here or check out our ultimate guide to Nashville’s parks, and then get moving!
Savor a beautiful sunset at Love Circle.
There’s no bad view from atop Love Circle. If you’re there bright and early, you can catch the sun rising. And if you time it just right, you can catch a beautiful sunset over the distant rolling hills for which Middle Tennessee is known. Bring a blanket and a picnic, and savor the waning days of extra daylight on a warm summer evening.
SUP the Cumberland.
If it’s been on your to-do list for a while, there’s no time like the present to give stand-up paddleboarding a try. Pick a date, grab a friend, and make a reso with PaddleUp Nashville. Prices start at $26 for an hour, and you have to be 18 and older unless accompanied by an adult.
Check out the newly restored Cheekwood mansion.
After a six month restoration, work on Nashville’s treasured Cheekwood mansion is complete. In conjunction with the unveiling of the newly restored property, the “Dressing Downton” exhibit also opened and is on display at Cheekwood through September 10, 2017. Learn more about the exhibit and purchase tickets here.
You obviously know that Nashville is a thriving foodie community. Embrace it and get to know your options. Commit to trying a new locally owned restaurant each week in August. Here are 20 of Nashville’s newest restaurants to get you started.
Take a tour.
Yes, you may be a Nashvillian, but there’s always fun to be had by playing hometown tourist. Get to know your city more intimately by taking a tour, be it a mural tour, a distillery tour, brewery tour or any of the other options available. (Here are six walking tours to get you started.) And if you want to get out of town, check out any of these factory tours around the South.
Visit a food truck.
Food trucks are on just about every corner during the summer. With nearly 100 trucks serving a variety of cuisines, the options are endless. Use this guide and do your best to hit them all!
Enjoy the final few weeks of the season however you choose to spend them!
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