“Everything in one place” – it’s what Gaylord properties want their guests to experience. We certainly found this to be true when we recently stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee. We had heard a lot of buzz about Nashville’s reputation as “Music City,” so we put the city where “music is the universal language” on our to-do list. And staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, Gaylord Hotels flagship property, was a perfect choice. When it comes to beautiful settings, luxurious rooms and great entertainment, Gaylord has them all covered – literally. A signature feature of the Gaylord resorts is the huge glass atriums covering the dining, shopping, entertainment and recreational facilities, creating a virtual paradise under glass.
Lush gardens, cascading waterfalls, and more
Once your day of experiencing the excitement of downtown Nashville is done, you will have plenty more to look forward to when you get back to the Gaylord Opryland Resort. With four hotel sections totaling 2,888 rooms, three huge atriums comprising nine acres of lush, indoor gardens and cascading waterfalls, 17 dining options, great entertainment and shopping all under one roof, the Gaylord Opryland Resort is a destination unto itself. Located just minutes from Nashville International Airport and about 20 minutes from downtown, the Gaylord is conveniently located adjacent to the Grand Ole Opry House. The Opry Mills Mall is also next door and The Hermitage Mansion & Grounds, President Andrew Jackson’s home is just minutes away.
Great entertainment at some legendary venues
Entertainment options at the Gaylord Opryland begin with the legendary Grand Ole Opry, the show that made country music famous. After running for years at the historic Ryman Auditorium, the show moved to its current location in 1974, the Grand Ole Opry House located right next to the resort. A convenient, complimentary shuttle to the Opry House is provided for resort guests. Opry shows are every Friday and Saturday night and most Tuesday and Wednesday nights during the summer months. The popular Night at the Opry Package includes 1 night accommodations and a Preferred seat ticket to the legendary show. Reservations for the Gaylord Opryland’s package are call-in only: 1-877-222-6779.
We experienced a Saturday night performance of the Grand Ole Opry. Although we were not avid fans of country music, we were made converts that night. We especially enjoyed the Old Crow Medicine Show, one of the eight different acts performing that night. The Grand Ole Opry Backstage Tour was also fascinating. We got a chance to visit the Opry’s backstage and dressing rooms, hear stories about some of country music’s great stars, and take a moment to stand in the center stage circle of this iconic venue. When the Opry left its downtown venue, the Ryman Auditorium, for its new home in 1974, an eight-foot circle of hardwood from the Ryman center stage was placed on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House, symbolizing an unbroken tradition.
In addition to its association with the Grand Ole Opry, the Gaylord Resort is also closely associated with the Ryman Auditorium and the Wildhorse Saloon, both located in downtown Nashville, and the General Jackson Showboat, a 300-foot paddlewheel riverboat. Known as the “Mother Church of Country Music,” the Ryman Auditorium is an iconic concert venue that any music fan will want to experience on a guided or self-guided tour. It’s impossible to walk through this venue and not feel the magic and sense the history of this treasured American music landmark.
The Wildhorse Saloon made a spectacular opening in 1994 with a herd of cattle running through the streets of Music City. The Saloon has three floors, five bars, and the largest dance floor in Nashville. Visitors can enjoy free line dance lessons every night. The entertainment is top notch and the barbecue delicious. Their “famous” fried pickles are a must.
Gaylord Entertainment also offers a unique entertainment and dining experience with its grand showboat experience aboard the General Jackson. With picturesque views of Nashville from the Cumberland River, you can enjoy great music and food aboard this elegantly-designed showboat. It epitomizes the grace and grandeur of the Old South.
Dining – so many choices
Seventeen dining options are available at the Gaylord Resort, including the resort’s signature restaurant, Old Hickory Steakhouse. Selecting from a menu featuring 1855 Black Angus Beef, we enjoyed an outstanding dinner experience at this upscale steakhouse named for President Andrew Jackson’s nickname. Our waiter provided attentive, impeccable service. Many of the restaurants are situated amongst the tranquil pools and lush gardens of the atriums giving an al fresco dining experience with no concern for the weather.
The resort’s Jack Daniel’s Restaurant, the only one in the world, has hand-crafted Southern specialties and great Nashville entertainment. Findley’s Irish Pub has an authentic pub atmosphere coupled with some Old Country hospitality. It also presents some great live Nashville music.
A variety of packages
Gaylord Opryland Resort offers a variety of seasonal packages, such as SummerFest featuring Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Gaylord’s indoor gardens are transformed into the curious wonderland Alice encounters after falling through an enchanted rabbit hole. Guests are invited to enjoy Aquafina pool parties, Jr. Chef Camp, dining events, live entertainment and more.
Winter holiday season at Gaylord Opryland is special as the resort presents ICE! The indoor gardens become a winter wonderland where families can explore a variety of holiday scenes created entirely of two million pounds of ice, including ice slides over 2 stories tall. Forty international artisans sculpt the frozen wonderland entirely by hand.
The Golf Getaway Package is perfect for those seeking the challenge of Gaylord Springs Golf Links, a Scottish links-style, par 72 course with 18 challenging holes. The package includes room accommodation, 1 round of golf at Gaylord Springs Golf Links with complimentary golf club rental, and shuttle service to and from the course.
The Luxurious Spa Getaway Package is a perfect way to indulge in one or more spa treatments at Gaylord Opryland’s European-inspired Relache Spa. Gaylord Opryland Resort even offers a Shop and Stay Package, which includes a discount coupon book for Opry Mills Mall, Tennessee’s largest retail outlet. Complimentary transportation to and from Opry Mills Mall is included.
In addition to the Gaylord Opryland Resort, you can visit the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, FL, the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX, and the Gaylord National in National Harbor, MD. A new Gaylord Rockies in Aurora, CO, a suburb of Denver, plans to open its doors in late 2018.
Nashville welcomed nearly 14 million visitors in 2016 and made Forbes Travel Guide’s “16 Top Destinations for 2016.” If you haven’t experienced the energy of Nashville’s music scene, you need to think about planning a visit to this exciting city. And a perfect place to consider for your stay is the Gaylord Opryland Resort.